To Be Or Not To Be... A Stay At Home Mom!
As a stay-at-home-mom, let me start of by telling you that it has been the biggest blessing of my life! I get to watch my sweet boy grow up, I never miss a mile stone, and I also don't have to get out of my pj's if I don't want to! On the flip side, though, it's also probably the hardest thing my husband and I have ever agreed to let me do.
Not everything about being a SAHM is rainbows, baby kisses and cuddles. It's also very rarely a laid-back kind of profession. There are also a LOT of things that need to be considered before one decides that being a SAHM is really a good idea for them. Let's just take a look at a few of these...
You're Really Working Multiple Jobs
When you're a SAHM, you're more than just "mommy". You're the cook, the maid, the babysitter, the play-date, the police, and the nurse. Keeping up with a little one is no joke! You're constantly having to attend to him/her/them whether it's fixing meals, cleaning up messes, changing diapers, enforcing rules/administering discipline, kissing ouchies, or having tickle-fights. Don't think nap-time always gives you the break you need either. Usually, there's something that has to be taken care of during nap time, like laundry, or important phone calls. This is provided that your precious little bundle of joy actually decides to take a nap...
Long Hours With No Pay
I'm usually up between 6:30 and 7:00 in the morning even though my little guy doesn't wake up until about 9:00. If I go to bed before 12:30 the next morning, it is truly a miracle. That's about 18 hours of almost non-stop work. Granted yes, the first hour of my morning is usually the time I have committed to Bible Study, and I do "attempt" to work from home, but all the rest of the time is either spent looking after my little guy or getting work done around the house. And I don't get paid a penny for it. You could argue that sweet sweet smile is more than enough pay, but what about the days when there are no smiles? When tantrums and teething pains are the payment for your labors of love? Does it really feel worth it then? Let me just go ahead and answer that: No matter how much you cherish the crying and screaming later in life, in that moment of ear-piercing screaming because you took back the dangerous thing your child could hurt themselves with, no. It's not.
I'm not saying that a family can't live on a single-parent income, but unless you're spouse makes a significant amount of dough, you can expect your lifestyle to be, well, less than extravagant. There will be things you and your spouse will have to give up at times just to provide for your little one. And I'm not talking about just wants. My husband had to wait months before getting new undershirts because the baby needed formula. I really need my hair cut, but can't afford the $14 to get it done because diapers and wipes were more important. And God forbid if this child hits another major growth spurt any time soon, because then, there goes our grocery money.
Granted, a good budget helps to stay on top of things like this, but even so, if you don't have the income to cover your basic needs on top of your child's basic needs, it can really become a challenge. And while some women can find the time to work from home, I have come to find out that not all women are very good at it. I for one, am not the good at it. I have had SEVERAL failed work-at-home opportunities simply because I did not have the time nor energy to put into the work on top of raising my child at the same time. In fact, even my writing for HubPages is becoming more and more of a challenge as we are going through this whole teething debacle with my son. Not to mention some work-at-home opportunities are not very high-paying either. In the past month so far I've made $0.17. I'm not kidding. That's off of two articles. Yes, I would get paid more if I wrote more, but remember: I'm not at all good at this.
Smiles and Adventures
So I know I said in the beginning that being a SAHM wasn't all baby kisses and cuddles, and I think by now I've made it clear that it's not. But I can't write an article about the pros and cons of being a SAHM without mentioning any pros!
Every morning my little man wakes up crying. Then I walk into his room. Immediately the crying stops and I am greeted by the sweetest of smiles and non-stop "talking" about who knows what. We get dressed and we giggle and we play and we chase kitty cats and we pull doggie tails and we dance and fly airplanes and we go on adventures! And when it's time for bed... or rather, past time for bed... we cuddle in blankets on the couch as we watch Octonauts and Doc McStuffins or whatever happens to be on, and I watch him fall sound asleep, with the cutest of little baby snores. I then have the blessing of sneaking lots of good-night kisses as I tuck him in with his sock monkey and blanket. I'll tell you, while not every day is so pleasant and wonderful, the days that are remind me of why I do this. I don't do it for me. I do it for him. I just have the privilege of receiving the blessings that come with the job.
Obviously there are several other factors out there that should be considered before becoming a stay-at-home-mom. Some may apply to you and some may not. These three things are the ones that really hit home for me as I go through this crazy, lovable, insane season of my life. I really recommend checking out the Stay-At-Home Moms category of articles here on HubPages, even if it's just to get another SAHM's opinion. This is not a decision to be made hastily, or on a whim. Sometimes you will even find that being a stay-at-home-mom is not the right choice for you, and that's okay! Just remember: You are mom. Ultimately, you will know what is best for you and your family. Just have faith, pray, and breathe! You're doing just fine!