I already gave myself a little note about lessons learned as a stay-at-home mommy and now I'm flipping the roles around and sending some 20/20 vision out to my SAHM friends seeking a bit of a balance while in the trenches.
1. Act like you're going to work: Get up, shower and drink your coffee just like you would start a day of working outside the home. And then take it a bit further: put on make up, and dress up, comfortably. You'll feel better about yourself.
2. Enjoy your thoughts: The main difference, that I can tell, between a stay-at-home mom and a mother who works outside the home is the fact that most SAHMs have more time to think. This can be good, and this can be bad. Whatever the outcome, be thankful that you have that space to reflect on the good and the bad instead of just wading deep in a pile of sticky fragments.
3. Relish the Nap Time: The second main difference between a working moms day and a stay-at-home moms day is in the nap time. Of course, that's only when the kids are napping. After that, it's all the exact same. No time to do anything. At. All. It's not mommy wars. It's called motherhood. But, while you have a nap break, use it to your advantage -- and that means get off the computer, and do something quiet just for you.
4. Exercise: I honestly thought I never had time to exercise, and really, I didn't but now looking back I realize I really did have more time. It wasn't perfect. It wasn't ideal. But it was something -- and it was MUCH more than I can give to that important hobby now. So, even if it's just running at the playground or doing push-ups in the playroom -- it's better than sitting at a desk all day. Seriously.
5. Take. A. Freaking. Break: Yeah, you ... leave the child. With someone else. For a whole day. Or a half a day. But, leave them. Hire a sitter and just go. Live with it. Deal with it. Learn to let the grips of guilt fall to the side, learn to leave your white knuckles at home, with the dirty diapers and mealtime battles. You will not be a better mother just by being with her or him around the clock. Trust me. You'll all be better off in the end.