First of all, don't let anyone make you feel like less of a person for choosing to stay at home with your children. When people ask what I do or if I'm still teaching, I almost cringe at the thought of answering. I know I should not feel that way, but there are those ridiculous mothers who think I'm wasting my education and talents by staying home. If someone isn't a mother and they criticize me, I genuinely do not care. Other moms though? As much as I don't want to let their comments bother me, they do. However, those nay-sayers probably have no concept of just how much work is involved in what we do. They also have no idea how rewarding it is, or they wouldn't make those faces or share their negative opinions. Perhaps they're even jealous. Not all moms are cut out for this or have the opportunity. This is who I am. This what I do. It's hard... and I love every spit-up covered, smelly, crying second of it.
Maintain Strong Friendships
You won't believe how lonely you will be on certain days. Sure, you have the little one(s) to keep you busy, but as much as you talk to the babies, they can't really talk back. Although, sometimes I think my daughter tries. : ) You need to have at least 1 close friend you can lean on. Your partner is obviously part of your support system, but if you're staying at home and the partner is working, you need some one else. My husband works 12 hour days and is exhausted when he gets home. The first few weeks, I bombarded him the second he walked in the door. I needed to talk. I needed to hear about his day and engage in stimulating conversation. He needed to relax for a minute. I need other friends to chat with. You will too.
- Make time each day for a phone conversation with a friend or a personal visit when possible.
- Take advantage of unexpected visitors. Trust me, you'll have plenty of knocks on the door. Babies draw crowds a mile long.
- If you have not already made a facebook account, do so! You'll be surprised by how much support you'll receive from messages and posts. : )
- Let family and friends help you when they offer. Don't try to be Super Mom and do everything yourself if you don't have to.
Get a Hobby
Yes, you will be crazy busy with a new baby, but you need to find a hobby just for yourself. When you do have a minute to entertain yourself, do something you enjoy. Learn a knew skill, read a good book, reignite your love for drawing or whatever you like to do.
I've been trying to learn to cook. : ) There will probably be posts about recipes, successes, and failures in days to come.
If you feel like you need more support, you can always join a moms' support group. I've looked into a few, but the International Moms' Club looks promising. There is a yearly fee, but it is affordable, and you get to meet with other moms in your area.
Additional Helpful Links:
"4 Things Every Stay-at-Home Mom Needs to Know"
Christian SAHM Support