Welcome to Mom Motivation Mondays where weekly contributing writers share their motherhood experiences to encourage you to find the joy in being a mom.

{This week: Post by Kristin Helms}

A friend asked me if I would choose to be a stay-at-home mom if I had to do it all over again? I had to think about it. It depends on the day, but thinking would I choose stay-at-home mom all over again was an eye-opener. It's not an easy answer.

I write a lot about my transformation from corporate life to stay-at-home mom life. It was such a radical shift in my existence – a true life pivot. As a result, I’ve had a few mamas pick my brain or ask for advice about how to make the leap from working full time to staying home full time.

Although I’m certainly no expert, I’ve come up with a typical “spiel” that I offer these women. These are encouraging words and self-sustaining methods I’ve found useful.

Then the other day I was talking to a mom who asked me quite bluntly, “If you could go back in time and make the decision to stay home again, would you do it?”

I laughed and shot back with a joke, “It depends on which day of the week you ask me this question.”

Sunday night after a wonderful weekend with my family and my husband home to help? OF COURSE I’d choose to stay home again. Life is beautiful. These precious moments are fleeting and I don’t want to spend a second away from these tiny humans.

But if you ask me on a Friday afternoon at 4:00PM after a long week in the trenches with a teething baby and a sassy toddler,  I’d probably waver in my response. I might even break down and ask you to PLEASE, PLEASE send me to work. Send me anywhere that involves adult conversations, zero temper-tantrums and 100% less diapers.

We laughed it off and left it at that. Later that night I couldn’t stop thinking about her question.

Would I really choose this path again knowing what being a stay-at-home mom truly meant?

Let’s be clear, I went into this role pretty blind. Maybe with recollections of stay-at-home moms I had seen portrayed on TV shows or movies. All I knew at the time, was that I didn’t want to be away from my baby.

Now, flash-forward 3 years later — it’s been a rollercoaster ride.

The most amazing moments of my life have been spent with my children-watching them grow into little people, experiencing the small things that are reserved for only me, the person who takes care of them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and would most likely be missed if I worked outside of the home every day.

This role has also delivered some of my darkest moments- times when I felt unfulfilled, lost, frustrated, followed by tremendous guilt for feeling anything less than happy while I was in the presence of my two perfect babies.

It was Charles Dickens who said it best: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”

Always trying to find that balance between the magical highs and the trying lows.

The next day, after some serious soul searching, I texted my mom friend with a new answer to her question — no jokes, just truth: “Yes, I’d choose this again. But I would better prepare myself this time.”

I went on to explain that there is a REALLY BIG transition that sinks in after the first few months of staying home, especially after leaving a thriving career. The walls start to close in, your once-unmanageable inbox now stays empty, and you second guess yourself and your purpose.

It would have been nice if I was more prepared to comprehend these shocking emotions. So I’ve come up with three things I wish I’d known, or realized fully, before shutting the door to my career and submerging into life as a stay-at-home mom.

If You Choose Stay-at-Home Mom

  1. Throw every expectation out the window.

Do not pay attention to the stereotypical stay-at-home moms portrayed on TV or movies. They are mythical creatures. Truly, they baffle me!

Unless I’m doing it all wrong, it’s highly unlikely you’ll keep a clean house, cook 3 pinterest-worthy meals a day, and complete educational and mess-free crafts with your children as you all laugh together in pure bliss every single day. Those are pipe dreams!

Instead, this is the real world where three year olds have really intense opinions about really insignificant things, your 1-year old will boycott all of your pinterest meals and end up eating chicken nuggets 5 days a week, and you’ll learn to embrace the mess and toys that surround you constantly.

Expectations about how you “think” being a stay-at-home mom should look like will only lead to disappointment.

  1. This is a job.

The hardest one I’ve ever had.

I definitely was not prepared to work harder as a stay-at-home mom than I did at my fast-paced corporate job.

You punch in for this job, and you never punch out. Acknowledge the weight of that.

  1. Don’t lose sight of yourself.

The most important thing to keep in mind when embarking on this new journey:  You WILL  lose sight of yourself if you do not keep a hobby, a work-from-home job, or some sort of activity separate from your mommy role. For me, it was writing and starting an online magazine for moms.

I realized rather quickly into my life as a stay-at-home mom that I needed an existence outside of just “mom”.

For some it may be painting, yoga a couple times a week, a book club, volunteering, launching a business from home.

Whatever sparked your interest before becoming a mom or whatever fosters a passion and exercises your soul…do that.

Being a stay-at-home mom is taking the chaos and molding it into love. It is finding the balance between trying to get things done and trying to savor the little moments.

It’s hard and it’s messy but it’s fueled by love. And my tank is full.

So I choose this, again and again.


A friend asked me if I would choose to be a stay-at-home mom if I had to do it all over again? I had to think about it. It depends on the day, but thinking would I choose stay-at-home mom all over again was an eye-opener. It's not an easy answer.

A weekly series of motivation for moms brought to you by stay at home mom bloggers at The Stay-at-Home Mom Survival Guide.