Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Life of a Stay At Home Mom

Life has brought me to this wonderful (most of time) chapter and I’d like to share a little bit with you about what it is like to be a SAHM.  One of the reasons I like staying home is because it’s a quiet and drama free life (I mean, quiet and drama free in a different way than what is thrown at you with a toddler running around.) 

Before becoming a SAHM, I didn’t really focus on anything for too long.  I still easily get bored when I’m not challenged, and at times I am eager to see what else is out there.  I am a free spirit so I think that it’s just embedded in me.  I accept it and embrace who I am.  My life resume is far more interesting than the work and education listed on my resume.  I like to think that I’ve lived a pretty exciting life and I pride myself on being well balanced.  Since becoming a SAHM, I’ve found a focus like never before.  It’s a focus that makes me feel fantastic, like what I’m doing is so much bigger than what it appears to be.  In the grand scheme of things, I belong here.

At times, it’s been difficult accepting my role and I sometimes catch myself dreaming about doing something else.  Part of the difficulty in taking on this role is that I had been on my own for ten years prior to meeting my husband.  Independence is not something that can easily be given up, at least not for me.  It was quite an adjustment from paying for everything myself to relying 100% on someone else.  It was an adjustment for my husband as well, from having household expenses divided up to solely supporting a family.  Just like others in our position, the adjustment period takes time and eventually it all gets smoothed out.

In the SAHM job description, something that often is not talked about is how isolating and lonely it can feel at times.  Similar to Postpartum Depression, people are still not very comfortable talking about certain things.  Family and community dynamics have changed drastically over the years.  Growing up, I was surrounded by other kids at the playground and during the summer, I had countless cousins to play with.  Today, the parks are practically empty due to a handful of reasons including technology and family living further away from one another.

As for technology, it has decreased face to face socialization but it’s also increased socialization.  I’m able to stay in touch with people easier then before.  It won’t come as a surprise to anyone that I often frequent Facebook throughout the day.  I personally thrive on communication and I need it on a daily basis.  Facebook gives me a connection that I need to the outside world.  On the momstown message board, I jokingly said, “Boredom and loneliness are classified together as one of the seven enemies of survival and I think they would kill me first before hunger did.”  I’m only half joking.

I am a firm believer in getting out of the house and socializing face to face on a regular basis.  I feel that socializing by yourself is just as important as socializing with your kids (SAHM or working mom, it doesn’t matter).  There are layers to us as individuals - we are wives (girlfriends, partners, lovers, significant others) and we are mothers but we also have an inner core when we strip away everything else.  All of our layers deserve and need attention.  If we don’t take care of ourselves, eventually and down the road, there is a good chance that we are going to burn out.  It all boils down to balancing the layers that make us who we are.  The balancing act is forever changing and different layers need more attention at times than others.

“Me time” is so important.  I cannot stress it enough that we need to take care of ourselves.  “Me time” can be as simple as an uninterrupted bubble bath or a weekend away at a yoga retreat. “Me time” can be signing up for classes, going out for a cup of coffee by yourself or having dinner with a friend.  Take one look at the momstown calendar and you will find countless opportunities to get out of the house for a little “me time”.

One of the most important things about being a SAHM, I learned from my mom.  She had earned a diploma in the 1970’s and in the 80’s and early 90’s, she decided to stay at home and raise a family.  When my Dad passed away in 1993, she returned to work.  Her education and office skills were outdated and she went to work at Tim Hortons.  A few years later when my brothers and I were older, she returned to school and upgraded her computer and office skills and was able to find work that better suited her.

I want to encourage every SAHM reading this to get their foot in the door somewhere.  It can be a part time job, volunteering (great way to maintain references) or going to school part time.  I keep my foot in the door and my resume active by volunteering, and in the spring I will start working towards a Bachelor of Arts in Rhetoric and Communications on a part time basis.

Being a SAHM is a wonderful chapter in my life that I wouldn’t trade for anything.  I love being here when my daughter wakes up in the morning and through all of our daily adventures.  I want to be at home with her during her first five years of life and I feel truly blessed that I am able to.  After this chapter, I will be ready to move on to something else and in small ways; I am slowly preparing myself for it. 

This article was written by Christina H, one of our newest blog contributors. She is currently a Stay at Home Mom to an adorable 18 month old.


  1. Well written. I have never been comfortable with 'stay at home' as it sounds like you/we stay in our homes and eat bonbons. In reality, we manage a household and raise kids. As old fashioned as it sounds, you and I are actually a homemakers. We turn a house into a home for a family. We ensure they are fed and clothed and have great learning experiences and wonderful joyful moments. Not just staying at home.

  2. homemaker is an awesome title!! I never thought of that way....definately going to switch it up! Thanks!

    The article was a good read as well!

  3. I like the term Domestic Goddess :-) but I use 'homemaker' instead of stay at home mom or any other terms when filling out paperwork or crossing the boarder into the States.