I'm not gonna lie. My morale has been down these past couple of weeks.
I'm two years in and, without a doubt, this 'Stay at Home Mommy' gig is the hardest job I've ever known. The most rewarding, by far. But the hardest.
I didn't fully understand that when I took the promotion. Six months in, I started to figure it out. But now? There's a whole new level of realization.
And it sneaks up on you.
Don't get me wrong. Staying home is still the best decision I ever made.
But that doesn't change the fact that, somewhere along the way, the SAHM life begins to consume you. It suddenly becomes hard to distinguish the line between caring for your family, and taking care of yourself. And if you are not careful, it threatens to take you down (mentally).
These last few months have been hard on me. No. Impossible. Illnesses around every corner (we're STILL sick), a never-ending Winter and because of both...little to no human interaction outside the house. It's enough to drive anyone insane.
We've all been there at some point or another.
So here's the million dollar question: What can you do about it?
My answer? Create a STRATEGY.
Like I've said before, I look at 'Stay at Home Mommy-hood' as my job. And when your job gets off track, you create a strategy to realign goals and expectations. So why wouldn't we do the same thing as parents?
And let's be honest. This existence is crazy. Sometimes I feel like I need full body armor to even leave my bedroom in the morning.
Hence, my "battle plan" was born. And hear me out, these aren't things that I have already mastered. They are goals. It's my strategy for a less-crazy, healthier, and happier Stay at Home life. And I'm starting today.
1. Have an Oulet. Do something for yourself. Me? This is it. I'm always hearing..."why do you continue to blog?" I'll tell you why. Because it's one of the only things I have. It's MINE. And no one else's. It's my outlet. And I need it, for ME. Find something just for you, and do it.
2. Unplug. The average person checks their cell phone 150 times a day. I can't help but wonder what our lives would be like if we would put the phones down. What if we had a limit on phone time, or better yet, scheduled phone time in the mornings and evenings? I have a sneaking suspicion we'd connect with our kids more. And all that phone time? It wouldn't even be missed. (This one is SO hard for me. In fact, I've never been successful at it. Not once. But all the more reason for me to try.)
3. Prioritize. I once read that to be truly effective in your daily life, you have to evaluate your priorities. This one is so easy, I'm not sure why I haven't done it before. Sit down with a pen and paper, and list the things you give the most time to every day. Then make a list of all the things you SHOULD be giving time to (spoiler alert: make sure your marriage is on this list). Then alter your days accordingly. Total. Game. Changer.
4. Be an Earlybird. Hahahaaa haha haaa haaa hahaha ha. If you know me at all, you know why that's funny. But here's what I've figured out these last few weeks. You don't have to get up at 5am. If you can? I tip my hat to you. But take the pressure off. If you have early risers, waking up just fifteen minutes ahead of your family can do wonders. Have a deep breathing routine. Make a cup of tea in silence. Get ready for the day. You'll be glad you did. (Now, who's going to hold my feet to the fire on this one?)
5. Be Social. Talk to someone. Anyone. And not just on social media. This one can be hard for those that tend to me more introverted. Even when you don't feel like it, make an effort to make that play date. Go out of your way to call a friend. Better yet, schedule a happy hour. Remind yourself that you have a life outside of your children.
6. Take a breather. Y'all. You have to get away. It doesn't matter if it's 30 minutes, or a weekend. You'll be AMAZED at how super-charged you are. Absence really does make the heart grow fonder (even of the terrible twos). When you start to feel like you're going to boil over (and you will), it's time to take a breather. Trust me. DO THIS. And often.
7. Re-evaluate. Life is constantly moving. Constantly changing. And so are we. So guess what? This battle plan wont always be affective. And I know that. Once a little time has passed, I'll have to re-evaluate. What's working? What's not? How can I adjust a little to keep my sanity? And I'll do just that. Who's with me?
Most importantly, remember that you are not alone. There are so many of us out there, struggling with the very same things. Rest in that.
It's true, we are blessed to do what we do. But everyone needs a battle plan...
Onward ho, soldiers. Onward ho.
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