Wednesday, February 4, 2015

5 Favorites: Anecdotes to SAHM burn-out

Hello and welcome to anyone joining me from Rosie's blog (and a big thanks to her for the sweet shout-out!)

I tend to reflect a lot on motherhood, homemaking, and the lessons we can learn to manage the inevitable stresses than come from a job description whose first and primary point is to selflessly love and serve tiny {irrational, exceedingly energetic, unable to control all body functions} {beautiful, wonderful, amazing} human beings (insert the appropriate adjectives depending on the day/last five minutes).

In trying to stay ahead of the frustrations and be the best mom I can be (for the new people, constant house/home/self improvement is the theme), I've been thinking about some of the anecdotes to the challenges of being  stay-at-home-mom, and trying to implement them.  Some of these are direct answers to the problems I've identified, and others just help with the overall atmosphere (I'm sure you've heard that saying "if Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy."

And so, I bring you my 5 (current) Favorite Anecdotes to SAHM burn-out, in case anyone else out there has husbands with long hours and driveways with too much ice to get the minivan out:

1) Activities (kid variety).  I tend to find it tiring to generically "play" with Anna, but I love to do projects with her.  We can both funnel our energy into something creative (play-doh, paint, miscellaneous crafts, etc), and the mess is contained (usually) to the kitchen table rather than the typical toy tornado.

Paint is messy, but not THIS messy:

And, bonus, I tend to always* get a little awesome-mom self-esteem kick when we finish up a project together.

*Note: there are still times when you pat yourself on the back for doing something fun, only to have your toddler sprawl on the ice on the back patio while the dog eats the bird-seed covered bagel from her hand that you had just made together to hang on the Christmas tree that you finally decided to take down and move outside.  Ahem.

2) Craft projects (mommy variety).  One of the recurring themes of frustration is how fleeting our tasks seem and how quickly done things are undone.  I find it immensely refreshing to work on something (anything!) more permanent in the evening, whether it be crocheting, sewing, or even blogging.  It's always tempting to just passively read blogs, but I always feel a lot more renewed if I muster the energy to work on something.

I've got several projects in the works, so look out, Ana, I'm coming for your link-up ;)

3) Sunshine in pill form (aka, Vitamin D).  I'm solar-powered, or at least my husband claims that to be true.  I do notice I'm a lot more content on sunshine-y days, and I'm thankful that our current house has lots of beautiful windows to maximize the sunshine when we're not getting outside (after all, you heard what happened when Anna and I ventured 5 feet outside the backdoor for the first time this week).  My doctor in Ithaca recommended that us northerners take a Vitamin D supplement, and it might just be a placebo, but I call it my happy pill, and I think it really makes a difference.

(Sunshine in non-pill form makes me happy, too).
4) Pretty nails.  It turns out that my disappointment at not getting to dress up everyday is assuaged fairly readily by my recent discovery of Jamberry nails - just one little step to feel pulled together.  And believe everything you've heard about how long they last.  It's seriously impressive that they can still look perfect after 2 weeks of dish-washing/post-diaper-hand-washing/cleaning/scrubbing/etc.

Low quality photo, high quality manicure!
(Cute baby photo-bomb and crafty background ;) )
5) The Rosary.  Over the last year, I've been trying to be a lot better about saying a daily rosary, and I've begun to crave those quiet minutes of reflection, rather than feeling a nagging obligation to pull out my beads again.  Focusing on each mystery provides so much strength and reassurance - the hope that God will see us through our times of waiting as we wait with Jesus in the garden, the joy that the Holy Spirit is always with us as we stand in awe at Pentecost, and the faith in this wondrous and surprising love as we run to the empty tomb after the Resurrection.  (Note, see my old post on the Joyful Mysteries, "They could have been the 'Stressful Mysteries.'")

P.S. If you're one of my (16!) pregnant friends, I try to offer my rosary prayers for your intentions and for all moms :)

So...feeling blue?  A crafty manicure and a sunny rosary ought to cheer you up ;)

Linking up late to the 5 Favorites party with Jenna.

1 comment:

  1. I've recently discovered Jamberry as well, and am wearing a set as we speak (almost a week old, and going strong!). I had given up on painting my nails long ago because they chipped so quickly, and just made me feel shabby-looking instead of put-together. I definitely agree about the jams helping to feel a bit dressed up every day :-)