I started to comment on one of my newest additions to my blog roll this evening. The post concluded with this question: "What do you do to prevent Mommy burnout?"
I started to list just one of my attempts to stay sane in the SAHM world, but the list just kept growing until I realized that there is really no excuse for finding myself on the brink of insanity save pure selfishness. Here's what I wrote...
When I can, I do my essential housework either in the morning while my little ones are eating breakfast, during nap time or just after bedtime. I do very little during the days, and what I have to do, I have the kids help with- it keeps them from escaping out the front door or flushing toys down the toilet while I'm occupied! I also make it a point to have a mommies' night out once in a while- it's usually after our kids are in bed, and we just meet for coffee or dessert. We usually end up staying out until 11 or 12, but I'm energized for a good two weeks afterward! Play Dates are my favorite, no guilt way of getting some adult interaction- nothing beats letting your kid get some socialization while you chat/vent to the mommies!
And most importantly, knowing that I'm doing the best thing I can for my kids and playing the role that God called me to play makes a world of difference. There are days (sometimes weeks) when I start to loose sight of that call, and I have to remind myself that I'm fulfilling my responsibility to my KIDS and my GOD.
Stay-at-home-mommying isn't always fun. Sometimes it's flat out miserable... for weeks on end. While it's rewarding, I don't always enjoy it, and it doesn't always make me happy. I don't do it for me. Sometimes I find myself itching for the days when I'll be able to have my hair done, clean up the house without a munchkin following behind me to mess again, sit in a silent car, and perhaps even start a career. For me, being a SAHM is an obligation, a job just like any other out there. It has it's ups and downs. Some days I feel under-appreciated. Others I love it and look forward to spending another 16 years in the field as I've committed to do. I chose this job because it was the best thing for my kids, because no one can make them feel loved like their parents, because I felt it vitally important that I be there to answer the big life questions that pop up along the way.
My nine-year-old asked me tonight if I knew what God's call for me was. I told her, "I sure do. He dropped all three of you right on my lap!"