Stay at Home Mom Struggles

Are you considering leaving the workplace to become a stay-at-home mom? If you are, make sure you know about these ten stay at home mom struggles before you commit. Find out how to deal with these struggles and get other tips for stay at home moms.

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I worked a job outside of the home from the time I graduated high school until my first child was born, so roughly nine years. I got promotions and pay raises and was regularly recognized for doing quality work no matter my position. However, I can honestly say that being a stay at home mom is the most rewarding job I have ever had, but it is also the most difficult by far.

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Twelve Stay at Home Mom Struggles

If you are thinking about becoming a stay at home mom, consider this post a “heads up” so the SAHM life doesn’t hit you square in the face because you didn’t see it coming. If you are already a stay-at-home mom, then just nod your head in agreement friend, and know you are not alone.

Also, I want to say up front that being a stay at home mom is totally worth it! I just believe some of these struggles are like giant potholes in the road. If there is a warning sign, you can navigate around them. If there is no warning at all, they could cause you to crash and burn.

Overwhelm. You are expected to be more than just a mom.

As if “just a mom” is a really simple thing, know that you are expected to be so much more when you become a stay at home mom. Suddenly, you are a nurse, chauffeur, chef, teacher, housekeeper, laundry attendant, accountant, and babysitter, just to name a few. Because you are also mom to the people you serve, you are expected to fill those roles with intense love and care.

You must do your job well or people could get hurt.

When I wrote that headline, I was envisioning Jack Nicholson’s famous “you can’t handle the truth” speech in the movie A Few Good Men. He actually didn’t say anything like that, but it was the way he said it. You see, there are very few jobs in the world where people could actually get hurt if you fall asleep at your desk. Being a stay at home mom is one of those jobs. It’s intense. I know that sounds a bit dramatic, but seriously, tiny humans could get hurt if you fall asleep on the job.

Stay at home mom guilt is a real thing.

I promise you, stay at home mom guilt is real. No matter how you prepare yourself for it, it just comes out of nowhere; typically when you are exhausted. You are doing all the things; driving your kids everywhere, educating them, doing all the laundry, cooking all the meals, serving in your church and other activities and you still feel guilty because you do not have a “real job.”

It gets lonely, and you are never alone.

It is difficult to imagine being lonely when you are never actually alone, but as a stay at home mom, you will be lonely for adult interaction. If you are an introvert, like me, you may also crave actual alone time. It is really difficult to make time for both adult conversation and actual time where you are completely alone.

There is no opportunity for advancement as a stay-at-home mom.

In the workplace, we can look forward to an annual raise, the occasional promotion, and even a bit of recognition for a job well done. Motherhood is often it’s own reward. Even the best of husbands can sometimes forget to encourage us or thank us for a job well done.

You get touched out.

Honestly, I didn’t know being “touched out” was a real thing until I googled “mom who does not want to be touched.” I promise, being touched out is a real thing and it’s NOT just for nursing moms. When you have toddlers, or medically fragile children, or sensory seeking kids who crave touch all day long, you can feel touched out. It’s a crazy feeling. You want adult interaction, but you need physical space. This can cause lots of issues in a marriage.

Favorite Stay at Home Mom T’s

You will second guess almost every parenting decision you make.

There is no mom manual, no universal guide to parenting, and there is no way to know if you are doing it right. Motherhood is not like the workplace. There is no handbook to go by. Honestly, most of the time, you are just winging it and hoping for the best. You make the best decisions you can with the help of input from friends and doctors. Then, you just wait and see if all goes well. This is totally unsettling for most of us.

No sick leave or paid time off.

I am not sure why this was a shocker for me. I guess it’s just one of those things you don’t think about. It’s pretty clear who will take care of the kids when they get sick; you. However, the question that usually goes unanswered is who will take care of the kids when you get sick. The answer to that question is also you.

If you are a stay at home mom, there is no babysitter and it’s difficult to find a babysitter for just a day or two here and there. Thankfully, I had my mom nearby most of the time. There were also times, if I was really sick, my husband could use his sick leave to help out for a day or two. Make sure you have some family or friends to lean on for child care in situations like these.

You struggle with time management.

When I worked outside the home, I was able to get to get up on time, get to work on time even if there was traffic, get my job done while juggling multiple projects, have friends and hobbies outside of work, and spend quality time with my husband.

Having a nursing newborn and a toddler does something to your time management skills that you will never expect. They disappear. Suddenly, for the majority of your day you are only accountable to people who can be bribed with cheerios and apple juice. This definitely messes with your motivation. You have to relearn to manage your time as a stay at home mom.

Stay at home moms struggle with lack of accomplishment and self-worth.

When you are a stay at home mom, you self-worth cannot be tied to accomplishments that are easily recognized by others. It is not easy to see that you finished two loads of laundry in a day when the baskets are still overflowing. Also, raising a child is not done in a day, or even a year. There are milestones, but you are the one who will celebrate those and others may not notice. I believe motherhood is the ultimate expression of delayed gratification.

Weight gain.

Stay at home mom weight gain is real. It’s like the freshman 15 in college, but it’s usually more like twenty plus pounds and is typically a whole lot harder to lose due to age, hormones and stress levels. Just be on the lookout for this and arm yourself with some good weight loss tips for stay at home moms.


Because of all the struggles listed above, depression is one of the biggest daily struggles of moms who stay home. You will need to learn to practice self care with vigilance.

Is being a stay at home mom worth it?

After reading all of that, you may be wondering if leaving the work place to be a stay at home mom is worth it. After 24 years of marriage, 20 years as a stay at home mom, and raising six children, I say it is absolutely worth it. Yes, there is a huge amount of self sacrifice, but the opportunity to leave a lasting impact on the world in the form of the lives of your children is completely worth it!

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One Comment

  1. This is such a great article. As a SAHM so much of this resonates with me. All of the touching was such a surprise to me. Now my son is more independent & I sometimes miss his neediness lol. But when he was a toddler it was overwhelming! I am also an introvert and that concept of lonely but not alone totally sums up that first year. We moved to a new state when my son was 3 months & everyone I knew worked. It was hard to feel so lonely & yet want to have some time for just me. But staying home has been the best! Visiting today from Wonderful Wednesday link party. I’m #198 😉

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