Unspoken Struggles of a Stay-at-Home Mom

Some people think that the decision to become a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) is an easy one. More one-on-one time with kids, more time to clean the house, keep up with the laundry, and make meals; it sounds heavenly, right?

But to be honest, I never thought I would be a SAHM. I knew I always wanted to be a mom, but not the kind that stays home.

I just had too much drive and ambition to “just be at home with kids.” Well, you know that Thomas Rhett song with the lyrics, “You make plans and you hear God laughing,” that was 100% true in my case. 

The Reason I Became a SAHM

When my oldest was younger he would go to daycare. He was always sick, and chronic ear infections were the culprit. Every time he would get an ear infection, it seemed like the drainage would go down into his lungs. We then lived on a nebulizer for months.

Finally, three months before my second was born, I decided to be a SAHM. It wasn’t an easy choice, but I didn’t like seeing my kid sick all the time, and going into doctor’s offices every week. It was the best choice I could see at the time and four years later, I’m still at home.

Unspoken Struggles

The first few weeks of being a stay-at-home mom I felt like I was on top of the world! I was my own boss and on my own schedule.

Then it slowly started to creep up on me: the loneliness of barely seeing another adult because most of my friends were working. And the balancing act of trying to keep up with household duties while also spending time playing and teaching the kiddos was overwhelming.

Also, the dreaded no sick days. I now have to decide how sick I am, if it warrants my husband to take a day off to watch kids while I rest. News flash: this rarely happens. I usually power through it so my husband can keep his days off.

I think the biggest unspoken difficulty is budget. Going from two incomes to one isn’t an easy task. Budgeting is a huge thing and only works if both of you agree on it.

We always wanted a big family. That also meant kids close in age, and a bigger daycare bill. When you get to the point where the daycare bill is almost more than your paycheck, it becomes time to evaluate. Sometimes for families it means one parent stays home until the kids are school-aged. For some families, it means that they feel they are a better parents while both are working outside the home. 

Find Your Tribe

Once my friend was expecting twins (her number 3 & 4), she made the decision to become a stay-at-home mom. And I was ecstatic

Even though it can be hard to be a SAHM it makes it 1,000 times easier to do it with a friend. You can meet up for a playdate at the zoo, splash pad, a park, or at each other’s houses.

It means no judgment when walking through the toys scattered all over the living room and the dishes in sink. My best advice is to find a friend you can text and say, “My kids are crazy today. Need to get out of the house. Want to meet up?” 

Adapting

It took awhile to adapt to life at home with my kids and figuring out how to get everything done. After having three kids under three years old, hauling the kids with me to run errands was a task. So, I started to make it fun by playing “I spy” on our way to a store, and allowing each kids to pick out a treat while in the store.

And my best advice for running errands is to pick the drive-up option at the store. No unloading and loading of kids, and no stress of kids having a meltdown in middle of the store. 

The Reality of It All

It’s hard. It’s all hard. I have been a working mom outside the home and I have now been a SAHM for four years. I think the hardest part of it all is realizing that being a SAHM isn’t all glitter and unicorns. There was a lot to adjust to. And just like a working outside the home, there are good days and bad days on the job.

Parenting and working is hard, so don’t judge how that mom decides to provide for her family. Give all moms grace no matter whether they are stay-at-home moms, working moms, or something in-between.

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Danielle grew up in a small, rural North Dakota town before attending university in Fargo. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences and has an associate's degree in Sign Language Interpreting. She and her husband, Andrew, have been married for six years and have three beautiful kids together. Danielle decided before she had her second child to be a stay-at-home mom. While life gets insane at times, she's happy to have other stay-at-home mom friends she can share the ups and downs of parenting with. She loves to find a good deal, bake, and spend time with her family.

1 COMMENT

  1. I’ll start by saying I am a new mom and a stay at home mom, this article really spoke to me and helped me feel better about my decision to stay home with my newborn. For us it was the financial side that I would be going back to work just to pay for daycare and we just felt it was better for me to stay home and teach our little one for awhile. That being said I am also new to Fargo as I moved from my home state Colorado just last year and don’t have any friends really to speak of let alone mom friends so it does get really lonely since I only know my husband and inlaws. I appreciate you publishing about being a stay at home mom since most of what I see online is the misconception that I’m home all day with my feet up binging Netflix and eating bonbons, which is definitely not the case. Thank you for this and everything else you do!

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