5 Reasons I’m Not Cut Out to be a Stay-at-Home Mom


I’ve been a stay-at-home mom and I’ve been a working mom. I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt, I am not a good stay-at-home mom.

So I work.

Contrary to how I feel, my kids beg me all the time not to go to my job. They would love for me to be a stay-at-home mom again. But, as much as I miss watching my kids grow up … there are some things I need just for me, which has made me realize I am no good at being a stay-at-home mom. Here’s why…

I’m No Good at Balance

I hate trying to balance this whole mom thing with doing laundry, dishes, cleaning up messes, and actually trying to entertain my children. Some moms can do it and are unstoppable. Me? After about 10 minutes, I’m ready to end whatever activity is going on. Usually, because someone is whining, complaining, or screaming. After all of that, I look around and see a destroyed house that I really should get cleaned up before the husband gets home. That is not fun. I just want to enjoy my kids.

I Need Me Time

Selfish? Sure. But without the time I spend at the gym or out of the house, I start to go a bit stir crazy. The time I have for myself is crucial in my parenting. Unfortunately, with a husband who works 50-60 hours per week (on a good week), it is difficult to schedule time just for myself. When he gets home, I know he is tired. I don’t want to ask to leave for a few hours to go out with the girls and leave him with the gremlins, knowing full well he is just as exhausted as I am. I need a bit of time to worry only about myself. To do things only for me. To actually be selfish. 

I Need to Talk to Adults

I need time to talk to adults. I’ve come into work after a day off with the kids and everyone instantly knows I didn’t have much adult contact. I end up talking a mile a minute about anything and everything. Why? Because I’d spent the previous day talking about rainbows, unicorns, why the sky is blue, and why wiping boogers on one’s clothing is inappropriate.

When I was a stay-at-home mom, I’d end up spending hours online or on my phone for no other reason than looking for adult conversation. I was also known to annoy the bazinga out of my husband when he would walk in the door. I’d ask a million and one questions when all he wanted was five minutes of peace to wind down from a frustrating day of work. 

5 Reasons I'm Not Cut Out to Be a Stay-a-Home Mom | Columbia SC Moms Blog

Playdates Are Super Uncomfortable

Now here is something I don’t need. Playdates. You’d think this was the answer to adult conversation … right? Nope. Playdates feel like an awkward first date where you’re minding your manners. Constantly reminding yourself, “no, don’t scream, she can’t see your crazy yet.” They get worse as you realize the other parent has a completely different parenting style than you, and now you have to explain to your children why it’s okay for Little Johnny to wipe his boogers on his clothes but my precious Little Suzy cannot.

I’m Not Good with Kids

I adore my kids (most of the time). Other people’s kids? Not so much. Even my best friend’s kids get on my nerves. I’m just awkward in general, and even more so around other people’s kids. I’m that weird friend you hand a baby to and I have no idea how to hold it. I’ve been through it twice, and yet, still can’t get a handle on it. And then you have the screaming, crying, complaining, the interruptions. Darn it, kid, don’t you see I have a Facebook argument to win?!

At the end of the day, I know I’m making the right choice for my children. I’d love the opportunity to spend more time with them, but I know this is for the best. I’m a much happier mommy when I’m out in the world and not feeling as though I am just getting by.

Are you better off as a working mom or staying home with the kids? What works for you?

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Passionate in all things in her life, Jenelle learned many lessons on the road to finding herself. The beginning of her journey began when she met her husband, Alan. He swept her off her feet giving her the wings she needed to fly. To this day, Alan is supportive of all the crazy ideas that creep into her head. Whether it is to compete in Obstacle Course Races (most weekends during the summer, you can find Jenelle, Alan and kiddies climbing walls, jumping over fire, crawling through barbed wire, and flipping tires in the muddiest of places), completely overhauling the family’s diet to fresh healthy foods (clean processed foods have taken over their lives, assisting them in losing a combined 130 lbs in the course of a year and allowing them to be in the best shape of their lives), or deciding to up and move the family 10 hours away to Lexington, South Carolina. Born and raised in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, Jenelle grew up in an area where everyone knew her family name (this was especially enjoyable as a teenager – note the sarcasm). She graduated from the local university, East Stroudsburg University, Magna Cum Laude with a B.S. in Psychology. She was a stay-at-home mom of two beautifully silly daughters, Riley (6) and Emma (4) when it was decided to move to South Carolina. It was a big change. Jenelle went from “knowing everyone” to knowing essentially no one. Every day is a new experience, new journey, learning to meet people, and learning to take herself out of her comfort zone even at the risk of being completely awkward.


  1. I totally agree! I have been told by others that I am a bad mom because I work. In reality, it is the opposite. I am a better mom because I work. Great post!

  2. I completely agree that I am a better working mom than I would be a SAHM. However, I have a quibble with your phrase “as much as I miss watching my kids grow up…”

    You ARE watching your kids grow up! You are RAISING them, even. Would you accuse your husband who works longer hours of not watching them grow up? NO!

    So what does it matter that they go to daycare and eventually school? YOU are raising them! Not being there for 40 hours a week does not remove you from their lives entirely. Working moms, STOP belittling the work you do or what you need to do to stay sane. You are as much a parent as any SAHM. Don’t do yourself a disservice by saying you are any less.


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