Now that it’s been about a month that I have been a sahm I am realizing the challenges that come along with it. Not that I thought everything would be sunshine and rainbows all the time but until I was elbows deep in this new life of mine I didn’t fully know what to expect. I still don’t really. Things change constantly.
Most of the time I feel like I manage it well. Finding a balance between cleaning/laundry/keeping up with the house and entertaining/ teaching my toddler and baby is becoming easier too. Though there are some days that finding that balance is not easy. At all. Those days are hard.
The days that the baby is going through a growth spurt and wants to nurse constantly. When the toddler is rejecting her nap and cutting molars and is generally just a little ball of anger. When it seems like I’m in the kitchen dawn to dusk, dishes are multiplying in the sink by themselves yet everyone is crying because they’re still hungry. Yea, those days are especially difficult for me. I definitely recognize that my anxiety goes sky high on those days.
When I am anxious I like to clean (I’m kind of like Monica from friends 😜). Organization and a clean house puts me at ease. Since I was a little kid, I remember cleaning and organizing my bedroom to feel better. You would think that would mean my house is always sparking…. welllllll not so much. It is kind of difficult to get a lot of cleaning done each day with two littles on your tail! I do manage to get the basics taken care of, but when my kids are having off days I don’t get much more than dishes and sweeping done. Unfortunately for me, when I’m already anxious and I can’t clean, it amps up my anxiety and then I notice everything around me that needs to be cleaned and I feel like the house is closing in on me. It’s a super fun cycle to be in.
The other day I was having one of these days and managed to get both kids to sleep at the same time. I was looking around at things that needed to be done. I got through the whole kitchen, rearranged the living room and dusted. Swept, dry mopped and wet mopped the floors, cleaned the bathrooms AND began to tackle the playroom…. without even really thinking about I rearranged the kids bookshelf by color. As I sat there looking at it when it was complete, I felt very much at ease. The house was cleaned, the playroom was picked up and now the bookshelves were organized. I laughed at myself, and thought…. WOW, I am that Mom now. If anyone came over and saw this shelf I’m sure they would have a few choice comments that they might choose to keep to themselves.
However, the new bookshelf organization is pretty! It makes me happy and lends itself to teach concepts to my toddler. We practice color identification and matching when cleaning up and I give her simple directions to follow to practice receptive language.
- Find a small blue book from the middle cube
- Find a big book with a purple spine
When I get right down to it, I guess it’s not necessarily a bad thing to be “that mom”. I grew up in a home that was always clean and organized, and I want my kids to as well. I also know that it is a way for me to control my anxiety and I definitely want my kids to grow up knowing that it is OK. That there are ways to help yourself cope with things you don’t like and that it doesn’t have to get out of control. I am thankful that a rainbow bookshelf is enough to help me on most days.