What is Stay-At-Home Mom?
A stay-at-home mom is a mom who chooses to focus on her family and home, taking care of the kids and the household, instead of working outside the home.
It’s way more than it sounds. I mean, I’ve done it all—worked with kids, stayed home, and now I’m home-schooling my girls while doing college and running our business.
It’s like a juggling act, but instead of balls, it’s laundry, homework, and business calls.
So, being a stay-at-home mom isn’t just about staying in and doing house stuff. It’s different for everybody.
For me, it’s full-on home life, all day, every day. But I’ve got friends who mix it up with part-time jobs or side gigs from home.
We all come from different places, right?
Some moms left jobs to hang with their kids, others are still working in a way, just more from the kitchen table than an office.
And it’s not just about the kids and cleaning. It’s about having time for your own stuff, too, like hobbies or just chilling with your partner after you put the kids to bed.
But the best bit?
Like, really there.
For every scraped knee, every school play, every bedtime story. I’m the one they run to, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.
It’s hectic, sure, but those little moments? Gold.
Benefits of stay-at-home mom statistics
- I’m part of a massive tribe; there were about 16.2 million of us stay-at-home moms in the U.S. in 2020.
- While 29% of stay-at-home moms are living in poverty, I’ve felt the pinch and learned to be resourceful with our budget.
- I put in an average of 30.4 hours a week on housework—definitely more than my working-mom friends who average 17 hours.
- I’m among the 73% of stay-at-home moms who felt loved yesterday, which is a tad higher than the 70% of working moms.
- Happiness without heaps of stress is a part of my life, resonating with the 42% of stay-at-home moms who feel the same, compared to 36% of working moms.
- Interestingly, I spend about 15 hours less per week on engaging activities than my peers who work, which is a trade-off I’ve noticed.
- I’m under 35, aligning with the 61% of stay-at-home moms in that age group, and I see why we’re the majority—there’s so much energy needed!
- With a working partner, I’m part of the 70% of stay-at-home moms in this structure, and it’s a balancing act we’re still mastering.
- My kids’ development is on track, just like the children of working moms, which eases any worry about them missing out.
- I find joy in the everyday, much like the 87% of stay-at-home moms who report feeling happiness, which is a bit more than the 81% of working moms.
- Stress levels are high, and I’m part of the 54% of stay-at-home moms who feel it more intensely than working moms, but I’ve got my coping strategies.
- Personal life satisfaction is huge for me, and apparently for 45% of stay-at-home moms too, which is greater compared to the 39% of working moms who feel the same.
- of my girls is under five, and I’m among the 60% of stay-at-home moms in this situation, which means there’s never a dull moment!
What the Benefits of stay-at-home mom
- Reducing Stress and Anger in Children: I’ve noticed how my being home creates a calm space for my girls. They’re less stressed, and we work through disagreements together, which seems to help them handle their emotions better.
- More Control of Children’s Growth: I’ve got a front-row seat to my kids’ lives. I’m right there to guide them, instill our family’s values, and adjust our daily routine to fit each child’s unique needs.
- Increase in Child’s School Performance: Since I’m more available, I can really dive into helping with homework and projects. It’s rewarding to see their grades improve because of our teamwork.
- Easier Home and Family Care: Running the household feels smoother because I’m on top of chores and I can quickly tend to any family member’s needs—nothing slips through the cracks.
- Flexibility with Time: I love that I can shuffle our schedule around. If a school event pops up or someone’s under the weather, I can adapt without the stress of work conflicts.
- Taking Advantage of Nap Time: Nap times are golden. That’s when I can recharge with a quick nap myself, indulge in a hobby, or just enjoy the quiet.
- Pursue Hobbies and Interests: I’ve rediscovered my love for painting and reading, which I can fit into my day. It’s like having a piece of myself that’s just for me, amidst all the family hustle.
- Being There When Family Needs You: Whether it’s a skinned knee or a tough day at school, I’m there to comfort and cheer. It’s made our family bond super strong.
- Engaging in Self-Care: Taking care of me is crucial. Whether it’s a yoga session or just a peaceful cup of tea, I find those moments keep me balanced and happy.
And I’m all for reaching out for a helping hand when needed. Chatting with a counselor has given me some great strategies for managing the mom-life balance. It’s all about staying healthy, not just physically, but mentally too.
Disadvantages of being a stay-at-home mom
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, stay-at-home mothers tend to be younger and often have less formal education, with nearly half only having a high school diploma or less.
This correlates with a higher likelihood of living in poverty—34% of stay-at-home moms versus 12% of working moms.
This is in line with Pew Research Center data showing that 15% of married stay-at-home moms are in poverty, compared to 3% of their employed counterparts.
Single stay-at-home moms face an even steeper climb, with 64% not having education beyond high school and 71% living in poverty, versus 40% and 27%, respectively, for single working moms.
In 2012, the share of mothers not working outside the home rose to 29%, and within this group, married stay-at-home moms with working husbands made up about two-thirds.
While only a small fraction, 5%, of these married stay-at-home moms were highly educated with a master’s degree and affluent, a larger share, 6%, reported staying home because they could not find a job.
This suggests that while some stay-at-home moms, like myself with a master’s degree, may have more financial stability, a significant number are at home due to economic necessity rather than choice1.
Married stay-at-home moms tend to cite family care as the primary reason for not being employed, a sentiment echoed by 85% of this group.
In contrast, single stay-at-home mothers often face harsher economic realities, with only 41% staying home primarily for family care and a considerable number facing unemployment or disability1.
These numbers reflect the complex interplay between economic factors, family responsibilities, and the challenging decision that many mothers make to stay at home, often leading to tighter financial circumstances.
Other Disadvantages of Being a stay-at-home mom
- Social Isolation: Like many stay-at-home moms, I’ve grappled with feelings of isolation. A psychotherapist specializing in maternal mental health notes that stay-at-home parents often lack the adult interaction that comes with a workplace, leading to loneliness1.
- Loss of Identity: I’ve experienced the jarring shift from a professional environment to full-time parenting, where a loss of personal identity outside of being a mother can occur2.
- Burnout: Despite the joys of parenting, I’ve felt the burnout that comes with the relentless demands of motherhood. Therapists note that stay-at-home moms may struggle with exhaustion, impatience, and emotional triggers1.
- Mental Health: The mental load can be heavier, as evidenced by a Gallup poll finding that stay-at-home moms report higher rates of depression, sadness, stress, and anger compared to working moms3.
These issues, coupled with the economic and educational challenges, underscore the multifaceted nature of Being a stay-at-home mom.