Life at home for a stay at home mom can be lonely and exhausting. We are surrounded by little people all day long. Our ears are worn out with the calls of our name. Yet, we are lonely. We wonder about the lives of other mothers who go to work every day. We wonder about the lives of the other SAHMs (Stay at home mom) that we see posted on Instagram and Facebook. When we wonder what would our life be like if … We have SAHM FOMO.
What is FOMO?
FOMO is the Fear Of Missing Out. Watch HGTV, and you will have a case of FOMO regarding your house and interior décor. Watch that movie or soap opera, and you will have a case of FOMO regarding your marriage and love life. Scroll your Instagram feed, and you will have a case of FOMO when you see the beautiful pictures of the well-behaved children of the people you are following. We view the vacation pictures of our friends on Facebook, and we have a FOMO for the experiences for which we, or our children, are missing out.
SAHM FOMO #1 Money
When we choose to stay at home that almost always means giving up a full-time income. When you go from two incomes to one income, you do not have as much money to spend. It is simple math. Of course, some of your expenses will go down. You won’t have to spend as much on work clothes or eating out. I don’t know if I save money on commuting, because it seems we are in the car so much going to places.
For most families, choosing to have one parent stay home is a sacrifice. We will not have as beautiful of a house. Our house will not be a show house. Certainly, our cars will not be as new or as clean.
Our kids will miss out. They won’t be able to go on as many vacations or as amazing of adventures. We might not be able to send them to this camp or that camp. We might not be able to afford all of the opportunities that are out there for them. But you know what? That is perfectly okay. In truth, it can be a blessing.
How do you counteract money SAHM FOMO?
There will always be someone with “more” than us. Someone will always earn more and spend more. Even if you when back to work, you would still have FOMO. Companies use our FOMO to sell us more and more stuff. The only solution to FOMO is contentment.
SAHM FOMO #2 Career
A career is more than money. A career is about identity. When you are at a gathering, and you meet someone new, what do you usually ask about them? Usually, we inquire about their name and WHAT THEY DO. What do you do? I am a stay at home mom. You may have a degree in mathematics and taught high school physics before you decided to stay at home, but now you are just a SAHM. You may be a gifted artist, cook, or singer but with that one question, you feel reduced to the box labeled as just a stay at home mom.
“What do you do?” Why do we use that question to understand a person’s passions and interests? Why do we use that question to see if we have any connections with the person with whom we are talking? We live in a culture that focuses on how people contribute to the economy. As SAHM, we are a huge blessing to our families. The value that we provide would require serious money to replace but because we don’t draw a paycheck for it – in can be looked down on by others.
How do you combat career SAHM FOMO?
You need to own your value regardless of what others say or think. Be prepared for the QUESTION. What is your name? What do you do? I am a stay at home mom that spends my free time doing ….. Or, I am passionate about ____ and _____ – in addition to serving my family as a SAHM.
SAHM FOMO #3 Recognition
“What did you do all day?” This is the question that irritates stay-at-home-moms. Yes, the kitchen floor might be a mess, but we have swept and mopped it three times already today! Yes, the bedroom might be a mess, but I did clean it already. When you have children at home, it can feel like you are following them from room to room cleaning up after them. You are the nurse, the janitor, the diaper changer, the cook, and the playmate. Sometimes you are also the school teacher. The only people home to notice all that you do are too young to realize how much recognition you deserve.
How do you combat recognition SAHM FOMO?
Make a list of everything that you have done over the course of the day. (Many professionals in helping fields do this as well to keep track of everything they have done over the course of the day.) You will likely be amazed to recall all that you have done. Show it to your husband. Yes, he has worked hard all day too. Keeping a log of the tasks and victories of the day can help you communicate better. Know that God sees and that you are doing for your spouse and your children. Ultimately all that we do is for God’s glory not our own.
You are called to be the keeper of your home. If you and your husband have decided that this best done with you at home full-time, rest in the knowledge that you are fulfilling God’s calling in your life. Just as missionaries often toil without recognition for the hardships that they endure, know too that your service is of invaluable worth to the Kingdom.
SAHM FOMO #4 Identity
Our identity is not found in our wealth. Our identity is not found in our career. Furthermore, our identity is not found in the recognition and accolades given to us. Our identity is found in our relationship with Jesus.
We don’t earn our salvation, and we don’t earn our worth. The pull to earn our salvation through good works is always straining at us. Through Christ, we are freed from that lie. We are saved through our belief in Jesus Christ. We do good works, not to earn our salvation but out of love for Christ.
You are a mom. Motherhood is a valuable and precious calling to God. We can fight SAHM FOMO by being faithful to what God is calling us to in the here and now. To the world, we are missing out, but we know as Christians that we are acting in obedience. God values people above all. The Father proved this by sending His son to die on a cross so that we might be reconciled to God.
The Key to fighting SAHM FOMO
Learning contentment is the key to overcoming SAHM FOMO. Studying what God’s word has to say about the calling of motherhood. Pray that God would quiet your heart and give you joy and love for the present moment. Put away those things that are causing you to stumble into FOMO. Often, media of various kinds can be a significant stumbling block for us. The commercials on television, the pictures on Instagram, and the posts on Facebook can make us covet what we think the lives of others look like. Stop looking at your neighbor’s grass and ask God to help you water your own.
The Ultimate FOMO
The only real FOMO in this life is when we are not walking in relationship with Jesus.
An obedient walk with Christ is always the best choice in this life and the next. Whatever SAHM FOMO we struggle with in this life, know that God’s faithful servants will have no FOMO in the world to come.