Being a SAHM (stay at home mom) has been a challenge for me. Even while I was pregnant becoming a SAHM wasn’t the path I planned on taking – it was one that just sort of happened due to various circumstances, including a move, a job change for my husband, and of course those postpartum hormones. While the thought of leaving a 12 week old in the care of someone else or a daycare for 10 hours a day was something I just couldn’t fathom at that time- there are days were I second guess my abilities as a SAHM, and miss working outside of the home.
My daughter is now 21 months old, and there are times where I think I have it all together and have found my happiness, but there are still many days when I can’t help but feel out of balanced, stressed, and just genuinely not fulfilled. I have found some work from home opportunities that have helped me feel more fulfilled – but some days it is still a struggle. As moms (working or at home) there is always a certain amount of pressure felt about whether or not we are doing enough for our children. Are we teaching them enough? Are they socialized enough? Are we doing the best we can? While the answer to all these questions is yes (when I think about each and every mom I know) – it can still be a challenge to feel this way about ourselves.
It really took me a long time to be on the road to feeling fulfilled and having a balance between my role as mom and feeling like I wasn’t losing myself. It is still a constant battle, but it is getting better. When I feel out of balance, here a few things I do to regain my sanity and to remember what is important in life.
Getting out of the house
If I stay at home for an entire day, I can’t help but go stir crazy. I don’t like being home all day, so I find that if I put at least one outing on the calendar each day it helps tremendously. Even just a trip to the grocery store or a playdate helps.
Getting off my phone
Being on social media and mindlessly scrolling just eats time out of my day and then makes me start to compare myself to other moms and the lives of others. It doesn’t make my day better, and often makes me feel unaccomplished. I do much better on days where I focus on being present in the moment as well as “real life” interactions with people, not just through a screen.
Planning something each day that is for me.
Yes, my daughter has playdates, activities, and a lot of our plans revolve around getting her out, but I have to remember that I am important too. It is important for me to schedule time for things I enjoy – with and without the little one. I also don’t pressure myself to fill every second of our day- for example as I work on this blog post my daughter is playing on the floor in the office and watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. There is no shame or no guilt in some independent play or tv time. I have also found that a date with my husband is just as important as a girls night out or finding time to workout – all are needed to maintain a feeling of balance and self.
Remembering what is important
There is a reason that life plays out the way that it does. The decision for me to stay home made the most sense due to many factors (some in and some out of my control). I have to remember how blessed I am that I haven’t missed anything with my daughter. Sure there are difficult times, but her smile, laugh and hilarious personality will always ground me.
I have to remember that I am defined in my ways and through my many different abilities, not just my role as a mom. It can be difficult to see this balance some days, but I am working on it. What ways do you balance your role as mom with all the other aspects of your life?