You get many mixed reactions when you tell people you are a Stay at Home Mom (SAHM). Some people say, “I could never do that.” Others ask you questions about your day. If you want to see a SAHM cringe just exclaim, “Wow, it must be nice to sit at home all day and do nothing.” If you’re lucky, you may get a kind smile and have this person walk away from you. Not many people realize that being at home with your children is work.
I understand that not many people can be a SAHM. Some women have dreamed about being a certain occupation since they were little and they are career motivated. I have a lot of respect for these ladies because I could not imagine what I do in a week, and then add 40-50 hours of a career on top of that. Other families need to have two incomes and being a SAHM is not an option. Some women are Work at Home Moms (WAHM), and have been able to make money by being at home.
It would be wonderful for me to figure out how to be a WAHM because I think you get the best of both worlds at that point, but for now I consider myself blessed for being a SAHM. My husband and I realized this was the best option for our family over five years ago when my oldest was born.
It has been a process learning what (and how) works best for my family and it is not an overnight success when you decide to become a SAHM. For instance, we went from a two income family to a one income family. We used to go out to dinner three to four times a week when I was working, because by the time we got off of work neither one of us wanted to cook. We also each went out to lunch a few times a week with co-workers. To eliminate all this extra spending on eating out, I had to learn to not only cook various meals, but also budget them. I started couponing, which takes me about an hour to two a week, but it’s worth the effort. My husband now has a hot meal ready for him when he gets home from work and I pack his lunch. That saved us a ton of money!
I may not collect a paycheck, but the work that I do is priceless.
Laundry, dishes, vacuuming, dusting, and other housework have also been a balancing act. I enjoy getting everything done during the week because then it leaves the weekend for relaxing as a family. I am a multi-tasker, so I will run a load of wash, load the dishwasher and throw a casserole into the oven. My sons are getting old enough now also where they can help Mommy and then we can do fun things like go swimming or go to the playground.
I make three meals a day for my family because I am not only a SAHM, but I’m also a Homeschool Mom. My oldest is in Kindergarten this year and my youngest is in preschool, so after spending most of our morning on homeschool lessons, we take a break for lunch. This gives the boys a chance to play and/or nap, and a chance for me to check emails, write, or catch up on some household things.
My husband has put me in charge of bills because I’m organized at making sure where the money goes. I am thankful to the Lord that we have never needed for anything and that God always provides for us.
Our family is very active in our church, so I volunteer by helping out in the nursery when they need me; I am involved in two Women’s ministry groups and also serve on two committees. I enjoy getting to know my fellow church family and it gives me a chance to use my degree.
After taking care of my children, homeschool lessons, cleaning, cooking, spending time with my husband and attending church, there’s usually not enough time left in the week, but I do try to make some time for myself. I am so incredibly blessed to be able to watch my children grow and learn, and be able to be at home where my family needs me.
I am not a perfectionist. Being a SAHM is an art and I never would have known about it if I wasn’t one. There are rough days, but the Holy Spirit gets me through. I have seen a stack of things needed to get done on my kitchen counter and I think there is no way.
I am not in the phase of life yet where sports practices or tutor drop offs have started, but I know that will be something else I will have to figure out when the time comes. In the mean time, I am content and joyful in taking care of my children, husband and home and serving the Lord.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6.
What season of life are you in? Do you have newborns or teenagers, or are your children grown? What has worked the best for your family?
This post appeared originally as a guest post on Satisfaction Through Christ on September 25, 2014 here.