To the Mom who needs BALANCE, this is for YOU.
Hey working mama,
I see you. I know all about your struggle. You envy the stay-at-home-mom's for being home all day, everyday. You want so badly to be present and watch your kids grow up. You wish you could focus more attention on them after you come home from a long day or night at work. All you want is to snuggle them and love on them. If you do that, you lose out on the time you need for yourself to unwind and relax. Then, if you do THAT then you don't get any laundry or dishes done. You feel like you can't catch a break. You're constantly overwhelmed with so much to do. The truth is, YOU. ARE. A. SAINT. You make sacrifice after sacrifice for those you love. It doesn't go unnoticed. I SEE YOU.
Hey stay-at-home mama,
I know you. You feel so empty and alone. You want so badly to be out there, outside the walls you sit day in and day out. You're longing for adult conversation. You badly wish that you didn't have to trade your work attire for your new wardrobe. The wardrobe that now consists of spit up and mouth drool. You feel that you are losing yourself minute by minute. You feel like a failure at the end of each day. That is not real, what is real is you are so loved. Those tiny humans you are raising, you are their world. You are a hero. I KNOW YOU.
Hey stay-at-home and working mama,
HAHAHAHA, oh look it's me. I really know this role all too well. There is some sort of guilt you get around mid morning. It happens at the time when you see emails, messages, and orders roll in. Yet here you are, trying to give that baby a bottle before they start screaming so loud they wake everyone up from the morning nap. You feel like the work needs to get done RIGHT NOW. That isn't realistic. It can wait. You're doing the best you can, and THAT is enough.
There is something I want you ALL to know.
Unfortunately you cannot do everything, all at once. I get it, you have a lot on your plate. This is how I like to look at it. When you're at a buffet, family gathering, or any other place where there's a chance to pile food on your plate, do you fill it? Most of the time we do because we feel the need to. Sometimes our plate is too full and we can't even eat it all, right? When you don't finish every thing on your plate does anyone even care? Do they even know what was on your plate? Most cases, no. Nobody is even paying attention to what was even on your plate. ONLY YOU. Same goes with motherhood. You shouldn't try to put more on your plate than you can handle. Your kids will not remember all of the things you DIDN'T get to do. They will remember all of the things you DID get to do.
How do we find the balance for the working mom?
At the beginning of each month, make a list of some things that you would like to do for yourself. For example, maybe you are due for a new hair style. Book that appointment. You need "me" time.
Make yourself a list of things you would like to do with your kids that month. This can be as simple as a family game night, where you cook frozen pizzas and each pick one game to play.
Designate cleaning days. Maybe its every other Sunday you spend the day catching up on the monstrous tornado that appears to have swept up your house.
How do we find the balance for the stay-at-home mom?
Nap times are great. You might feel like you need to be productive around the house at this time. That is not always the case. I mean if you have the energy to clean, by all means, take advantage of that. Utilize this time for your "me" time. Take a nap yourself, get a workout in, run a bath, and if its nice out, go outside and sunbathe. You need this time, you beg for this time and you need to USE IT.
Feeling adventurous? Go out and do something for the day. Whether it's going on a walk, going to the Zoo, story time at your local library, walk around Target, or finding a place for lunch where kids eat free. There are so many activities out there that cost nothing but a little bit of gas money. I always look on my Events Tab on Facebook to look for "free" kid and family activities.
One thing to note for SAHM, don't you EVER be afraid to ask for a helping hand. Whether its a grandparent you call up to ask to watch the kids, or a friend you invite over just to get that adult interaction. Always ask.
How do we find balance for the stay-at-home and working mom?
Plan, plan, plan. You need to have a plan. Start by designating times where you can be the most productive. For me, nap-time is when I spend my time updating the website, editing my blog post, and responding to emails.
Give yourself days that you DON'T work. Working at home can be a challenge when it comes to stepping away. Learn to log off, and be present.
After you assign yourself work days, make a list of the things you need to get done on that day. Example, if your work day is a Monday then on Sunday night/Monday morning, make that list. Then throughout your work day you can stay on task if you catch a minute here or there to get some work accomplished. Typically, when I can't finish my list during nap time, I then know I need to have hours set in the evening. This is planned around my husbands availability, after dinner, and after bed time. What doesn't get done can be moved over to your next work day! Be careful not to get too far behind, yet give yourself some slack.
Plan your time for dating, marriage, or personal relationships.
Plan out your date nights. Whether it's marking down that after bedtime on a Friday evening, you two watch a movie and snuggle on the couch. Maybe you two want to get away for an afternoon on a Saturday, so you call a sitter. Again, find that time for you and your spouse. You can even find yourselves grabbing a drink and playing a card game. It doesn't mean you have to leave your house and spend loads of money on a dinner and sitter. You DO what works for YOU.
As we start our New Year, let us start by being nicer to ourselves as mothers. Don't sweat the small stuff. Focus on your priorities, your wants, and your needs. The rest will follow. We are all a hot mess and we all need to confide in each other and stop the comparison. So go ahead, take your shower, get your make up on, put on that new outfit you ordered online and have been dying to wear. Lord knows how confident a little mascara can make a woman feel. Go out and take on the day, or stay in and arrange a family game night. Whatever it may be, just know that being a mother doesn't take away from you being YOU.