Mom, Are You Happy?

I’m a new Stay at Home Mom and I’m just miserable. I love my baby, but I miss my career and my co-workers. Going back to work isn’t an option. But, how can I be happy? What can I do?

Signed – Miserable in MO

Dear Miserable,

Making the transition from a busy career woman to a stay at home mom can be quite a struggle, especially if you really enjoyed your job and your co-workers. I’ve been there!

Don’t get me wrong. Being a Stay at home mom is a great job. I’ve been an at home mom for several years and I wouldn’t trade being home with my kids for anything. But, it was hard to adjust to the transition from conversing with adults to talking to a drooling diapered dude all day.

So, how can you go from struggling stay at home mom to a happy one?

Take time for you. Get rid of the guilt. You do not need to play with your baby 10 hours per day, just because you’re home. You can take time to rub some lotion on your feet or read a book. You’re setting a positive example for your little one that Mommy matters, too. And, every time you pick up a magazine or book, you’re also reinforcing the concept that reading is good. (Well, even if that one is an excuse, it’s worked for many years for me.) So, grab a book and relax. As long as you’re keeping baby close by and safe, you’re doing just fine.

Spend time on your marriage. You may not always like your partner, but you do love him. Whether you go on a date night or just sit together on the couch at night, show him that he’s special to you.

Don’t let the ‘messy house syndrome’ win its battle. Try to do at least one load of laundry daily – and put it away. Load the dishwasher before you go to bed so you can wake up to a clean-ish kitchen every morning. You’ll feel better about your day if you do.

Stay healthy. If your health suffers, you can’t take care of your baby. Eat well, drink lots of water, take naps every chance you get, and try to get some fresh air and exercise every day. It’s good for you and your baby. And, as convenient as that drive-through fast food is, keep it to a minimum. That sodium and grease does not help your mental or physical health.

Plan lunch dates or grown-up time. Bring your baby to lunch to meet your co-workers. Or, if baby doesn’t handle restaurants very well, then have your friends over during a weekend for a barbeque or card game. You can still have a life.

And, of course, if you just can’t break past the blues, or if you feel unsafe around your baby, then get some help.

I promise you that you won’t be the first mother to walk into a doctor’s office and break down into tears. It’s hard work being a Mom. And, it’s a heck of an adjustment.

Take care of you. Your baby needs a healthy, happy Mommy. Your baby deserves that – and so do you.