I never planned to become a stay-at-home mom. In fact, I never considered it and thought of myself as someone with a stable career – with no kids. Of course, there’s a different plan for me and I found myself going towards the road called “Motherhood.”
You see, I was still in law school when I got pregnant. A year later, I went back to school to finish my Juris Doctor degree. Then, I got pregnant again and that was the time the husband and I decided to stop with school and just focus on the kids. Our eldest just turned one while I have a growing belly and going back to law school might not be the best arrangement at that time. Plus, we always have yaya issues, so I agreed – but with a heavy heart. It wasn’t easy for me to give up that dream and the thought of staying at home was not very pleasant.
Still, I did “give up” that dream to focus on my then-one-year old and growing belly. I became more involved with the house and ensure that everything is according to how I want it to be. I set up a schedule for our helpers and made sure we stick to that. I must say managing the household and staying at home weren’t very easy for me. It was even harder when I became yaya-less (which I still am for the past two years) since I have to take care of the kids, bring them to their respective schools and extra-curricular activities, and dealing with chores all at the same time.
Here’s the more annoying part: I didn’t have my own money.
Sure, the husband is in charge of everything, but I still want my own money. I want to buy the things that I want without asking him for anything. Plus, I don’t like the idea of “asking” money for my personal needs. So, he opened up the idea about online work. One of his blockmates has an online job and income has been steady. He told me to give it a try since it could be a good way for me to earn even if I stay at home, which I did.
Our set-up at home worked for us and has been beneficial since. I know a lot of SAHMs who also quit their jobs to take care of the kids. Does this mean you should give up your career to be a stay-at-home mom as well?
Pros of Being a Stay-at-Home Mom Being a stay-at-home mom is hard work. And no, we don’t “chill and Netflix” most of the day because we have responsibilities too. Those responsibilities include household chores and making sure that the little human beings are alive and well-fed.
Still, it’s not stressful everyday. I can be with my kids 24/7 and not worry about leaving them with people who could possibly do them harm. We play, draw, paint, read books, eat, and do anything we want (as soon as I’m done with chores). I was able to instill responsibility in them by letting them help me do chores and imposing tasks. I get to see every milestone and development even if I wasn’t able to capture it on camera. I am the first person they run to when they are happy, excited, sad, upset, or scared.
Here’s another reason why it’s okay to be a SAHM: we get to save more money. We stopped hiring helpers, who can be extremely wasteful of the tiniest things at home.
Cons of Being a Stay-at-Home Mom
Then again, being a stay-at-home mom has its downs as well. One would be the financial aspect. Since you are a SAHM, you have to depend on your spouse for money – something I am not used to. There is only one person earning income for the family, which can be a source of guilt or even depression on the part of mothers.
I am surrounded by kids most of the time, which is why I am always happy every time I wait for my kids in school because I get to bond and talk to other moms. The kids also get overly-attached, which could be one of the reasons why they experienced separation anxiety when they started going to school. I also noticed that my kids are not able to adapt easily to various situations whenever I’m not around, which is something we’re still working on by enrolling them in different classes. So, should you give up your career and stay at home with the kids?
That would depend on you and your spouse. It is important to discuss this first because having one income-earner at this day can be challenging, considering the increase in prices. Look into your finances and see if you can afford to stay at home. List and consider expenses such as monthly utility bills, the kids’ tuition fee, monthly amortization, and other daily expenses. Aside from expenses, you should have room for both savings and investment because you always have to be ready in case of rainy days.
Being a stay-at-home mom also means a change of lifestyle. You will start to find comfort in shorts and slippers, and your new hashtag would be #MessyHairDontCare. Your circle of friends will now include fellow moms from your child’s playgroup or school, so be ready to prepare those “My child is better than your child” stories.
In case you are ready to give up your job, here are some tips to help you get through this transition:
- Consider an online job. It may not give you the same income compared to working in the corporate world, but it will help a lot in covering expenses at home. Plus, you get to have your own money, which is not a bad thing. It is best to start looking for one even before you resign at work so money will be continuous.
- Set up a schedule. It doesn’t have to be specific every single day, but the schedule will be your guide to help you go through the day. Adjust the schedule as you go along until you find the best routine for you.
- Find a hobby. my struggle with depressionYou need to keep your sanity intact and one way to do that is by finding a hobby that will help you detach from your mommy self. I usually do journaling and calligraphy because it helped me a lot in terms of pouring my emotions, especially during .
- Yes, you need Daddy. Parenting needs both mom and dad. Don’t remove your spouse in the picture. You will need him as you go through this transition.
- Have a “Me Time.” This is another must. Again, your sanity will be tested most of the time and you need to be at your composed self to help you get through the day. Wake up extra early so you can enjoy your cup of coffee, watch your favorite series when the kids are already sleeping, take long baths, and schedule a trip to the salon. Never lose yourself just because you are a mother.
More importantly, just enjoy. Being a stay-at-home mom has ups and downs. Learn to go with the flow and savor every moment spent with the kids.
Ayi is a stay-at-home mom of two. When her kids are in their best state, she keeps up with chores, work, and ensuring that her sanity is intact. Join her as she navigates through this rollercoaster ride called motherhood.