Making peace with being a stay-at-home mum
If you're a stay-at-home mum in Singapore looking for encouragement and advice on how to deal with your situation, this is a must-read!
When you’re a stay-at-home mum, it’s completely normal to feel a bit isolated and to feel like your entire identity has been stripped away. It’s how you deal with these feelings that matters.
Admit your feelings — first of all, to yourself. Next, you need to confide in your husband AND a close fellow-mum friend if you have one.
Well, first of all, your husband needs to know how you’re feeling so he can help you emotionally and perhaps physically too, especially around the house.
As for confiding in a fellow mum, doing so will help give you the insight, compassion and advice you may need at this point in time.
Move forward and make time for yourself
Once you acknowledge your feelings of resentment and isolation, you need to determine what is necessary to help you regain your footing.
There’s no denying that being a stay-at-home mum and caring for a baby is A LOT of work. But that doesn’t mean you don’t DESERVE to make a little time for yourself each day.
If you have more than 1 child, you’re either caring for and being attentive to all of them all day long or getting 1 (or more) off to school and back home again.
I know — I’ve been there… 4 times! And I’ve been caring for my grandchildren each day since they were 8 weeks old.
So what can you do to ‘recharge’ yourself as a stay-at-home mum? Here are some suggestions:
1. Take up something that interests you.
Join a book club or take a class in something you’ve always wanted to know how to do.
2. Get regular exercise.
Exercise is proven to help you feel better emotionally and physically. If you have had a difficult time losing your baby weight, some of your resentment may stem from the way you feel about yourself.
3. Join a mom’s group.
Socializing is important, especially if you find a way to visit with someone else besides the kids.
4. Use your professional skills at home.
Thanks to the world wide web, more and more stay-at-home mums are working from home on a part-time basis.
Not only does this help supplement your family’s income, but it a) gives you an outlet for using your skills; b) keeps you connected in your field in the event you need or desire to re-enter the workplace on a full time basis; and c) breaks up your day or week.
Your family should be your first priority whether you stay home full time or not, but too much of any good thing can be overwhelming.
5. Ask for help.
If your mum, aunt, sister or a close friend is willing, ask them to watch your children 1 day a week so you can have a day to yourself. You might even consider trading these days with a friend. She watches your children 1 day, you watch hers another.
6. Put things into perspective.
You made the choice to become a mother. Your children didn’t ask to be born.
You also made the choice to stay home full time. If you aren’t happy with that choice, find safe and loving caregivers for your children and go to work outside the home.
Here’s part of #6 (from the previous page) again:
You made the choice to become a mother. Your children did not ask to be born.
Be mindful of not channeling your resentments toward your children.
How you feel is not their fault. They are not even the cause of these feelings.
Your attitude toward how you view your position as a stay-at-home mum is the cause of these feelings.
Having that occasional day of wanting to pull your hair out is normal and should be taken for what it is… such is life.
But if you regularly feel resentment, frustration and anger over where you are at and what you are doing, you run the risk of becoming emotionally, verbally and possibly even physically abusive.
Don’t let it come to that. That’s not who you are and your children don’t deserve to be subjected to such behavior.
Instead, fix the situation. Take the kids to grandma’s, a good friend’s place or even hire a trusted sitter for the weekend — whatever you need to do to be able to spend the weekend with your husband, discussing how you feel and coming up with a solution that is right for your family.
Remember: Babies don’t keep
When I was expecting my second child, a dear friend made a wall hanging for the nursery. The little poem stitched into the fabric is old, but says quite a lot:
Cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow, for babies grow up, we’ve learned to our sorrow.
So settle down, cobwebs and dust, go to sleep. I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.
Being a stay-at-home mum is a sacrifice, to be sure.
But what are you sacrificing?
Fancy vacations that end up harried and hassled because you’re all exhausted?
Expensive clothes that will just end up with grape jelly on them, anyway?
A nicer car that you’ll be digging fries and kid meal toys out of 3 years later?
If you were working in an office of people and were assigned a large project, would you want to put hours, days, weeks or even months into the project only to have someone else present it and take credit for it?
FYI: Your children are the biggest ‘project’ you’re ever going to be assigned!
So make the most of these days, dear stay-at-home mum! They could be the best days of your life yet!
For more related articles on working mums and stay-at-home mums, see: