The challenges of being a stay-at-home mom are many. This will be no secret to you if you now find yourself in this position. You may have had to make sacrifices, such as giving up a career or lifestyle you were used to. You may be bored, stuck within the four walls of your home each day. These and other challenges will be explored in this article. If you are already identifying with what we are saying, then we hope our advice is useful to you.
Challenge #1: Giving up a career
This is a biggie for many women. Giving up a career is tough, especially when you were involved in something that gave you personal rewards as well as financial freedom. There will come a time when your children will become independent, and you may be able to return to the workplace, but what do you do in the meantime? And what if your skills become irrelevant? Time moves on, and so does the workplace. One way to deal with this is to go back into education. To overcome feelings of boredom and to keep your skills relevant, learning is the obvious answer. This isn’t so easy when you are restricted to your home environment, but you can get back on the career ladder by taking one of the many courses that are available to you online. Take this online engineering management program as an example, or one of the many courses that may be more relevant to the career you were in. Study now, and you will be able to fast-track your way back into your career (or a new one) later.
Challenge #2: Dealing with a reduced income
Your household earnings may be ticking along with your partner’s income, but if you have had to make compromises because of a reduced income through lack of your earnings, then life will be tough for a while. Still, you can always come up with a budget plan, while making savings around the home to suit your life as it stands now. You might also work from home, setting yourself up in business without having to be away from your children. There are many things you can do, from setting up an ecommerce site to sell your craft, or hiring yourself out as a freelancer dependant on your skillset. This will bring in extra money each month, bring consolation if you’re unhappy about halting your previous career, and give you scope for the future, especially if your business gains traction and grows. Your life has changed, but you can make further changes to preserve your financial stability.
Challenge #3: A lack of grown-up company
You will miss the days at work, not only for the money and aspiration, but also for the grown-up conversations. You might also see less of your friends now, especially if they are spending their days at work. It’s just you and your child, and while that isn’t a bad thing, there is only so much baby-talk you can handle before you start going a little stir-crazy. Therefore, you need to make an effort to meet people, whether you spend time with those friends who aren’t at work in the day, or new people, by attending parenting groups or any other meeting place where children are welcome. Going for a walk will help too, as you may get to have a short conversation with somebody while you’re out. We all need a little interaction with another human being, even if it’s just to offload about the challenges of being a stay-at-home mom!
Challenge #4: Losing your sense of identity
You’re more than just a mom, but when you’re faced with the endless duties that come your way each day, you will forget that fact. You may have also given up your job title too. Being a ‘stay-at-home mom’ is a valid title, but non-parenting people won’t understand that. Still, you don’t have to lose yourself. You don’t have to give up everything that makes you ‘you.’ If you have hobbies, passions, and dreams, don’t give up on them. Hire a childminder occasionally to give you time to do other things. Work on your hobbies at home. Make a plan to achieve your hopes and dreams, so even if you have to wait until your child is older, you will still have moved one step closer to where you want to be. You are a stay-at-home mom, and that’s okay, but there is so much more to you. Don’t stifle it, or become too bogged down in your mommy duties to forget it!
Challenge #5: Feelings of exhaustion
Remember when you had a normal sleeping pattern? That goes out of the window when you have children, and you will have to adapt your body clock to your child’s. Then there are the many things you need to do each day, age-dependant on your child. There will be extra laundry, more mouths to feed, longer shopping runs, and the ongoing effort to keep your child entertained. Chances are, your role will be far more fraught and busy than any job you have had before. To alleviate the problem, you should enlist help. You’re not superwoman, so if you have people who can lend you a hand, then get them on board. From family members to trusted friends, don’t feel weak by asking for assistance. Book your child into a nursery group too. Do anything that gives you some respite from your mommy schedule, and then use some of your downtime to go back to bed for a couple of hours.
Despite the challenges, you may never regret being a stay-at-home mom. The joys of parenting are many, and despite the lack of sleep, changes in lifestyle, and endless baby talk, you may not regret this time of your life. Before you know it, your kids will have grown up and flown the nest, so make the most of your mommy time while you can. And if you have identified with what we have said in this article, and have some hints and tip for other moms, then please let us know.