True Confession: I don’t like being a SAHM

I’m in my second week of stay home alone with Bean during the day since Chris has gone back to work.  People ask me how it’s going and I smile and tell them I’m loving this time I get to spend with Bean.  And that’s true.  I do love the time I get with Bean.  But the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me God is that I really want to go back to work.

Every couple of years I get this thought in my head that, “Gee…I’d love to be a stay at home mom.”  I picture myself volunteering and joining mothers and babies groups, having play dates, and spending lazy afternoons doing laundry while watching Ellen and Oprah.  But the truth of the matter is that I am just not cut out to stay home for two very important reasons.

First, I really don’t like being by myself.  I mean, I need time to myself just like everyone else, but I can’t go for long without talking to someone.  And – no offense – but you imaginary friends in Internet Land don’t count.  I like talking to real people.  I like collaborating to solve problems.  I like office supplies.  I like letterhead on good paper.  I like quick lunches with co-workers.  I like sitting in meetings.  I like catching up on someone’s weekend in tiny office kitchens.  I like my phone ringing.  I like cute shoes and doing my hair every day.  I like my office door opening.  And that doesn’t mean that I like those things MORE than I like spending time with Bean, but it means that I miss them in my life.

And secondly, I am completely not self-motivated.  I know that about myself now.  Every SAHM I’ve talked to has said the same thing.  You have to get up and get moving every day.  Get up, get dressed, and get out of the house.  But the problem is, I have no motivation to do that.  Unless I have plans or unless someone is coming over or I have to be somewhere, I just can’t get myself moving.  And that is TOTALLY unlike me.  I’m a go-getter.  A mover and a shaker.  I hate being idle and I hate not being productive.  But for some reason, when I’m staying at home, I just can’t find the initiative to be productive and get going.  And that drives me crazy.  I work so much better when other people are depending on me to do things.  And Bean?  He’s not so picky about if he gets dressed for the day or if we get to the park before 11:00am.  He pretty much just goes with the flow.  If he were a little more demanding, I might be more motivated.  But he’s pretty good with just hanging out doing whatever we’re doing.  Darn little laid back, sweet, undemanding, unselfish Bean Man.

Now that things seem to be falling in place with my book (I’ll have some exciting news to report later this week!), that has given me some sense of purpose at the house and I’m really thankful for that.  But it’s hard to write and concentrate with Beaner digging through my Tupperware cabinets and climbing up the bookshelves (true story).  I’m sure it’s just something I have to adjust to – working and watching Bean – but right now it is just frustrating and so instead I sit on the couch with him in our jammies watching Sid the Science Kid (“I’mmmm lookin’ for my friends, I’m lookin’ for YOU!”).  I keep trying to remind myself that I am in the process of finding a job and that one day soon, I’ll look back on the days where we just sit around together and I’ll miss them.  But right now, in the moment, I’m having a little trouble.

To make myself feel a little more regimented and scheduled, I have been sticking to a little routine while I’m home during the day.  It’s pretty good in theory and on the days where I actually stick to it, I’m pretty happy and feel good about myself.  But on the days where I think, “Who really cares?” I tend to wallow a bit more.

7:30 – Bean wakes up.  I change him and set him up with his first bottle.

8:00- 9:30 – I blog while Bean plays and/or pulls on my clothes until I pick him up.  In that case, I blog holding him while typing with one hand.  Takes much longer.

9:30 – Bean and I eat breakfast.  Our favorite right now is blueberries and cheese toast.  Yummy!

10:00 – I get Bean dressed and then bring him into my room to play and watch TV while I get dressed, make my bed, and straighten up my bedroom.

10:30- 12:00 – Bean usually goes down for his morning nap.  That’s when I clean the kitchen up from breakfast, do a load of laundry, and then answer emails or work on the blog in some way.

12:00 – Bean usually wakes up around lunch time.  I give him a bottle and then he plays while I get lunch ready.

12:30 – Bean and I have lunch together.

1:00 – If we have errands to run or if we want to go play somewhere, this is when we go as long as Bean took a good long nap that morning.  If Bean didn’t take a big nap or if we don’t have anywhere to go, we play at the house until Bean gets tired again.

2:30 – Bean usually goes down for his afternoon nap and I work on my book, either editing or writing.

3:30 – Bean wakes up and has a little snack with me.

4:00 – Bean plays and I watch Oprah while getting the house straightened up.

5:15 – Chris gets home.

I mean, it’s not a BAD schedule.  But it’s hard for me to find the motivation to stick to it because who really cares?

I’m hoping that this is just part of adjusting.  Surely I’m not supposed to be good at this and fully adjusted by two weeks in, right?  RIGHT?  RIGHT?!?!?

(sigh)

I need a job.

(UPDATE: I just re-read this post and I hope that it doesn’t offend anyone.  I certainly am not passing judgment on SAHM’s and I would hate to think people read that into this post.  To clarify, I just don’t think it’s right for me.  Oh, man.  Did I just put my foot in my mouth with this one?)

Related posts

81 thoughts on “True Confession: I don’t like being a SAHM

  1. It’s so funny because being a SAHM seems fun many times, yet I don’t really like being alone for long periods of time either. I think I would go mad.

  2. You sound exactly like my friend who just started being a stay at home mom to a 3 year old. I don’t know how you all do it. Yes I would like to stay home but after a couple days I think I would go crazy, especially with a child always needing my attention. Bean probably loves it but I’m sure he misses his daycare friends.

  3. I don’t think you’ve put your foot in your mouth at all. Staying home is definitely not for everyone. I work part time and feel like I have the best of both worlds.

  4. Kelly H

    I am in the same boat. I need to work. SAH would drive me nuts after a while. I just don’t have it in me.

  5. Hang in there…keep up the good work with your book! Can’t wait to hear the news!

  6. Haha you had me laughing out loud at that last “who really cares??”

  7. I’m currently staying at home with my 5 month old and, while I love getting to be with her and seeing all if her firsts, I miss working. I teach at FSU, so I don’t go back to work until August and I miss it. The conversations. The to-dos. The getting dressed up. The having somewhere to be. I picked up an online class to give me some kind of work to do, but it’s just not the same. I’m sure I’ll miss Molly (my daughter) like crazy when I finally go back to work, but I also think I’ll feel more like me. And that’s a good thing.

  8. I don’t think I would like being a SAHM. I, too, like to be busy and am generally very motivated, but not when I am at home. I often work in the evenings and am home during the day and I have a really hard time getting my butt off the couch to keep the house clean. I can only pray that this changes once little man is born (a week & a half to go!)

  9. Laura

    I am a SAHM too. It’s been said before, its not for everybody. I have a 5 year old and a 2 year old. I don’t have a schedule… I get things done as I chose… the big things is spending time with the kiddos. 🙂 I belong to MOPS (Mother’s of Preschoolers) which has been the best thing for me. It gives me a break and helps the kids makes friends… but I’m looking forward to a time when the kids will be in school so I can work part-time or go back to school!

  10. Jen

    As I sit in my office sometimes I daydream of being at home. When I am on vacation for any more than a week I go stir crazy! I can totally relate to this post!

  11. I’m so excited to hear the book news – I can’t wait!

    And I know what you mean about being unmotivated, I think if I ever became a stay at home mom I’d never get dressed again.

  12. El

    I know exactly what you mean! I love my Mnchkin (not his real name, he’s almost 1 1/2), but I don’t think I can handle being a SAHM. I work full time and was lucky enough to be able to transition from working at home all the time to being back in the office full time over my Muchkin’s first year. I think my biggest problem with SAH is coming up with things to do so Munchkin doesn’t get bored. I have a friend who is a SAHM, but she always has something to do with her kids whether it’s a play date or kids’ museum or some other activity. I think doing things out of the house helps. But I enjoy my work, and I can’t imagine not working at all. It would be nice though to be able to work less hours, say 30 a week to be able to spend some more time with the Munchkin.

  13. I don’t have kids (yet!) but I can’t imagine that I would like being a SAHM. I follow the hubby around the house when he’s home because I want someone to talk too. Him on the other hand, can play for hours by himself (uh, that sounded bad) and never get bored. He’s looking forward to taking paternity leave one day and to be honest I think he will be better suited than me!

    I wouldn’t mind if he stayed home and I had a hot meal on the table when I got home. Gotta love living in Sweden and their gender equality making this a possibility!

  14. I definitely think two weeks is not enough time to be adjusted yet! Plus, if you do this for a long time, I’m guessing there will be peaks and valleys. I’m not a mom, but I do work from home, and it was a difficult transition from school, with a set schedule, to a work day that I had to design myself. Seems similar to your situation (although without the adorable baby to distract me!). Some days I love the flexibility. Other days, I can’t wait to have human contact. I remember in those first few months, I was so lonely that going to the dentist or the hairdresser made my entire week, it was so nice to have someone to talk to! But it got better.

    Hang in there!

  15. Ella

    Ive now got that song from sid the science kid stuck in my head!! I can totally relate to this post. Im currently a stay at home mum to my 2 year old son ( i do some casual work so not totally a sahm). Im looking at going back to work fairly soon – ive had some health issues and have been out of the paid work force longer than i would have liked to be (although unavoidable). I miss adult conversation the most. Two year olds have a lot to say but not quite the same!

  16. katie, your post is far from offensive. I think it opens up an important discussion. I have been a SAHM for 5 years now. And it’s not because I didn’t like to work. I loved my job before I had kids and I was really good at it. But, I just couldn’t bear the thought of someone else (even a family member) raising my child while I went back to work. I wanted my husband and I to be the main influence in our children’s lives (at least until they were school age). And that is a choice that every parent has to make for themselves. Yes, being at home is not the most fun thing in the world (and who cares if some days you don’t get dressed until noon?), but I do think that it is the most important thing that I will do in my life. Far more important that any job. I have the rest of my life to work (after the kids are in school full time), but being at home with them during the first few years of their life is the best choice I will ever make for them. What does offend me is when people say that being a SAHM is a luxury. We are not wealthy, by any means. We make lots of sacrifices so that I can stay home, but it all worth it. I just tell myself that being a parent is not always about what makes me happy, but what is right for my children.

    1. Katie

      Thank you so much, Sara. Maybe I’m looking at this selfishly. Sacrifice for your children is a wonderful gift. Thanks for the kind thoughts.

      1. Beth

        Sara’s response is exactly what I was going to say. Although, i have to say I am probably the worst SAHM mom ever

    2. Ranchwife

      Well said, Sara. That was how we felt about this issue, too.

      The difference in my case is that I’m a homebody. I don’t crave social interaction. I don’t like “going.” For one thing it takes a looong time to get TO anywhere around here, and for another, I’m just content to be here at home. There’s always something that needs doing, so I’m always busy. I also had the opportunity to have a home office. It made me feel as though I was contributing financially on a part-time basis to the family. Hopefully your writing will give you that sense of satisfaction as well, Katie.

      What this whole issue may boil down to is – as women do we feel VALUED in our role as SAHMs? Let’s face it, society does not place a very high value on motherhood. If our identity and sense of value is wrapped up in what we do outside of the home (job/profession), we’re not going to be fulfilled being a SAHM. My husband and I felt our most important job was parenting. It is a lot of work to raise children. Many days you feel as though you are pouring yourself out for them and not getting anything in return. When we are running on empty emotionally, that is when we as wives/moms/women question whether or not we are loved/valued/important. I remember just being exhausted at the end of the day after chasing after two toddlers – house a mess – husband needing attention – and nothing left to GIVE wondering, “Is this it?” When that happens, take a break. Call a babysitter and spend a day refueling your tanks. You will need those days at times.

      So Katie let me encourage you. I feel your loneliness and questions as you make this transition. But while staying at home may not feel very important or glamorous, it is important. You are valued as a mother and a wife. There will long, tough, lonely days, but this time will fly by, trust me. As a SAHM for the past 20 years and now facing an empty nest, I can tell you that “the days are long, but the years are short.” I don’t know to whom to attribute that quote, but it is true. Someday you will have all the time in the world to work outside the home after the kids have flown the nest. Hopefully you will find a measure of peace about this in the meantime or perhaps a part-time opportunity will open up to satisfy your need to be in the workplace and still fulfill your commitment to little Bean. Be encouraged. You will make it through this!

  17. Heather Ben

    i am totally the same way! as much as i miss Kate during the day and want to spend every moment with her, i am not self-motivated. like exercising…i need a group activity. i need to be somewhere at x time and report to others. i don’t just get up and go running by myself – doesn’t happen. same with SAHM.

  18. Offending someone? You could have said, “I like puppies” and someone out in internet land would be offended. But no, I don’t think your post came off offensive at all!

    When I feel like I’m in a rut with the kids, I look in my books or online to find new songs to teach them, felt-board stories, field trips, science experiments… and make myself a list of the them and then I try to fit them into each day. It’s something you could try with Bean. You could look up “Toddler Activities” and see what you can come up with. Create your own “school time” with Bean!

    And Sid the Science Kid? Why do they all walk so weird!? And talk like they’re 3? Are they 3? It’s a weird show.

  19. Samantha

    Well…. If any one is offended at what you wrote… then they are the ones with the problem. I think you were stating your personal preference… not passing judgment.
    That being said… I know what you mean! It is easy to find yourself at 4pm still in your jammies, and wondering what happened to the day!

  20. My son was just born two weeks ago and I still have three months left of my maternity leave, but I think a lot about how hard it would be to be a SAHM for all the same reasons you list. Yesterday I didn’t shower until 3pm and I think I ate one meal before dinner.

    At this point I can’t fathom leaving my son to go back to work, but I also can’t fathom *not* going back to work. It’s so tough.

  21. Sarah H.

    I was JUST thinking this morning while I walked to work I wonder how Katie likes this SAHM gig.€ You have a unique perspective because you’ve worked while he’s been in day care, and you’ve been home. I think your feelings are very normal! I’m not sure if I have it in me to ever be a stay at home Mom, but I think my husband would LOVE it. He’s much better at being alone. I go crazy and get depressed when left alone too long. I don’t think it’s healthy to spend so much time inside one owns head€”you need to have good discussion and spend time with other people!

    1. Sarah H.

      Oh and if it’s too boring, just have more kids 🙂 That’ll keep you busy!

  22. Heather in NY

    I can totally relate to this post! I work full time and I wish every day that I could be a stay-at-home mom, but I know that if I actually had to stay home with Zack all day every day I would go crazy. I definitely want more time with my baby, but I think I would at least need a part time job to keep from going bananas.

  23. Amanda

    I have a 7 month old, and I stayed at home with her for about 5 weeks before I realized that staying at home with her was not the best for either of us. She is now in nursery and she loves her teachers. I am working, and honestly, I feel like the break from her does me good, and as long as she is cared for and loved, I feel no guilt. Our pediatricians have been so supportive saying things like, “A happy mom is a good mom.” I believe that whole-heartedly. If I am a wreck emotionally and physically unmotivated, I’m not happy, my husband’s not happy, which in turn translates into a frustrated household. So, essentially, working has been a great fit for us, and I feel like I get more accomplished at home and as a mother when I am working. However, it is definitely a personal issue, and people on both sides of the debate have a good case.

  24. Gina B.

    I don’t think you’re alone at all in this. I would LOVE to stay home with my daughter, but even on the weekends if I don’t have things planned for us to do, I lay around feeling mildly sorry for myself. I adore Eva and I am so glad when we have time together and I miss her when I’m working, but I think we’re programmed to feel like we have to be doing something that the rest of the world would see as productive every minute of the day. You’ve been a part of the workforce for so long that it’s ingrained in your head. If you stay home a little longer, you might adjust. Or you might not. Being a SAHM is not for everyone!

  25. I’ve been a SAHM for 1 year 3 weeks now, and if I had a kid that napped like that wow think of the things I could do. I could pee alone! Haha, seriously Bean sounds like an awesome kid. My little buggy doesn’t nap, wakes up at 5:00am and needs me on the floor in order to be happy.
    I understand how you feel though. A few months ago I interviewed for new jobs just because I was going mad in the house all day, then winter ended and I realized I didn’t want to put my baby in daycare (Nothing bad about it, it’s just not for me!)
    I too have a “schedule” to keep my sanity. I’ll have to post it tomorrow on my blog (drewbugone.blogspot.com)

  26. I would not feel that way Katie, I’ve been on all sides of the fence in the 26 years I’ve been a mom. I’ve worked, stayed at home, and even worked from home with kids. It’s never easy, but the choices are yours to make – and yours to talk about. I see your standpoint because I am the same way – I need to work or I go insane! I can’t be a “SAHM” on a regular basis, I’d go totally stir-crazy. Now that my kids are teenagers it’s much easier, because they’re pretty self-sufficient and I don’t have to carry the guilt of not doing enough for them with work obligations. They’re happy to spend time with me, because when I’m working they don’t get “full time” mommy… Its what works best for us. In this situation, you have to do what works best for you and your family!

  27. Ivette

    When my son was born, I had to go back to work and hated dropping him off at the daycare (even though it was a wonderful daycare). I wanted to be his main influence in his life. When my daughter was born, I was able to stay home with both kids for about 3 years and it was great! Yes, it took some time to adjust, but that bonding time while the kids are young was the best. Now that they are older and in school, I am back at work. I think that once the kids are grown, they will realize and appreciate the sacrifices we made so that a parent was home with them during their youngest years.

  28. I think Sara said it well. I always felt like God gave my babies to me. Not the daycare provider. Not their grandparents. Me. So I felt like I needed to be the one who was there for them.

    The thing about having kids is that life is not about you any more. Especially when they are little, sometimes you have to put your stuff on hold for a while. And it’s frustrating and occasionally suffocating and can feel like it will never end but . . .well, it does.

    Bean (and his hypothetical siblings) will grow up. He’ll get more independent. He’ll be able to take care of himself and, believe it or not, even be helpful. The average woman lives 80+ years. Bean is a baby for two of them. That’s 3% of your life.

    Re-reading this, I’m not sure my tone is coming across as I hope it will. I really do feel for you here Katie. It’s a tough job, but I hope you’ll keep at it as long as you’re financially able to do so. You’ll get into your groove – I promise.
    I think you can spare it. 🙂

  29. I totally agree with what Sara wrote above. I try to think of what my baby would choose if she could talk. Would she choose to be with me or someone else every day? I hope she would pick me! 🙂 I know if I was a baby I would choose my parent.
    It was a huge transition.. a change of roles in the house and being home every day. Try to get into more play groups and it will help. I think it will get easier as he grows too. There are arts and crafts, baking, etc. to keep older ones busy. Good luck!

  30. Erin Himes

    Hang in there! I work 4 days a week and have twins who just turned 2. I don’t think I could stay home full time, but there’s that nasty guilt thing in the back of my brain too! Not sure if most people feel 100% comfortable with their decision about this, but we all do our best.

  31. Bean's Great Grandmother

    KATIE – It’s the quality (not the quantity) of the time you
    spend with your child. I always had a career and in the 50’s,
    I was the only woman on my street that went to work. GUILT
    FEELING? YOU BET! But everywhere we went after work, the
    children went also. Sitting at my desk, worrying about not
    being at home, then calling the house to find that they
    didn’t have time to talk because of “Loony Toons” let me
    know that I was feeling guilty for nothing! But did we have
    fun when I was not at work!! You bet and they grew up very
    well rounded – no harm done. So working in in your genes.
    It really comes down to “Personal Preference” so there is no
    right or wrong way in my estimation. Now being retired for
    16 years, I still feel the need to be productive – but I just
    laze away the day and shower around 4 if the mood hits me! LOL

    1. courtney

      Amen great grandmother.

  32. Jen

    I need office life too, but there are those mornings that I feel terribly guilty about tearing my boys out of bed and getting them dressed and out the door by 7am so that I may have the office life (and a paycheck)…those moments, I wish I could be a stay at home mom. But on the other hand, I fear that my kids would be mute if left alone with me all day. We would probably watch Dinosaur Train, Barenstain Bears and reruns of Jack’s Big Music Show all day long while living in a pile of dirty laundry and plumes of dust…I, too know my own level of procrastination. Kuddos to all SAHM’s!

    BTW…I highly suggest Jack’s Big Music Show. Not on air anymore but you can get Season 1 and 2 on Amazon…think The Muppet Show, wihtout the wisecracking old guys, for the 21st century!

  33. cathy

    I went through the same thing when my kids were young. They are now 19,21, and 23. I stayed home for about two years and was miserable. I think the kids were miserable also.
    I like working outside the home and I am good at it.
    Do not worry too much about this. You will have plenty of other things to worry about in life. Just do what you do best.
    cathy

  34. Diana

    I didn’t feel at all like you were putting down stay at home moms. I think you were simply expressing your feelings about your situation at this time. Being a stay at home mom is hard work and the routine can be a little monotonous!

  35. Syd

    I’ve been working at home for…gah 6 years now. I haven’t had to go into an office since 2004. So, I can understand somewhat. I have to be self-motivated and I don’t talk to many people during the day (exception for conference calls). Now, I have a little one on the way. I’m taking six weeks off and really looking forward to it. But when I go back I’ll be a stay at home/work at home mom. I’m a little nervous. I’m going to have to change my schedule completely and that self-motivation I mention, yeah, it’s going to be pushed to the limits. We’ll see. Should be interesting. I don’t think you put your foot in your mouth at all. It’s not easy.

  36. Amanda

    Amen sister. I use to get panic attacks when my daughter was just a few months old, due to lack of human interaction. It’s tough. I miss wearing high heels too!

  37. Everything you just said there is why I am terrified of being a SAHM. It works for my good friend and she is amazing at it. But me, I need interaction. My husband works every Saturday and on those days I either accomplish insane amounts of housework due to sheer boredom or I go out and spend money, again due to boredom. I would hate to think what things would be like if I did that every day.

  38. Diane

    Katie…Here’s another person to chime in with “you have to do what’s right for you”. Your blogs show that you are an awesome Mom to Bean, and whatever you decide to do will be the right thing for your family. I never had the opportunity to be a SAHM (divorced when my daughter was young), but I know from friends that it is a lot of work. My grandsons are now 5 & 2 (& happily in daycare), which brings me to my last point…for some odd reason, I LOVE Sid, The Science Kid. I relate to the rockin’ Grandma!

  39. Shawn

    I agree with Mindy and Sara. I have been “at home” now for 12 years with my three children (17, 11, & 8). I wish I could go back and could have stayed home with my oldest when he was a baby. I went back to work at 12 weeks after I had him and I have always regreted it! I felt like I “had” to work and in reality I really didn’t. Anyway, transitioning from working full-time to staying at home is not as easy for some as others. You sound like you may be in this boat. Probably having to rent a house and not really having established good “roots” in Fla. yet is not helping the situation. Hang in there and give yourself time and permission to adjust. You and your family have ungergone a huge transition. Beanie is only little once and he will be grown and asking for his drivers license before you know it.

    Love your blog and honesty. Most women in your shoes wouldn’t have the guts to blog about such a sensitive issue.

  40. Sarah S

    I love this post! The whole SAHM/working mom thing is crazy – we all have different needs and families and we all make our choices as to what works best for us. Being a mom is hard work sometimes no matter what choice you make and we should all be supporting each other and support being HONEST about how we feel about it. I work part time (while husband watches the kids but that’s a whole other issue) and am stay at home part time and some days I want to quite working and just stay home and sometimes I want to work full time and be done with daily whining and endless cleaning. The trick to parenting is figuring out what works best for YOU and your family and doing that. Happy Mom = good parent. Sorry for the rant but I really get tired of moms not supporting each other.

  41. Agree with Sara on all her points- this is a tough subject because it’s not cut and dry. I do totally relate- I’m a busy body and was in a fast-paced PR career before Henry (12 months). At first, it was a little terrifying…and boring. But now, I’m very involved with our local bookstore (I started a children’s reading time for local kids- using my business skills to help children), and an assortment of other activities that Henry can be involved with too. Also, my little secret: I have a babysitter down the street (she is a full time nanny for two children who are school age- so she’s free for a few hours during the day) who comes over to play with Henry on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays from 11:30-1. It’s around 5 hours a week- but it’s GREAT for me to do my own thing (I sew and make children’s clothes as a hobby). I’ve been doing it since Henry was 2 months old and it’s been my saving grace. That way- I’m refreshed and have a little ‘mommy time.’ Maybe you should do a blog post asking SAHM for their ‘secrets’? I’d love to hear the other advice! 🙂 Good luck!

  42. Anu

    Katie, I dont think you are being offensive at all. I am a SAHM and it was just a choice that i made after a lot of thinking as I wanted to be there with our child during her initial years. There are days when it gets very frustrating, but there are days when we have a super duper time together. I really miss working, but I somehow managed to stick to my decision.. You’ve been there only 2 weeks and its hard to get adjusted. But you are doing a great job and you will be fine. Moreover, beanie must be very happy to have you around…. 🙂

  43. Erin

    I can certainly understand your boredom and lack of motivation. As a SAHM I deal with that as well. For the first few weeks after I quit my job I definitely questioned whether it was the right choice. Now I love it. For me, working out of the home was much easier than staying at home. I had been at my job quite a while and was comfortable there. When you stay home, you never know what to expect…there are different challenges everyday. The truth is, no one can raise your child better than you can.

  44. Katie S.

    Not offending anyone here! Your day sounds dreamy to me – as I sit here at my desk slaving over pointless work that I don’t enjoy – but I know that if I were in your position I would likely feel all of the same emotions that you’re feeling.

    ….which is why I can’t wait to be a kept-woman and work part time, while being a SAHM the rest of the time 🙂

  45. Not offensive in the slightest! Relieving is the word I would use to describe it. Because that is how I feel when hearing I am not the only one that struggles with those feelings. Some days I do great…others…not so great. I am also one that craves socializing and needs to spend time with my friends. It’s tough being home all day and not getting as much of that. But…in the end I feel it is best for Q-Tip that I stay home with her. So here I am. Fighting those same battles. Trying to figure out how to balance it all. Maybe one day I’ll get it figured out.

    Hang in there though. I’ve been doing it for 18 months and still have tough moments. Sounds to me like you are doing great!! You are a great mom Katie! And a great example for others!

    🙂

    Megan

    http://reddirtandcrazy.blogspot.com/

  46. Jessica

    I often tell my dad that I’m jealous of his job and the fact that he gets to work from home. I really do think working from home would be awesome (I could go for a run at lunch or stop working exactly at 5 and be done with work!) but like my dad always says… Grass is always greener on the other side.

    (you may go back to work and then wish you were a SAHM again. Ever thought about working part time? best of both worlds?)

  47. You are not offending me! I am a stay at home mom. I have two kids who are 2 and 1. And some days, I totally hate it! Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids to death. But it’s hard work! Not only do I take care of the kids, but I take care of the house (and my 3rd child, my husband).
    I crave adult conversation and a day that doesn’t involve cleaning my kitchen floor every hour. Sometimes I wish I had a part-time job just so I could earn some money and see the fruits of my labors (which, I think, can be hard to see when you’re a SAHM). But I love to be there for all my kids milestones…to see my son start walking and listen to my daughter talk up a storm. Don’t beat yourself up over it! You have to do what is best for you and your family. It’s a tough job and being a SAHM isn’t for everyone.

  48. Meghan

    I’ve been staying home now for 4 years–some days I love it, some days I absolutely hate it. I guess that’s like any job, right? I was fortunate enough for my first 2 years to be able to do part time editing work, mainly from home. When my oldest would nap I would work, then sometimes I’d work after he went to bed or if I needed to work in the office I’d get a babysitter. It was a wonderful opportunity to be home and work, and I miss it dearly.

    I’m by no means an expert, but here are a few “tips” that I can share that have worked for me:

    1. FIND OTHER MOMS TO DO STUFF WITH DURING THE DAY. I put this in all caps because I think this is absolutely crucial to being a (usually) happy SAHM. “Staying at home” doesn’t mean you have to stay home alone with only your kids–singing “Twinkle Twinkle” for the 100th time or having no one to talk to all day will drive anyone crazy! Find a Moms group, a playgroup, join a music class, go to Story Time at the library, do anything to have moms/kids to be around during the day. Our playgroup is as much (if not more!) for me as it is for my kids. Invite a mom/kid (or two! or three!) over to play, and make lunch for everyone if you want. I just did this today–we sat outside for a couple hours and had an easy lunch while the kids played in the sandbox, the pool, etc. It was so nice and reminded me about the perks of being a SAHM–I can hang out with friends on a Wednesday afternoon!

    2. Don’t feel guilty about doing something nice for yourself now and then, or going out to lunch once a week, etc. It’s easy when you’re not “earning” money to feel guilty about spending it on yourself. Being a SAHM is the hardest job I’ve had so far, and I have learned (most of the time) to not feel guilty if I treat myself to something fun during the day.

    3. Get out of the house at least once a day, even if it’s just a walk around the neighborhood. It is easy to sit around in your PJ’s, and we definitely have occasional days like that, but for me, sitting around in my PJ’s makes me cranky by the end of the day. If I haven’t left the house all day, my husband can tell when he gets home from work. 🙂

    4. Work with your hubby so that you (and hopefully he) get times that you can do something alone, or with friends. If you have to get a babysitter (like I do sometimes when my hubby’s out of town), I consider it an expense that’s essential to my mental health. 🙂 It is important to make time for “adult” activities, especially when you take care of children all day long. My Mom’s group does a lot of social activities, and I feel such a difference in my mood when I get to go to a movie, or go have a drink, or something.

    5. Don’t feel that you have to use every naptime/after bedtime to do stuff—this is probably the hardest for me, and I’m still working on it. But being a SAHM is a 24/7 job, and the work is always there, waiting to be done. I try to use some of my kids’ naptimes to read an (adult!) book, watch mindless TV, or do something else that’s non-productive. It gives me a break from my job, and that always makes me happier.

    Staying at home is definitely not for everyone, and there are many days when I wonder if it’s really for me, too. But then I think about how much time I’ll have to work later on, especially when my kids are in school full time. I’ll never get this time back with them, and even though there are moments that make me want to beat my head with a board book (that I’ve read 10 times today!), I’m sure I’ll reminisce about staying at home down the road… 🙂

  49. I am a SAHM and I was not offended at all! It really isn’t for anyone. It’s very very hard..even harder than I thought it would be! You need to do what makes you happy…and then that will make you the best mom!

  50. Meghan

    I thought of a couple more things as I was unloading the dishwasher, switching the laundry, and scrubbing a dirty pan….. 🙂

    6. Set goals for yourself and work to achieve them while being a SAHM. I love languages, and I’ve set a goal of reviving my French skills and strengthening my Spanish skills over the next couple of years. It’s something I enjoy, and language skills are valuable in the workplace when I go back to work. Find something that you’d like to learn or do, and work towards achieving your goal, just as you’d achieve goals at a “real” job.

    7. Staying at home does not mean you are responsible for your child(ren)’s entertainment all day. I definitely play, read, dance, etc. with my kids, but I also expect them to entertain themselves at times. I don’t usually attempt major projects while they’re awake (since my youngest just turned 1), but I do fold laundry, unload the dishwasher, clean up, etc. I usually alternate between doing housework (during which they play on their own) and playing with them. If you teach your children to be able to entertain themselves when they’re young, they will be able to do it when they’re older, too. And it helps Mom!

  51. djm

    I recently started reading your blog and have enjoyed it very much. I normally read it while stuck in my office wishing I were anywhere but here. My daughter is nine years old now, and I stayed home with her for the first two years. I felt like you and longed for human interaction. Life moved on and I was forced to go back to work, and then I missed being the mom. Enjoy the moment, and don’t long too much for what you don’t have because these “little” years go by soooo fast!

  52. courtney

    I’m a teacher so I kinda get the best of both worlds. I have struggled in the past with leaving my son at daycare, but I don’t feel like someone else is “raising” him. He loves it and is ahead on his development – mostly due to all of the social interaction.

  53. Jenna

    Yay! I love this post! I am a teacher who hasn’t had kids yet because I can’t “stay at home” like my mother, sister, grandmother, and mother in law all did. In the past year I’ve started to realize that I do not have to stay at home. Nor, do I want to stay at home. I LOVE my job! I can’t imagine having to be home all day. I am more productive when I have a life outside of home. Thanks for the encouraging words! Almost time to start a family…

  54. Casper

    I don’t have kids yet but am really looking forward to staying home with them. However, it is just a choice each person has to make. There isn’t a wrong or right answer. I can say though that being home for any length of time can be draining if you don’t keep yourself busy and interact socially in some way. Boredom is one of the most exhausting things. Just got to get up and keep busy!

    1. Sara

      I’m with Casper. We don’t have kids yet and it’s my dream to stay home when we do. I know there will be incredible challenges, and it’s been very interesting to read through this post and all of the comments. A personal issue for me is that I’m really not very happy in my job, but I try to separate that from the decision to start our family. I don’t want to rush into it just because I want to stay home. And ultimately I know we’d miss my paycheck! Everybody figures it out one way or the other–I’m very excited for it to be our turn.

  55. Sara M

    I am not a SAHM, but I also know that I could never be a SAHM! I couldn’t do it, which is ok with me. My boys (2.5 and 11 months) have a GREAT babysitter/in home daycare that they love, and they have friends there. During the weekend, the oldest asks for his friends from daycare. I felt no guilt for going back to work after each of them were 8 weeks old because I knew for me and my family it was the best decision. I admire SAHM (like our babysitter) who can do it and stay sane!

    BTW, my oldest loves Sid the Science Kid! We have a toy with a microphone and he will grab that thing and sing and dance away just like Sid. 🙂

  56. I can COMPLETELY relate to what you are feeling only I don’t even have a child to stay at home with! I am current SAH…. well, lady… lol. I am looking for a new job and am staying home to do stuff here while I am in the process. Sounds exciting but I also have a hard time getting motivated! I wake up and put my gym clothes on in hopes that I will workout in the morning, only, every day I find other things to do until it is just “too late to work out”. Maybe I’ll try making a schedule tomorrow…

  57. girlsmama

    I’ve been a SAHM (4 girls) for 8 years now. And I totally get what you’re feeling. I went from full time teaching a year after my first was born to SAHM. The first year was horrendous. I ran up the credit cards with retail therapy. Then I opened a preschool in my home. I love it! I “work” two days a week and my kids get to come with me because it’s in the basement. I plan on going back to full-time teaching when #4 is in school. So don’t feel bad, we all love our kids, but they are only so interesting. 🙂

  58. I’m a SAHM and this post didn’t offend me in anyway. I know it’s a hard job but I also know it can be tedious and boring at times and it certainly isn’t for everyone. Honestly, the only people that do care what you do with your day are the only people that matter…you and Chris and Bean.
    It’s the boring, repetitious, mundane details that are the most important, it’s those silly little details that kids end up remembering when they are adults, too.
    I think it’s great to have a schedule, it’s keeps you sane and gives you a guideline to follow but can also be adjusted to fit unexpected events. and if there are days that you decide to throw all scheduling out the window, i think that’s great too, because sometimes it’s good for the soul to sit around in your PJs and eat chips and ice cream all day.

  59. Keshet

    I love the post! One of my favorite things about this blog is that you tell it like it is–so helpful to hear and so much better to read:)

  60. Amanda

    Thank you so much for your post!! I LOVED it (and a lot of the comments too)!! I’m so thankful that it’s not just me that wasn’t built to be a SAHM. I love my kids, but I honestly think I’m a better mom because of the break I get while working full-time. After eight weeks of maternity leave, I realized that I couldn’t stay home all day. I never left the house and felt so isolated and lonely. I really need the personal, adult interaction that I get ever day at work. I feel like I get to use a whole different side of my brain when I’m at work. Plus, I love my job! By not being home all day, I never take a moment with my kids for granted. I just thoroughly enjoy every chance I get to spend with them.

  61. Alysha

    I’m lost in the whole SAHM thing. I know how I want to be as a stay at home mom, but I haven’t figured out how to get there and I’ve been at it since the beginning of April!

  62. No offense here, either! It’s simply not for some people. Just like working outside the home isn’t to others. It’s what makes the world go round and round and round and round. 🙂

    And he isn’t walking consistently. He’ll take a few steps and the other day took 7 steps in a row and then went back down to his safe super-crawl. It gets him places much faster and more efficiently. 🙂

  63. Hey! This is really interesting – loved reading the comments. I feel like people think that being a SAHM is somehow the ‘best’ thing to do, and everything else is a compromise. That seems ridiculous and unfair to me. It’s sexist, first of all :). Although JM would not be a great SAH Dad. Period. He is an amazing father, but he would go certifiably looney if he had to SAH. I am more built to be the SAH Parent. I’m actually pretty motivated all on my own, and I tend to build structure into my days by default. I get out a ton with my kids. Or maybe it’s just that I’m so inefficient that I always feel busy with the mundane stuff that I have to do :). You bored SAHM’s must just be really good. I can’t imagine having time to laze around in the afternoon – I am constantly doing something.

    But anyway, I digress. I’m transitioning in the exact opposite way – just started a new full time job and I’m utterly out of whack! It’s only been two weeks and I’m not even full full time yet, and I’m tuckered out tired. I miss my kids, and hate giving up my domain at home to anyone else. That said, I love the new job. It’s fun, right up my alley, and a great career move. I feel stressed in the midst of the transition – but not conflicted. I know this is the right thing for me and our family.

    And man I love cute work shoes too. The shoes do it every time! So off to work I go!

    Hope you find your groove soon! And an awesome new job :).

    Love you guys!
    Liz

  64. I appreiciate your honesty and didnt think once that you were saying anything negative about stay at home moms. I truely believe that being at home is the hardest job there is. I find often it is the frustration of not having what we want. And thats the hard thing about being a mom. We dont get the luxury of being selfish. ANd when we want to be, we get discontent because it just doesnt work. Some days i get nothing done in the house because with two little ones, 16 months apart, I get discouraged and really feel like there is just no point in doing anything since it will all be undone. But I believe that God put me in the roll im in and that I need to bless Him in all I do and I have found that it can help drag me out of the pit of discontent and lack of motivation. I just try and get out a lot. I am like you and dont enjoy being alone for too long. Hello Fellow Moms. Give me sanity 🙂

    I think you are doing a great job and two weeks is just the beginning and it will take longer to adjust. Im still adjusting to two at home and its been 4 months. I love it but its hard.

    May God grant you the desires of your heart.

  65. Jenny

    I was someone that said I could never be happy being a SAHM… and now I’ve been one for almost 2 years and love it. It takes a LONG time to adjust and everyone has left really good tips on here about how to get the most out of it. My favorite things about my life? The flexibility (I do what I want, when I want and if I choose to do as little as possible when I can’t face anymore housework or errands, then that’s my prerogative!) and the fantastic support network I now have of other SAHMs. None of our friends or family close by had kids when we did, so I joined MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers- a great NPO) and met amazing women struggling with the same things I was and still am. Plus, you can join MOPS leadership and get some office-like work and meetings back in your life if you really miss them.

  66. Lydia

    I was one of those people who dreamed of being a stay at home mom. It was only after my daughter was born last year and I was home on maternity leave for 4 months that I realized that I wasn’t stay at home mom material. Like you, I craved adult interaction and needed an office to stay motivated.

    I admire anyone who is a SAHM, and I have moments about once a day where I wonder… what if… but then I have a few days in a row off of work and I realize how exhausted I am when I am at home with my 1-year-old full time!

    I know that staying at home is a wonderful gift to your child, but I do not feel like my daughter is missing anything out by going to a sitter during the day. She is cared for and loved. I can’t ask for more.

    On top of that, when I went back to work, I missed my daughter, but I did not feel guilty. After a week of working, I felt like my old self again – which I had not felt in a very long time. That may be selfish on my part, but I do believe that a happy mom makes a happy child!

    You are doing a great job!

  67. Shelby

    I’m right there with you! I have a 7 year old and a new baby on the way. I always knew I couldn’t be a full time SAHM. I love my daughter to pieces & I can’t wait for this new baby, but working 30 hours a week suits me just fine.

  68. I’m a SAHM/housewife and I didn’t find this entry offensive. I do have to say though that being a SAHM is a job, even if you don’t get a paycheck.

    Like Sara, I first became a SAHM because I didn’t want someone else taking care of my kids for me. I’m the mom. Also, it was/is better for us financially if I stay home. It costs money to have a job (gas, lunch, childcare, etc.) and after those costs, we’d actually be losing money if I had a job outside the home.

    For awhile, I felt very unappreciated and discontent, but after prayer and reading the Bible, as well as reading what other Christian SAHMs had to say on the subject, I began to realize how important my job is. I am now much more content and satisfied than I’ve ever been before being a SAHM and housewife. I have no interest in getting a second job. Well, I am still interested in maybe possibly being a freelance photographer. But other than that, there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing, whether it be instead of being a SAHM/housewife, or in addition to being a SAHM/housewife.

    What you’re doing is important for your family. Keeping your home, providing a place of refuge and peace, preparing nutritious meals, teaching your son. Believe me, I understand the feeling of not feeling like what you’re doing matters. I’ve been there. But it does matter. And no, two weeks isn’t long enough really to get the hang of it all. As I said, I felt unappreciated and discontent for awhile until my eyes were opened to how important what I’m doing is. And while many don’t see things the same way, for me it brought peace, happiness and satisfaction.

    Why does that last sentence make me feel like I look like some kind of earthy, crunchy type? lol

    Anyway, I wish you and your family all the best as you try to navigate the waters of your life and find your way. God bless!

  69. Sing it! I love the days I can stay home with Pumpkin but I like the days I can come into my office too. I think the trick for every family, as many have said, is finding the right balance. Finding companies that support families and allow for some flexibility is, I think, the key to creating that right balance for each family (for moms and dads alike!)

  70. Linda

    It doesn’t matter if you’re a SHAM or a working mom there are going to be ups and downs, hard days and bad days in either world. When you’re having a hard time getting motivated or “the bean” (god I LOVE that name) is not cooperating just remember, there are thousands of woman out there who would do anything to have a child or be with them everyday. You are lucky. 🙂

  71. I love that you are being honest. I work 7 on 7 off. So I work 80 hours over 7 days straight and then I have 7 straight days off. My husband stays home when I work and I am home when he works. I love my time off and I try to spend every second with my daughter but I will tell you a secret. My husband is a way better SAHD than I am a SAHM. He keeps the house clean and organize, keep Brinley happy and cooks dinner for me. He is awesome. I end up trashing the clean house and spending my days being super lazy with my baby. You are not alone and you are awesome!

  72. I know exactly how you feel. I was excited to be a SAHM when my daughter was born, two years ago. When she was 13 months old, I was ready to go back to work. I felt intellectually stagnated and I missed being around people who have other things to talk about besides changing nap times and the various diseases circulating around the playgroup. Instead, I found out I was pregnant again and now I have an almost two year old and a newborn, so I’m not going back to work full time for another year, at least. I’m also having this existential crisis thing where I’m not sure what I want to do with my life anymore (I was an English teacher for seven years)!

  73. I’m a SAHM to our 8 month old, and absolutely agree with Sara and Meghan above – especially Meghan’s advice. #1 is so critical… I’ve found a great group of moms from my church who all have kiddos about the same age as my little boy, and we get together once a week or so for Bible study, as well as some one-on-one “playdates” other times. (For now they’re really mommy playdates, since the babies don’t care one way or the other.) It’s made a huge difference to me to have other moms to connect with, pray with, laugh with, groan with, talk with. To be able to get other perspectives and see what other moms do at the same stages. I also try to get out of the house once a day, just to go to the library or grocery store or for a walk, if nothing else. It helps keep my baby entertained to switch up the scenery, and gives me a reason to get out of my pjs. 🙂 I’d say to hang in there, give it time, and remember that you’re making a huge investment in Bean’s life right now.

  74. Hilary

    I don’t even know if you’re still checking responses to this post but I’m sooo with you! Except I never wanted to be a SAHM. After I had my first child, my mother came to help out. I begged her to stay and take care of my baby so I could go back to work two weeks after I gave birth. I was so desperate to get back to my kids – I teach seventh grade English – because I can deal with 80 plus crazy, hormonal tweens. But give me a seven-pound bologna loaf with arms and legs who screams, eats, poops and sleeps in any given random order and you’ve got one stressed out momma. I am so grateful to have a job I adore and a schedule that lets me be there for my own children ( I now have a three month old son).

  75. Vicky

    Hey, just throwing another perspective out here. I’m originally from Canada where all moms get a year of maternity leave, for each child, and boy is “mommy culture” different. There are so many more activities for moms and babies (movies for mommies, mommy and baby yoga, mom and tot swim groups, copious playgroups) that most moms I know are dying to stay home – most find it the one of the most active, social time of their lives. Since you get a year off, there is a good chance that your year will overlap with some of your friends, meaning that its easy to get together with girlfriends too. I feel a little sad that my baby will likely arrive while I’m still in the States, as I think that my friends have a pretty sweet deal.

    Oh, and since I’ve moved to the States with my husband for his work two years ago, I’ve had no work visa and no driver’s license. Yikes. Believe me, lonely is another word for housewife! But I’m slowly getting used to it, I think.

Leave a Comment