All homemakers and stay at home mothers get the blues now and then. Doesn’t mean your life is bad or that you need to get a prescription for Prozac filled. It just means that every so often the same old same old gets to you. Some stay at home parents experience great loneliness and isolation at times. Not to mention that you are in a constant state of caretaking and you never, EVER get to clock out and go home!
Being a housewife is the best job I’ve ever had and what I have always wanted. Some people would say, “what, to clean and cook all day?” No, I just love being at home and not out there in the rat race and, yes, I love nesting and nurturing my family. It has also given me the time and space to become a self-published author. And this is also why I’ve kept my joy and sanity, for the most part, around being at home with little people all the time.
Fortunately, I also adore my tiny cottage for now. My boys are loaded with fun personalities and pretty well behaved. I’m actually surprised how well the three of us enjoy each other being that we are together 24/7. They do not go to preschool. I’ll be homeschooling. Yeah, I know right? We are in love though and that helps. I believe my boys are my destiny. Well, part of it. I haven’t figured out the rest of the trip.
I have also downsized, decluttered, and simplified to a great, great extent and we live well off a well-polished household budget. More on all that in other blogs.
So, as happy as we are snuggled up in the cottage and living our humble lives, I get irritable, blue, and tired at times. Bali and I have no living parents and I could really use some grandparents to help now and then. I could really use a housewife of my own! I envy those sister-wives!
So, if you are new in a town, have no grandparents or people to help, not rich enough to hire help…what is the solution? How do you get the rest? Revive your spirit? Survive the young years of the children? Change the drudgery and monotony of daily housework?
I’ve shared some of these ideas before but it’s worth repeating because the moods repeat and you have to be reinspired.
- Get the rest. Go to bed early with the kids and sleep as much as possible. Take a nap with the littles if you can.
- Create many “breaks” in the day for yourself. You never clock out of this job so you best make sure you have many pockets for rest, relaxation, and enjoyment.
- Escape with books. I get stacks of books from the library. I don’t always make it through a book, it has to be really good for me to keep reading as it takes weeks to get through it sometimes. But if I love a story, it is the best mini vacation and something to look forward to.
- Play a lot of music. I have a station I created on Pandora and the music really ups my mood and makes cleaning and cooking fun. I just can’t do music and write as I realized today. It changes the mood too much.
- Preschool and school period is a fabulous break five days a week. For those of us homeschooling…we are screwed.
- Get a great baby sitter you really trust, know, and feel safe. I haven’t found that yet. I’ve heard too many stories and I would really, really have to know the person.
- Have date nights with the husband. We don’t do this because it’s not realistic at this time. To be honest, if I’m going to have any time I will want it ALONE! Not with the other person I care take.
- I love a good movie and sometimes I can get the little people occupied enough to get through it. I choose Hallmark during the holidays with all it’s cheese and sweet sauce because it’s clean and I don’t have to worry about nudity and words when a boy walks in to chat. There are a lot of great movies out there that are clean.
- Buy yourself some new clothes. Every so often I find my wardrobe is getting a bit matronly. I will save up a $100 and go to my favorite thrift store in a wealthy area and buy myself a whole new wardrobe. For a $100 at a good thrift store, you can get some great jeans and tops that are name brand and quality. I’m greedy in that I would love to have a big, new wardrobe over just one nice top.
- Travel. I take off with the boys now and then when I wake up one day and feel like I just have to get out of town. I have young friends on the coast that have young children so this is fun for all of us and I do get a break as my kids are busy with other kids. The change in scenery is refreshing. You can travel for very little. See my travel blog.
- Get into routines but be flexible. I don’t clean because it’s Monday, I clean because the house needs it. I do have some loose routines. Routines make us feel grounded and organized, however, flexibility helps us not feel trapped by routine.
- Let your children play freely. Children don’t need us on their head or in their space all day. They play well on their own. It helps to have toys that they can really use their skills, creativity, and imagination. There are so many plastic junky toys out there that are annoying and the kids play with for a day and then they are added to the mess. Downsize the toys to just the good stuff like blocks, dolls, kitchenettes, train tracks, and cars. Pack up the rest and store or give away. Let them play unplanned, unscheduled, freely. You go do your stuff. Schedule in reading times (I have big reading times twice a day where I will read stacks of books to them that they choose along with some I love like fairytales and stories with a spiritual message) and save the crafts for holidays. It helps to set up the outside for fun too with a playset and big sandbox. Hours of play.
- Unclutter your house big time. The less stuff the easier it is to clean and keep organized. We have far too much STUFF and we don’t need most of it. I have a blog on uncluttering too, it will inspire you. My home is very cute and charming but it’s the big brightly colored area rugs, lush plants, pillows on the couch…that is what makes it look adorable. I even have lots of big scented candles and lots of books. I just don’t have all the other mumbo jumbo.
- Have a garden. Working in the soil and having an outdoor place to go is therapeutic. At one of my homes I had a big garden and I loved working out there with my music. The kids like playing in the dirt also. I always have a strawberry patch for them.
- Take long walks alone when the husband is home. Just put your music in your ears and go for it. I need time to think without interruptions. I have my tread climber and I find that I get left alone when on it so I take to perching up there daily with a book.
- Take care of yourself. I do my own pedicures and facials. I color my own hair. If you have the money go to a salon at least once a month and pamper yourself do it with out hesitation. Back in the day housewives would go to the salon and have their hair done once a week. Perhaps we should bring that pleasure back.
- Have dinner parties. Our parents used to gather and have dinner parties and hire a babysitter. That sounds like fun. Some adult time without kids is a great idea. Children don’t need to go everywhere with you.
- Keep the calendar almost empty. We only have one class for Arjan. One activity with the homeschooling co-op. Everything we do has to be quality and serve us greatly or I will not even pencil it in.
- Drink good coffee!
- Learn the joy of one pot and slow cooker meals. Cook double batches and freeze casseroles, enchiladas, stews, lasagna. There are days I just don’t have the cooking fairy with me and I love pulling something out of the freezer and baking. It is homemade convenience food.
- Get a spiritual ritual. Meditate, walk in the woods daily, go to Church, read metaphysical work…whatever makes you happy, heals you, gives you faith.
- If you are writer make sure you take the time to do this. If you are runner take the time to run…your desires are so important that you honor them. You are so important to everyone and must take great care of yourself to continue being happy and strong.
When the blues hit it is a result of being too tired, giving too much, having no time for you. Pull back and find ways to rest and play. Find ways to bring some fun and quiet. You can do it. You are the heart of the home. Take care of yourself. You may be neglecting a yearning or heart desire. Take the time to reflect and ask yourself what it is you need or want that you are not giving to yourself. Then make your dreams come true. Go back to school, write that epic novel, run that 10k. You will make a much better mother and housewife if you are empowered…and think what that will teach your children?