My Expectations of Being a Stay-at-Home Mom

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In June of this year, I did a big thing. I quit my full-time, outside-of-home job. I knew being a stay-at-home mom would be a big change for me, but the changes were definitely not what I expected.

I thought quite a few things would be easier if I were at home. And that was true. But for each one of those things, another became harder. So many high expectations for being a stay-at-home mom… So many realities hit quickly. 

Here’s how expectation differed from reality:

EXPECTATION 

I will have more time to go out and be a part of activities that happen around town that I missed when working full-time.

REALITY

When working full-time, I would see events advertised on Facebook or invites to a group playdate. I’d decline the event in frustration thinking, “I’d go if I didn’t have to be at work!” Well, as it turns out, I don’t go even when I don’t have to be at work. I’m a bit more of a homebody than I realized until staying home full-time. I like easy. If an event seems like it’s going to take quite a bit of preparation (i.e. be difficult to get out the door on time because I’m not very good at planning ahead), I opt for staying at home.

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EXPECTATION

My house will be cleaner.

REALITY

I was surprised to find out that I am cleaning more than when I was working, but my house seems dirtier. My girls and I are staying home most of the day at least five days a week. We are (they are) dirtying more dishes, making more stains on the rugs and couch, bringing out more toys, and the dog seems to be shedding an extra amount. In addition, I found out that no matter if I’m working outside the home or staying at home, I still hate cleaning. I’m comfortable living in a house that is just-fine-clean and not spotless-clean, until someone new comes to visit.

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EXPECTATION

I will be able to go out with friends on my own with little (or no!) mom guilt.

REALITY

I really assumed leaving my girls would be easier when I needed to because we would have already spent so much time together. Why would they be disappointed if I left for a few hours? When I would leave for a night of Bunco after working a full-time job that week, it made sense that my girls were a little disappointed when I left. I was surprised to find that my girls were disappointed when I left for my Bunco night STILL, even after spending the whole week with me. The more time I spend with someone, the more accustomed I get to their company. When I get accustomed to their company, their absence feels more like a hole. I think my girls might be the same way. My girls likely will be disappointed whenever I leave, as long as they are used to me being around them.

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EXPECTATION

Those projects that I haven’t gotten to for so long will finally get done.

REALITY

It turns out, I didn’t want to finish those projects. And I still don’t want to. Interior painting just isn’t on the top of my list of favorite things to do. I can now allow myself to easily get distracted with all the things. There are so many distractions. Child has a bloody nose, child hit her head, child crashed her bike (… I have an accident prone child). My girls still need just enough supervision that makes it difficult to focus completely on a project when I really don’t want to be doing it in the first place.

Stay-at-Home Mom vs. Working-Outside-the-Home Mom

I found that for me, neither staying at home with my girls nor working out of the home full-time was easier. The jobs were just different. Some challenges are different and some challenges that are exactly the same. I was mom-ing as a full-time outside-of-the home job and I’m mom-ing as a stay-at-home mom. 

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Amber was born and raised in the beautiful state of Colorado. She grew up in Rockrimmon until she was 9, when her family moved to the eastern plains of Colorado until she was 17. At 17, Amber came back to Colorado Springs and stayed put. She married her favorite guy in 2008 and settled on the east side of Colorado Springs. Amber is mother to two sweet, rambunctious girls. Amber’s two girls share her love of being outdoors, comic books, and Harry Potter. Amber enjoys reading to her girls (and to herself), listening to and telling life stories with friends, and getting outside to enjoy our beautiful state.