There are many ways to describe a stay at home, as we come in all shapes, sizes, and lifestyles. The most basic definition is a mom who has chosen to stay home to raise children.
The truth is reasons vary as to what can lead to a woman choosing this path. Maybe it was your dream to stay at home and raise a family. Or maybe you are distraught because quality childcare costs are astronomical and it's financially beneficial to stay at home. There is definitely a spectrum and honestly, it doesn’t matter what leads you to be a SAHM so long as you feel its best for YOU.
My journey to becoming a stay at home mom was quick and a bit brutal.
After 1 month of relocating to Florida, I found out I was pregnant with child #2. This pregnancy whooped my butt as I had many physical symptoms that made working challenging.
My father previously helped with childcare for my oldest who just turned 1 at the time. As my son’s physical activity and mobility increased it became challenging to maintain the arrangement for my father to watch my son for hours at a time. Financially we were recovering from our move to Florida and did not want to pay the cost of daycare.
I did not want to be away from my son for the majority of the day.
My decision to stay at home was made in one day as my job at the time required immediate interstate travel. Again, I never thought I would walk away from my career to immerse myself in family life. I took some time to reflect, seek advice, I even tried daycare for a month. I grieved the loss of my ideas and expectations and then began to create the life that I wanted. In my personal and professional experience being a SAHM isn’t for everyone. For me, the deciding factor to say yes to the lifestyle was that I wanted to be the primary caregiver for my son. At the end of the day, I felt at peace with investing in my family's well being by staying at home. In my next post, I will discuss some of the benefits and challenges of being a stay at home mom.
I want to end by highlighting that there is an emotional process in transitioning to being a stay at home mom. I have seen that the logical component of making this decision is easier to process than the emotional one.
Here are some tips to help with that:
Identify ideals or stereotypes of this role
What do you think it means to be a SAHM?
Are there positive or negative associations with your assumptions
Address the resistance
Are there any blockers hindering you from accepting this role? Anger, Shame, Guilt?
Grieve if you need to
Take note if you are experiencing a loss. It can be devastating if you have been devoting your life to a career and then are faced with the decision to leave said career or put it on pause for a significant amount of time.
Do some research
Ask friends and family or read some articles so you can get an idea of what to expect life to look like with the new role as a stay at home mom
It helps to embrace change when you are involved in the construction process. Create a routine, schedule, goals, or even a playlist that will help you adjust to your new role!
Hope this helps.