Busy But Bored

As I live outside of Washington D.C., last month I took a couple of days off from my job as a mom and volunteered for the presidential inauguration. (My husband and mother filled in for me at home.) The chance to actively participate in the outside world and spend time in a bustling city (sans kids) was invigorating.

Take the long view: As a stay-at-home mom your homebound hours can often seem endless, but a time may come when you'll be back in the workforce and/or juggling all the places your kids need to be (for school, sports, socializing, etc.). If you're struggling with the monotony of your stay-at-home routine, try to focus on the perks of your current parenting career: No commuting, office politics or daily child care angst, the freedom of not being tied to a workplace, the ability to spend time with and directly care for your child or children.

It can also help to keep in mind that working day-after-day at any job can be boring, whether you're a stay-at-home mom or a business executive. As Sandra, a trial attorney turned stay-at-home mother, reported to me about a conversation she had with a former colleague: "She asked me if I was bored being at home with kids," recalls Sharon. "I finessed the question. While I didn't point out that I had often been bored in meetings with her and people from, say, the insurance industry, I did explain how I now presided over meals with kids between the ages of four and six, discussing things like how infinity is not actually a number, but rather a concept. They all got it. Those kids were a lot smarter than a good number of the people at the meetings I used to go to. So who's bored?"

Melissa Stanton is the author of The Stay-at-Home Survival Guide: Field-tested strategies for staying smart, sane, and connected while caring for your kids (Seal Press/Perseus Books). Prior to becoming a stay-at-home mother of three (including twins), she was a senior editor at LIFE and People magazines. Visit with Melissa, and learn more about her book, at Real Life: Support for Moms . Become her Facebook friend via The Stay-at-Home Survival Guide fan page.

Copyright © Melissa Stanton. Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org, LLC.