I always envisioned myself to be on top management position of a big company by the time I was 35 years old but here I am, in sweatpants and my hair in a bun. When I was still working, I secretly hoped that I would just be a stay at home mom and take care of my toddler. Finally when that opportunity came, it was a tough decision for me to leave the career I love to fully dedicate myself to our daughter and family.
Three years later and I realized that being a stay at home mom was not rewarding like I thought it would be. It won’t give you the time to do the things you like and definitely not full of smiles and laughters. Whether you are a working mom, work at home mom or stay at home mom, it’s not easy. Being a MOM is hard.
It took me months to adjust to my new “job”. Being a stay-at-home mom is not like working at all. It’s a 24/7 job without salary, promotion and there are times you are unrewarded and unappreciated.
4 Reasons why being a Stay-At-Home Mom is not Rewarding
1. Vacation leaves and sick leaves are non-existent.
You cannot call in sick and definitely no vacation leaves. I cannot get away from it. And I can’t pee without an audience. I can’t take a shower without hearing a crying toddler and little hands banging the bathroom door.
Some days I am just physically and emotionally exhausted that I would just sit and pause and close my eyes for a while. Suddenly my youngest daughter will crawl into my lap and call me “MOM” then hugs me tight and then everything will magically feel alright.
2. The days when nothing in the world could ever satisfy your child.
In the workplace, when I see a problem or a loophole, amending the policy can solve it. To motivate a staff, incentives and promotions can be given to boost their morale.
It is not applicable as a mom. There were days when your child is cranky that she does not want anything, not her favorite toy or even letting her watch Youtube or giving her screen time to distract her.
After giving them everything, you know what they want? All they want is you. They want you to hold them close, tell them stories and play with them. They want to spend the day with you and not just being around you while you are busy doing household chores.
3. Being a Stay-At-Home Mom means constantly being on the verge of burn out.
When I was working, I often felt stressed out but never burnt out. I love my job and enjoy doing it despite it being challenging and hard.
There are moments that I just wanted to shout and cry my heart out, because I can’t seem to finish all the chores that I need to do despite working nonstop. I just finished vacuuming and mopping the floor, only to find out that my toddler has opened her tumbler and spilled out her juice. You forcefully take the kids to the bathroom to give them a bath. Fifteen minutes later, they do not want to go out because they still enjoy playing in the shower. The constant shouting of don’t do that and no you can’t, but nobody listens.
There are high expectations of being a stay at home mom. Expectations brought about by the unrealistic near perfect world of social media. Expectations are high because there is now a single bread winner to provide for the family, who typically expects all chores to be done regardless of how crazy the kids were that day. Family and friends think you are available at any given moment because you don’t have work, always assuming that you are not busy and just lounging at home all day. Expectations are high because I know myself and the things I am capable of.
4. There is lack of feedback.
In a company, you have yearly evaluation and you have a boss who tells you that what you are doing is right or wrong. There are clear policies and procedures on how things should be done.
Being a stay at home mom has no guide book. No child and parenting style is the same. Your child leaves you clueless and you have to figure out things on your own. You have no one to talk to all day who will understand what you are feeling at the moment.
And at the end of each day, your children sleeps with smile on their faces and you know that you have done good enough.
And then I realized how lucky I am to have the opportunity to raise my children. How I wouldn’t want to miss out on their life’s milestones and being there to hug and kiss them when they need comfort. I’m blessed to see them grow day by day and put up with their craziest days. It uped my creativity. And forced my patience. It pressed my ability to sacrifice for the good of my family. If it weren’t for the days of almost losing it, I would never have time to think how much I loved being a Mother, much more being with my children 24/7.