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Self Esteem and Stay at Home Mothers

Updated on August 14, 2011

Having to have the good fortune of being able to stay at home with my children, I admit at times it was a drag. It had nothing to do with the duties and the responsibilities of being a parent, but the drag came when I was not satisfied as an individual. I felt stifled, debilitated, because to me life had slowed down to just a few mundane tasks. After leading an exciting life as a young woman of the times did, I knew I could no longer stay in a rut, but I had to find the key to my own personal satisfaction again. I recognized I had to be pro active and my limitations were just an illusion.

My inability to satisfy my thirst for knowledge came to a halt, when I discovered it was up to me to continue the learning process despite being a new mother, and I really had no excuses not to.

The first thing I had to do was to give myself permission to have some time for my self. This allowed me to regroup, to clear my head, and gave me the capability to focus on creating a few personal goals. This helped me tremendously.People don’t realize that new mothers are very insecure. Entering a new phase of their life, they can admit they are unsure of themselves. It also didn’t help not being able to have an active life outside the home, which presented a new challenge.

But I had to be mindful, that no one suffered, and that my children got my full attention, and that my husband too had his personal time. But I had to give up something in order to have it “All.” I gave up sleep. Don’t laugh. But it is the truth. I knew that I had to manage my time, and the only time I could find for myself was when everyone went to bed.

I prepared everything I needed for the children the day before. I pretty much, got as many things out of the way during the day to keep the home life functioning, but this new found idea led me to keep a better schedule and become more efficient at being there for everyone. Because I knew my needs were the last to be met, I had to make sure I didn’t forget me. So by taking two hours out every night when everyone went to sleep, this gave me the momentum I needed to not feel sorry for myself and to feel that my life was still making progress on a personal level. I felt I finally found the formula, which kept my self-esteem alive, my drive alive, and my personal satisfaction satisfied.

I looked forward to my nighttime explorations.I reacquainted myself with my library card and I was able to do a lot more reading and read only how to books.I learned to do everything. What I didn’t know, I learned how, and what I did know, I expanded upon it and I learned more. I was happy, and the children were happier because mom felt like a complete person again.

And the sleep deprivation? I solved that problem. After awhile. I no longer concerned myself with missing a few hours of sleep I slept when baby slept. Yes it was a lot to undertake, but it worked and it was rewarding. Now this was over 20 years ago, but nowadays things have changed.

The new stay at home mother has many advantages a lot of us didn’t have. Many of the stay at home mothers today can now obtain a college degree at their own pace, and they even have a wide array of grants and loans allocated just for them. Also another great advantage she has, she can also start a business. Now this will take some careful planning, but it can be done.

But above it all, the greatest gift any mother can give to her family is her self worth. And the greatest gift she can give to Herself is, to keep learning and to keep growing as an individual. Building one’s self esteem comes from making positive choices and knowing and fully understands that no one is responsible for your happiness, you are. You are as miserable as you choose to be. So you can’t blame other’s if you are dissatisfied in your situation. People will not change to suit you; you have to change to suit you. And building a life for you should continue no matter when a child is born. They don’t teach this in prenatal classes.

Because one day, before you know it, your children will grow up and not want your company anymore, and they will become independent and won’t need you as much, and you’ll look at yourself in the mirror and ask, “What now?” It’s inevitable. And then you’ll wish you had something for yourself. Don’t let this happen. Twenty years goes by quicker than you think.

But if you find you are feeling a little out of sorts being a new mom, you’re not alone. I encourage you to ask yourselves a few questions, and be honest. Forget how are you going to make money, but figure out exactly what it is that makes you happy, content, and interested in life? And what would it take to make you feel worthwhile? And then once you’ve found that answer, emerge yourself into that subject.

If you’re unsure of this, then don’t feel you have to limit yourself. If you like a lot of things like I did, I was never bored. I found a myriad of things to keep me from feeling blue, and I took advantage of everything and earned a few certifications along the way, published a few books, and accomplished many more things while raising four children, born five years apart. (I know I was crazy!)

Just know, looking for something outside the home won’t bring happiness, but its in the stillness of the night, that lets you know your life has meaning, you have value, and you have a purpose besides being someone’s mother. There is no reason why you can’t keep pursuing your dreams. You just have learn to pace yourself in a different way, learn how to make the best of your time, and explore all the things that has ever crossed your mind. Who knows you just might find your niche on a fluke.

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    • Valerie Howard profile imageAUTHOR

      Valerie Howard 

      7 years ago from Fort Lee, NJ

      Thanks Dawn!

      You know many women keep these feelings to themselves for fear of being ridiculed for not being a "Superwoman!" and they do lose themselves and don't know how to find her again. Glad you found you and your glimmer of hope, and your own sense of purpose! Good job Mama!

    • cre8ivOne profile image

      cre8ivOne 

      7 years ago from Midwest, USA

      Hi Valerie,

      Nice posting. I have felt all the things you describe, being a mother of three, I often found that my life was not my own, stuck doing all the same things day in and day out. As I got more into the groove of being a mother, I went back to school online and took back to writing and art. I would not change one thing about the way my life played out.

      Great hub!

      Dawn

    • Valerie Howard profile imageAUTHOR

      Valerie Howard 

      7 years ago from Fort Lee, NJ

      God bless you Kacie, and if you need a friend 1 am here...

    • profile image

      kacie 

      7 years ago

      I am all of those things (sadly) and I blame everyone but me . Thanks for your words are a beautiful encouraging slap in the face. I am going to rid myself of my hermit lifestyle and find me again .

    • Valerie Howard profile imageAUTHOR

      Valerie Howard 

      7 years ago from Fort Lee, NJ

      Thank you and very true...

    • SUSIE DUZY profile image

      SUSIE DUZY 

      7 years ago from Delray Beach, Florida

      Very Good!

    • Valerie Howard profile imageAUTHOR

      Valerie Howard 

      7 years ago from Fort Lee, NJ

      Thank you!

    • smartnet profile image

      smartnet 

      7 years ago

      nice hub

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