A stay-at-home mom has a lot of different roles. Traditionally, being a stay-at-home mom means a mom who is married and stays home with her kids while her husband financially supports the family. And there are many reasons why a family might decide to have the mom stay home with the kids.
That is not the only definition. There are other scenarios of moms that aren’t in that traditional role that might stay at home with her kids. One such scenario is to have a mom who is a single mom who is working from home in order to support herself and her family, but she still gets to stay at home with her kids.
Now society doesn’t always understand the roles of a stay-at-home mom. And a lot of times stay-at-home moms are criticized for making that choice and society doesn’t under her role and why she is so vital in a family.
Related: The Ultimate Stay-At-Home Mom Guide
Roles of Stay-At-Home Moms
So, as a stay-at-home mom, you wear many different hats. Of course, the main hat is to be there for your children and to take care of their daily and possibly nightly needs. To make sure they are getting fed, they are meeting all of their developmental milestones, they are healthy, happy, and are staying stimulated. They are staying active, both mentally as well as physically.
A stay-at-home mom has lots of other roles as well. They include:
- Being a nutritionist. Finding nutritious and age-appropriate food.
- Being a personal shopper. Doing all of the grocery shopping, clothes shopping and any other shopping the family requires.
- Being a chauffeur. Shuttling your kids to all the places they need to be. Playdates. Preschool. School. Doctor Appointments.
Those are just a few of the things you might do as a stay-at-home mom.
Society Expectations of Stay-At-Home Moms
Society has a certain understanding or a lack of understanding about stay-at-home moms. About why you would want to be a stay-at-home mom in the first place or about what you do. There are these different ideas of what it means.
1. Kids Come First Over Your Well-Being
There is a belief that if you are a stay-at-home mom you are taking care of your kids at the expense of your well-being. Which isn’t healthy or kind to yourself. Although, it is important to take care of your kids. That is a given.
It is important to take care of yourself as well. That all of your basic needs are being met as a stay-at-home mom. That you are eating. That you are showering. That you are taking care of your mental well-being. That you are finding time for breaks.
Now to be fair, it can be difficult to manage the balance of taking care of yourself and your kids. But it is important to find that time. Either you need to ask for help in order to get your needs met. Or you make time when your kids are asleep or at school. Or a combination of the two.
2. Must Be Your “Best” or it isn’t Enough
Now basically, you must be the best at everything to be a “good” mom. You are limiting the amount of screen time for your kids. You are feeding your kids homemade, healthy, unprocessed foods all the time. You are spending all day, every day with your kids. These are great goals to meet, but they are not realistic for all of the time.
And just because you as a mom are not meeting these goals or expectations, does not make you a bad mom. It doesn’t mean you are not trying your best. The only thing that is fair to expect is that you are doing the best that you can. It is not fair to hold anyone to this high expectation, whether you are a stay-at-home mom or not.
3. You Have Plenty of Time for Housekeeping
Well, actually you really don’t. Taking care of kids all day, every day is time-consuming and a demanding job. You don’t always have time to keep on top of the housework. What can happen is that you start a task and then you get pulled away from it. Or you are pick up a mess and after nap time the mess is magically back.
So, it is not fair to think that the house is going to get cleaned all the time or even stay that way. But because you are at home there is this mentality that your house can be spotless all the time. I think people are forgetting that you are staying at home with kids all day.
You should clean your house, but know it won’t stay clean very long. And don’t beat yourself up if you can’t get it one day. It happens. You do what you can.
4. Being a Stay-At-Home Mom isn’t Really Work
Oh but it is. You are not getting paid to be a stay-at-home mom (although you really should be). But honestly, being a stay at home mom is a lot of work. Really.
You are taking care of kids as well as other things on top of that. And so because people can’t see all the work that you are doing they don’t think it is work. It is a demanding job. One that is underappreciated. But worthwhile and meaningful.
5. You Are Home All Day With Nothing to Do
Nope, not true. It is almost like people forget that when you are a stay-at-home mom, the word mom is in that phrase. This means if I am a mom then I am taking care of at least one child. Which means I have a lot to do.
I may be home all day because I am a stay-at-home mom, but that doesn’t mean that I have nothing to do. Quite the opposite, actually.
Family members might not understand this concept. They might not fathom how busy you are taking care of your children as well as all the other tasks that you have on your daily to-do list. At least that has been the case for me.
Why Stay-At-Home Moms Matter – Stop Listening to Society
As a stay-at-home mom, you do matter. Unfortunately, the roles and the hats that you wear, don’t always make sense to the people around you. Or to just the world in general. But, you are valued and are important.
Being able to take care of your children, as difficult as that maybe some days, is really important. You are getting to raise your children the way you want them to be raised (which is one of the many benefits of being a stay-at-home mom).
Having society and your own family not understand why you want to be a stay-at-home mom or what it is can be difficult. So, if someone says something which indicates they might not understand a stay-at-home mom, then you can educate them. Tell them. Let them know you aren’t home all day with nothing to do. You are working, but aren’t being paid.
Society doesn’t always understand what a stay-at-home mom is or what they do. Society doesn’t always value stay-at-home moms because of a lack of understanding. They might not understand why you want to be a stay-at-home mom. Just because the understanding might not be there, that doesn’t make the roles or your value as a stay-at-home mom any less.