SAHM to Career Mom, How Do You Choose?

I can’t decide whether or not I am going through an early mid-life crisis, or if this stage of life is just extremely difficult right now with my kids, or if I just need a change. Whatever it is, I feel like my time as a SAHM is slowly coming to a close, as least for now. This year has been so trying for me. With the loss of my brother, a break from my Master’s degree, a new business, and being at home with four little ones who are 5 and under, life is nothing short of crazy. I have been toying with the decision of going from a SAHM to career mom and contemplating the pros and cons of each.

There are a lot of things to consider in the decision of going from SAHM to career mom, or vice versa. Let's weigh those together!I chatted with a few mama’s on my Instagram page about their feelings on this, and I have gotten a lot of the same thoughts.

“There are so many decisions, I just keep weighing the pros and cons.”

“I think I want to go back to work, but there are so many things to consider when it comes to what to do with my kids during that time.”

Yes, to all of this. I am going through all of these same feelings right now, and I think they are coming on for a variety of different reasons.

SAHM to Career Mom

For me, these are the pros and cons I have so far. Please let me know in the comments what you think about this and whether or not you have gone through some of these same feelings. I am sure that other moms, like myself, would love to see that they aren’t the only ones who feel this way.

When I first became a SAHM, it was all I wanted. I just KNEW that it was going to be for me, and I would love every minute of being with my children. Mind you, I became a mom for the first time when I was 22 years old, so I was fairly young. After that, the babies just kept on coming and the life of being a SAHM pretty much took over everything else in my life.

So, the pros.

I get to see my babies every second of every day and watch them grow up. I get to teach them and play with them, and I don’t ever have to be away from them. Being a SAHM has taught me so many things about myself and about life. I have the freedom and the financially ability to be a SAHM, and I know that some people don’t. I am the only one raising my children, not a daycare or nanny or a babysitter.

The cons.

Of course, there are the obvious cons: Not being able to be around your kids all of the time, having someone else around for their milestones, missing out on certain things in their lives, and not being present enough.

For me, the biggest thing is time. Being a SAHM takes every bit of time and energy that you have. I had written a previous post about whether or not being a SAHM was a job, and of course there were plenty of opinions on that. You may think that you will have all of this freedom to get things done, but even sitting here typing this has to be done while 2/4 are napping, and the other two are occupied with a snack and Netflix babysitter. Don’t judge.

While I have been able to continue my Master’s degree, and of course, build my blogging career into something wonderful, being a SAHM has always taken precedent over everything else.

Some of you, at this point, might be thinking that this is selfish thinking or that I don’t appreciate being a mom. You would be wrong, but I see how you could get that idea.

Honestly, I am tired. I don’t feel like I am living up to the expectations I set for myself because I chose to become a mother early on in life. I read something today that said “bloom where you are planted”… I want to agree with that, but it seems to me that if you aren’t thriving in the environment you are in, then it’s time to change the environment.

For me, the decision comes down to this. If I want to be the best for my children, shouldn’t I do everything possible to thrive and be happy? If I am not completely happy with myself or with what I am doing in life, shouldn’t I make a change so that my children grow up with a mother who is happy and fulfilled?

Personally, I think I would be okay with being a “part-time” mom in this sense. Motherhood is, and always has been, my top priority. But, I need some sense of self-accomplishment and some time that just belongs to me. Call me selfish if you want to… this is the reality that some of us as mother’s get to.

I know I am not the only one.

There are so many hard questions to consider when making a decision like this. I can only say that weighing them out and doing what you feel is best for YOUR family, is the only way to truly make the best choice.

Right now, it seems like for the sanity of all parties involved, finishing up my Master’s degree internship and finding more business related things to keep myself busy are going to be the best options… and I feel good about that decision!

What are some of the things that come to your mind when you think about going from SAHM to career mom, or vice versa?

*Cheers to mamas of all backgrounds. May you be fulfilled and happy about what you’re doing*

joanna at motherhood and merlot

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19 comments

  1. So true. I went from working nights to being a sahm and doing daycare to make up for the money i lost when I started staying home. I love being home but there are days I miss adult interaction

  2. Good for you! I plan on going back to work when my kids are in school, I feel like the first 5 years go bye so fast I don’t want to miss out on any of it. It’s always best to do what you feel is best for your family!

  3. I have done both and realized for me personally I was a better mom when I WASN’T with my toddler 24/7, and she loves daycare, so it works out great for us! We still spend tons of time together on weekends and in the evenings and everyone is happy!

  4. You have to do what’s going to make YOU happy but it’s also going to benefit your family. As long as you have a support system, you’re good.

    I quit my job almost 3 years ago because I was unhappy working for someone else. But now that I work for myself I’m so much happier.

  5. I so needed to read this! I’m struggling with the same thing. Being a SAHM is A LOT harder than I imagined, and I only have one child! We BARELY get by financially with me not working, but if I went back to work we’d have to factor in the cost of daycare! There are SO many pros and cons to this, it’s overwhelming!! Happy to know I’m not alone!

  6. You´re not selfish at all!! I always think that kids will thrive and are happy when they have a mama that is thriving and happy (obviously that doesn´t mean that i like the concept of a hardcore full career mom where you hardly see your kids, but i don´t think it´s bad to want something for you as well and to keep chasing your dreams). Think of it this way, it´s great that you have had these first years with your kids and nobody can take that away from you anymore, but now if you are not fully happy with where you are, change it! Also, what about part time career mom? Working 3 or 4 days of week outside of the house? Good luck with your decision mama, it´s a tough one!

  7. Oh, how I can identify with you on this! I would not trade the last 3 1/2 years being home with my daughter, but having my jewelry business (and the breaks from being a SAHM to work on it) also kept me sane. I feel if you are in a place where you can choose to be a stay-at-home parent or work, then you should do what works for you, and not feel guilty about either one!
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  8. For me, the choice was easier – when I got pregnant I was barely into my career (I graduated just over a year from when my first was born) I hated the job I was working, and I wasn’t making enough to justify daycare and travel costs. My mom stayed home with my brother and me until we were in school (and then she worked at the school cafeteria which was the perfect job) and I loved having her there. BUT I admire women who ‘do it all’ because I don’t know if I personally could balance it all. You 100% just have to do what’s right for you and your family!

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