So, there I was, new to a city. My husband had just started a new job and was working long hours. I was transitioning from being a working mom to a stay-at-home mom. I had a toddler and a newborn baby. I felt so lost. I wasn’t getting enough sleep, my newborn was breastfeeding every couple hours. My toddler who so desperately needed to get outside, was busy playing on his iPad. Netflix binging was at an all-time high. I didn’t have the motivation to get dressed or do anything. At best, I was walking to the pool every few days, but even that was a chore. I would say we would go later, and then the hours would just go by.
I would justify the whole day getting away from me. My husband would call on his way home and more often than not, I was asking him to pick something up for dinner because I didn’t have it in me to even do that. I was depressed and anxious. I was giving all I had to keep my two tiny humans alive.
Something needed to change
I would cry most days and nights knowing I was unhappy, but stuck in this awful pattern of never leaving the house and staying in pajamas all day. Finally, (after some tough love) I saw something for a local moms group and decided to go to one meetup. At first, it really wasn’t about meeting other moms, though the friendship has been an incredible added bonus. I needed a schedule! I was used to working. Get up at six, eat breakfast, drop child at daycare, get to work by eight…my whole day was planned out. Sure, we had pj days, but those were few and far between because we had stuff going on and places to be.
Now I had nowhere I had to be, and I realized that it was too easy for me not to make myself do anything then. So, I needed a deadline. I needed to know that the playgroup was meeting at 9:30, so that meant getting up at eight. Eat breakfast, getting out of the house by nine. I’d pack the diaper bag of snacks and change of clothes and there you have it. It took some navigating with two kids at first. I was perpetually 10-15 mins late everywhere we went, but that got better (most days). It started with a moms group, then story time at the library, a meet-up at the aquarium. Little by little, we had our thing. We’d go somewhere in the morning, come home for lunches and naps, some more play time, dinner, and wake up to do it all again.
I started to meal plan like I had done when I was working. We picked a grocery shopping day and a laundry day. I attempted to clean one room of the house a day (in the hopes that by the end of the week, at some point, the whole house was clean).
I have made incredible friendships with the moms group that I joined, and that certainly helped my depression and anxiety. My kids made friends and they were happy to have play dates. But more than anything, for me, I realized I needed the schedule. I needed the deadline. I needed to know that I had to leave the house by a certain time. Once I was out of the house, I could go do whatever else. Another trip, an extra errand. Sure, there are still days when I’m fifteen mins late, and I forgot to take meat out of the freezer, and I’m still calling my husband to pick up a pizza on his way home. There are days when we watch trolls three times because the house is a disaster and I haven’t cleaned and that’s the only way the kids will sit still. But I know that those moments are just part of being a mom. Getting myself on a schedule, making friends, and getting out of the house made me a happier person, a better mom, and a better wife.