Are you a stay at home mom (SAHM) that is struggling to find balance between mothering, taking care of the home and setting aside some time for yourself? If this sounds like you, you’re definitely not alone.
Why you’re likely to go crazy
It’s very common to feel as though your job (and yes, being a stay at home mom is actually a job!) as a stay at home mom is not as important as someone who works outside of the home, but I can assure you that being a stay at home mom is one of the hardest jobs out there. It’s rewarding, but it’s an extremely difficult job.
The fact that you are doing it shows just how strong you are, and just how important you are. Without you running the home, can you imagine how upside down things would be? Acknowledge that and be proud of yourself!
Because you are likely at home with young children day in and day out, it’s possible to go a bit crazy after awhile. I’ve been there (many times). Cleaning up messes, playing with children, making meals. All of that stuff may seem easy at first, but it gets monotonous after awhile, which in turn can make you go a bit cuckoo.
In fact, some stay at home mom’s often wish they could go back to work – just so they can have some kind of communication with someone other than a toddler. Don’t feel guilty if you’ve ever felt like this. It’s normal.
If you really want to stay at home with your kids and not end up going crazy, here are a few tips:
Embrace the mess
Let go of your idea of the perfect home. With young children, a perfect home is not realistic. They are going to make many messes, every single day. Instead of chasing them around all the time, picking up after them, just let go of the notion that your home has to be spotless at all times. Until your kids are out of the house, it is likely never going to be spotless.
Messes mean that fun is being had – and that’s a great thing. Don’t try to prevent messes from happening. Control the situation as much as you can, involve your child in the clean up process when it’s over, and move on to the next activity with excitement – not fear of the mess it may bring.
Get out of the house
When you’re a stay at home mom, trips outside of your home are often rare. No one likes spending half an hour getting your child ready to go on a 15 minute walk. Or trying to dress a child that is throwing a temper tantrum.
But, in order to stay sane, it is highly recommended that you try to get out of the house as much as you can. I don’t mean you should go out for hours every single day, but try to go outside every other day for at least an hour.
A few things you can do:
- Go to the library
- Play outside
- Visit a friend or family member
Connect with other moms
Sometimes us stay at home moms feel like all we ever do is change diapers, clean the house, and have conversations with young ones about poop and Dora the Explorer. This alone is enough to make any person go crazy.
If you have other moms to connect with, those days that you feel like running for the hills will be much easier to handle. Your “mom friends” will understand your situation, give you tips on remedying that situation, and will encourage you and give you hope. No one understands this stay at home mom thing more than other stay at home moms.
If you don’t know of any stay at home moms in your area, check out Baby Center. There are tons of moms on there that would be happy to listen and help you through tough times.
Make time for yourself
I know that this may seem impossible, but it’s one thing that you absolutely must do if you want to avoid going crazy.
Before I had kids, I was a night owl. I would sleep all day and play all night. Then, kids came along, and they are now usually awake at 8am or earlier each day. That means that I also have to be awake at 8am or earlier each day. On top of that, I also need to make time for myself. So, I get up even earlier than my kids do – just so I can drink a cup of coffee and read in peace.
It’s absolutely crucial to have that alone time. If it’s impossible for you to wake up earlier than your child, consider asking your partner to give you some help when they arrive home from work. Even just 20 minutes to ourselves to read a book, take a shower or sit around and stare at the ceiling – you need to make time for yourself. It’s impossible to properly care for others when you are not cared for yourself.
Many stay at home moms think that because they are at home most of the day, that they are required to tend to all aspects of running the home. Keeping it clean, doing the grocery shopping, caring for the children. But you know that you can’t do it all. It’s crazy to think that any one person can manage a home and children without any help.
It is possible to do it all alone, but you will likely end up going crazy at some point, and that is what we’re trying to avoid here. When you start to feel like you just can’t handle it alone anymore, get some help.
Your spouse, friends & family, a neighbour – even paid help is sometimes worth the money. Do whatever you need to do to make sure that you are just as well cared for as everyone else.
A stay at home moms job feels like it never ends. And it doesn’t, really – not until your children are in school. Make your life easier and less stressful by following the 5 tips above.
The most important role us mothers have is raising our children to become competent and happy individuals. As a stay at home mom, you have an even greater influence on your child. Going crazy is not an option. If you follow at least one of the tips here, I promise that you will have some semblance of calm in your life.