I think this post deserves a good disclaimer right up front. Being a mama is hard work. Whether you're a working mom or a stay at home mom or a going to school mom, it takes a lot of life balance and I salute you. I'm not here to say my life is harder than anyone else's or that one mom is better than another for staying at home or working, because that is just not true.
I have been fortunate to experience both the working mom life and the stay-at-home mom life. While doing both, I've had to juggle being in school along with other life responsibilities. Either way it can be stressful. So which one has been harder? The answer might surprise you.
Being a stay-at-home mom is a lot harder than I expected. Like many working women, I used to envy women who got to stay home with their children. Since becoming a stay-at-home mom, I've had many people tell me how blessed I am to get to stay at home with my children. Now don't get me wrong, it is certainly a huge blessing to get to be at home with my girls. I've gotten to experience many things with Maia that I couldn't with Ava because I was at work. I had to sacrifice a lot of time with Ava when she was younger, missing some important firsts and not being able to be there for her when she was sick. It's devastating as a parent, but you have to pay the bills. I think that society has this impression of stay-at-home moms that really underscores how hard it really is.
As a stay-at-home mom, you don't get breaks. Like ever. There's no calling in. You have to learn how to take care of adult responsibilities (for me, it's studying, housework, bills, etc) and your children literally at the same time. It's being sleep-deprived from being up all night with one kid and then getting up early with the other and not getting to sleep until naptime (if you're lucky enough to get nap time). It's never being able to finish your cup of coffee. It's longing to use the bathroom alone. Sometimes the day flies by and you realize you haven't even taken a shower. (Hey, if you want to judge me, take a seat... on my couch and fold my laundry for me.) It's eating a meal or trying to do something and getting interrupted 5 times. It's cleaning something just for it to get dirty again. Do you get the picture? It's enough to drive a mama crazy. Sometimes we run ourselves ragged trying to take care of everyone and everything else, that we forget to take care of ourselves. We forget who we are outside of being mothers.
Motherhood is the greatest joy, but there is ugliness beneath the surface that people don't like to talk about. No one wants to admit that they don't have all the answers or that sometimes they don't know what they're doing. But the sooner we can say these things, the sooner we can open up the dialogue and realize we are not alone in these struggles.
These are things that I've really struggled with since becoming a stay-at-home mom, although I'm sure there are working moms who can relate. Being a working mom wasn't easy at all, its just that back then I could have more order to my day and less meltdowns. But it is well worth it. Every day I get to spend more quality time with my girls than I ever imagined. I try my best to make the most of this time that we have together, because family is what is really important. One of my favorite quotes is "The days are long, but the years are short" and it's so true. They are only little for a little while. Before you know it, you're looking back and longing to go back to that time when they needed you for everything and it doesn't even matter that it was chaos.
Being a stay-at-home mom has forced me to be better at managing my time, prioritize my life, and stick to a schedule. Next week, I will be sharing what our daily schedule is so you can get a glimpse of what a day in the life of a stay-at-home mom really looks like. Stay tuned. Shout out to all my mamas, working in and outside the home, who can relate to this post.
Hugs and wine,