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Being a Stay at Home Mom

Oct 14, 2013

Over the weekend, I read the most incredible and on point article about being a stay at home mom, written by, gasp, a man. It was spot on and I found my self nodding and agreeing with everything he said. You must check out the article HERE, it is appropriately called Being a Stay at Home Mom, What do you do all day?  Matt Walsh’s wife is one lucky lady, for the fact that he realizes how hard it is being a stay at home mom.  Sometimes I think men don’t quite get it.

It got me thinking alot about being a stay at home mom.  As soon as I got pregnant with Sterling I knew I wanted to be a stay at home mom.  We grew up with my mom home with us and I wanted that same experience.  I realize some people don’t have the option or luxury to stay at home with their kids, wheter they choose to go back to work (trust me I can understand why you would choose the adult world over poop and baby talk all day) or the fact that finicially they need two incomes.  As luck would have it the company I worked for while I was pregnant with Sterling got hit hard by the down turn in the economy and I was laid off the weekend before I had Sterling.   They offered no maternity leave so this was just as good.  I knew I probably won’t go back full time after I had Sterling, but had thought about part time.  I was never the bread winner anyways so by the time we added in daycare it wasn’t financially worth it for me to work anyways.

You see I choose to be a stay at home mom.  Yes, things are tight around here and there have been times when we have had to rely on our families to help us out.  I am lucky in that aspect, that they will lend a helping hand.   I choose to have less, meaning we have not taken a vacation since our honeymoon (except for our beach trip which my family pays for)  because I want to be home with Sterling.  We desperately need more space but just can’t afford to move to a bigger house right now, for the same reason.   It makes you realize yes, money is important but not the most important thing in life.  I would not change a thing, I am so grateful to stay home with Sterling.  I  love spending so much quality time with him while he is young and watching him grow and mature into such a sweet, loving and quirky little man.  I have witnessed all of his “firsts” and seen his personality develop and to me that is worth more than gold.  I will forever treasure these times and memories.

Being a stay at home is mom is a long ass day.  I don’t understand the people who think our day is easy and that we sit around and watch tv all day.  In fact most days I rarely watch TV unless its cartoons for Sterling.  Sterling wakes up before the sun rises everyday single day (seriously 6:45 is a late start for us) and is non stop from the moment he wakes up.   At this age Sterling always needs something- food, juice, help building a puzzle, help getting dressed,  help using the bathroom (at what age can you stop wiping your kids bottom?), etc.    In between tending to his needs I also have to take care of our dog and all the household responsibilities.   Making sure the house is clean, sheets are changed, laundry is done, drycleaning dropped off, dinner is cooked,  you get the idea.   Then somewhere in between all that I try to take an hour for me and work on my blog, because that is what I enjoy plus it provides me with some spending money.  Until about a month ago I was also working at home part time at my old job but finally had to quit because I was just too over stretched, I don’t know how some women juggle it all.

The days are incredibly long as a stay at home mom.  I am exhasuted by 7 most nights, just the time Matt is getting home from work.  I feel bad because by then I am done for the day and just want to get in bed but marriage is important too so I make an effort for us all to eat togther as a family and catch up with Matt.   You can’t forget about your spouse even though your kids drain the life out of you. This clip from family guy pretty much sums it up, there is always someone yelling “mom”.

I think being at stay at home mom is one of the most under-appreciated jobs around.  We always put our needs last and rarely get any down time.   Even on the weekends it is just me and Sterling because Matt works most weekends.   After becoming a mom myself it made me appreciate all that my mom sacrificed and gave to us even more. At times I am envious of people who go to work and have that adult time, I am sure it nice to have a break from your kids but I still wouldn’t change a thing.  My heart broke for my sister and sister in law when they had to go back to work, I know hard it is to leave your baby when they are young, especially when you don’t want to. 

I think the years when your kids are young are fleeting, they go by so fast and I feel so grateful to be able to spend all this time with Sterling.  I truly love being a stay at home mom.    I rarely get a thank you, but I know I am helping to mold my son into a good person and that is all that matters.  Bravo to all you stay at home moms, I know what tough but equally rewarding job it it.
Word to your Mother.  and yes I am terrified of being a SAHM to two kids- yikes!

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  1. For what it is worth, I think you are the shit! Awesome post. Even though I am not a mom, I adore your honesty and give you props for staying home because I could never do it!

  2. Jodi says:

    It is the hardest job. I am on maternity leave until January so I am a SAHM now and I am a first grade teacher. Some days I think I want to go back sooner šŸ˜‰ Haha. Just kidding, I do love being at home but I would miss my job too. You are doing great!

  3. elisabeth says:

    I nearly wet my pants laughing every time that commercial comes on that features the Family Guy clip. Such a sweet post – Sterling (& Matt) are lucky to have you!

  4. I love that article and thought it was very interesting that it created many arguments between SAHM and working moms. It's sad that we have to justify and play the "I'm more important and busy" games with other women when we should be supporting each other. I agree with all of your sentiments!!!

  5. So true! It's the hardest job ever. But I too love being here every moment and like you said getting to mold our kids. My mother-in-law stayed home and had 4 kids – I have no clue how she did it. She like you was alone a lot and I have no idea how she kept her sanity and did it all. That's why I think we need girl's nights and date nights with our hubbys to get us away from the chaos so we can recharge a bit.
    You're doing a great job and I know Sterling will look back on these years with awesome memories and appreciate all you did for him:)

  6. caycee says:

    Truer words were never spoken!!It's such a hard but yet so rewarding (at the end) job! Love you girl!

  7. I agree with Amy, i think its really interesting how the article puts working moms against stay at home moms. Since when were we against each other? i thought we were in this together. Everyone chooses their paths and i dont think one is harder than the other. Nonetheless, you are doing a great job and i love that your posts are so real. You dont try to portray that "perfect Charleston life" like some and that is what makes you awesome. The fact that you can lay it out there an say that money is tight, you cant afford this, etc. is so awesome. Keep up the good work momma – you have a lot of people looking up to you.

  8. Natalie, I too read that article and had the exact same sentiments. In fact, our "stay at home mom" stories are similar too. Thanks for sharing your story with us, it's nice to now the support is out there. LOVE your blog!

  9. Maggie says:

    I was a stay at home mom for 21 years. While I'd do it all over again, I'd like to point out that the sacrifice is huge. You realize once the kids are grown you have no pension or even a well-funded 401k to look forward to. I wish our society would put its money where its mouth is and find some way to show its appreciation by making the sacrifice a little less painful.

  10. great post! i don't have children (yet) but our longterm plan is to have a family and i'd like to stay home with my children. i work full-time now and i can imagine being a stay-at-home mom is going to be equally hard but rewarding in a different way. thank you for your honest post! xo jillian – cornflake dreams

  11. Angie says:

    I wish I could stay home but it's tough living in SoCal. Luckily, I'm a teacher and I get to stay home in the summer and have decent hours. My husband travels a ton for work, so I can bring work home and do it when he goes to bed. I definitely don't think most SAHM stays home and watch tv all day. I'm so jealous and if my husband gets this promotion in the next year then,a s much as I love teaching, I'm out of there!

  12. Lar says:

    I live in a metropolitan city where it's nearly impossible to have a decent standard of living on one income alone (well, at least in our field of work). Plus, my husband and I both went to pretty expensive colleges years ago and we're STILL paying off student loans… and freaking out thinking about the cost of sending our own children to college. Anyway, we made the difficult but necessary decision for me to work full-time while our daughter is in daycare. Unfortunately, we don't have family that live nearby that help us out so it's just our immediate family unit juggling it all. Fortunately, my job gives me tons of flexibility and, to be honest, my daughter absolutely loves the structure and socialization of daycare. Yeah, there are definitely lots of days when she just wants to be home with me and vice versa but we work through it. I don't like pitting moms who work outside the home against SAHMs. Both jobs are REALLY hard because being a mom in general is hard. Each family has to choose what works for them and not be judged because of it. Every mom has her own reasons. Thanks for talking so openly about this Natalie – love your blog!

  13. mms2013 says:

    This is all well and good…but when will we shift this conversation to that of a "stay at home PARENT." Unlike what Matt says in his article, the world will not collapse if MOMS stop doing their "motherly duties." If parents stop parenting, we will have a generation of lost children. I had two working parents and a mother who was not very "motherly." I am now a very strong, independent woman with enormous goals and aspirations for myself and my family. I would not be this way without the guidance and modeling of BOTH of my parents. Every family, and every woman, has different needs. You are neither wrong or right, this is just what works for you.

  14. I wish I could have stayed at home at least for a year. Lucky for me my mom kept my baby so I didn't have to do the daycare thing.

    Staying home has got to be the hardest job ever! My weekends and evenings are so tiring, I can't image 24/7.

  15. I so needed this today!! You always write the best, most honest posts! My job is likely ending soon, and I'm terrified of a) what that means financially for us, and b) if I have what it takes to be home with the kids all the time!

    Your post and words reassured me that even tho it might not always be easy or comfortable, I can totally do it! xoxo

  16. Morgan S. says:

    Being pregnant now with my 3rd, I know I won't be going back to work after this pregnancy. That e-card above is totally me…with the $56 left after I pay out childcare for 2 FT kids and one after-schooler, so it just wouldn't make sense, plus, I'd hate my job so much because of it. I plan to use the time to go back to school and get a better degree. I have an AS, but when I go back to the career world in a few years, I want to be able to make a salary that's worth it. I am excited to be a SAHM/college student…because even though it's a hard job, I believe it is THE BEST job…no answering to a boss…and getting to work with the best darn people God ever created. šŸ™‚ http://www.styleoyster.blogspot.com

  17. Alexa says:

    THE hardest job in the entire world. It definitely is much more of a challenge with two, not going to lie. I actually am going back to work part time tomorrow and I'm really looking forward to sitting in a coffee shop for four hours myself! A luxury!!!

  18. Anni says:

    love that you put it out there that staying home is a sacrifice. I went back to work when my twins were 5 months and will become a stay at home mom this spring when baby number three is here. Definitely going to miss the extra money but can't wait to spend more time with my babies. Great post!

  19. Kristina says:

    I am a SAHM myself after being a travelling, independent woman it was quite the shock staying home and doing the same thing every day. I do plan on going back part-time only when she is in school. I know my paycheck will still go to her school though!

  20. Sara Mueller says:

    Right on Natalie! It's hard and so rewarding at the same time. I find that being a mom of two is definitely harder although now that Ella Sofia is a year old it has gotten a bit easier. Someone told me that one kid is like a toy and two are work, and there's some truth to that but I know you will be great and you'll do more than a fine job at it!

  21. Salima says:

    Great post! I understand how hard it can be to stay at home with your child(ren). I'm a working mom but not by choice. I have to work for finance reasons so we can pay rent and have a roof over our heads. However, if I had a choice, I would rather stay at home and be with my son who is about the same age as Sterling. Because I have to work, I have missed out on a lot of his growing up and by the time I get home from work, I am too exhausted to spend quality time with him. So really, all I get is the weekends with him. It's very sad because I'm forced to work when I rather be at home with him. I have cried many times over it, but what can I do? And we so deperately want another child, but I refuse to until we are financially stable and I am able to stay at home. I do not want to miss out on my 2nd child as I have done with my 1st.

  22. Val says:

    Its the hardest and most rewarding job on earth.

  23. Ashley says:

    I get the question all the time, "are you going back to work after you have the baby?" and honestly it's one I always cringe at – while there's no "right" answer, it's one that people always love to tell you their opinions about. I have friends that stay home and friends that have gone back to work, and neither is easy. Thanks for being so open and honest about your decision!

  24. Julie says:

    Natalie, I always read your blog posts but I don't always comment (the kale caesar salad was amazing, btw. I made it TWICE for lunch this weekend), but the article you referenced rubbed me the wrong way just like this post did. What if you took out the "stay at home" part before every reference to being a mom. The same is true. I think the original article as well as this post inadvertently perpetuates the mommy wars. We are all here to support each other and whether you stay at home or go back to work you're still a mom and either way it is HARD. I think being a MOM is one of the most under-appreciated jobs around.

  25. Lindsay says:

    Great post Natalie. I want to reiterate that saying home is a HUGE sacrifice…my husband is also an attorney- people just assume that he "does well", but when you are self employed, have your own firm, and have to pay several others salaries….it can be feast or famine! šŸ˜‰ I worked full time for a CPA firm out of school, then went to part time after our first daughter was born. Now, I am home full time with our girls & I wouldn't trade it for the world. We just took our first vacation in over 5 years & are beginning to breathe a little since he went into private practice. I feel for moms who want to be home and cannot because of financial reasons…been there done that. I will be forever grateful for this time with my children!

  26. Word. It's hard and wonderful and it's exactly what I want to do. I know I have it a lot easier than a lot of SAHM's with the help of school and sitters. Josh is also really good at understanding it's really challenging and mentally exhausting. Thank goodness for that. And for good friends, thank goodness for that too šŸ™‚

  27. I love this Natalie! I think just being a mom in general is hard…I give so much credit to those who juggle both work/being a mom and then I of course feel your pain as a SAHM. We too have had to sacrifice, but I think it is well worth it! These years will go by too fast and so I am happy to pinch pennies for a few years until they are in school šŸ™‚ xoxo

  28. Amen. It's so true…hardest job in the world, but the most rewarding. I stay at home with my little boy and girl, too and love it, but there are long days and there is no "me" time since my almost four year old has dropped his nap. But it's what I've always wanted to do and I feel so very fortunate that I'm able to stay at home with them. If any SAHM or working mother has time to worry about what the other is doing, then they have too much time on their hands. I love your blog and can't wait to see your journey with two!

  29. Sonny says:

    Alleluia!!! Thanks for saying exactly what I feel! Keep up the great writing!

  30. i loved the article too! despite all those that didnt. i suppose i didnt make the viewpoint that hes putting down working mothers and many others did. i am so thankful to be a SAHM! well written girl!

  31. This was such a wonderful post! Thank you for sharing!



  32. Fhinz2 says:

    I love your blog!!! This post though was hard to read. A lot of moms have to work, they don't have a choice. Working a full time job, then tending to the kids, cleaning, cooking etc is just as hard. Just hard in a different way. I don't feel like you credited the working mom at all.

  33. Lucy says:

    Natalie, I completely agree! To the women who said she is not crediting the working mom, I think she said that she knows there are women out there that don't have the luxury to stay home. This is Natalie's blog and Natalie is a stay at home mom so that is the perspective she is writing from. As moms, we need to say to all moms, it's ok no matter what your situation is. The working mom deserves credit. The stay at home mom deserves credit. The working dad deserves credit. The stay at home dad deserves credit.

  34. Great post, Natalie. I struggle all the time with whether or not to stay at home. We are lucky to have an amazing, inexpensive daycare at David's corporate office so that makes the decision a bit easier and gives me some flexibility to only work part-time. I consider myself lucky and get the best of both worlds, in that respect. Either way, being a momma is tough and I think that as long as we all back each other up and give kudos to each other as much as possible, we'll feel happy and appreciated!

  35. Alicia xoxxo says:

    I so needed this today. It is hard being a SAHM. And living outside of LA where it is super expensive doesn't make things easier. I constantly worry about $, and our budget, etc… I can't afford the expensive "luxuries" BUT I wouldn't my job as a SAHM and go back to work. Because those "luxuries" are just things. And what I want is to be with my little guy as a SAHM. Yes it suxs sometime, and its hard but it the BEST decision I ever made.
    PS-dont make apologies to people who are upset by this post. This is YOUR blog and your feelings and opinions. I LOVE you posts when you tell us how you really feel and think. They are my favorite. You are a great writer and really connect with people with your honesty. Don't change for others. xxoo

  36. Babina868 says:

    I also had a SAHM and I loved it. It makes life so much easier for everyone. I never considered that I could have had more vacations or more expensive things if my mom worked–I just knew that my mom was able to do more for our family because she was home with us full-time.

    I'm not a mom (yet!), so maybe I'm not in the mom circles where these things are said, but I've never heard anyone make any negative remarks about SAHMs or question what they do all day. I think it should be obvious that if you have to pay for day care, then a person staying home to do the same thing is working.

    The one thing I object to in your post is limiting the statement about self-sacrifice to only stay-at-home moms–I think the vast majority of moms, regardless of whether they work, regularly sacrifice their own needs to do what they think is best for their families. That's just being a good mom.

  37. Sarah Vicars says:

    I too am a stay at home mom of 22 month old twin boys and I totally agree with everything you said. Thanks for your honesty!

  38. Being a MOM is so freaking hard! I swear if you're not one you just have no clue. That includes Dads at the top of the list. I often wonder about my choice to stay home. I too, was "downsized" right before I got pregnant with Wells and then we moved when she was tiny and I got pregnant again and had Tagg. None of that felt like good timing to start a real job search. With toddlers it now feels daunting to pay for childcare for a job search I'm not even sure I want. I have found ways to "work" from home. I help contribute with my photography income and a new small business I've started growing. But none of those make much impact in our financial stability and don't produce enough to pay for childcare. I think if good childcare were more affordable and working conditions were more ideal for moms. ie, better, less and more flexible hours I would jump in head first. I would love the balance of a part-time full time job. Who wouldn't? I hate that women are forced to make such a sacrifice. All-in or All-out. I see so many friends who work play harder at work just to prove themselves as dependable and not a mom-flake. And then they come home and do all the same things I have all day to do. The flip-side? They get a little bit of sanity that I'm missing in my life right now and more money in their bank accounts. But they battle the loss of missing out at home. Or worrying that they are missing out. Props to all moms for this crazy hard ride!

  39. rachel says:

    Such a fabulous post! I don't know how YOU do it! I'm so impressed that you are able to keep up with your blog, look amazing, cook yummy food and keep your sweet boy happy and healthy. šŸ™‚ Speaking from recent experience, get ready for two…it's a whole new ballgame! But it's totally worth it!

  40. BelleTHer says:

    First time commenter and I just wanted to write that I was a little surprised by your post when you briefly mention your finances. I've checked out your blog for a while now & have noticed that you seem to spend a lot of money on clothing. I'm often a little surprised by the cost of some of the items you purchase. It doesn't seem like you're well off and now this post sort of confirms it. My questions are, how does your husband feel about the amount of money you spend on clothing and do you receive discounts on items? I don't see a lot of c/o items, so I'm assuming you spend your own money. I'm also a SAHM and even though my husband's job pays really well & I would consider us fairly well off, my husband would not be ok with me spending that much on clothing. Even if I was making my own "spending money" I think I would feel guilty and a little selfish buying some of the items you buy. What is your outlook on this?

  41. You are right! Being a stay at home mom is one of hardest jobs around. We are always on the job (including those times during the night when the kids wake up) and even if we are on 'vacation' we are still on the job. However, I would not have it any other way as I get to be a part of my childrens' days. Kudos to all the moms out there, whether working moms or SAHM.

  42. angela says:

    Being a MOM is hard. I appreciate your honesty. I have to say I thought being a SAHM was the hardest job in the world…and then I became a working, divorced mom. Working moms still have to do many of the same things(….get dinner on the table, clean the house, make sure the kids have what they need for school or preschool) and they can't start dinner before they get home from work, or work on those things throughout the day. And guess what? I got to fix the furnace tonight because I don't have the money to pay someone to fix it. This after a full day of work, so my kids got basically no time with me. Being a SAHM was exhausting to me because of the sameness. Saturday is the same as Mon-Fri. But please know that no Mom ever gets "time off." The biggest myth to me is that because I work I get a lunch break. I cram food in while I drive to run errands or make phone calls that I can't make during the work day. Mom = life is hard. Lucky for all of us our kids are worth it!