How can I deal with Stress at Home?

by MuminBusiness

Are you a Stay at Home Parent trying to be all things to all people? Here is the first of a series of tips to help you cope with stress

A Stay at Home lifestyle - Easy! Not!

Staying at home can sometimes appear to be the easy option.  You no longer have to go to the workplace and leave your children in daycare, so therefore there is now no reason for you to be stressed or anxious...or is there?

Staying at home can sometimes prove to be a lot more confusing and difficult than simply going to work and returning home each evening.  Dealing with adults is a lot easier than trying to figure out young children and their needs and sometimes their continual whines.  You may even have a partner who expects that you will keep the home looking spick and span as well while you try to keep yourself from going insane.

This is the start of a series of articles written to talk through a few suggestions that may help. I cannot promise they will as each person is different.  I hope you take something useful away.

Lets get started with the first tip...

Coping with Stress at Home 1

Meet Remy - a new Stay at Home Mom of two (Louise and Harry).  

Remy looked in the mirror and wondered if she could use one of the children’s wands to make things right again.  “If I can just say the magic words, maybe all the ironing will disappear” She thought out loud to herself as her little four year old looked on excitedly, hoping a game was about to begin.

Remy remembered becoming a mother for the first time.  After getting through nine months of hope, fright and exhilaration, she had known she wanted to stay at home with her new child.  Thankfully, she was in the position to do so as her darling husband was earning a decent wage and could support their increasing family.  So Remy quit her job and started to look after Louise and the house.  She dismissed the cleaner and took responsibility herself for doing everything.  She was going to be a Super Mom and knew everything would be perfect from now on.

This was a few years ago now and since then she had added another child, Harry, to the family.

Coming back to the present day, she again glanced in the mirror trying not to look at the door to the laundry room behind her, where she knew lurked a pile of clean laundry waiting to be ironed and put away. 

How had things changed! Remy had been going to be the best mother in the world.  She would willingly lay down my life for her family and become Super Mom. The Ironing, washing, cooking and cleaning would suddenly be done to a high standard.  So what if she had never been interested in doing this before but now that she was a mother, of course everything was going to change...

Or wasn't it?

Remy looked at herself for a third time and suddenly a light bulb came on in her head. She had never been interested in housekeeping before, why on earth did she think she would change? Why on earth did she feel she had to become a Super Hero style mother with a feather duster in one hand, baby carrier on her back, books in the other hand ready to read to Louise and of course, looking like a stylish, well dressed attractive woman in the midst of all this?

Who had convinced her that she could do this? She realised she had no one to blame but herself for giving into a fake image of perfection. 

Remy looked again at herself and then turned round walked to the laundry room door, sorted out all the un-ironed clothes and placed each bundle into its respective wardrobe – Un-ironed!

“Anyone who wants it ironed, can iron it themselves” She declared and packed up the kids and went to the park!

First tip for managing stress at home – Accept Yourself!

Updated: 02/14/2012, MuminBusiness
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TerriRexson on 02/22/2012

We certainly have different strengths and don't do half of each task, but we try and spend roughly equal amounts of time with the kids. I do get a little more time with the kids at the moment, but we're working on that ... He's taking the school summer holidays off work.

MuminBusiness on 02/15/2012

I know a few people who have found a way to relax into it. It can be tough though. I am still learning to put things in place to help me refrain from going too crazy! Also, the doing too much thing is always my downfall!
I like the idea of equal parenting except I feel my hubby and I have different strengths so asking him to do all the things I do would mean disaster for him. Having said that, I am not sure what I would do if he was not around!

TerriRexson on 02/15/2012

I don't know many people who enjoy being a SAHM. Having a career and kids is very hard though - been there! We've always done equal parenting which does make things much better - we both reduced our working hours. Now I'm finding that working from home and just using a bit of childcare is the best of all. We still do equal parenting so I do get time to work as well as being with the kids.

MuminBusiness on 02/14/2012

@Angel - I KNOW!!! Becoming a SAHM can be a very very interesting change. We do it for the right reasons and then suddenly realize life is sooo tough as we try to make the transition. I am still making adjustments...

It is good that you made the right choice for your family, no point keeping them home if they do not want to be there :-) But I feel your pain, it is tough and not quite the idyllic life we think it might be.

MuminBusiness on 02/14/2012

@BrendaReeves - It sometimes seems that just as you think you have your life just the way you want it, a curveball comes your way! Becoming the carer to a parent is always an interesting transition. You kinda expect it with children but never completely ready for a parent!

Working from home is tough because it is difficult to differentiate between free time and work time. You have to set boundaries, lady! I say - the lady still writing at 2am in the morn!

Angel on 02/14/2012

I resigned from my career as an electrical engineer back in October to stay at home with the kids. I just put them back in daycare today! I could not handle it. I am so used to working outside of the home. This stay at home thing is killing me. The kids missed going to daycare everyday too. They were so happy to go back today. They were mad at me for taking them out. I heard about it everyday. Being a stay at home mom is the hardest thing I have ever done.

BrendaReeves on 02/14/2012

Amen! If you can know who you are and be who you are, half the battle of life is taken care of. I have my 89 year old mother living with me. Believe me she's more demanding than a child. My dream for a very long time was to work at home and here I have my mother bugging me all day. The other problem: I can never seem to stop working.

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