Feeling restless? Things aren’t quite how you pictured them? Did you imagine life as a stay at home mom would be different? Maybe you’re bored or feel like something’s missing.
One of the problems that come to light when you’ve stayed home with the kids for a while is that you start to lose your identity. While you were once Kelly, Sam, Katie, or Courtney, now you’re simply Mom. That’s not a bad thing, mind you, it’s just that when our identity is only tied to others, we can lose ourselves.
You’re a parent, yes, but you’re also an individual with wants, needs, and dreams. So, how can you rediscover your zest for life while still tackling parenting responsibilities with a smile?
That’s the easy part, you simply carve out a piece of time and space for yourself. Okay, I know what you’re thinking, “You think I have spare time? I’m running the house, have kids to feed, laundry to do, errands to run, and don’t get me started on all the dancing, baseball, and soccer practices we need to fit in…”
Take a deep breath. Okay, now take another. Let’s reframe those thoughts with ideas that can help you feel more like yourself. Are you with me? It will be worth that time and effort, and you’ll feel so much better because you’ve recognized your worth once again, and be in tune with who you are and your needs. Become a Thriving Stay-At-Home-Mom.
Ready to Get Started? It’s time to Thrive!
Sometimes, it takes a little work to drill down what is a want, what’s a need, and what might feel unreachable, but probably isn’t. You don’t have to do this all in one sitting, but truly stop and think about some of these options below, so you can get a bigger picture of the things that matter to you.
Here are a couple of ideas to jot down:
Write a list of your favorite activities (this could include doing things alone or with company)
Write a list of people you like being around when you have spare time
Write a list of hopes and dreams (an “if I had time” list)
Write a list of short-term goals (things I want to do in the next 90 days)
Write a list of longer-term goals (things I want to do this year)
Write a list of goals that feel too big, then write why
Here’s a tip to stop a sense of overwhelm:
If you’re crunched on time, one way to do this is to set aside ten minutes at the start or end of each day to accomplish one of the lists. It won’t feel as overwhelming, then say doing it all at once. Take a week to sort out your lists. Once you have them completed, you’ll be able to look back over them when you’re ready.
What to do with your lists:
Favorite activities: Your list of activities could be hobbies that you do alone, a group activity like wine and painting class with friends, or taking a walk hand-in-hand with your partner. There’s no right answer. The idea here is to remember there are things you enjoy doing, that you’ve done, or have wanted to do, that you’ve put on the backburner. Choose one or two that you’ll make a priority once again. When you do things you enjoy, it helps rebuild your sense of identity.
Who to share time with: If your spare time is short, don’t spend it around negative people who suck your energy away. Take a good hard look at your list, and figure out who energizes you, makes you feel good, safe, or comfortable. Who can you truly be yourself around without having to soften your edges?
We all dream. You should too: Have you forgotten about your dreams? I’m not talking about running away and joining a band or roller derby travel team, but sometimes there are things you’ve always thought about doing that you’ve put off. Maybe you’ve wanted to take a pottery class, or go back to school to finish a degree. Maybe you’re hoping to run for a local position or thought of starting a family co-op garden, but you just “dream” about it. Why not take one specific action that brings you closer to that idea? Schedule a pottery class, or go through a university’s catalog of courses to see what might fit into your spare time. Could you look for a plot of local ground and send out a flyer to find out if others would be interested in your co-op garden idea? Sometimes a single action is all it takes to get started.
Short-term goals: These are the goals that you could accomplish in a 90-day period. For example, in the next 3 months, I’m going to carve out time to watch a video on how to make a special dessert I’ve been wanting to try. Or, I want to be able to do 100 push-ups. Start with 10. Each day does just one more than the day before. What is something that you could accomplish that would make you feel good? I’m going to go through my old clothes that I no longer wear and donate them. Maybe it’s something you’ve been thinking about, but never got around to. Add it to your short-term goals.
Long-term goals: In the course of a year, you can achieve a lot, but sometimes getting started overwhelms us. That’s why making shorter goal lists is a great place to start. Imagine if you took just one class each semester, by the end of the year, that’s four classes under your belt. Or maybe you’d like to run a marathon—if you start training now, by the end of the year you can be ready. It starts with a small action or goal. Combining those goals is what builds momentum. Maybe you want to paint and sell your artwork, or do hand-stamped jewelry, or beaded earrings as a side gig. If you do a little bit each month, by the end of the year, you’ll not only have a surplus of product ready to go, you can rent out a booth at a craft fair or open an Etsy shop and have your own small business—something you were able to fit in around everything else you do.
What feels too big? How important is it to your identity? Have you thought about something that feels too big, yet you can’t stop thinking about it? Maybe try writing out the steps involved that it would take to get there. Seeing things broken down into steps may help you realize that individually each of those steps isn’t too big. It’s simply the overview that has you overwhelmed.
Take for instance the thought of going back to school. Maybe you want to go to school while the kids are young, so that when they are in school full-time, you’ll be able to start a new career. Could you take part-time classes to get you there, while your partner watches the kids? Are there online courses you can do right from home while the kids are sleeping?
Maybe you want to write a novel. Carve out a little segment of time to wake up before the kids do, and get a few words down each day. Think about this, if you only wrote 100 words per day, and did it every day, by the end of a year it would be 36,500 words. Write 200 words per day, and you’re looking at over 70,000 words in a year’s time.
Now, if I said, sit down and write a 70,000 word book, your jaw might drop, but maybe 200 words a day doesn’t feel too big. This example can work for anything. It’s the big picture that we often balk at. Break things down into the actual tasks needed to do the job and see if those feel too big.
You Matter Too
When you remember that your personal identity matters as much as being “Mom” does, you’ll thrive. We often become listless when we only consider other people’s wants and needs.
I, Kelly Hater, aka; The Mom Coach™ powered by Mama Bear Domain goes personal. As a fitness professional for over 15 years, the The Mom Coach™ "on-demand" program is the exact steps I personally used and continue to use to live my life full of transcendence. Get the free trial and join for $19.99 a month for full access including monthly challenges like the proven pelvic floor challenge. Everything we implement, we believe in challenging moms to be confident, we believe in support, we believe self-worth in motherhood is a must!
About the Author
Kelly Hater, owner of Mama Bear Domain, has over 15 years of coaching experience. She is a National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT) and has a bachelor's degree in Health Promotion from the University of Cincinnati.
She specializes in helping clients overcome mom burnout by empowering them to stop existing and start living. Her clients no longer let mom guilt steal their identity and goals. Moms deserve to be happy and live a fulfilling life. She personally has overcome overwhelming mom struggles herself and has first hand experience. Kelly gives her clients the accountability and support they need to take action. Go Join NOW The Mom Coach™ “on demand” for the proven program, monthly challenges, journal entries and more.