4 Tips that help(ed) me as a Stay-at-home Mom
I enjoyed been a Stay-at-home Mom, I love being a Work-at-home Mom.
While this has been one of the hardest things I have had to go through because of my Postpartum Depression (PPD) which you can read about here, it has also been incredibly rewarding, especially in recent months as I have come to a place of healing and been truly present for my son. Do I miss the corporate scene and yearn to climb the proverbial career ladder? Yes, on some days (though I am now realizing it is so much better to actually own the ladder, not just climb it 😀 ). Then I am reminded, these kids grow up fast, and before you know it, they are out of the nest. In light of this, I opt to be a SAHM for a couple more years.
One of the most incredulous things I have come to find out is the perception that Stay-at-home moms (abbreviated SAHM) have it all chocolates-strawberries-Netlflix and smiles. While this happens on some days, there are difficult days; mundane days when the routine revolves around potty-training, crayons, power blackouts and crankiness. The beauty about it is that over and above all, as a SAHM I get the chance to raise my son, to spend quality time with him, and lay the foundation I’d want him to have in life.
Despite the tough days, I am grateful for this chance. I would not trade it for anything else in my motherhood journey. Having been a SAHM and WAHM since the birth of my son in 2012- I have gleaned tips that help me maintain my sanity when I get to stay home for more than 5 days in a row. Here are some of the tips that have worked for me alongside the lessons I have picked on the way.
- Clear the to-do list for some Me-time every so often
It is easy for life to be wrapped around your little bundle of joy at the onset, but sooner or later you realize burn out is real. I cannot over-emphasize the need to create some Me-time, even if you are a stay at home mom.
The purpose of this me-time is to decompress, to recharge and just simply to replenish your energy levels. Watching over your kid(s) 24/7 is very taxing, and one of the best things you can do for yourself is to take some time off.
Now, it need not be a luxurious cruise trip to Mauritius (but how cool would that be!) Sometimes it can be as simple as going to the supermarket, ALONE. Or taking an evening walk. Or pampering sessions at the spa. The essence is to get away from your Little One(s) – LOs- and focus on yourself. Think about it as ‘touching base with yourself’. It is extremely important because this way, once you are back, you are refreshed enough to wear the mommy hat.
Because I gotta work too.
- Link up with other parents
This is important for some much-needed adult interactions. I share with some of my friends how, when all your talk is drool-inspired goo-goo-gah-gigi, sometimes what you need is a coherent adult conversation, Not that you despise baby talk, but after a few days, you realize how much this does not stimulate you mentally.
In short, call another mom, share your experiences, catch up over latte, schedule for play dates and spend some time as you watch the kids play or even host a get-together to gather your high school friends. Whatever works for you, just make sure you shift your attention from your LO, albeit for a short while.
- Do not be afraid to ask for and receive help.
I remember with nostalgia how, whenever my sister offered to babysit, I’d jump at the idea and look for ways to incorporate me-time. I have never had a domestic manager since my son’s birth, so such help was very welcome. I learnt the hard way that you cannot be super mom, no matter how much you would want. Well, you can, for a day or two, then it takes a tremendous toll on you and you realize you are slowly ebbing away from truly living. So, snap up every opportunity when help is offered.
Many moms find it difficult to ask for help, leave alone receiving help. One of the things that I learnt smirk in the fog that depression is, is that it is okay to ask for help. It does not make me less of a mom if I have to tell someone that I am really struggling and would appreciate help. Which brings me to the other point, it also helps to be specific the kind of help you need. Do you need someone to watch your baby when you need to run errands urgently? Would you appreciate it if your friend took your son for a boys’ day out? Or perhaps your neighbor could do grocery shopping for you? Maybe your sister could help you do laundry for the week.
However you look at it, sometimes a little help is all you need to get through your day. Plus, the worst anyone can do is turn down your request!
- Make the most of this time
It certainly sounds cliché, but the truth is that kids whiz through the different stages and it is easy to miss all that if you focus on the challenges alone. Enjoy the moments, capture the milestones on camera and savour the different chances to learn from your kid. Take this time to appreciate the fact that you have a chance to raise this little human into an upright member of society. One morning you wake up to a toothless gummy smile, the next you are wondering what to give during weaning, then potty training, then voila, they are in uniform going to school! Cherish the days.
What are your experiences as a SAHM? What tips worked for you? What would you love to share? Let’s chat in the comment box below.