There sure are a lot of misconceptions about the life of a stay-at-home mom. If you are a stay-at-home mom yourself, you no doubt had some misconceptions about what the life of a mom who stayed at home all day with her kids was really like. Of course, there are all kinds of stories and jokes floating around about mothers who watch soap operas and talk shows all day, who sleep in until noon while their kids watch cartoons all morning, and who eat bon bons.
That sure would be a leisurely life to lead, but the fact is that stay-at-home moms actually get burned out on their lifestyle because it is anything but leisurely. Consider these facts:
Division of Labor. In most households today, chores are often divvied up more equally between the sexes than they were years ago. Yet the fact is that this isn’t quite the case at all when one parent stays at home with the kids and the other one trots off to work long hours at a job. It does make sense for the person who stays behind with the kids and who is in the house all day to do more of the chores, and most stay-at-home moms don’t argue this point at all. Yet when the full brunt of all (or most) household tasks falls on your shoulders, it can be rather daunting.
Non-Stop Work. Many parents complain that their job as a parent just never seems to end. Yet when a parent runs off to work, they do get that mental shift of focus away from the kids and house and onto other things. Keeping the house clean and in proper working order is a non-stop job, as is taking care of the kids. You cannot shift your focus or take the weekend off. The work is non-stop, and sometimes when the kids are sick, the work even eats away at your ability to rest, bathe, or eat a meal without interruption. The ability to just never get that mental or emotional break can take its toll on a stay-at-home mom over time.
Pulled in All Directions. Many stay-at-home moms do not just take care of one child during the day. Many do have two, three, or more kids at home with them. Each child is on his or her own schedule, and may be involved in different activities. Adding to this, many stay-at-home moms make up the bulk of a school’s PTA, and they may volunteer at a church or in various different organizations. There are often various functions and events that need to be planned. This is combined with ensuring that the house stays cleaned, the fridge stays full, all kids stay challenged and socialized, and more. It may seem odd to hear a stay-at-home mom complain about being stressed out if you have never been a stay-at-home mom yourself, but these moms often serve as the support structure not just for their families but also for schools, churches, and other organizations, too.
While stay-at-home moms often don’t have high-powered board meetings or tense conference calls at work, they are often juggling a dozen different tasks on their agenda for the day, each and every day of the week in most cases.