Struggles of being physically there yet too occupied

Struggles of being physically there yet too occupied

    Mom, are you there?

    Becoming a stay-at-home mom is a choice many women make with the intention of being more present for their families. This dream often includes spending quality time with children, taking care of the household, and creating a nurturing environment. While this aspiration is admirable, the reality often unfolds quite differently. The paradox of being physically present but too occupied is a challenge many stay-at-home moms face.

    The Myth of Boundless Time

    One of the common misconceptions about being a stay-at-home mom is the idea that you’ll have an abundance of free time. In reality, being present for your family can be all-encompassing. From the moment you wake up until bedtime, you’re often engaged in tasks related to childcare, housework, and family responsibilities. The days can feel like a never-ending cycle of feeding, diaper changes, cleaning, and playtime.

    Occupied Minds and Endless To-Do Lists

    Being too occupied as a stay-at-home mom isn’t just about physical tasks; it’s also about the mental load that comes with the role. Your mind is constantly occupied with thoughts of what needs to be done, from planning meals to scheduling doctor’s appointments to organizing playdates. This mental occupation can sometimes make it challenging to be fully present and engaged with your children.

    The Guilt of Multitasking

    Stay-at-home moms often find themselves multitasking to manage their many responsibilities. While juggling tasks is a valuable skill, it can lead to guilt. You may feel torn between playing with your child and the pile of laundry that needs folding or trying to answer work emails. This guilt is a constant companion, reminding you that being physically present doesn’t always equate to being emotionally present.

    Striving for Balance

    Finding the balance between being physically present and occupied is a constant struggle for stay-at-home moms. It’s essential to recognize that you’re not alone in facing this challenge. Many other moms experience and feel the same thing. Here are some strategies to help address this issue:

    1. Set Boundaries: Create dedicated times for work, chores, and personal time. This structure can help you allocate your attention more effectively.
    2. Prioritize Self-Care: Taking care of yourself is crucial. Schedule breaks and make time for activities that rejuvenate you, whether it’s reading, exercising, or pursuing a hobby.
    3. Engage in Quality Over Quantity: Focus on the quality of the time you spend with your children rather than the quantity. Be fully present during playtime, and limit distractions during these moments.
    4. Seek Support: Don’t hesitate to ask for help or delegate tasks when possible. Friends, family, or a support network of other parents can offer assistance and understanding.
    5. Practice Mindfulness: Mindfulness techniques can help you stay in the present moment and reduce the mental clutter that comes with multitasking.

    Remember, being physically present yet too occupied is a common challenge for stay-at-home moms. By acknowledging this struggle and implementing strategies to address it, you can create a more balanced and fulfilling experience for both yourself and your family. Know that it’s okay to seek support, take breaks, and prioritize self-care to navigate this paradox effectively.

    This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’
    hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla in collaboration with Outset Books.

    Mom, are you there? Becoming a stay-at-home mom is a choice many women make with the intention of being more present for their families. This dream often includes spending quality time with children, taking care of the household, and creating a nurturing environment. While this aspiration is admirable, the reality often unfolds quite differently. The…

    20 Comments

    1. Setting boundaries as a mom is indeed important. A post that will resonate with many.

    2. Your insights on the reality of being a stay-at-home mom are spot-on. The struggle to balance presence with constant tasks and mental load is relatable. Your practical tips offer a helpful guide for finding that elusive equilibrium. Thanks for sharing!

    3. You have rightly pointed out the need to set firm boundaries and have space for yourself. somedays I just the clutter let it be and find it very normal and also kind of blessings of abundance.

    4. Tell me about it. It is so difficult to juggle with work and family life especially young kid in the family. The mind be so stressed out that even being physically present with my son I am not able to fully be present as in the mind is absent. You have given some important points that we need to adapt. Surely work on it.

    5. Currently I am in this phase. Trying to get out of this boredom. Your tips will really help me out. Kitna bhi Karo we stay at home mom get stuck in emotions, household works and with no help I am letting go many things which are not necessary to burn out. Thank you for the blog post.

    6. These are very apt pointers, its high time family members stop taking stay at home mom for granted and such moms start setting boundaries for what is important to them.

    7. Tell me about it Jeannine… i have struggled and been through those guilt phases and experienced every single down of being a SAHM to two kids. At one point i was so obsessed with managing everything n doing my chores on time that i overlooked myself completely. However, there was a turning point one day n it just happened while I was under the shower after which i let go of many old habits of dusting, arranging, clearing. Doesnt mean that i overlooked the chores but i managed both somehow once i started to focus on myself. Unknowingly i started doing everything you’ve mentioned and it actually worked. I realized how important all that was. In that way, your blog is very useful and helpful. Now that the kids have grown up, i take their help in many things around the house.

    8. A lot of people think stay-at-home moms have all the time in the world but that is never the case. There is so much to do. To totally agree with your tips especially quality over quantity.

    9. Yes…I’m glad someone has put the plight of SAHMs so clearly. Everyone thinks we have plenty of time in hand but the number of tasks expected from a SAHM is endless.

    10. Jeanine, what I believe is that we as moms need to be multitaskers irrespective of the fact that we are SAHM or working moms. So planning well in advance is something which can keep us balanced in the role of a MOM.Secondly make a routine of what you want to have in 7 days in regards to food for the family,food preparation will be easy. Thirdly, set reminders for PTM, doctor visits, tution timings or even for birthdays or other occasions in your mobile and it will keep you updated and nothing will be missed. Support from a partner is very important as that is what makes this simple and manageable… just ask for it. For all parents and not just Moms…take your care first to take care of others…it’s the same like the flight crew instructions… If Oxygen level goes down, first put on your oxygen mask and then help others. Don’t try to please all as you cannot..do not allow even your kids to take you as granted. Make them also understand that Mom or parents also need rest and care.

    11. I wanted to thank you for bringing up this topic. I too am a stay-at-home mom and also a writer/blogger. I understand how difficult sometimes it is to multi-task and people often have a different opinion on SAHM.

    12. Being mentally occupied when I should be present in the moment leaves me feeling disconnected from the richness of life’s experiences. I miss out on the joy of genuine conversations, the beauty of nature, or the simple pleasures of solitude because my mind is preoccupied elsewhere.

    13. This topic has endless discussions from working moms and SAHM. Life is as easy as you make it to be. We never knew me time in our youth and devoted whole life to the family but now I wished I knew about tis then.

    14. Hi Jeannine,

      I couldn’t agree more with what you’ve shared here. The reality of being a stay-at-home mom is so different from what many people imagine. It’s reassuring to read your words and know that I’m not alone in feeling this way. The mental load and guilt can be overwhelming at times, but your advice on seeking support and prioritizing self-care is spot on. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences.

    15. For every mother and father, the first lesson should be to prioritise themselves. However we love our kids, we should never ignore ourselves and do things to such an extend that we lose track of things

    16. Yes, it seems that SAHM moms have it all, time for themselves, time for family, and no pressure to work or balance work and home, but the reality is entirely different. With only one partner working sometimes there is not enough money to go around and you have to engage in strict budgeting. I have seen most SAHM feel guilty about spending time or money on themselves. It is not easy being a Stay at Home Mommy. Well written and good tips Jeanine!

    17. I wish my mom had this time for herself. Now, she does as she is in her 70s, but her entire younger days, she was preoccupied with us. It would have been good for her to have a more relaxed life with more time. It’s a tough task for SAHMs. I hope more of them benefit from your tips.

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