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Question: Do you like being a stay at home mom?

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Hi,

I'm a married mom with one child. I've been writing and talking about motherood (the real, the raw) for nearly two decades. My daughter is almost 17. I co-founded the Orlando Mothers & More chapter in 1999 and during our monthly meetings we talked about everything we loved, hated, survived.  

This is a topic I wrote about years ago and I just revised to share.  Hope it helps. Been there :)  

Laura

You’ve heard it all before, how to make the transition to a stay-at-home mom easier:

  • Give it a year (or so)
  • Make a point to meet other mothers
  • Join Mommy and Me classes
  • Commit to date nights and girls' night out
  • Ask your spouse for more help at home

And yes, these are stellar suggestions. When you get out and about you avoid feeling isolated, the numero uno challenge for at-home parents.

But if you’re like me nothing on the stay-at-home-mom (SAHM) checklist was ever enough to make me feel entirely at home -- at home. Maybe you think you're the only SAHM not settled into her new life of domesticity despite your best efforts and feeling ever so grateful.

You're not alone. There's a lot of us out there.

My daughter’s nearly seventeen now so I’m long past the days when I chronically compared myself to other mothers, silently obsessing that something must be broken with my parenting gene. The fact is we humans are intensely social creatures. We compare and contrast everything in our line of vision, especially our kids, those precious extensions of ourselves.

After nearly two decades of living inside the stay at home parentsphere I've learned that to make the transition from career to crib feel okay it's not so much about what you do, as it about accepting who you are (and then making practical changes).

To some degree you have to bulletproof yourself against people’s opinions (Fat chance you say?). You can do it; it's just harder when you’re brand new to parenting and so supremely afraid of all the ways you might forever ruin your child.

But kids are thankfully quite forgetful and intensely resilient. If they weren't my daughter would have flashbacks from nights I screamed PMS bloody hell at her or accidently bumped her baby head into the nursery door frame. And yet despite all my failures so far she's turned out okay.

If you’ve been at stay-at-home parent for a while and you still feel like a stranger in a strange land let me make it easier for you.

It's like you want to love your new life but you can't; you just love your child.This is a simple fact, not a judgment.

Does this mean the happy-at-homes are superior parenting material? Nah.

If you have mixed emotions, congratulations, it means you're paying attention to yourself and to your child. You're not numb; you're alive and kicking and wonderfully human.

Read on for how I saved my sanity at home....

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Comments:

mommi...
Nov. 18, 2014 at 2:25 PM

Well that maybe for some, but not for me. I was a working mother, but when my bf asked me if I wanted to stay home with the girls instead of work, I jumped right on it without hesitation. I love being at home with my babies and I love spending time with them. I hated working and being away from them every second that I was gone. I am so very happy to be home with my kids and to tend to their every need. Then again they are my blessing because from the numerous doctor visits when I was younger, I was told by all of them that I would never be able to have kids. I laugh in the faces of those doctors. I have two beautiful little girls who are as healthy as can be. I wouldn't change a thing because my life is perfect as I could have ever planned and I owe it all to the main man upstairs and to my wonderful loving bf who is a great father as well. He always makes sure we have everything that we need and sometimes want. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect life than I have been blessed with.

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Laao
Nov. 18, 2014 at 3:19 PM

That 's wonderful! Congratulations on your babies, and that the doctors were wrong!!

I think it's wonderful that you're so settled in at home. Despite having the most supportive husband/father, friends, the whole nine yards of what to do to transition, being at home early on was tough for me, later as my daughter was older and I had more time, a writing career and was physically/emotinoally healthy, I love(d) it. Now it's exactly where I want to be. 

In 1999 I wasn't happy at my job when I returned part-time after my daughter was born so I left to be at home. I would however be lying if I said I loved it. But I'm happy for the mothers who feel at home - at home.

My key point in my article is that a mother who doens't love being home of course loves her child as dearly as the mother who does love being at home. I emphasize taking the shame off who you ARE, and accepting it (and finding ways to adapt to being at home if that's what you decide..then I give tips). 

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