An Inside Look at Being a Stay at Home Mom
By Stephanie Pottier
Being a stay at home mom is arguably one of the most difficult jobs in America, actually, the world. Today, the role of mom goes beyond the ordinary. It includes the role of caregiver, psychologist, chauffeur, chef, teacher, housekeeper, counselor, mentor, and the one who will love you forever no matter what. In fact, experts have estimated that if moms were to be paid fairly for their role as "mom," they would make an estimated $90,000 annually. Stay at home moms would earn approximately $138,646 annually.
That's more than most people will ever make in their jobs. However, being a mom is not without its ups and downs. Based on a survey that was conducted of stay at home moms across the nation and Canada, it was found that there are many benefits and challenges in being a mom. But just to clarify, here are some of the big ones.
Rewards & Benefits
Staying home to raise your child is more than just mutually beneficial, it is one of the most rewarding experiences a mom will ever have. "I wouldn't trade anything for being able to raise my own child." As opposed to having your child in day care or with a babysitter every day, stay at home moms get to raise their own child and witness all the "1st's." These moms will never miss their child's first steps or first words, or have to see them later on video. Instead, these moms get to watch their children grow up and be the one who teaches them how to ride a bike.
Stay at home moms also develop closer and better relationships with their child than those moms who work and more frequently know who their child’s friends are and what they're doing. Studies have shown that children who regularly attend day care have an increased chance of having discipline problems, and children who are raised by stay at home moms are more likely to succeed academically. This in large part can be attributed to the fact that stay at home moms are more able to help their kids with their homework and enrich their academic integrity.
Being a stay at home mom is not without its challenges. First, in becoming a stay at home parent, moms are forced to abandon certain aspects of their life including jobs and socializing. Most stay at home moms admit that since becoming stay at home parents, their social lives have altered drastically. "Keeping in contact with other adults is difficult."
In relation to their marriage, half of the women reported that their decision to become a stay at home parent has in some way influenced the relationship with their husband. Although the majority report that these changes were all positive and brought them closer together, 30% said that money became the major stress on the marriage. But 100% of moms surveyed answered "absolutely" when asked if they had to make the decision all over again, would they decide to become a stay at home mom.
Contrary to most beliefs about the everyday life of a stay at home parent, these moms do not sit around all day with ample time on their hands to do whatever they please. These moms spend their time tending to their children's needs including making lunches, driving them to and from school, friend's houses, sports practices, and all those extra activities and places children need to go these days. And if all these responsibilities aren't enough, these moms also spend their time cleaning house, making dinner, helping with homework, volunteering at school, and just about anything else that needs to get done. The last thing they have time for is sitting around eating bon bon's.
These moms struggle just to get to the gym or find “me” time. Next time you're out and about before 7 am, notice how many women are out jogging already. Know why? It's because if they don't get their exercise done before 7 am, they won't have the time. Their days are filled with enough things to do. In fact, it's amazing they even get all the things done that they do in one 24 hour period.
Stay at home moms contribute to society more than most people give them credit for. They're the ones raising the future of the nation. It's a proven fact, that children raised by a mom who was available 24/7, no matter what time their child needed them, typically turn out to be more successful than those children who were raised by others or had moms who weren't able to be there whenever the situation called for it.
Being a stay at home mom may not be for everyone but it is said to be one of the most beneficial and rewarding experiences. Nothing can compare to the memories and relationships that develop from being a stay at home parent. "The greatest reward is having the opportunity to raise your children. To really know your children, their dreams, their fears, being a central part of their lives."
About the Author:
Stephanie Nicole Pottier is currently a senior at Sacramento State University. She is a double major in English and Criminal Justice and plans to begin law school in the fall. She is planning to study corporate law. Stephanie has been a cheerleading coach for the past three years, just now finishing her fourth season, and embarking on being a freelance writer.