Friday, July 15, 2016

The Dangers of Being a Stay At Home Mom

By: Jenifer Metzger

I've been a stay at home mom for 18 years now. It has been the biggest blessing in my life. I love being home and caring for my people. But, let's be honest, it's not easy.

After awhile, it feels like you are on auto-pilot. Everything is the same. Wake up, change kids, feed kids, change kids, clean house, change kids, do laundry, change kids, wipe noses, change kids, put kids to bed, start all over again the next day. It's all so mundane. Then we begin to see no reason to get dressed and ready to go. Because, really, who are we going to see anyway? A toddler doesn't care if your make-up is model status. The baby doesn't mind the spit-up stained shirt, after all, she created that art work. Sometimes, we even feel jealous. Maybe jealous of other women out in the work field. Or maybe jealous because our husband gets to talk with people who can actually drive a car or vote.

The Danger of Being a Stay at Home Mom. #parenting #sahm #stayathomemom #motherhood #family #children

Yes, we love the blessing of being a stay at home mom. Yes, we are ever grateful for the opportunity to stay with our kids and raise them without the help of childcare. Yet, those dangers are always lurking if we don't do something about it.

Here are 5 ways to help avoid the dangers of being a stay at home mom:

  1. First and foremost, have time with God. As a mom, whether stay at home or working, you are a missionary to your children. In order to pour into their lives and train them up in the way they should go, you must be fed. So get in the Word and pray. Have a regular time with God. Your soul needs it more than you realize and your children need it too.
  2. Get ready. Oh it is so tempting to roll from your bed, brush your teeth and move on about your day. Why shower? Why get out of your jammies? Why bother? Why? Because you will feel better. It is vital that we continue to take care of ourselves even as stay at home moms. Wake up half an hour before the kids and shower, wash your hair and shave your legs! If the baby wakes with you, feed and change her so she's content, then put her in the carseat and place the carseat in the bathroom doorway. This way, you can hear if she needs you immediately, she can hear you, she's safe and you get your shower in. After you shower, put on real clothes, not your jammies. They can be your comfy, at home clothes, but make sure they are clean and not something you are going to sleep in. Your husband will appreciate this too. Remember, you are a wife before you are a mommy.
  3. Clean the house. There's a saying that goes, "cleaning the house with kids is like brushing your teeth while eating Oreo's." A to the men! I mean really. The second you put something away, they pull it back out. The second you wipe something, they spill something. The second you scrub the toilet, a boy who hasn't yet achieved the 'aim' has to go. I am not saying you need to deep clean and scrub your house every single day. But do something. Get the kids involved if possible. Make a game out of it. Play their favorite music loudly and race to see who can clean the toys the fastest or fold the towels the prettiest or collect the trash cans the quickest. Another way to get something accomplished every day, set a timer for 20 minutes in the morning. Find something that needs cleaned and work until the timer goes off. Do this again after lunch and once more in the afternoon. That's a good hour of focusing on nothing but cleaning. Keep this up every day and your house will stay in some kind of order.
  4. Being a stay at home mom doesn't always mean you stay at home. I love being home. Any day that I don't have to leave the house is a good day for me. However, three of my four kids are the total opposite. Once a week, or more if you need to, do something outside of the house. Whether it's going to the park for a picnic and play, going to the pool, taking daddy lunch at work, visiting grandma, taking baked goods to the fire fighters, going to a free museum, or just walking around the block, do something. It really does break up the monotony of it all.
  5. Take a break when you need it. Many stay at home moms feel the need to practically toss the kids at daddy when he walks in the door. They've been with the kids all day and just need a time out. I get it. I really do. But for your husband, this is the last thing you need to do. Yes, you've been with the kids. But he's been at work and needs a moment to decompress too. Let your husband come in and relax for a bit. Maybe he needs a shower or just to sit and relax. Whatever it is, give him that time. Then, ask your husband if he would keep an eye on the kids so that you could cook dinner in the quiet. Or ask him to tuck the kids in bed while you take a bubble bath. Or after they are in bed, go for a walk. Maybe you don't need this daily, but you could use a time out each week. Leave the kids with daddy while you go to the library or coffee shop. Hire a babysitter or switch childcare with a mommy friend and go on a date with your husband. It's okay to need a little break from time to time.
Being a stay at home mom is a great blessing. One that not every family has. Thank God for the opportunity to stay home with your children and work hard to combat the dangers.

What are other ways you work to keep the monotony out of being stay at home mom? Share in the comments!

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