My Adjustments to Being a Stay at Home Mom

Disclaimer: This comes from a REAL mom! When I joined the Houston Moms Blog team, I signed on to be authentic and true to who I am. This is my real life and everyday struggles. This post is not meant to offend or upset any of my fellow moms out there – but to encourage those who find themselves in a similar place in life.

Three years ago I was a single mom working a job that I LOVED and enjoyed every minute of it. Then I met my knight in shining armor (cheesy, I know), had a baby and then had another baby. Here we are three years later with 3 kids, 2 of which have some not so fun medical issues and trying to make it all work. In the midst of our lives changing, I had this constant in my life that was MY job, MY career, MY place that I could retreat to and do well and find success. Until…the day we decided I was being led to stay at home with my brood. You see, I never  saw myself staying at home with my kids. I saw myself in a suit at meetings and living in the world of a working mom. But when the day came that I realized what was best for MY family was for me to stay home, I had to figure out what this looked like for me and who I was going to be in this new role.

This new title I hold has not been an easy adjustment for me and has been a struggle that I cannot always talk about. I mean – when you talk about missing your job in a play group, you get the side eye look. You know the one I’m talking about. The one that’s filled with thoughts like, “What do you mean you never saw yourself at home? There is no greater job.” or “How selfish of you to want to work and not stay with your kids.”

But, this could not be farther from the truth. I love my children with every fiber of my being and they are the reason I made this decision. I set my pride and desires aside, and I stepped into the new job I was called to. But does it make me a bad mom to say I miss my job? I miss the thrill of success in my position. I miss the consistency that I had for so many years. So many moms feel that their calling is to be a stay at home mom, but what about those of us who are seeing this as a whole new journey?

So here I am – a stay at home mom, and I can say that I LOVE being with my children. The blessings I have received in being home are countless, but so were the blessings I received living in my corporate dream. But here is the catcher…in both positions, I still question – am I doing enough? Am I a good mom? Are they better off now or before?

I have realized in this transition of life that we moms are constantly comparing ourselves to others. It is the never-ending mommy’s guilt. Or we have the ‘grass is always greener’ complex. We allow ourselves to believe the lies that say if we stay at home, we are not contributing members of society. But as any stay at home mom would know, our days are FILLED with WORK. And as working moms, we hear that we are judged for not spending enough time with our kids. But in reality, the time we do get with them is always quality.

I have decided that what we need to be telling ourselves is that we are ALL doing the best we can. We are all making the decisions that we feel are best for our OWN families. I can see past it, and I realize that some of us are better moms when we stay home…and some of us are better moms because of the work we do outside of the home.

I mean seriously, aren’t we all a little granola mom, spontaneous mom, scheduled mom, stay at home mom, and working mom all mixed into a bunch of awesomeness? We may have a little more of one than the other, but that is what makes this world a better place. We were all created uniquely to be the perfect moms for OUR OWN children.

So I challenge us as women and mothers to stop believing the lies we hear and start encouraging and embracing the season of mommy hood we find ourselves in. Who’s with me?

SAHM Channing

19 Responses to My Adjustments to Being a Stay at Home Mom

  1. Avatar
    Meg O. September 22, 2013 at 9:20 am #

    Channing, I’m not kidding when I say this post made me cry. It made me cry because we are all so much alike, no matter where we are as mothers. Even if I feel like I have an opposite sentiment to you! I am constantly asking myself “am I doing enough?” because I am away from my family more than I would like to be. It’s a huge struggle for me, as my job doesn’t end at 3:15 like most teachers. I hate having to put a lot of responsibility on Greg’s shoulders and it makes me feel like less of a mom. But you are right – we are doing the best that we can for our families. Mostly because we are putting each other first before ourselves. Love you, friend!!! xoxo

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      Channing L September 22, 2013 at 12:48 pm #

      Meg,
      Sweet friend, thank you for this. We are all doing the best we can even though some days we feel like we fail royally! There are some nights I go to bed and think man I really stunk at being a mom today but there is always tomorrow. And do we really want our kids to think we are perfect? I don’t, I want them to see me as who I really am. Love you!

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    Ashley September 22, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

    Love your honest heart felt transparency in this article. Very well said.

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      Channing L September 22, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

      Thank you Ashley!

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    Ashley September 22, 2013 at 7:35 pm #

    I totally know what you mean. I’ve slowly but surely been walking further and further away from working full-time and I almost feel lost … like I am scared to give up my “real job,” as I call it, because what if I need a job again? Or what if I am a terrible SAHM? Etc etc. We’re all just doing the best we can – thank you for being honest!

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      Channing L September 22, 2013 at 8:28 pm #

      Ashley- I struggled with this for months and spend many hours praying about it. I still have that worry that creeps in every once in a while and I have to remind myself that I am in the right place. When going back and forth I weighed all options and the thought of leaving a job that was a home away from home for me was gut wrenching. One day I woke up and I said ok here it is, in what decision do I have peace about the direction it leads me. Hands down I knew that it was time for me to stay home. and that was the hardest decision for me to make. It was a total leap of faith and I just trusted that if I did what God was telling me to do it would work. And you know what, so far it has! I have had opportunities I may have never had and it’s been amazing. Now don’t get me wrong I MISS my job everyday but, I still have a peace about my decision. It’s all in what is best for you and truth be told the mom worry will still be there. But, if you are doing a great job in your position you never know they may just let you come on back someday when the time is right!

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    Teressa September 22, 2013 at 11:58 pm #

    Thank you for sharing so honestly your struggle through this.
    Your girls are so blessed to be able to have a mama that will sacrifice for them. They too will learn so much from this season in your family’s life!

    I like how you said WE ARE ALL DOING THE BEST WE CAN!
    Every kid is different, every mama is different, every season we experience is DIFFERENT.

    Keep doing your best and sharing it!

    • Avatar
      Channing L September 23, 2013 at 8:00 am #

      Thank you Teressa!

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    Becky K September 23, 2013 at 3:51 pm #

    Girl, this was GOOD. Thank you for sharing. Such a good encouragement to me!

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      Channing L September 23, 2013 at 5:05 pm #

      Thank you Becky! I loved your post too :)! I needed that reminder!

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    Heather M September 23, 2013 at 8:54 pm #

    I’m going to be 100% honest- I almost didn’t read this post. Not because I don’t think you’re awesome (you are!), but because I’m a working mom that would LOVE to stay home. So I get totally jealous of the SAHMs out there. I know you probably do a ton more work than I do every day (um, hello toddlers!), but I can’t imagine a more fulfilling “job”. But I’m very glad I did read it. This was a beautiful post- thank you for sharing!

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      Channing L October 4, 2013 at 9:01 am #

      Thank you Heather! That means so much to me.

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    Jenn September 25, 2013 at 9:38 pm #

    Channing, I’ve been home for three years now and the longer I’m home the more strongly I am feeling that urge to get back to “real” work. It’s such a tough pull for moms and I know that I am blessed beyond my wildest imaginings to stay home with our boys. I don’t think it’s easy though, and I know that I need to see my worth in staying at home more than I sometimes do.

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      Channing L September 26, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

      Jen I know exactly how you feel! I do the same thing and have to remind myself that I am doing a bigger job now than I could have ever imagined. You are doing a great job!

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    Shawna S. October 3, 2013 at 4:40 pm #

    WOW! First time reading your blog… I was linked through pinterest. Your situation mirrors my own! I spent 13 years as a single mom (16 year old and 3 year old twins) when I met my husband. A month before we married, we found out I was pregnant with #4. I have always been VERY independent and taken care of everything. Even now, I am the breadwinner. Now, due to impending baby, daycare financial woes, and my desire to spend more time with the kids, I am a soon-to-be SAHM. I’m nervous and excited all at the same time. I’m worried about the finances (probably because, as a single mom, that’s 90% of what we worry about), I’m worried about my husband’s new long hours, and I’m worried about what the future hold for me professionally. Lots of worry to go around. I’m bookmarking your page as we are kindred spirits!

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      Channing L October 4, 2013 at 8:59 am #

      Shawna, thank you so much for sharing your story with me and I know exactly how you feel.
      When you are a single parent and career driven for so long it is so hard to even think of yourself in another role. For me it was so hard to adjust to the fact that I felt like I was not contributing. Of course I am/was. Heck, there are some days I work harder now than I did before. But I don’t “bring home the bacon” that was hard. Know that although you will have days where you will question your decision and miss your career, the rewards are worth it.
      I think often of when I get to go back to work, I really miss my job but I know I am doing the right thing for MY family right now.
      Like I said before, some of us are better moms when we work and others when we stay home. There will be days when YOU feel like you where a better mom when you worked and then you will have those when you look at the kids and say “man, I rocked this today.”
      I look forward to hearing more about your new job title. We are kindred spirits, so please keep in touch!

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    Marie October 6, 2013 at 10:15 pm #

    Deciding to be a stay at home mom was a HUGE decision for me, and it definitely took a lot of time to adjust to it. It was just so weird not having to be in the office at 9 anymore. But, at the same token, I feel that I have more responsibilities and am even busier now. Funny how that winds up working!

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      Channing L October 7, 2013 at 11:55 am #

      Marie- it is very weird not being in the office for sure and I miss it all the time. I do agree I am busier now. I am trying to decide if that is a good thing for me or not!

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    Kelly D November 3, 2013 at 10:30 pm #

    You are a wonderful mama, Channing! I know how selfless it was for you to make the decision to stay at home with your kids, and I know how difficult it was for you to put all of your emotions out there in this post. But look at how many people you have touched – me included!!! Thank you for this beautiful post, but most of all…thank you for just being YOU!

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