According to a 2012 Gallup analysis of more than 60,000 U.S. women, stay at home moms (SAHMs) struggle more often with worry, sadness, stress, anger, and depression than working moms. We often feel underappreciated, unnoticed, walked on, and overworked. While we can’t change the nature of our jobs, we can change how we feel about it. Here are my 5 favorite resources for keeping my attitude in check.
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1. Own Your Life by Sally Clarkson. After my last baby was born, I noticed that while I sat feeding the baby my overly tired mind flitted back and forth over all of the things I couldn’t change in life. By the time the baby was finished eating, I was in a worse mood than when I sat down to feed the baby! Fed up, I surfed Amazon.com, looking for a book to read and came across this one. I hadn’t read a Sally Clarkson book in a decade, so I decided to try it. It turned out to be the best decision I could have made! In her characteristically artistic and gentle style, Sally lovingly walks us back to remembering our purpose and bringing much-needed order to our daily chaos.
2. Thirty-One Prayers for my Husband by Jennifer Smith. I originally bought this book because it showed up as an ad in my Facebook feed. I had been feeling a little cranky with my husband for a few days and knew that the best way to put my attitude back in whack was to pray for my man. When I am frustrated, my prayers usually resemble this pattern, “Lord, you know what David’s needs are. I lift him up to you.” I am laughing as I type this up, amused that life-exasperation has the ability to render usually wordy me to a silent mess. While my aforementioned prayer was sufficient, I prefer to pray more specifically. That’s why Thirty-One Prayers for my Husband appealed to me when I saw the ad. Let me tell you, ladies, it is a great book! It’s difficult to feel frustrated with your husband when you are praying for him.
3. The Lifegiving Home by Sally Clarkson. Love, love, love this book! It is easy to fall into the trap of reducing homemaking to housekeeping. After being a SAHM for so many years, my tired heart needed fresh insight and encouragement in the area of homemaking. Sally brings perspective to breathing life into our homes. Inside this book, you will be encouraged to find focus and purpose for the activities inside your home as well ideas for how to make your home a more warm, loving environment for all who enter it.
4. Bible Studies by Elizabeth George. Twelve years ago, I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. I’m not ashamed to admit that having 3 babies in 4 years undid me in a way that couldn’t be fixed with positive thoughts and willpower. I was caught on the teeter-totter of too little sleep, then a panic attack, causing too little sleep, resulting in another panic attack and I didn’t know how to get off. Reading these little books before I went to bed that made a huge difference (there are several different books). Each lesson takes only 10-15 minutes to do. I always felt more peaceful when I was finished, resulting in better sleep. A few weeks after starting my first book, I noticed that I was having fewer panic attacks. Nine books later, I was feeling pretty great (and disappointed that there weren’t more of them available!).
**Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. The information contained on this website is not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, or to be a substitute for any professional advice, guidance, or counseling. Always seek the advice of a healthcare professional regarding any medical condition.**
5. Find your tribe! I know that this isn’t a book, but I’m adding it to the list anyway. Finding your people and spending time with them is super duper important. Do you like photography? Join a photography group that meets at local parks on the weekends for photography walks. Do you have young children at home? Join MOPS or a local moms group. Do you like bible studies? Go to a weekly bible study during the day at a church near your home that offers childcare. I have found that these kinds of studies often have women of all ages in them. Multi-generational studies are fun, fun, fun!!!! Older women have such a beautiful, realistic, refreshing perspective on life and we need to hear it. Do you like scrapbooking, bullet journaling, or have some other hobby, but have littles at home and no way to get a sitter, join an online Facebook group. In this modern era of social media, it is easy to connect with women that share your interests or stage in life.
Having spent the last 16 years as a stay-at-home-mom, I understand the emotional battle we all face. Choosing to stay at home with our children is an honorable profession (the best profession, in my book). It is certainly not easy (is work ever truly easy?). But, we do have control over how we go through our days, how we react to situations, and how we deal with the stress. It is essential that we surround ourselves with great things. The above list is a good starting point.
I’m always looking for a good book to read. Do you have a recommendation? Let me know!