5 September 2012, by Mandy Loh
I suppose it was inevitable, and I should have seen it coming. But it still stinks to realise that the honeymoon is over.
When I first became a stay-at-home mom half a year ago, I thought it was a dream come true – my calling fulfilled. I was overjoyed to be able to spend all my time with Cristan, taking care of him and witnessing all his milestones. I knew that part of the job description included cooking and cleaning, but I figured it was a fair deal for what I was able to enjoy.
Some “more experienced” moms warned me about the loneliness that came with the position, but I brushed it off, thinking that all I needed to do was arrange regular lunches and meet-ups with friends. Even Tim told me that I wouldn’t be happy for long because I’d get bored. I laughed and insisted that I wouldn’t. Well, I guess he was right after all!
It’s not that I’m bored of Cristan. He’s still my pride and joy, my darling little munchkin whom I love to bits. It’s not that things aren’t working out either. Our household, though far from perfect, is humming along just fine. And it most definitely is NOT because I have nothing to do at home – the work never ends. It’s really just the MONOTONY of daily life that’s getting to me, and the mind-numbing repetition of each day’s routine that is slowly driving me insane.
I’m also disappointed to realise that although I’m at home all day, there is precious little time to meaningfully interact with Cristan. There’s usually only about an hour in the morning between breakfast and his morning nap, and another hour after lunch before his afternoon nap, when I’m able to play or read with Cristan. Other than that, I’ll be busy preparing meals, feeding him, and washing up afterwards. (I’m still amazed at how time-consuming it is to cook!) Thankfully, Cristan has become much more independent nowadays, especially since he’s started walking, and can happily play on his own for periods of time while I’m busy with housework.
Worst of all, I’ve been feeling so guilty that I’m having these negative emotions, because being a SAHM is what I really wanted, and I thought that it should be heaven on earth everyday. But I think most SAHMs grapple with these same feelings of boredom and frustration every now and then, and I just have to learn to deal with it. In fact, a quick Google search revealed that boredom is quite a common “job hazard” of SAHMs!
So if you’re also a SAHM, or planning to be one, here are some tips from other moms that I found online and would be trying out soon, to pull myself out of this funk:
1) Plan an activity everyday – visit a relative, swimming lessons for kiddo. Anything, so long as there is something to look forward to daily, and an excuse to get out of the house.
2) Find opportunities for me-time. An occasional massage or facial would do wonders.
3) Have regular contact with other grown-ups. There’s only that much toddler babble one can take. Join a mommy’s group if available, or organise playdates with friends.
4) Find some part-time work. (Hmm…I write on a freelance basis, but this doesn’t seem to help me. If anything, the deadlines give me more stress and negativity. Haha!)
5) Lastly, and most importantly, acknowledge that it is OK to have these negative feelings once in a while. It’s only human, and just realising that lots of other SAHMs feel the same way makes one feel a whole less lonely already!
Ok, so who’s free for lunch? 🙂