I was drawn to betty by her warm spirit and amazing smile. She lives in Kenya and it's been an absolute pleasure getting to know more Kenyan mum bloggers through her.  She blogs at https://mummyessentialske.com/ and is on IG @mummyessentials_ke 

1.  Please introduce yourself

My name is Betty Achieng Ouma, I am a civil engineer by profession, a lover of art specifically
photography, an introvert and a stay at home mom by choice, I am a wife, been married for 7
years come August.

2. How many kids(with ages) do you have and how long have you been a stay-at-home mum?

I am a mother of three; two boys aged 5 years old, and three years old, and our last born girl
who is now two months old, which means I have been a stay at home mom for five years, which
we celebrated in April.

3. What did you do before making the decision to be a SAHM?

As I mentioned in my introduction, I was a civil engineer, had worked for two years before I gave
birth to our firstborn hence the beginning of my journey as a SAHM.

4. What was your thought process like while making the decision?

I have an interesting journey, first, it was never a decision, my contract with the company I was
working for ended 2 weeks before giving birth, so what happened is I just opted to stay home,
my husband and I never had a sit-down conversation about me being a stay-at-home mom.

However, things changed when we had our second born; two years after our first, we were
going through a financial stretch so after six months with my second born I looked for a job to
help out financially. I was a personal assistant to a medical director (went the total opposite from
my profession) but four months down the line things were not working out with my househelp
and it was just stressful. That is when we sat down as a family and we both agreed that the
wises thing was for me to be home and just try and balance our finances.

5. What has been your challenges so far? 

I have had many challenges, but one that I can say stands out is being contented in this season. For a long time, I struggled with thoughts of self-doubt, feelings of missing out, and having moments when it felt like I was wasting away, especially career-wise. I can say that 2021 is the year that I am finally learning to be content and find purpose while being a stay-at-home mom.

6. What do you absolutely love about being a SAHM?

I love knowing that I have been there for them in every season, I have witnessed a lot of their development. I have heard their speech develop, I have watched them make their first steps, I have been there through their tears and laughter. But mostly I love that being a stay-at-home mom has made me learn more about myself.

7. One of the things that a lot of the people talk about with regards to being a SAHM is "How to make money?" What has your journey with making an income been like as a SAHM?

I have done different projects when it comes to making an income while at home as SAHM, I have made fresh juice, and snacks and sold at small events like bridal showers. There was a season I did handmade earrings and sold, I own a DSLR, which has enabled me to get bookings for baby and bridal showers, I have also shot one wedding. At the moment I am not doing any of these because we recently welcomed our newborn.

8. How do you currently make money (if you do)?

We recently had our third born so I am currently not doing anything to create income, so our only source of income is what my husband earns.

9. What do you think are some of the misconceptions people have about being a SAHM? 

There are a lot of misconceptions but thank God for social media, a lot is being cleared up by SAHM. The one that bugged me for long was that stay-at-home moms don’t do anything, they are lazy when they complain to be tired and that they don’t want to work.

10. Have you gotten any negative comments about your decision?

I have received comments that were a bit hurtful, I don’t want to blame the people who made those comments because I have learned that times people make comments from a place of concern not knowing they are being hurtful. But one comment that I have held unto for long is when someone said that I wasn’t being a supportive wife by just staying at home.

11. Have you dealt with doubt or low self-esteem because of your decision?

When I got the job as a personal assistant, one of the reasons why I did that was because of doubt. I kept wondering if I was doing the right thing for myself. I felt like I was not living my purpose and because our finances were a bit tight, I felt insecure to ask for things I was desiring like clothes, and shoes and dealt with low self-esteem at some point.

12. How important do you think having a supportive spouse is on this journey?

It is very important, I don’t think I would have made it were it not for my husband continuously reassuring me that I was doing a great job. There are days when I feel like I haven’t done anything and he will always remind me that just staying at home is everything. Those reminders keep me going.

13. What do you do to take care of yourself/have fun? 

Mondays my husband is usually at home so that is the day I always leave in the morning and come back in the evening. I use that time to go eat a favorite meal or treat myself to some ice cream. There are days I just go meet up with some of my older mom friends and just pour out my heart. Totally looking forward to doing this once I can leave the newborn with her father, I miss these moments.

14. What advice would you give a mum who is currently thinking of becoming a SAHM?

My advice would be first if you are raising your child with your partner make sure both of you are on the agreement that you should be a SAHM. Secondly, connect with other SAHM or moms who were once SAHM, truth is you need that community to stay sane on days you feel like giving up, third, get rid of your perfection list, being SAHM doesn’t need perfection. I wish I could go on but for now, those three is what is on my top list

Are you a stay at home mum and would love to share your journey with us? Please send a mail to thecuddleblog@gmail.com stating your interest. See past features here