Being a Stay-at-Home Mom is NOT easy!
If i put this straight, being a SAHM has been the toughest, most tedious and nerve wracking role ever. I actually feel bagging those multiple jobs and showing up at work at dot 9 was rather a piece of cake compared to these round-the-clock roller coaster hours. No promotions, no tea time chitter-chatter with girlfriends at the kitchenette, no conference room intellectual talks, no ‘good-jobs’ or pats on the shoulders. And did i mention there are no annual leaves or sick leaves either? Before you even know it,your life seems banal, monotonous and SO OVER!
The brighter part is that despite all the serious life hazards linked to being a SAHM, the number of women choosing to stay back has been increasing in the past few years. For instance i was just reading a report endorsing the same. So whether you blended into the role naturally OR (like in my case) a certain set of circumstances at home led to your decision to stay at home, the great news is that the trends are going in your favor ha-ha. (dil kay behlaney ko Ghalib yeh khayal acha hai? :p)[Btw,i don’t count myself as a SAHM. Why? Because i WORK full time too duhh…. doing grocery, picking laundry, taking lil one to park and every outdoor fun place and driving all over the town to get the chores done do not qualify you for a ‘stay-at-home’ title, right? :p]
Ok, so getting back to the topic, Welcome to the world of chaos! Amidst the daily grind and chaos, never a day off and those frequent sleepless nights, it is very easy to lose traction. Before you know it, your mental, emotional AND physical self is ALL over (and outside) the place. PJs, dark circles and high buns are your new BFF.
Thank God for the ever faithful TEA though! (even if cold right?). Apart from the short term caffeinated solutions, i figured a couple of things GENUINELY made an impact in my well-being and i decided to share those with you. So grab that cold yet dependable cuppa ‘chaye’ and lets begin shall we? 😉
1. DO SOMETHING
While you are no more a corporate slave, understand your ‘true calling’. Stuff you always dreamed of doing but never had enough time for. This little brilliant piece of advice came from the Head of HR department the day i resigned from my last job and is engraved on my mind. ‘Do something, don’t sit back and let yourself rot and rust’. While i am not negating the great purpose we take upon ourselves as we wear our SAHM robe, it is true that we, the desi moms, have a significant tendency of losing ourselves in the mothering process. Let there be a purpose and inspiration for your own self too, something that lights YOUR fire. Find what you love and let it kill you 🙂
2. YOU CAN “NOT” DO IT ALL
Totally opposite to the previous one, but hey who means the inspiring sort of stuff here? I am referring to the sad assumption that staying back at home means only YOU are responsible for everything. I feel particularly disgusted towards those negative women always displaying billboards of how they took care of their team of kids alone and making you feel like a loser to feel tired with a single one only. I say WHY? Parenting and upbringing is a responsibility of both the parents and just because one is working outdoors does not imply that other is NOT working. Don’t be a SAHM who would fall prey to such assumptions. Give yourself a breather, seek help, delegate/ divide tasks. If you have husband or in-laws who are too arrogant about it, i personally feel you should still fight for it. You see, your sanity is actually worth fighting for!
3. WAKE UP EARLIER
Day is short, snap a finger and it’s gone! But you really want some time for yourself right? Create a morning routine. Wake up at least 2-3 hours before everyone, not out of majboori but out of passion and self-love. Staying up late will only tire you more. Out of personal experience i have never been able to do anything productive late at night when i am sleepy and tired (except for truck loads of binge eating). I recently adopted this change in routine and don’t have words to explain the peace i feel inside by having ample ME time. You can pray, meditate, exercise, write, read, take a bath or sit back with an empty mind and finally enjoy that steaming hot mug of tea 😉
4. READ, READ, READ
I mean do i even need to say that? But kids want you around 24/7, so what do you do? Making use of points 2 & 3 can actually help you take out time for reading. Read early morning or create a bed-time reading regime, whatever works best. For 1.5 years i was struggling to put a breastfed baby to sleep and then one crazy night i realized how stupid had i been. How come i never thought of delegating ‘putting her to sleep’ to her baba? After all, kids who are read bed time stories by their dads are smarter and what better way to support your argument than a Harvard University research?? 😉 and BINGO, mom gets a good half an hour of reading now! 😀
Alternatively, think of joining a Book club that can give you a direction and inspire you to take out time to read. For twin cities, you can check Desi Writer’s Lounge Readers club.
5. EXERCISE, STRETCH, YOGA – ANYTHING!
Works like a charm!! TRIED & TESTED! It can get hard to drag your lethargic self out of your tough schedule, but once you do, i assure you there will be no looking back. Exercising our body releases feel-good chemicals from brain like neurotransmitters, endorphins etc, that only help you feel happy, positive and energetic. Join a gym or some class if you can, they also help you connect with some wonderful like-minded people.
6. LEARN SOMETHING “NEW”
An extension of ‘do something’ is learning something new….. something we always desired to learn but could not. It can be knitting, yoga, a certain game/ sport, swimming, graphic designing or whatever works for you. Photography or make-up, maybe? I have seen real life examples of SAHMs learning photography or make-up and once they got pro, they ended up switching their career paths for good, How cool is that?
Sign up for a workshop or class taking place around you. Many famous photographers and make-up artists give their classes frequently. Do keep looking at the platforms like Kuch Khaas, Minerva, Wecreate center (for Women). For digital skills, School of Skills kicked off a brilliant ‘digital bootcamp’ for women that i have recently participated in too and HIGHLY recommend to all women.
7. FIND YOUR ‘TRIBE’
SAHMs, please don’t cut all your ties. Its sad to see many desi moms succumb to isolation. Make deliberate efforts to connect with like-minded people who are a part of your tribe. Schedule meet-ups at least once a week where you can talk your heart out. WITHOUT KIDS is OK, please bury the guilt now. Adults need to communicate with adults, that’s a normal need. Or else be friends with moms of kids same age so you can chit chat while kids play together. And while you are trying your feat at being social, please AVOID COMPARISONS. Everybody has their battle to fight and you are in it for a reason too. Just hang on, enjoy the ride and turn your typsy-turvy story into a memorable one.
This is it & i hope you took something from the list. These are the things that helped me from being a sinking boat last two years. Throw a hi-five my way if something clicked to you and resonated a new idea within you! 🙂
See ya and Happy sailing SAHMs! xx