Finding your purpose as a stay-at-home mom can be very challenging, especially in the beginning. This is because the life of a stay-at-home mom is so completely different from that of a working woman.
Your days are spent changing diapers, doing homework, cooking, cleaning, running errands and so much more. It can be very draining if you don’t know how to find a balance.
It is not uncommon for stay-at-home moms to suffer from depression. In fact, it’s so common that it has a special name “stay-at-home mom depression”. This is the type of depression that occurs when women leave the workforce.
According to psychcentral, it’s caused by the feeling of isolation, loss of financial independence, and loss of identity from staying home with kids.
In this article, I will give you steps to help you find your purpose again as a stay-at-home mom. If you’re struggling, know that you’re not alone. There is hope.
Let’s jump right in!
How To Find Your Purpose As a Stay-at-Home Mom
1. Define your reasons for wanting to stay home in the first place
The first step to finding purpose as a stay-at-home mom is to remind yourself of the reasons you chose to stay home in the first place. In the chaos of everyday child-rearing and home-making, it can be very easy to forget the “why”.
So take out a poster board, post-it, or any piece of paper. Write down your top 5-10 reasons that you chose to stay home with your kids instead of sending them to daycare.
Chances are, you didn’t just fall into the role of SAHM. It was a conscious decision you made with your spouse. So try to remember why you’re doing this. When you wake up every morning, read that list out loud.
Let it be your daily mantra. Every company has a mission statement that lets the world know the purpose of the company. Let this be a sort of mission statement to yourself because you’re the “company” of your family. Your home will not function without you there.
2. Consider the benefits of being a stay-at-home mom
Don’t let the daily stress make you forget about the benefits you’re providing your family as a stay-at-home mom. No nanny in the world can do what you do. You’re not just a cook and a maid.
You’re the backbone that holds the whole family together.
You teach your children the right morals to help them grow into productive members of society. You teach them respect, how to share, and most of all, how to love. Who can do that better than you?
By staying home, you’re helping your family save financially. We all know the cost of daycare is high. Staying home helps you avoid that high cost.
I’m sure you’ve also heard some of the horror stories about what happens in daycares. You never have to worry about your child picking up any bad habits from others.
Another benefit of staying home is that you don’t have to worry about missing any milestones. You’ll be there for all the “firsts”. That is something you’ll never get back if you miss it.
One more thing to think about. It turns out that kids whose mother’s stayed at home do better in school compared to kids who were sent to daycare at the beginning (Havard Business Review)
These benefits are your purpose in being a stay-at-home mom. Don’t forget that.
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3. Connect with other stay-at-home moms
They say it takes a village to raise a child. That village is not just family. It also includes friends. I suggest you find your mom village as early as possible, so you’re not alone in this SAHM journey.
When I first became a stay-at-home mom, I was very lonely. The isolation of being home with kids all day, with no adult interaction, got to me. To help me cope, I set out on a journey to find some SAHM friends.
Now I have what I call my “mom tribe”. They are my shoulder to cry on when I need to vent. They give me support to carry on when the days are hard. They’ll remind you of your purpose as a stay-at-home mom whenever you forget it. I’m so thankful to have them in my life.
This article will help you find your mom tribe too. Check out 17 Proven Ways To Make Mom Friends (Loneliness No More)
4. Accept your new role as the leader of your children
Your most important purpose as a stay-at-home mom is to lead your household. When your husband isn’t home, you’re the only other authority in your house.
Don’t take that role lightly. Use the time you have with them effectively. Teach them all the things in life you wish your parents had taught you. Play with them, build memories and have fun. You will never get this time back.
5. Use your free time to explore different interests and hobbies
When I became a stay-at-home mom, here’s what my husband told me. He said, “you’ve been working and schooling all your life. Why don’t you use this time to explore your interest and hobbies? You will be amazed how creative you can be when you have the free time to explore”.
I’m giving you the same advice today. Take some time for yourself each day to explore one of your hobbies. I know you may be thinking “what free time? I have so much work to do”.
The truth is, work will always be there. You have to make time for things that are important in your life. One of those things should be your self-care. Exploring different hobbies and doing fun things for yourself is part of self-care.
In the last few years, I’ve started a blog, and learned to sew and paint. I’m now exploring ways to make side income online.
Here are some articles that can help: 29 Fun Stay-at-Home Mom Hobby Ideas (money-making hobbies included)
You may also like: 12 Best Side Jobs For Stay-at-Home Moms
6. Stop comparing your life to others
To find purpose in your life as a stay-at-home mom, you need to stop comparing yourself to others. Everyone has a unique purpose in life.
We all have different abilities and opportunities. So why would you compare yourself to another mom who may have more opportunities than you? They may live in a fancier house, drive a nice car, or buy more toys for their kids.
That doesn’t mean they’re a better parent than you. Not everything you see on social media is real. People only show a snippet of their life online. Remember that everyone smiles for the camera even when they may be crying inside.
7. Know that you can change your mind about being a SAHM
You’re not stuck in this role. If you don’t like being a stay-at-home mom, you can stop. If you liked your job, then try to go back if they’ll have you. You also have the option of getting another job.
If you didn’t like your job, then consider going back to school for another degree. Check out 20 Best Careers After Being A Stay-at-home Mom for inspiration.
If you really can’t afford daycare and need to stay home for that reason, then remember that this is all temporary. Your children will grow up and go to school eventually (around age 6 for kindergarten) When that time comes, you’ll have the freedom to do whatever you want.
8. Know that your challenges as a stay-at-home mom are temporary
When you are in the thick of the stress, it can feel endless. The constant messy house, the screaming kids, dirty dishes, and never-ending errands can make you feel like you’re drowning. I want you to know that all these challenges are temporary.
As your kids get older, they will learn to do chores and help you around the house. They will learn to cook and make themselves snacks as they get older. Things will not remain the same.
Right now, your purpose as a stay-at-home mom is to train them to the point where they can do these things independently. That will free up more time for your to take a break.
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9. Help other struggling SAHMs find meaning in their lives
This might sound a little crazy, but hear me out. Ever seen a situation where a recovering addict finds purpose in life by helping other people to overcome their addictions? These recovering addicts work as sponsors, addiction counselors, mentors, etc.
There is a psychology behind this. When you’ve struggled and overcome something, you can find so much meaning in life by helping others who’re in the same place as you were.
That psychology is the reason I started this website. I struggled for a long time with SAHM depression. I lost my purpose as a stay-at-home mom. When I finally came out of my depression, I decided to start a blog where I could help other SAHMs like me find purpose in their life as well.
I challenge you to do the same today. It will help lift you out of your funk. Start a mom group in your neighborhood or a Facebook group for SAHMs. You can even start a blog of your own. Doing this will help give you more purpose as a stay-at-home mom.
10. Be proud of your role as a stay-at-home mom
Last but not least. Be proud of your important role as a stay-at-home mom. Often, SAHMs feel like their job is less important than that of the working parent.
When compared to working moms, we feel less than because we’re not providing financially for our family. What we sometimes fail to realize is that what we do is WORK. If we were getting paid for every aspect of our job, we would make more money than our spouses.
If you need to, make a long list of all your responsibilities at home as a SAHM. Paste it on the wall to remind yourself how much you do for your family. You may not be getting paid in money, but your payment comes from knowing that your children are loved and cared for.
Treat yourself to something nice once in a while as “payment” for your hard work. Make sure your spouse knows what you do for the home, and show his appreciation as often as possible.
So be extremely proud of your hard work mama. You’re doing great!
Don’t let the stresses of life stop you from enjoying your time as a stay-at-home mom. You may not feel motivated or hopeful at the moment, but working on yourself can help. Follow the steps I outlined in this article to help you find purpose as a stay-at-home mom.