Parenting is likely the most difficult job out there. Parents, moms and dads alike, take on many powerful, and sometimes unexpected, roles in raising their children. A stay at home mom takes on so many roles and responsibilities between raising her children and being a homemaker.
A lot of people think that stay at home moms and dads get to “stay home all day” and “have a lot of free time.” But they don’t realize that raising a child, on its own, is more than a full-time job and that stay at home parents usually take on the majority of the house care work as well. Stay at home parents take on so much more than the average person would expect.
The Many Mom (or Dad) Roles
Parenting is a very difficult and influential job. Parents have to nurture each child, listen to each of their needs, embrace their personalities, and unite everyone as a family. The responsibility of raising a child requires a lot of acquired skills and parents take on numerous powerful roles.
Personal Butt Wiper
One of the first roles moms take on with newborns is learning to change a diaper- aka butt wiping. Some days it’s easy. Some days it’s a massive diaper blowout that requires a full bag of wipes, a bath, and a load of laundry that needs to be pre-washed or thrown away.
This mom role continues on to toddlerhood as you potty train. You’ll be butt wiping for years until they can learn to properly wipe their own butts.
Stay at home parents are usually in charge of laundry. As a parent, you become an expert at removing stains of all kinds like spit up, blowouts, paint, and food.
Laundry is eternal with kids! With dirty clothes, bedding, and towels from all within the household the laundry tasks of washing, drying, folding, and putting away loads it takes up all of your time.
Our clean laundry usually sits in a basket and the dryer for days before getting taken care of. My husband jokes that we should just move his closet to the laundry room. I joke back that we should just get rid of the closets.
Full Cleaning Service
Taking care of a home takes a lot of work. The more space and things you have, the more the responsibilities pile up and the longer they take to maintain and clean. House cleaning is no joke, especially with children. Also, kids don’t have a sense of cleaning up after themselves and leave mom and dad doing the extra work.
Moms with young children tend to struggle the most when it comes to house care because babies and toddlers are needy of mom’s attention and take up all of her time and energy. Whereas, moms with school-aged children can assign chores for each child to help out.
Stay at home moms are usually the ones dressing their young children and picking out all their clothes, usually for a good deal. We want our kids to look their best so we take on the role of a personal stylist.
Kids are constantly growing and have many needs so we’re frequently stocking them up on socks, underwear, pajamas, daily outfits, party outfits, shoes, swimwear, and outerwear. And some kids love being little fashionistas with all their accessories and cool backpacks.
“Mom, I need new pj’s.” “Mom, we’re out of cheerios.” One of my mom roles, as a personal shopper, is to keep track of everyone’s clothing, new sizes, and to make sure the kitchen is fully stocked at all times.
Personal Driver & Errand Runner
Parents are in charge of keeping the house stocked up with groceries and clothes as the personal shopper as well as the errand-runner.
We’re also their personal driver to play dates, school, swim lessons, dance class…etc. Kids have busy lifestyles but go many years without driving so we’re their chauffeurs.
Between having a boy and a girl, I’ve become my kids’ personal hairdresser. This role has taught me about treating baby hair, baby hair growth, hair cuts, cowlicks, and hairstyling boys and girls.
I’ve been the mom that attempted to cut her own child’s hair and worried about their child’s first real haircut (to fix my own attempt). Like a hairdresser, I’ve learned to put hair gel and style my boy’s hair.
When my daughter became a toddler, her hair started growing and falling to her face and it was my job to figure out how to manage it. I’ve also (sort-of) learned many ways to style her extremely fine and silky, aka slippery, hair. As their personal hairdressers, we’re the ones who wash their hair, with shampoo AND conditioner, and blow-dry it– not so easy with a toddler!
Moms are the go-to person for all boo-boos and injuries. Whether it’s having bumped their heads, getting a scratch or rug burn, busting their lip, or even a sprain or breaking a bone mommy is always there. I may not have a medical degree but I’ve always got a stock of cool kid band-aids and ice packs.
Some people love cooking. I’m not some people. Personally, I don’t love to cook and I hate feeling like I wasted my time preparing a meal that my kids neglect or complain about.
But I do it and I sometimes do my best to suit everyone’s needs and tastes. It is my job to make sure that everyone gets a balanced set of meals and is well nourished. Even if that means forgetting to take care of myself sometimes or occasionally just giving them chicken tenders with ketchup.
Whether you decide to homeschool or not, one of your many mom roles is to be your child’s private educator. Teaching is educating and moms are constantly teaching their children- pretty straightforward right?
With babies, we teach them how to crawl, walk, and talk. But there’s a lot more we teach them that is often natural instinct but requires a little teaching by example. Things like playing with puzzles, reading, language and communication skills, manners, singing songs, counting … etc.
Being a private educator and behavioral specialist are mom roles that go hand in hand. Parents have to teach their kids about manners as well as good and bad behavior.
As behavioral specialists, parents have to enforce good behavior with positive reinforcement and bad behavior with negative reinforcement, such as time outs and other consequences. It sounds simple enough but bring on the raging toddler, aka tot-nager, and you’ve “got your hands full“!
Child Mediator & Uniter
As a mom of two, I’m ALWAYS mediating arguments or internal battles with my children. Being a mediator is one of the most influential mom roles I have on a daily basis.
With two kids close in age that spend all day together, they’re guaranteed best friends. But they’re toddlers, so they fight over things due to life lessons of “sharing” or “taking turns” and even “helping.” As toddlers, they can’t resolve things on their own, so mommy has to come in to interrupt the argument, figure out the problem, and find a way to make everyone happy and back to being best friends.
Uniting them also requires planning activities that all the kids can enjoy together. Sometimes that means simply having everyone together at dinner, or game night, or going to the park. I’m sure it gets tricky during the teenage years, with children with bigger age differences, or of blended families.
These are my toddlers uniting in a band, with their guitar and piano. Notice the vacuum became a microphone stand and Mr. Potato Head is also jamming with his own microphone and mini guitar.
Personal Search Engine
My mom role as a personal search engine is to know exactly where my kids left their things. Like when my child, or my even spouse, can’t remember where they left their toy, sock, a very specific shirt, or car keys.
Of course, it’s my job to keep everything organized, including retracing their steps. No wonder I always have mom brain and forget what I’m doing, I’m always keeping track of everyone else.
I’m the one who has all the answers too, like their own personal google. Kids have so many questions, mom and dad have to know everything… or at least pretend to!
Memory and Development Database
As a mom, it is my job to record important stages, milestones, and moments of each child’s life. This includes journaling important moments, photographing their growth, and keeping a record of current measurements, personal preferences, crafts, and photographs for the rest of their lives. That’s a long-term job that includes a lot of organization.
Party and Activity Planner
Without parents, kids wouldn’t have birthday parties or daily activities. I’m always planning our weeks between errands and child activities to get the kids out of the house a few times a week. And when we stay in, sometimes I need to plan things for us to do at home, like some of our pool noodle toddler activities.
Personal Therapist, Counselor, Biggest Supporter & Fan
One of the hardest mom roles we have is to be our kid’s personal therapist and counselor throughout their entire lives. We’re the ones who talk them down from a tantrum as toddlers. We’re the ones who guide them through school, friendships and relationship issues, and life goals. We’re the ones sitting through hours of swim lessons, dance rehearsals, and soccer games cheering them on. As their best friends, full of unconditional love, we’re always going to be there for them.
Possibly the most important of all mom roles is being a good role model for our kids. Role modeling can be used in teaching how to walk, read and write, and even body language and manners. They learn by example, and will hopefully want to grow up to be just like us.
"It takes a village"
Raising a child is probably the most difficult ‘job’ out there because it requires so much and there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way of doing things. There are so many factors that come into play when raising a child and many roles parents have to learn and take on.
It definitely “takes a village!” And sometimes stay at home moms feel like the entire village.
What crazy roles have you taken on as a parent?
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My name is Paula and I’m a mom of two scrumptious cuties. Thanks Mommy Blog became a project for me to help guide other new moms and current moms through any of my own personal experiences and struggles. My hobbies include singing, doing jigsaw puzzles, baking, designing and trying to stay creative.
Honestly- this is total truth! In my 18 years as a stay at home mom I have taken on most of those roles!
These are so true! It’s amazing how many different roles we have to play!
It’s so true! It’s amazing how many different roles we have to take on
So true! Parents should make an extra $100K just for raising tiny humans. They sure are a lot of work. I often feel like I have 3 full-time jobs. The weekends are usually more exhausting than the week.
This job can be so hard! We truly do put on so many roles for our kids.