How do you feel about being a stay-at-home mother?

@smartmom (827)
United States
April 12, 2007 10:49pm CST
I really love the fact that I have gotten the opportunity to stay home with my children, because this means it has made us so much closer, and I love to be able to be with them every step of the way. Sometimes, it can drive me crazy though, not contributing to the family's finances, not using my intellectual abilities and my skills, and not using my college degree. Other times, the kids can drive me completely nuts, and I feel like I am really going crazy, and that I am unfit to be a mother. I really love being a stay-at-home mother, I just wish that I would be able to get a few hours to myself once in a while. How about you, how do you feel about being a stay-at-home mom, is it all that you ever wanted in your life? Are you afraid what would happen to you if your husband for some reason or another no longer was in your life?
7 people like this
22 responses
@Dana5881 (609)
• United States
13 Apr 07
I would like to stay at home but at this time we can't afford it. I think staying home will bring me closer to my child but it would also isolate me from the working people and other adults. I think it might also isolate my child since he doesn't yet have any siblings.
@smartmom (827)
• United States
14 Apr 07
I definitely think it is easier to be a stay-at-home mom, if you have more than one child. I have a four year old and a one year old son, and I am just so amazed about how much fun they actually have together.
1 person likes this
@bad1981 (799)
• United States
13 Apr 07
I lvoe staying at home with my kids for the most part because I know they are safest with me and that nobody is doing something to them while they are in their care. Some days are very trying but for the most part I love it. I do feel bad sometimes that I dont contribute but I always think that I really do because our kids are in our home and by me staying home we save money for daycare costs.
3 people like this
@smartmom (827)
• United States
14 Apr 07
I think that being a stay-at-home mom is one of the best gifts that you can give your children, and I just wish that it was as simple as that. I just feel so torn though, between giving my children this gift, and using my skills.
1 person likes this
@emisle (3823)
• Ireland
13 Apr 07
I don't think I'd like to be a stay at home housewife myself as I would like the chance to challenge myself and be with other adults. I'm not being judgemental or anything, I know that being a stay at home mum is a lot of work, looking after kids is demanding and exhausting. I think being in a work environment can be a lot more relaxing sometimes.
3 people like this
@smartmom (827)
• United States
14 Apr 07
I think that stay-at-home moms have different challenges to deal with, than if they were in the work force, but I also feel that I sometimes miss the intellectual stimulation that comes with having a job outside the home. I have found the writing sites to be a great help though.
@SheliaLee (2738)
• United States
13 Apr 07
I have been a stay at home mom since 1993 and I love it. Yes there are times I have felt like I was going cray and an unfit mother. I know exactly how you feel. But still I don't regret it. I actually work even though I am a stay at home mom. I have been a medical transcriptionist for a local hospital since 1998. My youngest child was fixing to start to school and we needed to pay off some bills so I started doing this. I wouldn't trade it for anything either. Since I worked from home I was still able to go to my son's events at school and some of my daughters. I wasn't able to do that when she was younger but I was able to make up for it after being at home. When I need to take off from typing for a while I just let the people know and when I get back I start typing again. I'm glad that you are able to stay home with your kids. I wish that more and more mothers could do this. If there is any way financially possible I think it is the best "job" a mom can have.
@smartmom (827)
• United States
14 Apr 07
It sounds like you have really gotten the best straw here. I think a lot of moms dream of this opportunity to be able to work from home. I actually think that a lot of moms have to stay home for financial reasons. We did some calculations a while ago, where we added all the expenses of having a job up such as transportation, extra car, decent childcare for two kids under five, work wardrobe, colleague presents, lunch money etc., and when we subtracted this from a salary of say 30000 a year, which I would be lucky to get (I have a B.A., but not much work experience in my field), well there sure was not much left. I was left thinking...is this really worth going to work for? Now, if you have three children, I actually think that you will end up paying to work, unless you have a good job and a lot of experience
1 person likes this
@smartmom (827)
• United States
14 Apr 07
It sounds like you have really gotten the best straw here. I think a lot of moms dream of this opportunity to be able to work from home. I actually think that a lot of moms have to stay home for financial reasons. We did some calculations a while ago, where we added all the expenses of having a job up such as transportation, extra car, decent childcare for two kids under five, work wardrobe, colleague presents, lunch money etc., and when we subtracted this from a salary of say 30000 a year, which I would be lucky to get (I have a B.A., but not much work experience in my field), well there sure was not much left. I was left thinking...is this really worth going to work for? Now, if you have three children, I actually think that you will end up paying to work, unless you have a good job and a lot of experience
@SheliaLee (2738)
• United States
14 Apr 07
I did the same calculations that you are talking about before I decided to stay at home. I found out like you that it was costing me more to work than to stay at home. I hope you will continue to be happy as a stay at home and will be blessed by your decision. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!!
1 person likes this
@cjthedog64 (1552)
• United States
13 Apr 07
I love being a SAHM. I've worked for the last 15 years or so, so it's a great change from that routine. DS is 16 months old and I've been home since his birthday. I love having him around to see all his changes & teach him things. I think I do a better job with keeping up around the house too. It's easier to do a few minutes throughout the day than to rush when I'm tired at night. I do make a point to get a few minutes to myself while DS naps or after bedtime. DH helps out, but he's also got a lot of his own stuff to work on when he's home, so I let him do that.
2 people like this
@smartmom (827)
• United States
14 Apr 07
After 15 years in the workforce, I sure think you deserve a long break. Was it not difficult for you in the beginning though, to not have an income, and to be dependent on your husband? What about the pace of your day, do you feel like you need to have something to do all the time, or are you just enjoying that you can create your own pace?
@raven9595 (101)
• United States
13 Apr 07
My wife intially thought about soing it before we had our son but as much as it pains her to leave him it is necessary for her to keep a sense of self as a woman and a wife, be productive, give her the chance to have friends and accomplishments outside of the home. To her it keeps her sanity and self idententiy as a person rather then just a mommy.
2 people like this
@smartmom (827)
• United States
14 Apr 07
Although, I love being a stay-at-home mom, I sure do understand the women, who stay in the workforce. I really feel that women are split between having a great career and being a mother, and this is a pussle that I intensely are trying to work out. I think that going to school is going to be my way of getting some outside input while still being able to spend a whole lot of time with my children.
@jamie11982 (1658)
• United States
13 Apr 07
i to am now a stay at home mom. I recently lost my job and my husband said that it was for the better becuase now he knows that our children are being well taken care of. It is hard in manyways but very rewarding. My children now just what buttons to push to stress me out to the max but then they can be so good that you don't even know that they are around. They are the best gift that god has given me. For my sanity i go out 1 day a week and just take about 3 to 4 hours out for myself. I joined a bowling leauge a few years ago and i have stayed on the leauge and love it. My husband and i have both agreed that one night a week we would take out away from the children and just get our sanity back. This isn't to much of a problem that we go and have a good time and then we come home all stress free and ready to go for a nother week. I am always thinking about something bad happening to my husband while he's away from the home. He has to travel about 1 hour just to get to work and it scares to to no end while he is out. I'm always worried that a cop is going to be knocking on my door to let me know that he's been into a bad car accident or something. but then he comes home and i'm worried free.
@smartmom (827)
• United States
14 Apr 07
I think you are very fortunate that you can take some hours to yourself every week, and enjoy a hobby that you like. It seems like you have a very understanding husband, and not only that, he really seems to understand that having alone time is extremely important. I wish all of our husbands could learn from yours, as I really think you are right about the hours to your self helping your sanity level. I am also very worried about my husband's wellbeing, and I really do not feel like I am equipped to be able to take care of my family alone. For two years I took care of my son, my mother and my self, and my husband stayed here in the U.S. alone. I really felt that a big dark cloud was hanging over my shoulder with all this responsibility, and I do not know how single mother are able to cope. I really applaud all the single mothers in our world.
@aissha (2036)
• India
13 Apr 07
i completely share ur views and sometimes i worry what if.... ,i'm educated but donwanna leave my child so i'm trying to do writing thing ,may be i'm successful one day,lol
2 people like this
@smartmom (827)
• United States
14 Apr 07
That is what I do, maybe one day it will start paying off. More than anything though, I think it is about keeping your mind focused and connected to your degree and career, so that you do not feel like a completely stranger, when you do one day return to the workforce.
@roniroxas (10568)
• Philippines
13 Apr 07
a stay-at-home mom is a big responsibility and very tiring too. physically, mentally and emotionally lol. and staying with kids is a roller coaster of feelings. you get really exhausted at the end of the day but really feeling happy and complete. but sometimes as you said not contributing too the financial needs of the house and not using your college degree is another factor. but your kids will only be kids just for awhile. they grow faster and they are big before you know it. give yourself to them first and when they are big enough that can be more dependent you can start to find some ways to work or find a job. as for now its is fun to be at their side 24/7. be proud of what you are doing not all mom can be a stay-at-home-mom.
1 person likes this
@smartmom (827)
• United States
13 Apr 07
You are so completely right. I am seriously considering going back to get my graduate degree, and I actually got accepted into a very prestigious program. I am so split between whether to go or not, especially because I have received a partial scholarship, but only for full-time studies. I was in school, when I had my oldest son, and I really do think that this is the right compromise for me, as I will be able to spend much more time with my children, than if I were working. Another important factor is that when my children are ready to go to school fulltime, then I would be fully prepared to enter the job market again. Then again, I am very nervous about whether it is too much of a handful. I guess I still have a couple of months to make up my mind.
@roniroxas (10568)
• Philippines
13 Apr 07
dont worry everything will fall into the right places. enjoy being a mom then you will enjoy also being a working mom. its just time management. God bless.
1 person likes this
@nica269 (1399)
• United States
13 Apr 07
I love being a SAHM, I get to see my baby everyday and take care of him in ways only a mother or a father could do. I'm not saying that others are unfit, but there are somethings parents do best. I have been a SAHM for a short while, but I too feel like an unfit mother sometimes and it makes me wonder if I made the right choice. I still haven't gotten to the point where I feel like I won't or can't use my intellectual abilities and skills, nor my college degree, but I'm sure I'll get there. What does drive me crazy sometimes is the lack of financial contribution to the family. I've worked all my life and never had to 'depend' on anyone but myself for $$, so that IS a bit of an issue. All my life I wanted to be a mother, but a working mother that spend 3months at home when the babies was born, then took them to daycare and saw them in the evenings and weekends. But as I got older my outlook on motherhood completely changed. I wanted to stay home and raise my children OUR way, with OUR values and morals. Does that make sense? I don't know what I would do if my husband would no longer be in my life. I guess I would have to put my baby in daycare and start working again. But I think it would be difficult to leave my lo with someone else, even if it is my mother.
1 person likes this
@smartmom (827)
• United States
13 Apr 07
You took the words right out of my mouth. I had so many ideas of how my life would be, when I was younger. I wanted to travel around the world as a freelance journalist, and my ambitions were very high. Then I got pregnant, and my outlook on life completely changed, and so did my ideas of how my life should be. I did not think that journalism was the right choice for me, and after a couple of years in a blank space, I finally found my call of children's rights. I spend six months working at a well-known children's rights organization in Manhattan after graduation, and then I realized how I was missing out on my son growing up. It is amazing how much motherhood can change your outlook on life and your priorities. I am so happy that I became a mother at a young age, otherwise I think I would have wasted a lot of time going in a direction that was not really for me.
@nica269 (1399)
• United States
15 Apr 07
I had to wait a while to become a mom, so I think I had a longer time to really think about what kind of mother I wanted to be, I had a good 5 or 6 of trying for a baby. Most of my friends and acquaintances were stay at home moms and they loved it. They would always mention how they love to see little (whoever) start responding to her, or how ----- started eating solids. And that made me think about it, my choice. Also our religion encourages mothers to stay home and raise their children and teach them our values and morals and so on and so forth. Don't get me wrong, It's not a 'machismo' type of thing, but it just makes sense. Now i'm just babbling! Being a mom is a calling of the highest degree, and we should enjoy our little bundles of joy, even when they're 40 year old adults.
1 person likes this
@luannemay (258)
• Philippines
14 Apr 07
My husband is convicing me to be a stay-at-home mother, i was contemplating and weighing his suggestions. I really want to take care of my kids and see them grow under my care but the problem is i dont know what may happen in the future that i might regret my decision. I am really afraid of the consequences so right now i am still working but who knows i might change my mind.
@smartmom (827)
• United States
14 Apr 07
This is a very important decision to make, and I sure do understant why you hesitate. Just remember, that if you are really concerned about your future career, then there are so many opportunities that you can take advantage of in order to stay "fresh" in your field. My ideal solution, would be to take one or two university classes a week, and then when you are ready to reenter the workforce, you will have advanced up the latter, just by being a stay-at-home mom. If I decide to start my graduate studies this August, I will have to be a full-time student, as I have received a partial scholarship with this requirement. When I have used this scholarship, I think I will study part time though, as I know how much work full-time studies can be.
• United States
14 Apr 07
I think it is fine to be a stay at home mom. You have one of the hardest jobs! :) If your husband was no longer in your life, you could hire a babysitter/nanny or get them into a school program. You sound like you have enough qualifications to get a good job, so you shouldnt worry too much about that.
@smartmom (827)
• United States
14 Apr 07
For the past two years, I was financially responsible for my children and myself in Denmark, while my husband was struggling back in the U.S. I really felt that it was too much responsibility, and constantly worried about making ends meet. I really applaud all the single mothers, who do this every day, I am not sure, how successful I would be.
@ethanmama (1746)
• Philippines
14 Apr 07
I am NOT a stay at home mother. I love my job and cannot imagine not doing it, but I made a compromise and work part time (I'm a doctor). My husband also works part time and we make sure that somebody's always with our kid especially now that he's still small. I do admire stay at home moms because I do not think I am cut out to be one. I hate household chores and staying home all day, so I think being a full time homemaker is actually more difficult, not to mention it's an UNPAID job! So, to stay at home moms, I tip my hats off to you. I'm not worthy to be among your ranks. :P I just try to find what we like to call a work life balance. I even wrote about it. You may find my article here if you're interested in reading: http://hubpages.com/hub/Work_Life_Balance It's not easy to be a parent, specifically a mom, but for me, it's definitely worth it!
1 person likes this
@smartmom (827)
• United States
14 Apr 07
What a great article you have written, it sure seems that you have understood the complexity of what mothers have to struggle with these days. I really hope that I will be able to find that balance in my mother/career life, and I become more and more sure for everyday that for now, my balance will be to get my graduate degree while my kids are young, as this will give me more flexibility to schedule myself around my children, while I am also working toward furthering my career, so that I am more than ready to reenter the workforce, when I feel that my children are old enough, even if it is only through a part time job.
@medooley (1874)
• United States
14 Apr 07
While I am a father and I have no idea what it is like to be a stay at home mother, but what I do know is this. A stay at home mother is the most important job in the world. It is a long, tiring, thank-less job. And the mothers of the world (and fathers) that stay home to raise their kids need to be commended! Luckily we can afford for my wife to stay home and raise our two kids. I feel that this is the best for the kids... I wish that everyone was able to have the quality one on one time that staying home with your children allows you. So smartmom, I want to say thank you for taking the time to care for you children, as this is the most important job there is!
@smartmom (827)
• United States
14 Apr 07
Thank you for your wonderful comment, which I am sure is appreciated and taken to heart by all the stay-at-home moms, who read your comment. My husband was actually a stay-at-home dad for about six months, and it seemed like this opened up his eyes for the complexity of this rewarding yet at times nerve wrecking job.
• Philippines
13 Apr 07
I love being a stay at home mom but there are times I wished I am somewhere else. There is a different kind of fulfillment every time your kids are learning the things you're teaching them. I've been a stay at home mom for 2 years now and I really need a break. I'm planning to apply for work to have a break because I feel like my children are also suffocated by my presence here at home. I feel like they need space so they can grow independently without me always saying no to them. But, nevertheless, I won't work for a long time because there is no better place to be in than at home with the kids.
@smartmom (827)
• United States
13 Apr 07
I think we all need to get some space, both the children and us stay-at-home moms, at least just ones in a while. If we could afford it, I would definitely send my oldest son in day care two mornings a week. I really think that he needs some challenge that I cannot give him though. In my ideal world, I would love to have a part time job, when my kids start school, and I will sure do everything that I can to make it happen. I really do not know how full-time working moms are able to make their worlds connect.
• United States
13 Apr 07
I never imagined that one day I would be a SAHM. I was always a career woman, living a single, independent life, earning a good living, having fun, etc. Then, I met my husband, fell in love and got married. When I got pregnant, we discussed the pros and cons of me being a SAHM. My hubby is very supportive of it. He's never made me feel like I'm "just" a SAHM. I think that's key. He's always made me feel appreciated for the role I play as a wife and mom. I feel so blessed that we can live comfortably on one income that I can stay home. We just do without the frills and thrills sometimes. It's a small sacrifice to make, I think. But I'm not complacent. Even though I don't have a full time job now, I do a lot of volunteer work in offices so I'm still kinda "out there in the market" and I can still brush up on my skills and talents. I also plan to further my studies. So, even in the event that something should happen to my husband (God forbid!), we would not be left stranded as I can always go back into the workforce. But I'm glad for now, we can have this arrangement. I wouldn't trade it for anything!
1 person likes this
@smartmom (827)
• United States
13 Apr 07
You really seem like you are in a place in your life that you really want to be. It is really a blessing to be able to stay home with the children. How do you find time to do volunteer work? Does your children go to school?
• United States
13 Apr 07
I like being a stay at home mom so i can be with my kids even though its hard at times. I Have a hard time with them being under someone elses care unless its my mom. I hate not being able to contribute to finances as well but if i worked it would only pay for daycare so it wouldnt be worth it, and sometimes i just wish i could have a break from the daily routine. Sometimes i get depressed and feel like im not doing enough or not good for anythhing. Then i think back im with my kids and they are getting good care and i get to see them grow up.
@smartmom (827)
• United States
13 Apr 07
I think a lot of us stay-at-home moms feel just like you, and I really do think that we should consider us extremely lucky to have the opportunity to see our own children grow up. My mother was a very career minded woman, when I was a child, and I hardly ever saw her or my father. I have always felt disconnected to them, and I think their busy workschedules had a lot to do with it. I have always said, that I wanted it to be different with my own children.
@cynddvs (2949)
• United States
13 Apr 07
I feel very fortunate to be able to be a stay at home mom. Me and my fiance really kind of do things as a team. He has a computer repair business he runs from the house. So I not only take care of the everyday things around the house, but when I have extra time and we have computers that need to be worked on I'm able to help him with that. That at least makes me feel like I'm contributing a little bit. But I do know what you mean when you say it can drive you nuts feeling like your not contributing to the families finances. Even though I have been a stay at home mom for over a year now I still feel bad anytime I want extra money to do anything extra for myself. And my fiance does nothing to make me feel this way. He is very supportive. But I've just never been "taken care of" before like this and have always worked really hard for everything I have. But I'm getting better about it.
1 person likes this
@smartmom (827)
• United States
13 Apr 07
I know what you mean, one of my major issues is really that I am not used to being a dependant. In fact, I have always been very independent, and I think this makes it even worse. If it was not for the small online earning opportunites, I am not sure if I could do it.
• United States
13 Apr 07
I love being a sahm! I would not trade it for anything. I a a wahm also! I am recently separated, so I work from home. It makes it harder but I would not give up being with my kids all day for anything. We are closer and I love them
1 person likes this
@smartmom (827)
• United States
13 Apr 07
Wauw, it certainly sounds like you have found a way to work it out. What kind of work do you do?
@Jennifer21 (2476)
• United States
13 Apr 07
Well, I feel the exact same way as you. Sometimes I am so happy to be able to stay at home and take care of my two wonderful children and play on the computer. But sometimes, the children just get on my nerves and the computer gets boring, and I just want to get out of the house some. It's not that I want to go out and make money, because I make a little online, it's the fact that I'd like to spend money. I love to shop. I wish I had more time for myself istead of always keeping after the children and cleaning house all day. After my husband comes home from a ten hour day, getting up at three am, he is quite exhausted and cannot help me out. It is understandable, but I can still wish I had more time for myself.
1 person likes this
@smartmom (827)
• United States
13 Apr 07
I know, time and money are big issues, when you decide to become a stay-at-home mom. My husband also works a lot, and he is so tired that everything around the house including taking care of the children 24/7 is up to me. If I need to run to the grocery store, and I want to leave the kids with him, it really feels like he thinks it is such a major favor that I am asking him. Sometimes, I just want to shake him, and tell him "they are your kids too". I still love being a stay at home mom most of the time though, I would just like to be able to take a break once in a while.