The life of a stay-at-home-mom is not just challenging — it can also get incredibly lonely. Though there is unparalleled joy being with your little one, there are also moments when you need a little time to focus on yourself. It’s why we encourage time for self-care where you can indulge in small activities like drinking a good cup of coffee, journaling, or even just watching funny videos on your phone.
For Kara Western, a Canadian stay-at-home mom living in France, respite came in the form of doodling. When she was seven months pregnant, she wanted to give her partner a 12-month calendar as a Christmas gift, featuring their lives as new parents. According to her website, it eventually became a regular habit and with her partner’s support, she decided to open an Instagram account, @karacandraw, where she regularly posts everyday life with her now 2-year-old son, James.
“As a stay-at-home-mom, I fell in love with the honest, everyday moments that I shared with my baby. Whether it’s the sweet, simple act of playing on the floor or losing another night’s sleep being by your child’s crib, I try to focus on all the aspect that motherhood has to offer,” she writes on her website. “There is a lot of beauty to be found in our day-to-day lives, and it is these simple truths that I love to illustrate.”
Kara hopes that through her drawings, mothers, especially stay-at-home moms like her, would feel less alone. “It can often feel like we aren’t doing enough or aren’t being good enough parents, especially with the rise of social media and seemingly ‘perfect’ Instagram accounts,” she writes. “They might only show happy, smiling babies and perfectly clean houses, but I bet you they experience just as much disarray as us ‘normal’ folk.”
Raising a toddler can be chaotic, but it can also be rewarding.
1. Welcome to the ‘terrible twos,’ where saying ‘no’ is not an option.
Kara says she feels stupid for writing ‘fury’ with two Rs, “but that’s what happens to your brain when you’ve got a toddler yelling at you for 10 hours straight every day for over a week.”
It’s a constant state of tears and tantrums, which an be overwhelming and exhausting. But Kara reminds fellow parents that it’s also the time when your kids need you the most. “As a parent, my responsibility is to teach him healthy emotions and healthy expression, while holding patience and empathy in high value,” she writes. And learning it is a two-way street — parents should take note, too, before responding to meltdowns in anger.
2. But raising your toddler can also be loads of fun! Playtime can be anytime, anywhere.
Do you take showers with your little one?
Toddlers love to explore the world! It’s the perfect opportunity to teach him all about his surroundings.
Kara also shares the parenting lessons she’s learned while raising James. “I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes their ‘help’ is super irritating, but giving them a small, manageable task, helps them feel involved and keeps them out from under your feet.” (We agree! Click here for chores you can assign your toddler.)