How to Have the Best of Both Worlds as a Stay-at-home Mom

Every family and woman belonging to it has different needs and resources. If you wish to take care of your kids without being obliged to take up a full time day job, look upon this as a privilege and not a limitation. Bringing up a child is one of the keenest pleasures in the world and you should consider yourself lucky if you get an opportunity to do this unhindered. However the decision to be a stay-at-home mom is not an easy one since this involves innumerable adjustments on the personal front as well as a certain restriction on the practical front. Here are thus a few ways you can have the best of both worlds – the inner and outer – as a stay-at-home mom.

Be a hands-on mom

The biggest advantage of a stay-at-home mom over a full-time working mom is that the former has the time and emotional resources to bring up kids in the best possible way. Ideally a mom is the best person to raise your child. No one – not any teacher, nanny or a grandparent - can do it better than you. It goes without saying that in everything you do, you will have the best interest of your child in mind – unlike a professional nanny who will be bound by number of hours of duty and other such limitations. Similarly a grandparent or another close relative bringing up your child becomes something of an obligation - a favor that they are doing to you which is why you cannot openly object to any of their rearing technique or principle. As a stay at home mom, you are involved in hands-on parenting which gives your child the best role model and best opportunities to grow into a healthy being. You can give your baby or toddler the most intellectually stimulating experiences and personally observe the various development stages. This not only keeps you abreast of the growth of your child but you are the first one to notice any development delays and thus take appropriate steps if required. recognizing and acknowledging the worth of this opportunity is the first step in feeling satisfied as a stay-at-home mom.

Set aside time for yourself

Being a stay-at-home mom, gives others as well as yourself the impression of having unlimited time. The reality is completely different though; after you have gone through all the chores related to parenting and keeping home, you may find that you have no time for yourself – to do the things which you thought would the perks of being a stay-at-home mom over a working woman. Thus set aside some time each day when you can indulge in a steaming cup of mint-tea or soak your feet in a warm bath or simply listen to your favorite music. This me-time can be anything from fifteen minutes to a whole hour depending upon your responsibilities and resources. The whole idea is to value yourself enough to indulge in some time off so that you can unwind and recoup. This will not only make you feel strong enough to go back to your responsibilities but feel rich enough to take the kind of opportunities that other working women cannot.

Don’t allow yourself to be taken for granted

It is very common for stay at home moms to feel that they are being taken for granted and in most cases it is true as well. Your kids’ drama teacher may delegate the task of organizing the props to you, your husband may always expect you to keep the freezer stocked, you kids may ask you to fetch things which they forget to take to school and even your own mom may fix up a shopping date without informing you ahead – all because you don’t “work”. And the worst part of all this is that you begin to take yourself for granted as well – for instance you may feel guilty about cuddling up with a book when there is the laundry to be done. In order to break this vicious cycle, you will first have to start respecting yourself. Keep in mind that it is alright for you to fulfill your own needs and the house will not fall if there are dirty dishes in the sink. Also encourage your kids to assume age-appropriate responsibilities and ask your husband to do his share of chores as well as parenting. Learn to say no to other people’s chores and if they get too insistent or ask favors more than once, bring up the possibility of being paid.

Remain intellectually compatible with your spouse

While in the long run bringing up a child is no less demanding and challenging than a regular job, the same domestic environment day in and day out, can threaten to make you feel less mentally aware. You may fear that you are letting your intellectual faculties rust and sinking to the mental level of a first grader. Whether or not these perceptions are true, they may be enough to make you feel insecure and what’s more, encourage your partner and other working acquaintances to expect less from your intellectual capabilities . To counteract this, the best remedy is to keep reading – not just fiction or magazines but educational material as well. Remain abreast of current affairs, global happenings and other important trends in education, politics, economy and sports. In fact a great way to have the best of both worlds is to take pleasure in learning along with your kids – the evolving nature of education means that they will be doing a lot of science, history, general knowledge and computers which you missed out on your school days and still know little about. All these will not only help you to remain intellectually alert but also be good way of preparing to return back to the workforce, should you wish that at some later date.

Pursue goals that satisfy you

Even if you are fortunate enough not to be compelled to take up full-time work, set goals which can help your personality to grow and evolve. If you can spare some time, take up a new hobby or pursue interests which are truly satisfying to you. A great option is to take up volunteer work which not only makes you feel needed by people other than family and friends but makes a difference to the lives of the less fortunate. If possible, consider going back to college for a short course or taking up a job that allows you to work from home. Whether you get involved in non-domestic work for mental satisfaction or financial security, make sure that the goals satisfy your innermost needs and are not merely influenced by what the larger society means by success.