“Stay at home with your kids,” they say, “It’ll be fun! You’ll wish you could have spent more time with them once they’re older!”
But what really happens once you’re stuck at home with your kids, no longer working, trying to balance taking care of your kids, the household, AND still contribute to society?
You lose yourself. That’s what happens.
Back when I used to work before I became an unemployable stay-at-home mom, I longed to stay at home.
I would wake up early in the morning before my daughter woke up, go to work, spend all day away from her, then come home, and make us something to eat. After giving her a bath, she was out for the night, and then I’d wake up the next morning just to do it all over again.
I despised it.
I’d drive to work and cry in the car.
I missed most of her important milestones such as trying solid foods for the first time and taking her very first steps.
I told myself if I ever got the opportunity to stay at home with her, I wouldn’t hesitate.
Until those days came.
By the time I finally got the luxury of becoming a stay-at-home mom, I’d had another kid.
What I didn’t realize was that I was only a part-time parent to my first child since I spent the majority of my days away from her, working.
Being a full-time parent, home all day with two kids, really hit me like a ton of bricks.
Yes, I was grateful for the opportunity to stay at home, however, after about three months in, that is literally all I became—a mom. I was so depressed. I struggled with wondering . . .
Was I dealing with postpartum depression?
Did I regret my kids?
Why did I ever have kids?
Why didn’t anyone ever tell me it would be like this?
See, these are the parts of being a stay-at-home mom that no one ever talks about.
No one ever talks about how alone you feel.
No one ever talks about how you lose yourself.
No one ever talks about how you give up on your dreams.
No one ever talks about you not having ANY time for yourself.
No one ever talks about how you cry in the shower (the days you’re actually able to get a shower).
No one ever talks about you sitting in the car while the kids are in the back sleeping, just to get a little peace and quiet.
No one ever talks about how you have no idea how you’re going to make it another day.
No one ever talks about how guilty you feel after a day of nothing but yelling at the kids.
No one ever talks about how aggravated you get with your kids.
No one ever talks about how friends are non-existent.
No one ever talks about the sleepless nights.
No one ever talks about the amount of weight you gain from being too tired to put yourself first.
No one ever talks about how you just need a glass of wine and to go to the bathroom alone.
No one ever talks about you losing your sex drive.
No one ever talks about how unattractive you start to feel.
No one ever talks about how you just need a mental break.
No one ever talks about how it makes you feel when someone says, “But you literally just sit at home all day.”
I cannot tell you how many people I’ve met who have the nerve to really ask, “What is it that you do all day?” or, “I wouldn’t complain about getting to stay at home all day.”
I remember sharing a Facebook post a while back that said something to the effect of stay-at-home moms need a break more than anyone else.
Of course, I agree with this message 100 percent.
And that is because I’ve been both.
I know when you’re a working mom, you have a little bit more time to yourself and away from your kids. You are working toward your dreams and goals, and you haven’t lost your sense of self.
However, the comments I received from the post I shared couldn’t have disagreed more, as if it were a competition of some sort.
How dare you say that stay-at-home moms need more of a break?
You should have thought about that before you had kids!
YOU chose to have kids, so deal with it!
People just don’t understand that as stay-at-home moms, we love our kids, we do.
However, I’m quite sure none of us knew exactly what we were signing up for when we decided to stay at home.
Just hear us out, don’t put us down.
Listen to us and even if you don’t agree, at least try to understand where we’re coming from.
Don’t invalidate our struggles because you don’t see what we do as having a real job.
Being a mother, especially a stay-at-home mother, is the most challenging job in the entire world, and we don’t get paid for it.
We love our children and we want the best for them, however, it isn’t always sunshine and roses being a stay-at-home mom, and that’s the part no one really talks about.
Originally published on Thought Catalog