I’ve just gone back to work after six months of maternity leave and while I enjoyed being a stay-at-home mom for a while, I’m also enjoying being back at work. American Baby has some tips on coping with the stress of being a stay-at-home parent. But before we get to their tips, here one from me: It’s normal to feel stressed! So don’t stress about the stress.
1. Be proud of what you’re doing. . . . Staying home with squabbling, screaming kids is no picnic. Give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back and try to put things into perspective: Your children are only young once, and you can always reenter the workforce later.
2. Get — and stay — organized. You might think that moms who have no office to go to in the morning don’t need to keep a strict schedule, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Kids (and moms) thrive on routine. . . . Keeping your house in order will also help you stay sane.
3. Make your relationship a priority. Even if you’re the most dedicated mom in town, if your marriage is suffering your kids will suffer, too. . . . Plan some alone time every night. Move your kids’ bedtimes earlier if necessary.
4. Make time for yourself. It is perfectly OK to put your feet up and just relax. . . . Most importantly, make time to see your firlfriends.
I think all of these tips are great ones. If you’re really going through a rough patch, focus on #4, especially on getting together with friends who are also stay-at-home moms. They can relate completely to how you feel and make you feel normal and give you lots of hugs and coping tips. And if you don’t have friends who also stay at home (yes, it happens), make some! Support groups and play groups are great for meeting other moms in real life, but you can also find support in online communities. Try the forums at sites like Parents.com and Babycenter.com.