Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Don't Sacrifice Yourself Because You're a Stay At Home Mom.

Hi Everyone.

I hope you're all doing well. Thank you for visiting with me today! I've been thinking a lot lately about what it has meant for me to be a stay at home mom with my kids for the past 12 years. I think about what I've learned, what I've gained as well as what I've given up and how it has taken me down a very different path than the one I originally imagined for myself.
 I have been through many phases of motherhood with my children over the years. I've been through the "Yes, that is my child who just blew out his diaper as I'm unloading the cart at the check out at Walmart," scenario. I've hung my head in doubt and frustration at the child who threw herself down in a fit of despair and rage in the produce section of the grocery store.

I was once convinced I would never sleep through the night or survive potty training. I've wondered if my children would ever master reading the sentence "Sam Sat on Mat" or learn to write their names, and let's not even talk about 4th grade math!
I have survived all of these moments, however and so did all of my children. As a SAHM, it is easy to get lost in the shuffle of laundry, dinner, temper tantrums, homework woes and bed time routines. It is important to remember that YOU matter....you were YOU long before you became someone's mom and you're still you no matter what. So, how do we as SAHM's keep our identities? I've put together a list of things that have helped me over the years and I hope they help you as well.

1. Get up, Get dressed, Get ready. 

Sure we all love a lazy PJ day especially on a cold winter day. Don't let that become your norm though. Set a routine for yourself in the morning. Take a shower, get dressed...if you're a make-up and hair kind of girl, then spend a little time getting that done as well. You may not actually leave your house at all during the day and that is OK. It isn't about having to go somewhere and do something. It's about feeling good about yourself.  Don't use your children, whether they are 3 months old or 5 years old, as an excuse to not take that time to face your day prepped and ready to go. You will feel so much better and so much more willing to tackle whatever happens.

2. Exercise

It is so important to spend time moving and exercising our bodies. You don't have to join a gym or do some epic Yoga in the park class to exercise. Of course, these options are great if you're able to do them. Put baby in the stroller and take a nice morning or evening stroll. For more intense workouts, scroll through Pinterest or look online for at home, no equipment body toning exercises. You can even get your kids involved exercising will allow you to release tensions you have, it will build your endorphins and will just make you feel better all the way around.

3. Journal.

You need an unconditional friend, you need someone to whom you can vent your most raw emotions and that friend is NOT your spouse, your child, or the person you classify as your "best friend" That person...isn't a person at all, it's a journal. Or to be more specific a personal diary. You need somewhere you can spill your anger, your frustration, your deep dark secrets. Somewhere you can write the things you would NEVER EVER breath to a living soul. Being able to purge how you feel about something or someone without fear of being judged or lectured or counseled is SO cleansing. There's nothing wrong with feeling the way you do about something...we all have "I'm basically a bad human" days; but it's not always wise to tell people all about it. Journaling will give you an outlet for those feelings.

4. Find "Your Thing" (and make time to do it every day)

It is so easy to lose yourself amongst the piles of laundry, the daily dinner dilemmas and the constant barrage of  "Mom, where's my... " emanating throughout the house all day long. However, you need to find something that has no other purpose except that it makes you happy. Whether it's gardening, reading, sewing, cross-stitch, photography, blogging or paper crafting like me, it doesn't matter as long as it's FOR YOU! I find time to paper craft every day because it's what I enjoy and it's just for me. Now, some days I get a few hours to myself to craft and some days I may only find 30 minutes; but that's ok. Those 30 minutes do SO much for mental health, I can't even describe it. I'm also an avid reader and find time to do that each day as well. Don't assume you don't have time....you do! There's a difference between not having time...and not making time

5. Make "non-play date" friends.

It is great to have a group of friends that have children the same age as your children, especially when you have babies and toddlers. Play-dates and mom groups etc are wonderful ways to teach your children socialization skills, get tips and advice for whatever stage you're going through at the moment and so much more. Here's a secret though, *whispers* it is ABSOLUTELY acceptable to spend time with friends without your children. *Gasp* I know right?! I know for some of you, I may now be speaking in a strange foreign language; but try to hang with me, ok? Yes, you can call up a group of friends and arrange a shopping date or lunch date or hell even a meet up for Margaritas at the local Mexican dive in town and NO you do not have to bring your kid(s). I'm not advocating that you run out the door three times a week the minute your husband returns home from work; but once a month or so? Absolutely! You need to step away from the domesticated duties and mom world occasionally. Trust me,  everyone in your family will benefit from it.

You are a wonderful mother and it's something that is going to be in your "Who I am" description for the rest of your life. When you take time to be your best you, however, it makes you an even greater mother.

Have a great day every one. I'm taking a couple of days off from the blog to work on a few projects but I will be back on Friday with a card for "Fun Fold Friday" So, until next time...

1 comment:

cotnob said...

A super post Dori, I never know what I am going to find when I visit your blog!
I am a SAHM - the plan was that I would return to work when both of our children were settled in school, however when my youngest was diagnosed with Autism the plan went out of the window. We couldn't find a school that could manage his behaviour so I made the decision to Home School him - something that is very rare in the UK.
I have never regretted my decision - my son is now 19 and doing really well at College studying Computer Science so I feel I did a good job of being a SAHM and Home Schooling.
What you say is very true, I always made time for myself and have a very supportive husband. I am still a SAHM, I now look after my 89 year old Mother who moved in with us 3 years ago. I do find peoples attitudes rather annoying sometimes, they seem to feel sure I should be bored and fed up and that my life is not fulfilling because what I do is not important like a having a job and going out to work - I think being a mother and carer is far more important than going to work.
I will look forward to "Fun Fold Friday", I have a Z-fold card scheduled on my bog tomorrow - part of a commission for Simply Cards & Papercraft - I was really chuffed to be asked to do a Masterclass for the magazine.
Pauline - Crafting with Cotnob