The things they don't tell you about being a stay-at-home-mom...
I longed for this, it was what I wanted, we worked so hard to get to this point. Then why am I not happier? What am I doing wrong?
Well first of all, the first 6 months home were amazing!! I loved not having to get up and go to work, not have a schedule and I embraced it fully, meaning there were many days we didn't leave the house and I didn't get dressed. This was liberating and wonderful!!
After 6 months in my new role, I started to feel really lonely and isolated. I realized most of my mom friends were full-time working moms like I had been, and they certainly didn't have any margin of time to hangout, even though I know they wanted to. The honeymoon phase was over, ok I'm bored and this is hard!! I started talking to other moms, mostly older moms who had already done this season of life and figured out how they did it.
Here's what I gleaned...
1. Make a schedule for yourself, and stick to it with flexibility of course!! (I'm SO not good at keeping a schedule, but a rough outline)
2. Schedule play-dates.
3. Host a play-group, I did once a month on Saturday's so my working mom friends could come too!
4. Joined a moms group at church, to make more stay-at-home-mom friends!
5. Plan date nights with your spouse WITHOUT the kids!
6. Plan time away with your girlfriends, WITHOUT the kids! This has been a game changer, and really helps me to re-charge!!
7. Go to the park regularly and don't bring your phone or keep it turned off!! Hear me out on this, I make new friends EVERY TIME I go to the park, because I'm present, chatting with the parents of the friends my kids make at the park. This little bit of adult interaction makes a huge difference for me, especially if I don't have much planned.
8. Get memberships so you can take your kids somewhere different, and usually these places allow you to bring guests, so I often plan my play dates to meet at the Oregon Zoo or Portland Children's Museum.
9. Ask for help!!! This is so huge and difficult to do, but people step up, come out of the woodwork, when they know you are in need.
10. Come up with a schedule for things like errands, grocery shopping and cleaning (things I generally don't enjoy doing).
11. Give your kiddos a schedule of age-appropriate things they can do around the house! This takes things off your plate (eventually once they know how to do it) and teaches responsibility!
12. Make time for the things you enjoy! My suggestion is "un-interupted" time so you actually are re-charged afterwards.
13. Give yourself grace in finding your rhythm, everyone's journey will look different!
Ladies, I remind myself daily that I'm making a sacrifice now, for my family, for their future and is it hard? ABSOLUTELY! Is it worth it? YES! And I know eventually I'll look back on this time fondly and as an incredible blessing!