The Stay-at-Home Mom Rut. You may have heard of it – we all go through “ruts” in life. The question is how do you get yourself out of it?! Or if you’re smart, avoid it all together.
We have been super busy lately, which I love! I am not a home-body. I love being surrounded by family and friends, trying new things and visiting new places. The problem is, as a stay-at-home mom, once the “busy” is done, you find yourself home again. Staring at the new, but same old, pile of laundry, dishes in the sink, floors that need to be vacuumed, and the two little people who you created who seem to need you every second of your day.
I feel like I have no energy lately (AKA I’m being lazy!), I find myself blaming everything on the weather (it’s called unpredictable spring!), I feel uninspired overall, and I have a list of things to do but I am too tired to do them by the time the kids are in bed!
You sometimes feel like you have SO much time but trapped at home and unable to do anything you want to do! Sounds crazy right? Well I’m feeling the stay-at-home mom rut right now.
We had a wonderful Easter holiday and a busy few weekends. In fact, I can’t look at my calendar and find a weekend coming up with no plans. There has also been a lot of talk of fun vacations and events this summer that I’m so looking forward to. The problem with that is – I have to be PATIENT! Like I always tell my toddler…
Sometimes I find it hard to relax; can you tell?
Anyway, when I find myself in the stay-at-home mom rut (it’s happened before!) I need to take my own advice and get myself back on track. I do this in a few different ways, and I’ll share them with you here.
- Give Yourself a Break
…In and outside of the house. Staying home is mentally exhausting sometimes because you put a lot of pressure on yourself as a mom. I know I often beat myself up if I don’t have the house cleaned, laundry put away, and dinner on the table by the time my husband stops working, but I’ve realized that I am not Super Mom and I need to focus on my babies and stop worrying so much about that. Hence, the reason I decided to stop working, right?!
It also helps to leave the house, without kids, if you can. I’m looking forward to a massage this weekend (doesn’t happen often!) and I love to run out once or twice during the week for a Target run or even to get gas in my car (happens more often). Any moment you can take to breathe is helpful to de-stress and refresh!
I know my kid-free weekend coming up soon will help me feel like myself again too. Chris and I are going away for the first time ever without the kids just for a night, but still! I am SO excited I can’t contain myself :).
Re-read one of my older posts here to help in giving yourself a break 😉
2. Reach Out to Others
One of the hardest parts of staying home for me is the lack of socialization. I now live for play-dates and story time so that I can have some adult conversation! Also, if you’re feeling stuck in a rut, sometimes you just need to have a conversation with an old friend, or even a girls’ night out. It can help you to feel like you, and not just a mom for a minute!
Asking for help from friends or family members is great for getting back on track too. Having two under two can be exhausting, and once in a while I enjoy taking one of the kids out while leaving the other with my husband or a family member so I can take a breather, and give them some one on one attention too!
Another thing I’ve learned is the importance of expressing your feelings. Just because your husband may work and have stresses there, doesn’t mean you can’t ask for help when he comes home. Everyone needs a break, but the worst thing to do is to let your feelings build up inside and then POP! Something sets you off and you feel like you need to explode! Avoid that explosion by communicating with your loved ones.
This always helps me, but I know it can stress some people out too! One of the best ways to stay in shape and promote health and wellness is to include your kids in your workout. I do this most days by walking with mine using my amazing Britax double stroller. I love running around with James in the yard, or doing some squats with Ella too, but walking always helps me feel better. If your kids are older, you can include them in your actual workout by teaching them moves and also try some yoga too!
4. Eat Well!
I know exactly what my problem is when I start to get in a rut and my eating habits go downhill. The key to eating well is meal planning! You can find some insight on meal planning in our house here. It doesn’t help that I gave up chocolate for Lent and now that I can eat it, I’ve been indulging a bit too much the past few days! Exercise and eating healthy go hand in hand with me. Also, if I’m too strict with my diet, I tend to fall off track too. Meal planning and providing yourself and family with healthy options is the key here. Science has proved it, eat better, keep moving, feel better physically and emotionally!
5. Find a Creative Outlet
If there’s something that makes me feel really happy and get out of my stay-at-home mom rut, it’s being creative! Before kids, I was a teacher, and I spent a ton of my time crafting and creating various things. Now, I don’t have a ton of time to myself (if any haha) and my kids are still pretty young so our crafts are simple. I know that to help myself get out of my rut, I need to do something creative for myself! For me, this may be any of the following:
*Painting – A shelf, re-doing a small piece of furniture, a room, a door; paint makes such a difference!
*Antiquing- going to an estate or garage sale or looking for antiques to give new life to always makes me feel better, and I haven’t done this in a long time.
*Organizing – a closet, a room, a drawer. Whatever needs it! I love to organize and de-clutter.
*Writing – I sometimes feel un-inspired when it comes to the blog, but every time I write something, I always feel better.
*Cooking or Baking – I love trying out new recipes and it always inspires me to eat clean, take-out less and cook more! I’m making one of my favorite easy desserts tonight for a family dinner – peanut butter pie. Go ahead, indulge a little! You can find the recipe here.
No matter what you do to help get out of that rut, remember one thing. Do what makes you happy. You might need to work a little to find what you need right now but it’s all worth it. Being a stay-at-home mom can be lonely, exhausting, and thankless. After time, you may feel drained and stuck in a rut. If I can get out of my rut, you can too; and hopefully these ideas will help you feel more like yourself along the way!