11 effective strategies will help you find happiness as a stay at home mom. How to organize your days with the tools to being a Happy Stay at Home Mom.
FINDING HAPPINESS AS A 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 your 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 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 family, ahead of your own will chip away at the iron-clad patience you pride yourself on, and rob your of the joy in motherhood.
Yes, being a Stay at Home Mom is an extraordinary privilege 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.
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, no.
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, to 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 probably 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 Stay at Home Mom for my kids and that’s all that mattered.
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.
1) GET YOURSELF DRESSED
When your wardrobe screams “I’m going to the gym” or “I just came from the gym” – regardless if you actually did or didn’t, it’s time to change up your look.
When is the last time you dressed in jeans or a dress?
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 confident in the clothes you dress yourself with, 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 and ditch the Mom bun for a hairbrush.
2) MASTER YOUR MORNING OR YOUR EVENING ROUTINE
Keeping all the balls in the air is a busy job and over time, can become overwhelming.
When you wake up in the morning, or go to bed at night feeling worn down because you don’t have any time to refuel your own tank, you know it’s time for a change.
Something has to give because you can’t keep running on an empty tank. Amiright?
I know how it feels to physically feel beat down by 5pm and without energy to make it to bedtime after a long day with my kids. To make matters worse, I’d look around to house and see a mess in the sink, hear a dryer full of clothes I still needed to fold and lunches I had to pack for the next day.
It felt like the hamster wheel was getting the best of me, and it was. It seemed I was always falling behind of my responsibilities, and it was overwhelming trying to play “catch up.”
If you feel like something needs to change, and quickly, then it might be time to makeover your mornings, or makeover your evenings. I took the makeover your morning class by Say Goodbye to Survival Mode author, Crystal Paine and it transformed how I approached the day and my productivity.
If you need helping figuring out how to get all.the.things done, then either of these 14-day classes would be a huge help!
3) MOVE YOUR BODY
Exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous, it could mean getting outside to go for a walk with the kids, taking your dogs for a walk around the neighborhood, or dancing in the kitchen to Taylor Swift.
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.
I push myself and can feel the burn – literally – and it helps me let off steam from home life and clear my head so I can come back to my babies clear minded.
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.
4) ASK FOR HELP BEFORE YOU GET OVERWHELMED
Moms who are rocking their days, know when to ask for help BEFORE things get bad.
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, asking for help is a gift they give themselves and their families otherwise shot nerves can result in raising your voice and yelling, or losing your patience.
Help doesn’t always come in the form of childcare though.
Help may mean someone who can clean your home, help with yard work, pick up the kids from activities, a Mother’s helper or babysitting trade. Get creative if money is tight and think of ways to ask for help without spending any money.
5) SEEK OUT & NURTURE 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 parents.
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.
6) ROCK YOUR ROUTINE
Moms who Rock their days have a great daily routine for their kids in place.
Their kids wake up at the same time each day and mealtimes, playtimes, and sleep times all follow a particularly flow as the day is scheduled to best fit their daily needs.
The predictability or having a good routine helps with behavior and understanding your child’s needs at certain times of the day.
Need a sample routine for your toddler? Check this one out to get started.
If you want a place to keep your entire family’s schedule in sync, the FREE Cozi Family Planner is the way to go. The Cozi Family Planner is the best FREE app for family organization and makes it easy for all your family members to track schedules, work obligations, activities and appointments in one digital place. Sign up to create a free account, upload all your details and download the app to your phone and you’ll see everything synched in one place. Easy, right?
ROUTINE TIP: Routine Cards & Charts Help Kids Learn Routine Quickly
My kids use these routine cards (the girls have these and my son uses these routine cards) which I had printed and laminated. Every day we put them in order for the day so they know what the schedule looks like as well as what age-appropriate chores they need to finish before dinner.
Parenting Resources to Help You with Routine:
- 11 Helpful Charts for Kids: Chores, Reward & Daily Routines to Help Kids Thrive
- The Benefits of Having a Daily Routine
- Mastering Your Daily Routine: Including 40 Sample Daily Schedules
7) YOUR KID’S SLEEP IS NON-NEGOTIABLE
Naps and bedtimes are non-negotiable part of the day. 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.
Parenting Resources to Help You with Sleep Times:
- 9 Tips to Make Bedtime Easier: Get to Bed Without a Battle
- Sleep Regressions: What You Need to Know to Survive Them
- Mastering Your Daily Routine: Including 40 Sample Daily Schedules
8) KIDS LEARN HOW TO 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 their 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.
One of the easiest and fastest way to help kids gain independence is through the use of routine cards (my girls have these and my son uses these routine cards) and routine charts where they learn to navigate their day without nagging or reminders.
9) BE PREPARED FOR ANYTHING & EVERYTHING
You’re rocking this whole Stay at Home Mom business because you’re always prepared.
That’s right, you’re always ready for accidents, dirty clothes, the pool, playdates, lunches out of the house and trips.
This means, 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.
Here is what I like to do to stay organized and always have what I need, even if I’m running out the door:
- In the summer, I keep a swim bag with toys, goggles, sunscreen and towels packed in the garage so all I have to do is grab it on the go.
- Keep an emergency kit in the car and one in your house.
- Rotate out a bin in your car for each season with snacks, spare set of clothes or sweaters, water and books.
- Heading out the next day? Pack your bag the night before and leave a checklist of last-minute items to bring in the morning which may be in the refrigerator or something you have to do like put on sunscreen.
10) 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.
11) GO EASY ON YOURSELF
No one has actual on-the-job experience of how to be a super Mom, before they find themselves with a child in their arms.
Motherhood is a 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 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.
Need More Help? Learn How to Stop Yelling & Respond with Love
The Calm Parenting: Learning to Stop Yelling eBook and companion Workbook will take you through all the steps to:
- identify your anger triggers
- identify environmental triggers
- strategies to help you change your response
- learn the 5 most important tools to creating your unique Calm Down Toolkit
- stop yelling and start connecting with your kids
Are you ready to stop bringing more chaos to your home and be the calm your kids need?
You Might Like…
- Instant Ways to Stop Being Overwhelmed by Motherhood
- How to Discipline Kids Without Yelling: 7 Tools to Help
- How to Get Kids to Listen Without Yelling
- 4 Main Parenting Styles: How Your Parenting Approach Affects Your Kids
- How to Create a Positive Home (And Why this Will Affect Your Kids Forever)
- What are the Triggers That Cause You to Yell and Lose It With Your Kids?