Are not loving your role as a stay at home mom? We have 10 Tips in our Stay At Home Mom Survival Guide to help you get through it!
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Being a Stay at Home Mom is a choice many people make, but for some, it is something that we do because it “just makes the most sense” in our family’s lives. Taking care of the ins and outs of your family can take a huge toll on you!
If you think about it, as a stay at home mom we are “on duty” 24 hours a day 7 days a week. From the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep we are doing something for someone else, and then we even are blessed with the 2 am wake up call and the 4 am wake up call because our kids can’t sleep.
We are in knee deep with kids activities, cleaning, running errands for the family, and everything else that consumes our day. Everything always falls on us because “we are the ones that stay home all day…”
The world thinks that we are at home all day eating bonbons and watching TV and taking naps while the little ones sleep. But in reality, we are folding our 18th load of laundry for the day, prepping dinner, scrubbing toilets, paying bills, and possibly taking a shower after day 3 of not getting one if we can fit it in before nap time is over.
Every day we say the same things to our kids, “It’s time to go potty…” “Did you wash your hands?” “Have you finished your homework?” “How long have you been playing video games for?” “Please stop arguing with your brother, or I am taking that toy away…”
Every day we are faced with the same to-do list, “laundry, make dinner, clean kitchen, clean bathrooms, figure out where that horrible smell is coming from, pick kids up”… and the list goes on and on.
When we get in the cycle of everything always being the same I think it is only natural for us to start wondering what our worth is and just “start going through the motions” of life rather than really enjoying it!
It can be really difficult to be a Stay at Home Mom!
We put EVERYTHING and I mean EVERYTHING in front of us, even the dog!
Think about it for a minute…
We make what everyone else wants for dinner, even if we don’t like it. When we shop for our kids we buy what they like and then we search the clearance rack for something for ourselves because “no one will see it anyway” because we just stay home with an occasional trip to the store.
We ALWAYS make sure our kids have showered, but there are MANY days we go without one unless we want to count when our toddler licks us when they are acting like a dog.
When we do this day after day we will eventually get to the point where we are no longer finding joy as a stay at home mom. We are constantly tired, constantly short on patience, constantly out of clean clothes (because we don’t really buy them for ourselves), constantly dreaming of the day where things will change.
Being a Stay at Home Mom is one of the greatest blessings in my life! We get to see and take part in all the “firsts” our kids do! Each day we get to snuggle them all day and read storybooks. We get to see the smiles throughout the day and get to be the one they always want!
Deep down we all love being a Stay at Home Mom, but with that being said, it is challenging because we constantly feel like WE ARE LOSING OUR IDENTITY ALONG THE WAY.
I felt like the joy was fading, I felt like my patience level was non-existent, I felt like I wasn’t happy like I once was, I found myself constantly daydreaming of the days when all the kids would be in school rather than enjoying the time with my little ones. I was fantasizing about days where I actually did my hair and put makeup on and didn’t think, well I will just wear Pajamas today because I am not going anywhere anyway.
And then it came to ME! Why do I have to wait to care about me?! I care about everyone else!
As mothers, we constantly put everyone else before us! We put us LAST. But if we never take care of us, we are not able to take care of our kids
So, Guess what I did?
I STARTED PUTTING ME ON THE PRIORITY LIST!
This all started because my KIDS deserve an AWESOME MOM, who loves being home with them, my HUSBAND deserves a Wife who isn’t constantly depressed and irritable, and MOST OF ALL, I DESERVE IT! I deserve to be happy and feel like I was worth something!
So if you want to Rock at BEING A STAY AT HOME MOM (and who doesn’t?), you must put yourself on the To Do List every day and Do The Things On OUR Stay At Home Mom Survival Guide!
How Do We Do This?
Wake Up Before the Kids Do
I know what you are thinking… I already get like zero sleep and you are saying to get up earlier? Yes! That is exactly what I am saying! If you wake up and start your day before you have kids running around asking you a million questions and tending to everyone else you will feel refreshed and ready for the day.
I heard you just say, “ugh!” Trust me I said it at first too!
Find Something that you love to do! Maybe it is a workout video, or maybe it’s throwing the kids in the stroller and going for a walk! Here is my favorite stroller! Perhaps it’s going to the gym and taking a yoga or spin class!
I am not one who likes gyms… I find them to be a waste of money and then the time it takes to drive there and back home, I feel like my whole day is wasted… So I love taking the kids for a walk/ run. I love being outside putting earplugs in and listening to my favorite Jam!
Have you tried Amazon Music, yet? I love it!
Exercise helps you feel good about yourself! If you are stressed and want to tear your hair out it is the perfect release of all that negativity.
I love to think about everything bothering me and amazingly enough step by step those things that were bothering me aren’t as big of a deal as they were before I left my front door.
Get Ready Every SINGLE Day
If I know I am not going anywhere, I am notorious for living in pajamas or workout pants all day. I sometimes (ok, you caught me) usually don’t brush my hair and just throw it in a ponytail and I never put makeup on. This look makes me just want to curl back into bed and sleep all day! There was nothing that said I am motivated to care for myself. (I know, honesty is hard to admit, but there you go)
When our wardrobe says, “Hey, I am headed to the gym at some point today…” or “Hey, I just rolled out of bed it is time to start caring about YOU!
Let’s ask ourselves some questions:
- When was the last time you showered?
- Did you put makeup on when you knew you weren’t going anywhere?
- Have you done your hair lately? Or is it in a messy bun?
- Are you excited with what you are wearing today?
- When was the last time you were ready to go anywhere that popped up a moments notice?
Let’s be honest a shower makes us all feel like a million bucks! And when we get dressed in clothes we actually love it just makes us feel a TON BETTER about life! And honestly, it doesn’t take any more time to put on a pair of jeans and cute shirt than it does to put on workout pants and a sweatshirt. Throw on a lit bit of lipstick and you will want to hit the town running! With very little effort you will feel like a whole new person!
Establish Friendships and Do Things With Them
As women, we have a need to talk and communicate with others! I mean girls naturally just talk more than boys. I remember when I first became a stay at home mom, I would get so excited for my husband to get home so I could literally word vomit everything that happened that day as well as everything else I wanted to say.
Let’s just say he was not able to take all the talking that I wanted to do (he let me know this by falling asleep sitting up on the couch in the middle of one of my VERY IMPORTANT thoughts). I quickly learned I needed to find someone else who would listen.
Spending all day with little kids can be lonely. We spend all day doing mom tasks and the one thing we all crave is an adult conversation. Someone that talks back at our level! It is important to have other mom friends! Other women that are going through exactly what you are going through!
Do you see other moms playing with their kids at the park? Do you know of a neighbor who stays home with their kids? Are their playdates you could attend in your area to meet other people? What about at church? Who do your kids like to do things with?
Establish good friendships with other moms.
Once you find friends, do things with them! Spend time together! Invite them over or go out to lunch, or better yet, exercise together! If you are headed to the store and want some company, invite them along. It is so nice to have friends that you know you can pick up the phone at any time and know that they would have your back in any situation.
Ask For Help
So many times I have been stressed and at wit’s end and I still refused to ask for help. I always looked at asking for help as a sign of weakness; I now realize it was only a sign of being too prideful and that asking for help is a strength.
In order to rock at being a stay at home mom, we need to know it’s okay to ask for help and also accept help when people offer it!
I remember when I was pregnant with TJ I was deathly sick and in bed for days and also had an 18-month-old at the time. I knew I needed help, but refused to ask for help “because I can do it myself!”
Well, my very sweet neighbor knew how sick I was and she offered to help me. I, of course, told her that I was fine and that Talie could just watch TV with me in bed and snuggle. We went back and forth, her insisting and me refusing. But finally, she said, “I will be at your door in two minutes to get her.” I grudgingly said, “yes” not because I didn’t trust her (she is an AMAZING MOM), but because I didn’t want to ask for help or accept help.
She came and grabbed her and I was able to sleep and not have to worry about what she was doing. A few hours later Talie came home. I was able to actually play with her and spend quality time with her, rather than us just lay in bed watching TV all day.
That help was the best gift I ever received.
I learned a valuable lesson that day that asking for help is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of strength and we need to let others help us! That’s what we are here for to help one another!
Have a Routine
As a stay at home mom, we have to establish a daily routine in order for us to be happy! Kids thrive on consistency and so when we are able to give that to them then the world is a better place for them and for US!
Naptime/ Rest Time
As a stay at home mom, you need a designated nap/ rest time every day! I have been able to align the two nappers schedules to nap at the very same time in the afternoon. This allows me to have a few minutes (at least 30) of peace and quiet while I fold laundry, clean up a mess, or even sneak away to my room to read a book for a few minutes (yes, it’s okay to leave a mess to have some you time).
You need a break in the day and that is what this time does for you. It allows you to take a breather! It is a perfect time to break out the good chocolate and have a piece. When they wake up, not only will you be refreshed and rejuvenated, but they will as well!
If your kids are past napping stage they still need down time just like you. Set them up with some good books to read in their room and let them know it is quiet time. After your predetermined time is up then go and get them and let them know it is playtime again!
Kids don’t need our complete focus all the time. They need to learn to play on their own. They need to learn to use their imagination, explore, and have fun as an individual. This also gives you time to get things done.
We also need to let kids play. We need to let them explore, make messes, as well as fail while playing. This teaches them life lessons. When they are done with their mess help them learn to clean up what they have done. When they get bigger it will become second nature to clean up after themselves.
With that being said we need to designate time to play with them. They need to know we love spending time with them and exploring. On the days that I don’t give the kids the attention that they need I tend to show frustration easier. They spend most of the day climbing up on me when I am trying to get something done and whining at me while making dinner. They do this because they want your attention.
Stop and give them the attention they crave!
It is much happier for everyone and we are able to get more done!
You spend all your time caring for everyone else, but you can’t forget about YOU TIME! This is time away from the kids. Maybe it is a night out with a friend, maybe a quiet bath after dinner while your husband is playing with the kids, or curling up with a book during nap time. It could be as simple as escaping into the bathroom to paint your nails.
These simple things allow you to continue to ROCK at being a stay at home mom.
These small moments allow you to breathe, to reflect, to be happy. It allows you the strength to continue being an AWESOME MOM to your kids!
Motherhood is hard. It doesn’t come with an instruction manual. When you think you figured out being a mom you quickly realize what works for one child doesn’t work for the other.
It is easy to question what we do as a mom every single day. It is easy for us to get in our heads and think we suck at being a mom and that everybody could do it better than us! It’s easy to get upset… Trust me I have yelled!
Stay at Home Moms that Rock know that they are doing the best they can!
They know that life is not perfect and there are always things to learn along the way!
They know that some moments will be easier than others, but they try their best in every situation and that is all that matters!
As a Stay at Home Mom, we expect so much of ourselves. We expect us to maintain a perfectly clean house, have well-behaved children, we expect perfection, and when it’s not we are so hard on ourselves.
Moms feel like we are failing, and then we become depressed. We are our own worst enemies. So the most important thing we can do to Rock at being a stay home mom is to FORGIVE OURSELVES!
No one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes.
We all wish we would have done things differently at times. Parenting is hard, why make it harder by not forgiving yourself for doing the best that you know how to do. When you learn to forgive yourself you will be happier, and by doing this you will ROCK at being a stay at home mom.
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Michele is a Family Life Educator. She is a mom to 5 kids and loves helping others strengthen their families! When she is not blogging she is spending time with her family and running around drinking Diet Coke trying to get everything done!