About Jennifer Todryk
Hey there! I’m Jenn.

Things get a little loud and chaotic over here from time to time. I blame the three child beasts ... and Mike is loud too. But, I hope to bring you nothing but happiness, inspiration, good home decor and only the comfiest clothing recommendations because, who really enjoys pants .... ? And most importantly a good laugh. I hope you laugh a lot… even if it’s at my expense.

- Jennifer
February 16, 2016 | Motherhood

13 Things No One Tells You About Being A Stay At Home Mom. The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly.

by Jennifer

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Before I was a stay at home mom, I thought they had it MADE.

From what I saw in the movies, life as a stay at home mom seemed almost perfect. Yoga classes, athletic clothes every day instead of uncomfortable work attire, you get to make your own schedule, go to play dates, get impromptu coffee with friends, take trips to the mall whenever you choose… I could go on and on with the naive assumptions I had.

The movies made it seem like a real fairy tale, but I personally don’t know any stay at home mothers who think that staying home with their kids is a dream job all of the time.

Being a mom is a wild roller coaster of emotions. I’ve never cried and laughed so much in my life, sometimes both in the same day. Whether you’re a working mom or one that stays home, we all have our individual struggles, but all I can share with you is what I’ve learned about being at home with my kids.

Here are some of the things that no one told me about being a stay at home mom, things that would have been nice to hear beforehand:

1.It’s harder mentally than it is physically. I can lift two babies all day long without a single grunt, but when I have to battle fifteen temper tantrums all before noon I feel like I may go insane. Or just cry. Or maybe hit a wall.

2.Just when you think you’ve got your schedule down, it will change. Someone will start to nap at a different time, or refuse naps altogether, so never get too comfortable with the status quo. Be flexible to change. Life will go smoother if you learn to embrace it.

3.Even when you enforce discipline, your children will still disobey. Forget about your expectations of “how your kid will act”, your child will act out because they aren’t robots. It doesn’t mean that they are brats, it means that they are human. I remember thinking to myself, Omg! He’s acting like a brat! How did this even happen?! when my first child turned two. He’s not a brat, he’s a toddler; welcome to parenting.

4.Resentment is an evil thing and don’t think you’re above it. You may start to look at your husband or anyone else who gets to leave the house and go to work in a different light. It most likely will happen at some point, but just stay focused on why you are choosing to do what you are doing. You’ve got this.

5.You need to find self-worth in something other than your children in order to stay sane. You’ll start to miss being seen. No one sees what I’m doing all day, it really doesn’t matter what I do. These thoughts may make their way into your brain and you don’t want them there. Find a hobby you can do within the walls of your home and make time for it. Make time for you. It may not be what you used to do before kids, but you need something.

6.Check your parenting expectations at the delivery room door. It’s normally a good thing to have expectations and goals for yourself, but forget about that when it comes to being a mother. You can’t control your job (your child) so cut yourself some slack. Do your best every day and be proud of what you were able to accomplish.

7.Be able to laugh at yourself. There is so much power that comes with being able to laugh at your “failed” expectations. Life shouldn’t be taken so seriously, and neither should motherhood.

8.Take it day by day. Soak in TODAY. The good, the bad, and the ugly. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed by kid drama, house chores, and the relationship with your significant other, but nothing is worth missing out on what is going on today.

9.There will be days when you feel sad. Just like any other job, you will have bad days. I think moms feel like they can’t talk openly about this because it sounds like they are complaining about their kids. It doesn’t mean we dislike our beastly children, we just need adult conversations from time to time that don’t include the words Mickey Mouse, poop, or NO! Call a friend when you need to vent, I bet she’ll be glad you did.

10.If you keep your eyes open you’ll see so much beauty. In between the hours of chaos you’ll experience awesome things that you would have missed out on if you weren’t there. Take note! Be present not only physically but mentally.

11.You get to be your child’s only teacher. You’re home with your child, so make this short amount of time count! Get on the floor and teach them. There is NOTHING more satisfying than that first time your kid recites the ABC’s and you get to say “I did that.” (And maybe we should give some credit to the Mother Goose Club Show on YouTube, but mostly you did it….)

12.Your child will most likely be more attached to their Mama than some of their peers who go to daycare, and that’s OK. They know you, they trust you, you’ve earned that attachment. Don’t let people make you feel bad about that, or tell you that your child is behind socially in any way. I cried hysterically when my mom tried to put me into a mother’s day out class at the age of four. I also was the shy kid in dance class. But now as an adult, I can talk to anyone in a room and be comfortable. I’m pretty sure your child isn’t promised a lifetime of reclusiveness if you don’t put him in school before he’s five. He’ll be just fine.

13.”One day, sooner than you think, you’ll look back and be glad that you did this.” This is something I have been told countless times by mothers with far more experience than I. In the moment of sleep-deprived nights, tantrums and arguments, it seems like this stage of life will last forever. Today they’ll just scream and throw tantrums, but one day you’ll look back on these tiring days and wish you could have them back.

One day, you’ll be glad you did this.

It’s the greatest job there is, and arguably the hardest. Stay strong and stay happy, Mamas! Reach out and talk about your feelings with other moms. Something amazing happens when you no longer feel like you are alone.

And trust me, you’re definitely not alone.

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-Until the next time this Redhead rambles.



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Related Post: A Stay at Home Mom: Exposed.

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Leave a comment

  • Thank you! This post was exactly what I needed to read today. As a stay at home mom of 2 under 2 I can relate so much to your posts. I'm so happy I found your blog!
    • Hi, Nina! So happy that you found me!! Being home with 2 under 3 is hard so I can't even imagine 2 under 2! I feel like I have twins! I'm glad you can relate to my everyday thoughts :) Thanks for reading and for the kind words!
  • So, so true!! Thank you for sharing ?
    • Thanks for reading! So glad you can relate! :)
  • Exactly what I was going to say, ladies ^^^ Thank you! I also needed this today :)
    • Thanks, Rickie! So glad you enjoyed :)
  • Great post. I can relate to what you wrote. The Hollywood portrayal is nowhere near reality. 8, 9 and 10 hit home for me. All things said, the pros outweigh the cons.
    • Thanks, Frank! The pros DEFINITELY outweigh the cons :) Being a parent may be the hardest job ever but it's the most rewarding, I believe this whole-heartedly!
  • Sometimes parenting seems like a "thankless job" but believe me it is well worth it. I found that humor and prayer helped me through the tough periods. My children are all adults now and I miss those days with them sooooo much. Enjoy this time. They grow up so fast. In the blink of an eye!! Precious moments that can never be re-lived. Enjoy!! Enjoy!!
    • Very well said. I honestly don't know how people get through parenting without prayer! :) I'm trying to soak it ALL in and write lots of things down in baby books! I never want to forget :( Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts, Laura!
  • I totally get the comment about the mental side of it. Good post.
    • Thanks so much, Janice! The mental stress is the HARDEST (in my opinion) if we can push through that, we can seriously do anything :)
  • This is SPOT ON! Thank you for posting this! I am sharing :)
    • Thanks so much! I'm glad you could relate and I appreciate you sharing! Have a great rest of the week :)
  • I was having coffee with a friend the other day and reminiscing about my stay-at-home time. Cherish it! My youngest turned 24 day before yesterday... (sigh!)
    • I am doing my best to cherish EVERY moment :) It's hard most days but I know that I'll look back and wish for the time back. The time that I thought was "rough"!
    • Glad you could relate, Bilna :) Thanks for reading!
  • Great Read! Thanks for the MOtivation on days like today in our house hold.
    • Thanks, Lauren! Glad you enjoyed! Hang in there :)
  • Thank you! I needed this, and #4 really hit home!
  • Loved reading this! I relate to everything you said, taking it day by day is so important and also laughing at our failures too. We can't be too hard on ourselves. Thank you!
  • I love this post! Honest and heartfelt without being negative or disparaging. I'm sharing this with my readers :)
    • Thanks so much, Emily! I appreciate it so much! Glad you can relate! :)
  • Right there with you momma! I finally found my 'something' through blogging and reaching out to great women like you! :) It allows me to stay connected to the world while being a stay at home mommy - which is the best job, or worst job - depending on the amount of tantrums. ;)
    • YES! We have the blogging thing in common! Some days I think it just adds more stress, but I still love it :) I'm sure you agree!
  • Thank you for the article. I feel for my fiance because he is the stay at home dad. I work full time and then some but I know it would be harder at home all day. Thanks again!
  • Great post. I was a stay at home mom when my children were young, and this certainly would have helped me. Now, working full time I look back at all the fond memories and how I may not have appreciated those years as much as I should. My perspective is different and I encourage all stay at home moms to enjoy the time you have with your children, time passes way too fast and then they leave for college or other life adventures. I'll save this post and share it with my daughters when they begin their families.
  • A lot of these are good advice for moms who work outside the home as well.
  • I sent something like this to the Ensign a few years ago, especially about numbers 4 and 5. They told me I was way off base and refused to publish it (the person who made the decision was a man). I'm glad there is a way now for mothers to hear what needs to be said.
  • I agree being a mom isn't all a bed of roses, especially when you hit the teen years. Hold on to your hats! Looking back is easy but, being in the moment isn't always. I think it's important to remember to have time for yourself to balance it all & breathe.
  • When I decided to open a small in-home daycare, I thought, "I got this. I'm a master at taking care of children." I remembered the old days when I worked at a daycare center and loved every moment of my job...which included daily field trips! Boy was I surprised when I started providing child care out of my home. It was just so different! I felt trapped and alone. Just like you, I watched longingly as my husband left the house to go to work, and as the kids' parents left the house. I was jealous of them...but the parents were jealous of me! I was so lucky to have that time with the kids then and we sure did have a lot of fund. But I know now that staying at home with kids, while fun, can also be incredibly draining, physically and emotionally. It's not all yoga pants and lattes...far from it! I'm always thankful to anyone who is willing to write about this to make sure that all moms know the truth, so they aren't slapped in the face quite as hard when they finally get to stay at home with their kids and it isn't exactly what they dreamed it would be!
  • This describes my everyday life. I love my daughter who is 3 with all my heart, but some days I don't know how much more I can take. I have had many jobs but none of them can compare to this one. Thank you for sharing this I really needed to read this today.
  • Gosh, I soooooo needed to hear this today. I'm a young (21) STHM with a 19 month old daughter. For wo me unknown reason (growing pains?) she has had the week from hell and I'm beyond mentally spent. It's so nice to just read sometimes that everyone has days/weeks like that and that I'm not actually losing my mind as much as it might feel like it.;) I always feel so selfish for occasionally envying my husband who gets to go to work full time, while my work is at home with the LO. Your post made me smile, especially after I spilled creamer all across the kitchen this morning (thought the cap was still on & shook it) and then proceeded to literally CRY about it, haha!
  • Agreed. Mentally exhausting. I am 16 years deeps and there are more days than not, I feel like I am totally drowning. Great post.
  • Omg. Reading this made me cry! I'm so happy this was the first thing I read before I start my day. #extremely thankful
  • This is really so true.. Though i have just one baby it will drives me nuts to leave my job and stay at home all the time.. Maybe the new mommy affect.. N yeah.. It's more difficult mentally than physically.. Hope the significant others understand... Kuddos to moms looking after 2 kids under ages 2-4..
  • My job was down-sized when I was 6 months pregnant with my first born, who turned 21 last December. Three years later we had 2 more kids so I had 3 kids under the age of 5 and the last two had health and autism spectrum disorders. I tried working part-time for my own sanity but it wasn't manageable. My late husband would occasionally change a diaper, give baths or bottles but he worked graveyards so I was pretty much a married single parent. I have been there, done that and am still living to tell the tale!! Parenthood is hard no matter if you work outside the home or at home. And anyone who says being a housewife/mom isn't really work had better walk away before I get started. When I became a mom, home computers weren't in every home and we had no cell phones. There weren't the parent groups and classes that are available now. We had Dr. Spock and What To Expect When You're Expecting. My kids are still living at home and I don't know that my youngest (17) will ever be able to truly live on his own--I'm still very much a housewife even thought my husband died of cancer 3 years ago. I have loved being home with my kids. I have also resented it at times, but I don't ever regret it. My kids aren't perfect angels and they never were but I was there for them and I'm grateful for that opportunity!!
  • Be prepared to be disrespected time after time by people who don't "get it". my SIL told me one time that she couldn't stay home because she felt like she needed to contribute something to society. I replied "I'm contributing 3 wonderful children to society". I was definitely not prepared for the depression I fell into when my youngest started kindergarten. I was really a lost soul--my job had been drastically changed and I didn't know how to handle it and all around people were assuming that I was thrilled not to have kids in the house all day. It was a very challenging time for me
    • I hung out at Starbucks for 4 hours straight until the preK let out (since my oldest was in kindergarten for half the yr, my younger wanted in, too). I just had no idea how to be "me" without kids, and once I started adjusting, we had to pull my oldest and homeschool. I totally relate! I think it's our attachment to them that keeps them going, though. Imagine if there was no oxytocin in the world... :)
  • Just started homeschooling and at 5 and 6, my kids are right in that "it would be so much easier to send you to school next year" range. Thank you for this! Trying not to grow weary in welldoing while still finding time for ourselves as adults and then realizing we're commenting on a stranger's post at 2am...yep. Motherhood is worth it!
  • I really liked your advise! I think you nailed all the highs and lows of being a SAHM, and it does feel good to know others can relate. I have 4 young kiddos (7, 5, and 2 yr old twins) and I recently started blogging about all the crazy things they do, and lessons I have learned as a result. I started blogging because, like you said, I needed an outlet! If you have time, I would love to get your thoughts on my blog. https://babywipesanductape.wordpress.com/
  • Everyone thinks it's easy especially men,and than they wonder why u get nothing done..like u don't do anything all day..and on top of it u have animals so it's not like u only have one child... sometimes I wish I had a legit job I could do at home so I still feel like the bread winner I guess u could say
  • Hi Jenn! I just stumbled upon your blog the other night and absolutely love your articles. Some of them give me a much needed giggle :) I love what you said above, "You need to find self-worth in something other than your children in order to stay sane." This has been very true for me. It's been a journey, but I've come to realize that my identity doesn't come from being a mom! "Mom" is just a role and I need to make sure I have something for myself. Thanks for a good read!! -Gina
    • Hello, Gina! I've taken a 4 month hiatus from the blog while my home was being renovated so I am so sorry that I am just now replying to you!! Thank so much for all of your kind words, I am so glad you can relate!
  • Great post! this is all so true. i wish i could've read this earlier. thank you!