People often think that stay-at-home moms live carefree, simple lives, but this isn't always the truth. Sure, a stay-at-home mom has advantages such as always being there when their children need help and never feeling wary that a nanny is acting like a daycare worker who doesn't really care about the kids. However, a stay-at-home mom also faces disadvantages like serving as the unofficial head of the household and getting stuck in a rut when it comes to the same old schedules.
Some women believe being a stay-at-home mom is one of the best experiences in life. Other women beg to differ. Whatever the excuse may be, a stay-at-home mom not only sacrifices a tremendous career, but also transitioning from a productive life for the unappreciative title of a mom. At the end of the day, it's a woman's choice whether or not she'll be happy looking after her kids because there's not a whole lot of options other than for her change clothes, diapers, and bottles.
Motherhood is a wonderful thing. But just like fatherhood, there are obstacles in the middle of the road that parents must overcome in order to become successful. Stay-at-home moms who live in the same neighborhood often bond during their spare time. Just like other women, they're a group of women who like to socialize and mingle. And some of them take to Reddit to share things that they likely would be too afraid to talk about in real life. Here are 15 shocking confessions from stay-at-home moms.
15 Short-Term Decision
A Reddit thread asking "are you a stay-at-home wife/mom?" attracted a lot of attention.
A Reddit user wrote, "I am currently. I plan to go back to work full time when my son is in school. It's not something I planned per se, but it is what makes financial sense. And honestly, I enjoy it and feel very blessed and fortunate to have that as an option.
We don't have a family member who could watch our son full time and my husband travels so we can't work opposite shifts. And I don't think I'd make enough to make daycare make sense financially (as in, I think daycare would eat all my income or at least most of it). I do a little bit of freelance and volunteer work so I have something for my resume. I worry about getting back in the workforce but in the moment, I really enjoy being a SAHM."
14 Ready To Return To Work
A Reddit user responded to the above comment in the same thread.
She wrote, "Me too, I'm right at the point where in September I have to go back to work and it terrifies me, I've been out of the work force for almost 8 years (two kids back to back) I'm terrified that I will find it boring and unfulfilling."
While it may seem strange that a stay-at-home mom is returning to the workforce after nearly eight years, it's not such a bad thing. These moms don't have to feel like they've abandoned their kids because they haven't. They just need to do what's best for them. If it means making extra income, then by all means, they should go for it instead of moping around wondering "what if?" The lingering guilt is optional. The purpose of life is always ready to be defined, redefined, or retooled.
13 Feeling Lonely
Some women leave the workforce for a full-time family life, but others don't enjoy that kind of life and would rather get involved in the day-to-day activities that a company has to offer its employees.
A Reddit user wrote, "I'm a stay-at-home mom. My daughter is 7 months. I enjoy it greatly for the most part. However, it can be very isolating and lonely. I miss working and having my day filled with adult conversations, but I still wouldn't choose it over being a stay-at-home mom. I'm so so grateful for the time I have with my daughter."
She's always welcome to return to the working world, but we're glad to hear that she's grateful for the time she has with her daughter because it's important to be nurturing towards children as they begin to grow up. Every kid needs love from their parents.
12 Not Many Options
Sometimes, moms and moms-to-be have to stay at home due to financial issues, health conditions, and personal problems that require a large amount of attention.
A Reddit user wrote, "Stay-at-home mom-to-be. Son is due in August and I had to leave work early due to the stress they were putting on me raising my blood pressure. We had several reasons for me not to go back to work after baby gets here. Daycare costs a fortune. Basically, my entire paycheck would go to daycare. My husband makes enough that me working isn't going to be a problem. The thought of leaving my infant with someone I didn't know scares the crap out of me. I really enjoy being around babies and can't wait to spend as much time as possible bonding with him. I know it's not for everyone and I totally get that."
11 Dreadful Experience
Despite all the positive things, being a stay-at-home mom isn't for everyone, and for some women, it just flat-out sucks.
A Reddit user wrote, "I was, I hated it. It consumed my entire sense of self. I wasn't me, I was mum. My perspectives were dictated by mummyblogs and Instagrams. All your celebrations surround you being a mum: the way you give birth (God forbid you had a medicated one), how your child sleeps, and what they eat, if you breastfeed etc. It's full of dichotomies ranging from one extreme to the other. And you feel like you constantly have to justify your decisions. And oh God the guilt, the guilt is so real. And the insecurity."
She added, "I feel like as women, we're so much beyond that motherhood persona. But when you are a sahm, it's what tends to define you. At least it did for me which is why I got so depressed. I am more than just a mother. It's a small part of me but I refuse to let it define who I am. Who cares if little Johnny breastfed or if I had an elective c-section/ natural birth or if we only eat organic food? It's not a contest and I don't feel like breastfeeding or co-sleeping or what you have that should be celebrated. It's a 'nothing' thing. No one cares other than other mothers (if even). I hope to never go back to being a sahm. If we have another child, my husband can stay at home. I'm not that kind of person."
10 Still Unemployed
Every so often, there's a woman who has no other choice than to be a stay-at-home mom, like this Reddit user.
She wrote, "Currently a SAHW. Not necessarily by choice. I was laid off last year and have had a difficult time finding work. I have a degree and plenty of experience, but I can't even get a job folding clothes at Target."
She added, "I don't mind being a SAHW for the time being, but I'm ready for a change. I had a lot of plans to better myself with my time off (like work out, learn to properly cook, take free classes from other universities in my field of study, etc.) but I pretty much spend my time cleaning the house, doing laundry, and watching Netflix or listening to audiobooks. It's been a lonely existence for the last few months. I wish I could find some part-time work or a job from home, just to make my days less mundane."
9 Shifting Power Dynamic
Here's a good question that'll have you stumped in no time: Is it really better to have the upper hand in a relationship?
A Reddit user wrote, "I had to do it for several years because my husband worked shifts and we had a special needs child. It was horrible. Not only because I am not cut out for this but it also messed up the whole power dynamic in our marriage."
It's completely understandable that the wife in this marriage felt horrible when she served as a stay-at-home mom for several years. Although it's a favorable thing that she gave extra love and attention to her special needs child, she shouldn't have had to sacrifice her career to take care of her kid. There can be an uneven power dynamic prior to a relationship for obvious reasons. But if these things change as time goes by, it's going to do even more harm to both parties.
8 Two Days Per Week
In many ways, serving as a full-time stay-at-home mom is just like working a 9 to 5 job. A woman is eventually going to get burned out from the numberless hours on the clock and likely resort to contentious ways to relieve the excess stress in her daily life. Take for instance this Reddit user with a young daughter.
She wrote, "I stay home with our daughter 2 days/week, and work >30h with some longer/atypical hours. It's the best of both worlds—I'm still fully engaged in my work, which I love, and I adore the days home with my baby, teaching her things, and watching her develop. I think full-time SAHM would be too hard, though."
This isn't surprising, though. The notion of being a stay-at-home mom has been falling out of favor, especially among millennials. Young women tend to be more career-orientated instead of tending to house work and cooking up a storm nowadays.
7 Take A Year Off
Some new moms choose to take a year off after their babies are born, and that's alright. Others may oppose the idea and argue that taking a longer maternity leave isn't so great for the woman, who has to look after her newborn baby. Inequalities between men and women continue to exist, so why would any woman want to fit into stereotypes? It's a complicated question with no right or wrong answer.
A Reddit user wrote, "I think I'd like to take a year off to situate myself and the baby. After that I'd like to return to work, but maybe only 30 hrs a week until the baby is in childcare or school. Kind of depends on the family support and finances."
We respect this lady's opinion. At least she knows it depends on the family and their circumstances. She's sort of standing her ground when it comes to a woman's role in the home.
6 The Right To Choose
A Swede started a Reddit thread titled "Why is "stay-at-home mom" so common and accepted in the US?" Not only is his opinion debatable, but he also seems to be close-minded towards the concept. As a result, a male Reddit user responded with a savage comment to defend his wife.
He wrote, "I find it exceptionally strange that in a European country, the idea of a stay-at-home mom means holding a woman back from her career. Why wouldn't you want to spend more time with your children? I'm an American and my wife is a stay-at-home mom and we homeschool our children. This is a family choice and not because we can't "afford" childcare."
With the abundance of freedom in the United States, new moms have a choice to go back to work or stay home. Why is the shaming of stay-at-home moms still happening? After all, it's a woman's right to choose what she wants to do in her life!
5 Best Choice
At times, a family operates better if there's a wealthy hard-working father who earns the cheddar and an obedient stay-at-home mother who looks after her kids. The children may not get to see their father as often as they'd like, but at least they have a father figure and a loving mother who wants nothing but the best for them.
A Reddit user wrote, "I am/was, empty nest now. It was what works best for us."
Again, it's all a matter of choice, and this woman seemed to enjoy the experience of being a stay-at-home mom when she was younger and her kids were still living in the family home. Now, her adult children have already spread their wings to fly, but we're pretty sure that they'll always be in her heart. She did a great job raising her kids and deserves some time off to relax and enjoy her retirement.
4 It's Possible
It's possible to become a stay-at-home mom, especially if you're going to have difficulty working due to medical conditions.
A Reddit user wrote, "Right now, the plan is if I'm able to work, I will. But if not it's fine if I'm a SAHM. I have fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, and I have barely any energy and lots of pain, so I have a hard time working (right now, I've been unemployed for 8 months). I'm only 20, and we're not planning to have kids for at least 4 years or so, so we'll see how I'm doing at that point."
She added, "My dad and my SO's mom were/are stay-at-home parents, and they did/do a good job of it. I also want a few pets, so it would be great to be able to stay home and spend more time with my doggos. I definitely have to learn to cook before being a SAHM, though."
3 Not What It Seems
We're entitled to our own opinions, but we have to remember that we have different thoughts on whether or not stay-at-home moms are really as great as they're portrayed.
A Reddit user wrote, "My mom stayed home with my brother and me, and it was the best thing in the world to us. We learned so much, ate properly, and didn't have to get raised by a daycare that is too expensive in the first place. Women shouldn't work if they have kids."
Of course, another Reddit user responded to the debatable comment. He wrote, "My mom stayed at home to take care of us, and it was the worst thing in the world for us. We didn't eat properly, unfortunately we weren't able to stay at a local daycare, and she has no education whatsoever. Women should work if they want to work and you're a moron."
2 Mixed Emotions
This mother has mixed emotions about being a stay-at-home mom for her daughter.
A Reddit user wrote, "I worked when my daughter was 3-8 months old, and then stayed home (she's now 10.5 months old). Staying home is work, but to me, it's not a job. The cooking, cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, etc. are things that have to get done regardless of whether you stay home or not. The difference is I have way more time to do those things now and also don't have to worry about prepping food and bottles for daycare or washing pump parts, since she can eat straight from the tap."
She added, "That doesn't mean staying home with my daughter isn't hard sometimes, or that my time with her isn't valuable. It's just not the same as having a job. She's my daughter, so caring for her is just part of being a parent, to me. Obviously, I am speaking only for my situation and do not mean to invalidate the experience of other sahms."
1 Planning Ahead
We have to put this mother at the top of our list because she and her husband carefully planned their lives so she could become a stay-at-home mom. Not many couples have thought about things like this ahead of time. Way to go!
A Reddit user wrote, "We set up our lives to live off one income ahead of time. We bought a smaller home, used car that we paid off right away, bought secondhand furniture and electronics, and slowly replaced them when we could afford it outright. We gave up things for family time. We live on a budget, but still have enough left to put into savings. We have no payments other than our mortgage. We have friends that live in the same area, with both parents that have the same job as my husband, and they are always broke, but they also live beyond their means. I am sure they believe they could never live off one income as well, but they wont ask themselves the difficult questions like "Do we need 2 vehicles? Can we afford this camp trailer, and quad, and dirt bike? Can we afford this brand new furniture and TV we're making payments on?"
She added, "Its absolutely worth it. We have plenty of quality family time. My husband enjoys his job more because his home life is taken care of. You can supplement your income by providing child care. I have done that off and on over the year. I have also gotten a part-time job on occasion, but more to get out of the house, not because we needed the money."