I grew up with two hard-working parents. I didn't have a stay-at-home mom or dad. So, when I grew up I always saw myself working full-time too. I wasn't really sure if I would even become a parent, but sure enough, God blessed me with a daughter and three years later a son.
When Ryan and I were planning on starting a family our hearts became aligned for me to stay at home with Elle, and also work part-time from home. Thank you, Internet! I never felt comfortable completely giving up a job. Maybe it was because my mom had engrained in me to never, ever stop working just in case something happened to Ryan. (Boy, am I sure glad she did that...but I digress...) So, I made a way to do both, but I what I didn't know was that I was setting myself up for failure because I didn't have any clue about boundaries or what to expect.
I had no idea how hard it was to be a stay at home mom. Oh my goodness is it soooooo hard. It's one of the hardest jobs on the planet. HANDS DOWN! And I can say that because I have done it ALL. Worked full-time, stayed at home, and now being a single parent working full-time and parenting alone...Hands down, being a stay at home mom is harder than any desk job, in my opinion. And being a stay at home mom while running a business....Well, my friends, that's working two full-time jobs truthfully.
The reason why it's harder than a desk job is because you are constantly pouring yourself out without any encouragement from a colleague, zero payment from a boss and hardly any breaks. Heck, I still don't go to the bathroom alone unless I'm at my desk job! When you are home with a baby constantly breastfeeding and changing diapers, while a three year old is repetitively asking for snacks and for you to play...And then you finally get the toddler down and the baby is still awake....Oh my goooshhh...Never ending, exhausting job that is soooo worth it in the long run, but then you have all of the other housework to do and you barely have two hands to do it....I mean, those "I love you, Mommy's" and sticky jelly kisses are worth more than gold, but it doesn't put the fuel back in the tank. While desk jobs can easily affirm you and give you a pep in your step as you cross things off your list, make people happy and can see it on their faces, and get paid.
I have a lot of friends that are stay-at-home moms looking to work a side gig to bring in some cash and here is what I will tell you so that you can learn from my mistakes:
1. Make sure you know why you are wanting to stay at home, and make sure your partner sees the value too. Maybe even agree together to assign what that numerical value is of being a SAHM. That way it's not EVER looked as FREE and you both see your role as important.
2. Make sure you clearly define your SAHM hours and your team parenting hours. You can't just hand-off your kids for the whole night to your partner when they get home, but you may need that one hour break you would normally get for lunch at your desk job when they get home. (Some days kids don't take naps and there ZERO breaks).
3. Make sure you define the reason why you are keeping a part-time job. Is it really for the money or are you doing it for job security or are you doing it to help your mind sharp. Whatever it is make sure you define the why.
4. If you are going to work from home, set your office hours and stick to them, so that your spouse knows when you are working.
5. Since SAHM's or SAHD's don't get reviews or bonuses, make sure your partner knows when you are feeling unappreciated, discouraged or kicking ass. Have them help you celebrate wins and grieve losses. You might also want to join MOPS or mom clubs to other moms can cheer you on.
6. Don't ever say you don't work! You are working and providing a lot of value to your family by raising your children. Put it one your resume on LinkedIn. I sure did! It's called the "pregnancy pause." https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexandra-evjen/ Just because I was home with Elle doesn't mean I wasn't learning and gaining skills that can be applied to a team office environment. I learned to nurture, to discipline, to multitask, to be comfortable with looooong hours, etc.
7. Remember that even though your job is hard it's the most rewarding. I wish I could go back to being with my kids more. It's such a short time in their lives before they go to school, and I wish I got to do that more for Levi.
Now, full-time working moms...I know you might be mad at me right now for saying this, and that's okay. I'm a full-time working single mom, and this is just my opinion now that I have been able to compare and contrast different seasons and roles. I'd love to hear your thoughts too. Please share!