I’m privileged this week to be sharing a guest post from Zara Lewis. Regular readers will know that I’m a part-time working mum and I have enormous admiration for full-time SAHMs. Zara is sharing some brilliant tips for feeling happy and healthy in the most demanding role of most of our lives.
When I decided to put my career on hold and focus on my family more, there was a period when I was frightened and felt lost. My professional career and office job had been my ‘comfort zone’, I was used to stress and deadlines, and now I was entering this whole new territory. Luckily, my SAHM experience was more than wonderful and I am happier than I even dreamed I could be. It was not an overnight change, but rather a slow process that I learned to cherish.
It’s a chance for growth
For a long time I associated ‘growth’ with professional success; an opinion influenced by my focus on career and business, but it had changed once I turned to other things in life. I was given a chance to learn about myself, my strengths and weaknesses that were not related to my work and I am so grateful for that. I finally focused on things that fulfill me and that I thoroughly enjoy, like blogging and reading, and I discovered I am much happier and calmer than I had been in years. It’s not easy, especially with children growing too, they learn about the world and test their parents and their boundaries, but it had been a rewarding experience nonetheless.
Sometimes it is easy to shut yourself out from the world, focusing solely on your family and household, but this plan will most likely backfire at some point. As a living, breathing person, you need the company of others than just your children. Don’t be afraid to reach out, join different communities, and meet other SAHM moms you can share stories with (communities like Circle of Moms or Moms Club). You can discover that your neighbors are lovely people you can rely on, and you can easily meet other moms online (which is convenient since you can communicate from the comforts of your homes).
‘You time’ is incredibly important, and you should make the best of it. Spend some time every day pampering yourself and doing things you love: long walks in the morning or evening, a glass of wine before bed, quiet time with your book, taking fifteen minutes for hair and skin care, and cuddling with your partner after a long day. It may not seem like much, but it will help you feel better and refreshed afterwards, thus making it easier for you to face challenges that lie ahead. Of course, if you want the best treatment for yourself, always opt for natural cosmetics (my favorites are Dr. Hauschka, One Love Organics and Ultraceuticals). What is more, these ‘treats’ will help you stay happy and not give in to baby blues and depression.
Do little projects
Simple DIY projects that you can do together with your kids are wonderful opportunity to relax, learn something new, and experience the joy of creating something with your own hands. For parents, this is a chance to keep kids busy, but also to spark their interest in science and arts. You never know, maybe you and your children are talented painters, sculptors, and actors that have been only waiting for a chance to show your talent to the world. In addition, some of the things you make you can perhaps sell online, giving you a chance to make a profit while staying at home.
A lot of things that happen in your life can move you off your course and force you to leave your comfort zone (or you can choose to leave your comfort zone too), and there are two ways of dealing with it: either you get scared and stressed out, or you embrace the opportunity to learn about yourself. Stay at home moms have a wonderful chance to cherish the days they spend with their loved ones and become more self-confident in the process, and that is something all of us should strive for.