“When in doubt, choose the kids. There will be plenty of time later to choose work.” – Anna Quindlen
Okay, full disclosure here. I was not a happy stay at home mom.
There may be some of you who can relate to that and some who may roll their eyes, and that’s okay! I often found myself feeling lonely, uninspired and like I was missing out on something. What was that something? I have no idea.
I absolutely adored getting to be with my daughter everyday but I also longed for adult interaction and life beyond the walls of my house. You see, during that time, my husband and I only had one car. So when he was at work, I was really and truly just home. I couldn’t hop in the car and go to the park or walk around Target.
Now that my daughter is in school and I am working, I can look back and see things so much clearer. There are so many things I wish I had done differently and would do differently if I had the chance. If you are in the midst of your stay at home mom adventure, I want to share with you some things I have learned and what I would have changed. Take it from someone who has been there and is now on the other side, it may be stressful and boring at times but it is such a treasure to have the opportunity to raise your children everyday.
Have something outside of the home. Where it is a book club or a part time job, having something outside your house would make you still feel included and connected. It can be anything really. Don’t focus on the specifics. Find something that you enjoy that you can do for even an hour a week that doesn’t have to do with your home.
Find a tribe. Boy do I wish I had had a mom tribe when I was a stay at home mom. Find someone that you can have play dates with and swap poop stories with. When my daughter was about 3 years old, I stumbled upon a group called MOPS on Facebook and decided to try it out. It was amazing! MOPS is a group of moms who get together twice a month to play games, learn and discuss motherhood. I found myself counting down the days until the next meeting. If you are looking for a tribe, look up MOPS in your area. It is life changing!
Make a schedule or routine. One thing I disliked about a SAHM was that my days were unstructured and I was flying by the seat of my pants. I am someone who has anxiety (that is a whole different topic for another post) and I am my best self when I have a routine. Make a cleaning schedule. Set an alarm and get up around the same time every morning. Plan breakfast, lunch and dinner. This would have made a huge difference for me.
Get dressed & brush your teeth everyday. I am guilty of going days without even putting a bra on. I was lucky if I brushed my hair and my teeth everyday. That may sound gross but I had zero motivation. On the days when I did however, I felt 10 times better. Even if you aren’t leaving the house and are changing diapers all day, put a bra on and brush your teeth. You will feel like a human again.
Take time for yourself. This is so much easier said than done but something I wish I had done more of. Take a bath once a week. Sit down for half an hour and read a book. When I stayed home with my daughter, my entire day was focused around her wants, needs and schedule. Focusing on yourself for even just a few minutes a day will not only make you feel better, it will afford you a clearer mind to take care of those little ones.
“Stop trying to run on an empty tank.”
Wine. That is all.
Being a SAHM comes with so many emotions. I remember having days where I felt so grateful and thankful and days where I practically counted down the minutes until my husband got home from work. With that being said, if I could do it again, I would. In a heartbeat. I would just do it differently.
What are some things you have done as a stay at home mom to stay sane? Do you have any tips for other SAHMs who find themselves drowning? Comment below!
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