Finding Purpose as a Stay-at-Home Mom
- Finding purpose as a stay-at-home mom can help navigate the frequently difficult journey of motherhood.
- Being a stay-at-home mom doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite interests and hobbies.
- Connecting with mom friends is such a blessing and can make a significant impact on your well-being.
We all want to find purpose in life, but putting yourself in the backseat and the whole family in front can be challenging. Between changing diapers, making dinner, and cleaning, it’s easy to feel lost as a mom.
Taking time for yourself doesn’t mean you don’t love being a mom. It means you acknowledge that you also matter and deserve a life outside of your children.
We all want to feel fulfilled, and it’s hard when we forget about our own interests.
Remember, this isn’t a stay-at-home moms vs. working moms debate because they are different avenues in life, and instead, we are focusing on finding purpose as a stay-at-home mom.
4 Steps to Find Purpose as a Stay-at-Home Mom
1. Take Time to Self-Reflect
While it’s easier said than done, taking time to self-reflect through journaling or meditation is a great way to find purpose as a stay-at-home mom.
I also learned I needed to stop comparing myself to other moms because we should be in this together, not against each other. In today’s world, social media depicts perfect lives thanks to filters and Photoshop. That’s not real life!
If you’re feeling lost or it’s hard to find joy, don’t hesitate to find support, whether it’s with your partner, a friend, or a professional. Sometimes it takes time to realize we need additional help.
2. Set Personal Goals
When I decided it was time for self-care, I told myself I wanted to work out 2-3 times a week. It didn’t have to be strenuous, but I needed to get into physical activity. Sometimes, despite my best effort, it didn’t happen.
However, when it did, I felt much better, knowing I was setting a good example for my kids. Walking around the neighborhood is a great way to get fresh air and exercise if you have little ones.
Staying home all day can be overwhelming, so get out when you can. There’s a whole world for you and your kids to explore.
Examples of potential goals include:
- Pick one day a week to satisfy your own needs
- Get physical activity 2-3 times a week
- Develop a morning routine
- Create a to-do list for the day
- Create a mission statement about why you want to be a stay-at-home mom
When setting goals, starting small and working your way up is always best. Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor was your free time.
3. Cultivate Interests and Hobbies
I’ve been a stay-at-home mom since my oldest was a baby, and it took me a while to find something I was interested in. As my kids got older, I started freelance writing, which led me here!
However, since writing isn’t for everyone, it’s important to find something that interests you, even if you only have a small block of time each day for it.
For example, if you love reading, make a point each day for everyone in the house to read. Even if your kids are too young to read, have them sit with a book while you read what you want.
Common mom hobbies include:
- DIY projects
- Cooking and baking
- Craft projects
- Dance and exercise classes
- Sewing and knitting
One of the most important things we can do for ourselves is to remember our true identity. While you are building your mom network, find those with similar interests as you.
You will realize that you don’t mesh with everyone, which is fine, but finding other moms who enjoy the same things you do is a game changer.
4. Build a Supportive Network with Other Moms
One of the best things I ever did as a stay-at-home mom was join a local mom’s group. Those women are my tribe, and I know they would drop everything to help me if needed.
Having a circle of friends going through the same situation made a big difference in my daily life. Having a friend you feel comfortable venting with who can confidently shake their head in agreement is always lovely.
Instead of sitting at home waiting for the clock to hit bedtime, I’d meet up with friends at the park or organize a playdate. Frequently, it was more for the moms than the kids, but having a scheduled playdate on the calendar gave me something to look forward to as I worked through the trenches of having little ones.
Also, having your kids play with other kids is vital for socialization and building relationships. A 2009 article, Do Kids Need Friends?11. Gurian, A., & Pope, A.. Do Kids Need Friends? Laguna Beach Unified School District. 2009. https://www.lbusd.org/uploaded/5-TOW/Departments/Documents/Counseling/Do_Kids_Need_Friends.pdf by Gurian et al., stated that friends aren’t just a luxury but a necessity for healthy psychological development.
Here are a few ways to network and make connections with other moms:
- Join a mom’s group like a local MOPS22. Welcome to MOPS. MOPS International. 2023. https://www.mops.org or Mom’s Club33. Mcadmin. Home. MOMS Club. 2023. https://momsclub.org
- Check out online communities or find a Mom’s Facebook group
- See if your church has a mom’s group
Most mom groups have mom-only events, which is a great time to get to know each other and find common interests.
Understanding the Role of Stay-at-Home Moms
A typical stay-at-home mom is at home with her children instead of working at a job outside the home.
A stay-at-home mom’s focus is spending time with her kids and keeping up with daily chores, school schedules, extracurricular activities, meals, grocery shopping,
Common misconceptions stay-at-home moms hear are:
- You shouldn’t have a messy house if you are home all day.
- It’s easy and relaxing and involves lots of free time.
- It’s not real work and less valuable than working a job.
- They don’t need help or support and are always happy staying home.
- They aren’t helping financially. (Staying at home eliminates the cost of daycare or a full-time nanny!)
The Challenges of Being a Stay-at-Home Mom
It’s easy to feel insignificant when we live in a world that tells us we should work and care for the house.
Even in the most loving environment, trying to do everything to keep your family afloat can be challenging.
Typical challenges faced by stay-at-home moms include:
- Mom burnout
- Self-doubt and mom guilt
- Lack of professional recognition
- Pressure to manage the household
- Sleep deprivation
When my youngest was a newborn, I was so envious of people who could leave their house when they wanted and easily hop out of their car.
Sometimes I’d rather stay home than go anywhere with a baby. Why was it so difficult to appreciate this beautiful gift I was given?
I learned it was okay to miss my life before children, but it should be a fleeting thought. Mom guilt is probably our biggest struggle because it’s so easy to feel guilty for taking time for ourselves.
Importance of Finding Purpose as a Stay-at-Home Mom
When you find purpose in something, you find something you love and are good at. All moms can agree we love being a mom, but it’s hard to admit we are good at it.
Remember, there is no such thing as a perfect mother, and all moms struggle occasionally.
Being a wife or mother doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice who you were before this part of your life. We have one of the most important jobs – raising the next generation.
I always say I was a perfect mother before I had kids because I had no idea what the reality was. Motherhood is a beautiful, exhausting, and sometimes terrifying ride that no one can prepare you for.
However, when you take time to find purpose as a stay-at-home mom, you are contributing to your self-esteem and overall well-being. There is so much meaning in being confident in yourself as a parent.
Once you feel confident in the important role of a mother, you’re more likely to have solid relationships in and outside the home.
Balancing Mom Duties and Personal Growth
Effective Time Management
I am guilty of not always being effective with my time. The last few years haven’t been the easiest with a global pandemic, and I frequently would sit down with my phone while the clock ticked away.
The moment we step aside and look at how we spend our time, the greater chance we have a sense of where we are wasting it.
We can’t spend our whole lives wishing for more time, so it’s best to use our time effectively.
Shared Parenting and Household Chores
Making meals every day for the family is exhausting. Once you’re done with dinner, it doesn’t end there. There are dirty dishes in the sink, floors to be swept, and children to be bathed.
If you have a spouse or partner at home, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t share in the household chores.
It’s not wrong to ask your spouse or partner for help. Even if they were at a job all day, asking for some help solidifies that you are a family unit and should help one another out.
How does a stay-at-home mom’s well-being impact her child’s development?
Even the littlest kids are intuitive to the world around them, so if you aren’t content in life, your kids will pick up on it.
In a 2020 study titled Positive Maternal Mental Health, Parenting, and Child Development44. Phua, D. Y., Kee, M. Z. L., & Meaney, M. J.. Positive Maternal Mental Health, Parenting, and Child Development. Biological Psychiatry. 2020;87(4), 328–337. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2019.09.028 published in Biological Psychiatry, researchers emphasize the “importance of positive mental health for both mother and child.” Their review of existing literature shows that “positive mental health is a distinct construct that is associated with improved birth outcomes and potentially with specific forms of parenting that promote both academic achievement and socioemotional function.”
While it’s totally okay to have moments, it’s also important to schedule time for yourself, ensuring you don’t get to the point where your well-being impacts your kids.
How can a stay-at-home mom transition back to the workforce if she chooses to do so?
It’s not easy to go from staying at home to working out of the home. You may want to consider starting part-time to help ease yourself back in. If that’s not an option, give yourself some grace as you adjust.
What should a stay-at-home mom do if she feels unappreciated or undervalued?
Let your partner, spouse, or close family member know if you feel unappreciated or undervalued. Your little ones aren’t going to understand how you feel, so it’s important you talk to someone able and willing to help.
How can a stay-at-home mom regain her identity post-childbirth?
There’s no question the first few months of a newborn’s life are spent feeding them, changing diapers, and trying to get to sleep.
However, once you get into a groove, consider picking up past hobbies or interests that you put on the back burner. You’ll be surprised at how good you feel once you start feeling yourself again.
- Gurian, A., & Pope, A. (2009, February 3). Do Kids Need Friends? Laguna Beach Unified School District. https://www.lbusd.org/uploaded/5-TOW/Departments/Documents/Counseling/Do_Kids_Need_Friends.pdf
- Welcome to MOPS. MOPS International. (2023, August 17). https://www.mops.org
- Mcadmin. (2023, April 13). Home. MOMS Club. https://momsclub.org
- Phua, D. Y., Kee, M. Z. L., & Meaney, M. J. (2020). Positive Maternal Mental Health, Parenting, and Child Development. Biological Psychiatry, 87(4), 328–337. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2019.09.028
Parenting, Play, Tactile Art
These affirmation backpack buddy keychains are adorable and easy to make. Give your child a little encouragement with this simple craft as they head to school.