You are about to have a baby (or you’ve already had them), and are seriously considering becoming a stay at home mom. “But what’s it really like? Well mama, here is the truth broken down into pros and cons. I hope this helps in your decision making process.
- You get to see all the milestones. – First steps, first words, first everything, you will most likely be there and it’s always magical.
- You won’t have to worry about who is going to watch your child. – You don’t have to go on some massive daycare search. Also, if your kid gets sick, you don’t have to worry about taking time off or using vacation days.
- Your “workplace” can be anywhere you want it to be. – Sunny day outside? Perfect, you don’t have to be stuck inside in some office. You can go to a park anytime you want. Want to take a day trip to a fun museum? Go right ahead. Want to spend afternoons at a pool or splash pad four days out of the week? Sounds good.
- You and your child will form a magical bond. – This is not to say working parents don’t have a special bond with their kids. They 100% do, but there is undeniably a different sort of bond between my son and I versus his dad who goes to work every day. It’s not any kind of “I love you more” kind of bond. It’s not a competition. It’s just when you spend every minute of every day with a person, you really REALLY know all about them.
- Your day is full of love. – Even on the most tantrum, no sleep filled days, every little snuggle or kiss wipes all of the bad away. Within all of the chaos is constant love. I don’t know that I could ever say that about any other job I will ever have.
- It can be very lonely. – Every day it is just you and the baby. You might go through a whole day without any real adult conversation, especially in those early days where you and your significant other are barely surviving on little to no sleep. Even if you find a solid mom group, you won’t be with them every second of the day, so most of your day will just be you and the baby.
- On the other hand, you will never really be alone, which can also be hard. – You will spend days daydreaming of a time when you could go to the bathroom on your own. I have literally breastfed my baby while going to the bathroom. I have had a clingy toddler wrapped around my leg while I was trying to pee. Shutting the door does no good. Once they get older they will open it, or simply stand outside calling for you the whole time.
- It is extremely tiring. – You will feel like you are doing nothing, especially if you were a previously super busy person and now are suddenly “not as busy.” However, you will always be tired. There seems to be some kind of myth about being a stay at home mom that we somehow get more sleep than our working mom counterparts. This is simply not true. In fact, I’m always a little envious when my working mom friends tell me about their breaks at work. As a stay at home mom, there are no guaranteed breaks. There are some “maybe my kid will nap” or “maybe my kid will play quietly without me for a bit” moments. Sometimes those moments happen, but sometimes they don’t. So no, there is no guarantee you will ever truly rest.
- It’s very easy to “lose” yourself. – Our jobs are really an extension of who we are as a person. When your new job is to take care of another human, it is all too easy to become so enthralled in their day that you lose track of your own well-being. Sometimes it is very hard to force yourself to get away from your mini attachment even if it’s for your own good.
- Your work day never ends. – You are literally mom 24/7. Yes, working moms are also moms 24/7, but they get to step away every day guaranteed. You might not. Even when your significant other comes home from work, your kids will default to you as the decision maker since you are pretty much the decision maker all day.
Whether you choose to stay at home with your children, or go back to work after they are born, there is no right answer. The right answer is whatever is right for you and your family. You’ve got this mama.