How I Prepared To Become A Stay-At-Home-Mom

Recently, I celebrated my first year anniversary as a Stay-At-Home-Mom!  WOW!  I know, it's been a year since I turned my back on corpor...

Recently, I celebrated my first year anniversary as a Stay-At-Home-Mom!  WOW!  I know, it's been a year since I turned my back on corporate world!  Sometimes I ask myself, has it really been a year?  Seems like yesterday and memories of my last day in the office are still fresh!  Well, yes, it's been a year and time flew by so quickly that I didn't notice a year indeed had passed.

I know you may ask, do I miss working?  Do I miss the adrenaline rush when I manage and launch nationwide projects?  Do I miss dressing up and fixing myself up to go to the business district of the metro?  Do I miss my co-workers?  Do I miss being busy and having a routine?  To be honest, NO I don't miss any of those (except for very few friends I made during my working years).  If there's one I truly miss, it's having a regular salary with attractive benefits which I receive twice a month.

Do I regret my decision and miss having a regular and stable job?  No.  I never regret leaving corporate at all.  Some of the people I know who tried to be a SAHM and weren't successful or dreaded staying at home told me, "Louise, in a few months, maybe weeks pa lang, you're going to miss working, your corporate life.  Baka malosyang ka sige!"

I could choose to be offended with that statement or just let it pass and prove that being a SAHM do not mean I will let go of myself and get lost in the pile of dirty dishes or mountains of clothes to wash.  I fully understand where they are coming from.  Why they thought I would feel the way they felt and had to urgently come back to the workforce.  That is their story to tell, not mine.  I could easily tell you too that a SAHM life is not for everyone.  But that would be too selfish because I would make it appear that being SAHM is exclusive.

Instead, I want to share how I prepared to become a SAHM.  This chosen path is my obedience to God's design for the family - become a submissive wife to my husband, take care of my children and manage the household.  You can't just wake up one day and decide I just want to stay at home instead, just because your work sucks or your boss is a slave driver or your colleagues are too gossipy or judgy.  If you plan to leave your jobs to be a SAHM someday, you really have to prepare yourselves spiritually, mentally-psychologically-emotionally, physically, and even financially.

SPIRITUAL
Every family life's major decision should not only be discussed with your husband but also be prayed about intently, whole-heartedly, and with obedience.  Praying about this decision helped me and my husband decide that it was finally time for me to leave behind my life as a corporate life. We prayed for it for a year.  There were many triggers and situations that led to my resignation.  We've lost a number of yayas, I was exclusively breastfeeding, my second son's behavior wasn't doing great.  God made all these things happen to help us decide about my resignation.  When God's message became very clear to us, obedience was in order.  That's why when I passed my resignation letter, I knew I was ready and my decision was rock-solid.

MENTAL-PSYCHOLOGICAL-EMOTIONAL
Being a stay-at-home-mom is not as easy as others see it.  I never knew how MORE exhausting and draining it is to be a SAHM.  Now, I breathe it, attest to it, and tell everyone that work at home is non-stop.  At the same time, home environment with loads of work ahead, and without a helper, is totally different from the office.  From a clean office desk I come to daily to a house which is  most of the time a mess when husband and kids leave me and my toddler for work or school.  I made adjustments and adapted to the new normal.  I mentally condition myself that there will be no more regular meetings to attend to nor team huddles to discuss my ideas or report my accomplishments to, no colleagues I could ask to come with me for coffee.  It's hard.  I am all by myself, no adult around to converse with but my husband when he comes home from work.  All the work and exhaustion absorb all the energy and positive vibes in me.  I go crazy at times and I have no one to express the bottled up frustrations, weariness, worries, loneliness, and even occasional self-pity.

When I reach this point, I seek help from my husband by taking a day-off, it's usually Saturdays.  I get support from other SAHM friends, I ask prayers from my friends from church community.  And because I am a blogger and a digital persona, I also connect with my mom blogger friends online.  Self-care is definitely a MUST - it's one way of coping with all these negative feelings towards yourself.  I cry it all out privately and lastly, I pray.  Prayers really work all the time.

Staying at home could affect a mom's mental health, there's even a condition now called Stay-At-Home-Mom Depression - it's real.  What are causes of this depression?  Lack of recognition and appreciation, over fatigue, and having no income could trigger this.  Want to stay at home?  You have to prepare for this big leap of faith.  But know that there's a greater God who will send you His angels to keep you sane, keep you safe, keep you motivated, keep you hopeful, and keep you energized so you could give your best to the best persons in your life.

PHYSICAL
There are so much to do in the house when I became a stay at home mom.  When the last yaya left, we intentionally didn't get a replacement anymore.  I did everything from laundry to dishes to mopping, carrying the garbage, cooking, and taking care of the kids and my husband.  Being a SAHM is a tough job which most people take for granted, ignore or even belittle.  With everything that's happening at home, a SAHM needs to make sure she's in tip-top health to endure the daily draining tasks.  I also have to possess high levels of immunity because if I get sick, nobody else will care for my kids.  My physical exhaustion resulted to three things, one, I lost weight; two, I felt stronger each day; lastly, I learned to delegate tasks to my husband and kids.  The new normal sat pretty well with me and my boys because even if we didn't have a helper, they are happy to see me at home and personally do things for them which usually other people do.

Speaking of physical aspect, prettifying myself wasn't a priority anymore.  I rarely go to the salon to have my nails done nor the spa for a regular massage.  Sa bahay pa lang kulang talaga ang oras and when you have a clingy and still exclusively breastfeeding toddler, you can't be separated that long.  When I have time on Saturdays, my day off, I do self-care.  Now I understand where the notion that SAHMs become losyang.  I make sure though even if I don't get to date myself that often, I don't let myself go.  I bathe everyday and smell good, I make an effort to dress up when going out and apply make-up (#kilayislife) too.  Staying at home taught me to be more selfless and part of this is letting go some of my personal agendas in the beauty department, because I'd rather spend time (and money) with my husband and kids.  I've also become less of the physical world, because my new world now revolves around my family.  Staying at home taught me simplicity and contentment.

FINANCIAL
This may be a sensitive topic for some but I want to point out that this is one of the major consideration should you plan to stay-at-home.  From two income generators, my husband is now the sole provider, the breadwinner.  I couldn't thank him enough for all his hard work, for providing for us, for stepping up in his role as a husband and father.  It wasn't easy at first.  Imagine, our family was living comfortably.  All our family's needs and wants were given - when I was still working.  But you see, it isn't always about money.  The kids need me more than what we could materially give them. They are the reasons why I resigned, our growing boys.

All kids naman should they have a choice, they'd really want their moms to be at home instead of working.  Let's focus on a a regular family unit, one that has a father a mother and child or children.  It's a different ball game for single moms or when incomes of both parents still can't seem to make ends meet.

To prepare, make sure you have savings and had set up an emergency fund. This emergency fund should be 6 months worth of your salary or household expenses.  You could build this while you're still working.  Set aside 10 to 20% of your salary monthly to go to this fund which you could use for rainy days or when you decide to quit your job to give way to staying at home.

My husband and I listed down all our monthly household expenses, that includes bills, food and groceries, transportation and communication, and even leisure expenses.  You should be doing this religiously so you know if you're still within your means or going over your budget.  When we assessed that we can do a one-income generating route, given his monthly take home pay, our emergency fund and savings, my part-time jobs - we decided I stay at home.

I realized that I had been spending too much on unnecessary expenses while I was still working like daily coffee and doughnuts, lunch outs, and impulse shopping.  While staying at home, I only spent for basics like regular groceries and food.  I saved more staying at home because I didn't have to spend for daily parking fees, set weekly gas budget, salary of a yaya, lunch outs, and expensive coffee.

I guess what's important is we never let financial challenges create misunderstandings or rift between me and my husband.  It was a mutual decision and a choice we prayed for, if anything goes wrong, we shouldn't play the blaming game.  We're both accountable and we are partners in making this route work.  We also know in our hearts and have a strong conviction that God is our great provider and we wouldn't have survived a year with just one regular income.  God's grace and provision paved way for extra income for me through blogging, some opportunities (which surprisingly just sent my way) so I may save on some expenses, and of some business transactions that will enable us to help others and glorify Him more.  Trust in God's plan - that's what we do.

Staying at home, may or may not be for you.  It's a big decision to make. Being a stay-at-home mom shouldn't be frowned on.  One should never say when asked what her work is with "Sa bahay LANG ako" or with "Stay-at-home-mom LANG ako."  Be proud of being one.  It's harder than a regular office job.  I know so because I've been a working mom all my life until this major life decision.  Staying at home one is an obedience to God's design for every family, and with that alone, He will never leave you nor forsake you.  Because of this decision, I became more focused on my priorities, my husband stepped up in his role as our family's provider, and he's become more loving and sensitive to our needs.  I became more selfless, simpler, though yes more exhausted than ever, but more fulfilled than ever.  Lastly, I became more prayerful and thankful for the gift of my life and my family.

~ Are you a stay-at-home-mom?  How's being a stay-at-home-mom?  How did it change you?  How did you prepare for it?  Why did you decide to become one?  What are your challenges?~

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14 comments

  1. I am Proud SAHM.
    Making a decision is not easy..but choosing my family is always a priority.
    It change a lot from being a working Mom to a Stay At Home Mom by How my time will be. If i can have an hour break in the office that i used too.. At home.. I cant even now have a decent bath unless my girls are on the mood but most of the time.. Dont. Expecially my youngest who is only 1 year and 4mos. Dealing with tantrums is one of those. But i never regretted even single of it. I am a Proud SAHM and sooo loving it.. 3years and counting..

    Thank you mommy Louise for these article.
    It makes me feel great even more!!

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  2. SAHM here! Right after I gave birth. November 20 2017, 6:30AM, I am getting ready to go to work when my water broke and from that day to present, naging SAHM na ako. My workmates are urging me to get back to work 2 months after I gave birth but I made the decision to be a full time mom. Gusto kong ako ang mag alaga sa baby ko plus i exclusively breastfeed him too. I want to be with him Every. Single. Day. And its probably the best decision I've ever made in my life. You know, when i see my baby growing up a happy kid and smart and knowing that i am his first teacher, his first best friend, first of everything. Being a SAHM is full of challenges like you have mentioned above but it all pays off seeing our kid/s happy and healthy. :)

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  3. Yes, I feel all of that too, depression? never leave me pero d po ako ngpapatalo, I always ask myself kung worth ba oras ko sa ganito. I wanna study na kasi pero wla tlaga ako mapag iwanan sa kids ko, lalo na sa bunso ko, autism, palaging may tantrums pg d ako nakikita. I'm always tired physically and mentally pero seeing my kids safe and OK, I'm ok na din. seeing them smiling and laughing with me, super nakakaalis ng paroblema. I know time will come na makaka work din ako, makakalabas ng bahay to work, sa panahon kasi ngayon andami nang pwedeng ibusiness, and for me tlga mas magandang mging boss and employee ng sarili mong business. Aiming for that! Amen!

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  4. So helpful Mommy Louise. Thinking of staying at home too because we have no yaya/househelp again and mainly because I feel my son need me more. Also, I feel that I am losing myself in this corporate world where I am right now.

    Thank you for this inspiration. I pray to God and I have high faith that whatever His plan is it will be for our very best. God bless you and your family.

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  5. Love Fullido Guirigay CompocFebruary 24, 2019 at 12:22 PM

    Finally, able to read this. I am SAHM for 5yrs ❤️ Being a sahm isnt easy but nope, i don't miss working, if ever I'll gonna work in the near future then perhaps id choose working at home/online. Gone are those days where i had to go home late because the boss asked me to esp during deadlines and reporting dates. There are factors too why we decided ( my husband also pushed me to decide ) to be SAHM and one of the reasons is my eldest behaviour where i am called most of the time. He is a fast learner and doing well but he had a bad temper at school ending up messing with other classmates. I remember every morning when he would beg me to stay instead of going to work. It broke my heart. I have to help the husband on our expenses but we are saddened on the fact that our little boy wasn't happy at all. And God made a way, i got pregnant and still working until my maternity leave came, filed a resignation and here i am now. I vowed to full breastfeed our 2nd daughter and currently tandem feeding with our youngest son. I made the right decision. I am always thankful that my husband is super supportive. Without him i might lose this fight. Staying at home isn't easy as ive said but i managed to enjoy it, shrugged off negativities of the people questioning me on our decision, and looking down on our status - BAHAY LANG. No, there's no such thing as bahay lang. We take care of EVERYTHING. I may not have enough time to go out and pamper myself but sometimes i i do it at home. There are DIYs to bring back our confidence. Kids drive me crazy sometimes but there's my husband to lift me up at the end of the day. A good talk over coffee is enough for me..Sahms just need someone to run, someone who can listen and understand our rants and embrace us with the arms full of love and we're OKAY again.

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  6. LOOOOVE!!! Sobrang naramdaman ko ang comment mo.. everything you wrote is a reflection of what happened and happens to me too! Though I never ever looked down on SAHMs.. and never felt like it is a LANG when asked, I was prompted by God to write this post because there are a lot of other SAHMs that may be feeling not enough or under appreciated. YES, a supportive husband and someone we could trust to talk to is sometimes all we need to keep our spirits high. Iba sa bahay.. yes we take care of EVERYTHING, and work at home is non-stop. Minsan, the whole day isn't enough. Lalo if like me, intentional na walang helper since the last one left. And same din tayo sa isa sa mga reasons, yung behavior ng son kong isa na lumaki sa yaya. I never looked back to working or the office life when we decided that I stay home, because iba ang kalinga ng ina sa mga anak talaga. Malaki laki na rin ang pinagbago ng anak kong may behavioral challenges nang onti.. he's a very kind boy pero ang kuliiiit.. mainitin ang ulo and easily gets frustrated.. hindi rin makatapos agad ng tasks.. BUT when I stayed home na.. ang LAKI LAKI ng pinagbago na niya.. PRAISE GOD! Thank you for sharing your story.. grabe ramdam na ramdam ko ang lahat ng mga nashare mo. Mabuhay ka. God bless you and your family always! :) Thank you also for reading my post ha. Natotouch talaga ako! Thank you Love!

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  7. Love Fullido Guirigay CompocFebruary 28, 2019 at 3:18 AM

    I feel happy and appreciated Momsh if may nababasa akong ganito. Aminin natin we need a community na nakikita yung worth natin. And i don't get it why some degraded SAHMs without knowing how hard it is being one. With kids' behaviour, happy to know okay na anak mo. Tayo nga ang need nila, ung presence natin kasi iba ung limited hours na nasa bahay tayo. Isa yan sa pinagpasalamat ko talaga.
    Working moms too ay di madali lalo na need din mag asikaso pag uwi at bago pumasok, we've been there too. Godbless your fam too Momsh😘 Continue to inspire us.

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  8. Hi Love! Thank you for reading and for leaving me a motivational comment. Yes, hindi dapat nila-LANG ang SAHMs. Hindi madali maging isang SAHM.. lalo ko tong narealize when I became one. For all my mom life, corporate woMOM ako, I thought grabe na ang pagod and pressure sa work, ibang iba pagdating sa bahay. Sa office, may makaka-usap ka pang mga tao para irelease ang stress mo eh or frustration.. sa bahay, wala. Ikaw lang, hintay ka pa pagdating ng asawa para may taong makausap. That's the thing that others don't really understand. It's draining SAHMs physically, emotionally, psychologically - and to think we're not paid, so pwedeng financially isama. Thank you dear! :)

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  9. So happy for you Chin! They say, the one who sacrifices a lot for the family is the woman, she sacrifices her career, parks pursuing her passions and dreams, just to take care of the family. Probably the best decision, NO.. it is the best the decision as a mother! :) God bless you and your family! :)

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  10. Let's all celebrate being a SAHM, not everyone may understand the extent of exhaustion and sacrifices we make every single day, and even so still being looked down as LANG by others, but let's not feel down about what others think. We should be proud, we made a decision - a brave and obedient one - to stay home and care for the gift of family. God bless and I am happy for you and your SAHM journey! :)

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  11. Prayers really led me to this decision as well and we obeyed His message. I pray for your journey as a mom. Hindi madali maging SAHM at maging working mom too! I've been there din kasi. And yes sa our kids NEED us more than anyone, to care for them, guide them, teach them, and just be present for them. :)

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  12. Huwag kang paghinaan ng loob, yang decision mo is blessed by God because you're doing it not only for your kids and family but for Him. Primary role talaga ng mga nanay is to care for her children and submit to husband. Plus hindi madali ang anak na may special needs kaya I salute you sobra. Women really sacrifice a lot for their family and it's not a bad thing, we sacrifice our careers, we park muna our dreams our passions, until the foundation of love and care has been solidified sa kids natin during their formative years or until schooling age na sila. Yes in time, in God's perfect time makakabalik ka rin sa pag-aaral (actually marami na rin available na modules online!) and yes in time makakawork ka rin. As SAHM, our days are long, but seeing our kids grow up, years are short. Mabilis lumaki mga bata, isang iglap lang. In God's time, makakabalik tayo sa gusto nating balikan. Importante din ang self-care and prayers para hindi tayo mapunta sa dark side or depression. Know that you're doing enough, you're doing great as a mom. :)

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  13. Samantha AguilarMarch 3, 2019 at 6:38 PM

    thank you po madam! Prayers lng po tlga ako kumakapit din, but as longas my kids are ok and they're happy, I'm ok na, lahat kakayanin for them tlga.

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  14. And don't forget.. I am here ha.. message lang if nakakabaliw na ang kaguluhan sa bahay. :)

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Mommy Practicality is a home and lifestyle blog that's about positive, informative, 
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