- Family and Parenting
4 Ways to Avoid Mental Breakdown as a Stay at Home Mother
Being a Stay at Home Mother Can Be a Challenge
Being a SAHM or a "stay at home mother" is a very rewarding experience. Many women delight in being able to be at home and care for their own children. While being a stay at home mother has its many benefits, it also comes with its many challenges. You often hear many mothers express that caring for children at home is like a 24 hr job. While this isn't true in a literal since, it sure can feel like it for mothers. Constantly being on call can be taxing on the body, physically and mentally. Consequently, many mothers find themselves fighting to maintain mental stability.
Practical Steps You Can Take to Avoid Mental Breakdown
Plan and Set a Daily Schedule
When you are caring for children at home, especially more than one, it is essential to have a predictable schedule in place. It is just as important to be sure that the schedule or daily routine you set is realistic, one that you can accomplish. Having a schedule tailored to you and your family will make things a whole lot easier for you. Your days will be well planned and you and your children will know what to look forward too. This is much better than doing things sporadically, which spells chaos. A schedule doesn't have to be set in stone, a flexible schedule works better. Your schedule may have to change weekly so that you can accommodate your family, this is fine. The point is to make one and stick to it!
A schedule can help you get your priorities in order and can help you avoid trying to accomplish everything in one day. Trying to accomplish everything in one day will only lead to mental fatigue and breakdown.
Accept Support From Those Who Care
As mentioned above, keeping a schedule can be very helpful in maintaining an orderly house which in turn makes for a more peaceful home. This in itself helps reduce stress. However, as a stay at home mother, we may still at times need help managing things. Therefore, accepting help from those who are willing to help us can elevate some stress as well. It can be difficult sometimes to ask for help since we sometimes feel asking makes us incompetent as if we lack the ability to get the job done. The fact is, sometimes we do have overwhelming days for whatever reason and need the help. Not accepting the help could lead to stress which will affect us not only physically, but mentally as well.
Take Care of Yourself
Thinking about you is a must. This is not in a selfish way, but in view of your health. Having a little "me" time or a break from the day can do wonders for you mentally. Whether it is a 30 minute bath while the kids nap or taking a 1 hr walk alone when dad gets home, having time to yourself can be very refreshing. Going through your daily routine, week after week without taking time out for yourself will lead to being overly exhausted mentally.
Change the Way You Think
Our thoughts play a big role in how we think and feel. If we as stay at home mothers approach each day with negative thoughts, this could dictate how we go about the rest of our day. Instead of approaching the day with sour feelings and dread, try to think positive thoughts and this will help you to be more motivated to take on the days challenges in a more optimistic way.
If you are looking for ways to avoid breaking down mentally, you have to reevaluate how you are doing things. If you find that your home is chaotic every day, try setting a schedule. If you feel that your responsibilities at times are too overwhelming, ask for help from supportive friends or relatives. If you know you are not getting enough time to yourself, make arrangements to do so. Try not to allow yourself to become boggled down and overwhelmed with too many things. Finally, think possible, even if you have to force yourself.