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How Stay-at-Home Moms can Survive and Thrive (Part 1)

Are you a stay-at-home mom who’s just starting out and not sure where to start? Yes, you chose this path. But have you prepared yourself for the actual struggles and challenges? Don’t worry though, because you’re not alone in this. The rest of us are surviving through these ways that I’d be sharing here, and so you can, too.

How Stay-at-Home Moms can Survive and Thrive (Part 1)

Being a stay-at-home mom is hard. I swear.

Some even say it’s not for everyone. And I’d be lying if I say I didn’t ask myself if it was really meant for me. 

I grew up surrounded mostly with mothers who worked, so when I dived into this territory of stay-at-home motherhood, I wasn’t sure what to expect.

But as most have had, I’ve eventually learned the struggles and challenges of being a stay-at-home mom, and I’m just glad I’ve survived.

The thing with our struggles and challenges is that they are so difficult to explain to other people. They wouldn’t probably understand how tough it truly is until they’ve become one themselves.

And yet, we carry on. We remain strong despite everything. But of course, we’ve been expected to.

Stay-at-home moms are expected to survive

Has anyone ever asked you how are you feeling so far? 

They know you’re fine because you’re still alive and kicking. Your kids are happy, and they assume you’re happy, too. But are you?

Of course, you’re happy. Isn’t this what you’ve dreamed of? Like me. This is what I’ve dreamed of. So I should be happy.

But really, are you happy? Aren’t you struggling emotionally? Aren’t you suffering mentally?

If you do, let’s talk more…

The Struggles and Challenges of Stay-at-Home Moms

You’re probably familiar with some of these ones (or maybe not yet…):

  • The guilt of not making our own money and not being able to contribute financially to the family. 
  • The sudden shortage of time, because most of it goes to bathing, feeding, and entertaining our kids. Anything left is where we try to finish the laundry and so on.
  • The result? Lack of personal time. Even time to take a long, hot shower. Or do our nails.
  • And because we lack personal time, the feeling of isolation and the constant craving for a meaningful adult conversation, which is also probably a result of spending day after day with no one but our kids (and our husband who’s mostly busy with work anyway).
  • Losing our identity in the process, because now we’re mostly babysitters, cooks, cleaners, housekeepers, drivers, etc. 
  • The exhaustion — oh yes, this! – when we’re thinking and doing things non-stop, with our kids’ nap time as the only time we can actually rest (if we even sleep instead of rushing to finish any pending chores).
  • The lingering sadness when all of these struggles pile up in our brain, and then there’s no one to talk to, resulting in depression. 

Some people would probably tell us that it would get easier as our kids grow. But I don’t think it will. I’ve heard stories from moms of teens who face far more complex issues. 

No, they no longer lose sleep like moms of infants and toddlers do, but they lose their minds guessing what their older kids are up to.

How do we survive these struggles and challenges?

To survive is to continue living despite the hardships, which we all are doing perfectly fine anyway. Or are we?

If you’re new to this territory, here are some solutions I can offer:

  • If you feel guilty about not making your own money, remember this: you may not be contributing financially but the value that you bring to your family by raising your kids hands-on is priceless. On another hand, talk to your husband. Come up with an arrangement where you get your own allowance so you can buy yourself what you want without feeling guilty, like what we do. Among us, millennial moms, staying at home instead of working (with or without kids) isn’t common anymore. So if it’s your ego that’s hurt, work part-time from home or sell something online. There are different things you can try, like these 12 side hustles. Or these tips on how to get some extra cash rolling in. I did blogging, though I’m not earning from it yet. For now, I’m just on the process of learning the industry.
  • Look for ways to better manage your time at home so you don’t feel like there’s a lot be done with so little time to do everything. Establish a schedule that you think will work you and your kids. I’ve created my own, and it worked wonders for me. If you plan to work from home, here are some tips to stay on top.
  • Once you’ve finally managed your time better, you can now have a bit of time for your self. Take advantage of this! It’s not your reward — it’s required, so you don’t fill from an empty cup. Self-care is as important as taking care of our kids, and there are various ways to do this! Try these 6 self-care ideas, or these tips on how to stay active.
  • Look for other stay-at-home moms to make friends with. Talk to them. Share your issues. Even if it’s only on Facebook, having someone to talk to who fully understand what you’re going through is a huge relief. When you’ve developed a hobby, join a tribe and engage with them. 
  • If you’ve lost your identity, try building it again one step at a time. Find time to rediscover your passion and start making plans about it. List down your goals and take action steps each day to bring you closer to your goal. Again, I did it with blogging. I am passionate about writing! So it became my outlet. It took me almost a year of just planning, but now I’m glad I’ve finally put these plans to life.
  • If you’re struggling with anxiety and depression, you can try these things that worked for me: pray and lift up your worries to Him. Talk to someone, ideally a fellow stay-at-home mom. Listen to your favorite music every morning to start your day right. Find a distraction — a hobby or anything — to keep your mind away from those depressing thoughts. And if nothing seems to work, consider talking to a therapist. If you’re a new mom and is suffering from post-partum depression, try these coping methods. Try these ways as well on how to stay sane as a stay-at-home mom

Our struggles and challenges are not exactly the same with other stay-at-home moms

To summarize everything, stay-at-home moms have almost the same struggles and challenges that people don’t usually see from the surface. But then there are ways to survive through it all. 

Not all struggles and challenges though are created the same. Some stay-at-home moms don’t suffer depression. Some don’t have issues if they don’t make their own money. Some are just fine without a passion to pursue. And that’s life! 

One of the worst things we can do is to compare ourselves to others and feel like we’re failing just because others are doing better. So don’t! We all have our own strengths and that’s where we should focus instead.

So before I end this first part of my post, I’d like to leave some actionable steps for you.

  1. Identify which of these struggles and challenges bother you the most, and then write them in a journal (or on your phone). 
  2. Start reading from available articles and come up with a plan on how you will overcome these struggles. As they say, written goals are more likely to succeed. Make a daily commitment to work on your plan. And include your plan in your prayers.

Now let me thank you for going this far. 

For Part 2, read my next post on “How to Thrive and Become a Successful Stay-at-Home Mom“.

Do you have other struggles and challenges that you want to share? Let’s talk about it! Let me know in the comments. 

If you need an online support system, sign up here and get access to over 20+ stay-at-home mom Facebook groups that you can join. I compiled it just for you. 

Share this with the rest of the world and let them know our struggles are real.

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42 comments

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    • JKLegaspi says:

      Hi Kristen! Thanks for the heads up. I will look into it. Apparently, I only get to check it from Safari so it’s good you told me this.

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      And thanks for liking my website 🙂

  3. Futhi says:

    Every word of this post resonates with me so much, I’ve been a SAHM for 3 years now and it hasn’t been easy, all the guilt, not having enough time for anything, identify crisis oh my…. What makes it harder for me also is comments like “you stay at home and have so much time to do anything you want” right now I’m struggling to find SAHM groups to connect with.

  4. Erin says:

    I am an on and off again stay-at-home mom. My last maternity leave is coming to an end and I know it is good to go back to work, but I am trying to cherish these last moments with just the baby! It can be so easy to get caught up in the day to day, that we forget to cherish these little moments.

    • JKLegaspi says:

      I remember those first days I came back to work after my 3-month maternity leave. I missed my son every minute, and it became difficult for me to balance my new role with my job. So I resigned. I stayed home, but I was working. I fully stopped when I got pregnant with my second. So you’re right, we need to cherish those little moments because time flies so fast.

  5. As a stay at home mom, this is definitely a challenge for me! These are such great tips and great reminders! I have been trying to find time for myself lately and it has been helping so much! I also love that you included the groups here! Definitely going to grab a copy of those!

    • JKLegaspi says:

      I also just learned to finding time for myself, and it made a huge difference. And these groups make me realize I wasn’t alone. If only I joined them before, but at least now I can offer support to others 😉 That’s the beauty of these groups.

  6. Julie says:

    I can identify with this post so much! I’ve been a stay at home mom for 13 years and it is hard! Truth!! My biggest guilt has been not contributing financially but I also feel like our family is so much better off with me being home. In the long run, taking the time to invest in myself has been the best solution for me personally!

    • JKLegaspi says:

      Wow! You’re a wondermom…
      13 years 🙂 Your kids are so lucky you know. I never had the chance to be taken care of by my own mom. Well now I’m with her, but I grew up away from her. I don’t blame her, she did it for our own good. Now I just want to give my kids what I never had.

  7. Melissa says:

    I always have struggled with showing my husband I’ve been working all day too. He’s never acted like I didn’t and has always valued my re but I put it on myself. This is a great list.

    • JKLegaspi says:

      Thank you 😉 Yeah, sometimes it’s hard to prove to them. But at least we’re lucky our husbands value what we do. I’ve heard some men who just never let their wives rest. If they only knew!

  8. Katja says:

    It can me really tough to be a stay at home mom. But it is very rewarding to get to spend so much time with your kids. When they are all grown you will miss it

    • JKLegaspi says:

      True! The reward is much more than the struggles, so I’m definitely staying 😉 It’s good to know how to survive and thrive though to sustain it 🙂

  9. Annie says:

    Thanks for sharing! I agree that it’s good to find a way to earn an income to contribute financially if possible. The biggest thing that helps me is having a babysitter for a few hours a few times a week. It allows me time to get things done and also not feel like I am 100% in mom mode all the time. Home schooled high school students are perfect for the job because they have the flexibility 🙂

    • JKLegaspi says:

      I like that idea! Been considering that once we’re financially capable of paying for a part-time babysitter. At the moment, I’m just lucky I have my mom and my MIL just a few minutes away from us so every weekend I get a day off from the kids..

  10. Trish says:

    This was so great to read. I was a stay at home mom for many years before getting my nursing degree. It was some of the toughest yet rewarding years I’ve spent.

    • JKLegaspi says:

      Yes, toughest indeed! And very rewarding, like you said. If I’d go back in time, I’d definitely choose to stay-at-home again (I’d be wiser though and apply everything I’ve learned by now, lol.)

    • JKLegaspi says:

      Wow, I haven’t heard of MOMS International. I also like it that I’m active in our church organization despite my situation. I’ve made friends with a lot of people there for the past 8 years. And now, I’ve developed new friendships with some of my fellow SAHMs.

  11. I loved this line: Some even say it’s not for everyone. And I’d be lying if I say I didn’t ask myself if it was really meant for me.
    I feel you can really get judged whether this is for you or not. I Loved being home with my daughter the first 3 years, but did miss the interaction with adults and work. Lots of great tips you added, as well. Great Article!

    • JKLegaspi says:

      Thank you! I still ask myself that, though, lol. But I’ve come to accept that whether it’s for me or not, I’ll face it anyway.

    • JKLegaspi says:

      Those few hours babysitting is definitely a challenge already. I’m sure the mom of the kid you’re babysitting is grateful to have you. I wish I have someone to babysit mine every day at least for a few hours, lol.

    • JKLegaspi says:

      I didn’t grow up with stay-at-home moms (mine worked abroad, and even my grandmom was working, too). So, I had no idea. Except now 🙂

  12. Elizabeth | Tired Mom Supermom says:

    It sure can be a struggle to stay home with the kids all day. My trick is to simply leave the house at some point in the day. For a wlak, or to get some milk, doesn’t matter, just get out! haha

    • JKLegaspi says:

      I just started using that trick, too! Lol. Though I take the kids with me out. We go to the supermarket nearby, or when my husband is here I tell him to take at least one of the kids with him to the supermarket.

  13. Ashley says:

    Love this post so much! Staying at home with the kids is something that I never knew I would love so much BUT within that there are alot of days where im like omg. whyyy is this so hard ! But like they say anything worth having isn’t going to be easy. Love this so much !

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