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5 Dangers of being a Stay-at-Home Mom

5 Dangers of being a Stay-at-Home Mom

Some girls grow up with dreams to wear a white dress and have two arms full of children by the time they are 25; it is perfectly planned. They never considered how difficult it could be, or that they might not enjoy it as much as they thought they would. Other women never thought twice about exchanging heels and an office for a mini-van and yoga pants. But when they held their little princess for the first time, the plan changed.

No matter if it was a dream-come-true, or the result of unforeseen circumstances, mothers everywhere find themselves staying at home—where they are in danger.

Everyday hazards, though not emergencies, are threatening to their lives. Read on to see if any of these dangers affect you:

1. The Mom Uniform - If your idea of “getting ready” to go out for dinner means changing out of sweats and into “nice” yoga pants, you’re in danger of living in the mom uniform. Sadly, many moms wear "no time to shower" like it’s a noble badge. Undoubtedly, there are seasons where getting ready requires more planning but it is not unfathomable, especially if you are beyond the season of diaper bags and infant carriers. You don't have to look ready for prom if you’re running to Target, and there’s no need spend excessively on clothes, make-up, and accessories, but putting effort into your appearance—for your spouse, and for yourself, will always make you feel better.  

2. The Mom Friends - As a mom you need to have others in your season of life: friends who can empathize with the toddlers throwing a tantrum, the anxiety of releasing your oldest into kindergarten, or the sassiness of your 12-year-old daughter. But, your friendship circle cannot be one-dimensional. You also need older women who can remind you that, “the years are short.” You should have other friends who will encourage you when you feel defeated, and let you ugly cry on their couch at any time of day. You need to have people with similar interests in your life to breathe into hobbies or dreams, push you to set and hit goals, and help you when it gets difficult. Which leads to the next danger…

3. The Selfless Mom - You are so wrapped up with being the perfect mom that you’ve totally lost yourself in your children. You have let every other interest, hobby and relationship fall to the ground—and die. You have forgotten the passions that you had in your pre-kid days, the pursuits that made you come alive. There will be seasons and reasons when you’ll have to sacrifice your dreams for your family that is for certain. All moms have a need for people and passions, for activity and adventures. These things will keep you growing as an individual and going as a mother.

4. The Mom-Brain - When reading a book resembles something with flip pages and three-letter words that rhyme, you are in danger of having the mom-brain. Once your kids reach school age (if not much before), you've probably created enough structure in the schedule to carve out time for yourself. Instead of getting lost in the black abyss of Pinterest, or binge watching Grey’s, why not pick up a book? Not a magazine or a parenting manual. Find an author, or subject, that you are passionate about and get lost in the story.

5. The Roommate Mom - If you refuse to take off the mom-hat, even after the kids are in bed, you are the roommate mom. You live with and parent beside your husband, but you aren’t fostering that relationship with intention. You’re in danger of losing intimacy with your husband. Remember why you married him and rebuild; find a way to reignite that spark if it’s gone out. Talk to each other, go back to the activities you used to make time for or pick up something new. You might not feel super sexy, but chances are he still thinks you are. Use the lock on your bedroom door, institute a “no sex after 8:00 p.m.” rule (if you’re typically exhausted by then), or hire a babysitter and get a date night on the calendar.

Stay-at-home moms need mom friends, parenting books, and comfy clothes for those days at home with babies or sick kids, but you also need a black dress that makes you feel confident, activities to spark your creativity, and mentors who will inspire you. You need a husband who feels respected and remembered, and pursuits and causes to champion. 

Being a mother is one of the most exhilarating and exhausting roles in life. It is beautiful and worth treasuring, but it is only one facet of what a thriving life should look like. Moms are also wives and sisters, friends and employees; they are business owners and coaches, creatives and leaders. They are gatherers of people, generators of ideas, and sharers of stories and abilities. And they are better when they make room for all of these things. 

Stay-at-home moms, we see you, and we support you. But we want you to remember: Your value doesn't come from you ability to recite every lyric of the "Frozen" soundtrack or the way you perfectly cut the crusts off of your picky-eater's sandwiches. Your worth comes from being a child yourself. A child of God. 

Malinda Fuller and her husband Alex have served at several churches and para-church organizations in the U.S. and Canada for over a decade. Malinda wields truth and grace through the words on her blog and has also contributed content for Relevant, Thrive Moms and The Influence Network. Malinda and Alex currently reside in Southern California, where they are homeschooling their daughters, working in ministry and trying to not complain about the continuous sunshine.

Publication date: June 30, 2016