*This* is what a SAHM's benefits package would look like

And our salary would be $143K/year

*This* is what a SAHM's benefits package would look like

When I became a stay-at-home mom, I considered it landing the job of my dreams. Sure, the money wasn't there, overtime is expected and maternity leave was off the table. But, the way I saw it, the perks are beyond compare.

Some two years and two kids into this role, I stand by that. Having the ability to stay at home with my children is an honor and privilege that I hope to never take for granted. (Even if I'm not "enjoying every second" of it.)

Only now, I see one thing differently: Stay-at-home moms deserve benefits, too.

For starters, mandatory breaks.

Surveys (and personal experience) have shown that moms log some 98 hours per week on the job. I'm not expecting that to go into compliance with labor laws, but an occasional opportunity to punch out would be good.


I'll give plenty of credit where it's due here to my partner—who is the first to encourage me to plan a night out with my girlfriends or hold down the fort while I get out for a few hours without worrying about the snack supplies or the proximity of the nearest potty. (Well, except for when I was pregnant again.) And those date nights are such wonderful, essential reminders that we're so much more than co-workers. 😘

Then there's the matter of vacation time.

As a stay-at-home mom of young kids, the weekdays have a way of blending into the weekends and the only difference in the seasons is how much I have to bundle up the kids. So sometimes a mama just needs a change of scenery.

Unlike with most jobs, there will typically be an element of "bringing the work with you," in the form of those kiddos who tag along on the trips. But even if it isn't a true break from motherhood, having the chance to change up the environment for a few days every so often does well for all of our souls.

Also, how about providing dinner if I work past a certain time?

Typically, I love making dinner. (It's always been one of "my things.") But my picky eaters prefer to eat their kid-friendly meals around 5 pm and it's usually just a bit too much for me to prepare another adult version without an extra set of hands on deck.

So if I'm doing to solo-parenting past the point of bedtime, I think it's a reasonable ask for someone else to be in charge of dinner—even if it's carry-out from our favorite place.

And let's talk health care.

Thanks to my partner's job, health care is technically covered for our family. But there's so much more to this than our physicals and the kids' pediatricians appointments. As part of my ideal benefits package, I would like a bit more assistance in carving out time for my own exercise. Whether this is through a membership to a gym with childcare or some early morning coverage so I can practice some self-care before turning my attention to kid-care, I can honestly say this would make a big, positive difference.

Surveys have shown that if stay-at-home moms were compensated for their work, it would add up to about $143,000 per year. As nice as that would be on top of the joys I already get to experience as a mama who gets to stay home with her kids, I'm not going to hold my breath for that paycheck.

I do, however, think these "benefits" are reasonable asks—that wouldn't only benefit us stay-at-home moms, but everyone in the family.

So when can I get that appointment with the manager?

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My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.

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There is rightfully a lot of emphasis on preparing for the arrival of a new baby. The clothes! The nursery furniture! The gear! But, the thing about a baby registry is, well, your kids will keep on growing. Before you know it, they'll have new needs—and you'll probably have to foot the bill for the products yourself.

Thankfully, you don't have to break the bank when shopping for toddler products. Here are our favorite high-quality, budget-friendly finds to help with everything from meal time to bath time for the toddler set.

Comforts Fruit Crisps Variety Pack

Comforts fruit snacks

If there is one thing to know about toddlers, it is this: They love snacks. Keeping a variety on hand is easy when the pack already comes that way! Plus, we sure do appreciate that freeze-dried fruit is a healthier alternative to fruit snacks.

Comforts Electrolyte Drink

Comforts electrolyte drink

Between running (or toddling!) around all day and potentially developing a pickier palate, many toddlers can use a bit of extra help with replenishing their electrolytes—especially after they've experienced a tummy bug. We suggest keeping an electrolyte drink on hand.

Comforts Training Pants

Comforts training pants

When the time comes to start potty training, it sure helps to have some training pants on hand. If they didn't make it to the potty in time, these can help them learn their body's cues.

Comforts Nite Pants

comforts nite pants

Even when your toddler gets the hang of using the toilet during the day, nighttime training typically takes several months longer than day-time training. In the meantime, nite pants will still help them feel like the growing, big kid they are.

Comforts Baby Lotion

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Running, jumping, playing in sand, splashing in water—the daily life of a toddler can definitely irritate their skin! Help put a protective barrier between their delicate skin and the things they come into contact with every day with nourishing lotion.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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A friend and I bump into each other at Target nearly every time we go. We don't pre-plan this; we must just be on the same paper towel use cycle or something. Really, I think there was a stretch where I saw her at Target five times in a row.

We've turned it into a bit of a running joke. "Yeah," I say sarcastically, "We needed paper towels so you know, I had to come to Target… for two hours of alone time."

She'll laugh and reply, "Oh yes, we were out of… um… paper clips. So here I am, shopping without the kids. Heaven!"

Now don't get me wrong. I adore my trips to Target (and based on the fullness of my cart when I leave, I am pretty sure Target adores my trips there, too).

But my little running joke with my friend is actually a big problem. Because why is the absence of paper towels the thing that prompts me to get a break? And why on earth is buying paper towels considered a break for moms?

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