When I decided on being a stay-at-home mom, I pictured all of the good things that I imagined came along with the role; kissing little toes, hearing those first words, and teaching the art of tying shoelaces. I knew there were less than pleasant duties that came with the around-the-clock occupation, but I could never fully conceive of the extent of work that was involved.
I never regret my decision – it’s a wonderful calling – but sometimes it feels thankless. When’s the last time I was really recognized for my work, given a raise, or awarded an incentive trip? Besides hugs, kisses and the odd thank-you, there’s no big year-end bonus in this job. For this reason, stay-at-home moms need to take care of themselves first. Of course, a supportive partner is a big help, but unless you look out for numero uno, you will feel unhappy and resentful of your family. Take some pressure off and create a better balance in your life and you will enjoy your “job” so much more.
Embrace Nap Jail
Nap Jail is the term some moms use to describe nap time at home. We all whine about it, but really, what’s not to like? Depending on the age of your children, you could potentially have up to four hours of time to yourself. Preserve the at-home nap for as long as you can and make time for you. Sleep if you need it, have a cup of tea while browsing online, take a long hot shower, but whatever you do . . . don’t clean!
Seek Out Fresh Air (and Sunlight if Possible)
Get yourself outside at least once a day with your children. Walk to the park, sit out in the yard, build a snowman, and inhale the fresh air. Vitamin D is important, especially in colder climes, so get out there if the sun is shining, and see how it lifts your spirits.
Connect with Others
Social media is my saviour. It allows me to stay connected to friends and family, and especially colleagues since I don’t have a water cooler to stand beside. When I’m craving some adult interaction, I use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as my mediums of choice.
When the baby and toddler stages are over, things become more manageable and you will find personal balance is easier to achieve. Remember to stay positive and if you feel yourself slipping, pull out those cute baby photos, cuddle up and read with your kids, hug your partner, and smile, for tomorrow is a bright new day.
By Kristen Wint