I am sharing this with you at a very vulnerable time. In no way, shape or form is this to discourage you. I simply want you to take it from someone who is willing to tell you that it’s not all fun, easy, and whatever other lollipop and rainbow bullshit people have come up with due to their anger towards full-time parents. Believe me people really be mad about it and I still haven’t figured out why. It’s weird. Keep in mind that everyone’s experience is different due to their partner, surroundings, patience and then some.
Being a stay-at-home mom has its advantages and that I won’t deny. I also homeschool and as I get into the groove of that I find it has advantages as well. There’s no real schedule in my household but always a list of things to do. As much as I want my children on a schedule, I feel like right now I need to settle into myself and what’s happening with me in order to place some structure anywhere else. If that confused you what I’m saying is I’m in my, “I’m no good to anyone because I’m no good to myself” right now. And this is a perfect place to start sharing some of those things I feel are important to consider before embarking on your journey.
1. Be absolutely positive that you and your partner agree.
There are those who want to be then there are those who have to be full-time parents. If it is something that you want to do, but don’t necessarily have to do, I’d suggest a serious conversation. Especially if you have a partner that’s nonchalant about everything. Most times they don’t actually agree with you and won’t say anything until it starts to affect them. Pros and cons will probably be the easiest way to come to a conclusion.
2. Do you have a village?
It’s said that “It takes a village to raise a child” and you now plan to spend every single hour of every single day with your child/children – for however long you choose. That village is going to be more than necessary for many reasons. You’re going to need a break, you need someone to confide in, you’ll probably want to have playdates and some days you may just need someone else to step in while you pull yourself together in the bathroom. And yes, these are things that I continue to experience.
3. Are you bad with guilt?
If you think you’re struggling now wait until you want to sleep in until 12-1PM instead of getting up to get time for self then clean the house at 8AM so that you can get ahead. Wait until you’re literally too tired to cook let alone entertain your kid(s). Guilt sucks but it is something that you will have to work through. My advice? Remember that you’re on nobody’s time but your own. There is no boss, – maybe the kid(s) – no deadlines, nothing you have to actually do unless it’s for you guys’ wellbeing. You might be in your head a lot because you feel like you’re not doing enough. Truth is you’re taking on more than the average person – and probably with no help and little breaks might I add – so you’re going to have to figure out how to conquer guilt.
4. Is this a short-term or long-term decision?
Are you going to stay home until the children are school age or are you going to then homeschool? The transition is different for everyone, but it’s something to think and talk about. You may enjoy staying home but being parent and teacher are two totally different things.
5. Are you going to be okay with not working?
YOU need to be okay with the possibility of you not having your own money. You may have someone who is willing to give you money, but it may not even be close to the same as making and having your own money. I know that work from home jobs exist too, but you still have to find that balance between the kids and your job.
These are top on my list except numbers one and (maybe) five because I haven’t been able to cut ties with the rest. If you ask me, I don’t really have a village because I don’t trust many. But if we’re talking about outside of those that I trust then it’s shaky. Knowing how those people are, seeing them interact with my children and also myself I’m not cool with all that I’ve seen and experienced. And I’m not that desperate for a break that I’ll leave my kids with them. I sink into guilt daily because I feel like I’m doing too much while still completing much of nothing. While we agreed this a long-term decision, I’m not so sure I’m still 100% onboard with that. And I’m cool with not working but I can’t act like I’m not tired of feeling like I’m being shorted.
Overall, this is a job – yes, I said a job – that you need to be mentally prepared for. It sounds good until you’re overwhelmed with simple task like laundry and dishes because you know that you forgot to bathe a child, make the bed, check the mailbox and whatever it was your partner asked you to do well over five hours ago too. It’s a lot and I do want to say that this is not for the weak, but baby I been trying to stand up cause weak is what I’ve been feeling lately. In whatever I feel though I remember that my kids are always watching me. I don’t want what I’m feeling to affect their day. They’re children so on those days I try extra hard to find fun things to do because even when I don’t want to, that push through makes all the difference.
All jokes aside though if you plan to or already are a stay-at-home parent, this experience is one that you have to learn to appreciate. You won’t get this time back and even in those times of feeling overwhelmed keep in mind that you’re the one who is able to help your child/children not someone that you had to leave them with. And that’s no shade to those who choose not to be full-time parents because we all choose what’s best for us. But I am speaking specifically for and to those of us who chose the home life. Every parent makes a choice and we all have to be okay with what we choose or we need to change it. It is not easy and it can feel tricky if you have multiple children. Understand that you’re responsible for the well being and upbringing of a or multiple little humans 24/7, 365. That is not an easy task. So, the next time someone questions your decision or suggest you get a job. Ask them if they plan to take your place.
P.S. I know that I probably made being a stay-at-home mom sound like a horror story, but it truly has its days. It can get lonely which I am experiencing and it can feel like there’s no end to the repeated cycle which I am also dealing with. The best advice that I have for you is something that you’ve more than likely heard before. That is that your experience is what you make it, seriously, literally. If you’re going to let yourself wake up every day and allow yourself to feel defeated – because it is just a feeling – then you’re going to have a bad day and that in turn doesn’t make a great one for your child/children. Again, it has its day I’m still struggling with making friends with and without children, but I remind myself that I agreed to this and for many reasons. So, I cry, let it all out, and I get up and keep pushing because I can do this and so can you. This is what’s best for my family right now and I embrace that while reminding myself that is also time for me to get myself together and figure out what I really want to do. And if you need or want to talk to anyone you can talk to me. I’ll leave me socials for you.