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Regular Maintenance for Stay at Home Mom Sanity

Aug 18, 2007
Even if you love being a stay at home mom, keeping your sanity takes effort. There are those days where the kids just seem to want to drive you completely and utterly nuts.

Up 3 hours earlier than usual in the morning. Nope, not going back to bed quietly.

Did the toddler really figure out the latch on the cereal cabinet? Floor's crunchy.

You need WHAT for school?

This would be an example of a quiet morning in many families, of course. Things could be worse. You're not sure how but you have vague memories of mornings that were far, far more difficult. And even vaguer memories of quiet, uninterrupted mornings.

The hard part about being a stay at home mom is finding others. All mothers go through days where the kids seem to be trying to drive them insane, but stay at home moms have a harder time escaping. Not even a quiet drive to work through rush hour traffic.

So that's not really peaceful either. At least the kids aren't coming up with new disasters for you, short of calling your cell phone.

A stay at home mom has to find her own ways to reach that peaceful, quiet place where she can remember why she's at home.

The Internet is a great place for that. You probably know that already; what else would you be doing here? Online you can pursue any interest, from knitting to cooking to quilting to conquering alien worlds. It's all up to you. You can learn about exactly how much you've messed up as a mother and how much more messed up every other mother is. You can build deep, lifelong friendships with people you will never, ever meet.

You should also get out once in a while, without the kids. No, not just to the grocery store, Target or Walmart. That still counts as working and being a mom. Get out and be you for an hour or three. Meet with friends. Make them leave their kids home too. Do something fun for you that would bore your husband and/or the kids silly.

Don't forget to leave a nice, long to-do list for Daddy. Have to give him the whole stay at home experience, after all.

Ignore the mess around the house as necessary. There's this expectation that stay at home moms will keep a perfect home, but when you've done six loads of laundry, vacuumed, cleaned windows, cleaned up ten different spills from your toddler, including that unmentionable one from the diaper, found three lost toys, run a load through the dishwasher, tried to figure out exactly what that one stain on the living room carpet is, and made breakfast, lunch and have dinner planned, there comes a time to say enough and take a break from cleaning.

Make the kids do it. Especially their own messes and anything else they're old enough to help with. But don't stress about dusting, cleaning the windows or disinfecting every surface anyone has touched today. Make time for a break.

Some days it will feel just about impossible to maintain your sanity. Those are called weekdays. Weekends you at least have only to worry about getting the kids to all their activities, rather than to school. It has to be better doesn't it??
About the Author
Stephanie Foster runs Home with the Kids as a resource for stay at home moms . Meet with your fellow stay at home moms on her forum at http://www.homewiththekids.com/phpBB2 .
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