Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Thoughts and fears on transitioning to full-time stay-at-home mom

So I'm 3 weeks from that big "transition to full-time mommy" and I have more thoughts coming every day.

I'm not sure if I should entitle this "thoughts on becoming a stay-at-home mom" or "fears of becoming a stay-at-home mom."

Here's a list, with probably more thoughts and possible "deeper" explanations on the topic over the upcoming weeks and months.


Fears of being a stay-at-home mom

My deepest fear is that I will be a failure. Now I know there's no failure in being a mom (unless you do something criminal against your kids, of course!) but since with working full time I have set goals, deadlines and I know how I'm doing and I really control my career-life, with kids it isn't like that.


Another fear I have is of not necessarily rejection but of the fights and potential battling that is generally seen as the "pay" of stay at home moms. Stay at home mom pay is low. I know I'll get paid by smiles and quick hugs from my daughter (she's like me, not very huggy/physical) and big kisses and slobbers and tickles from my son. With regular work, you get paid for what you do and possibly more if you do really well. Pay raises as a stay at  home mom are likely to come through bonding and attachment, right? Well hopefully I haven't missed too much of those because at almost 5, my daughter will likely start to get to the "mom's not cool" age. Mean while, this thought to stay at home started because my daughter was sad last year when the substitute teacher (at her old school) thought that our au pair was her mom. That made her cry a few times. I do not want that for my daughter. This way, I'll be doing more drop-offs and pick-ups. That is a satisfaction I will get, but likely I have to know this innately, and not expect a pat on the back or a "thanks for being there mom" from my daughter.

I fear I'll be bored and feel unsatisfied. Moms aren't supposed to be bored of staying at home with their kids, right? We're supposed to enjoy rolling on the carpet, playing cars and be happy to blow up 100 balloons a week, right? Well I know that logically we all realize we won't always be happy doing these things, but my fear is that since I'm goal oriented, I won't be able to let go of those "measurements" and stress myself out. This goes back to the whole "failure" thing that I first said. But I know my stay-at-home mom friends do not get bored. There are so many things to be done each day! If I'm bored it is likely because I'm being a lazy lump on a log, right :)

Perhaps, deep down, I'm afraid I'll actually like staying at home. I mean, who has two bachelor's and three master's degrees and wants to stay home with their kids? I know I have the book smarts to be a parent (master's in education and also a master's in psychology) and that should mean I can tell a mom some theories on parenting and child development, right? But, put it into action, I put a lot of time and money into my education. I know I am doing a good thing by being home for my kids, I'll be there for them when they come home from school, I can be at my daughter's ballet class. I can bring my son to library story time. Perhaps I can even plan meals out to prevent food waste even! But, I either need to change my competitive, goal-oriented personality, make "goals and checklists" for staying at home, or find a balance within there.

So, in a few weeks, it will be "welcome to the 16%" - as in the 16% of moms who havea post-graduate degree and are unemployed (Gallup poll)

14 comments:

Margaux at YoungNesters said...

Interesting statistic at the end, I had no idea. I'm a Master's degree SAHM as well and I have very similar thoughts (fears) as you explained, even now that my son is 16 months and I've been home most of those months. Setting goals for myself helps. Whether it's menial things like cleaning or blog or etsy goals, planning trips, etc. I also like to think as myself as a money saver now too. I get excited when I can save money and cut back in certain places and I consider that as part of my "pay" in a way.

Brittney Minor said...

I do think that it will be hard at first, for many reasons. But hopefully you will get the swing of things and enjoy the benefits of staying at home. Enjoy the time with your kids and appreciate that time. Maybe you will love it so much that you will never want to work again ;) or maybe you will love this time and be ready to work again when the kids are older. Good luck on your journey!

Megan Eccles said...

I'm so excited for you to start this journey! I think once you get in the swing of things you'll find you have plenty to do, and reap the benefits of spending that much time with your kids.

Theresa said...

According to the April 2012 Gallup poll at http://www.gallup.com/poll/153995/Stay-Home-Moms-Lean-Independent-Lower-Income.aspx?version=print 16% of women with a master's degree and a child under 18 in their household are unemployed. 14% of all women in the US are both unemployed and have a child at home. So really you are joining the 16% of women with Master's degrees and a child in the household, which is still commendable. I hope to join the 25% of unemployed women with a college degree and a child in the household as a SAHM soon. :)
(Not trying to be picky -it is just that your statistic reads as if as 16% of all women stay at home and have master's degrees, which is not the case.)

TJ @ MeasuringFlower.com said...

Wow, 2 masters? That's awesome! I do have a BS in writing, which I use plenty while being a SAHM thanks to the internet, my blog, and others' websites. :-) But have no fear, I have found that being a SAHM is the greatest thing in life. It delights me to be at home with my wee ones and watch them grow (I write as they're both screaming their little heads off in the background, lol.)

TJ @ MeasuringFlower.com said...

Wow, 2 masters? That's awesome! I do have a BS in writing, which I use plenty while being a SAHM thanks to the internet, my blog, and others' websites. :-) But have no fear, I have found that being a SAHM is the greatest thing in life. It delights me to be at home with my wee ones and watch them grow (I write as they're both screaming their little heads off in the background, lol.)

Julieann R said...

Awesome and honest post. I think fears are good for us, they drive us to do better and if we can overlook them, they make us do brave things.

Lindsey said...

Very great, honest post. Honestly, you'll probably feel ALL of those things, but it's worth it to me. I love being the one that gets to see my kids grow up right before my eyes. :) Well, I don't want them to grow up, but they do! Ha

SkYLan said...

"The Greatest Work you'll ever do will be within the walls of your own home." - Best Quote EVER!

Amanda McMahon said...

Thank you all for your kind words! I'm confident this is the right move, but it doesn't make it any less emotional.

Sarah @ made in usa challenge said...

I stayed at home with my son during his first year and had some of the same thoughts. Luckily there are many ways to still be active in your community through volunteering, etc. So being a SAHM doesn't have to mean be isolated and stop learning.

Amanda McMahon said...

great idea sarah!

montana mama said...

I'm another SAHM with a Master's Degree and sometimes struggle with similar thoughts about this new role for me. I have some friends with Master's Degrees who actually started doing some very part time online teaching with online universities so maybe that is something you could look into for a little extra income and a way to feel like you're still using your hard earned knowledge!

Beth :: Our Front Porch View said...

SAHM is the hardest but more rewarding job there is! Your fears are totally normally. I'm 2.5 years in and I'm still getting my groove but I wouldn't trade it for the world.

God bless you, mama!

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