It is imperative that stay-at-home moms create a life apart from their children. Developing a business from home, joining parenting support groups, spending time with adult friends and volunteering a small amount of one's time are important ways of refocusing one's energy and validating personal identity.
Finding someone to caretake for the children may be difficult, but necessary. Hopefully, a partner is a team player in this regard and provides the mom with time away from her children. This is in the best interest of the adult relationship as well as the adult-child relationship.
Mothers may make excuses as to why a baby-sitter doesn't meet their expectations. Part of maintaining a self-identity for the mother is learning to let go of the children and allowing the children to be "raised by the village." If a stay-at-home mother desires to create a healthy sense of self, she needs to learn to entrust her children to significant others.
Suggestions to assist stay-at-home moms in creating and maintaining a strong self-image are:
- Don't be an overly-possessive mother. In doing so, you give your power away to your children.
- Listen and respond to your own needs. This is not being selfish but honest and empowering.
- Always trying to please your children will backfire. They will not respect you and you will not respect yourself.
- If your children make mistakes it is not a reflection on you. Remember you are ok as long as you allow children to become self-directed through learning from their own experiences.
- Create a life for yourself apart from your children. Involve family, friends and significant others to support you in your self-rewarding activities.
- Eradicate the words "selfish" and "guilty" from your vocabulary. They are words that diminish your worth and keep you from developing confidence.
- Recognize the harsh reality that your children don't always need you. It's amazing what they can do for themselves.
- Let go of the illusion of being the perfect mother. Parenting is an art. Having to be perfect puts an unreasonable burden on you.
Stay-at-home moms can develop confidence and feel empowered if they can learn to meet their own needs apart from their children.
Setting appropriate boundaries, being assertive, and giving your children appropriate space with encouragement will enhance a mother's sense of self-determination and confidence.
Part 1 - Stay-at-home-Moms
can maintain their identity.
Author James P. Krehbiel, Ed.S., LPC is an author, freelance writer and nationally certified cognitive-behavioral therapist practicing in Scottsdale, Arizona. He is the author of Stepping Out of the Bubble: Reflections on the Pilgrimage of Counseling Therapy
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