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Being a Mom is Hard!
Before I had kids, I always thought I would be a working mom. My children would go to daycare or my mom would watch them while I worked. I thought we didn’t have enough money for me to stay at home with our kids and I really didn’t know if I wanted to. I never viewed stay at home moms in the best light. I didn’t understand why someone would choose not to work. I didn’t understand what stay at home moms do with all their free time at home. I always sarcastically said “Oh, it must be nice to stay at home all day!”
My tune has definitely changed now that I am a stay at home mom of 2! After the birth of our first daughter, I couldn’t imagine missing any moments. I wanted to be there when she rolled for the first time, started to crawl, started smiling, started babbling, started walking, or when she said “I love you” for the first time. These are things that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I love that I am able to see all of these wonderful things.
With these joys, there are also struggles. I think any mom, working or not, has had to deal with these struggles and probably many more. #momlife I am not here to say my struggles are any more important than that of another mom. I am just sharing the struggles I have faced since becoming a stay at home mom.
When I was working, I was Melanie, Staff Accountant, and wife. I carried on conversations with co-workers and clients about work, news, hobbies, weather, TV shows, and weekend plans. After having a baby, my identity became almost exclusively Mom, and Melanie took the backseat.
My daughter only cares about the weather when we can’t go outside. I do still talk about the news with my husband, but because I am not on social media, I get the news from him and the newspaper. I still have hobbies that I do as much as I can, but I don’t really socialize with as many people as I used to.
When I first started to stay at home, it took me awhile to find myself again. I had to remember who I was, and try the combine it with this new part of me. The Mommy part of me is a big part and, to be honest, it needs to be. For me, I feel my family needs to come first. If I am needed, I will drop everything and cater to their needs. That is just part of who I am and how I’ve always been. I am starting to understand myself better now and I will take time to be me when I can.
2. Expectations for myself/getting it all done
When we decided I would stay at home, I had some expectations for myself. I was no longer contributing money to the household, so I felt I would need to get everything else done. I felt it was unfair to ask my husband for help. He worked all day and I as at home just watching the baby. I was not going to let myself burden him with things like laundry and cleaning.
My to-dos would be to clean, do the laundry, take care of the baby, keep her on a schedule, socialize with other kids, cook and create a meal plan, budget, potty train, sleep train, etc. My thought processes was suck it up and get it done! “Me time” will just have to wait.
After our second daughter was born, I learned that I couldn’t do it all myself. I still wanted to, but I just couldn’t do it alone. I needed help! My husband helps with the laundry and dishes and the girls. My mom helps watch the girls whenever she can while my husband is at work. Google tasks and Google calendar help a lot too. It helps to make lists of everything I need to do for the day. There are so many lists!!! I love these apps because not only can I use it on my computer but also on my phone. Bonus, they are free99.
3. Perception I feel others have about stay at home moms
Before I became a stay at home mom, my perception was that stay at home moms have a bunch of free time and the house should be kept clean. They watched TV all day or went out to get coffee with friends all the time. Boy was I wrong! It made sense why so many people pay SO MUCH MONEY for daycare! Being a stay at home mom is not as easy as I thought. I have learned to just understand you are not going to change other people’s minds. I just have to do my best with the skills I have.
4. Time for yourself
With trying to get it all done and being a super mom and wife, I lost time for myself. I would sometimes not even have time to take a shower! I try to take a shower at night before bed, but sometimes I am just so tired that I can’t. Some days are worse than others.
I also get a lot of help from my mom. She comes over at least once a week for a few hours. Sometimes, I use this time for a hobby, doctor appointments, or to get things done around the house. Either way, it is time where I can use for myself. If something has been bothering me for days like a messy bathroom, I will use the time to cross that off my list.
One of the big questions we had to ask ourselves was how we were going to live with only one income. I am in charge of the budget since I have a background in finance. It was difficult, but we made it work so I could stay at home. We were blessed after our first daughter was born because my husband was promoted and received a pay raise. We are still not as “comfortable” as we were before having kids and the budget is sometimes very stressful, but we get through it together. To stay on budget, we use coupons and look for the best deals on clothes, groceries, and diapers. By the way, so many diapers!!!
What has becoming a mother taught me?
Being a mother has taught me to better manage my time and be more intentional with it. There is not much time to watch Internet videos, TV shows, or movies if I want to get anything done. A few things that have helped me were:
- Taking a shower at night when the kids are asleep. This way I have some time for myself every night. I do this right before I get in the bed and it helps me to sleep and have a more productive day the next morning.
- I wake up and get ready before the kids wake up. This way, I don’t have to keep running around saying “what are you doing?” or “no, no, no, no don’t play with that”. It gives me a moment for myself and coffee before I give the rest of my time to my kids.
- As soon as I wake up, I get out of bed. I don’t lay there wishing I could go back to sleep for 10 min. I get up and get ready. This has been really hard for me because I am not a morning person AT ALL.
- When nap-time comes, I use it as a timer to get my list done. It doesn’t always get done, but it is a personal challenge. No looking at a bunch of things on the Internet. I tell myself, “You have about an hour. Choose the to-dos that are bugging you the most today and…. GO, GO, GO!!”
- When making my to-do list, I think about what can be done when the kid(s) are awake and what needs to be done when they are sleeping.
- Scheduling time once a month for something that makes me happy. I like baking, scrapbooks, and baking shows.
What do you struggle with as a Mom?
Need some more encouragement? Take a look at Mom Encouragement and Marbles.
Looking for a gift for a new mom? Have a look at these Unique Gift Ideas for new Moms
Looking for a baby gift? Here are some Baby gift ideas.
Wondering what my schedule is like? I have a day in the life of a Mommy of 2 and new blogger here