Women who dream of becoming stay-at-home moms have high hopes of what that will look like. They imagine jumping out of bed with tons of energy in the morning, making heart-shaped blueberry pancakes for their children's breakfasts, packing healthy lunches, and getting everyone out the door and to school with time to spare. They'll go to a workout class or meet a friend for coffee and then come back home, ready for a productive day.
Starting a family is exciting and awesome, but it does bring up the tough question of whether a woman will stay home or go back to work after she has her babies. The tough part is that no one can tell her what's the best thing. She has to decide.
But what if a woman becomes a SAHM... and realizes that she doesn't actually enjoy her new routines and reality? What if she has negative thoughts that make her wonder why she even chose this in the first place?
This has happened to many moms, and they have realized that always being home with the kids might not be for them. Here are 20 a-little-too-honest thoughts that no SAHM wants to admit she's had.
20 You've Been A SAHM For Years And You Honestly Don't Like It
A mom posted on Reddit and said that she honestly doesn't like being a stay-at-home mom, and that's something that many women have felt.
Of course, you don't want to admit that, do you? If you've been a SAHM for five or more years, you feel like you should have this whole thing down, no problem. You should drop your kids off at school with a smile, remember every field trip and anything going on at school, keep a clean house, cook, and keep everyone's schedules organized. You don't want to admit that you've long stopped enjoying doing any of these things (or you never even liked them in the first place).
19 Your Friends Are Moms Who Only Want To Chat About Kids
When you're a SAHM, you don't want to admit that your only friends are other moms whose only conversation topics are their children. You feel bad complaining about this because of course, you love your little ones. But you would honestly love to talk about something else, and you get bored by all the kid talk.
As a mom wrote on Reddit, "every ... woman I meet the ONLY thing she wants to talk about is kids. What her kids are doing, what they want to do, what they like, what they don't like, and I'm sorry but that's literally the last thing I want to talk about. I'll desperately change the subject every time, and they will always bring it back to kids."
18 You Don't Like Asking Your Husband / Partner For Money
For many women, becoming a SAHM is a money thing. Daycare would cost so much that you basically can't do anything but stay home since your whole paycheck would cover it.
As this mom wrote for The Bump, you realize that being a SAHM means that you have to ask your husband for money all the time. She says, "Asking your partner for money can be a pride-swallowing, hand-wringing experience, especially if you were financially independent before baby. This is tricky terrain that’s best planned out before you give up your full-time job."
No SAHM wants to admit that she doesn't like asking for money because money is one of those sensitive topics that some people like to avoid. People would think that you're complaining since they would say that you're in the privileged position of not having to work.
17 You Realize That You Basically Wait On Your Kids, And You Wonder How That Happened
Do you feel like you wait on your kids every day? If you're a SAHM, this is probably a thought that you've had... but it's not something that you want to admit. People would say that you should do everything for your kids because you love them and you're raising good people. Sure, you agree... but do you really have to be at their beck and call?!
As a mom wrote for Kid Marking, she finds that she's "waiting" on her kids. She says, "And in return, my children are physically incapable of being happy unless I am actively waiting on them. For example. I sit down to dinner completely exhausted. I’ve been running like a crazy frantic person all day breaking up [squabbles] and diffusing tantrums and cleaning up poop and a cornucopia of other usually unidentifiable bodily fluids."
16 You're Always Tired Because Your Kid Barely Sleeps
As a SAHM wrote for Reddit, "My kid is a [poor] sleeper. In the year she's been alive I have slept an average of about 4 [interrupted] hours of sleep a night."
No SAHM wants to admit that they don't like not getting enough sleep because their kids aren't getting that much shut-eye. The truth is that many kids are bad sleepers and many moms accept that being a parent means that sometimes, you're up at night because your little one has a cold or a fever or is having bad dreams. Even though you definitely have this thought sometimes, you might not want to say it out loud to anyone since they might tell you to count your blessings and that it'll get better.
15 You're Home Every Day Yet Feel There's Zero Time For You
Many SAHMs can relate to what one mom posted on Reddit about the lack of self-care in her life: "I just feel like I don't have any time for self-care if that makes any sense. Like I've neglected myself for years and it's starting to wear on me."
If you feel this way, then you don't want to actually admit that you feel like you don't have time to take care of yourself or do anything in peace and quiet. People would say that you're home every day so why can't you find five minutes to do your nails or sit and read for a few minutes in the morning? You know that it's not that simple and that you do so much for your family, and you know that you would probably hear some negative comments, so you keep this thought to yourself.
14 Some Days, You Wake Up And Know It's Going To Be A Bad Day
As a mom wrote for Mom In The Go Lane, there are days when you wake up and just know that it's going to be a bad day. She wrote about her own experience, "Before it even started, I wanted the day to be over. I seriously was not in the mood to start my day off with two toddler meltdowns which resulted in me having a grumpy attitude and being short with the kids all morning. All I could do was count down the hours until nap time."
This is one of those too-honest thoughts that no SAHM wants to admit. While you do feel this way a lot, you know that you would hear from your partner or friends or family that you should just have a positive attitude and be grateful.
13 You Wonder If You're Not As Smart Anymore (Or Using Your Mind As Often)
Writing for Momtastic, this SAHM says that she wonders if she's not as smart anymore and if she's not putting her mind to good use. She says, "Maybe it's just the reality of having multiple young kids, but I honestly feel like I've become so much dumber since having kids. Pre-kids I was in a professional [job] and had studied multiple university degrees. I was good at my jobs, I was actually highly sought after for my brain."
It seems like many SAHMs have thought the very same thing. It makes sense that you would feel this way if you went from studying in college and grad school to the working world to staying home and picking up toys and cleaning up after your kids. You know that family life is more than that and that there are beautiful days, too, but you still have this type of thought.
12 You Miss The Office And Miss The Freedom You Associate With It
"I [do not like] being a stay-at-home-mom and I want to go back to work," a mom wrote for S. Mommy. She continued, "Not because I don’t love my one-year-old, but because I want to escape him. For the last six months, I’ve worked part-time in order to spend more time with my little tyrant but can’t manage to escape the yearning for release… To be free… Chained to a desk again."
Some SAHMs have the same thought: that working felt better than being home with the kids. You associate your old office with freedom because you could listen to your own needs. Did you want to grab a cup of coffee? Get a vending machine candy bar? Talk to a coworker for a few minutes? And yet... you would feel weird telling people that you felt that you had more freedom when you had a job.
11 You Get Bogged Down In The Daily Details
A SAHM writing for S. Mommy says that she gets pretty bogged down in the details that make up the daily life of a mom staying home with her children. She says that she will "obsess over the nutritional content on his high chair tray" and that they spend a lot of time watching The Wiggles.
Although many SAHMs think that these details are boring or that they can feel exhausting, that's a tough thing to admit out loud. It feels like complaining, and no one wants to complain. These moms adore their children... but they just get so tired of the same cartoons and the same worries.
10 You Think That You Missed Out On Your Working Life
As the mom blogger behind Grown and Flown writes, she feels that she missed out on her working life. Talk about a super honest thought that many stay-at-home moms have had.
If you told someone this, they would probably respond, "How can you say that? Don't you love your kids? Isn't raising a family the most important job in the world?"
You know that you can love your kids and find joy in raising your family while still wishing that you could have worked this whole time, too. The years go by, and when you've been a SAHM for a while, you realize that you wonder if you should have been working.
9 You Realize Your Children Don't Think You Do Much Every Day
Many people say that being a mom is a job and that they wish that people would see it that way. But many SAHMs realize that their kids don't think that they do much every day. That's because it's not a "traditional office job" that involves reading reports or writing articles or sitting in meetings or making Powerpoint presentations.
The same mom says on Grown and Flown, "They saw me cooking, cleaning, driving, volunteering and even writing, but they know what a 'job' looks like and they don’t think I had one."
8 You Wonder Every Day If This Is What You Should Be Doing
A mom writing about her "regrets" about being a stay-at-home mom for Forbes brings up an important point: what if you're not sure that you should be doing this?
You can absolutely change your mind about being a SAHM and get a job. But you might be worried about what your spouse, family members, friends, and fellow moms would say. You don't want to look like you don't love staying home and raising your family and it can be difficult to find the words to really articulate how you feel. This is just one of those super honest thoughts that you have when you're a stay-at-home mom.
7 You Would Prefer Your Kids Were Always In School And Had No Summers Off
A Huffington Post story asks moms to not whine about how frustrating it can be to have their kids home for the summer.
The truth is that you wish that your kids were in school year round and that they didn't have any summers off. Maybe you feel too stressed out having them home all day long because you have to come up with activities for them to do. Maybe you worry about not keeping them entertained and occupied enough. Maybe you miss the routine that you had carved out once they were in school. Even though you think this every summer, this is way too honest, and you definitely know it.
6 You Realize Your Kids Have Changed For The Worse
A mom writing for Parenting.com put it perfectly: "My kids became lazy and overly dependent... In my stay-at-home role, I allowed myself to become too valuable and far too central to the success of the home and my children."
What if you feel like, during the time that you've been a SAHM, your kids have changed for the worse? What if you feel like they would have been better people if you had been working? That's definitely a difficult thought to have. It's even harder to voice it out loud. It seems like many moms can relate to feeling like their children ask them to do too many things for them every day and that they rely on them so much.
5 You Resent That You're Supposed To Appreciate Being A SAHM
When you tell someone that you're a SAHM, they inevitably say that you're lucky or privileged. Many SAHMs resent that they're supposed to appreciate being SAHMs. Sometimes, you really don't, but you can't share that honesty with anyone for worry of being told to appreciate what you have more.
As a mom posted on Community.today.com, "I get so sick of feeling like I have to be grateful every day that I get to be a stay-at-home mom, especially from people that have never done the job. We live in a society where we are ripped apart for admitting when we are struggling or if God forbid, we aren't grateful for every second we get to spend with our kids."
4 You Feel Strange And Awkward Talking To Other Grown-Ups Since You Only Talk To Kids Now
Another too-honest thought that some SAHMs have is that they can't talk to grown-ups anymore because they spend all of the time with their little ones.
A mom wrote for Bringing Up The Burns, "Staying home with my little people has made me more comfortable with being around children than adults. I don’t have to stress and over analyze the conversations I have with my children. I can have a relaxed, stress-free conversation. I don’t have to overthink whether what I said was okay or if it was weird or if it hurt their feelings because my kids will straight up just tell me!"
3 You Would Rather Work (Or Do Anything) Instead Of Hanging Out With Your Kids 24/7
"I don't love spending every moment with my kids," wrote a mom for Mom.me. "Stay-at-home parenthood is not what I thought it'd be—and I'm not who I thought I'd be."
Many stay-at-home moms have had the exact same little-too-honest thought. How can you possibly tell someone that you love your kids but you would rather work (or explore a hobby or meet a friend) than stay home with them all day? This is such a tricky thing to admit. But the truth is that not everyone adores being a stay-at-home mom and you just can't help admitting that you need to spend some time away from your kids.
2 You Feel Your Kids Are In Charge Instead Of The Other Way Around
If you feel like your kids are the ones in charge of you instead of the other way around, then you can relate to a mom writing about her own story for Cafe Mom.
This is when you feel exhausted and like the stay-at-home mom life just isn't for you. And yet it's pretty much impossible to tell anyone that you've been having these kinds of thoughts. People would not only not understand but they would say that you're the parent so you have to be the one who explains the rules and boundaries that your kids have to follow.
1 You're Tired Of Cleaning Your House All The Time
The final thought that many SAHMs have if they're being truly honest (and a little too honest)? That they don't want to clean their house all the time, let alone many times a day.
If you've had this thought, then you can figure out the response that most people would have. You know that they would tell you that it only matters that you're happy and your kids are doing well, so you don't have to make your house look perfect.
While you know that these thoughts are a little too honest, you can't help but think them on a regular basis, and at least you know that other stay-at-home moms feel the same way.