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Staying Sane While Being an SAHM

on 18/07/2013 1308

Many decades ago, being a stay-at-home-mother or SAHM as it is more fondly and commonly known now, isn’t such a big thing. Almost every woman with children then stayed at home to look after their kids. Women who were working were rare and almost looked down upon as selfish for letting others take care of her children.

It’s ironic how different it is now.

SAHMs are deemed backwards, traditional and sometimes unintelligent because instead of choosing to empower themselves with careers and maximizing her potentials, SAHMs choose to stay at home and look after their children.

Being a mother is a challenge in itself.

And mothers now have to juggle many things between household chores, career, children, businesses, friends, and relatives on top of struggling to find time for herself. And choosing to be an SAHM can be the best or the worst thing a woman can do for herself because as much any mother would want to look after their own kids, SAHM takes a lot of patience and practice to get it right that if a woman doesn’t have the mental capacity to do it, she might just crash and burn.

So what do you do if you’re an SAHM who feels like she’s losing her mind every time she wakes up? Here are some tips and advice that perhaps might help get you through the day in being an SAHM.

Breathe

As simple as this may sound, forgetting to regulate your breathing when you’re feeling overwhelmed can lead to more stress. Try counting from 1 to 10 in increasing or decreasing order while breathing slowly. This is a good exercise to center yourself and gain perspective of the situation that is overwhelming you. Once you are more collected, you can resolve the situation better.

Plan Ahead

This is probably easier said than done if you’re an SAHM with three demanding toddlers. But to have a To Do List makes it easier to get through the day because you are able to keep everything in check and not lose track of things. You can commit to memory things you want to do but having a written down list that you can easily refer to (say on the fridge or on a corkboard on the kitchen wall) can help you to manage things better. Cross out the things you have completed or accomplished and place a star on the things you didn’t manage to do.

Do not feel bad when you’re not able to do everything you have listed because you need to allow yourself to be flexible with your time since your time now is scheduled around the needs of your children. You can always do the things you missed the next day. The key is to always have a system that is flexible enough for you to work around with yet one that is solid enough for you to be able to do most of the things you have planned for the day.

Involve the Children

Toddlers are usually more eager to help with household chores compared to teenagers but this doesn’t mean you can’t get your teens involve in helping you around the house.

Try to designate one task to one child so he or she will understand that if anything relating to that chore will be his or her responsibility. Ensure that the task is age appropriate if you’re designating a task to your toddlers, as you should always put their capability and safety first and foremost. Chores that are too hard for your child will only leave him or her feeling frustrated or angry and can cause them to refuse to help at all.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up

One of the causes of SAHM’s stress is being too hard on herself. A mother’s biggest critic and worst enemy is herself and many a time a mother gets frustrated when she is not able to do what she had planned or her children don’t listen to her.

As much you are responsible for almost everything under your roof, you need to understand that not everything is within your control. Small things like spilled juice on the couch or cookie crumbs in your favorite flowerpot are the things you have no control over because a toddler will always try to do the most unimaginable things at the most inappropriate time.

Beating yourself up for not being able to handle a situation better will only prove harmful to you for you are only causing stress to yourself. While the need to be a perfect mother and the high expectations you set are good in improving yourself as a mother for you strive to do the best you can but sometimes when the expectations are unrealistic, you will only ended up feeling terrible for not being able to meet the expectations.

Remember that there will be no one to judge if you don’t wash the dishes right away or there is not going to be any complaint from your relatives if you skip doing the laundry for one day because you’re too tired to even move. You need to realize that you’re doing the housework and raising the children for you and your family – not for anyone else. So the need to meet yours or others expectations all the time will be futile.

If you’re only starting out as an SAHM, the experience can be quite horrendous and may break your spirit initially for it can dupe you into thinking that you’re not cut out for it.

But with a strong will and a positive mind and outlook at the things you have to face, being an SAHM can be extremely rewarding and once you get the hang of it, you might catch yourself saying you wouldn’t trade it for anything else in the world.