I’ve been a working mom and a stay-at-home mom and I can honestly say, BOTH are equally hard. It really bothers me when I see these conversations in mom’s groups on Facebook debating which is harder or who is the most stressed out.
The thing is, being a mom is hard, period. Full stop.
And the other hard truth is that it literally does not matter. There is no trophy for being a stay-at-home mom or a working mom. There is no award ceremony for being the best mom. Honestly, the best mom is a loving mom who takes care of her family, whatever that looks like.
Being a Working Mom vs a Stay-At-Home Mom
When I was a working mom, I longed to stay at home with my babies and never miss a moment. I hated that I had to get up and leave them in the care of others all day, and I wished I could stay home with them all the time. I had SO MUCH mom guilt.
Then, when I quit my job to move across the country for my husband’s job, we decided to try to make things work financially (with a little bit of budgeting and a lot of prayers!) and have me stay home full time. And yes, while I never missed a moment, I also NEVER MISSED A MOMENT. Every poopy diaper. Every tantrum. Every spill.
The mom guilt took on a new face as I found myself longing for the days when I could skip the messy moments and come home for the stories and snuggles, or even just to grab coffee with a colleague and chat with an adult during the day instead of listening to Baby Shark on repeat for 1,453,792 hours a day.
At the end of the day, being a mom is hard and most of us are stressed out, no matter what our unique circumstances are like.
I’m not necessarily telling you this just to admit my feelings of inadequacy as a mom, but to show you that both choices come with a heaping pile of mom guilt. And once I figure out a way to banish mom guilt, I’ll share it with you. But in the meantime, I’ve found that a little encouragement goes a long way.
Some Words of Encouragement for Stressed-Out Moms
As a mom, sometimes you have to be your own cheerleader in order to stay strong. You’re the one who has to give yourself a pep talk before you go into battle every day. Whether you’re a working mom or a stay-at-home mom, being a mom is hard work and it can feel like no matter what you do, there is never enough time or money.
But don’t let these worries get the better of you! Follow this list of positive affirmations and encouraging thoughts for moms—they’ll keep your head up and help remind you that even when things are tough, you’re not alone and you CAN do it.
Behind every great child is a mom who’s pretty sure she’s screwing it all up.
We have all thought that we’re screwing it up. I’m pretty sure it’s a requirement to be a mom in the first place! But chances are, if you’re worried about this, you’re probably not one of the moms who really is screwing it up. We do the best we can and we teach our children everything we’re able to. They are growing and becoming wonderful people. You are doing a great job, no matter how it feels in the moment. You are a great mom.
You’ve got this!
When you get jolted out of a dead sleep by a screaming toddler, it’s easy to start the day off on a grumpy foot. But you know what? You can do it. Start off my telling yourself, “I’ve got this” and it will help you to feel like you are going to conquer the day, and you will. (But don’t forget to reheat that cup of coffee!)
“No influence is so powerful as that of the mother.” – Sarah Josepha Hale
As a mom, you are the most powerful being on earth. Men, women, and children are all influenced by their moms. You are the shaper of our futures. You are the designer of the world. You are the best mom of all, and you are especially the best mom for your kids. Keep this in mind when the going gets tough. When the kids are screaming and the sink is leaking and you are teetering on the edge, remember this quote and take a deep breath. You can do this.
You can have messes and still be a good mom.
No matter what the mess is, we all have them. This doesn’t make you a bad mom. Whether it’s a messy kitchen or loads and loads of unfolded laundry, or messy finances and relationships, these things just show us where our strengths and weaknesses are. These can be overcome (if it’s something that’s important to you—having folded laundry will literally never be a top priority for me!) and take time.
You are a great mom and you are working on yourself as well as raising wonderful little humans. You are amazing and those little messes will soon be big messes who will still always love their mama!
Your children don’t want a perfect mom, they want a happy mom.
This is a hard one for me because we are in the messy baby and toddler phase where someone is literally always screaming or crying (and often both at the same time!). But I’m constantly trying to remind myself now that my kids aren’t going to remember this crazy chaos—they will remember being happy and joyful, and all of the fun adventures you do together.
The happier you are, the happier your children will be. If this doesn’t come naturally to you, try to consciously decide to be happier for a day or two and you will see the difference. Smile and show them you are happy and you will see your children’s eyes light up and smile on their faces, which is priceless!
“To a child’s ear ‘mother’ is magic in any language.” – Arlene Benedict
Mom is one of the sweetest words you can ever hear (even if it’s in a never-ending chorus of “Mom! Mommy! Mama! Mooooooooooommmmm!”) But from your child’s perspective, it’s the magic that fixes everything. The magic that makes the monsters under the bed go away. The magic that makes owies and boo-boos all better. The magic of a mother’s love is heard in her name. Try to remember this the next time one of your kids calls out to you, and meet it with all the mama magic you can muster!
Stressed-Out Moms: Don’t Forget This!
You. Are. Not. Alone!
Whether you’re a working mom or a stay-at-home mom, not every day is sunshine and butterflies. And that’s ok. This too shall pass, and I’m sure one day in the not-too-distant-future, we will be those moms reminiscing about when our kids were little. When you’re feeling especially overwhelmed or stressed out, just remember to take it one day at a time.
Additional Resources for Stressed-Out Moms
If practicing positive thinking doesn’t necessarily come naturally to you (it’s ok if it doesn’t!), you may find that embracing positive affirmations can be helpful. I’ve created a daily affirmations journal for moms that I think will be especially helpful for you. You can use the code HALFOFF to get it for 50% off from my Etsy shop.
Another helpful practice is cultivating a daily gratitude habit. This will help you to pause each day and reflect on things you are thankful for. You’ll find that after a few days, you’ll be looking for the positives in each day much more easily! I’ve also created a gratitude journal for you, and you can use the same code, HALFOFF, to get it for 50% off from my Etsy shop.
And finally, check out these blog posts if you’re feeling stressed out and looking for more encouragement.
No matter what life’s throwing at you at the moment, don’t ever forget—you’re doing a great job, mama!