Role of stay at home mom when kids are grown?


Two questions:

  1. What is the role of a stay at home mom once the kids have grown and moved out?

  2. What is the role of an older stay at home “mom” when there never were any kids?

Thank you


What’s a stay at home mom anyway? I work outside the home but stay at home with my kids when I am not working - which many times is more time that moms who don’t have jobs.

A Mom’s job is to be the best Mom she can from the time the child is born on - she can do it anyway she feels fit. Here are some things my Mom has done since the last left home:

  1. Helped each of her children when grandchildren came along.
  2. Expanded her prayer life.
  3. Expanded her role as a friend to others.
  4. Comforted her dying son and brought the Eucharist to him.
  5. Volunteered for many things.

In other words the role is to use the gifts God gave to do whatever God wants done…


I’m not sure I understand the question.

The role of any woman in the household is a decision made by the husband and wife. There is no one answer, as this is as unique as each woman out there.

If a woman does not work outside the home (kids or no kids) then she may be the primary home keeper and home economist as well as other traditional duties-- or she might not… that’s up to her and her husband. She may also choose to volunteer in the church or community. She could also work part time, or have a home based business.


I never did figure out what was the role of a SAHM who was not home-schooling when her youngest child went to school. I am very happy for those women who did figure it out, and I am willing to bet their contributions to their families, communities, schools and parishes are immense and unheralded, but I simply could not stand it and was very glad to work full time at a normal schedule (rather than nights and weekends to lessen time and expense for child care).

I think 2) is a lot like “retirement” from any job, you have to have a plan, a clear picture of the purpose and goal of each stage of your life, and work together to make plans on a common vision for your family. If you have been in the career track without a clear plan for what happens when you leave that career, you will face similar grief, loss and questions.


1 - My mom took a very small part-time job when the younger ones hit highschool, to help pay for a few of the college expenses. She still does this today (the youngest is in college but on a full scholarship) to have a little extra money to make more trips to our house to visit the grandkids. Additionally, she FINALLY has to time to do what she enjoys, which I think is well-deserved. She has taken up golf, which has long been a hobby of my dad’s. She goes to lunch with some lady-friends once a week. She volunteers at the church. She still cleans the house, cooks the meals, balances the checkbook and does yardwork. Its just that now she can do it in peace and quiet… until everyone comes home to visit! BTW, she is 52 yrs old, has stayed at home since I was born in '78, and while she doesn’t mind the part-time job (she works with several girlfriends), she has no desire to head into the full-time career world. For the most part, her life is still centered around the home/family. It is nice knowing that she is usually around if any of us need anything.

2 - I’m not sure I know…


for a good number of my contemporaries, being an SAHM when your kids are grown has turned into being a SAHG-stay and home grandma, raising in effect another family by taking care of our grandchildren when kids’ marriages fail, or other dire reasons.


What does she want it to be after all those rugrats have turned into hulking, bulky adults?Answer should be: Whatever path is best for her and her hubby, and whatever she can make out of it that suits her fancy.


Hi lakee…I always tell myself when my kids are grown…and I no longer work…I would probably devote most of my day to a charity…such as working at a homeless shelter…or maybe a nursing home. There are a lot of volunteer opportunities out there where people can use great people like you to bring the Word of God to others.
For working moms/dads…we can do that in our workplace by working with integrity…with passion…with conviction…and all for the Lord…because He gave us the gift of work. And through our working hard, we pay homage to Him for His great blessings. But, such is true for you, lakee…you can use the talents that God blessed you with, to spread the Word of God to others…somewhere out there, God is calling you to a vocation…doesn’t have to be work…could be a volunteer opportunity like I mention, above.

Pray about it, and God will enlighten you. :slight_smile:


I am currently a stay-at-home wife (no kids; God’s idea, not ours) and what I will tell you is that the hours manage to fill themselves up - there is no need to worry, unless you had something in mind that you were going to do, in which case, guard and budget your time, just as though you were a CEO - the age-old secret of success is to make a plan, and then follow your plan.

The Church is always looking for people to help out with volunteer work, and there are more jobs than bodies, most of the time. I’ve got three projects on the go, right now. Lunch with friends, playing on the computer, part time/casual work from home, and housecleaning take up the rest of the time.


My aunt was a stay at home mom for my two cousins who are now ages 21 and 23 and not at home… well, she is now a house wife so to say and she keeps the home and has dinner ready for when her hubby comes home for lunch and then supper, she keeps a huge garden and she volunteers at the nursing home, hospital and her church and gives elderly neighbors rides for the grocery store, hospital, church… I think she is more busy than any woman I know who doesn’t have a “traditional” job.:slight_smile:


I’ll tell you what I am going to be when the kids are at college or on their own–I am going to be a retired wife with my retired husband! And I can’t wait! Hubby plans to retire about the same time our youngest is done with college. In the meantime, I am enjoying being a SAHM with high school age kids. I get stuff done during the day and am available to pick kids up from school, take them to music lessons or volunteer activities. I am involved in my parish women’s group during the day and like being available to bake, to be a Scout leader, read, sew, manage the family finances, etc. I actually thought about going back to work recently but decided that life doesn’t get better than this. I know my mom struggled with the adjustment when the kids left home. So maybe I will too. But I am sure going back to work won’t be part of the next phase of my life.

I have a SIL who has been a stay at home wife ever since her company closed about 10 years ago. She never had any kids–we don’t ask, and she doesn’t tell why (though I think that, despite being “practicing” Catholics, they didn’t want kids.) Her husband has a good job and apparently she is happy to keep busy during the day and be available when her husband isn’t working. She has hobbies and activities and a house to keep her busy.


“Role?” Whatever she decides she wants it to be-- along with her husband. But she’s entitled (finally!) to a hot cup of coffee in the morning; the right to pick what she wants to make and eat for dinner; to read the Sunday paper before Wednesday; to get into her car with the gas tank full and the radio station exactly where she last set it; to pick a vacation destination without considering where the closest waterslide, McDonald’s or urgent care is located; and to go out and buy a new purse because she likes it and and not because it will double as a cub scout hiking pack, a ballet bag, hold soccer cleats, forgotten lunches, or someone’s stuffed animal.

[quote=]2) What is the role of an older stay at home “mom” when there never were any kids?Thank you

No kids means she wasn’t a mom, and probably none of the above apply to what she wants to do with her time/resources.


when I was doing taxes and an older couple came in invariable his occupation was “retired” and hers was “housewife”, so evidently housewives never get to retire. Ah, just as I suspected, women’s work is never done.


I used to wonder what I would do when the kids no longer needed me to be home for them 24/7. I thought of getting a degree so I could have a career that gave me personal satisfaction - and lots of money!!!

God had other plans for me…I ran a crisis pregnancy centre and did post-abortion counselling. Then worked as Project Manager for the website on Suicide, Abortion & Euthanasia (I had read voraciously as a SAHM), managing the work of two journalists as well as doing the research and a lot of the writing.

God then led me to work in a geriatric hospital/rest home for a year (hmmmnn…we have a fight coming against legalising assisted suicide, now I have first-hand experience as opposed to intellectual knowledge).

Currently I am working as a website designer/developer.

I keep wondering what God has in mind for me next? He seems to use all the talents I have developed over the years to do His work, sometimes directing me in mysterious ways to learn new things that He will use at a later date.

My role now the kids have grown?

To continue to work for the greater glory of God. AMDG


I have a friend who is an older SAHM. She has one child left in high school, and an older daughter & granddaughter who live with them. The granddaughter is in kindergarten. She is heavily involved in our parish and spends hours in front of the tabernacle and in prayer. It’s really a great situation for her because she has the time to be a true prayer warior. God often calls her to prayer and she can drop what she’s doing and head off to the church or adoration chapel, etc. This is what I would do if I found myself with a lot of free time (heh, that seems like a looooong way off for me right now!). I’d love to have extra time to spend with the One I love :slight_smile:


Here’s why I ask.

We have some elderly family members that need care.

Two of those in the circle of family caregivers fall under the two above examples.

They’re both of the attitude that they are in charge and get things done, and the time that they give is the most valuable and comes at the greatest sacrafice even if the hours of care are the same.

Let me just say that it is very annoying and I was just looking for validation to tell them to jump in a lake.

The funny thing is that that relatives 1&2 roll their eyes when the elderly woman (a#1) wails on about how she never got her retirement.


It is fortunate that you have family members who do not have to work and who can give the care needed to this relative.

Their availability and willingness to help in this situation does not give them leave to lord it over everyone else, to make all the deicisions, or to walk around with an attitude of arrogance and superiority. Jesus tells us to do our good deeds in secret-- in other words, not to walk around saying “look at me, I’m doing good”. Your family members could learn some humility.

However, since they are the ones providing the majority of care they may in fact be the ones who do know best in some cases-- what is working, what is needed, etc.

Well, I don’t think Jesus would want that. How about setting up a family meeting instead? Make some joint decisions where everyone has an equal say. And, of course, don’t forget to express gratitude and maybe even a little token gift from the family to the primary caregivers. Caring for sick elderly people is not easy.

Well, they don’t sound like the nicest people, but at least they aren’t trying to put her in a nursing home-- or worse, euthanize her!


Why didn’t you just come out with your problem to begin with? I don’t see what the “role of older SAHMs” has to do with your family problem.


Hear, hear Catholic Sam! No, they are not allowed to lord it over ther res tof you who have to go to work, whatever that work might be (kids, job, kids and job). However, they ARE doing it, and that should be met with respect for their work. It’s work to care for the elderly, just as as it is to care for kids, if not more so in some ways.


So, are you asking because you think that retired SAHM’s have a duty to take care of their elderly relatives?

Why does the elderly woman say that she didn’t get her retirement?

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