As being a mom to a three-year old and a 20 month old, things can be a little hectic in the home. Especially when it’s just me for a period of time. Being able to stay home, some sacrifices are made to which my husband works odd hours from time to time. Sometimes we don’t see him for a week straight. This being said, everyone in the household feels the stress. The dynamics change. The kids are tired of being with mommy all the time and miss their daddy. They miss their normal goodnight routine. They miss the family dinners, the four of us. Being so young, they don’t understand what is going on, just that daddy’s not home.
As a result of this, my patience can run a little bit more thin than normal, my happy cheerful self feels very run down. How do I cope with such stress? Can you imagine, being tied to your children 24 hours a day for a week straight with NO relief. Sometimes it happens. I can remember long ago when my husband started this on call rotation, I felt like it was the end of me. I did not have one ounce to go on. I took care of the kids, I fed them, played with them and did everything I should, but I was crumbling inside. I was becoming numb. The truth is, sometimes we can’t change our circumstances however we can shift our mind frame.
I looked at life as “why is this happening to me? why is everyday like this?” And I have to admit, I didn’t want to go through life thinking it was just another day passing. There had to be a purpose. No more pity parties, I refuse. I have received many emails from moms regarding stress. How to handle it, anxiety and so forth. And the best question of all, how do I fill my soul.
When I am at my stressed point or I know it’s coming, I have to shift my mind thought. One of the best relievers can be hard to start doing at first but after you truly believe what you are saying, you (or I) feel a lot better. My secret…. I feel thankful. Yup, it’s as easy as that! No special tricks, no special invested objects, just being thankful! Start being thankful for everything. I am thankful my husband has a job that supports our family. I’m thankful I can stay home and take care of my children. I am thankful to have dinner on the table every night. I am thankful to have my home, etc. The situation leaves me feeling “blah” but when I start to realize the bigger picture, that there is so much to be thankful for, I don’t feel as stressed. At first, I resented my statements. I was so miserable that being thankful was not in my vocabulary. I would just say it because my mentors have told me to. But the more you say it, the more you believe it, the more you understand that the Universe is working with and even for you, the more thankful you will truly become.
Three years ago, I wanted to go back to work. I did not want to be a stay-at-home mom because I thought “it’s 2008, I’m supposed to be representing a hard-working woman, not a SAHM that would take care of the laundry, cook, clean…nope, we’ve moved on as society and I’m not doing it!” When circumstances came to push and shove and I had to stay home, I didn’t know what to do! I hate to clean! Isn’t that the rules? You stay home that means dishes, laundry, food, etc? I just didn’t want to do the household chores! (Yes, I’m laughing as I write this). As I learned to be thankful for the situation I am in, I realized staying home is awesome! 1. I’m taking care of my children which I wouldn’t want any other way but 2. There’s so much I can do and become from staying home! I started to write a list of everything I wanted to do that a 9-5 job wouldn’t allow me the time for and then guess what, I do it! Look at what a fabulous opportunity I have! Although I perceived staying home as a daunting task, it surely is anything but! I needed to shift my mind frame. When I started realizing the benefits and being thankful for what I do have, more opportunities opened up.
Be thankful. Write a list of things you are thankful for and truly be just that, blessed. Write little post-its on your mirrors to remind you everyday. Keep a list in your pocket or purse. I find it funny because when these hard weeks hit, sometimes I call my husband just to thank him. Thank him for working as hard as he does to be such a wonderful provider for us. The funny part is, he thanks me. He will work 70+ hours in a week and I can hear the exhaustion in his voice, yet he still thanks me for my role as well. Now that is a lot of thankfulness! And if you share that you are thankful for someone being in your life, sharing something with you, just saying the words, “thank you for…I’m grateful for….I’m blessed because you…” could just very well shift their mind frame as well. It doesn’t matter your circumstances or how overwhelmed you may feel at the present time. It doesn’t matter if you’re a SAHM or a working mom or a future mom or not a mom at all! What matters is the feeling of enlightenment you share when you have a gratitude attitude!
I’m living in my shoes, so I only know what I have been through and although many people have said, “well if you walked a mile in their shoes…” well guess what, I haven’t. I walk in mine and mine alone. Be proud. Be who you are but be blessed at the life you have amongst you.