The Little Pages April/May 2017 - Page 12

GUEST MOMMY WRITER finding contentment

AS A STAY AT HOME MOM
‘ Please don ’ t take this the wrong way , but what do you do all day ?’ ‘ I could never be a stay-at-mom ; I need to use my brain !’ ‘ I work to set a good example for
my children .’ If you ’ re a stay-at-home mom these are statements you ’ ve probably heard before . And quite honestly , they can hurt . Our value in society has become so linked to our work . So having to say , with a false sense of bravado , ‘ Oh , me , I ’ m just a mom ’ when someone asks you what you do , can really knock your confidence .
Being a stay-at-home mom is hard . Being a mom who works outside of the home is hard . Just being a mom is hard . We all have various reasons for our choices and there ’ s no right or wrong . But if you ’ re taking strain with your stay-at-home mom role , there are ways to find contentment within the situation .
1 . value what you do Staying at home with your children is valuable . Many stay-at-home moms struggle to say that aloud , often because they ’ re scared that working moms will be offended . It is possible to acknowledge your own value without diminishing that of others . If you are constantly selfdeprecating and minimise the significance of what you do , you might start to believe it .
2 . don ’ t feel guilty Yes , in some ways being able to stay at home is a privilege . There are many moms who wish they could but are stuck because of financial constraints . Appreciate the opportunity you have , but also know that you are allowed to complain sometimes or acknowledge that it ’ s really hard .
3 . use your time One of the great things about being at home is that you do have a level of flexibility , especially when your children are a bit older and at school . Use that time to connect with others , to work on projects that matter to you and to look after 10 by Anabel Stindt
Anabel is a ‘ retired ’ teacher and recovering worrier turned stay-athome mom to a 10 month old little boy named Harrison . When she ’ s not stressing about something , Anabel enjoys reading , writing and of course good coffee and wine ( aka Mom survival tools )! Harry loves mango , watching trees in the wind and dancing to 80s pop . Anabel is also an aspiring freelance writer and has just started a blog called ‘ Intrepid Worrier Mom ’. You can find her at www . intrepidworriermom . co . za .
yourself . Don ’ t underestimate the value of having time for others ; you never know how much that midmorning coffee might mean to someone .
4 . don ’ t overcommit That being said , you don ’ t need to say yes to everyone and everything . Often stay-at-home moms volunteer ( or get volunteered !) for everything , because ‘ oh , get ( insert your name !) to do it , she doesn ’ t work ’. Sometimes it seems as if you have to be constantly busy in order to validate your existence . You really don ’ t . Getting so over-involved that your life is complete chaos means that you won ’ t have time to actually be with your children- which was sort of the point in the first place .
5 . enjoy your children While this may sound obvious , in some ways it ’ s trickier to carve out specific quality time with each child when you ’ re around them all day . The fact that you feel you constantly need to be doing something productive can sometimes stop you from just having fun . Yes , certain tasks need to get done , but try to give your children – and yourself – the gift of play .
So perhaps the best way to handle those comments is to know your own worth and find peace in the place that you find yourself . What you do matters . Who you are matters . And that ’ s all that matters .