Struggling stay at home moms, if you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times. “Don’t you get bored? When are you going back to work? You’re so lucky you have time to clean the house and make dinner.”
While I would call myself fortunate in countless ways, and you’ll never catch me saying I’m not, that doesn’t mean I don’t face the occasional thought of being part of struggling stay at home moms. While it may be hard to admit there are times you feel overwhelmed, especially to your working friends who would love to be in your place, it’s okay to feel that way. Here are a few tips for struggling stay at home moms who may need a little pick-me-up.
Tips For Struggling Stay At Home Moms
Find time for you.
When you are employed outside of the home, you have the responsibility of fulfilling all of your job duties. Some people are on call many hours of the day. Working parents may have just a few minutes of time alone — maybe a lunch hour (or twenty minutes), a commute or even just a few minute’s break when you chat with a friend in the break room.
When you’re a stay-at-home mom to young children, you don’t get many breaks if your children don’t nap. Right now I have two children at home, including one who does not nap. He does attend preschool some afternoons, giving me the chance to quickly clean and write, which is the way I earn an income. While I adore my children, I find it a huge challenge to get even just a few minutes for me. In the nearly two years I have stayed at home, I have sat down and watched a television show while children napped fewer times than I can count on one hand.
My husband realizes how busy my job is, so about once a month, he keeps the kids while three of my friends and I make a point to go have dinner and laugh and talk. It’s so refreshing! Usually just those few hours away with my girlfriends leave me relaxed, rejuvenated and ready to return home to my babies.
Even though I don’t get much time alone, it’s a trade-off I was very willing to take to be at home with my children. I’ve realized that being a stay-at-home mom doesn’t mean I have to stay at home. I make it a point to set up play dates so my kids get some social interaction, plus I get some time with adults, too. Getting out for just a couple of hours each day can really help boost all of our moods!
Find a hobby.
If you are able to get some time away, it’s important for women to find a hobby. Doing something you love can help alleviate feelings many stay-at-home moms have: that this very important job isn’t fulfilling. Often, stay-at-home moms find themselves enthralled in their children’s lives — which isn’t necessarily a bad thing — but it may leave these moms feeling as if they have nothing going on with themselves. Whether you like photography, piano, reading, writing or cooking, finding an activity that makes you happy will help you find your sense of self again. Moms rarely get the credit they deserve, so doing something that lets you be more than “just” mom is so important.
|I love these faces, but sometimes I need a break!|
Truly enjoy the time with your children.
It’s essential to view this time at home with your children as a special time. There will be plenty of years to get a job, but you cannot get back the time with your small children. While it was a transition for me to stay at home and leave my full-time job outside of the home, I’ve now settled into a beautiful routine. Working part time from home and growing alongside of my children each and every day has been wonderful. I love seeing each of the milestones in my children’s lives firsthand. As a stay-at-home mom, I always aim to remember that I have a job – a very important one. It’s my job to nurture and teach my young children. While the rewards may feel small some days, they are, in reality, life changing. When you are home day after day, sometimes it’s easy to take those moments for granted because you know you have many more days at home.
Staying at home all day with children is far from a simple job. It requires adjustment, time talking with friends, and it can be totally crazy. But it is something I know is worth it. Childcare costs make quitting easy for many moms, but I always knew I wanted to stay home even if I only had one child. Lucky for me, once we had our second child, the deal was sealed and it became a reality. I can safely say I’d never change being home and missing out on these kisses and hugs, the “Mommy, I love you’s,” and even the constant snack serving, the tears and tantrums (okay, I could do without the tantrums!). While it’s sometimes a struggle to stay at home, I know it’s where I’m meant to be.
For those struggling stay at home moms: What do you do to keep your head up?
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