5 Things you learn when you become a stay-at-home mom
While dropping “Mini-Me” at school the other day, one of the other mothers turned to me as I was leaving and said “enjoy your champagne breakfast!”, not realizing at first what she meant by it I replied “if only”. To which she snorted and said “I mean really, what do you do all day besides having coffee and watching Netflix?”
This same mom has asked me numerous times why I would stay home with “Mini-Me” when I can get a qualified nanny to do “all the work” for me or my personal favourite that “you need to focus on you more and your social life”.
Being a stay-at-home mom is hard work. It’s not all coffee with friends, social meetups and ‘gossip girl’. It’s strenuous, tiring and exceptionally challenging! There is no set routine to our days and often a stay-at-home mom has increased levels of sadness and anger due to the lack of age appropriate social interaction.
But, us moms are tough and resilient as we get to raise our own children. These kids often have less stress and aggression, have higher levels of performance in school and stay-at-home moms have to learn to adapt especially quickly. Part of that process is learning things about yourself that you might never have known.
Easier to feel like I've found my purpose
Here are 5 of those I have learnt through my journey as a SAHM.
1. Now I have a purpose. If this life is for you, you’ll know it!
Because I’m on my feet all day without a moment to think about the life I left behind, perhaps, without much choice, it’s easier to feel like I’ve found my purpose. I’m Mom, chauffeur, chef, personal shopper and teacher. I’m midnight nurse, nanny and house keeper! Oh, then there’s playmate, doctor, full-time friend, babysitter, song singer and my personal favourite, on-tap milk machine…
What’s not to love? My days are complete!
2. Peoples Questions about what you do (ALL DAY!) are irritating and may speak of low EQ, true. Get over it and brush them off!
I absolutely adore being home with my little angels so questions about what I actually do with my time can be surprisingly frustrating. It’s hard for career-driven folk to understand that this is the life I chose, so I sympathise with them.
Questions can be frustrating, but I brush them off and move on.
Now my love is watching them grow
3. I doubt myself every day. It makes me stronger!
There are days I see others jet-setting off to Thailand or Cape Town and I’m green with envy. Becoming a SAHM was a personal decision and I gave up a corporate career and income for it. I have 2 degrees, which according to some I’ve wasted. If I had just decided to be a working mom and we had two incomes I could easily be going on lavish holidays too.
It makes me doubt myself and my decisions – that’s reasonable. Stay-at-home moms are human too!
But, when I see my boys’ morning smiles or teary cheeks, I’m reminded of why I chose to do this. I jet-setted plenty – now my love is watching them grow, teaching them to be kind and most importantly being there for them when they need me.
I am stronger for it!
4. You survive by doing what works for you
My decision to leave work was personal and happened before I became a mom. It took some getting used to going from a two income household to a one income household but the additional responsibilities that fell onto me somehow balanced all this out. We compromised, we still do, and we make it work. And I have never had time to be bored. There’s this saying that I love to pass on, “Do what works for you!” And this lifestyle I have chosen, works for us!
My best days are now
5. Rest is a luxury, but I’m tougher than I think I am!
I am always on duty. My coffee and food are always cold. I get woken up every 45 minutes to 2 hours and some days, truthfully, I think I would have fared better in a raucous nightclub and rolled in at 4am. The good ol’ days?
Sure, I don’t get any downtime and I sometimes even get angry that my husband gets to ‘have a break’ when he leaves to work. But, just then, one of my ‘mini-mes’ turns to me to tell me that he loves me.
The good old days? Never! My best days are now.
Whether your calling is to be a lawyer or a doctor, a journalist or a mechanic, we all have that voice that tells us what we need to do in life to feel fulfilled. Mine is to be a stay-at-home mom.
Stay-at-home moms are tough. They’re resilient. They’re brilliant! Being one teaches you all about yourself and helps unearth a strength you never knew you had.
Personally, it’s the best thing I ever did! And that’s the truth.