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I don’t know how many days that have gone by where I get to the end and feel like I’ve gotten nothing done. Like, I looked after the kids, and probably cleaned 100 messes, but we’re right back where we started. And I’m exhausted. Can you relate? Well that’s why I’m talking about why stay at home moms need real breaks. I’ll explain.
Why Stay at Home Moms Need REAL Breaks
That day I was talking about? I gurantee I wasn’t busting my butt all day. Probably I was on social media. Or at least I wasn’t being very efficient. Yet despite being pretty lazy I still didn’t get anything accomplished during the day!
I have to admit here that it happens to me more often when I’m feeling down. It can be hard to get the motivation to get things accomplished.
But I’m still exhausted because I spend all day “on” and dealing with kids. With interruptions and questions and snotty noses. It’s tiring even for someone who does absolutely nothing else. But as moms we need to get more than the bare minimum done most of the time. That means we’re even more exhausted.
What’s the problem?
The problem with doing nothing (and accomplishing nothing) is that we took “a break” from the hard work for motherhood, but didn’t actually benefit from getting a break. So by slacking off not only did nothing get done but you don’t feel any more rested than if you’d been busy all day!
It sucks and I’ve done it way too often.
Then I end up feeling sorry for myself and guilty for not doing more, a vicious cycle that makes me more depressed. Add in something like winter blues or life stress and you end up with inefficient, overwhelmed moms who aren’t accomplishing much or able to relax.
Stay at home moms need REAL breaks
Something I’m trying to change is how I look at breaks in my life. Like, if I want to binge watch a show I should be allowed to do that from time to time. Or if I want to go out with friends. Even just sitting down to a craft or book in peace is something every mom deserves from time to time.
The problem is when we try and half-do our breaks. People really aren’t meant to multitask. You need to actually take a break when you want to, not just slack off with the kids around. That way you can enjoy it and rest properly without being “on” and ready to jump up if you’re needed. You need to not be needed.
Earning a break
Well, I think all moms deserve a break because they’re all working hard. Even if you’re not doing as much as you’d like caring for children is challenging and stressful work. But I also know that I can’t enjoy my break if I feel like there’s too much to be done.
So I earn them.
Instead of slacking off during the day and feeling more stressed out, I work hard. Then when I sit down the work is done and I’m feeling ready to relax. Luckily for me I have a really supportive partner who sees the value in what I do. He would let me sleep in every weekend given the chance.
Because I’ve earned them I feel justified in relaxing when I do. And, when I have a break, I feel a lot better after. It’s a win-win.
Moms shouldn’t work all the time
But we have to stop tricking ourselves into thinking that our “rest” time while home with the kids is the same thing as a real break.
I know that what I’m saying is not always possible. Single parents almost never get a break. Or maybe that break is when the kids are in bed. I know that you have a million things to do in the evenings, though, so even that isn’t possible. With my ex I almost never got a break because I cared for the kids 24-7. It was tough. But it’s still better to steal away 20 quality minutes than 2 hours of bad rest time.