Wondering what the pros and cons of being a stay-at-home mom are? Well, thanks for stopping by.
6 weeks postpartum and the pressure to go back to work mounts unceasingly. Not from you but from people around. To be employed or stay home with kids should be a choice you make yourself— not your husband, mother-in-law or sister.
These two roles are often pitted against each other, you know– stay-at-home mom and employed mom? It shouldn’t be the case because both are doing it for the kids.
I have heard fellow women say: Women who prefer staying home with kids to employment only serve to perpetuate unhealthy patriarchal beliefs against women. How now? I have heard people say stay-at-home moms are lazy or just taking advantage of their new economic situation. WHAT?
The whole SAHM concept is a grey area, and based on my own experience I will share with you the pros and cons of being a stay-at-home mum; thanks for taking your time to read this.
Pros of being a stay-at-home mom
You will witness all your child’s milestones
This is the best part.
I was there when my son smiled for the very first time. I first-hand enjoyed listening to his musical cooing in the morning. And, little milestones like him grasping objects and switching from one hand to the other made me elated.
Don’t get me started on his determination to achieve his first step. I watched him fall, get back up again and eventually walk at 9 months.
It was such an emotional moment for me when he started saying ‘mama’ each time he saw me; and ‘baba’ when he saw his dad.
My baby is super smart!
The point is, if you choose to be a stay-at-home mum, you will see your baby achieve all the necessary milestones and it’ll be satisfying.
Your children get influence directly from you
Children copy what adults do and say. Imagine coming home to your toddler saying the F word as his first vocabulary– like, from whom could he have learnt that?
Or imagine leaving your toddler with an irresponsible nanny who’ll let him binge on junk food instead of fruit salads.
As a stay-at-home mum, I get to say The Lord’s Prayer with my son first thing in the morning; I get to wash him everyday; I monitor what he eats; I stand up for him when people want to hold him when he doesn’t want; I control what he watches on T.V.; I monitor the kind of influence our neighbours’ children bring when playing with my son.
Guys, one time, as my 1 year old was crying for attention, I heard the nanny tell him, ‘You are a man. Men don’t cry’. Imagine if I wasn’t there to correct her!
Anyway, as a stay-at-home mum, you will positively influence your children yourself. You will also influence how others treat your child.
You can start your dream freelancing career or business
As a stay-at-home mum, I was always thinking of my own little thing to do, besides taking care of my son and husband. The internet is awash with things you can do to make money as a stay-at-home mum. In a quest to make money online as I watched my son grow, I decided to start a mum blog. I have used this blog as a portfolio to get paying freelance writing gigs.
If you choose to be a stay-at-home mum, you will find yourself thinking outside the box in terms of business.
You will be money-savvy
Being a stay-at-home mom sometimes means relying on one source of income. Whatever little money you get will be carefully spent. You will learn to plan your expenditure while saving. It’ll actually be easier to save considering you won’t be eating out; you won’t spend money on fuel driving to work; neither will you randomly buy shoes you see on display.
You can choose to exist just because.
There are days you’ll want to stay in your adult onesie for a whole day. There are days you’ll want to drive to the park in your pyjamas and messy bun. And it’ll be okay. There are days you will not want to do any house chores and it’ll be okay. If you choose to be a stay-at-home mum, there are days you will have no pressure to dress up or even shower (ahem).
You will be free of work-related pressure.
If you were working at a corporate job then choose to stay home, you will be waking up with relief that the office pressure you once shouldered is no more. You will feel lighter because of this. I know I did. I stopped dreading Mondays. I stopped looking forward to Fridays.
You can develop a skill and make good of your hobbies
What would you do if money wasn’t in the picture? Bake? Play the guitar? Sing? Travel?
As a stay-at-home mum, you will have the time to do whatever you’ve always wanted to do but just never had the time.
I, for instance, have attended several acting auditions, because I am rekindling my acting passion.
Now that you have a clue of the pros of being a stay-at-home mom, you may want to jump the gun and fire your boss. But before you do that, have a look at the cons of being a stay-at-home mom.
Disadvantages of being a stay-at-home mom
Potential loss of financial independence
Potential because you may let go of your salary by quitting your job; but still have money coming in as a result of assets somewhere.
Not every stay-at-home mom has personal financial struggles.
This is for those who solely rely on a job for money, but want to be stay-at-home moms.
You will have to depend on your partner or husband to provide everything. You will be lucky if he gives you an allowance every end of the month though.
Loss of financial independence is the biggest drawback you will have as a stay-at-home mom, IMHO.
Before quitting your job to be a stay-at-home mom, ask yourself this question: Can we afford to survive on one income?
This stay-at-home mom gig is super isolating.
There will be no interacting with colleagues; friends will suddenly not hang out with you, because, hey no money no plans, right? Your husband or partner will be leaving for work every morning.
Basically, you will only have your child to interact with. Even leaving the house to go to the groceries shop can be a problem. Don’t quit your job before thinking about this drawback.
Remember what you used to get told at school? Study hard, go to college, get a job, be a powerful woman.
Your current financial and social status is what you have been working so hard for, all these years.
Suddenly, your power suits are gathering dust; you miss the board meetings; heck! You even miss your single care-free life.
All you’ll do during the day is fold clothes; wipe poop off a person’s butt; do dishes; yell. ON THE DAILY.
No one prepares you for this kind of lifestyle.
Months will go by and you may not recognize yourself anymore. You may hear your husband say, ‘where is the girl I married?’
Potential mental health issues
Loss of financial independence; loneliness and identity crisis while taking care of your children are a big catalyst for mental health problems if not handled carefully.
I was anxious and depressed at the beginning of my stay-at-home journey, mostly because I was having an identity crisis.
I had to stay strong for everyone but the loneliness had me bottle up feelings of doom and gloom– I had all these intrusive thoughts plaguing my mind. Part of the reason I started this blog.
Depression, anxiety and mood disorders are potential drawbacks of being a stay-at-home mom.
Fights with spouse
A day will come when your husband or partner will come home from work to criticize everything you did during the day. He will criticize the meal you cooked and your style of folding clothes.
Wait for it!
He will criticize how you take care of the child(ren).
Fights with spouse can also arise out of financial constraints. You may even resent him for going to work to do unpredictable exciting stuff.
It’s hard I tell you!
Judgemental family members
Some family members will think you’re taking advantage of your marital and economic status to stay home. They might say you have princess complex and call you lazy.
Just ignore them.
It’s a thankless job
Think scanning and binding papers at your day job is thankless? Well, try being a stay-at-home mom.
Nobody will thank you for hanging clothes; you will cook and no one will say thank you; you will wipe butts and no one will give you a salary.
You will have to go slow on expectations and do stuff around the house because it is good for your own well being, not just theirs!
In conclusion, you have to look at the pros and cons of being a stay-at-home mom before making that big choice. If you choose to be a SAHM, don’t look down on the working mom. If you choose to be a working mom, show your stay-at-home-mum-sisters some grace. Bottom line, ‘ALL MOTHERS ARE DOING IT FOR THEIR CHILDREN’.