I remember when I was on maternity leave those first few months as a new mom, I thought “this is the life!” and when I went back to work I LONGED to be a Stay at Home Mom. I made my OWN schedule, we did what I wanted to do, and heck- yoga pants could be my new FULL TIME WARDROBE! So when I got Laid Off I was THRILLED to be at SAHM, but that novelty wore off super quick. The first few months were great- it was like maternity leave all over again- except without the nursing around the clock. My kid was way more fun as a toddler and my days were FULL chasing her around and re-putting everything back into our cabinets (remind me to tell you about my husband refusing to baby proof another time).
But after a few months- I was going NUTS. Generally- this would happen when my husband was on “Night Shift”. The shift where he came home around 9am and slept until dinner time. I was burnt out from parenting all night long AND all day long. I was so exhausted I stopped leaving the house, but I was miserable in the house. And that’s when I realized- I was burnt out on being a SAHM. So here’s my top tips for avoiding the SAHM burnout:
- Go somewhere- everyday. It doesn’t have to be far- it can be to your neighbor’s house- but leave the dang house. I’ve mentioned it before and I’ll mention it 1000 times. Now before you give me the whole- “my kid could get sick”- you kid is GOING to get sick- you can’t raise them like Bubble Boy- and if they’re sick- yeah stay at home with all that nastiness- but if you want to build their immunity and stop yourself from going CRAZY- GET OUT OF THE HOUSE
- Nap time is CRUCIAL- We went through a phase where for 4 months my kid didn’t nap- I thought naps were a goner for us- but I suck with my guns and she got stuck with “quiet time” regardless. YOU NEED A REPRIEVE. So take 1 hour where all the kids get locked in their rooms where you do something for YOU. And if you want to feel MORE relaxed- stay off your phone
- Make Mom Friends- in this last year I have a handful of friends that I can text “I’m gonna lose my sh*t on my kid- anyone want to go to the park” and 9 times out of 10 SOMEONE is available. It doesn’t matter what I look like, if my kid has pants on or not- we get together. And THOSE friends are my saving grace. We get coffee and complain about our kids trying to kill us- and I feel better. But you can only do that with mom friends. My kidless friends don’t get it- and my friends with only school age kids don’t get it either. SO make some friends with friends around your kid’s age.
- Pass the baton- if you’re lucky enough to have family or a spouse around who has two hands and can pitch in- do it. Be clear about your needs- no passive aggressive stuff here ladies- say “I’ve had a really stressful day, can you take care of the kids while I run to the store” or “Can you grab take out on your way home- there’s no way I’m going to be able to make dinner”. Pass the baton so you can get 30, 60, maybe even 90 minutes to yourself when you need it.
Give yourself some Grace- I know you hear it all the time to cut yourself some slack- but being a SAHM means your job is never over. Our friends who work full time can check out a little during the work week- we however are like an ER nurse- always on call. All hours of the day and night. Through sickness and health. We are there- clocking in our mom time. So recognize that you physically cannot do everything all the time- and that’s okay.
Are you a SAHM and getting burnt out? What tips do you have for moms?