Thursday, January 19, 2012

How Do You Do It? Being a SAHM

I'm beginning a series about a question I hear a lot. "How do you do it?

This post tackles the stay-at-home-mom part.

I don't know any stay-at-home-mom that eats bon-bons and watch soap operas all day. It seems that there are still people who think being a SAHM is the easiest job in the world.

They are so wrong!

I'm not here to tell you that a SAHM is better than a working (at home/outside the home) mom. Not saying that at all. I firmly believe that you have to make the choice that works best for your family- the choice your spouse, God, and you are happy with.

I am going to tell you that there's nothing easy about being a SAHM, though.

I've been a proud SAHM for almost 9 years and I have learned a lot! Here are just a few things...

1. If potty-training you should move a couch into the bathroom. That's where you'll spend most of your time. My oldest practically potty-trained herself- by 20 months she was day/night trained. But between 16-20 months when she started, I also had a 4-8 month old. When daughter #2 was potty-training (around 18 months), I had a 2 1/2 year old and a newborn! It was definitely much easier when training my son, the girls were all older. But you do spend a lot of time in the bathroom. And a lot of time cleaning up messes. And a lot of time asking "do you need to go potty?" I can say though, my success rate is high. All 4 kids were trained by or around the age of two years old (my son was two years, two weeks).

Let's face it, if you aren't home all the time, you don't get the full potty-training effect!

2. Hugs and Kisses Really Do Make It Better. Mommy's hugs and kisses are like magic. All the boo-boo's go away instantly, but your child's hugs and kisses also make things better. Tough day? Instant relief!

3. You can't do it alone! I know that I can't be mommy 24/7 without at least a little down time. I need time with my God. I need time with my husband. I need alone time. But what do you do? When you stay home all the time you can start running low on fumes. If momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. I haven't always been around friends and family who I could drop the kids off with while I ran to the store or out with my hot husband for a date.

Here are a few tips.

Start and end your day off with God. Pray, read the Bible. Even if it isn't a full chapter or a lengthy, in depth prayer- do SOMETHING that puts your mind on God. The greatest gift you can ever have is the gift of motherhood. It's a God gift. He understands that your nights are sleepless because of the newborn, your days are challenging because of your preschooler, and HE knows better than anyone that there are days were you don't even get a chance to sit down to eat a bite of food! It use to bother me that my alone time with God was so sparse and when I did get some it seemed to always be interrupted. Instead of always meeting God somewhere, take Him with you. When you're sitting there feeding the baby, pray. When you are rubbing your child's back to help them sleep, pray. When you are cutting the crusts off the sandwiches, pray. When you are loading the dishwasher, putting on a load of laundry, changing a diaper, or sitting watching Backyardigans, pray.

Schedule some mommy time. Every day my children have two hours of quiet time. It use to be nap time, but they've all gotten older than that. Sometimes they watch a movie, sometimes they read in their room, sometimes they play quietly. I need that down time. It was something I had to train my children to do, to stay in their beds or rooms, but it has paid off. Even my youngest understands not to get up until I tell him to. It's amazing how having just a couple hours to do what mommy wants makes the rest of the day so much better. My kids are early risers, 7am- 7 days a week. No matter what time they go to bed. Quiet time starts at 1pm. That's 6 hours of hands on mommyness! We all need a break by that point. I also send my kids to bed earlier than most. It doesn't interfere with life, but if we're just home doing nothing, between 7:30-8pm they head to bed. If they are allowed a movie, it might be a little earlier. And my oldest stays up until 9pm, but she has to go to her room at the time the younger ones go to bed. This allows me valuable time with my spouse. Again, I don't get to go out on dates with my husband unless family is here or we've went back to visit- so maybe 2-3 times a YEAR.

Speaking of schedules, make one! Just because you are a SAHM doesn't mean you can just wander aimlessly throughout the day. At least have some sort of direction!!! I have my laundry set up on a schedule and a general idea of what the day looks like (such as quiet time- that never changes!). Sure, go with the flow- life happens- but at least wake up each morning with a direction!

4. One last thing that I've learned... You Grow With Your Child. As my oldest has grown, so have I! I can't even imagine how challenging it is if you are thrown into parenting an almost 9 year old- it's hard enough parenting one when you've spent the last almost 9 years laying ground rules, molding, teaching, directing! By being a stay-at-home-mom you are able to really know your child and chances are, you've grown with them. If you have younger children, don't panic about parenting a teenager! Trust me, by the time you get there, you'll be far more equipped than you've ever dreamed!

I'm a stay at home mom and I wear many hats.

Nurse, Chef, Fashion director, Dentist, Dietician, Janitor, Launderer, Party planner, Referee, Teacher, Counselor, and that's just to name a few.

It's not always easy, but it's very rewarding! And remember....

I've linked up with:
Growing Home


Tina Hollenbeck said...

Amen on all counts! :^)

Theresa said...

Thank you for linking up!

I loved your post! So true...I read the part about moving a couch into the bathroom to my husband and we both cracked up and then had to explain it to the kids. But, oh so true!!

You are absolutely right, it's a tough job...but so worth it!!!

Lisa said...

Amen! What an awesome post! It made me smile! :-) I'm coming over to visit from "Thankful Thursday." Nice to "meet" you.

Staying home and now homeschooling my children has been the most difficult, yet the most rewarding job I have ever had in my life. I wouldn't trade it for anything!

Many blessings,

Rebecca said...

A Couch in the, why didn't I think of that?

MomLaur said...

LOL a stool isn't cutting it in the bathroom anymore...definitely the couch is a great idea! haha These are great, thanks for sharing them and for reminding me of the importance of God first!


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