Challenge #1: Feeling Isolated
If you spend all day with little ones, you probably crave some adult interaction. Feeling isolated is one of the biggest challenges for all moms, and SAHMs in particular. As fun as it can be to play and talk with your kids, they may not provide the type of adult conversation you need, so try finding a like-minded support system. This could include other SAHMs, moms who work outside of the home, and even friends without children. What matters is that you have a community who will listen and help you feel connected to others. Try to organize a standing playdate with another mom friend so your kids can socialize and you can talk with another adult. If it’s difficult to leave the house or have a regular playdate, have a friend you can call or text who can provide a listening ear during those especially long days. Chances are, your other mom friends have experienced the same feelings, and you can provide support and encouragement for one another.
It can be difficult to make friends as a mom, but there are other moms out there looking for a community too. Try joining an online support group, like KindredMamas, a Facebook group of other moms like you, where you can ask questions, share struggles, and meet new friends. Or strike up a conversation with another mom at the park or library. You may find you have a lot in common and hit it off. As isolated as you might feel some days, you are not alone!
Challenge #2: Not Enough Hours in the Day
Perhaps it seems like your days are filled with a never-ending to-do list. Most moms, no matter their situation, feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish everything. When you start to feel overwhelmed, make a plan for how you can divvy up the tasks. If you have a partner, can you share some of the household chores? Are you in a position to hire some help a few hours each week, whether that be babysitting or housecleaning help? Not everyone can do so, but try to get creative in order to lighten your load. For instance, your kids can help clean up their toys or even earn a small allowance by completing some tasks around the house. Being a SAHM is a full-time job, so you shouldn’t have to shoulder all of the household responsibilities by yourself as well. Don’t feel guilty for asking for help, and remember that it’s okay if everything isn’t done at the end of the day. Being a mom means letting go of perfection. Your kids are the priority, and they don’t care if the house is perfectly clean or if dinner is a gourmet meal.
Challenge #3: Feeling Burned Out
When you’re a SAHM, you’re always on duty—no holidays, no sick days, no weekends. You’re bound to feel burnout here and there, and when you do, it’s critical that you recharge your batteries. If possible, try to prevent these times of burnout by setting aside time for yourself regularly. It’s important that you have an activity or two that are just for you. What hobbies do you have? Is there an art class or a gym you’ve been wanting to check out? Creating space for yourself is key to staying healthy and energized. Your kids will reap the benefits of a mom who has made self-care a priority, so as much as possible, don’t put aside your needs. If you’re already feeling burned out, take steps to get help so you can rest and recharge. If finding childcare is a challenge, try trading off with another mom friend so each of you can have some time to yourself.
You’re Doing an Amazing Job!
Know that your role as a SAHM is more influential than you’ll ever realize. Give yourself credit for all you do and celebrate how well you are doing this most important of jobs. Your kids don’t need perfection; they just need you, so even when you have rough days, know that you are providing what they need and giving them memories to cherish.
If you’re finding it particularly difficult to handle the challenges of being a stay-at-home mom or if your emotional health is suffering, make sure to talk to someone—a friend, your physician, or a mental health professional. It’s essential to take care of your health and wellbeing.