Some say it’s the hardest job in the world, and others envision it as slouching on the couch all day eating chips while the kids run amok. The world of the stay-at-home mom — SAHM for short — is steeped in speculation and controversy over whether it’s an ideal situation, or a classic case of the grass being greener on the other side. So it’s no wonder that the SAHMs in our Confessional have such mixed feelings about it.
Regardless of our varied opinions, I think we can all agree on one thing: Being a stay-at-home mom would be a hell of a lot easier without the “mom” part.
Because although staying at home sounds lovely and relaxing in theory, it’s actually not the permanent vacation some (ahem, most) non-SAHMs think it is. People seem to grossly overestimate the amount of “free time” in a SAHM’s daily schedule.
“The thing I miss most about working is that while I was working, no one expected me to do anything else. As a SAHM, everyone, including DH, thinks I have tons of free time to do everything for them.”
“Honestly thought SAHM’s should keep everything spotless/have dinner waiting. I’m not that old fashioned, thought it fair since the other partner is commuting & working 8 hours. Haha dumb bitch. Joke is on me… SAHM for 4 years. Didn’t factor in the kids.”
“I love these people who have never watched their own kids by themselves for a day or for a few hours without screens who like to tell me I should ‘take in and watch a few kids’ while I’m a SAHM. If you don’t pay my bills, shut your fucking trap.”
It takes a lot of work, most of it “behind the scenes,” to keep a household running (especially when there are kids running through said household) — and it’s always kinda satisfying when someone else finally gets a taste of what we do on the daily.
“SAHM here. Just started working nights on weekends (loving it too) and I have to say it’s so satisfying when I get texts about how hard it is to watch the kids. It’S So HarD tO WATch THe KiDS! Pfffffffttt he needs to STFU.”
Because sooooo many people mistakenly think that just because we don’t bring home a salary or benefits, or punch a time clock, being a SAHM isn’t a “real job.”
“I wish he would understand more that being a stay at home mom is hard work too.”
“I’m a stay at home Mom and my DH works outside the home. He tells me all the time he wishes he had my ‘job’. Please! Let’s trade! PLEASE!”
“Love being a stay at home mom but hate when people say ‘oh so you don’t have a job.'”
Actually, anybody who’s ever been a SAHM can tell you that it is abso-freaking-lutely a job, one with zero sick days or lunch breaks, where you’re required to wear all the hats. In fact, in a 2019 study, Salary.com revealed that if stay-at-home moms were paid for all the things we do, the salary would be a whopping $178,201 per year. So stuff it, haters.
“I am not the least bit ashamed or apologetic about being a SAHM. I work hard, serve my family and community, honor my husband, and participate fully in my children’s education and extracurricular activities. I also respect and applaud working moms 100%.”
Of course, though the constantly on-call SAHM gig can be grueling, we can’t say that it doesn’t give us a little extra flexibility in certain areas, and some of us thoroughly enjoy the perks of the stay-at-home mom life.
“I really love being a SAHM, but I fake bitch about it to fit in with the other moms.”
“SAHM and literally the only thing I miss about working outside the home is a guaranteed lunch break and the opportunity to pee alone.”
“I love being a SAHM. I can do what I want just so long as the kids are settled. Dh thinks I’m working hard all day but right now I’m just sitting on the couch watching tv with dd2. Love it!”
“Introvert here. Love my SAHM gig.”
“I LOVE being a stay at home mom. Dear friend who called me useless….. You can suck it!!!”
“I love being a SAHM, ice cream and jelly for breakfast woohoo!”
“I fucking love being a stay at home mom and cleaning/organizing my kid’s toys,doing laundry, mopping floors all day. I know I am supposed to pretend it sucks but I hate grown ups so I don’t want a job!!”
Even factoring in the good things, though, there are a few common themes that a lot of SAHMs struggle with: disillusionment, loneliness, and the nagging feeling of not having a damn purpose. Sometimes the mental and emotional toll is the hardest part of all.
“I don’t remember what I thought being a SAHM would be like before I started. But this isn’t it.”
“Sometimes I go days without showering and brushing my teeth. I was talking to my daughter in the kitchen, and she yelled ‘oh Mom did you fart?’ Nope, it was my breath. Stay At Home Mom=No purpose in life.”
I feel like a failure. This is a dark cloud in my life. Shouldn’t being a SAHM be rewarding and give me purpose? It does not. Not enough. Everything seems trivial and utterly unimportant.
“I hate being a stay at home mom. I love my kids to death, but I hate being alone with them all day long. I’m sick and tired of the lack of adult stimulation, getting dressed in only sweatpants, and the monotony of my days.”
“I suck at being a SAHM. I never wanted to be one and now I feel like I don’t contribute anything to our lives. Maybe that’s just because H never acts like what I do is at all difficult or important.”
“All my life, all I wanted to be was a stay at home mom. I hate it. It’s making my brains leak out my ass.”
Like any job — and yes, it is a job — being a stay-at-home mom has its good parts and bad. But it’s important to remember that as isolating as it can sometimes feel, we are all part of a huge group of SAHMs who can relate to every single butt-wiping, laundry-doing, screen-timing aspect.
“I feel bad when I hear of other SAHMs having breakdowns but it also makes me feel better. The cycle of a SAHM, doing great, loneliness, feeling inadequate, weight on our shoulders and the constant going is a crazy feeling. Glad I’m not alone.”
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