The best Internet resources for stay at home moms.

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Being a Stay At Home Mom is a fulfilling and rewarding experience, one that will leave a lifetime impression on you and your child. Research tells us that the first few years of life shape the way a child learns, acts and thinks forever. The things children learn during these first crucial years will mold and influence every facet of their lives, characters and destinies. It's an awesome opportunity for you to help your child grow and learn. But what a tremendous responsibility!

Naturally, since you have such an important job as a mom, you take this responsibility seriously and want to do everything possible to insure that you help your child realize his full potential in life. It can be overwhelming. But don't let it overwhelm you! Don't become so focused on your child's wellbeing that you overlook your own. In order for your child to become the best that he can be, you have to be the best that you can be, too. You wouldn't neglect your child. Don't neglect yourself, either.

While being a mother is a huge part of who you are, don't try to make it all of who you are. Remember that besides being a mom, you're also a woman, a human being in your own right, a thinking, feeling, spiritual individual with needs of your own. You have thoughts, ambitions, hopes and dreams that are unique to you and you alone. Being a full-time mom doesn't have to make you a part-time person. You don't have to put yourself on "layaway" until your children are grown, packing away every part of you that doesn't relate to parenting until then. As you nurture your child throughout their formative years, don't forget to nurture yourself, too.

One way to do this is to set aside a set period of time every day that is just for you. Your time, to spend as you wish. Read a book, watch a favorite television show, write a poem, chat on the phone or online with friends, give yourself a manicure, experiment with a new hairstyle, or perhaps just sit down with a cup of tea and do nothing but relax. The important thing is to find a space in your busy schedule, carve out a slot of time just for yourself, and take it.

Your "me" time might be during your child's daily nap. Or you might want to set your alarm clock to get up an hour earlier in the morning, before your child wakes. Maybe the best time to have all to yourself is after your child goes to bed at night. Regardless of when you schedule a time to be spent doing whatever it is you want to do, make sure that you treat it with just as much importance as anything else on your daily schedule. You wouldn't skip feeding your child a meal because you were too busy, for instance. Your time for you is just as critical. Treat it that way!

Taking time for yourself should be just as much a priority in your daily routine as anything else you do. The benefits of devoting an hour or so each day to spend on the things that make you feel happy and relaxed, nourishing your own inner self, are immeasurable. You'll be a better mother and a better, more well-rounded person when you take care of yourself as well as others. Be good to yourself. You deserve it.