The other day, someone asked how, as a SAHM, I keep sane. Although I know many women say they’ll go mad staying at home, I know that no matter how trying it can be at times, that this is really the best option for the boys, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What do I do to keep sane? Well for sure, it isn’t indulging in me time. Mittens is extremely sticky to me, so usually I find that I have to bring him everywhere while someone else watches Abacus (who’s too young to know any better). A few weeks ago, I left both (plus my helper) at my mum’s place so that I could go for my first facial in six months and had to leave Mittens crying. Thankfully they managed to distract him after a while. So my last mani/pedi was probably last December, I badly need a massage but haven’t had one since our holiday in the Maldives (when I purposely scheduled it when I knew Mittens would be napping and the hubby could look after him), and I’m so glad I found a great hairdresser a block away from the ILs place (where we used to stay).
I am, however, very grateful that we have a pretty capable helper who is getting better by the day (although I hope she stays “good” and no bad habits or attitude start to surface!). She’s been pretty good with both boys although understandably it took her some time to get through to Mittens. I’m also so grateful that the home is relatively clean and that I don’t have to get stressed out over all the housework. Also since I have her, I can sometimes leave her to jagar Abacus during his nap time if I bring Mittens for one of the classes at Gymboree, or to run an errand.
I’m also able to find pockets of time to check my emails, do a spot of work if I need to, catch up with everyone and everything and some of my interests on Twitter, see what’s going on in everyone’s lives on Facebook, or share thoughts with other mummies online. Social media is really a fantastic way to keep “connected” to the “outside” world, although sometimes I think I might be a little bit *too* distracted, and I have to remind myself to stay present for the boys.
But more importantly, it’s knowing that other mummies face the exact same struggles as I do. By struggles, I don’t mean trying to get your tot to get dressed and out the door in good time, or to eat his veggies, I mean things like, occasionally feeling doubts about whether you are actually any good for your children; wondering where your patience ran off to, never to be seen again; counting your blessings for a husband who now lives with the Empress Dowager (that’s you) who rules the household with an iron fist (lest the children run amock, which they do anyway); promising yourself the night before that you will keep it cool the next day only to fail by 10am the next day, etc.
Nothing beats having some assurance that you’re not (suffering) alone, or just a few words of encouragement or gratefulness, or an insight to put everything into perspective. That, or the smiles on those little faces never fails to hit the spot.