Motherhood. What does it equate to for you? When asked this question I remanence on my little people, who give the best hugs, yet also provide me with a fair share of messes. Motherhood leaves me trying to balance my freelancing, housework, education, all while remaining patient enough to make it to bedtime. Sometimes, it can be a bit much. Sometimes, it is draining, especially when my husband works all day.
I’ve cycled through emergency room visits, nighttime bed shuffling, and multiple failures.
Motherhood is definitely the rollercoaster ride I never signed up for. Awestricken and full of thoughts, it can be hard to see the blessings.
My husband works 12 hours shifts
He does his job with diligence and he sincerely tries when he IS home. He makes the kids laugh more than I ever could, and he comforts me after they go to sleep.
With all that being said, my husband works all day and I still need to survive.
Since every household has a unique approach to creating stronger family bonds, there is no specific formula. Nevertheless, I’ve learned a thing or two over the years. Continue reading as I share my biggest tips for staying at home with the kids.
Accept that this is the reality
This is the reality. In a previous post about finding SAHM happiness, I explained that you are going to have to deal with this head-on. And, just because this IS reality, it doesn’t mean it’s bad.
Is it overwhelming at times? Yes.
Is it not so fun or redundant? Yes, too.
However, once you come to the realization that motherhood in the raw is a byproduct of great potential, you will learn to make peace with the circumstances.
There are some really joyful moments within motherhood. The trick to surviving when your husband works all day is to keep your eyes open for them.
Staying home with the kids
I know a lot of places preach routine. It makes me cringe. Don’t get me wrong, routines are helpful.
However, if you’re in a rut, the last thing you need is repetition.
Sometimes you hear so much rhetoric about staying on a schedule that it will truly drive you insane.
Make your time alone with your children less hectic by learning to enjoy the days naturally.
How being flexible worked for me
One day, my husband called me at lunch. He said he had to work late. I was so wrapped up in how alone I would be that I cried as soon as I hung up the phone.
A few hours later, it was time to pick up the older kids from school. Here we go I thought.
On the course of outnumbered and overworked.
I was like a union worker ready to go on strike.
Then, like a divine blessing, one of the kids said, “Mom, can we have pancakes for dinner?”
Let someone else cook?
Allow the kids to stuff their faces with chocolate chip waffles and the best banana nut pancakes known to man?
Plus, I don’t have to clean up!?!?!
It seemed so ingenious.
I said, “Yes,” and it turned out to be a wonderful experience.
Ideas to add flexibility to your day
Thinking outside the box when your husband works all day can be a sanity saver.
Here are some other things you can try:
- Put up a tent in the living room and have movie time
- Have the kids make a car out of a cardboard box
- Pull out the camera and encourage everyone to make funny faces
- Put on your best musical tunes and sing a little karaoke
- Let them wear their costumes even if it’s not Halloween
- Have a treasure hunt using pretend jewels
- Bake something sweet
- Pull out the crayons
Just add water
If it’s sunny, and not too cold, head outside with the water hose. Have the kids tend to your garden and play with the water.
Inevitably, they are going to get wet. At the same time, they are going to have fun.
There’s something about the sunshine and the feeling of the water that creates laughter. That’s what surviving motherhood is all about. Change the repetitious feelings and trade them for happy ones.
Order pizza, pancakes, Chipotle, or whatever
Take the stress off of cooking and order out. Let a service like Uber Eats deliver your food. There are several places to chose from. I’ll even give you a referral code for $5 off your first two orders. Type eats-fullestmui as an UberEats promo code to redeem.
Get together with friends or family
There’s strength in numbers. Meeting with a friend (or family member) that also has a young one can make a huge difference in your social receptors.
In fact, those that meet with friends at least once a week report that they feel less isolated.
Now, I get it. For those that are introverted, or just like to do things on their own, this can seem like a hassle.
Trying to coordinate two adults to dress presentable and carry their kids with them is a big task. However, trust me when I say, going out of the house at least once a week will completely brighten your mood. Once you make it a habit to be social, it will shortly take effect.
Set clear expectations
This one will take all of your strength to muster; but with consistency, will lead to thriving results.
You need boundaries. The children need boundaries.
No hovering in, or around, the bathroom when you clearly need privacy.
If your child is under three, then set up a safe location (ideally their room), and introduce something to occupy them for 15 minutes. Use the bathroom, take a shower, anything you need to do in that burst of time.
By explaining that you are going to take a short break, your older children should respect that and make due.
Your husband works all day but you still should, at a minimum, attend to hygiene matters without interruption.
Don’t forget about your hubby
Sure, you’re trying to do your best and make it through motherhood. We can get so wrapped up in doing it on our own, that we completely disregard our husbands.
Take time to honor your spouse, and don’t forget to talk as often as possible.
Tell him your feelings and come up with solutions together.
It’s not a time to complain, it’s a time to communicate with candor, as well as honesty. As much as you feel left alone, he simultaneously feels like missing he’s out. It’s a two-fold problem that can be solved with understanding.
Rock motherhood hard
The saying is true. The days are long but the years are short. Using the above tips, I want you to rock this motherhood thing HARD. Know you are doing all you can and you were chosen for a reason.
Love your life as you love your children. And, when your hands are full, know it’s the best time to live your life to the fullest.