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.
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.
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.
- Identify which of these struggles and challenges bother you the most, and then write them in a journal (or on your phone).
- 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.