How To Be A Stay At Home Mom With A Degree
Disclaimer: This post is from my perspective and how I made the decision to become a stay at home mom with a degree. It is in no way meant to offend anyone. I have a lot of respect for all moms (working and stay-at-home). I am sharing because I know my experience will help moms in similar situations. Moms who are considering leaving their careers to become a stay at home mom.
Before I made the choice to be a stay at home mom, I had been at a dead-end job for over ten years. I thought it was finally time to give my career a much-needed boost. During those ten years, I earned my master’s degree (MBA) and had two gorgeous, healthy boys with my husband.
After my maternity ended with each little guy and before bundling them off to daycare, I toyed with the idea of becoming a stay-at-home mom. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a financially viable option and so, I tried to focus on progressing my career.
As the saying goes though, life is what happens when you’re making other plans. When I finally left my job to pursue other career opportunities, we found out that we were pregnant with our third baby (a lean pcos miracle).
While I was pregnant, we decided that I would stay at home. I would still pursue career opportunities after having our third baby. Without realizing at the time, I had become a stay at home mom while I was pregnant. During which, our family’s quality of life increased tremendously.
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The Benefits Of Being A Stay At Home Mom With A Degree
Being a stay at home mom allowed me to be at home when my eldest got home from school. I was able to help him with homework before my husband came home from work. I also enjoyed finding all sorts of fun things to do and spending time with him.
Being a sahm helped in other areas of our lives as well. My husband and I were getting along better and we had more time to set aside for each other. As a stay at home mom, I was able to do a lot more chores which made for easier days for everyone. Weekends felt more relaxed, and we were able to enjoy time together as a family.
Making The Decision To Become A SAHM
Each day I started to consider being a stay at home mom even after our third baby was born. The positive impact it was having on our family was undeniable and amazing.
Fortunately, by this time my husband had a great job and was able to provide financially so it was now a viable option. One that the family could benefit so much from. Sure, I would not be monetarily compensated (apart from child care savings), but the life we could give our kids – one that neither my husband nor I had – is a reward that is more fulfilling for us than I could put into words.
We eventually decided that this was the best route for our family right now. Sounds like everything fell into place pretty well, doesn’t it?
Oddly, after we decided that I would continue to be a stay at home mom after our third baby was born, I felt very depressed and anxious for months. I couldn’t understand these feelings because being a sahm was what I wanted.
I struggled so much with the need to be a stay-at-home mom and a desire for having a career. After all, what was the point of pursuing my degree? Was my master’s degree a waste as I would “just” be raising the kids and taking care of the house?
How My Degree Helps Me As A Stay At Home Mom
We’re taught that education leads to a better job and so, a better life. It allows us to command a better job and a better salary. But, I never really learned how it could positively impact our personal development. Education has also added value to me as a person. And, now it’s helping me to be a good stay at home mom.
Here’s how a degree can help you be a better stay at home mom:
- earning a degree will boost your self-confidence
- increase in a sense of accomplishment. Knowing that you pursued and completed it on my own is something you wouldn’t trade for the world
- you are more self-disciplined
- increased time management skills
- better at critical thinking
- better communication skills
- learn your competencies
- you have a lifelong academic credential that you can use in any phase of your life
Most importantly, the path you take to get your degree helped shape who you today.
It led me to have this amazing family with the love of my life!
What About My Career, Now That I’m A Stay At Home Mom?
Once I worked out those benefits, I started tackling my feelings around my career and I realized that I had allowed myself to succumb to societal pressures to “do it all” as a mom.
Over the years, moms have transitioned from mainly being homemakers to having corporate jobs and “doing it all”. Now, there seems to be a stigma attached to choosing to be a stay-at-home mom with a degree in some circles.
Everywhere I looked there was a meme or a post about how strong working mothers are and I’ve always identified with that. My mom worked, as did my husband’s. Because of this, I convinced myself that without a corporate career I would no longer be strong and proud of myself. I spent way too much time wondering if I would be looked down upon if I didn’t aspire to climb the corporate ladder.
I also worried that my husband would think less of me and would no longer see me as an equal partner in our marriage. When people ask what I did for a living, what would I say? I’m “just” a stay-at-home mom? Would I feel disconnected from my working friends and even from my husband?
After a lot of soul searching, I understood that it was my perception that needed to change. I needed to own my decision and be at peace with it so that I could excel in what we were planning to accomplish. I needed to let go of what I thought my life had to look like so that I can open myself to my future.
Ensure A Well Balanced Life As A Stay At Home Mom
If only becoming a fulfilled stay-at-home mom was as simple as making the decision! Transitioning from corporate life doesn’t mean that you no longer have needs that go beyond the four walls of your home. You have to learn how to identify when you need more.
To ensure that you have a well balanced life as a stay at home mom, whether your kids are young or old enough to be at school you could:
- learn a new skill that we may not previously have had time to
- blog and/or vlog
- work from home
- go back to work
Conversely, we need to identify when it’s necessary to dial it back. Being a parent is already a 24/7 job, but as stay at home moms, we are primarily at home (especially when our kids are babies & infants or we’re homeschooling) and motherhood can feel much more overwhelming at times.
It’s therefore necessary to prioritize self care every day, even when you feel you’re too busy and tired. You need to find the time and schedule it, in the same way, that you schedule your kids’ nap times.
When you are rejuvenated and you feel content with life, you’re able to give more quality attention to everything in your life.
Support from your partner or spouse will go a really long way here, so be sure to communicate when you’re in need of a pick-me-up.
Don’t Put Yourself In A Box
I really started to be at peace with my decision to become a stay at home mom when I realized that I needed to define what that meant to me and our family. It doesn’t mean the same thing or look the same way for everyone. Being a stay-at-home mom can mean homeschooling, it can mean focusing on kids and the household only, it can mean working from home – try these sahm jobs to make money as a stay at home mom.
Choose what will work for you and for your family.
I chose my path and it’s important for me to keep ensuring that I’m fulfilled.
Since I’ve worked through everything, I’ve been able to enjoy what I accomplish daily with my kids and in the household. I’ve also realized that there are no limitations to what I can achieve since I stopped boxing myself into someone else’s definition of what I should be.
How did you decide to become a stay-at-home mom? Or are you still in the process of deciding? I’d love to hear about your experiences including any advice that can help someone else make the choice. Please leave a comment below.
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