Why I Could Never Be a Stay at Home Mom


Stay at home momToday is July 18. I have officially survived a full month of summer vacation. Half of the time Tweenie Bopper was in day camp, which is cool because she gets to do all kinds of activities she wouldn’t necessarily get a chance to dabble in otherwise. The other half of the time, she’s been at home.

Now, I love my baby girl with every fiber of my being. She’s my heart. But I can say with all confidence that I could never, ever be a stay at home mom. No way, no how.

It’s not that I don’t have respect for women who do it. It’s really the opposite, actually. They get all of my admiration for having the patience to be in their children’s presence all day and not rip patches of their own hair out in crazy lady haphazardness. But working from home and having a kid at home just aren’t my mix.

I used to say that I could be a stay at home entrepreneur, but not a stay at home mom. Now I’m not even sure I could do that. 

The difference, in case you’re wondering is that though I’d be home with my kids, maybe with a nanny or a relative to help care for them during the day, I’d be chasing my big writing and multi-million dollar business dreams. Can’t do that with a kid nipping at your heels every 17 seconds. Well, maybe some moms can. I can’t.

Even though she’s good and old, I still feel obligated to keep my daughter entertained when she’s home. If I don’t, she’ll come dragging out to the living room or scuffle into my bedroom or wherever I happen to be stashed away at the time and confess how bored she is. For being an only child, The Girl has like zippo creativity when it comes to finding fun things to do.

I was an only child too, but I was an ingenuitive little weird person. I turned anything into a toy, built a storyline around it, created character sketches, and sent it on adventures. I wrote stories and devoured books like the library might start charging the next day. I did regular things, too, like ride my bike and play with dolls (yep, up until I was 12 or so).

But this kid? Nothing peaks her interest and if it does, it doesn’t stay peaked for very long. If I give her what I think is a reasonable distraction, proud of myself for besting her nanosecond-long attention span, she will sure enough come back in 10 minutes telling me she’s finished and, like clockwork, back to being bored again.

That’s not even the only reason I couldn’t stay at home with her. There’s the matter of educating the child. Judging by the amount of time it takes to get through a single homework assignment she sets up to do in the evenings, home schooling is out of the question. That’s not to say that all stay at home moms educate their kids. But factoring a tutor into my skintight budget is about as likely as finding a millionaire in the family tree, so if I can’t afford a professional to do the teaching, there’s only one other person who could be tasked to do it. And I don’t have the doggedness, the patience or the nurturing demeanor to get the information across without somebody ending up in heap of frustrated tears. My money’s on it being me.

One of my cousins is a stay at home mama who homeschools her three children, all under the age of five. Next go-round for sainthood nominations, I’m putting her name into the hat. Her babies are all well-behaved enough individually, but as a group they are a Tazmanian Devilish bunch with a thirst for destruction. They are wild. But she’s just as gentle and sweet and coddling as she can be. She was built for stay at home motherhood. Janelle C. Harris? Not in the least.

I’ve screamed from the mountaintops my desire to have another baby or two, and because I’m an editorial geek by trade, I have the kind of job that I can do anywhere — sharing a table with a strange homeless man at the library, jacking a wifi connection from the car, sitting in the hard chairs at Corner Bakery, which is where I am at this very moment. I hope that I can develop the characteristics to be the kind of woman who makes stay at home mom-preneurship look effortless. I’m a work in progress.

Do my fellow working moms ever aspire to stay at home with the kiddies?

Image via es1123/Flickr

family, education, homeschool, homeschooling


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RanaA... RanaAurora

I love staying at home, and find ways to balance my work time with my kids. I'd love to have a "mother's helper" who could play with them for a couple hours while I worked as well, but being here has been invaluble.

nonmember avatar Kinyada Colbert

I do not desire to stay at home with my girls, I love those buggers to death, but I need my sanity. I do homeschool and I have enjoyed every bit of it, even if it was very hard to get my kindergartener to sit still.

elija... elijahsmama09

I love my son, and I love the time I have with him. So for me being a stay at home mom is awesoem.

vanes... vanessa5470

Aspire to say home with kids?...not really. I don't mean that in a condescending way, I just can't stay at home without going nuts.

My story is a little different, I'm a teacher, military wife, and have a 2 yr old and am 7 months pg with #2 (don't trust IUDs). Being that I'm due in September, I can't return to work until the following school year. It just wouldn't be feasible in my eyes. I enjoy having a purpose, staying at home doesn't feel fulfilling to me. Just like you, I adore my child, but I did have dreams/goals before he came along. I too was an only child and was used to going out with my mom and doing things together during the summer. She's a teacher as well and drilled into me the importance of having "your own thing."

I also enjoy the interaction DS gets when he is in daycare. During the school year he is absolutely overjoyed to be with other kids. During the summers...like now..I find myself aching to take him out everyday, I feel terrible having him stay at home.

kjbug... kjbugsmom1517

When I worked I wished I could be home more often. Working a late shift 40 hours a week doesn't leave a lot of family time. Then I went part time working a 11-3 shift and it was perfect. I loved it.. Then I got canned because of some incident I have no recollection of. So began my sahm journey. Had a baby during the time and now she's going off to preschool. I want to work again, but now comes into play... When I'd be able to and avoiding as much daycare/babysitting as possible.

elasmimi elasmimi

I enjoy staying at home, ove my 4 y/o to death, but I admit I will enjoy the free time during the day for frivolous things like doctor appts, haircuts, and grocery shopping alone.

Chelsea Brook

im a sahm and dont want it any other way. i have a 12 month old and 27 month old. im an army wife and my husband is currently overseas. we dont stay at home all the time. we usually get out every day. we go to the play ground, we go on walks, we go to the library,  my 27 month old goes to preschool twice a week, go to the splash park, and we also go visit with grandma. there are tons of cheap/free/fun ways to get out of the house with your kiddos when youre a SAHM :). I was an only child as well, and my mother was a sahm, i was never put in daycare. i feel like my purpose is at home until my kids are school aged and then i will go to a paid job. nothing is more satisfying to me than spending all day with my little ones, and cherishing this time. it will go by very quickly. the only way i would go to work before my kids were old enough to go to school is if i had to, financially. it would cause me too much emotional pain to leave my kids. plus, theyre still babies. they want to be with mama. i think WOHMs are very strong, just not my thing until my kids are older.

Littl... LittleManMama

I stay home and yes I have dreams and aspirations beyond my child. We go out and do fun things almost everyday. So far I love it. Soon enough, he will be in school and this short (but important) time in both of our lives will be gone. I will have the rest of my life to chase dreams besides being a mom. I am grateful everyday to be able to spend this time with him. There are times it IS hard, it can be stressful to rarely have a break especially on crabby and/or naughty days, but in truth those are probably the times he needs me the most. On those days what I miss the most is the commute--turning the music up and getting somewhat lost in my own thoughts. But I will take those stressors over the strssors of a demanding work week anytime.

Veron... VeronicaTex

I am now 58.  I thought I would still be out teaching until I retired, but the Lord had other plans for me.

I so love being at home!!!!!!!  I can do what I want, when I want, how I want!!!! There is practically NO stress.  After 21 years in the classroom it is a dream come true.  

Teaching in the Catholic school and as a bilingual teacher in the public school were dreams come true and were fulfilling and useful for their time, not only in my life, but my students' lives.  My dream of teaching Spanish at a high school came true, but it about killed me. In a short time my spirit practically died.  I was dictated to indirectly by parents who had the principal right where they wanted him...

I was blessed to be able to resign.  After a while of being home alone, I withdrew my Down Syndrome daughter, who is now 18,  to home school her...

I could not ask for a more peaceful, blissful existence....

girl giving flower

Payton Irwin

Thank you for posting this! My husband and I are years from having kids, and already when it comes up, people act as though it's completely unnatural that DH would stay home while I continued working! For a while, I wanted us to have a nice, big farm so if I absolutely had to stay home, I'd still have plenty to do that had nothing to do with kids. I think more women need to be told that it's ok not to want to be a stay at home mommy. I admire the women that can do it, but it just isn't for me.

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