It took a while for me to figure out my role as a stay at home Mom.
When I applied to jobs in the past, I always knew what I needed to do to get hired. I kind of laugh about that now. Because as a stay at home mom, no one interviewed me for the job and there were no classes that could have prepared me for my new career. It’s more about learning on the job (am I right?!). But, there were still a lot of questions that I had about the little things like, how many chores I’d be responsible for now? How much money would I still needed to make? etc.
So, here are the top things that we considered as we tried to define my new job credentials (so to speak)…
Because I was home, was it always my responsibility to get the kids fed, bathed, dressed, and then do it again at night? My husband and I had always shared those responsibilities when I was working (so that we could actually get out of the door or get to bed), but now, was it all up to me? I think we’re still figuring this out as our kid’s needs change, and even though my husband gets home at a tough time of day, we do our best to be a team when we’re together.
Would I do all of the chores now or would we still share them? We decided that quality time with the kids was my “job” or primary goal for the day, not keeping the house completely clean. So, we still divided up our chores evenly. But, this will look different for each family.
Whether you’re rich or not, the financial implications for stay home with your kids are real. I no longer received benefits, retirement, or a reliable source of income. We knew that I would have to still bring in a certain amount of income yearly (which is why I’m so thankful your visiting this blog today – thank you!), but it was considerably less than a full time income because we no longer had the cost of childcare. That’s also why we love essential oils because that has been a financial blessing, too.
Do you get any time for you? I used to get a half an hour to an hour lunch break with fifteen minute breaks, too. I’ve begged my oldest to “rest” so that I can have a slight break after lunch time, but lately, I’ve realized that snuggles with her is precious time together. The demand for your time will constantly ebb and flow as your kids change and grow. Remember to carve out at least a little bit of time to breath and remind yourself that you are doing important work.
When I worked full time, I received paid time off and sick time. It was great. Although most of it went to being with my sick kiddos, on some of my sick days, I still sent the kids to school. There are no sick days for the stay at home Mom – at least for me. And, my husband commented that I don’t ever really get a vacation either. He’s made the effort to let me have an evening off every now and again, but my job certainly is 24/7.
So, What Does This All Mean?
Whatever the compromises, it’s interesting to try and figure out what your role is as a stay at home mom. There’s no list of skills, requirements, and prerequisites that you need to fulfill this position. It’s a role that cannot only be taken for granted, but can also be hard to define.
But, the most important thing is to remember that being a stay at home Mom is real, important work. It’s the best, hardest, most rewarding job that I’ve ever had and having a partner on board with what it is that you “actually do” makes a world of difference.