For the last 3 years I have been a stay at home mom. Quitting my job and staying at home for my kids was the best decision for my family. I loved the fact that I could be available for my kids anytime they would need me and decide the daily influences on raising my children. Being a mom to twin boys meant there was always double the work and double the play from day one. We’ve had play dates, park visits, lunch dates, craft projects and mall tantrums. The days would be packed, exhausting and never quiet.
Now that both the boys have turned 2 years & 8 months, they’ve started their nursery last week and all of a sudden there was too much silence in the house. Truly children do grow with a blink of an eye. I still clearly remember the day they were born. I had held them both in my arms and instantly knew I would always be there for them and protect them from any harm that may come their way. But last week when they started their nursery and I had to let go of their tiny little hands so they could find their wings and get prepared for the big world, my reaction was definitely not what I was expecting. I am a very emotional person my nature, but I really thought that I would rejoice with joy once they are gone. Imagine 4 hours of me time, no babies to be fed or entertained or changed or the million other things that we moms do for our kids.
Well that was not the case for me and in fact the complete opposite of that happened. I sat back in the car after dropping them to their school and must’ve cried for almost 10 minutes thinking why I was doing this to them, my poor babies, hoping they were ok and not crying, would they eat, how would they cope without their mom! But in times like this we forget that they are well taken are of in their nurseries and school’s where their teachers so carefully and lovingly plan their days for them. They are surrounded with toys, books and all kinds of new things to learn and entertain them.
But what about the mom?
What about the mom who all of a sudden comes back to an empty home? What about mothers who decided to take a break from their flourishing career’s to look after their little ones? Or also mothers who decided to be stay-at-home and not go back to work at all.
When you are a working parent, you already have a structure in place. Once you drop your kids and get to work there are plenty of things at work to distract you just like your child is distracted with all the new things at the nursery or school. But if like me you decided to give your life a break for the sake of your kids then you’re definitely going to feel lost.
Now, all of a sudden I actually don’t know what to do with all the free time I have. Can you imagine! In my former life, I used to work for an event management company where we were usually so busy even working on most weekends during the peak season. So I’m really used to that kind of a lifestyle. But now that the kids were gone I did feel a little lost and was wondering what to do with all the new found time that I had. Also since they don’t have another younger sibling, I really do have some time on my hands to do something constructive.
So I have sat down and made a list of things that would probably help me and hopefully other moms into a smooth transition into this next phase of our lives.
1. Clear up your space
Whenever I feel low or upset or angry about something the best thing that makes me feel better is cleaning (after eating tons of chocolate of course!). I usually start clearing out my old clothes from the closet or clear out my old papers from the drawers, and remove all the things that I don’t use anymore. Doing this really clears up my head and helps me prepare for whatever is coming at me next.
2. Look after yourself
At a recent back to school workshop by Elena Andrioti she discussed how important it was to manage your own stress and look after your own well-being. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, it truly takes a village to raise a child.
Also what better time than now to get back into those pre-pregnancy jeans! You can work out at home or join a gym close to home. Now you really don’t have any excuse to get back into shape. Being fit will not only boost your confidence but will also give you the energy to keep up with you super active kids!
Pick up a new hobby or reignite your love for your old hobbies. I really enjoy photography. I had also taken a photography 101 course at Gulf Photo Plus when I was just 2 months pregnant. But I never got the chance to really play with my camera since the birth of my twins. So I’m really looking forward to getting back to my photography now.
Having a hobby are great for moms as they help bring balance, perspective and fulfillment into their lives. I think I could do an entire post on hobbies.
4. Get back to work
If you plan to get back to work then now there are some companies that can help new moms and mom returning to work after a break. Register with agencies such as Mums at Work or Hopscotch that are pioneers in the region for helping moms get back to work.
Also there are tons of agencies that could help you redo your resume as per current trends and standards.
Now is also a good time to get back in touch with all your friends who you couldn’t speak to regularly due to your baby commitments. Have coffee mornings with your working or non-working moms. Trust me they’ll be more than happy to have you back in their lives. So common now! Don’t be shy and go make that call.
I love to keep learning new things. You can register for a course related to your field of work. I have been working in the field of corporate events for the last 7-8 years. But now after a break of 3 years from work I feel like I need to be updated about the latest trends. Also, since I feel like doing something different I’ve registered for a course Advanced Diploma in Special Event Planning & Design with Arabian Wedding Academy. This is an online course and I can study as per my convenience and timings.
If you like giving your time to a cause you believe in then now you have more time for your favorite charities.
There are plenty of volunteer opportunities available here in the UAE. If you love pets then you could give your time to some of the non-profit organizations, that struggle sometimes due to lack of manpower. You could also register with some of the government initiatives such as Dubai Cares. You would need to register on their website and they will send you whatever upcoming volunteer opportunities they have available.
Having your child go to kindergarten is definitely an emotional experience but allow yourself to experience this change in your life as you move from one phase to another. But also in the mean time don’t forget to be yourselves!