I’ve been home with my boys full-time for about 2.5 months now. The #1 question people have been asking me lately is how that’s going, so I decided to give everyone an update on what it’s been like so far. Overall I’d say I’m pretty happy as a stay at home mom. I love that I get to wake up with my boys every day and plan their schedule and activities, and know that they’re safe with me. But there are some challenges I’ve had to overcome (and some that I’m still working on). Here’s an overview of the good and the bad:
The Good– Even though I’ve taken on more work in terms of childcare and household duties, it’s nice to feel like I actually have less on my plate because I’m not responsible for projects and deadlines in addition to the duties involved with two children under two years old. My kids are of course pretty demanding, but I get to decide how crazy I want my day to be. If I have a sleepless night (which doesn’t happen too often thanks to the boys’ schedules) I can get some fresh air and nap when the boys are napping. Physically I was worn out the first time around before my oldest son started sleeping through the night, and back then being so exhausted and going in to the office was really hard. I got through it of course, but it’s nice to be able to do things differently this time around.
This time also goes by way too fast. I feel like being home allows me slow down time a little bit and cherish these fleeting moments. When my oldest son Mason crawled for the first time our nanny captured the moment on video for us. This time around I hope to see all the milestone moments in person.
Bad Challenges– Everyone knows that being a stay at home mom can be socially isolating, and I was prepared for that. But it’s also pretty isolating for my sons, especially since my youngest isn’t old enough to play with his big brother yet.This should get better with time, but I’ve had to make an effort to meet other stay at home moms in my area and to take my boys out to social activities (and it can be exhausting taking two babies out on my own, I’ll admit I’m not very good at this yet). So far I’ve used facebook groups and an app called Peanut to meet a few local moms. It also doesn’t help that our current neighborhood isn’t the most kid friendly, but we plan on moving to an area with more amenities for children next year, and will hopefully meet more parents naturally that way.
The other challenge is learning to take more time for myself. Watching my children 24/7 can be tiring and a little monotonous if I don’t make an effort to shake things up with our schedule and to take breaks from mom life. I fall victim to mom superhero complex sometimes, where I refuse to take off my cape and hand over more responsibilities so that I can focus on myself. I know that’s a quick and easy way to get to the point where I feel burned out though. I’m slowly starting to make more plans away from my children again, and letting my husband take on more responsibilities when he’s available.
So those are the highlights of my life as a stay at home mom so far. I guess we can summarize that by saying stay at home mom life can be amazing, but there can also be challenges to overcome. I still feel like both staying at home and working have unique advantages, so either way it’s important to appreciate all of the positives that you have access to.
If you’re planning on staying home in the future, what are you looking forward to or dreading? And for the experienced parents (both working and stay at home) what tips do you have?
Wishing you lots of self-care,