10 Misconceptions About Being A Stay-At- Home Mom
Being a stay at home mom is nothing more than free labor for tiny tyrants.
Correction: You may receive compensation-- in the form of hugs, kisses, and maybe even an occasional "thank you" (don't count on it though!) lol
Hey there Richsters!
As a mom your work is never done. Before I became a mother, I always thought that I would be a career mom-- a mom who managed to keep things poppin' at home, and killed business in the office. Little did I know, 6 months after giving birth to Arria the company I was working for would decide to close the department I was working in. I was a job-less new mom. Sweet!
After 7 months of working and commuting into the City (throughout my pregnancy), and months of non-stop breast feeding while on maternity leave-- I was ready for a break. Of course I was bummed about being unemployed for a bit-- but taking the positive perspective I thought, "Well, at least I get to spend time at home with our new baby!" A stay-at-home mom? Sure, I was ALL ABOUT that stay home life.
That was then.
Aside from a freelance gig here-and-there, I've been a stay at home mom since November 2016... but a break? I haven't seen one. I'm a mom 24/7, 365, and being a stay-at-home mom is a lot tougher than I expected. That was just with one kid, but now that I'm a mom of two, fuggedaboutit!
I'm sure there are plenty of ideas of what life as a stay-at-home parent must be like; but let me tell you-- until you experience it, you have no idea. Prior to having children of my own, I assumed that the life of a mom spending the day at home with her kids was a breezy one. Well today's post is to dismiss 10 Misconceptions That May Occasionally Be Made About Stay-at-Home Moms (especially by the tv/film industry):
1) Stay-at-Home moms have all the free time in the world to do whatever they want
There is no way this is true. Maybe unless you have a live-in nanny. I don't know about you all, but I barely have time to sit on the toilet and have 5 minutes alone to myself.
Much of my day (with exception to nap time) is centered around my kids. Play time, read time, fun time, clean time, potty time, feed time, and whatever else their sweet little souls demand of me in between. The only real time I have to myself that's guaranteed, is once everyone falls asleep. Even then, that time is not just for me to do whatever I like; there's cleaning to be done, laundry to be folded, showers to be taken. You know, general life-stuff and chores.
2) A stay-at-home mom's only job is to love her kids
Yes. Of course a mother's job is to love her kids as well as her husband/partner (if he/she is involved))-- but she needs to love herself too. There is no way someone can love another fully, unless she first loves herself. That means taking the time to do things that feed her, her soul, and her happiness (among other things).
For me, that means doing at least one creative thing for myself-- whether it be a photo shoot, making a piece of jewelry, or writing a blog post-- at the end of the day I need to do at least ONE thing for myself. Because a happy mommy results in a happy everybody
...or else you end up like that guy ^
3) Stay-at-home moms lounge around, shop, drink wine, and gossip all day
I don't know what stay-at-home mom-ing looked like back in the day, but this has not been my experience in the least. These days, women are not only bossing it up in the office, they're also bossing it up as full-time stay-at-home moms and entrepreneurs. The balancing of these two titles is a really difficult one to balance-- with the element of time being the hardest thing to manage.
Who has time to gossip about the lives of others, when they're in the process of trying to build an empire while living their own best life? Not any of the #LiveRichMommies That I know!
4) Stay-at-home moms all "have money" so they can afford to stay home with their children
This may be the case for some, but in my experience one reason to consider becoming a saty-at-home mom is the fact that childcare is so expensive!
When I was pregnant with Arria, before taking my maternity leave my job made me calculate how much it would cost for me to send Arria to childcare, and compared it against my salary (to see if it would be a better option for me to stay home). I'm not completely that that was legal, but that's another conversation for another day. There was a point to be made though.
The cost of childcare in most parts of Noth Jersey (where we live) is close to what it would cost to pay a mortgage! For the 3 months while I was working (before my department was laid off) we put Arria in daycare part-time: 2 days a week for 5 hours each day. For the weekly total of 10 hours we were paying close to $400 every two weeks-- and ultimately $800 a month for childcare! ...at 6 months old!
Even then, we lucked out. The daycare we sent her too happened to be right across the street from our apartment at the time, and was relatively "well" priced considering some of the other places we'd scouted. Not to mention, that was just for one kid. Could you imagine having to pay for multiple children? Depending on the work/financial situation of a family, taking into consideration the number of children, their ages, and the availability of both parents-- sometimes it just may be more affordable to have one parent stay at home with the kids.
5) Stay-at-home moms have have time and subsequently the energy to work out and maintain "tight yoga bodies"
At the end of a day of chasing my toddler around, and having another constantly attached to my nipples-- I barely have enough time to take a shower. Going to the gym? Yoga? To be able to do either of those things would be a luxury.
I'm in the process of working my way back to a body that I love, but most of my cardio and burnt calories comes from chasing after Arria and breastfeeding. At the most, I'm able to go on a walk to get out of the house. But even then, I'm always in the company of my permanent (life) buddies: Arria and Jaiyce. lol
6) At the end of the day stay-at-home moms always have the house together, home kept clean, and home-cooked meals at the ready
Please see #1. The number one expectation of being a stay-at-home mom, is that your home and the people you love inside it are taken care of.
I'm in the process of trying to figure out a way to streamline meals and meal prep in my home because it takes up so much mind space. The days when I choose to use my energy towards working on my own business/creative endeavors, Arria takes these days for her own creative liberties as well-- meaning lots of mess. All her toys end up outside of her room, books are everywhere, and anything else you can expect. The house stays a mess for most of the day until I'm done with whatever I'm working on, and I probably get around to eating myself after 10PM.
Fortunately I have a really understanding husband, who's also an amazing cook. While I'm sure he would love to have some meals ready when he comes home, he's a really creative cook and able to fend for himself most days. Oh, and the quick meals he "whips" together taste better than my most planned and prepped meals on any given day. :-[
7) Stay-at-home moms are on prozac (or some other prescribed drug/supplement) to handle stress and anxiety
The only "medication" I take on the days that I need it most involve: prayers of patience, a quick cry, and a chat with my siblings/mom-friends who can relate. That usually gets me out of whatever funk I'm in, and in a place where I'm feeling good again. No prescribed drugs here!
8) Stay-at-home moms enjoy just "staying at home"
Stay-at-home moms don't enjoy being indoors all day. And though we're home with the kids, they don't enjoy being cooped up inside either. For that reason (and for our sanity), we make an effort to get out during the day: to the playground, the library, mommy hangs in the City, museums, or anywhere else there's fun to be had for a mommy and her minis. The point is, stay-at-home moms are always busy... keeping the kids busy. Anything less is a recipe for disaster and cabin fever.
Besides, I know a bunch of mamas (including my homie-sister-friend, Sunnie) who are stay-at-home moms, and who are barely home (in the states) for a good portion of the year. Sunnie, and her daughter Olaniyi are a globe-trotting duo who have already tackled countless flights, 3 continents, and traveling to 10+ countries together in the 3 years since her birth. You can learn more about their adventures over on African Boheme.
9) Stay-at-home moms always get their beauty rest and get to sleep in every day
Bwhahahaaha. What is sleep? We have been very fortunate when it comes to sleep schedules and our kids-- both of them have pretty much slept through the night since infancy. So as far as they're concerned, my sleep deprivation isn't their fault. My lack of sleep is due to the fact that night time (when everyone's sleeping) is the only time of day that I can get stuff done without interruption.
After Jaiyce's last feeding around 10:30/11 or so, is when I clock into bossmom-mode. I usually end up working on the blog, doing jewelry pieces, editing video, planning out content and whatever else is needed during this time until 6 or 8 in the morning. Once six hits, I go lay down (which is usually short-lived by Arria who's just waking up).
Again, I'm so blessed to have a supportive and loving partner. The hours of 7-11 are usually daddy's "office hours," where Nick handles making the kids breakfast, playing with them, or taking them out for a fun activity so I can catch up on some rest, before he heads into work at noon. When he leaves to clock into his 9-5, is when I clock back into mommy mode.
10) Stay-at-home moms will be stay at home moms forever
Sure, we may be moms forever-- but we will not be stay-at-home moms forever. As the kids get older and start going to school, we as parent's will once again re-gain the liberty of having free-time (and our lives) to ourselves. What will we do with it? That's up to the individual; but I plan on traveling as much as time, energy, and budgets will allow.
I hope this opens up the conversation about being a stay-at-home mom. But for those of you who still need a visual-- check out this video (#MomLifeBeLike) that I did in collaboration with Rock You Media (Little Things and Café Mom). Stay-at-home mom-ming requires a lot of patience and energy. So If you know a stay-at-home mom-- rather than expecting her to have it all together, ask her how she's doing. Give her a hand. Offer her kind words, and tell her how great she looks, that she's appreciated, and that she has the toughest (but most rewarding) job. Being a parent is a thankless job, but if it's done right it produces wonderful world-citizens who will hopefully make the world a kinder, more generous, and loving place.
I'd love to hear from all of my mommy and daddy friends who are living the blessing (and occasional struggle) of being a stay-at-home parent. How was your experience? Did you love it? What did you struggle with (if anything)? What are some tips/tricks you picked up along the way? And how did your stay at home experience differ from what you were expecting? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!
Until the next time, #LiveRi¢h and Happy Dream Chasing!
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