Stay-at-home parents have a tough job. From sun up to sun down, they are doing their best to care for their family. One stay-at-home mom (SAHM), Marisela Morales, blogs about her experience at Everything SAHM. Marisela also offers tips for other stay-at-home moms and how to cope with many of the issues SAHMs face.
MomViews: You’re my go-to gal whenever I need a little encouragement in this stay-at-home world, and I’m so thankful for your blog. Are there any other blogs or people you turn to for inspiration?
Marisela Morales: Thank you! I am so flattered ;) Well, I definitely love your blog! I have also been fortunate to connect with a large group of Christian bloggers on Facebook. I get lots of encouragement and inspiration from them.
MV: Although you and I have expressed the pains of other’s thoughts on SAHMs, it’s great to hear something nice for a change. What are some of the nice things people have told you about staying home with your child?
MM: The biggest compliment I can get from staying home with my child is my daughter’s love and demonstration of the things I’ve shown her. It is so rewarding to see her go up to a crying baby and try to comfort them and show empathy. It is rewarding to hear her politely ask for things and say thank you. I love that she says “God bless you” to people when they sneeze or to greet people at church. That, to me, is the biggest compliment. These things can be taught regardless of whether one stays home or not, but for me, staying home has enabled me to focus on the little things such as these even more than I did when I was a working mom. My husband also will tell me he is so happy with all I do for our family. He brags about me to his co-workers, which is always nice. It is also nice to have another mom call me a great mom. My neighbor just did that the other day, and it was really nice to hear. I find the greatest support comes from other stay at home moms just validating how truly hard but rewarding staying home can be.
MV: You recently wrote a piece on how giving mom free time for Mother’s Day is the best gift she can receive, and I couldn’t agree more! In what ways do you use mommy time?
MM: I use a lot of my mommy time to blog and do social media, quite honestly. I need to often kick myself in the behind to get myself to do something relaxing and just for me. I like to get pedicures every now and then and massages. Evenings out with other moms to go watch a movie, have dinner, or even cook together makes for nice mommy time as well.
MV: As a SAHM myself, I find it can put a dent on your relationship, more so when your significant other is well-established in their career. How do you keep yourself in love with that “tall, dark, and handsome hottie?”
MM: To be totally honest, the first year as a stay at home mom was REALLY hard. I didn’t have myself together, most days I still don’t. But I felt I needed to make money from home and got distracted from taking care of my family. That proved to be a little hard on my marriage. Finally, my husband told me all he wanted was for me to enjoy my time at home with my daughter, even if our budget was a little tight. Long story short, he helped me prioritize. His support and encouragement grows my love for him. He has his bad days, like everyone else . . . but I try to just think of staying at home as my job and focus on that despite any power trips he may occasionally have. My job is no less of a job than his. My position is to enable him to do well at his job. That may be by cooking healthy, providing encouragement, not complaining when he works long hours, or letting him nap when he’s had a long day. He recently got a promotion. Quite honestly, I don’t think he would have been able to accomplish that if we were both still working because he’d have to dedicate more time to doing things at home and less time to work. His free time and all his money, is for the family. Just seeing where his heart is and knowing we are his priority makes me love him that much more. We don’t have consistent date nights, but we do try to have a little bit of time together here and there to reconnect.
MV: Having been through ups and downs of being a SAHM, what advice would you give a new SAHM?
MM: My advice to a new SAHM would be:
1. Talk to your husband or partner and decide on your family’s priorities and each person’s “job descriptions”. Knowing the family’s priorities, will help you determine where to focus your time and energy. Knowing what is expected from each individual, will avoid conflict and misunderstandings down the road.
2. Own your SAHM job full heartedly. If you can afford to be a SAHM, then make that your job. Everything else passes on to be a hobby. For example, I have a home business, a blog, and a podcast. They were each eating up too much of my time. As much as I love each of those projects, they absolutely have to pass on to be a hobby. Something that is done when I have the time.
3. Don’t forget about yourself. You are still an individual with skills, talents, dreams, and goals. You still have needs and interests of your own. Explore the things you would otherwise not get to explore if you were busy working for an employer and taking care of a family. Being a SAHM is definitely a 24 hr job, but you have the freedom to take a half hour here or an hour there to read a book, start a blog, take a class, . . . whatever floats your boat. Just do it! Keep your mind going and growing. Connect or reconnect with people. You can do this by joining mommy groups, taking your child to public activities, or even as simple as using social media. Staying home can be lonely if you isolate yourself to your home.