Being a stay-at-home-mom is the most challenging role I’ve ever stepped into. And it requires some solid skills to be a productive one! I’m not JUST a mom. I’m the chef, project manager, chaperone, chauffeur, referee, maid, teacher, nurse, coach, storyteller and a few more roles that I transition to and from every day. Every skill that I’ve picked up from every job or training was put to the test when I became a SAHM. Here’s why…
I have to be able to communicate as effectively as possible with my kids. They have so many questions about life and sometimes those questions can be difficult to answer because I don’t want to misguide them in any way. I find myself Googling everything to make sure my kids know the truth every time.
Communicating feelings can be a really tough one as well. My kids are learning about their emotions a little more every day and I have to be the one to hold the space for them to do so. But there are definitely times when it’s really hard for me to help them cope with their feelings when they’re caught up in a moment of intense emotions and won’t listen to anything I have to say. I still have to somehow find a way to communicate with them and help them through it.
Communications skills doesn’t end with my kids, it’s everyone else as well. When I’m arranging a play date or a birthday party, I have to communicate with other parents, friends, partner, family, vendors, other children, etc…
Clear and effective communication skills are a must!
Time Management & Organization
Luckily I’m completely OCD when it comes to staying organized but I’ve had a lot of trouble with time in my past and it took a lot of practice before I was able to utilize time effectively. How do I get the kids dressed, make breakfast, do laundry, wash diapers, sun bleach our clothes, vacuum, meal plan, budget plan, go grocery shopping, fix a toy firetruck, plan a museum trip, make calls, pay bills, have a playdate, put away clean clothes, make dinner, do dishes and still find time for myself? Getting a serious grip on time management! I’ve literally stood there in the kitchen right after I put the chicken in the oven for 6 minutes and thought, “okay, I have 6 minutes to get something done and make it count.” I could have spent those 6 minutes standing there looking into the living room at HGTV playing in the background or got sucked into Facebook. Instead I make those 6 minutes count which adds time for some self care (or whatever I want) at the end of the day. If I find a few opportunities to save 5-6 minutes throughout my day, I may actually be able to take a shower this week or start my new book that’s been sitting on the nightstand for months now (usually showering wins).
Staying organized is one of the keys to effective time management. It is so much easier knowing exactly where everything is when you need it and spending those 5 extra seconds to put things back in it’s place. It saves me so much time not having to look for misplaced things all over the house. Especially my keys, glasses and phone! Having things prepared in advance is also beneficial when you’re heading out the door. Here’s my diaper bag essentials that I always have packed and ready.
I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do. I’m not exactly thrilled to cook and clean up the dishes 3 times a day but I still do it. I don’t actually think about the task that I’m doing but I feel my intention behind the task and have it be more meaningful. I don’t do the laundry because it has to get done. I do it because I love the clothing that we have and I want to make sure they’re well cared for. It’s also so precious to spend that time putting away our clothes while my little girl helps out. I don’t pick up the million things that are thrown all over the floor each day because I have to but because I feel less chaotic on the inside when my environment is tidy and I want my kids to feel that as well. I don’t play/guide/teach my kids because I’m supposed to but because each day they grow up a little more and I want to cherish every opportunity I have for as long as they still need their mommy.
Eventually, my cherished nursing sessions are going to come to an end. My baby girl will start crawling then walking. My sweet little boy will want to spend more time with his friends and painting pictures with mommy will one day not appeal to him anymore. Life as a stay at home mom is constantly changing. Right when I get into a routine that feels familiar to me, something new comes up and I have to adapt to it.
Ability to work under pressure
When I was pregnant with Willow last summer/early fall, I felt so much pressure from every aspect of life. I had another child to care for when Brads son stayed with us the majority of the summer. Our grocery list kept changing as well as the meal planning, I didn’t have a car and was isolated in the house with stir crazy kids, we were financially cornered trying to afford our midwife services for our home birth, our one car kept breaking down (cost more money), I was going through the courts for custody battle (round 3) and I was also trying to plan for a birthday party all in my last trimester. I felt like the weight of the world was all on my shoulders. I was an emotional mess on the inside trying to juggle all these things at once while getting a grip on my pregnancy hormones and preparing for labor. Dinners still had to be made, the laundry still had to be washed, the kids still needed a bath and bills still had to be paid.
How about those temper tantrums that my 4 year old would throw in public? Those are always fun (total sarcasm)! Talk about being under pressure when he’s screaming bloody murder and I’m breaking a sweat trying to calm him down and not start crying myself when I have all eyes on me judging me as a mom.
The pressures can come at you from all angles. Your ability to work under pressure is going to be tested whether you’re ready or not.
Ir you’re feeling really overwhelmed and stressed, check out natural ways to manage stress for the crunchy mom for some helpful tips.
These job skills are a must for a productive home. Being a mom is the hardest job I’ve ever encountered. I’ve never had to work this hard mentally, physically and emotionally while sleep deprived and forgetting to feed myself. And I do it all for hugs, kisses, those baby coo’s and shared laughter. Because you can’t depend on receiving gratitude or payment for all the work you’ve done (it’s great of you do but it’s never guaranteed). This job is one of self sacrifice and done out of pure love. After all, those are the things that make a mother. 🙂
Do you think you have the job skills to be a stay-at-home-mom?