What IS so hard about being a SAHM? I always wondered about this when I heard people say that’s it’s so hard be home taking care of kids all day! Now that I’m living it, I can say this: it’s not that hard. I know this opinion is wildly unpopular but it’s my honest opinion. And I’m going to tell you why.
I had Odin around the same time that 5 other women I know had their babies. Yes, 5! Of all of us, I am the only one who stayed home. For some of them it may have been a choice to go back to work, but from what I can gather most of them did it for financial reasons, meaning they need their income in order to pay the bills. Luckily, we do not need me to work for us to be comfortable although I did elect to work from home for reasons I will talk about later. I usually get the same response of “you’re so lucky you get to be home with your baby!”
There was a point during this experience where I thought yeah right, this is so hard! But I’ve come to realize that staying home isn’t the tough part, being a mom is! When Odin has a rough night we can either sleep in the morning after or take a nap together during the day. Could you imagine being up all night with a miserable baby, then have to wake up for work at 6, pack a diaper bag, get yourself ready, drop the kids off at day care, work all day and pump if you’re breastfeeding, then come home and do it all again? I couldn’t! I’m tired just thinking about it! They’re both providers and care takers. While there are no breaks for SAHMs from the kids, there are also no breaks for working moms from all that they have to do.
There are things that are really hard about being a stay at home mom. The isolation is pretty hard. The constant touching/ pinching/ being thrown up on is a little much some times. The days where you don’t leave the house. The days where you feel completely unproductive because your baby needed constant attention. These things can be hard! In my opinion, however, these things do not overshadow the joy of being present for your babies first crawls, first time learning a new skill, first words etc. These things could otherwise be missed if I were working. My brother had a babysitter when he was little who took it upon herself to give him his first haircut. You could imagine how my mom felt about that!
I also want to mention breastfeeding. Breastfeeding has been my favorite part of motherhood so far but I couldn’t imagine having to pump all the time. I could probably count on 1 hand the number of times I’ve pumped. Why do it if it’s not necessary? I never have to wash bottles or bring milk with me because I’m the milk source. It’s great! But if you plan to go back to work you have to start pumping soon after you have the baby. This can jeopardize the breastfeeding relationship because for some women it’s too hard to do both. I personally pump less than an ounce when I pump. I’m sure women who pump all the time have the supply to pump more but it still must be hard! Being home with my baby has made it very easy for us to maintain the breastfeeding relationship.
While my arms may always be full with a tiny human, I am honestly pretty well rested and my anxiety has never been lower. I live a low stress life 90% of the time. If I don’t want to wear a bra, put on makeup or leave the house one day I don’t have to. If I want to cuddle my baby and watch Netflix all day I can. If I want to sit by the pool with another mama friend I can do that too. I have things I need to do like laundry, housekeeping, baby care, and cooking, but all adults/ parents need to do those things. And my husband is extremely helpful when he’s home. I’ve seen twitter smackdowns about who has it tougher between working moms and SAHMs and other online debates, but honestly, being a mom is hard. Period. Being a stay at home mom is an absolute privilege and I’m so thankful I’m fortunate enough to enjoy this experience.