This post was originally written as a sort of rant about how I always hit these walls when I spend extended periods of time playing the role of a Stay At Home Mom. Because well, SAHM life is not hardwired into me. You see, my maternity leaves have always felt like glorious marathon vacations for a few weeks…and then like a domesticated fortress that I can’t escape from come month 2 or so. I don’t know if I should feel ashamed admitting that or not?
Somehow, someway, I feel like I’m a better mother when I have responsibilities beyond my household. Maybe because I’ve always had them? In the past I have been bursting at the seams busy, to the point where I felt that I could fulfill none of my responsibilities to the best of my abilities. And during these spells I would sit in my messy house, completely defeated by the mountains of dishes and laundry that called to me, and wonder how glorious it must feel to have the time and energy to fulfill my traditional domesticated duties. My kids have never attended daycare, so my home did not avoid the atomic bomb-esque decorating style preferred by small children. It did however, fail to have an energized parent dedicated to damage control full time. I know that this situation is far from unique to me, I have an entire circle of friends who share in this contemporary work/life balance that wasn’t necessarily the norm for generations before us.
It’s been about 4 months since we left everything we’d come to know in Florida. My home, social life, job, family…is all a country away from me now. So as one might guess this “maternity leave” will likely be my longest and the bars on my domestic cage will be strongest. I have even less to distract me than ever. I am in full time mom mode at all times, with no definite end in sight. yikes.
I have been trying my best to see the bright side of my situation. I really am thrilled to be experiencing life (and seasons!) in a new location. But postpartum life was definitely made easier with the strong support system that I had back home. It’s weird and lonely in a new place with an whole new tiny human to sustain on my own. So I have come up with a list of things to remain appreciative during this phase of my life. It is undoubtedly a time I will one day miss. Motherhood has a way of making you appreciate the past in a way that nothing else can.
So here’s how I’m learning to enjoy temporary SAHM life when folded laundry and clean dishes don’t necessarily fill me with joy.
I Take Pictures
This comes as a surprise to many that know me personally, but I’m kind of sentimental. I think it goes hand in hand with the “over thinker” aspect of my personality. I would never market myself as a photographer, but it’s definitely a hobby that brings me so much joy. And I know that even though I may be feelin these postpartum blues a little harder than normal, I will still want to remember as much about these days as humanly possible. It’s truly miraculous how much infants/small children change in one year.
I Get Dressed
This one took a minute to figure out, because well…being 40+ weeks pregnant didn’t make me feel particularly stylish. I literally ran out of shirts (mine AND my husbands) that would cover my whole belly. But since having Grey, I have made it a point to not sit around the house in the clothes I slept in. It would be easy to do this…because like I said I pretty much never get to leave…but I found that it even a fresh pair of yoga pants and a breastmilk free shirt make me feel halfway like a real person for a while.
I’m Intentional with my Time
Oddly enough, this is a skill that I mastered as an overwhelmed busy mom. And I find that it applies now more than ever. Being “stuck” in the house all day with no job and no social life to entertain me, it’s easy to succumb to the couch potato life style that calls to me. But on days that I don’t intentionally take time to play, or color, or engage with my kiddos, I feel extra terrible at the end of the day. This has become newly challenging while learning to live life as a family of five, and Denver is officially getting cold. Understand, I have never adulted in a cold weather climate. It’s an adjustment. hahaha.
I Relish my Errands
Seriously… the Post Office, the grocery store, the bank…no longer thorns on the rose that is my life. NO, they have become glorious havens of escape; in which I can leave my house, play music in my car, and talk to other members of the adult kind! I run ALL the errands. My husband doesn’t mind. That’s because he still gets to work 5 days a week. haha! It’s the little things peeps, and these days chats with the bank teller and lady at the post office are all that I get.
I Decorate (+ Pinterst Shamelessly)
Okay, until this point I was mostly planning to decorate. Because I was humongous-ly pregnant and couldn’t carry in the boxes that I wanted. Nor could I move furniture around. (Also, we really need to repurchase a lot of furniture that I didn’t bring along for the move.) Grey is 8-weeks-new this weekend and I have finally started to drag some of my stuff inside to fill this big ol’ empty house with life. If I’m going to spend unprecedented amounts of time staring at these 4 walls, I’m going to make them pretty! Or at least try. If you’ve been around at all, you know that I like decor that requires putting holes in the wall. I am trying to resist the urge because well… we’re down to only 9 months left in this here rental. Sigh.
It’s kind of exciting to have to start all over with most of our furniture too. Pretty much ALL of our furniture had been given to us by our families when we needed to fill our empty house in Florida. We are certainly grateful, but I’m excited to pick out new furniture! The dressers in our master bedroom in Florida had literally been in my room since middle school. I’m excited to move on. haha! Been doing lots of Pinter-research. 😉
Follow my Pinterest here.
Seriously, it’s the only contact with the outside world that I have left. ;P
Now, I know that it seems like I haven’t been posting much lately…but that’s really just because I have been hard at work on a rebrand for my here little corner of the interwebs. Since Grey’s grand entrance, it wouldn’t feel right to keep my blog named after only my first 2 children. So things around here have finally been changed!
I have finally begun the new location/post-grad job search… and if I’m being real with you all…I’m terrified. I haven’t been on a job interview since I was 20. And even then I had my job (that I stayed at from 17-26) to fall back on. I’ve basically never sought a job in the adult world. Life’s about to get weird. But as I mentioned above…the SAHM life just isn’t for me.
Are you a stay at home mom? PLEASE send tips for sanity. I need THEM ALL.