Because My Husband Works All Day and I Need to Survive
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, failures, as well as victories. Motherhood is definitely the rollercoaster ride I never signed up for. Awestricken and full of thoughts, it’s the admittance that I am purely blessed; regardless of my flesh filled tiredness.
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 to find out more.
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Accept that this is reality
This is the reality. I’ve said it before in a previous post about finding SAHM happiness… And, just because this IS reality, it doesn’t mean it’s all that bad. Furthermore, once you come the realization that motherhood in the raw is a byproduct of great potential, you will learn to make peace with the overwhelm. There are some really joyful moments and the trick to surviving when your husband works all day is to keep your eyes open for them.
Think outside the box
I know a lot of places preach routine. Don’t get me wrong routines are helpful. However, if you are in a rut, it’s time to think outside the box. 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, I drove routinely by our neighborhood diner. Then, like a divine blessing, one of the kids said, “Mom, can we have pancakes for dinner?”
Shoot, let someone else cook. Let the kids have fun stuffing their face with chocolate chip waffles and the best banana nut pancakes known to man… Why not?
I said, “Yes,” and it turned out to be a wonderful experience.
Thinking outside the box when your husband works all day can be a sanity saver. Other things you can try include:
- 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 have control of the hose. 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. Changing the repetitious feelings and trading them for happy ones.
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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 at least once a week report that they feel less isolated than if they did not meet for social correspondence. Now, I get it. For those that are more 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.
Set clear expectations
This one will take all of your strength to muster; but with consistency, will lead to thriving results. Set clear expectations of the household rules. 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.
Another portion of setting clear expectations is bedtime. At 8:15 pm, my children are in bed. I need the nightly downtime. Sure, at 9:00 pm I’m ready to hit the hay myself, but that short increment of nighttime peace and sitting still are my unbreakable expectation.
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.