6 Unexpected Truths: Advice for Stay At Home Moms

mom and toddler playing together in an article on advice for stay at home moms

Advice for Stay At Home Moms

Searching for advice for Stay At Home Moms?

I was too.

It is so interesting to me how much I realize I do not know until I am in it, experiencing the situation. I used to have so many preconceived notions about being a Stay At Home Mom, and I always thought I would never be one.

Now, 5 years into motherhood, I am 5 months into being a Stay At Home Mom (the first 4.5 years I worked a full time corporate job). And, I am reminded–once again–to not judge someone or something if you haven’t personally experienced it yourself.

That is one of my most favorite things about being a mom…realizing how little I know, how open-minded I should be always, and how grounded I have become in what really, truly matters. I am constantly learning.

Becoming a mom is truly one of the most magical, special things you can experience. I absolutely love being a mom. I love it so much that, I–a girl who once dreamed of climbing the corporate ladder–all of a sudden wanted nothing more than to be home with my kids.

Now that I am, I am blown away at how many epiphanies I have had in these 5 short months of being a Stay At Home Mom (SAHM).

Whether you are contemplating becoming a SAHM or you already are one, each mom has her own path and her own realizations. No matter the journey you are on, remember that it is your journey, and that it, and you, are beautiful.

Here are the surprising truths I have discovered from being a Stay At Home Mom.

6 Unexpected Truths to Being a Stay At Home Mom

1. I still carry mom guilt.

baby in mom's arms in an article on advice for stay at home moms

As a working mom, I felt guilty being away from my kids. I felt guilty for not maintaining the household chores better. I felt bad about being tired at the end of the day, bringing home my work frustrations instead of being present with my family.

I had this idea in my head that if I were a Stay At Home Mom, that would all go away. But the guilt has just shifted. I still feel pulled into a million different directions because anything I try to do by myself or for myself (be it chores or exercise or errands etc.), I have little monkeys demanding my attention (my kids are 5 and 3).

If I am swinging them in the backyard, I am thinking about the dishes that should be put away, or the rooms that should be cleaned. Or if I am doing those chores, I am wondering if I should stop doing them to instead build a puzzle or play a game.

The worrying over whether I am using my time correctly as a mom still lingers.

Being present is so very important to me, and I am realizing now that I struggle with it no matter what kind of work I am doing.

Going from full time corporate life to full time home life has made me realize mom guilt is REAL, no matter what you are doing; it follows you.

2. I’ve had to redefine my identity.

silhouette of mom holding baby on the beach in an article on advice for stay at home moms

As kids, we were repeatedly asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

It sent me the message that what you decide to do for work defines who you are. Your worth is in your job. But, we are SO MUCH MORE than the summation of our day’s worth of work.

“What do you do for a living?” That question used to haunt me. I felt all this pressure and/or embarrassment if I felt like I didn’t measure up to the person who was asking me that question.

And, I’m sure they were only asking to try to make conversation and get to know me better. But, I still was inside my head with worry.

I am very proud to be a Stay At Home Mom, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I love it. However, I had a moment where I thought, “Is this me? Is this who I am? Just a mom?”

I know there is absolutely nothing wrong with being “just” a mom, and I also know that we are more than just the role/job we do. Nonetheless, I still paused and wondered if I should also have a job outside of the home because that’s what society often says we should do.

But I am listening to my own gut and am doing what feels best for me, which is what we all should do!

3. There is this newfound pressure to ROCK as a Mom.

mom, dad, and baby girl in an article on advice for stay at home moms

Juggling a 9 to 5 job while being a mom was an easy excuse to not always have dinner made for the family. I could say I worked late and then just order takeout.

Not having the house cleaned, I could say it was because I was tied up at work. Not getting the kids off to school on time, I could again blame work.

Now, there is nothing to blame but me. I didn’t used to care if I was scrambling to get out the door on time for the doctor appointment or dance class, etc. But now? I feel like I must always have my act together because don’t all Stay At Home Moms have their act together always?

I know the answer is no. No one is perfect. But, I find myself being harder on myself when things don’t go as planned.

Plus, I am not a natural homemaker. My husband is better at cleaning than I am. Cooking is not my pride and joy. I had it in my head all Stay At Home Moms rock at those two things, so to be one who doesn’t, is frustrating at times.

It makes me feel like I’m failing in my role, but I know being a SAHM is so much more than just cleaning and cooking! Nonetheless, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel this way.

4. I feel like I’m on an island at times.

mom holding child in an article on advice for stay at home moms

My interactions with other people have become smaller now. Work provides a kind of community where you are forced to interact with other people.

As a SAHM, the communication I have with people face to face has drastically decreased, creating the feeling of loneliness sometimes.

My solution? I get out! It’s important to connect with other moms. Prioritizing fun things for yourself with friends is a must. I started a book club to help create a new community for myself, and I go line dancing on Tuesday nights with some girlfriends.

5. The seesaw has tilted drastically.

seesaw in a park

My husband and I used to so evenly share our parental roles.

We both worked 9 to 5 jobs. We both took turns with middle of the night shifts for sick children or bad dreams and tears, etc. We both shared the role of household chores because we both were working.

Now, instead of us both sharing the load of keeping the house (and children) afloat, it is more divided.

I feel silly if he unloads the dishwasher before I do, or if he helps get the kids ready for school instead of working, or if he hears the cries in the middle of the night before I do.

He is incredibly generous and awesome at helping, but because I am not working, I feel bad when things like this happen. I guess it goes back to mom guilt.

The adjusting of our new roles as husband and wife/mom and dad is not good or bad. It just simply is an adjustment, one that I didn’t realize would evolve.

What has helped me the most during this transition is having open lines of communication with my husband. Being able to talk through the transition is key.

6. Creating structure is harder.

woman looking at her watch

Establishing boundaries and having solid routines for myself is surprisingly harder now that I don’t have a corporate job dictating my availability and flexibility.

I am fully in charge and rarely leave my office since it is my home. Everything blends together; it is easy to get lost in not having a specific itinerary like I did every day when I had a W2.

I used to naively think, “What do Stay At Home Moms do all day?” I thought as a SAHM I would have all this free time for myself.

Maybe that will be the case as my children get older. But I often think, “How did I ever do all of this AND have a job at the same time?” My days are FULL.

I am somehow busier being a mom than I was when I was working. Funny how life works sometimes.

Advice for Stay At Home Moms & Final Thoughts

Even though the above stated epiphanies came to me as a surprise, I wouldn’t change any of it.

Being able to witness more of my children’s growth, achievements, and happiness is incredibly special and fulfilling. I love that we now have more opportunities to bond over shared experiences, activities, and conversations together. The tiny moments of excitement and joy throughout the day are priceless.

I also love that my new role has taken me out of my comfort zone with needing to practice and improve the things mentioned above, especially the cooking! I am determined to overcome my struggles with cooking. The room for growth and improvement is exciting!

There is true beauty in both the Working Mom and Stay At Home Mom. Both have their pros and cons and both are absolutely amazing. I feel very lucky I get to experience both sides.

If I were to give any specific advice for Stay At Home Moms, I would say be true to yourself. It is easy to lose yourself in your family or in societal norms. But at the end of the day, you need to do what is best for you. Because when you feel your best, your kids and family will thrive.

Looking for ways to make money as a Stay At Home Mom? Check out Tried and True Mom Jobs for inspiration. Whitney Bonds, the amazing woman behind that site, is the reason I was able to monetize this blog.

Read Next:

8 Best Self-Care Tips for Moms

How to Realistically Live for Yourself & Not for Others

Marriage After a Baby: How to Keep it SPICY

26 Healthy Snacks for Moms That Are Quick & Easy

11 Tips to Overcome Working Mom Guilt I WISH I Knew Sooner

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