Like many, I was once a working mom. But I knew that I wanted to, one day, be a stay at home mom. I still remember the day I told my husband, Aaron, I wanted to stay at home with my boys. I told him I wanted a big SUV, and to be able to take my kids to Chick-Fil-A everyday. Well, that’s what I thought I needed to be the perfect SAHM. He laughed at me but six months later, we decided to make it a reality. I was now a stay at SAHM & I had my “big SUV.” I was ready, at least I thought I was. Much to my surprise, the journey I chose to embark on helped me to mature and change quickly. I am so thankful and appreciate all the growing pains along the way.
I wanted to take a moment to share 5 things I’ve learned from being a Stay at Home Mom (In no particular order).
MOM- Master of Multitasking
When I first made the decision to stay at home with my boys, I was determined to be a SUPER SAHM.I wanted to develop a routine with the children and more importantly let my husband know that both our investment with this concept was productive. I had my kids on strict schedules, planned dinners for the month, developed a cleaning schedule, and even scheduled date nights. I had laser like mommy focus when it came to the kid’s schedules and to do list. There were no impromptu playdates, lunches, or even target runs, especially if they interrupted nap time. This way of thinking, eventually landed me in my doctor’s office. I had to learn that although I can do it all, I don’t have to. My husband’s only expectation of me was to keep our children safe, and for us to be happy. I still love multitasking, but I’m also ok with leaving things on my “to do” list. I eventually get to it. 😉
Connecting with other Moms
Being a SAHM can get very lonely, that’s why it is important to have a support system. Finding other “mom friends” was not hard at all. The mere fact that I am a mom means that I have something in common with other moms, kids! When the boys were smaller I joined MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and met some amazing moms. I connected with moms at the gym, when I dropped my kids at the daycare, at the neighborhood parks, and I met one of my best friends at the barbershop. I’ve also met moms through PTO, and my children’s extracurricular activities. Most of the moms I met were never more than “mom friends”, and that’s ok. The moments we spent sharing stories about our kids, to me, were priceless. I always felt heard and not alone. Each mom had something of value to offer me, and I hope I did the same. ☺️
I’m Not JUST a Stay at Home Mom
I remember telling my parents that I was going to stay at home with my kids. They had so many questions: “How long? Why? How much money does Aaron make? What are you going to do with your degree?” I had to explain to them that it was a mutual decision made by me and Aaron. They still check in with me, approximately twice a year, about this decision, especially since both boys are in school now. 😂 My parents raised me to be I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T (do you know what that means). So to see their daughter not doing her own thing was baffling to them. I got the same reaction from some friends as well. Needless to say, I developed a little complex about it. So when people asked “What do you do?”, my reply would be “I’m JUST a stay at home mom…” I remember the last time I said it, it was to a friend on the phone. She screamed “JUST! What do you mean JUST? That’s a hard job girl, requires THEE most work…Don’t put JUST in front of your title ever again!” She was right! Why do I diminish my title as SAHM with JUST? Nobody with any other job title does that. I work hard. I. Do. All. The. Things. I’m proud of my accomplishments, and I’m not JUST any one thing. Period!
We went from 2 incomes down to 1 so of course, changes had to be made. My husband has always been the primary breadwinner, but my contribution was not small. We always had enough discretionary income to do what we wanted. When we made the decision for me to stay at home, we knew we had to stick to our budget. It was a challenge for me in the beginning, but I’ve found my rhythm. Honestly, I love it! Saving money really puts a smile on my face. I have apps for all my favorite shopping places, and I LOVE a coupon. From the grocery store to family vacations, I’m always looking for a deal. I love finding creative ways to cut corners, and sticking to our budget.💰
It goes without saying, I love my kids. I also love spending time with them. But sometimes they wear me thin!! My kids require a lot of energy from me, and sometimes I don’t have it. I don’t feel guilty about taking the time I need off. Sometimes it’s planned time off, for example; nail appointment, massage, girl’s night out, brunch and shopping with friends. Sometimes it’s not, for example: closing my bedroom door for an hour, soaking in the tub, Starbucks alone, sitting in my car listening to explicit versions of my favorite songs, or taking a nap at 4:30 in the evening. It’s important for me to give my kids my best self. So taking the time to recharge and refresh is not only good for me, but them as well. My kids are older now, and they get it. They prefer that mom takes a break, and not blow up. ☺