The Transition From Career Mom To Stay At Home Mom

How to rock the transition from working mom to stay at home mom.

Whether you carry the title of “Mom” exclusively (“stay at home mom”) or are a “working mom” outside or inside the home, it’s rare that anyone truly sees or gives you credit for ALL you do in your role as a mom.  

You don’t add “Mom” to your resume because the results you’re producing can’t be quantified, even though it’s the most important title you’ll ever hold.

You’re indispensable (the boss!) but there is no corresponding salary, nor performance bonuses to cash in on.

You’re really good at this motherhood thing; you are constantly honing your craft, but there isn’t a career ladder to climb or promotions to be given.

You punch in for this job, but you NEVER punch out…

So, especially as a stay at home mom, how do you respond when you’re asked the question,

“What do you do?”

Before I get into how I’ve been answering that question lately, let me first say that (45 days in) I do not have a single complaint about the stay at home mom life. It is a privilege and a blessing, and it is the life I chose. While there are certainly effects of this major change worth mentioning (and writing future posts on!): financial adjustments,  shifting responsibilities and dynamics in our marriage, acclimating to a new home and town, finding “me time” when I’m an introvert at home all day with two extroverts, etc., life is good. I go to bed each night excited that I get to spend the next day hanging out with my girl. I’m not missing anything. My husband is amazing, supportive and works incredibly hard and well to support our family. This lifestyle, this (at least mostly) undivided time…I’m living my dream and I’m so, so grateful.

Side Note: I  find the “stay at home mom” and “working/career mom” labels obnoxiously pigeonholing and misleading but I’m still going to use them here for sake of clarity; I think we can agree that ALL moms are full-time moms, and stay at home moms do a lot more than just stay at home.

We’re all just doing what we feel is best and what works for our families – and a darn good job at that!

From Career Mom To Stay At Home Mom – Update #1

Something I realized during the initial transition period from career to stay at home mom, and not something I’m super proud of admitting, is just how much of my identity is tied up in how other people perceive me based on what I did/do. 

I know a job title, salary or anything else external does not define my worth, but on more than one occasion I found myself responding almost apologetically to the question about what I do sayin something like, “I’m just a mom right now, but I used to…” I reference my previous occupation as if it increases my standing in the eyes of the person who asked; I add words as if they add value – as if being “Mom” is not enough. 

I don’t assess others (especially moms) in this way, I know that being a mom is one of the highest callings + most demanding jobs out there, and I was very confident in my decision to put my career on pause and be a stay at home mom, so my words and reaction came as a surprise. Maybe it’s that I felt competent in my profession, but I’m still getting my footing and confidence in this all day mom/homemaker thing.  Maybe it’s the subconscious influence of the society we live in, undervaluing what we do as moms and overvaluing productivity/money-making/achievements. Whatever it is, I felt the tug of my pride, and a wrong thinking showed itself in need of correction.

How to rock the transition from working mom to stay at home mom.

Confidence & Worth As A Stay At Home Mom

Fortunately, motherhood has a beautiful, humbling, refining quality when we reflect upon and act out of the experiences we have along our journeys; Oftentimes this brings a reminder of a simple, deep truth like it did in this instance for me – no matter what we do part time, full time, inside of the home or outside of it, we are defined by who we are.

Not by the title you have or someday wish to hold.

Not by what you do or don’t do.

Not by what you have or haven’t accomplished.

Not by accolades or criticisms from others, and certainly NOT by the amount of money you earn or don’t.

True worth has nothing to do with the external, and everything to do with the internal and unseen – the “who” you were created you to be, the person you are in this world. As moms, we ALL struggle with thoughts that we aren’t enough, that we aren’t contributing enough to our family financially or time wise, or that we’re just generally not doing things right.

Well, I’m here to tell and/or remind you that you alone are absolutely enough and that – as long as your kids are loved, safe and mostly happy -there is no wrong or right way to “mom”.  Feel good about doing what feels right to you and works for your family.

YOU are a gift to your family and this world and you should have every confidence in the person and Mom that you are. There is nothing else you need to prove to anybody.

As for me, I will continue to pour my talents, heart, soul, mind, and skills into my family and raising our precious daughter without the time + mental commitments to another job for this season of life. There will be times in the future when I use my gifts toward other ends and maybe even pick up where I left off with my career, but my current path is “stay at home mom” to Taylor.

That is enough.

I am more than enough.

My role as Mom is invaluable.

The same is true of you.

So, the next time I’m asked what I do, with shoulders square and the confidence and pride ALL mamas should have, I will simply say, “I have the privilege to be a Mom.”

When you’re asked, “what do you do?” how do you respond? Could you relate to any of the thoughts I shared in this post as a working mom or stay at home mom? I would absolutely love to hear from you. 

This is the first in a series of posts on the journey into SAHM life and this big transition for our family, so stay tuned + make sure to subscribe if you haven’t already.  Do you know a mama who could use this encouragement? Please share this with them! 

Update: Check out the next post/update in this series HERE!

Other Ta[y]lor-made Mama posts you may be interested in reading:

How to rock the transition from working mom to stay at home mom.


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17 thoughts on “The Transition From Career Mom To Stay At Home Mom

  1. I sure wish I had this blog to read when I was a new mom, starting in 1983. I had the same feelings and it took years before I was able to feel confident in answering the “What do you do question” question. My generation was the first where it was expected that you, as a woman, would naturally want to be in the workforce.
    My natural instinct said that I wanted to leave my imprint on the little ones God intrusted to me, not someone else’s.
    After years of feeling inferior when asked “the question”, I eventually began telling people that I was fortunate to be able to stay at home with my children and that it was a privilege to do so.
    I hope that this generation will value parenthood to its fullest and understand that they are raising little ones to be confident, loving and capable adults.
    Your blog and the blogs of all the other moms are making a difference. Hopefully y’all can come up with another name for “stay at home mom” that will give what you do the status you deserve.
    Loved every minute of raising you and love being your mom❤️

    1. Thank you, Mom. Your feedback and comment here mean more than you know. You’re 100% correct – stay at home moms do infinitely more than just stay at home! I hope I can do half of what you did in raising James and I with Taylor. Love you!

  2. You are totally right! I felt the same way, like I needed to justify my not working. It is absolutely a job in itself! I’m actually transitioning to going back to work after a year at home with my girl. It’s going to quite an adjustment for me! 😢

    1. Totally a job itself – maybe even more than one job : ) I wish you the very best of luck in your transition back to work. I know that won’t be easy, but you’ll find a groove that works for you, I’m sure!

  3. This is really a great way to look at it. I know there are so many moms who will read this and feel empowered by your words. Thank you for sharing! Keep up the great work. 🙂

  4. Love this! I think moms don’t get enough credit and support for all of the work that we do. So it is even more important that we give ourselves credit! I love that quote from C.S. Lewis too, because it is exactly my thinking right now. My daughter is the most important work in my life right now. Whether you are working outside the home, or staying home, kids are the most important work.

  5. I think that the conversation should go like this — you just say you’re a mom, with no clarification, but it really doesn’t matter beyond that. It’s one of the hardest but best jobs in the world, and we’re all rocking it no matter how we do it!

  6. Going from working to not working was really hard for me! Definitely harder than going from stay at home to working (for me at least)!

    1. Girl, I feel ya! I’m feeling the same way about this transition in a lot of ways. It’s a harder adjustment than I thought it would be!

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