For the Unappreciated Stay at Home Mom (Tips + Encouragement)

You’re a mom. You have a job that is never done, and you are constantly being judged for it. It’s hard to feel like you matter when your family doesn’t even notice what you do all day long. But the truth is, they don’t know how much work it takes to keep everything running smoothly at home.

So if your life feels like one big thankless task after another, here are some ways to cope with feeling unappreciated as a stay-at-home mom.

lonely mom walking in woods

Help for unappreciated stay at home moms

First, let’s look at why stay-at-home moms experience so much frustration and get to this point. There is a vast disconnect between what people think we do all day and what we actually do all day. What could a woman who doesn’t have to work possibly complain about? Well, here are some issues:

  • It can be boring to stay home with kids all day
  • There are no breaks
  • Your career goals and dreams are out the window
  • You get no adult interaction
  • You’re stressed out from cooking, cleaning, and childcare.

And then, no one seems to appreciate you…at all. Yuck. Let’s handle this and see how we can turn all this negativity around.

1. Acknowledge your spouse’s efforts every day.

It’s annoying advice. I get it. But before you criticize your husband for never appreciating you, look inside and ask if you are doing the same to them. Sometimes giving is the best way to get.

Even though your husband is not a stay-at-home parent, he is still a parent dealing with young kids. On top of that, he has a commute, a boss, work drama to deal with, and the stress of being financially responsible for your whole family.

Don’t get so wrapped up in your own feelings that you forget there’s another person involved.

2. Make it clear (nicely) how hard you work

Make sure everyone knows what’s going on in your world – If no one knows about all of the things that need doing around the house or kids’ activities then people will assume nothing needs doing. Be vocal about what’s happening in your life so others can help out more often and appreciate just how much work goes into keeping everything running smoothly.

This doesn’t mean you should complain or act like a martyr. It means if your husband asks what you did that day, let him know! Arranging play dates and keeping a clean house doesn’t happen by magic.

3. Take space to pursue your interests

This is a big one! It’s easy to get into the trap of “I’m always with these kids.” Keep in mind that if you’re not pursuing your own interests, you’ll end up resenting the kids. Take time out every day or week for yourself and follow some type of self-care activity or hobby.

I know that when you feel overwhelmed, adding one more thing to your to-list sounds impossible and unhelpful. But this will increase your happiness and spill over into all aspects of your life.

4. Be grateful for what you have

This one is tough, but it’s also essential. No matter how small your blessings may seem, take a moment to be grateful for them.

It can be helpful to keep a gratitude journal or list to remind yourself of the good things in your life.

When we’re feeling down, it’s tough to see the good things. But when we get in the habit of gratitude, we become more aware, and it becomes easier to be thankful for what we have rather than worrying about what we don’t.

5. Spend time with your husband

Make some kind of effort to spend one-on-one time with your significant other, whether you have kids at home or not.

This can be hard, especially if your partner is always working. But it’s important to make time for each other outside of the stresses of day-to-day life. Spending positive time together reminds you that you are friends and partners, not opponents locked in a contest over who works the hardest and contributes most to the family.

6. Give yourself time off

woman reading in hammock outside

I know that it feels impossible to take a break when you’re feeling so overwhelmed, but it’s necessary.

Whether you take an hour for yourself or a whole day, plan some time off and stick to it!

This is a time where you can do whatever you want without guilt.

Maybe you’ll use this time to go for a walk or have a spa night – whatever you enjoy doing. Try scheduling a one or two hour block per week where you have no responsibilities.

7. Don’t give up hope

It can take time to shift out of this negative mindset, but don’t let yourself get too discouraged.

Remember that your time with young children is shorter than it feels, and those days that you feel so overwhelmed and short on sleep don’t last forever.

It can help your mental health to remember that this is just a season and you won’t feel unappreciated forever.

Although it may seem like an eternity, the years fly by as your kids grow up and move on.

8. Find a support system outside your family

moms talking at home over coffee

This is an important one. It’s crucial to have people in your life who will appreciate and understand what you’re going through as a stay-at-home mom – whether they are also SAHMs or not.

Your husband and children do not count! Look for other adults in the same situation as you. Most stay-at-home moms are always looking for more friends.

Talk to them about how you’re feeling, what’s working, and what isn’t. This isn’t necessarily about giving each other advice. But it’s nice to talk to someone who understands precisely what you’re going through.

Need help making this happen? See if there’s a local mom’s group that meets for something fun once a week. You can find moms in your area to connect with through Facebook groups, Meetups, or other community events.

9. Have a conversation about how to make things better

If you’re struggling to find happiness and appreciation, contact your spouse and talk to them about how you’re feeling. If you’ve been feeling resentful about being ignored for years, it’s time to stop and talk about it.

The goal here is not to hash out who is right or wrong but to simply communicate. You can do this in a neutral way that doesn’t involve any heated arguments. Remember that there should be no “winning” of the debate. You’re on the same side.

If you’re both willing to work together, things will get better.

10. Don’t assume your husband knows how you feel or that he’s purposefully doing anything wrong

As we’ve discussed, your husband is also a parent and is working a full time job. He is busy and stressed too and isn’t necessarily trying to make you feel unappreciated.

Talk to him about how you’re feeling and what you would like to see change. If you’re not getting the appreciation that you feel you deserve, chances are your husband doesn’t realize it either.

Having an open conversation will help you to feel more heard and understood. This can be a good first step in finding ways to improve your situation as parents together.

11. Know you aren’t alone

If you feel unappreciated as a stay-at-home mom, you’re not alone.

Many moms struggle to feel recognized and appreciated for being a stay-at-home parent. Even though it feels like this job is the most important one in the world, many people don’t acknowledge how much work goes into staying at home and raising young children

Although it may seem like an eternity, the years fly by as your kids grow up and move on.

Stay-at-home moms can feel unappreciated and unseen by their families. This can be a difficult feeling to shift out of, but it’s important to stay hopeful. If you’re feeling unappreciated and overwhelmed as a stay-at-home mom, we hope this article has given you some encouragement.

And if you just need to hear it one more time: You’re doing your best. Even if you don’t get praise every day, you are making a difference every day. You’re doing a good job.