Deciding to become a stay-at-home mom, SAHM, is a very personal and individualized decision. Moms decide to either stay home or not for various reasons. There are a lot of trade-offs and sacrifices you have to make along the way no matter what decision you make. I remember after my twins were born and I finally stopped working part-time to become a SAHM, I only considered the benefits. I thought about how great it would be to not work. To be able to spend all my time with my girls, watch them grow and to teach them things. I quickly discovered, as most SAHMs do, that although those things may be true, there are 5 things you may give up being a SAHM other than work.
You Give Up #1 Your Profession
This seems almost like a no-brainer because you elected to stop working professionally. Yet, I discovered that there is a difference between you working and your profession. I am a pharmacist by training. So for 6 years of my life, I went to school to earn that title. Then for 6 years after that, I worked as a pharmacist. A lot of who I had grown to be and who became was tied to being a pharmacist. The same can be said for most professions, whether you are a teacher, a lawyer, or a hair stylist. When you go from saying ‘I am’ to ‘I was’ it can sting a little. Especially, when people start to question why you would choose to stay at home over your chosen profession.
You Give Up #2 Respect
There are a lot of people that applaud you for choosing to be a SAHM, but there are also a lot of people that do not. Questioning why you may have chosen to give up your career and additional income. Also, losing a little respect for you because your decision to stay home is contrary to what they would have decided. For me giving up my profession, came with losing a little of the respect of others, including my husband, Eric.
It took Eric over a year to truly become supportive of me becoming a SAHM. In the beginning, he went along with my decision to stay home, not because he understood it, but because it was something I wanted to do. I explained repeatedly that this was truly something I wanted and I believed God was calling me to do. Yet, he and others I knew could not understand why I would give up my lucrative career as a pharmacist. Questioning how I could truly be fulfilled being just a SAHM.
You Give Up #3 Independence
Before becoming a SAHM, when someone asked ‘What do you do?’ the answer came easily and you usually said so with pride. You took pride in your accomplishments, the independence it provided and the title you held. Now when someone asks you ‘What do you do?’ The answer, although easy, it is tied to someone else. Your identity is no longer tied to something you accomplished or achieved; yet to those little people you call your children.
You Give Up #4 Adult Interaction
I never realized how much I needed to talk to and interact with other adults until I became a SAHM. When you stay home, there can be days that go by that the only adult you see or talk to is your husband. Add to that a husband that travels often for work, and then there can be days with no adult interactions at all. As much as we love our kids, always talking about what Marshall on Paw Patrol or Chilly on Doc McStuffins did that day can get old.
You Give Up #5 Relationship with God
This is one that you may not have realized you had slowly started giving up, I didn’t. As a SAHM, your primary job is to take care of your family. You can become so caught up in nurturing the relationships with your children; you lose sight of your relationship with God. Your time spent with God and in His Word gets pushed further and further down the list of things to do.
Despite all the things that we may have to give up being a SAHM, don’t lose hope.
Being a mom, whether you’re a SAHM or not, is hard work. Regardless of the things we give up or sacrifices we make, we do them willingly and most often without complaints. We do what we think if best for our families. Knowing that although there are numerous things we give up, there are also so many things that we gain.
I’d love to hear about what you gave up to be either a SAHM or a working mom in the comments!
And don’t forget to check out how we take a different perspective on being a SAHM here.