A Minnesota mom is striking a chord with parents online after sharing an emotional and honest post about what life is really like when you're a stay-at-home parent.
Bridgette Armstrong has been a stay-at-home mom for over a year, since her now 18-month-old daughter, Riley, was just five months old. On a recent day when she was feeling overwhelmed, lonely and "at her wits end," Armstrong shared her feelings on Facebook.
"Everyone thinks being a stay-at-home mom full time is easy," Armstrong wrote. "That we are lucky to be able to not have to work. That we are lazy. That it's not 'real' work, so we have nothing to complain about. But the truth is, it's f------ lonely and overwhelming."
Armstrong goes on to list things she personally knows to be true about stay-at-home motherhood, from getting zero alone time during the day to sometimes neglecting to shower or change clothes, because "it's already stained, and no use in ruining more clothes."
"You forget what it means or feels like to be an individual, because your entire existence now revolves around that child," she continues. "I was one of those people who judged SAHM's, but I get it now ... my house isn't clean, I'm not clean, the dishes aren't done, I have screamed already today, I have cried and I have felt so damn guilty that my child was here to witness it."
"I am alone and I am lonely," she says at the close of the post. "Check in on your SAHM friends. We are NOT OK."
Armstrong, 25, says she's been surprised by the amount of negative responses to her words.
"It's still showing the stigma that surrounds stay-at-home moms and how we shouldn't complain," Armstrong told TODAY Parents. "But I think so many people — not just moms, not just stay-at-home moms, but parents of all shapes and sizes — have related to this because in a social media world, we are expected to show only the great parts in life. As a society, we forget that there are also bad parts and bad days, especially when it comes to being a parent."
The young mom, who lives with her boyfriend of eight years, says she hopes her message will encourage others to check in on their friends who are stay-at-home parents.
"I want people to check in on their mom friends because we are usually the last people to speak up about needing help," said Armstrong. "As a society I feel like stay-at-home moms are pressured into feeling nothing but grateful that they get the opportunity to stay home — that we aren't allowed to speak out on our bad days without someone telling us it could be worse."
"I want people to realize that even though it can be a privilege to be able to raise our children full time, it also can be hard, and it's OK to talk about it without feeling like you're going to be told to suck it up."