Whether you’ve fallen into a Mom funk, experience Mom burnout or things aren’t as happy as they once were… these 10 effective strategies will help you find your groove and happiness as a stay at home mom. Steer yourself away from the stress and energy-busting ways motherhood can zap you. 10 effective strategies to finding your Mom groove and being a Happy Stay at Home Mom.
Whether you chose to be a Stay at Home Mom or fall into it by circumstance, adjusting to around-the-clock care for your children and juggling the responsibilities that come along with staying home, overtime it can consume and wear you down.
From the very second you wake up, there is not a single moment when you are not taking care of business. Kid business. Family business. Home business. Work business. Pet business. It’s a mountain of responsibility that falls on a Stay at Home Mom’s plate.
When the kids are napping, you’re not sitting on the couch or taking a nap, although that’s exactly what you’d like to be doing. Instead, you fold a load of laundry, sweep and vacuum, unload the dishwasher, put dinner in the crockpot and take a shower if you can squeeze it in. Before you know it, the kids have woken up and you’re back on call for the rest of the day.
The cycle repeats itself day in and day out. The only thing it’s comparable to is like living the real-life version of Bill Murray in Groundhogs Day.
The monotony of a routine works miracles for behavior and consistent sleep times, but it leaves the door open for discontentment and exhaustion to weasel its way into crushing a mother’s spirit.
If you do anything over and over long enough, your nerves are bound to get raw, emotions get the best of you and the body and mind start to drag.
Prioritizing the health and happiness of your kids, family, pets, home and other obligations, ahead of your own will chip away at the iron-clad patience you pride yourself on, as well as the joy you find in being a Stay at Home Mom.
Yes, being a Stay at Home Mom is an extraordinary privilege that some Moms would quit their day job for if they could, but that doesn’t mean it’s all sunshine, smiles and cuddles. We do not sit around playing with our beautiful little humans in a constant state of bliss or drink a fancy Starbucks beverage every afternoon. Psh.
From one Stay at Home Mom to a working mom, we have the utmost respect that you get up every morning, head to the office, work incredibly hard for your family, and then after a long day, make it home to love on your family.
We’re not moaning about our situation, nope. Sometimes the grass seems greener and the sun appears to shine brighter on the other side, but we wouldn’t change our lifestyle for the world.
We’re only looking for a healthy balance to getting our responsibilities done, eat up – and enjoy – the time with our kids and find a way to feed our Stay at Home Mom souls so we don’t lose sight of the joy and happiness in motherhood.
Loosing yourself in motherhood is easy to do when you’re working tirelessly to meet the needs of others. However, you cannot fully take care of your children until you take care of yourself.
You’ve heard this. You know this. But you don’t do this.
If you want to rock at this Stay at Home Mom business – and you do – you have to make a plan for your day, your family, your “list” and yourself.
Taking care of yourself doesn’t mean you jet off South of the Border for a weekend away, although about 4pm that might sound nice, it means you have practices in place that help your family and your own soul thrive.
If you want to rock at being home with your kids, you cannot drink 15 cups of coffee to stay awake. Being fresh and present when you’re with your kids means taking care of business and setting boundaries in a healthy and practical way.
After I fell into a second bout of Mom Burnout, I had to dig myself out and made a promise to my husband who cautiously eyeballed me every morning wondering if I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown, that I would find more efficient ways to be a mom, take care of our home and myself.
I was going to be the best damn Stay at Home Mom my kids knew existed.
This is a list of solid ways to Rock Being a Stay at Home Mom and steer clear of falling into a Mom funk and being discontent with your little people and home, especially since you spend every waking minute with them.
GET READY FOR THE DAY
When your wardrobe screams “I’m going to the gym” and half of your dresser is full of yoga pants, workout capris, hooded sweatshirts, trendy workout tops and sports bras – regardless if you hit the gym or are trying to give the impression that you do, it’s time to change up your look.
When is the last time you dressed in jeans or a dress? Showered? Did your hair and put on makeup? Wore your hair in something other than a ponytail or messy bun?
When you start the day off right you’ll be ready to conquer whatever comes at you. Getting dressed makes you feel polished and pulled together and reminds you that you look pretty damn good when you make a little effort to get dressed.
Need a little help getting dressed? Try Stitch Fix, a personal styling service that is sent to your home. Fill out a questionnaire on your sizing and personal preferences and your stylist will send 5 hand-selected pieces delivered to your door with a styling card on suggested combinations and outfits. Stitch Fix has a $20 styling fee that is applied as credit towards any clothes you buy. Anything you don’t like? No problem, just return them in the packaging they provide and send it back using their free shipping.
Exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous, it could mean getting outside to go for a walk with the kids, walking the dogs, or dancing in the kitchen to your favorite early 90s tunes.
I like to get nice and sweaty a couple times a week and am reminded of the awesome squat session when my legs are burning every time I go up down the stairs to change diapers. When I exert myself and can feel the burn – literally – this is where I let off steam from home life and clear my head.
Exercise releases feel-good endorphins that get you into a positive headspace. It’s especially helpful if you’re feeling frustrated or at your wits end and can release some of the negative pent-up energy you’re holding onto. After a couple minutes, you’ll feel the tension leaving your body and have a better perspective on things.
ASK FOR HELP WHEN YOU’RE OVERWHELMED
Moms who rock the stay at home routine know when to ask for help.
If they’re overwhelmed, have too many things on their plate or simply want to run to the grocery store and post office without three kids in tow, they reach out to a babysitter, relative, friend or neighbor who they trust and can lend a hand watching the kids for a few hours.
When Moms feel themselves wearing thin and recognize the signs, when they reach out for help, they are doing themselves and their families a huge favor.
Help doesn’t always come in the form of childcare though. Help may mean someone who can clean your home, help withyardwork, pick up the kids from activities, a Mother’s helper or babysitting trade.
SEEK OUT FRIENDSHIPS
Motherhood can be lonely when you stay at home every day and go through the paces. When your friends are at work and don’t stay at home like you do, it can be difficult to develop meaningful relationships with other Moms who you’re compatible with and have the same routine and interests.
It’s time to be brave and look for opportunities to meet new people and strike up friendships with fellow Moms and Dads. Do you see another Mom walking by herself in your neighborhood, is there a neighborhood email list, a local Mom’s group, childcare at the gym, or play facilities to connect with like parents? Consider meeting parents through a babysitting co-op, church group or online meet-up groups aimed at parents just like yourself.
ROCK YOUR ROUTINE
Moms who Rock their days have a great routine in place. Their kids wake up at the same time, eat, play, lunch, nap, etc. at the same time every day. The predictability helps with behavior and understanding your child’s needs at certain times of the day.
Need a sample routine? Check this one out to get started.
SUPER TIP: Routine Cards Help Toddlers Have a Consistent Bedtime Routine
Routine cards are a wonderful way to help kids remember what comes next, whether it’s for the morning, bedtime or an entire day. These printable routine cards come in boy and girls styles and include chore cards, and our online store offers printable morning and bedtime charts with coordinating routine cards.
SLEEP IS NON-NEGOTIABLE
Naps and bedtimes are non-negotiable in a house with a Stay at Home Mom. Along with a solid routine, kids who have consistency are most often the best sleepers and have a set naptime and bedtime that they are accustomed to and follow.
For the SAHM, these sleep times are critical to your sanity and giving you the break in the day that you need. Time for yourself and to decompress for an hour or two is exactly what will make you greet your kids after naptime or the next morning genuinely happy to see them.
LET KIDS PLAY INDEPENDENTLY
Being a SAHM Mom does not mean that you need to be your child’s constant play companion. It’s important as kids grow, they develop the skills they to play independently and rock at solo playtime.
Independently playtime helps children explore, learn on their own, strike up creativity and expand their attention span. It also gives you a quick break to breathe – or more likely, make dinner or fold a load of laundry you just fluffed for the 4th time.
Learn how to give your children time each day as part of your routine to play by themselves. Even newborns can benefit from this independent playtime and gradually with age, you build up the amount of solo time.
BE PREPARED FOR ANYTHING & EVERYTHING
You’re rocking this whole Stay at Home Mom business because you’re always prepared. You’re ready for accidents, dirty clothes, the pool, playdates, lunches out of the house and trips. You take the necessary time to prepare for the day – either the night before or that morning – so that you aren’t ever rushed, short on supplies while you’re out or left unprepared in a precarious situation.
MAKE TIME TO DO YOU
Part of the juggle of being a Stay at Home Mom, is including time for yourself away from your kids. It may be once they’re asleep when you head out for dinner with a friend, curl up on the couch with a book or to get your haircut. The point is that you make time to do something for yourself that you enjoy, everyday.
When you become a mother, your identity changes from who you were before you had kids whether that was a career you worked hard to build or the freedom you had. This shift in identity can be a challenge to accept but if you take time – even in the smallest of ways – to do something that feeds your soul, you’ll remain happy as a SAHM.
GO EASY ON YOURSELF
No one has experience being a parent before they are a parent.
Motherhood is a new territory you feel your way through as you are experiencing it. It’s easy to feel unsure of your decisions or guilt for the choices or behavior you have during the day. It’s easy to have a great day and then you lose your temper at the end of it, only to lay in bed feeling awful about not being better.
Moms who rock the Stay at Home lifestyle understand that their children are not perfect and neither are they. Everyone makes mistakes and parents and children are learning how to be just that, in the moment.
Moms who question and feel badly about their parenting know that it’s Ok to feel like this, but don’t hold onto those emotions and otherwise let it eat them up.
Tough times don’t last forever. Tough behavior, tough periods, tough emotions will always run their course. There will always be periods of chaos in motherhood.
Your house doesn’t need to be spotless or dinner prepared from scratch. If you have laundry piling up or ordered pizza twice this week, that’s Ok.
There is no such thing as a perfect Mom or a perfect family. Let go of aiming to be the perfect Mom, and instead know that imperfection will make you a happier mother.
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