Stay-At-Home Mom: Its Benefits And Drawbacks

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The hard work of a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) is often overlooked, and an SAHM is not given the recognition due to her. SAHM is a woman who chooses to stay home to take care of the family. It is a full-time responsibility with no fixed timing, off days, or retirement. An SAHM manages a home single-handedly, from cooking to cleaning, arranging, and taking care of the children and her husband.

They sacrifice their career and ambitions and put the family before themselves. In this post, we talk about the pros and cons of being a stay-at-home mom and give you tips on being a successful SAHM.

What are the benefits of being a SAHM?

Being with your children throughout the day and taking care of their needs gives you immense satisfaction. When they grow up healthy, it makes you feel proud.

Here are a few other advantages of being a SAHM:

  1. You have a routine. Being at home helps you plan and organize activities and prepare a daily routine for both the child and yourself. You can give food to them on time, make them study their lessons, and take care of other basic needs.
  2. You can focus on children. Your priority is the well-being of the children. You can closely track their milestones, take care of them when they are unwell, and ensure their safety at home and outside. Children, too, have the assurance that you are always there for them.
  3. You get to interact with other SAHMs. You can expand your social circle, and build a network of SAHMs. This will help share your experiences with one another and come up with solutions for each other’s problems.
  4. You will be free of job-related stress. You don’t have any targets to meet, you don’t have to request leaves and give an explanation every time you seek permission to work from home, and you don’t have to worry about leaving your child with somebody else.
  5. You can cherish the precious moments with your little ones. You get a chance to have some priceless experiences with your children. You get to enjoy the sight of their innocent face while they are asleep, and the warmth of their hugs and kisses.
  6. Spending time with children is de-stressing. If you can take meltdowns with a pinch of salt, then spending time with children can be de-stressing after a tiring day.
  7. It is gratifying to be a full-time mother. Being a SAHM gives you the satisfaction of personally raising your child. You get an opportunity to teach them yourself and mindfully enjoy being a mother.
Advantages of being a stay at home mom

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The choice is between being a SAHM or a working mother because that’s where all the difference lies. So, how are the two choices different?

Stay-at-home Mom Vs. Working Mom

Below, we have listed the pros and cons of both the types.

SAHMWorking mom
You are there for the kids all the timeYou are there before and after the working hours
There is the satisfaction of being with your child. You will witness all their milestonesYou feel guilty for leaving your kid every day, especially when they are ill. You will miss out on some sweet moments
The routine depends on the kid’s habits and convenienceYou set the routine based on your work timings and the child has to adjust to it
Kids feel more secure, safe, and happy as the mother is always with them.Children might experience separation anxiety. They will miss you when you are away.
You are so engrossed with the welfare of the children that you may get cut off from the developments in the outside worldYou have the satisfaction of continuing work, and being financially independent
Kids become dependent on you for everythingKids may learn to do things and become independent early in their lives
Your spouse may not understand the difficulties of raising a childYour spouse may understand the demands of being a mother and a career woman. He may help you in doing the household chores and raising the kids
Can get boring over time, and make you feel sadEvery day is less monotonous, compared to the other groupBefore you compare the two lifestyles and decide to become a SAHM, you need to know the drawbacks of staying at home.

Drawbacks of being a SAHM

If you thought that being a SAHM is easy, then let’s tell you it is not because you have to face the child’s tantrums for 24 hours a day! Here are the other problems of being a SAHM:

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  1. A sense of loss of identity: It might seem that the only job you are doing in your life is taking care of your child and nothing else. Besides, your contribution to the family mostly goes unrecognized as your husband and others might feel that you are relaxing by staying at home.
  2. You feel isolated: Initial days of motherhood can be very daunting. You feel isolated, as you hardly get any time to come out, talk to people and know what’s happening in your neighborhood.
  3. Life becomes boring: Routines get boring. You feel your life is mechanical. Doing the regular household chores can get monotonous.
  4. No ‘me-time’: Contrary to the general belief, a SAHM hardly has any time to spend on herself. Your day begins and ends with the children and domestic chores. You feel trapped in the role of motherhood as you don’t have any personal space.
  5. You are physically exhausted: Taking care of a child can be tiring even when you have a support system. It can leave you exhausted by the end of the day. You will be physically and mentally overwhelmed; and all you want to do is sleep.
  6. There is no time for hobbies: You may not be having a career, but even if you want to take up a hobby or do something constructive, you are left with no time or energy for it.
  7. You are financially dependent on your husband: Being a SAHM makes you financially dependent on your spouse for all your expenses. You will have to manage your expenditure on a single income.
  8. You may miss working: Having worked earlier, the change in your lifestyle can be very depressing. You miss going to work, getting a paycheck, and interacting with co-workers.
  9. Miss out on working and learning time: You might feel like you are falling behind others. You might feel less updated once she resumes work.
  10. Can cause conflicts with your spouse: Your spouse may have no idea what you are doing throughout the day. It might seem easy for him, but the reality is different, and the lack of understanding may cause conflicts.
  11. No downtime: You don’t get any breaks, vacations or leaves. It’s a 24/7 job. You don’t have the luxury of sleeping late or waking up late, or going to movies or restaurants.

If you have weighed the pros and cons of SAHM and decided to stay at home, then you can make it work with some extra effort.

Tips For Being A Successful Stay-at-home Mom

Here are some tips to help you play the SAHM role successfully,

  1. Plan a schedule: Having a schedule helps you take a break in between the chores. Set a routine for your activities, household chores, and your child to manage your time efficiently. Leave some time for contingencies.
    How it benefits: Helps your child get used to ‘order’ in daily life. It helps you to be organized and saves time. It works for you, the child, and the family.
  2. Connect with other SAHMs: When you interact with other moms who are sailing in the same boat, you get to learn from each other’s experiences. You get help from them, and your children too can play with each other.
    How it benefits: Helps you and your child to socialize and improve your parenting and social skills respectively.
  3. Don’t try to be perfect: Nobody is perfect, but there is always room for improvement. Do the best you can for your child without getting overwhelmed about being the best parent. Being good is important than being perfect.
    How it benefits: Reduces the undue stress of being ‘perfect’ and helps your child to perform without any pressure.
  4. Take help from family and friends: There is nothing wrong with taking help from extended family and friends. Take any help that is offered and give yourself a break. You need some ‘me-time’ too. Go for a movie, hang out with friends, or pamper yourself at a spa.
    How it benefits: Small breaks for two to three hours can help you energize and refresh yourself. They also help your child get used to staying away from you.
  5. Hire a babysitter: If you have the budget, you can plan your day and baby’s activities by hiring a babysitter or nanny.
    How it benefits: Your baby will get used to being away from you, and socialize with others.
  6. Join in some hobby classes: When you are preparing a routine, allocate some time for your hobbies. Enroll yourself in theatre, cooking, workout, dance or any other classes. Take up something that motivates you to step out of the house.
    How it benefits: It keeps your mind active and improves your self-esteem. Helps you maintain your identity.
  7. Value yourself: You don’t have to get a paycheck to feel valued. Don’t feel inferior to others because you are doing the most valuable job in the world. Being a mother is priceless. Be positive and pat yourself for a job well done.
    How it benefits: Makes the journey of parenting fun, rewarding and fulfilling.

One big difference between a SAHM and a working mom is the extra money the latter earns for the family. As a SAHM, you can take care of that too. Let’s see how.

How To Make Money As A Stay-At-Home Mom

If you want to be a SAHM without compromising on your finances, here’s how you can do it. These measures may not cover your salary completely, but they will help you cut down on the expenses.

  1. Be good with money management: When you are working you tend to spend more. But when you are a SAHM, maintain a monthly sheet of expenses. At the end of the month, you can analyze the unnecessary expenses and cut them down in the coming months.
  2. You can save on taxes: When you are working, a considerable amount is cut as taxes. There are no taxes for being a full-time mother.
  3. You can skip daycare expenses: You don’t have to spend money on a daycare or babysitter.
  4. You can cut down on diapers and formula: When you are at home, you can use cloth or reusable diapers. You can exclusively breastfeed instead of spending on formula.
  5. You can have fresh home-made food: Avoid the temptation of ordering food from outside or buying ready-to-eat frozen foods in the supermarket. Instead, cook meals at home at your convenient time – they are cost-saving and healthy too.
  6. Transportation/ fuel costs: As you won’t be driving or commuting to work every day, you can spend less on fuel or transportation.
  7. Find a part-time job or self-employment: Last but not the least, once your baby grows up and begins going to school, you can use your free time to take up a part-time job or a business that you can run from home. It adds to your family’s budget as well as makes you financially independent.

Being a stay-at-home mom, you can dedicate the required time to care for your children and witness each milestone they reach. However, the continuous work may be overwhelming and leave you feeling bored with a lack of motivation and identity. Though the contribution of a SAHM often goes unacknowledged, you should not consider yourself a financial burden to your family. Whether or not to be a SAHM is personal and depends on your family support and financial situation. If it is feasible for you to arrange care for your child and have a great career, you may wish not to stay at home.

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Shreshtha Dhar

(M.A, M.Phil )
Shreshtha Dhar is a licensed Clinical Psychologist running her private practice Thought Craft in Kolkata. She has special interest in the emotional and behavioral issues of both children and adults. Shreshtha has previosuly worked as a lecturer, published various research papers and contributed to magazines. She provides long distance teleconsultation in English, Hindi and Bengali.

Kalpana M

Kalpana Nadimpalli graduated in English Literature and Psychology. Her fascination for the corporate world made her do a Masters in Business Administration. Being a mother of two boys, she could naturally fit into the shoes of a writer at MomJunction. She wrote articles on new parenting and relationships. Previously, Kalpana worked as a product information specialist and technical writer. During her... more

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