When you think of a stay at home mom, you are probably picturing this woman who has all the time in the world. I mean she doesn’t have a normal 9-5 job, so her life should be pretty perfect right? I really wish that was the case and for some women it may be. However speaking from my point of view it’s not as perfect as Instagram makes it out to be.
When my husband and I made the decision for me to stay home, I pictured having all this time to help out at my kids’ schools, making all of these home cooked meals, having a clean house, basically everything you’d see in a home and gardens magazine. Ok maybe not that extreme, let me take it down a notch.
Honestly though I really did think I would have all of this time for activities. I watched both my mom and my sister rock the stay at home life and thought I would be just like them. I really did think I would be making a lot of meals from scratch, my house would be spotless, and I would have all of this time to devote to my kids. Maybe I would actually have time for some hobbies.
Obviously I was delusional in some of my thinking. Mainly the fact that I never expected what staying home would do on my mental state.
The Harsh Reality
That may be a little dramatic, but seriously it was kind of harsh. I don’t think I took into account the amount of time I would actually have during the day. Another thing I didn’t take into account was how lonely I would get. Obviously I was never really alone because my kids were with me 24/7, but I was alone in the aspect that I didn’t have a lot of adult interactions.
A lot of that was my fault. I was invited out by other moms and play dates planned, but I was trying to adjust to this new lifestyle and wasn’t sure how to plan that into it. I was trying to figure out how to cook, clean, run errands, get everyone where they needed to be, and it was kind of exhausting. It still is exhausting and we are five years into it.
I didn’t make it a priority to get out and meet up with other moms. It wasn’t on my to do list and that was my downfall. I began noticing how my mood had suddenly started to change. I’ve always had mood swings, really who doesn’t have them? However I noticed that I would get upset with my husband for not helping more, I would be short with the kids for not doing stuff, and I kept pushing my own needs further down. This was not because I didn’t want to take care of myself, I just didn’t give myself the time to take care of myself.
“In a way I didn’t feel like I was allowed to.“RaisingRidges
This was the life I chose
Why should I do things for myself, when I whole heartedly wanted this life? To be able to devote more time to my family. Be there for my kids and do everything for the household. We weren’t rolling in dough so I didn’t feel like doing anything for myself was acceptable. I understand that taking care of myself didn’t necessarily have to involve money, but anything whether it be sitting at a park by myself (not in a creepy way) or really anything that took me away from my daily responsibilities made me feel like I was doing something wrong.
“For some reason I put this notion in my head that I was not allowed to do anything nice for myself.“RaisingRidges
Obviously I was wrong in thinking this. Just because I’m staying home doesn’t mean that I just completely neglect me. However I was so focused on making sure that everyone else was making time for themselves that I forgot to take care of me.
Make Time For YOU!!
I can’t stress this enough. You HAVE to make time for yourself. It took me four years to realize that, but when I actually started making time for myself I noticed a huge difference. Before I came to this realization I noticed that my sanity was slowly starting to slip. I was starting to lose track of who I really was/am. I became depressed, not wanting to leave or do anything. My anxiety started to ramp up and I was just struggling with everything.
Don’t allow yourself to become secluded in your own thoughts. You need time to break free from the daily routine and recharge your batteries. I know I’ve said this before in my past blog about taking care of yourself, but it really is so important. Not only does it help you be a better wife/parent, but it becomes a huge boost in your mental health.
I may still be fighting the stay at home mom blues, but it’s a war I plan on winning.