how to stay at home (part 2)

by humanmama on December 5, 2012

Okay, so yesterday I promised you I’d tell you how to stay at home. It’s not easy, and it’s not always fun. But it does have its perks. I want you to know that there are definitely the times I sit back, happy and relaxed, and just totally drink in the goodness of my children. It’s wonderful.

But there are a lot of times, too, that I look at the clock, and it’s 11pm, and I’ve literally been cleaning, nursing, making lunches, cleaning, chauffeuring, cleaning, nursing, and cleaning. All day. And there are days I realize that I have never left the house. All day long. And what’s worse? What truly makes parents nuts, like, hugging-their-knees-and-rocking-crazy? The fact that it all has to be done all over again tomorrow. I hope this trend ends as the kids get a little older, but often I literally clean for hours upon HOURS all day and when I come down from getting the last kid into bed I look around at the living room and think, what the hell happened down here?

Bedtime is the worst. I look at the clock at 6:15pm and think goodbye, old friend. I’ll see you again at 8:30. Sigh.

Like I said, there are glorious times. I think it’s made my marriage stronger, staying at home. But I also believe it could have ended us a few times, it was that hard being at home and even harder not having a partner who understood what I go through all day and how just the tiniest thing from him can set me off after a day of madness. (And poor Carpenter! Um, yikes, living with a person who has no one all day to take out her stress on except for…you…when you walk in the door from work…!) It definitely helps to get things off my chest through therapy (yay!), going out with friends, having a PART TIME JOB, and just getting away by myself, even to go grocery shopping alone with no one begging for a free slice of cheese.

Here are some helpful tips for Staying at Home, which, if you’re contemplating it, can make the transition easier from working out to working IN.

1. ) Get a part-time job, a hobby, some friends or neighbors you love and hang out with, or a doctor’s appointment. At least one time a week get OUT OF THE DAMN HOUSE BY YOURSELF. It will help you to be more sane, and ergo, more bearable. (*I, myself, do not always follow this advice. And it constantly bites me in the butt when I feel totally nuts.)

2. ) Get a babysitter. Anyone who will watch your kids who is safe will do. In-laws, parents, neighborhood kids… You need someone to go to when it gets bad. Or before that, perferrably.

3. ) Get out with the Partner sometimes. Having kids is tough, but never getting out together to rediscover who you love will make you forget you love them. And we all know where that leads.

4. ) Eat as healthfully as you can. Sleep as regularly as you can. If you know you’re getting up at 5am with the kids, go to BED at 10pm every night. When I was working (for my career) in depression research, I worked closely with a Doctor who adamantly believed that the very best way to avoid insomnia was to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even on weekends. It’s hard with a baby, but please try. The more healthy your body is, the better you’ll feel, and the less likely it is that you’ll hate being at home. And, work out. Even if it’s only a walk around the block most days. Just getting out and moving is so healthy. And physical health is definitely one way to take care of your mental health.

5. ) Last but not least, please, give yourself a freaking break. It’s so challenging to work knowing your kids are missing you or are away from you. It’s so tough to be home all the time not having anyone listen at all to what you say. It’s hard, too, to balance work AND home no matter what. But remember things you’d tell your friends, or siblings, or better yet, when you’re feeling really horrible and judg-y of yourself, imagine what you’d say to your own daughter or son, if s/he was grown and having the same issues. You’d say, of course, “Give yourself a break, honey. You are doing the best you can.” And you ARE!! So do, please, no matter what is happening in your house, please do your best to make it work and be happy, and then give yourself a break. You are doing just fine. And even better, your kids won’t really remember this time anyway. What they will remember is if you scream at them, or fight with their other parent, or have road rage all the time. So let the peace of the universe flow through you, and give yourself a break for heaven’s sake.

Well, for your sake. And for mine. Remember, it takes a village to raise a child, and so we’re in this together. No matter what.

‘Mom, would you really want to leave me?” Well, baby, maybe sometimes. Maybe sometimes.


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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Holly December 6, 2012 at 6:53 am

A. I love that you call your hubs your “partner” – for us on this side of the fence its common language :)

B. I think any mom who stays at home with any amount of kids should be reviewed for sainthood. I often think of it and realize it must be daunting at times… clearly it is.


aj December 8, 2012 at 8:24 pm

Hol, I call the hubs my partner because then we are all equal. And besides, that’s what he is. ;)


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