My first six years of motherhood were spent as a working mom. As a working mom, I had a lot of feelings regarding the role of a stay at home mom.
Mostly, they involved me thinking that they have the greatest life anyone could ask for. How awesome would it be to hang out with your kids all day long?! Their lives must be stress free and void of the anxiety that I go through as a working mom. Truthfully, I was jealous of all these women who got to spend their days raising their children while I struggled through the daily guilt of being a working mom. If I was a stay at home mom, life would be pretty perfect…or so I thought.
When my husband’s job took us 24 hours from family and friends, we made the decision to make some lifestyle changes so I could have this dream job. The job of Stay at Home Mother!
Since I had spent six years dreaming of this job, I was sure it was going to go exactly as I had thought. After reflecting on the last four years as a stay at home mom, things haven’t gone exactly liked I thought they would.
As a stay at home mom, I would obviously be in the best shape of my life because I’d have all day to work out.
Wow! For anyone who actually knows me personally, you know that I’m not exactly rocking a hot body. I’m more like the woman you see and think, she’s trying but clearly still likes to eat cupcakes. I can’t believe I thought I’d have all day to workout. I can literally hear all stay at home moms laughing at me while reading this. Working out in my living room with Shaun T on DVD isn’t as effective when a toddler is climbing all over you at the same time. So, being a stay at home mom does not equal hot body like I thought.
Every dinner would be nutritious and healthy because I’d have more time to plan and shop for these meals.
Nope. I’m still cooking the same stuff I did as a working mom. AKA: Lots of crockpot chicken meals and the occasional takeout.
My life would be stress free without the worries of work.
This has been the biggest surprise because, in addition to things that matter, I now stress over things that do not matter. The truth is, that although work stress and Sunday night anxiety are gone, the stress remains. I worry about mopping the floor, doing laundry, preparing meals, and getting the kids to the places they need to be when they need to be there. I am constantly worrying about how much TV my little one is watching or whether or not I’m feeding her enough nutrients. These things have now taken over my thoughts. As a working mom, I didn’t care about the small things and only focused on the big things. Now I am consumed by things that I would have been able to let go as a working mom.
I’d love the freedom of not having to put makeup on every day, do my hair, and stress about what to wear.
Sure it was fun for a week, but wearing workout clothes as my source of fashion every day for four years has gotten old. I own over 10 pairs of Nike running shorts. Plus, I no longer wear buttons on my pants which goes back to the part about not being in the best shape of my life. I miss dressing up and really look forward to church since it is the only place I have to go to dress up every week.
Um…no. I’ve watched more episodes of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse than I’d like to admit. The truth is, there is no break as a stay at home, and sanity comes at the price of my little one watching TV. Those 23 minutes allow me to use the bathroom, get more coffee, throw in a load of laundry, and take a breath.