Every stay at home mom knows the blues. You stay home with baby while dad goes out to his job, leaving you behind to take care of the home. It’s a dream for most moms to be able to raise their baby at home. No babysitters, no day care, just you and your little love bug.
And the house.
The dreaded cleaning. You barely have time to take a ten minute shower, between chasing after your baby who just learned how to get in to EVERYTHING, cleaning up said everything six times, feeding baby, letting the dogs out for the FOURTH time that day, nap time, feeding yourself (you forgot again, didn’t you?)… how’s one person supposed to clean a stupid house on top of all of this?
Some women are lucky and have husbands who see your struggles and actually do a load of dishes once in a while, while others have to make their husbands lunches before they go to work, do the laundry, clean the house, make dinner, clean up and put the leftovers away because hubby is exhausted from a long day at work. My household is the latter, so I know all too well the built up stress that comes with having to keep up with housework on top of a one year old who just learned how to walk. A clean house is just one factor when it comes to the stay at home mom blues. Feeling lonely all day while hubby is at work, limited social interaction besides looking at Facebook while baby’s taking a nap, the fact that 99% of your friends seemed to disappear after you had your little one doesn’t help either. But lucky for you, there are some things to help!
1. Join a mommy-only group on Facebook.
I’m a part of a few mommy- only groups on Facebook. A few from my area where mommies are local and share local events that are great to take your little one to, where mommies can rant about their days and ask questions about their little ones. I’m also a part of a few mommy groups for homesteading, homeschooling, blogging… you can find a mommy group for just about any interest you have. Most of these groups are a wonderful place to connect with other like-minded moms. Be careful though, some groups tend to have a lot of drama. So pick and choose which places are right for you.
2. Work Out!
I joined Trainer Nicole’s 15 Day Mommy Fit Challenge that I saw floating around on, you guessed it, Facebook. I’m not one for working out. I’m constantly tired, or feel like I just don’t have time. Joining this challenge really pushed me to do better, and the amount of support in the group is phenomenal. I’m hoping to restart the challenge after Thanksgiving. Maybe some of you will join me!
When things get tough, it’s always nice to turn to family. Ever since I got pregnant, my sister has been super supportive of me. If I need a day out, I know I can go hang out with her and her three kids. Same goes for my mother-in-law. If I need something she’s more than happy to help. I’ve actually reconnected with a few long lost cousins since my daughter was born, and they’ve become pretty good friends. Try reaching out! I know sometimes you feel like you’re being a bother, but I assure you, you’re not. Everyone needs a support group to raise a child. Whether it’s friends that you call family, or your actual family. Reach out. Go on a coffee date with your mom. Walk around the mall with your sister and your little one. You’ll feel better, I promise.
Look for some good kiddo events near you! Even if you’re just getting out of the house with your love bug, it can make a huge difference. My old high school was having a free trick-or-treat indoor thing this Halloween. Even though my daughter was only 11 months old, I took her and we had a blast. We got candy, lunch, met with an old school friend and her daughter. I was hesitant to go at first, but I made myself go. I knew my daughter would like the social interaction, and she had fun playing in the little kiddy pool ball pit. To me, that was worth it. Not to mention it was FREE. For a stay at home mom on a shoestring budget, that was a major plus.
5. Cleaning the dreaded house.
I found that taking ten minutes to throw a load of laundry in and wash a few dishes was actually relieving. I still don’t spend hours cleaning, but who cares? You’re raising a tiny human. That’s a lot of work! When baby is old enough to play in the bath, try scrubbing the toilet and wiping down the sink while they’re playing. Put your little one in their high chair with some snacks and wipe down the kitchen counters and clean out the fridge. You can do this mama! You only need a few minutes a day to do these things. You don’t have to steam clean the carpets or mop the floors. That can wait till hubby is home for the weekend and he can watch the offspring for an hour or so. Or try to get into baby wearing! I have a $30 Infanto baby carrier from Walmart. It works great. And I can put my daughter on my back for hikes or at the county fair. I strap her in and sweep the floors, mop, vacuum, rake the leaves… whatever I have to do. Baby loves being close to mama, and the walking around might even put them to sleep!
6. Go Shopping!
Retail therapy is my favorite (assuming I can afford to). You just pushed out an 8 pound squirming human. Treat yourself! Get a new pair of comfy shoes and cute socks. Hit up the local thrift stores and find some cute sweat pants (if you’re anything like me, you live in yoga pants most of the time). It doesn’t have to be a $1000 blow out shopping spree. I try to set aside $30 every few months for myself to go out and get a few pair of pants or a new hoodie. Just something to perk me up. Plus, you may night fit into your pre-baby clothes anymore. So really, you need to go shopping! Right?
There are ways to combat the loneliness, frustration and feeling burnt out. Please check with your doctor and make sure you don’t have postpartum depression as well. You can do this. You made an entire human being! You’re amazing, even if you don’t see it right now.