The Stay At Home Mom Survival Guide

Are not loving your role as a SAHM? We have 10 Tips in our Stay At Home Mom Survival Guide to help you get through it!

Should I Be a Stay at Home Mom (SAHM)?

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Being a Stay at Home Mom (SAHM) 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! 

The only person that can truly decide if being a SAHM is right for you is YOU! Every mom is different and every family is different.

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Being a SAHM is a Full-time Job!

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 are even 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…”


RELATED ARTICLE: Stay at Home Moms are Lazy and This is Why



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.


RELATED ARTICLE: How to Keep the House Tidy with Kids


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 (SAHM). 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 SAHM 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. 


RELATED ARTICLE: 7 Ways to Rediscover Yourself After Motherhood


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?



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!



There are Lots of Ways to Fill Your Bucket!  

Have you ever heard the saying, You can’t fill someone else’s bucket if your bucket is empty?  Here are some great ways to fill your bucket so that you have more to give.  

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.

Taking a few moments each day to fill your bucket will prepare you to fill everyone else’s bucket!  


RELATED ARTICLE: Why I Make a Purposeful Plan 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!

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RELATED ARTICLE:  How to Start a Fitness Journey After Motherhood

Exercise helps you feel good about yourself and it’s a great way to fill your bucket! 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).


RELATED ARTICLE: 11 Steps to a Better Morning Routine


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. So make some efforts toward making good friends!

RELATED ARTICLE:  The Importance of Mom Friends in Our Lives

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! Friends help fill your bucket too! 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!


RELATED ARTICLE: Morning Routine Ideas to Get You Out the Door On Time


Naptime/ Rest Time

As a stay at home mom (SAHM), 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 Play

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.


RELATED ARTICLE: What Parents Need to Know About Imaginative Play Benefits


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 Time

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. These may be small moments, but those little things help to fill your bucket. It allows you the strength to continue being an AWESOME MOM to your kids!

RELATED ARTICLE:  How to Show Love for Yourself To Be A Better You

Letting Go

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.


You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM, and PINTEREST to find more great ideas on raising kids, spicing up your marriage, and having fun as a family!

Did these Stay at Home Mom Survival Guide help you out? Share it with other SAHMs on Pinterest!

Are not loving your role as a SAHM? We have 10 Tips in our Stay At Home Mom Survival Guide to help you get through it!


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  • momlifewithchiari

    Such phenomenal post! Taking care of us gives us that extra push and motivation we need to in return take care of others to the best of our ability! 😊🙏🏽

    July 3, 2018 at 9:57 pm Reply
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  • Nick Holland

    Great tips! I often tell my wife that staying at home parenting can be tougher then going to work. Hats off to you if you can maintain your sanity as a stay at home mum

    May 29, 2018 at 8:04 pm Reply
  • Morgan

    Love this! As a stay at home mom it is so hard for me to put myself first. However, when I do I feel like I am able to be a better mom and wife because I am taken care of as well. This is an important reminder to that more often. Thank you 🙂

    May 11, 2018 at 1:00 pm Reply
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  • Kelly

    I’ve only ever been a working mum, but I admire mums that stay at home so much! I love my Wednesday’s off with my daughter but I think I’d struggle to be a stay at home mum every day. Thanks for linking up to #fortheloveofBLOG

    March 13, 2018 at 2:32 pm Reply
  • Brooke Bent

    Hi Michele!

    Thank you for your post! This was a great read and a great reminder to take some me time so that I can be the best mom for my kids.

    As I was reading this, it’s 5am, I just woke up to feed the baby, and I just remembered I have to put my husbands work clothes in the dryer so he has them when he wakes up.

    This stay-at-Home Mom thing is no joke. Everything you said resonated with me. From finding Mom friends do you don’t word vomit on your husband when he comes home lol to learning to let it go. My “me” time is either a cup of tea or a hot bath (or both!).

    Also, any tips for making kids nap at the same time? Right now it’s not an issue because our 1mo sleeps most of the day. But when he’s on a two nap schedule and my daughter takes one, I’m not sure how that will work out.

    I’m pinning this post now!


    March 12, 2018 at 7:01 am Reply
    • Michele

      Thanks Brooke!
      Mom life is seriously no joke for sure! I have a post on finding mom friends posting Tuesday so definitely check back and kids napping at the same time I’ll work on that! Thanks for stopping by!

      March 12, 2018 at 7:35 am Reply
      • momlifewithchiari

        Yes, my little ones all nap at the same time, lifesaver. The little ones will be trained to sleep on the older ones sleep schedule. This will give me time to shower and get out of my sweat pants – even if it is past noon time! Better late than never! 😊🙏🏽

        July 3, 2018 at 10:03 pm Reply
  • Dr. Elise Ho

    The reality really is quite different than the illusion that some people work under. Awesome post. I loved it.

    March 11, 2018 at 8:38 pm Reply
  • Andrea

    This is such a great post – the getting up earlier and actually getting yourself ready is so important. It’s a job right? You wouldn’t not prepare or get yourself in order for any other job. I’ve just started a new link at my blog – I’d love it if you posted this there. Hope to see this and any other post you want to link up.

    March 9, 2018 at 12:15 pm Reply
  • Diane

    Hi! I love this blog. I am still getting my ropes and hoping to transition to a stay and work at home mom. I could easily relate on that topic about Ask for Help. When I was pregnant, I hesitate to ask for help mainly because I want to prove I can do it and also to not burden other people. But a lot of my friends had insisted especially since I’m single (that’s another story). For the sake of my well being and my baby, I’m glad I listened.
    Dropping by from

    March 8, 2018 at 4:02 am Reply
  • Alicia

    Amen! Getting up before the kids, exercise, shower & dressed. It’s hard to believe what a huge difference these things make but they do!

    March 7, 2018 at 2:37 pm Reply
  • Lydia C. Lee

    I get up from 6-7 to work on the blog – that’s one hour just for me. I’m trying to squeeze in more regular exercise. I do squeeze more in for me than I used to. #FortheloveofBLOG

    March 7, 2018 at 2:18 pm Reply
  • Karen

    I’m a homeschooling stay at home mom of 4 that has learned a lot of the lessons you shared the hard way. I used to do nothing but mothering and put everyone in front of myself like you said. I now do things differently… get up early, take care of myself, spend time with my friends, take time to do fun things that I enjoy. It makes me such a better mom if I take care of ME. thanks for sharing this!

    March 7, 2018 at 2:12 pm Reply
    • momlifewithchiari

      I agree, you do indeed become a better mom when you’re feeling good! 😊🙏🏽

      July 3, 2018 at 9:59 pm Reply
  • Kerry Smith

    Blogging helps to preserve my sanity. I do it for me more than anyone else. 🙂 I’ve been a SAHM for 15 years. Can’t say I’ve rocked it, but my boys are worth it.

    March 7, 2018 at 12:02 pm Reply
  • Halley Foulds

    Love this post! I’m currently trying to get back in the groove of working out. I was doing so good prior to the holidays and then life just got busy and I’ve been seriously slacking but I’m working my way back into it! I felt so much better when I was working out a couple of times a week for sure! I also agree that waking up and getting “ready” for the day helps me to be in a better mood, feel better about myself which translates to having a better day with my kiddos! So many great tips here! Thanks for sharing! <3 #wanderingwednesday

    March 7, 2018 at 11:04 am Reply
  • Lori

    Great tips! I especially agree with getting up before the kids. It totally makes everything run more smoothly if you can get up and get yourself organized before he chaos begins:)


    March 7, 2018 at 9:37 am Reply
  • jenniferwise4heritagemakers

    Great advice! I love it. One of my best Me Times when my kids were growing up was doing scrapbooks/memory books with a friend. (I know–shocker!) 😉 We had kids the same age, so the kids got a play date out of it. We would get together for like 3 hours, do our memory-keeping while the kids played, have lunch together, work/play some more, then head home for naps. It was awesome. I got time with my friend, I got important things accomplished that made my heart happy, and my kids got play dates. That kind of thing is so important!

    March 7, 2018 at 9:04 am Reply
  • NeededInTheHome

    Oh, that’s deep thinking there. I love it! The being ready to go at a moment’s notice is a tough one for me. I think I am going to change my shirt now! 🙂

    March 7, 2018 at 8:43 am Reply
  • Michele Morin

    As a SAHM, I quickly learned that being at home did not necessarily mean that I was being present to my kids. Thanks for this very actionable piece that makes us accountable for our minutes and our attention.

    March 7, 2018 at 7:58 am Reply
  • The Rhyming Mum

    Such a great post and so important too. I used to feel so awful doing anything for myself but now I remind myself that you can’t pour from an empty cup and it encourages me to look after myself so that I’m still able to take care of my family. #fortheloveofblog

    March 7, 2018 at 6:50 am Reply
  • wraemsanders

    This was a great post and so true!

    March 7, 2018 at 6:16 am Reply
  • mylifeasgladys

    OMG! every single tip here was what I needed to hear and implement in my life. As a stay at home mama, I am guilty of putting everyone first, not taking care of myself, not getting dressed because I figure, whats the point. This post has blessed me beyond all means! I can’t wait to start tomorrow. I am going to set my alarm to wake up 1 hr before everyone to just give myself time to just…be lol. Thanks so much! Definitely subscribing and sharing!

    March 6, 2018 at 10:59 pm Reply
    • Michele

      Oh I am so glad it helped and it’s what you needed! Let me know how it goes! I think we are all guilty and need little reminders to take care of us so we can be our best self so we can be the best SAHM. 🙂

      March 7, 2018 at 6:19 am Reply
  • Amy Hagerup (@amyhagerup)

    I love how you said, “Put yourself on the to do list.” LOL. That is great. I loved having my kids home – they are all grown now, but we had 41 years of parenting with a child at home! Amazing.

    March 6, 2018 at 12:43 pm Reply
  • hampersandhiccups

    Great motivational post! Asking for help is key. I was always too proud and stubborn to ask for help (in the past, the odd time I asked I would be shut down). Once our second baby came home and I was feeling the change like CRAZY, I had to swallow my pride and get some help. It was a huge step for me and one that I’m so glad I took. It has saved my sanity. And each time, it gets a little easier.
    Great post

    March 6, 2018 at 10:14 am Reply
    • hampersandhiccups

      Popping back via #wanderingwednesday <3

      March 7, 2018 at 1:20 pm Reply
  • Raising Rome and Rio

    Great read and very true!! I’m working on getting ready everyday. That seems to really help my mood lol

    February 27, 2018 at 9:54 pm Reply
    • momlifewithchiari

      It’s amazing how we need to say that out loud and not sound crazy to other moms. Because I get it! Yes! Only if you’re a stay at home in particular would you understand this! 😊🙏🏽

      July 3, 2018 at 9:55 pm Reply
  • Jen

    Before I became a stay at home mom, I would NEVER go a day without showering, ugh! Now I practically have to force myself in there (especially when it’s cold). So what do I do? I got a little two to three hour job helping somebody while the kids are at school. It forces me to get up, get ready and be on time. I’m home way before the kids and all ready! 🙂

    February 27, 2018 at 2:08 pm Reply
    • Michele

      Love this idea Jen! Thanks for sharing!

      February 27, 2018 at 2:10 pm Reply

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