We all know there is a major misconception that stay-at-home moms (SAHMs) have the easiest life ever! I mean, gosh, they just hang out all day at home and don’t have to do anything, right? Well, for this week’s Mommy Spotlight, I interviewed a dear friend of mine, Robin, to find out more about what being a SAHM is like! Robin is 26 years old and lives in Northern Virginia. She studied Spanish from the University of Mary Washington and grew up in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. She is a devoted mother to her beautiful 9 month old daughter, Maddie, and is here to tell us about her experience as a SAHM.
What does your typical day consist of?
“Every morning starts with a quick dog walk and some tidying up before I sit down to have breakfast and coffee with my husband and the baby. When hubby goes to work, we spend the day playing and reading baby and mommy books. We take a long walk with the pup around noon and try to get a nap in before daddy comes home from work. Then he takes over baby time so I can take the dog for another quick walk and finish getting dinner ready.”
What do you find is the hardest thing about being a SAHM?
“The hardest thing about being a SAHM with a baby is the sheer mental capacity it takes to keep a little human safe for the entire day, especially if you have one on the move. One of my other SAHM friends put it best- what’s exhausting about staying home is probably the constant state of hyper-vigilance.”
Do you have any side hustles that bring in extra income? If so, how do you balance that with being a full-time mom?
“My “side hustles” are less monetary based and more hobby. The things I love to do for me are coach/play volleyball and sing and I was fortunate enough to find a small paycheck doing both of these. Another big help is that my mother-in-law is a SAHM too (even though her kids are now grown) so she’s happy to watch the baby if my husband isn’t available.”
What do you think is the biggest misconception about being a SAHM?
“The biggest misconception of staying home is that it’s easy! I’ve worked jobs as a call center agent and a diet coach so I’ve dealt with plenty of angry people- a walk in the park compared to wrangling a very active baby and a grumpy senior Border Collie all day, every day, without a break. Naps are a chance at rest… IF they nap.
For me personally, the biggest struggle was the lack of evaluation metrics. There’s no raise potential, no promotions, and the only way I’ll know for sure if I succeeded in this job is in 18 years… maybe longer! So I have to be my own evaluator and I am a tough critic. That’s when I ask for my husband’s input because he’s kinder to me than I am. It also means having the conversation with him about what my job description is. We established even before we got married that I would stay home with kids but we still reevaluate expectations for me being home and if they are realistic.”
What is your biggest piece of advice for other SAHMs?
“Take care of yourself, be yourself, and love yourself.
Rest often. Don’t feel like you have to catch up on chores or keep your house spotless, especially if you’re really needing that nap with your kid(s).
Don’t compare. Every child is different and special, right? Therefore, every mom will be different and special and their parenting will be different. As long as your kids are growing up to be kind little humans who know without a doubt that they are loved and valued, it doesn’t matter.
Remember your worth. Moms need so much love, especially from themselves. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of forgetting yourself so make the time for you. And if you have a significant other, make time for them because they are probably needing some love too.”
So, to all you SAHMs out there, remember that you are valued. You have one of the toughest jobs. And, from a working mom, I admire you!