The Mistakes Every Stay-At-Home Mom is Bound to Make
Being a stay-at-home mom can be one of the most difficult things to do for many reasons. And even if a mom has plenty of experience in this role, she is bound to find herself making some of these mistakes at some point. I stepped in with no experience. In my head, it was a dream land of playing with my daughter, cooking great food, and having plenty of time for my hobbies. Boy, was I wrong.
Neglecting Boundaries Around Your Time and Energy
I am guilty of thinking that being a stay-at-home mom is all play and fun, but it wasn’t until I joined the ranks did I figure out just how hard it is. Setting boundaries around your time and energy means you’re allowing yourself to take a break from working. If you don’t take a break and set boundaries, just like with any other job, you’ll find yourself burnt out and resenting your daily routine.
My husband and I had an agreement: He would come home from work and rest for an hour. After that, he takes our daughter outside, plays with her, or otherwise takes care of her while I do whatever I need or want for an hour.
Another mistake I often made is being inside all the time. But the very thought of forgetting to bring something important, changing her diapers somewhere else, preparing food, and running after her in a park made me anxious. But then I started to feel trapped in my own house. That’s when I realized that public places weren’t such a bad idea. We would venture out and spend hours in the park screaming and getting dirty and playing. Ultimately, this relaxed us both and gave me balance.
Forgetting to Stay in Contact with Your Friends
Life can get really busy, and it’s easy to start neglecting your own relationships. Keeping in contact with your adult friends can help balance out your daily life with children. Even if it’s just a quick phone call during nap time, having those friendships is important.
This was another big mistake I made. But I ultimately started to go out more, and I realized how much fun I can have. I also started to make new friends with other moms at the park, and we would talk while our kids played. This gave me balance.
Being Too Rigid in Your Routine
When I became a mom, I learned all about how essential it is to have a routine, but after a while, it became insufferable. So my husband and I figured out a new plan, a more flexible routine that allowed us as a family to have more fun and be less stressed. During the week, we pretty much kept to what made sense: the meal times, waking-up and sleeping patterns, play times, and so on. But we kept it chill; we wouldn’t mind when our daughter fell asleep a bit later than expected or if she took a nap instead of playing.
Guilty Feelings About Not Contributing Financially
Of course, it’s true that being a stay-at-home mom means you’re not bringing home a paycheck every week. But that doesn’t mean you aren’t contributing something of value to the household. Childcare is incredibly costly, and if you’re stepping into the role of a stay-at-home mom, you’re taking that financial burden off of your family.
I felt guilty in the beginning, but then I remembered how much time I was spending with my little girl and how beneficial that was for her. She learned so much and she was such a happy kid, always smiling and curious. And my husband was always supportive of everything I did. So my guilt was not founded on facts. When I realized this, I was happy again—and I enjoyed my life so much more.
Needing to Enjoy Every Moment
There are plenty of moments to enjoy when you’re a stay-at-home mom—but not every single moment. There are plenty of times when you won’t be enjoying yourself, might question your decision to stay home, or might look at others working outside of the home with jealousy. It’s all totally normal and nothing you should feel guilty about.
Trust me when I say this. I expected every moment of my stay-at-home life to be magical. But my daughter would cry instead of playing, and dishes got piled up instead of shining, I was often bored, especially when my daughter was younger. Things weren’t perfect. But life isn’t a movie, and you have to prepare yourself for it. Still, it’s your life. And it’s imperfectly perfect.
You’re bound to make some mistakes as a stay-at-home mom. I did it, and so does every parent. It’s important to recognize the mistakes being made and try to avoid them for your own health and wellbeing. It’s not an easy road, but it’s one of the best things you’ll ever do.