One of the hardest decisions I ever had to make in my life was to become a Stay-At-Home-Mother. I think my two weeks postpartum depression had a lot to do with me just staying at home, depending on my husband emotionally and financially. It was a hard thing for me to do. It’s not that I wasn’t elated to spend time with my brand new baby and explore motherhood but I was always working and getting a college education, and I became a very career oriented person. I was conditioned by the atmosphere that I grew up in to equate success with having a career and making those dollars. I can’t tell you how often I’ve felt like a failure, I’ve felt miserable without any adult interaction, or I’ve locked myself in the bathroom crying because I am just overwhelmed.
These are not signs of incompetence. All mothers go through this, whether they’re working moms or stay at home moms. Parenting is as overwhelming as it is rewarding and some days it’s just hard to get out of bed and do what you have to do in your most motivated attitude.
Here are some tips that I use almost daily…
Sleep. Moms usually run on little to no sleep but as your babies get older they can sleep for longer periods and you should take advantage of that. I can’t do it every night as I have things to tend to even after they’re asleep but I do try to set an earlier bedtime for myself.
Create a schedule. Now I don’t mean account for every minute of the day but it’s a good thing to get yourself on a routine as well as your kids. Just an example, if your kid naps at noon…do something you can’t do when he or she is awake. Managing your time is essential if you want to get things done by a particular deadline.
Write down tasks. I don’t know how people survive without writing anything down, I literally need to write my life on paper and read it as it happens.
Do Less. Break your bigger tasks into smaller ones. Do NOT attempt to do everything in one day. Don’t clean the entire house on Saturday and overwhelm yourself. That gives me anxiety. Every day, do a little, do one room even.
Map out your week. Browse through your list, plan your meals and activities beforehand so when the day comes, you’re not second guessing anything. Meal prep if you have to.
Get up before your kids. I cherish those few minutes with my hot cup of coffee before they wake up. I can’t even begin to describe how it keeps my sanity at bay when I start my day without the shouting and chaos. By the time they’re awake, supermom is ready for action.
Set goals for yourself. Even though you’re not working at an office or doing a paid job, you can still set goals for yourself. For instance you may want to focus on your health, so get into it. Join a gym or gather some friends and work out at home. Maybe you’re a painter or musician. Set a goal of what you would like to accomplish and just do it! For me, I write, I blog 🙂
Communicate with your partner. Communication in a relationship is key. Being a stay at home mom, you may sometimes resent your partner or feel like they’re not paying attention to you. You may get into arguments about petty things and just generally annoy each other, especially when you feel like your partner should do more to help around the house and with the kids. It’s good to establish a communication channel between you and your partner.
Have your own hobby. As a wife who has no similar interests to her husband, I enjoy having my hobbies to myself. It’s my “me time.” Yes we do need alone time with our partners but as a mom, we do need alone with without another human being in our space.
Get out. Everyone needs that adult interaction. Being stuck with kids 24/7 can make you lose sense of yourself so take some time, whether it’s a date with hubby or gal pals and just let your hair down. Because I don’t have much adult interaction, I swap out for dates with my kids 🙂 It’s still fun to get out and do something.
Play with your kids. We get caught up enforcing rules, yelling to keep everyone in line and we often forget how fun it is to spend that much time with our kids. Get off your cellphones, get down and dirty with your children. You’ll be surprised to know how much they just want to spend time with you.
Last but not least, drink lots and lots of coffee 🙂
xo Coffee Doll