Are SAHMs 1950-ish? {Readers speak up about the best and worst}

[This post is part of the Moms Who Work series.]

Hey you! 

It’s not easy being you!

A while back I asked readers what you thought about the joys and trials of being a stay-at-home mom… ya know, the kind of mom who works long, hard hours but gets no holiday leave, lunch breaks, or paycheck?! {wink}

Here’s what you had to say…

The best thing about being a SAHM:

Queenie said…

You don’t miss anything, you are with them so much you really get to “know” them, more opportunities for influence, no stress of trying to meet expectations of another job in addition to maintaining your household.  

Cameron said…

You don’t miss anything, you get to be there for all the milestones & all the fun little things that happen during the day. You know that you are the one helping them grow & learn. Your day is more flexible because you can run errands or go to lunch with friends or have a play date or just stay home all day if you want. [Adriel’s note: Since writing this, Cameron has recently joined the ranks of work-outside-of-the-home moms!]


Jill said…

I am new to staying at home up till the birth of Little B I was a working mom.  I think the best part is not missing anything. Making the focus on family strong and always being there for the kids.
Mandy said…
The BEST part about being at home with my son is that I AM the one that gets to teach him and help him progress. I LOVE being here to see every single little thing, every milestone. There is nothing more rewarding than watching your little one discover this big world around him. 
cooperl788 said…
Being a SAHM means that I can take care of my own family the way that I want to. I’m home to take care of the errands and chores that my husband and I used to fight over every weekend. When he gets home, he can enjoy spending time with me and his daughter, without having to worry about cleaning or running over to the grocery store. It’s a low-stress life for us to have me stay home. Maybe it’s a little 1950’s, but it works for us. 
The best part about being a SAHM is that I get to make my own schedule. I don’t have to listen to a boss tell me to be here or there by a certain time.
TV’s Take said…
In Feb 2010 I decided to stay at home w/my daughter and work very part-time. I have more time to clean, shop etc.
HRH Mommy said…
Having the privilege to see my sons grow up. Be there with them, for them and being able to create a bond that I would not be able to create if I were out of the house at a job. 

For me…
The best part of being a SAHM is that I get to be the primary carer, teacher, and nurturer for my son. I love that I get to be the one who most influences him in the foundations of his life (along with his dad). And being home with him most of the time means I get lots of precious moments, can take a million photos, and can have a little bit more flexibility with how I divide my time. And as simple as it sounds… I get to look at him more. (I love that, and miss him when I’m away.) As hard as it is sometimes, I feel really blessed to be able to stay at home while my baby is still so little.

The hardest thing about being a SAHM:


Queenie said…

The hours aren’t 9-5 and you don’t get a lunch break.  You can’t call in sick and even vacation time is spent doing pretty much what you do every day.  It’s easy to get caught up in the mundane details and it’s VERY easy to lose sight of who YOU are as a person outside of your children.


Cameron said…

Sometimes you can really caught up in the mom stuff & it can get overwhelming – like Queenie said – there aren’t breaks.

Jill said…

For me right now is just figuring out how to get it all done in one day and not get really caught up in all the mom stuff. Learning how to do things for myself. I found it a little bit easier to stop and pick something up for myself or do something for myself when I was on my way home from work and then I would get home and shift into mom mode.  Now I am in mom mode all the time.
Mandy said...
I think the hardest part about being a stay at home mom is that I don’t get as much adult social interaction. Sometimes I miss having those every day casual adult conversations. (BUT blogging and meeting all of the other people/mommies out there really helps. I love that I can turn to blogger and find so many people I relate to. That inspires me.)
cooperl788 said…
It’s a struggle to come up with new ways to entertain Georgia, to keep her engaged in something that will stimulate her mind and help her learn about the world. I try to keep the tv off, but we find ourselves slipping into Blues Clues and other things as the afternoon wears on. Also, when you’re trying to eat healthfully, it’s really hard to have all the food at your fingertips all day. I have to make a huge effort to keep our fridge closed after mealtime.
The hardest part about being a SAHM is that I have to realize things may not always go according to my schedule. Things come up. I get sick. Baby gets sick. 
TV’s Take said…
The mental solitude is what frustrates me… I also have more time to over analyze situations that I would not have otherwise done while working. Being a SAHM is a different kind of hard than a working mom.
HRH Mommy said…
Facing the challenges that the children throw to me. I am a group person and function best if I can talk and discuss situations with others. There are many instances where I am the only one making the decision, figuring out how to go about doing something, simply because David is at work and no one else is around who I can discuss a situation with in that very instance. Yes, I can talk to my friends over the phone, at play dates, etc., but it doesn’t do much in the moment that a certain situation comes up.

For me…
I think the hardest part is working long hours and always feeling physically worn-out. I had no idea how exhausting it would be to have a baby. People “warn” you, but you really have no idea until you’re experiencing it for yourself. Some days I feel like I will never get a moment to myself. When Levi is sleeping I try to get things done that need more attention than I can give when I’ve got one eye on him, so even the quiet nap times are usually packed full. I can handle that, but then at the end of the day, I’d love to “sign off” and have a transition. I sometimes envy my husband because–even though he comes home and continues to “work” by helping with the baby, dinner, or whatever–it’s at least a change of work. (I know, I’m super lucky to have him!) But when you’re a SAHM the type of work you do never changes and so you constantly feel like you’re working overtime – 13 hour shifts… Every. Single. Day. Seven. Days. A week. I miss the change of pace that 8:00am, 12:30pm, 5:00pm, and Friday used to bring, and the ability to feel like I’m switching gears throughout the day and week.
What I wish someone would have told me before I became a SAHM:
Mandy said...
I wish I would have known that it’s exhausting entertaining a baby all day! Ha ha. Seriously, it tires me out! By the end of the day, I’m more ready for bed than my baby is!
cooperl788 said…
I wish I would have known how lonely I would get without the adult interaction of a full-time job. By the time Jeremy gets home at the end of the day, I desperately want to just have some adult conversation. I also wish someone would have told me how frustrated I would get at my own child. Nobody wants to admit it, but raising a kid can be really crazy-making!
I wish I’d known that some days can be a bit lonely. That while having conversations with a 6mth old can be quite funny they are a bit one sided and not always very helpful.
HRH Mommy said…
Before becoming a mom, you hear often “being a mom is the hardest and the most rewarding job there is”. I never knew exactly what that meant “the hardest job”. Really? How could that be? Now a mom, I totally get it. It truly is the most difficult and most rewarding job there is, but I would add to that at 5:00 a mom cannot leave work behind and shut the door behind her. The job of being a mom is a 24hr/day job and requires attention and focus at both 3am and 3pm.
You may change your desire to work or not work over the years so prepare yourself financially to be able to make those changes. Don’t start working and adapt your lifestyle to your new income because you may find once baby #2 or #3 rolls around that staying home is the better option for your family. That’s what happened to us and fortunately it worked out for me to stay at home but I have other friends that cannot afford to stay at home and would like to.
In closing:
Well, you have spoken and the verdict is in: Being a stay-at-home mom—like any type of working mom—has its highs and lows, perks and challenges.
If there’s one thing all moms know is that being a mom is not a walk in the park! It’s more like a roller coaster – filled with ups and downs… and certainly thrills.
There’s much to consider when deciding to stay home with the kiddos or not – what’s best for the kids, where the mom will thrive most, how the family budget will pan out, and the overall marriage and family dynamics (just to name a few).
Here’s to the freedom to choose what’s best on a case-by-case, season-by-season basis!
Moms. Work. Hard. All of ‘em!

Dear mommy-friends, are you a SAHM? If so, have you always wanted to be or did that desire come later in life once you had kids? Has it turned out to be anything like what you were expecting? Did you ever dream it would be so wonderful and/or so hard? What is your “best and worst” of being a SAHM? What do you wish someone would have told you in advance? And… do you think being a SAHM is 1950-ish??
happy to be home,

Adriel x

adriel booker | the mommyhood memos | 2010 
do not reproduce without written permission
About Author

Adriel Booker is an author, speaker, and advocate based in Sydney, Australia who believes storytelling, beauty, and the grace of God will change the world. Adriel has become a trusted voice in areas of motherhood and parenting, Christian spirituality, and global women's issues. She's also known for her work with the Love A Mama Collective—serving under-resourced women in developing nations through safe birth initiatives—as well as her years spent as a Bible teacher and leadership coach. Her latest book is Grace Like Scarlett: Grieving with Hope after Miscarriage and Loss and she's made the companion grief journal available for free. Find Adriel across all social media platforms at @adrielbooker or sign up for LoveNotes, Adriel's 'secret posts' that aren't published anywhere else online. ✌️


  • Ana
    14 September 2010 at 2:56 pm

    I love this series. Other SAHMs out there are going through the same things as me. It's so reassuring! Thanks for doing it Adriel! I get to see both sides of the SAHM/Working Mom Coin.

    Good job Mommas all around! You're all doing great!!

  • Casey Martinez
    14 September 2010 at 4:26 pm

    I to have enjoyed reading other moms thoughts in this series. I think we moms pretty all feel the exact same way about our roles as mom. It's the most exhausting job in the world hands down, my hubby gets burnt out after watching my daughter for 3 straight hours so he can't imagine being in charge of her all day long, but, as mom's we are gifted with that strong desire to be with our children and to see them excel and achieve! It's an amazing journey!!

  • cooperl788
    14 September 2010 at 5:15 pm

    I'm seriously loving this series! It's been really great to read what other moms out there are thinking. And for whatever reason, moms don't seem to open up as easily about the trials of motherhood. It seems like we all suffer in silence and then when we finally open up and talk to each other, the clouds part and we realize our kids are all doing the same things! Love this post.

  • Melissa (Confessions of a Dr. Mom)
    14 September 2010 at 8:25 pm

    Your series has been wonderful Adriel!Before having my own children, I have to admit I thought the notion of staying home was a bit old fashioned. But, now that I am a SAHM…it's anything but! Especially in this time when working parents are a must in most households just to make ends meet. Now, I consider it a privilege and a blessing. Not always easy but worth it in the end:)

  • Crystal
    14 September 2010 at 11:34 pm

    I always wanted to be a stay at home mom. But I also long to work, and someday when the kids are going to school all day I hope to find a part-time job but only for when they are in school. I don't like the idea of someone else knowing my kid and spending more waking time with my kids then I do. And I have seen far to many stories of caregivers who shook the baby, I just don't feel comfortable leaving my kids with anyone else. Mommy knows best, you know? And someday I want them to be able to participate in after school activities and whatnot, without wondering if they can find a ride home- something I struggled with myself in school. I want them to know Mommy will always be there for them, always! Its a wonderful privilege to be a SAHM, I know not all moms are able too.

  • Melissa {adventuroo}
    15 September 2010 at 10:57 am

    I love how you pulled together comments from readers.. great idea! I've never been a SAHM but I'm now a part-time working mom (instead of FT) so I get to live a little in each world!

  • Heligirl
    27 September 2010 at 11:05 pm

    I'm in the same boat is Melissa, but have been weighing the possibility of becoming FT SAHM. This series really is helping me with my thought process through that. Thanks!

  • Lindsey Whitney
    19 November 2010 at 3:26 pm

    I'm a WAHM which is kind of like the best and worst of both worlds. I run an in-home day care so I get to be with my daughter all day, but I also don't have the freedom of taking her to the zoo or to visit a friend for coffee. It's exhausting sometimes and I feel like sometimes I don't get to connect with her as much as I would if I was SAHM only. We've got another on the way, so I'm thinking about cutting the number of clients/kids I have and see where it goes from there!


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