I remember my days in the insurance industry- I was working long hours, missing the crap out of my newborn daughter and longing to be a stay-at-home-momma (SAHM). I remember sitting in my cubicle and sometimes I would boldly check Facebook when I thought my boss was distracted and I'd scroll through my feed only to see friends of mine who were SAHM's desperately clinging to coffee and complaining about the day they were having. All I could think was "SHUT UP how bad can it be?!". Not every woman wants the chance, but I did…. And then after paying off our credit cards, cars and a few personal loans I got my chance.
Then reality hit. I finally understood the struggle. I went through a really hard time trying to find my place in a world where I wasn't recognized for my achievements, wasn't thanked as often as I hoped, and the pay was much lower. I couldn't see how priceless my job was because I wasn't getting a paycheck. My daughter didn't want me to do her hair in cute ways. My Pinterest projects failed. My house was still messy. I was still having trouble balancing my life. I struggled with serious guilt the first 6 months as my husband and I fought over money on a daily basis. I was not happy. I felt like every SAHM in the world was happy, but me. I was miserable.
Here's my best advice on how to be an absolutely MISERABLE Stay-At-Home-Mom
- Focus on everything you don't have. Forget the old saying "comparison is the thief of joy". Go on Facebook a lot to see how much better everyone's life is. Complain about how miserable you are and how you never have anything to do.
- Don't join any mom groups: Just don't. You don't need other women that "get it". You don't need a friend to bring you coffee and hand you Kleenex when you're having a rough time. You don't need a group of stroller toting hot mommas in yoga pants and no makeup to join you on a walk. When I hear of a women struggling to be a SAHM I find myself constantly saying "JOIN A MOM GROUP". My local MOMS Club coordinates weekly activities, we have a monthly mom's night out, and playgroups. The women I've met in my MOMS club are some of my bff's and helped me out of my misery. But if you would rather be miserable, don't look at your local hospital or the MOMS International website for groups in your area.
- Don't exercise: Do NOT I repeat, do not find something you love to sweat with- Zumba, Bootcamp, Home workouts- your choice. But don't do it. Don't reap the benefits of endorphin's surging through your body, stress relief or the tiny break from your minions.
- Don't do anything for yourself: Feel guilty for every moment you spend away from your children. Don't you dare continue your hobbies, celebrate your birthday, enjoy a solo grocery shopping trip (YOLO!) or go on a Mom's Night.
5. Don't find a church group for moms: Did you know there are lots of churches that offer childcare while you study the bible and help gain biblical perspective on motherhood? I don't recommend joining MOPS or GROW (God Renewing our Women). You will get a break from your munchkins while those women pray for you, pray for your family and encourage you when you are struggling to find God's plan in motherhood for you. And you'll grow spiritually too. Speaking of spirituality- don't pray either. You don't have time for God. Doing so can lead to finding fulfillment through God's plan for you- which can lead to happiness instead of misery.
6. Focus on how little money you contribute: All the housework, songs sung, books read, diapers changed, doctors visits, playdates, hugs given, kisses received, laundry, errands run and I LOVE YOU'S don't pay the bills.
7. Don't let others help you: If someone offers help, decline. They might mean well, but what kind of woman cannot handle her own life these days? Accepting help is a sign of weakness.
8. Have unrealistic expectations: Set goals so high they can never be reached. Make high demands of yourself and your family. The house doesn't get dirty if the kids sit still and quiet, right? Make sure your house is spotless, you look perfect, the kids are quiet, and don't let anyone see you fail. Nothing less than perfection will do.
9. Isolate yourself: To reach maximum misery, it's best to think you are the only struggling SAHM in the whole world. There is no way other moms deal with sleepless nights, budget crisis', blowouts at Target, or mom guilt. Nope. Just you. So hide so you don't embarrass yourself.
10. Don't prioritize your marriage: Resent your husband for working late. Internalize your feelings. Don't communicate your fears and struggles. Let him try to read your mind. Fully immerse yourself so fully into being a miserable SAHM you don't go on dates, don't have sexy time and forget how amazing your spouse is.
I certainly hope you can detect the sarcasm in this post. But on a serious note, it took me nearly a FULL YEAR to figure this all out and I still struggle at times. I've now been a SAHM for 3 years and wouldn't change a thing. If you're struggling, please remember you're not alone in this crazy journey of motherhood and that life isn't always puppies and rainbows. Find your tribe. Playdates are really for the Moms. You don't need to be miserable!