I’m a stay-at-home mom, but sometimes I want more

At what point during motherhood do you let yourself just be you?  #motherhood #metime #workingmoms #sahm #twins

I’m a stay-at-home mom, but sometimes I want more. Does that make me a bad person? I’ve been thinking about myself a lot lately, and what I truly want out of life as far as personal success and fulfillment. Yes, being a mother is the biggest blessing that I have ever had, and it’s the single most important thing that I will ever do in my life. For some, that is enough, but for me, I would still like to achieve more success career-wise. I’ve always been a dreamer and goal-setter, but it is hard to find a good balance of caring for children while still keeping a piece of yourself for you, and that balance is different for everyone.

Since becoming a mom, I’ve made lots of sacrifices. I’m not complaining about them at all. I’d make the same decisions and sacrifices all over again, i.e. putting my career on hold and staying home, breastfeeding, waking up very early in the morning everyday, rarely going out on dates with my husband, etc. But at what point do I start thinking about my needs and wants again? It’s been a tough question to answer.

Corbin and Lynley are almost two. They’re thriving and full of energy. We’ve done a great job with them. I’ve done a great job with them. (we should not be afraid to pat ourselves on the back!)  I’ve dedicated every part of my being to them to make sure they exceed all expectations for preemies born at 31 weeks. They’re walking miracles. We have a lot of fun together playing and learning, but there have also been some not-so-fun moments lately. In particular the toddler tantrums, hitting and kicking. These behaviors really wear me down, and I don’t want to be a yelling mom. I have to admit that I have raised my voice a bit more than I ever thought I would. I always want to give my kids my best, but it’s so completely frustrating sometimes that I have to give myself a time out! I’ve found myself lately wanting to spend time away from Lynley and Corbin. And then I feel bad for that. I’ve found myself thinking more and more about returning to work outside the home. And then I feel bad for that. We’re financially fortunate in that I do not have to work, but sometimes I wish that working or not wasn’t my personal decision. And then I feel bad about that. It’s a never-ending cycle that I think all moms go through. So what’s the solution?

At what point during motherhood do you let yourself just be you?  #motherhood #metime #workingmoms #sahm #twins
When babies are sick, they sleep with Mama.

For our family, the solution right now is to hire help. We’ve had a wonderful nanny coming a few times a week to teach Tot School with the babies, and it’s been so helpful for all of us. I hear much less tantrum-throwing <funny how not being around mom or dad will do that. They’re learning a lot, and being around someone else is giving them better social skills and less anxiety about being apart from me. She also brings her two-year-old son when she comes, so it’s a win-win for him too- to be around two kids his age that he otherwise would not get interaction with.

So you might be thinking, what do I do with the “free” time? Trust me, it’s not free time! I spend the three hours that she is here catching up on laundry or other housework. I’ve also decided to use this time to focus on myself. I am currently enrolled in the masters degree in Strategic Public Relations program at George Washington University. I am four weeks into my first course, and I could not have kept my ‘A’ without having our nanny’s help. Aside from those two “jobs,” I also do freelance writing for a number of clients. I don’t get paid a ton of money, but I like the fact that I am able to keep up my writing skills and network with reputable organizations. Oh, and there’s keeping up with this blog too, and all of the social media promotion, sponsorship outreach, product reviews, etc.!

I have a lot of jobs. I like my jobs. But sometimes, I really miss working in journalism and PR- the rush that comes with meeting tight deadlines, breaking news and hot-button issues. I shouldn’t be ashamed that I miss a part of my former self. For many, many years, I lived and breathed my career, so it’s as much a part of me as being Corbin and Lynley’s mom is.

At what point during motherhood do you let yourself just be you?  #motherhood #metime #workingmoms #sahm #twins
Family swim day!

Nothing will change anytime soon, but it’s nice to know that my children would be okay if I did decide that I wanted to return to my career full time. I can see that they would still learn just as much from someone else who shows them the same love, attention and kindness. I feel blessed to be able to witness this first-hand. I hope that other working moms out there can see it too with their children. The choice to work or not work, when it’s truly a choice, not necessity, should NOT make us feel guilty. After all, we are just doing the best that we can.

Have you ever experienced these feelings? How do you handle the decision to work or stay home? Please share with me in the comments.



  1. says

    I’ve experienced so much mommy guilt since my little one was born in November! I am mostly a stay-at-home mom, but I am also a jewelry designer & blogger and am trying to run that business while taking care of my daughter. Even though it is wonderful to be home with my daughter, I also knew I needed something more (I’m the type of person who has to keep very busy). I have her in childcare 9 hours a week so I can really focus on my business, and while I felt guilty and sad doing it at first, it has been great for both of us. She has time around other children, I have time to really devote to my business, and we’re both so happy to see each other when I pick her up! I have slowly learned to let go of the guilt (well, most of it). As you said, we just want the best best for our kids, and having time for ourselves and to do things to grow as people makes us better moms. Stopping by from the Creative Style Link Up, thanks for sharing!

  2. says

    I was a stay at home mom for a year after my first was born and it is THE HARDEST THING EVER! After that experience, I realized I am just not meant to be a SAHM. I would spend my days waiting for my husband to come home so I could get a “break.” Once I started working, I came home from work refreshed, patient, and excited to spend time with my son. He is now 3 and goes to an amazing daycare where he has thrived and learned more than we could ever have taught him if I stayed home. My 2 month-old daughter will be starting there once she reaches 3 months, as well. I am lucky in that I am self-employed and can make my own schedule. I think do what is best for you and no need to feel mommy guilt. I know I am a better mom to my children when I work! Visiting via the Mommy Monday bloghop.

  3. says

    Being a mom is hard work. I don’t care what anyone says, it is hard work. My kids are all grown, but I think that I was a better mom when I was doing something for myself as well as raising them. We raised our children unusually, so I don’t have the same experience as you, but getting out on your own is a great thing. How wonderful that you can have a nanny a few hours a week. It was really brave of you to write about this. Don’t feel guilty. Thank you for linking up to Merry Monday Linky Party. Kathleen @ Fearlessly Creative Mammas

    • says

      You’ve echoed what a lot of mom have told me recently about being better when they have something for themselves. I am learning more and more that this is true for me. When I feel accomplished in something, like a popular blog post or winning a freelance bid, I’m more relaxed and focused.

  4. says

    Being a SAHM is a roller coaster, well being a mommy is a roller coaster…
    However, in life in general I think it’s human to wonder about the other side of things. We have been fortunate enough for me to stay home with the kids, I’ve enjoyed my time, but sometimes I want more. I’m currently looking for more, but I’d like to still work from home, considering we do not have family here in SC.
    Wishing you all the best.

    • says

      Good luck in your search! A work from home job is tough. I currently work from home (freelance write and grad school) with a nanny coming a few hours a day, and it’s hard to be in the house with all the “stuff” going on in the background. Being able to get away would be awesome. I would suggest that you also look for a part-time job away from home.

  5. says

    I’ve been a SAHM since my kiddos were born – partly on maternity leave and then on extended leave due to health problems, I’m due to go back next month and I’m terrified to be leaving my babies. I think as moms we struggle with staying at home, or working away from home. I love that you have found something that works for you – and good for you on doing your Masters, I did mine a few years ago and don’t think I’d be able to do it now!
    Oh and what was your due date? I think it may have been around the same time as me – my twins were born on December 17 at 38 weeks, my due date was December 31.

  6. says

    This is a good post, touching me in a special way. I always struggle with my career change to being a full-time Stay-At-Home-Mom. I now actually believe in the prestige that this career has, even if it’s not always seen the same by many. I also think that blogging has helped me to become more secure and fully at peace with the change, because there are many others who struggle with these same issues. For now, though I’m working hard as a blogger and there’s practically no financial fruit to bear, I know I could do more when I’m ready. I also know that working with Baby Boy and pursuing other avenues of creativity help me to stay sane, truly. Plus, lately the anxiety over my career change has lessened a bit :)

    Stopping over from Merry Mondays!

    • says

      Thanks for stopping by! Blogging is so HARD! Lots of time to put in and very little return. At least monetarily. But when you write something that inspires or relates to someone, it’s very rewarding. Much more rewarding to me than a gazillion likes on a social media site.

      Keep up the great work! :)

  7. says

    Yes, very much so. I’m struggling right now and my husband doesn’t seem to understand. We don’t “need” the money as much as I’d like to make some more to pay down debt. Ultimately, I have a daily struggle of trying to find time to blog and work, while keeping my children as my top priorities. I have a lot of fruit to show from staying at home, but it doesn’t seem as exciting as bringing home a nice check or winning some sort of bonus or work award. The accolades just don’t come as often when you stay at home, versus a job. No one says “good job” on a regular basis or gives you “extra” work because they believe in you. I’m still getting used to it even though it’s been two years now.

    Your co-host from Creative Style Linkup ~~April~~

    • says

      Amen sister! I totally get the feeling of not hearing good job or even thank you. Being a mom and a wife sometimes, is a thankless job. But one day those little ones will thank us, and one day they will know the sacrifice that we made in staying home.

      Hang in there! and GREAT job Mom!

  8. says

    I know what you mean and have been feeling this way myself much more lately. Thanks for sharing and enjoyed reading it and I was nodding to myself, saying, “Yes, I totally agree!” It’s great you can have a nanny and that you’re able to have some time for school and freelance work. I always wanted a big career and am used to working outside of the home so when I knew I was going to be a SAHM I found ways to work at home. Doing a little bit of freelance writing has helped me have something for myself and so is working on my blog. I love that I can use it to embrace my passions in one place but I think it’s just making me want more since it’s hard to focus on it while home with the kids; I usually have to figure out time to get away for a bit out of the home. Found you at Merry Monday Linky Party and now following on FB. Sharing your post on Pinterest & FB. :)