Wednesday, November 5, 2014

How to Love Being a Stay-at-Home Mom (or Dad!)

I wrote this article a while back, and it might be helpful to some parents, so I'm sharing it here today.

Good thing I usually publish my photos instead of my drawings, right?!

Five Tips on How to Succeed when Your Job is to Be at Home

Being a stay-at-home mom has truly been the hardest but the most satisfying job that I have ever had. There are lots of decisions that go into whether or not a parent should give up an income, to be home to raise their kids. For me and my family, it was really the right choice. To be happy in this role, however, my advice to other stay-at home parents is to remember these five valuable tips.

# 1: Remember you have a job, and the benefits are priceless.

Think about what it would cost to pay someone to do all that you do. I posted a hotel laundry price guide near my washing machine to remind me of the value of my efforts! Salary.com annually calculates a hypothetical salary for stay-at-home moms. The 2013 US National Median average amount they calculated is $113,568! On Salary.com, you can even calculate your own “mom salary”. I didn't - my family wouldn't be able to afford me!

# 2: Remember who you were before you became "Mommy or Daddy."

I learned that I could be a better mother if I had a small amount of time each week to be just "Susan" instead of "Mommy." Horseback riding was my outlet - find whatever works best for you, leave your children with someone you trust, and schedule some time just for yourself each week.

# 3: Remember your reasons for becoming a stay-at-home parent.

Some people assume that stay-at-home parents should volunteer for everything. Learn to say "no" when you feel these efforts might interfere with your reasons for staying home. When my children were small, an employed acquaintance hinted that I should watch her children every day. I had trouble declining, until my husband reminded me that the reason we gave up my income was so I could focus on our own children.

#4: Remember - Just because you stay home, your house won't always be perfect!

A stay-at-home parent doesn't always have more time for housework than an employed parent. Children in the house all day can mean the only cleaning you get done is picking up toys! I have often said, "I'm a stay-at-home mom who is never home," due to many, many hours spent volunteering and transporting kids. Expectations of domestic perfection are unrealistic!

#5: Remember- This time will go by quickly!

At some point it may no longer feel right for you to stay home. Remaining current in your previous career or learning new skills can make transitioning back to employment less stressful. The decision of whether or not to be a stay-at home parent - and for how long - must simply be based on what works best for you and your family.

Following these tips will make you a happier stay-at-home parent.

My husband brought our kids to a horse show I rode in. It was good for them to see me in a different role than Mommy!
What Other Tips Would You Add Here?

This post may be linked to one of the great link-up parties I follow and list on my blog. Check them out!

14 comments :

  1. The other thing that helped me stay happy while at hone with the kids was to include other SAHM and kids in our routine. We did play groups and mommy-and-me groups and parties and even just days at the movies or to go to the park. That way the kids were socializing and I had Mom-to-Mom discussion time. This even lead to trading off kids so each Mom could have some time to herself and eventually to a Mom's night out group. Taking care of you IS taking care of them.

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    1. That sounds like that was a wonderful support system, Karen!

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  2. I'm not a stay at home mom but I love this!

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    1. Thanks Shaunacey - I'm so glad you liked it!

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  3. Such great tips Susan. I've never regretted staying home with my boys, but it was definitely hard sometimes. By the way, I really like your artwork :)!

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  4. Well Lana - I wish I could say my “artwork” was a piece from my childhood (when it would have been more developmentally appropriate!) - but in truth, I drew it when I wrote this piece, and needed something to illustrate it!

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  5. Love the picture... I knew you could ride horses but horse shows... pretty impressive!

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    1. I still love to ride, but horse shows were another life ago, Ish!

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  6. Wow...you are a busy lady...I did not realize how many blogs you have...keep up the good work and thanks for sharing with the Thursday Blog Hop!

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    1. Actually Pam, I only have the one blog, the most - - of every moment. I previously submitted this article to Yahoo Contributor Network ... but they sadly no longer in existence, and all rights to the article reversed back to me.

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  7. Thank you for posting on Motivation Monday!

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Many thanks to everyone who leaves a comment here!