You love being a Stay at Home Mom (SAHM), right? Being around to get the children off to school, to take preschoolers to the library for story-hour, or to be home to snuggle and read with them on a cold winter day. But lately your phone has been ringing off the hook during the day, or there's always someone ringing the bell. You're receiving calls from teachers asking you to bake extra items for the school bake sale because the other moms all work and don't have time, or from your neighbor down the street asking you to pick up Rose from school because she's not feeling well and she has a meeting at work she simply cannot miss, or your mother-in-law asking you to take her to an appointment because she knows that you're available. Isn't it nice to be available to help out friends and family in a pinch? But are you beginning to feel as if you're everyone's "go to gal" and your patience is running a bit short? Many SAHMs have experienced the same thing.
Once others know that you are home during the day they often feel as if asking you to do one thing, or dropping by unannounced will not inconvenience you. This may be true, but what they (and you) don't realize is if every person asks you for just one little favor or drops by for just one hour, then your time quickly becomes filled with their to-do's and there will be no time for you to be a stay at home mom. So start with your schedule. Plan the things you do daily, your chores and errands, the things you'd like to do with your children, and then you'll basically know what time is left. We could call it "free time," but let's face it - a SAHM has no free time especially if the children are preschoolers. But it is your time to use as you see fit.
Once you've allotted for your time, if someone asks you to do something that will foil your plans for the day - simply decline to participate. Doesn't that sound freeing? It can be difficult at first, but it's completely understandable that you would put the needs of your family first, and if the other party does not understand, there's not much you can do about it. It's not often that women take a stand for themselves. Can you count the number of times each day it's up to you to smooth things over, solve the problems, or make things work? But this is the time to take control over your SAHM status. Deciding to become a SAHM is a choice typically with its own set of sacrifices which are gladly made for the little ones. It's your right to choose how you spend your time and your right to not feel guilty about saying no when you want to. Remember "no" is one small two letter word that has the power to bring balance, relieve stress, provide peace and create joy.
Written by StorkNet Staff Writer Kim Green-Spangler
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