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 Heather Hice-McCray}

Is working part time an option for you? One mom says being a stay-at-home mom was not meant for her, but working part time helped her become a better mom. Great option for moms not content to be SAHMs.

This post contains affiliate links. Please view my disclosure.

I have to tell you a secret.  A secret I used to carry around inside of me.  A secret that made me feel guilty.  A secret that pestered and bothered me in ways I would never be able to imagine.

I just wasn’t meant to be a full-time stay-at-home mom.

I tried.

I really tried.

I really, really tried.

Like most things in life, you live and you learn.  It would be so much nicer (not to mention simpler) if I had the answers to the questions I would face in the future, but I’m guessing that would take all the fun out of life.

It took me being a stay-at-home mom to truly understand and appreciate what stay-at-home mothers do all dayI wish I would have known being a stay at home with two children was going to be one of the hardest things I ever did, it definitely would have saved me a lot of heartache. (I also sincerely apologize to any stay-at-home-moms I secretly judged before I was a mother).

When I say I wasn’t meant to be a stay-at-home mom I am not saying I was terrible at it. I don’t want you to envision me as Mother Gothel (ahem, points to whomever got the Tangled reference).  I loved the idea of staying home with my girls all day.  I didn’t love the reality of being a stay-at-home mom and who it made me become.

I became compliant.

I became unappreciative.

I became angry and resentful.

The most upsetting part was I simply couldn’t appreciate my time with my girls.

When I stayed at home I would constantly be cleaning the house, washing the dishes, doing laundry and so on and so on.  The thing most stay-at-home moms will tell you is the work of a SAHM never ends, ever!

When I leave my job for the day I can leave my work behind, but when I stayed home all the daily tasks at home called my name relentlessly.  I felt pressure (pressure I placed on myself) to maintain a sense of order. Even I couldn’t live up to my own expectations. After all staying at home taking care of my children was my only job, right?  I laugh as I type that because we all know a stay-at-home-mom’s job is like an iceberg.  Only a small amount of the work shows on the surface and underneath there is a whole host of other jobs and responsibilities. I wouldn’t even give myself a break if the kids got sick or we had an off day.

I found I couldn’t enjoy my children to the fullest when I was a stay at home mom all day, every day.

When I started back to work part time, I wasn’t sure how I was going to be a mom Monday through Friday and then work Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  I was terrified everything I had created for the last five years would fall apart.  There was an adjustment period, and having my husband support me on the weekends is the only way it worked.  I expected to feel happy working part time to help our family financially. I had not expected how my relationship with my children would change dramatically.

How working part time helped one mom appreciate her time as a stay-at-home mom.

How Working Part-Time Helped Me Enjoy Being A Stay-at-Home Mom

When I missed putting them to bed for three nights in a row I was grateful to be able to do it the rest of the week.

When I wasn’t able to be with them on nights that I worked, I would snuggle them longer and hold them tighter the nights I was home.

I was able to devote my undivided attention to them more than I felt I ever had when I was a full time stay-at-home mom.

I didn’t care (as much) if there were dishes in the sink, laundry that hadn’t been folded, or a disaster in the toy room.

I knew I only had a certain amount of time to spend with them that week. I started to make it my priority to give them more attention.

I simply started to appreciate the time I had with them.

I just wasn’t meant to be a full-time stay-at-home mom, and I’m okay with that.

It has taken years for me to not only accept this, but to be content with what it means for my girls and me. Being a stay-at-home-mom is not a job for the weary or lighthearted.  I have immense respect for women who take the reins and do the work of a stay-at-home mom every day without a break, without being able to have a moment to themselves, or without any recognition.

I love that women are different in their views of motherhood. I can appreciate other mothers for their strengths and their choice to raise their children differently than me.  I love that I no longer feel guilty for choosing a different path than the one I originally started down.

I love that my secret is no longer a secret and I no longer label myself.  Although we use labels such as stay-at-home-mom, working mom, and soccer mom, when we get finished at the end of the day our children don’t see those labels.

They simply see us…THEIR MOM.

A great option for any stay at home Mom is teaching English online. It offers great flexibility in terms of how much you want to work and when you want to work.

If you do not feel content as a stay-at-home mom, read one moms thoughts on how working part time helped her enjoy her time at home more.

Do you work part-time or have you thought about it?

What are your thoughts on balancing being a stay-at-home mom with working part-time?

Heather of Just Becoming Me contributor to Mom Motivation Mondays series at The Stay-at-Home Mom Survival GuideHeather lives in Florida with her husband, two girls and two pups. She is a lover of most things in life, too many to name here without scaring you, but a few include working out, learning new recipes, Pinterest, organizing (yes, it’s true!), home decor and learning to lead a more minimal and purposeful life.

At the end of 2014, she was feeling unhappy, burnt out and discouraged but couldn’t pinpoint exactly what was making her feel that way. She started Just Becoming Me as a venture to better understand herself and what will lead her towards a more fulfilling life. Her motto is: “We only have one life, and I want to learn to live mine in a way that gets me excited to jump out of bed.”

To view the entire series of Mom Motivation Mondays posts, you can click the MMM image below.

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

Read more of Heather’s posts here on The Stay-at-Home Mom Survival Guide:

The Work of A Mother: Working Mom’s Thoughts on Being a Stay-at-Home Mom

I Don’t Enjoy All Moments of Being A Mom

Enjoy your week, and remember, you CAN be a joyful mom. We are here for you! Some books that have helped me find the joy in motherhood are linked below.

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