I’ve Lost My Spark for Stay-at-Home Mom Life


I’ve been a stay-at-home, work-from-home mom since the beginning of my motherhood journey. Growing up, I thought I’d like to be one, and when it happened, it felt like a dream come true. For four and a half years, I poured myself into that role. I scheduled the activities, I bought the craft supplies, I created a kid-friendly kitchen, and I put myself out there so I could meet other moms who were doing the same. Just when I’d found my groove with my oldest in preschool, a potty-trained toddler, and a baby on the way, the pandemic arrived. Life as we knew it was gone — some good changes, some bittersweet, and some tragic. The biggest one for me? I’ve lost my spark for stay-at-home-mom life. 


You might ask (and some have), “How is this different from your normal life if you’re home all of the time anyway?” I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, and maybe an eye roll, because the thing about stay-at-home mom life, is that it is not meant to be stay-at-home-all-of-the-time life. Sure, I was home for nap time and I was home a lot during the cold winter months, but a part of my job that gave me joy was finding things for us to do. Pre-pandemic life included a lot of trips to the library, an occasional playdate, outings to the playground, a weekday lunch at Culver’s or Panera, dance class, and of course strolling the aisles of Target (mask free). I tried to get out of the house for a little bit every day because that is what kept all of us sane. 

When the pandemic hit, almost all of those things were lost. Like every other person out there, I mourned. I was 32 weeks pregnant and excited to go on as many outings as possible with my older kids before the baby came, and suddenly we were asked to stay home. When we knew that the world was shutting down, I ran to the Target dollar section and grabbed every craft that I could carry; I stocked up on DVDs; I made sure we had flour on hand, and I prepared to be home for three weeks. Well, three weeks turned into 45 weeks and counting. 

Baking bread, doing crafts, watching movies, Zoom calls, Facetiming, and being cozy at home just does not have the same appeal that they did 11 months ago. My spark, and my patience, are gone.

Of course, every night I lay down in bed and a blanket of guilt falls over me. I feel guilty for not doing enough, I feel guilty because I know we still have it so good, and I feel guilty because I know when I wake up the next morning, my kids are going to ask me, “What are we doing today?” I know I will come up with an answer that satisfies both a five- and three-year-old without causing tantrums, while also realistically knowing that our day will consist mostly of GoNoodle, games, puzzles, Netflix, homeschooling, repeat. The kids are getting bored, and I’m getting bored, and yet we will keep going because this is what we do.

Someday, the library will bring back storytime, my kids will return to school and activities, and we will go out to lunch again. I might not be my best stay-at-home-mom self right now, but who is in the most unusual of times?

Eventually, this will end. And with it, I hope my spark returns.