I made the choice to become a stay-at-home mother in 2018 after the birth of my second little one. It wasn’t the easiest choice.
At the time, I had barely dipped my toes into freelance writing and wasn’t sure of how this new career path would pan out. We ran the numbers, and while we were at it, ran ourselves up the wall. I questioned what my days would be like, what I would miss, and if I could manage the daily overload as well as the mental load. In truth, I had no idea what being a stay-at-home mother would be like, whether I would be suited to it, and how I would feel five years on.
For me, it was the best choice I could have made, but that was partly because I unravelled what motherhood meant to me, managed my expectations, and balanced a new career working from home. Can we ever be prepared to be a SAHM, and how can you figure out if staying home with the kids is for you?
As much as we can’t fully prepare for motherhood, we can’t truly know what being at home for the kids will be like. Ask anyone, and they will all have different answers about what it’s like and what it means to them. Our expectations will not match that of our friends, and yet our expectations are often based on what we hear. Adjust your expectations in line with your values, family situation, and what you want to get out of being a SAHM because it’s not all about the kids, but rather you! Consider what will make you happy.
Know The Pros And Cons
Because there are many to weigh up, and again, your pro may be someone else’s con, so this is a personal list that only you can relate to. Weigh up this significantly tricky option by pulling together your own list. Be honest with yourself, and while this list may not give you a definitive answer, it will help you spot any roadblocks. Again, consider what will make you happy.
Questions To Ask Yourself
- Can you afford to stay home?
- What are your career prospects, and what does a career mean to you?
- How will you socialise and build a support network? What support will you have?
- How will you feel – your confidence, self-worth, self-compassion?
- What are your worries?
- Have you discussed these worries, fears, assumptions, and ideas with your partner?
- How is your mental wellbeing? How will you support your mental health as a stay-at-home mother?
- For how long do you plan on being a SAHM? Do you have a plan for after?
- How will you put yourself first and practice self-care?
- Do you think you will regret the decision, and what will you do if it’s not working out as you hoped?
- What will make you love being at home?