Notes on Parenting

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

How to Fulfill Your Potential as a Stay-at-Home Mother

Mom on laptop

Many mothers choose to stay home with their children while their children are in their younger years. According to the 2006 U.S. census, there were 5.6 million stay-at-home moms at that time. One challenge that many of these mothers face at one time or another is their pursuit in accomplishing their individual goals and in feeling that they are making an adequate contribution to society. Mothers, whether at home or in the workplace, are at risk for facing burn-out. It is no secret that mothering comes with many challenges. I think that mothers who are able to take time for themselves are able to face mothering with a better outlook and more energy. This quote from Camilla Eyring Kimball (1986) given at a BYU Women's Conference sums it up nicely:
"If we want to give effective service to our families and our neighbors, as we are commanded to do, we must develop ourselves to our full potential. We need to enlarge our intellect and perfect our character...My feeling is that each of us has the potential for special accomplishments in some field."

So how do we enlarge our intellect and perfect our character? Here are some ideas:
  • Further your education through going back to school, taking online classes, or taking a class in your community that you are interested in.
  • Take art, music, or dance lessons.
  • Figure out a game plan to accomplish a goal that you have had for a long time. Sit down with your spouse or a friend who would be willing to help you.
  • Start a book club or join up with one. This is a fun way to socialize and have intellectual conversation.
  • Decide a subject that you would love to learn more about and study up on it by checking out books from the library and looking at online resources.
  • Find a volunteer opportunity that you would be interested in doing.
Now that I have presented these ideas, I realize that it is very challenging to find time away from your kids to do these things. I would suggest finding a friend who would do a kid exchange with you. You can take her kids while she has some time out and she can take yours while you work on an area of interest. If money is not an issue, find a babysitter who is willing to come at the same time every week. Also, get your husbands involved. Find a consistent time during the week when your husband is available to watch the kids. I would love to hear your ideas and suggestions and what has worked for you.

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