I won’t get into the various attitudes towards stay at home mums (that's a whole other post). Some think it’s a luxury, but for some it’s a necessity.
Regardless of whether you chose the stay at home mum life or not, it has it’s fair share of difficulties. It can be lonely and isolating, but also rewarding.
Personally, I’ve found it a difficult adjustment. Being an expat in Calgary, I don’t have all of my family here with me. There have been so many times I have wanted to cuddle my Mum and ask how the hell she did this. Or pass over Willow while I go for a walk in search of my sanity.
It’s been hard to cope without the support of my family, and as wonderful as Ben is, he has to leave for work everyday and can’t hold my hand all the time.
Every day is different, sometimes I feel like Super Mum, and others like child services are going to find out how often I use the baby swing and remove her from my care.
It’s not always easy to pull yourself out of slump, but here are three ways I’m trying to make my days easier:
There have been too many days I sat on the sofa, binge watched Netflix, felt lethargic and sad, and only got up when baby care was necessary. When I force myself to do some exercise at home, my mood drastically improves.
It isn’t always easy to motivate yourself when you’re exhausted or stressed out, but a ten minute stretch on your yoga mat can seriously help when you’re feeling low (even if it’s just to cry in child’s pose, which I have done more than once).
Make some friends
This is not always easy when you’re feeling isolated, lonely and sleep deprived. Throw in feeling frumpy and no where near fitting into your pre-pregnancy clothes, and it can be really daunting.
I was lucky enough to have group pre-natal visits with my midwife, so I was meeting other preggos every couple of weeks to chat about on how insane pregnancy was.
If you didn’t meet anyone while you were pregnant, try joining a mothers and babies group. I could never have guessed how reassuring, relaxing, and empowered I’d feel after talking baby highs and lows with fellow mums.
This may seem pretty obvious, or perhaps not even particularly useful to hear. But trust me, if you’re sitting indoors, tired, covered in baby puke and feeling totally alone; GO OUTSIDE. I always underestimate the effect it’ll have on my mood. A brisk walk with the pram, or baby carrier, and you’ll feel so much more relaxed. It’s a good way to remember there is a world outside your baby (and your couch). Listen to some music, or an uplifting TEDTalk, while you walk and you’ll return home feeling chill and like you’ve accomplished something.
Looking after a baby full-time is exhausting. I find it hard to make time for anything else in my life, so sometimes if all I manage to do for myself is go for a walk, or a short youtube yoga session; that’s ok.
Sometimes getting showered and dressed is a struggle; so be kind to yourself and accept the bad days with the good. Remember this whole motherhood thing is a marathon not a sprint, and with no finish line to cross (like ever) it’s ok to take it slowly.
Have you struggled with isolation and loneliness as a stay-at-home mum? How do you get through it? Let me know! Comment below or shoot me an email.