This is a guest post by Michelle of My Mom-Friday.
I married in 2002, became a mom one year later, worked until 2005, and two years later out came baby number two. After nine years of marriage, would you believe I am still struggling to get my groove back? You see, when I was single and working full time, my friends and colleagues saw me as the organizer, the ‘cool, calm, and collected’ type of person, a borderline O.C., reliable, and efficient. Well, part of that went out the window ever since I became a stay-at-home-mom.
I’ve already written about my being a SAHM on my blog so I don’t wanna bore you with details of my day-to-day existence. If you’re a mom, working or not, I know you’d understand the dynamics and balancing act we do every single day. Still, I have friends who don’t get it, who think I just stay home and do nothing. Crazy right?
My time revolves around the schedule of my children and husband. Whatever I need to do, I do it around their time. Whatever is left, that’s my “me time”. I know being a SAHM, or a WAHM, can get overwhelming at times, we all learn how to deal in our own little way.
I am not the type who gives advice or dishes out how-to’s, hence, I came up with this random list of things I do AT HOME that help me keep things together without losing my mind:
1. Phone a friend.
As a SAHM, I crave for social connections. The old-fashioned telephone call is my occasional afternoon therapy. Talking with my girl friends even for just an hour, or less, stimulates enough brain activity to get me going the rest of the day. I also call my mother weekly. Live conversations are always better than online chats.
2. Assign chores and tasks for certain days of the week.
To at least have a semblance of structure and organization in my week, I assign a few hours of the day to certain chores and tasks (inspired by Desperate Housewife Bree Van De Kamp, except I don’t do laundry day, heehee). Ex. Monday-Tuesday for household bookkeeping and filing; Wednesday-Thursday for appointments, errands; Friday-Saturday for grocery shopping and kids’ extra-curriculars, Sunday with the gannies, cousins, and movie time at home with hubby J.
3. Have blog / Tweet / Facebook time.
Since I’m home most of the time, blogging and social networking is my hotline to the grown-up world. It’s a breather from idle time on the road, and hours spent talking and listening to the kids and their make-believe stories.
4. Cook something new.
I don’t plan it but there are moments when I just want to whip up a dish for myself, made with whatever ingredient that inspires me from the pantry or the fridge. It’s rewarding especially when J and the kids would actually want to eat it!
5. Check on the plants and pets.
Believe it or not, doing so relaxes me. Petting the rabbit, watching the fish swim, watering and pruning the plants, they work well to break the monotony.
6. Dine alone.
This is one of my quiet-time activities. A few times a week, I prepare a simple snack and eat by myself, no rushing, even when the kids are home. I just need a few minutes to eat whatever…in slooow-mo. Does that make sense?
7. Watch TV or read magazines.
I seldom get do this lately, weird, but it’s true. If I feel my back pains from sitting too long in front of the computer, I turn on the television or flip through travel magazines. 30 minutes is all I need to stretch and “escape”.
8. Take extra long baths/showers.
At least once a week, I indulge in longer-than-usual shower time. I use a luxurious bath soap or body wash, then scrub, and simply take my time to relax and feel invigorated.
9. Do arts & crafts.
When the kids have school projects, I try to help them out and get crafty too. Kids happy, mommy happy too!
10. Organize (bottomless) clutter.
This remains a daunting task. Procrastination is my enemy. My goal is to attack one nook or corner at a time. So help me God. (Maybe this shouldn’t be on the list, it’s pushing me off the edge!)
If all else fails…
… then I get out of the house. Whether a quick stop to the deli, get a waxing treatment, or sit in a café enjoying my favorite dessert or milk tea, a quick change of environment always does the trick. I also look forward to monthly dinners with my best girls.
You may think these are all too shallow, but I realized that doing something outside the routine is what helps me get back on track and regain my focus on more important matters.
I’m thankful that Martine invited me here since it made me look back at how I coped and dealt with roadblocks in my home life, and embrace my role as a SAHM. These are just some of the usual distractions I do to keep my sanity, to feel whole and happy as an individual, and still be able to give enough of myself to my family.
Michelle is a former advertising/public relations/events/marketing practitioner. A stay-at-home mom since 2006, she’s married for 9 years to J, and is mom to two lovely children. Aside from nurturing a small brood, she helps in the family businesses and engages in digital and social media marketing projects on the side. Take a peek into this mom’s multi-faceted world through her blog, My Mom-Friday. Photo credit: Michelle took the photo above of her gorgeous home.