I’ve worked full-time since I was 18 years old, and I’ve now been a stay-at-home mom for a few years now. When you compare the two, I honestly think that being a stay-at-home mom is the hardest job.
I know this statement is controversial because there are other hard jobs out there. But if you compare the work we do each day to the one done in the office, I would say that a SAHM does more.
Below, I will explain some of the reasons why I think being a stay-at-home mom is harder than working.
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Reasons Why Stay-At-Home Mom Is The Hardest Job
1. It’s very isolating
The first reason why stay-at-home mom is the hardest job is that it’s very isolating. There are a few reasons for this isolation. One is that friends who don’t have kids yet will not understand what you’re going through.
Friends with kids who are not stay-at-home moms will also not understand the amount of work you do. Sometimes, your spouse may not even understand what you do every day at home.
So there’s really no one to talk to about your daily experiences. No one to vent to or ask for advice. You’re in a different world on your own.
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2. You don’t get a lot of help or support
There’s a big misconception that stay-at-home moms have a lot of free time on their hands. A lot of people think we’re lazy. We do nothing but sit on the couch and watch TV all day.
Because of this misconception, family and friends are less eager to offer you a helping hand. In a situation where a working mom may get a family member to watch her kids for a few hours, a stay-at-home mom may not receive the same offer.
People automatically think we got it all figured out and can do it ourselves. Sometimes your spouse may even have this misconception and be less willing to help out at home.
I’ve spoken to a lot of SAHMs who complain that their spouse doesn’t help with any housework. They think that since they earn all the money, then they don’t have to do any of the house chores. This is another reason why being a stay-at-home mom is a hard job.
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3. You can lose your identity
When your job involves taking care of everyone else’s needs all day, it is very easy to lose your self-identity. There were days when I forget what my life was like before I became a mom. I no longer had time for my hobbies.
I realized that I was slowly losing myself in my kids. All I ever thought about was their interest, their hobbies, their schedules, and what I could do to make them happy.
A study showed that stay-at-home moms have a higher rate of depression, anxiety, and stress. This is another reason why being a stay-at-home mom is the hardest job ever.
After battling with the loss of self-identity for a while, I started making a conscious effort to do something simple for myself each day. Something I enjoyed that had nothing to do with my kids.
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4. It’s a job with no holiday or time off
Our work never ends as SAHMs. If your kids are sick, you’re the one who stays up all night with them. Your spouse gets a day off to relax and prepare for the following week, but SAHMs do not. You’re on the job 24/7.
That’s why it’s so important for SAHMs to speak up and ask for help from their spouse when they need it. I try to do something for myself one day a week. When my spouse is off work, he takes care of the kids and I go out with friends.
If we don’t demand some time for ourselves, we will never get it.
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5. You don’t get paid
Being a stay-at-home mom is a hard job because you don’t get paid in money. It’s difficult to leave a paying job to become a stay-at-home mom. That’s what I did many years ago. It was a tough sacrifice but ultimately the right one for my family.
Everything we do for our family is out of love. If we were to get paid for it all, we would probably make more money than our spouses.
That’s why it’s important for a spouse to appreciate their SAHM wife. Often I hear women complain about how their spouse thinks they don’t do much as a SAHM. They always feel unappreciated.
If you’re one of those women, feel free to break down your job responsibilities to your spouse, and calculate how much you could be getting paid for all the work you do. It’s a real eye-opener.
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6. You don’t get a sick day
If you were working a regular 9-5, you would be expected to get some time off when you’re sick. As a SAHM, you don’t get that luxury. Your kids will always need you even when you’re not feeling your best.
If you’re not lucky enough to have family nearby who can help during the times you’re sick, then you’re stuck doing it all on your own.
I am a migraine sufferer. Anyone who suffers from migraines knows that they can be very debilitating. Even with medications, I’m sometimes stuck in bed all day just nursing my migraines.
Now that I have kids, there’s no such thing as staying in bed all day, even with a full-blown migraine. My husband can’t always take off work to step in when I’m sick because my migraine frequencies are higher than the norm.
So with no sick days, I power through the migraines and any other illness I might have because my kids need me. That’s why being a stay-at-home mom is the hardest job.
7. You don’t get a bathroom break
Ever had to deal with your baby crying because you left them briefly to go use the bathroom? I dealt with that when my kids were younger. During the height of separation anxiety, kids feel like your absence (however brief) means you’ve completely abandoned them.
They will cry when you go to the next room, when you take a shower, pee, or step out of sight for a brief moment.
During those periods, most moms shower, pee, and poop with the door open. You just deal with the lack of privacy until your kids get older.
If that doesn’t make being a stay-at-home mom a very hard job, then I don’t know what does.
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8. You can’t leave home without your kids
For most people, running to the store to grab something isn’t a big deal. For a SAHM, it requires some work. You have to get the baby dressed and push them to the store in a stroller. I can’t use a baby carrier and haul groceries at the same time, so that’s not an option for me.
When you’re a SAHM, you can’t just leave the house whenever you feel like it. Who’s going to watch your kids? Everything you do is carefully planned around your kids’ schedules. Simple trips to the grocery store become a lot of work.
That’s another reason why stay-at-home mom is the hardest job.
9. You can’t go out whenever you want
Someone must be around to watch your kids before you can leave the house. Most SAHMs don’t pay for a sitter, because saving money is one of the reasons we’re home in the first place.
So if you don’t have family around to help, you’re stuck until your spouse gets home.
If the place you’re going is kid-friendly, then the next option is to take them with you in a stroller. Being a stay-at-home mom is the hardest job because Sometimes, SAHMs just want some alone time without the kids.
That’s very hard to come by.
10. You have many job titles
As a stay-at-home mom, I’m the chef who plans and preps all the meals. I’m the maid who cleans the house from top to bottom every day. I’m the chauffeur who drives the kids to all their doctor’s appointments and playdates.
I’m the main parent who teaches them manners, morals, and how to be decent human beings. I’m the financial manager who pays all the bills and makes sure we live within our means.
I’m the tailor who mends all the clothes so we don’t have to go out to buy more. I’m a teacher who helps with homework and prepares the younger kid for kindergarten.
I’m also a wife who supports and loves her husband. All of these hats that I wear make being a stay-at-home mom a very hard job.
11. There’s pressure to do it all
There’s so much pressure put on stay-at-home moms to do it all by people who don’t understand us.
Some people think we’re lazy because we have “free” time all day and still complain about having too much work. Others think that caring for children all day is not really considered a job.
Due to these misconceptions about SAHMs, we feel the pressure to prove society wrong and be superwomen.
We want to take care of the home, our kids, and our husbands and still make some money on the side.
My advice is to not put too much pressure on yourself to accomplish your to-do list each day. There are days when I get everything done quickly with some time to spare. Then there are days when all I can do is care for my kids and let the rest fall by the wayside.
You’re in charge of your home. If you need to take a break, then do so. No one will judge you.
12. Hard to keep up with your self-care
Because of all the things on our plates, it can be hard for us to take care of ourselves. There are days when I don’t brush my teeth until late in the afternoon because I’ve been running around caring for everyone else.
It’s so easy for stay-at-home moms to lose themselves and their identity in their kids. That’s why being a stay-at-home mom is a very hard job.
My suggestion is to take some time out for yourself each day. You can work on a hobby, read a book or just watch TV. It’s important to recharge ourselves so we don’t get burned out quickly.
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13. Hard to keep up with the schedule of kids, spouse, and chores
One thing you will hear most stay-at-home moms complain about is the difficulty of coordinating everyone’s schedules.
If you have a young kid and an older one, you may find that both of them are on opposite schedules.
For example, one kid may need a nap while the other needs to go to their music lesson, while your husband might need to use the car to run to an important appointment.
It’s a never-ending battle trying to get everyone on similar schedules to make life easier for you. Juggling different schedules make being a stay-at-home mom a hard job.
14. Fewer adult interactions
Being a stay-at-home mom is the hardest job because you have little to no adult interaction. That’s one thing I miss about going to work. You get to interact with your co-workers and have stimulating adult conversations.
My suggestion to SAHMs who struggle with this is to find some mommy friends to hang out with. Preferably people who are also SAHMs. This will help you and your kids.
You can plan playdates in each other’s houses. While your kids learn to play with others, you and your new adult friends can share your SAHM experience with the other person. It’s a win-win situation.
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Being a stay-at-home mom is one of the hardest jobs in the world. Some people may think otherwise, but it’s probably because they’ve never walked in our shoes.
If you’re feeling unappreciated by your spouse, my suggestion is to communicate your feeling with them and try therapy.
I hope you’ve found this article helpful.
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