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Mom, Are You Happy?
Author: Nicole Dean

Iím a new Stay at Home Mom and Iím just miserable. I love my baby, but I miss my career and my co-workers. Going back to work isnít an option. But, how can I be happy? What can I do?
Signed Ė Miserable in MO

Dear Miserable,
Making the transition from a busy career woman to a stay at home mom can be quite a struggle, especially if you really enjoyed your job and your co-workers. Iíve been there!

Donít get me wrong. Being a Stay at home mom is a great job. Iíve been an at home mom for several years and I wouldnít trade being home with my kids for anything. But, it was hard to adjust to the transition from conversing with adults to talking to a drooling diapered dude all day.

So, how can you go from struggling stay at home mom to a happy one?

Take time for you. Get rid of the guilt. You do not need to play with your baby 10 hours per day, just because youíre home. You can take time to rub some lotion on your feet or read a book. Youíre setting a positive example for your little one that Mommy matters, too. And, every time you pick up a magazine or book, youíre also reinforcing the concept that reading is good. (Well, even if that one is an excuse, itís worked for many years for me.) So, grab a book and relax. As long as youíre keeping baby close by and safe, youíre doing just fine.

Spend time on your marriage. You may not always like your partner, but you do love him. Whether you go on a date night or just sit together on the couch at night, show him that heís special to you.

Donít let the Ďmessy house syndromeí win its battle. Try to do at least one load of laundry daily Ė and put it away. Load the dishwasher before you go to bed so you can wake up to a clean-ish kitchen every morning. Youíll feel better about your day if you do.

Stay healthy. If your health suffers, you canít take care of your baby. Eat well, drink lots of water, take naps every chance you get, and try to get some fresh air and exercise every day. Itís good for you and your baby. And, as convenient as that drive-through fast food is, keep it to a minimum. That sodium and grease does not help your mental or physical health.

Plan lunch dates or grown-up time. Bring your baby to lunch to meet your co-workers. Or, if baby doesnít handle restaurants very well, then have your friends over during a weekend for a barbeque or card game. You can still have a life.

And, of course, if you just canít break past the blues, or if you feel unsafe around your baby, then get some help. I promise you that you wonít be the first mother to walk into a doctorís office and break down into tears. Itís hard work being a Mom. And, itís a heck of an adjustment.

Take care of you. Your baby needs a healthy, happy Mommy. Your baby deserves that Ė and so do you.

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Nicole Dean is the Mom behind www.showmomthemoney.com/StayAtHomeMom.asp a free and fun resource helping moms in all areas of life.

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