Am I fulfilled as a SAHM? I have been often asked this question by my friends and acquaintances. And my answer to this is a big YES. I would be sharing my secrets that got me to this Yes in this post.
Of course, it has not been always like this. I too had my share of lows all along my journey to happiness. Just accepting the fact that I am a stay at Home mom was not an easy one for me. Since I have been raised amongst ambitious women and right from my childhood, I have been tuned to see dreams & work hard to make them true.
With time my dreams took a backseat but what stayed me was the passion to add value to whatever I am doing in life. So I took up this role of a SAHM and tried to work around in the best possible way.
Am I Fulfilled as a SAHM?
Since life had a different path carved out for me, I had 2 options in with me. Either to fight it out and still continue working for my dreams or to tweak & twist, walk patiently and then reclaim my passion and dreams when my kids became a little more self dependent. And I chose the latter one.
In the mean while, I worked hard each day to keep my dreams and passion ignited in me while being the doting mother to my kids. I worked each day to remain happy, joyful and worthy. So today I can say confidently, that yes I am a fulfilled SAHM and this is because I choose to be one each day. I prioritise self care and I am ok being imperfect.
11 Powerful Ways I Worked on My Happiness as a SAHM
For SAHM to move from everyday stress to thriving as a SAHM, putting in place healthy habits play a big role. This is what I intended to create in my life – a web of habits that can make a SAHM happy.
|1. I took frequent Time outs|
|2. My Salon visits every month|
|3. I shopped for myself too|
|4. I read every day|
|5. I hired househelp|
|6. I learned so many new things|
|7. We travelled often|
|8. I spent time Outdoors in sun everyday|
|9. I had fun with friends|
|10. I ate healthy|
|11. I asked my husband to participate more in raising kids|
1. I took frequent Time outs
Be it my favourite book fair or The fun Soul Sante, I made time for me to step out and attend the events I wanted to. This involved a lot of planning to have someone around the baby for the hours I was out, but it was definitely worth it. I even asked my friends and cousins at times to look after the baby while I went out and did what I wanted to.
And trust me I came back to absolute normal things at home. The baby was doing fine, and the care taker for the day was happy too because they knew they could fall back on me for anything. This is what relationships are made of, isn’t it?
2. My Salon visits every month helped me stay happy & fulfilled
I made sure that I looked after myself. My monthly salon visits got regular and I juggled things around to have my beauty time at salon. This made me look good and feel good about myself. I was always ready to go out whenever there was a plan and I loved that life.
3. I shopped for myself too
Apart from looking for cute dresses online for my daughter and few essentials for the my boy, I did send time and invested energies to style & shop for myself. I spent on quality essentials as well as picked up some really chic and fun clothes.
4. I read every day
I loved reading self-help & management books. I felt closer to the work while I updated and unskilled myself with newer concepts and management thinking coming up. So I spent time everyday to read. With investing this quality time on myself I saw myself moving up the IQ and I also found myself confident enough to stand and participate in intellectually stimulating conversations. And this made me happy.
5. I hired househelp
At that time I found cooking meals as a big and difficult task. So I hired cook to come home and help me in making and freezing a few meals for the week. And trust me I had so much more time in the day. Of course this required weekly meal planning in advance but I found it was all worth the effort I made every Sunday in planning for weekly meals.
6. I learned so many new things
I learned many new things like bread baking, cake decoration, doing Garba (a kind of Indian dance form) and so many more. Additionally, I tried my hands at photography and took a class on growing Microgreens. Apart from that, I studied an online course on international leadership & organization behaviour just to upgrade my knowledge. I also did a course of fermentation of veggies and I love all my classes as they helped me widen my perspective on things in life.
7. I travelled often & this helped be feeling happy & fulfilled
At every opportunity of a long weekend, we travelled. Sometimes planned and sometimes unplanned. But we travelled to new places gathered new experiences and explored new locales. This helped me immensely in breaking free from my regular monotonous everyday routine and feel refreshed and rejuvenated.
The pic you see in the graphic above is of a place called Annecy in France where we went for a family holiday. There were a lot of amazing experiences we lived through in our France holiday right from world-class unmatchable in flight experience of Emirates to fantasy-filled and iconic shows and rides in Disneyland.
8. I spent time Outdoors in the sun every day
I made it a point to go out and spend at least 30 minutes in the sun every day. This not only helped in refilling my vitamin d levels but also worked wonders on my overall happiness quotient. And this is one thing I never leave my house without. My favourite sunscreen on my skin.
9. I had fun with friends
Apart from my monthly meetups with friends, I used to take out every 15-30 mins time I had and go out for ice cream or a coffee to my nearest cafe. This really helped me stay connected to my friends and being excited about my day. At times I also worked out together with my friend.
10. I ate healthy
I took care of my health and mindfully worked on eating healthy meals and snacks. And trust me this worked in a big way to increase my happiness & wellbeing.
11. I asked my husband to participate more in raising kids
This one was a difficult conversation to have. Not because of the anticipation of a certain type of reactions from him but because I was not fine asking for helping them I knew that he was doing a lot in providing for the family and slogging it out in the corporate world. It took time to change my thinking on this one and again my friends really helped me in this. And I agreed to talk to him about actively participating in raising our kids and I am glad I did. Because it worked beautifully and helped increased joy in my entire house.
Self Care is an important part of being a fulfilled SAHM
Motherhood has not been a cakewalk for me at all. But, when I started prioritising Self Care, I saw big changes happening in my life. I started working on disciplining my life and putting morning routine a day routine &. night routine in place for myself & my kids. And these worked like magic in straightening my life.
New Motherhood Was a Big Change in My Life and I Took My Time to Understand How to Do It All
While career, ambition and reaching for the stars were ingrained in my genetic composition right from childhood. To top it up, was my fascination to live an independent & successful life as an entrepreneur, I had it all laid out in front of me to make it to the tribe of young Turks. However, all that is planned is not necessarily got to show up in your life.
Here Is My Inspiring Story of Being a Fulfilled SAHM
And so I am writing my story here with a sole intent of inspiring millions of other stay at home moms who are just like me. This is my journey of transformation from a super ambitious young girl who wanted to make it real big for herself in life to now a happy & fulfilled stay at home mom of 2 lovely kids.
The journey to being the SAHM started way back in 2007 when my elder daughter came to our lives. And I decided to give up my career & channelise all my energies to raise her.
Motherhood Was the Only Thing on My Mind
The new phase of motherhood came in with a lot of fulfillment, love & joy in my life and I never really got the time to stop and listen to myself. I was completely on my toes with learning, doing, and failing many times before I could get it right. Reading books, joining online mommy communities, surfing the internet, I did it all to skill myself on parenting. With time I became the SAHM of an enthusiastic toddler & we crossed over the difficult years of infanthood together.
Life was still very demanding because my daughter has been extremely talkative right from her younger years. With working round the clock at home completing chores and taking care of her, I never realized that I ended giving up on my own life, my choices, my friends, my shopping. It was all about her and happily so because she was our first child and we wanted to do all for her.
I had flexed my schedule around her natural sleep and wake up times. I adapted my meal preferences to be palatable for her, and I cut my long hair just for the reason that I could not take out time to do my hair every day. I ended up not looking after myself at all just to be the perfect mom.
I Look Back and See What Was Missing in My Life
However, with all these difficulties, I did enjoy my motherhood. I do have beautiful memories of being a child with her. Singing rhymes, to painting pots, playing peekaboo, to the Rock Paper Scissors, we have done it all.
I clearly remember the day when my husband and my daughter went visiting her grandma and I got a day off. That was after years that I stopped to hear my inner voice. It did not really take long for the feelings to surface, my suppressed feelings of wanting to do something more meaningful. I had always wanted to get back to work and the very reason that I was not been able to do that started hurting me with each passing day. I found myself unhappy and cranky at the drop of a hat.
Followed this was feelings of worthlessness, and cutting myself from all kinds of social interactions. it was a difficult phase of my life. I avoided meeting people just for the fear of that 1 question. The question that triggered a tsunami of emotions not very positive in me. The question that screamed at me – ” What do you do in life?”
Life was some good days, some bad days and some really not so good days. I was happy when all of us could go out and spend some good time together. But staying alone at home, doing household chores being responsible for things I did not really enjoy doing… all these things were really depressing me every day.
Don’t Let Perfectionism Ruin Your Happiness, Dear SAHM
However now when I look back to that time, I feel that balance was the concept that was really missing at that time in our lives. Self-care & activities for my own happiness were just not seen on my To-Do list for years together. Perfectionism is a myth, I realise it only now. And I do miss my really long and beautiful hair.
Taking things in my charge, I started working on being happy every single day. Every day I took out time to make a choice to be happy. I did what I enjoyed doing every single day. I prioritised self-care stopped running after perfectionism and I took it easy in life.
Also since my career was important for me, I now also take out time every day to work on my blog that I love. And In fact, connecting with other SAHM and listening to their stories is something that inspires me & still makes me wonder about all the magic SAHM have in them.