I’m a Stay-at-Home-Mom…Now What? (Struggling with Loneliness and Boredom)
Whether being a Stay-at-Home-Mom (SAHM) has always been your dream or has become your slightly nightmarish reality, you may sometimes look around and wonder what you’ve gotten yourself into. Being a SAHM comes with lots of challenges. Loneliness and boredom are the two that seem to be the most common and universal.
Confession time, I didn’t enjoy being a SAHM until I had two kids. By that time, I had been a SAHM for three years. What did I do in that three years? I struggled, cried, and wondered why I had quit the perfect job that would have allowed me to job share, working only three days a week. Had I made a mistake?
With time, I found my way out of it. I finally got my SAHM wings that allowed me to fly. The transformation involved many different things including spiritually examining my reasons for becoming a SAHM. On that front, I knew I had made the right choice. The other half of becoming more comfortable as a SAHM was a two part puzzle. The first part was figuring how to connect with other moms and the second – keeping my mind stimulated.
I have some ideas to help the bored and lonely SAHM. Some I have tried and have worked great for me. Others have worked great for friends and acquaintances but not necessarily for me. The important thing is to find something that works for you. Try a few different ways to connect with others moms until you find something that is a good fit for your personality and stage of life.
Call it whatever you want – playgroup, support group, complain group – but find a group of moms with children close to your child’s age. They are everywhere.
Local Library – Library playgroups and story times are a great place to meet other moms. Plus they are usually free! A funny story about this, when I was looking to connect with other moms I went to my library playtime and story time religiously. Guess what? We were the only ones for months before someone else showed up too. But the library lady and I always had a nice chat.
Church Playgroups – Are you involved in a church community that has a playgroup? Even if you aren’t a member of the congregation, many churches offer playgroups during the day that are open to anyone. Try it out.
Baby and Me Classes – Everything from music to swim and dance classes will get you involved with other moms. I have a friend that was involved in a mom and me class that the members still, years later, get together for dinner on occasion.
Online Chat and Support Groups – There are all kinds of groups that can be accessed from anywhere. This is especially helpful if you live somewhere more rural that might not have other mom groups around.
Phone a Friend
Seriously, a good talk with a friend always makes me feel better. Can’t talk on the phone because your baby keeps crying? Text or message, do something to reach out to others. As a SAHM, it’s easy to become reclusive and, sometimes, you have to take the initial steps. I remember sitting at home with my first child listening to her cry and wanting to call my best friend and just talk to her.
I didn’t because I thought I would be a bother. I was afraid by asking for her to listen that I would be admitting that I couldn’t handle being a SAHM. Or maybe that I’d made a mistake quitting my job. She and I have talked about it since that time and she would have gladly chatted and come by to help when she could have. I was dumb.
Take a Walk/Go to the Park
Connecting with other moms works best when you go to places that have other moms. Deep, huh? I don’t know how many times I’ve ended up talking with other moms and caregivers at the park. I’ve even struck up conversations with people while pushing my kids in a stroller. Plus, getting outside always makes you feel better. I’m a rather shy person. I don’t strike up conversations easily so the fact that I’ve met lots of other moms at the park tells you that it is possible.
Read a Book
Boredom is a real thing when you’re a SAHM, especially when you have a baby or young children. Sure you are busy, very busy, but your mind is bored even when you are busy. When I was a new mom, I thought my brain was going to ooze out of my ears from boredom. I could only watch so much HGTV before I thought I was going to lose my mind.
Books became my best friends. Start reading, but make sure the books you choose are ones that you can pick up and put down every 10 minutes and still know what’s happening. You will be interrupted that often. It’s not the right time to take on Anna Karenina.
Work on a Project
This may seem impossible if you have a newborn and it might not be for a while. But, you will reach a time when you can work on a little project. The best projects are the ones that you can drop immediately because your baby woke up from their nap early.
Do you sew? Write? Paint? Scrapbook? Decorate? I don’t know, make YouTube videos? If you don’t have a hobby that lends itself to small, quick projects it might be time to find one because kids don’t give you long uninterrupted breaks.
Sometimes moms, not just SAHMs, can get so caught up in daily tasks that they forget to take care of themselves. Eating healthy and exercising are important. Make time for them. Your body and mind will feel better and stronger.
Get as much sleep as you possibly can. Right now, I’m averaging five hours a night. I know that’s not enough so I power nap for 15 minutes in the afternoon. Still not enough but it’s the best I can do.
Take time for yourself once in awhile to work on a larger project. Read a book that requires deep thinking or connect with friends without babies along. It’ll recharge your batteries and make you a better mom in the end. You may have to enlist the help of your spouse or friends to take care of the kids once in a while.
Hopefully, these ideas will help you out if you’re feeling the boredom and loneliness of mamahood creeping up on you. Being a SAHM is awesome. I am so glad that I chose to be a SAHM but it was a lot harder to get used to than I ever imagined. Give yourself some time to adjust and, gradually, you’ll discover you’ve found how to fight the loneliness and boredom.