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Being a stay at home mom is a lot different than I expected it to be. I mean, I worked full time for most of my children’s lives (luckily they’re still little). My husband made it look super easy and relaxing to stay home with our 2 little girls.
I envied him. I thought ‘must be nice to be able to stay home all day and not work’.
OH, HOW I WAS WRONG!!
It is not easy to be the stay at home parent. In fact, it’s quite the opposite! I had no idea what I was getting myself into when my husband and I traded spots, him going to work and me staying home.
Not only do I not have a specific daily schedule to follow (that I relied on when I worked); it’s also lonely, frustrating, overwhelming, and harder to eat well and get exercise in! Who would’ve known?
On the outside it looks like I have so much more ‘free’ time because all I do is stay home with the kids, right? Well, just staying home with the kids actually means I get less ‘free’ time. To say the least; it’s hard!! I’m not going sugarcoat anything here. So, believe me when I say ‘I get it’, because I do! But, there are a few tips we can follow to actually make being the ‘stay at home parent’ a little more enjoyable!!!
Seriously, have yourself a nice cup of coffee! (Unless you’re pregnant.) Make it taste good, make it fancy, or just drink it however you like it. This is the ONE thing we can have all to ourselves! Unlike my half eaten lunch that I haven’t had a bite of yet…
Other than being all yours, it’s also useful to have a little caffeine in our systems to keep us up on those sleep deprived days when the kids had a rough night sleeping. Or, to have the energy to actually keep up with our kids!
Plan a Fun Activity for Your Kids!
I find that my days always go so much smoother when I plan to have my kids do a craft during the day. There’s less whining, less constantly poking at me, just less irritating behavior in general from my kids when I plan ahead and get an activity ready for them to do, and set aside special time for them to do it!
You can get some kids craft supplies pretty cheap; find them at the dollar store, walmart, or even on amazon! Think out of the box! Last fall I had my girls make fall wreaths from puzzle pieces (I’ll post directions on how to do this this coming fall, so Subscribe below and be sure to watch for that post to come out so you can make them with your kids!!)
You don’t need to do anything fancy either. Give them some paper, crayons, and stickers, or foam paper and stickers; they’ll have a blast!! And, you’ll get a few minutes of quiet to yourself!! Win-win!
Break up the Day!
Just because you’re a stay at home mom doesn’t mean you have to STAY at HOME! If you have errands to run (and aren’t a one car family); go get them done. Need groceries, go get them. Feel the need to go walk around at a store to look for a future present for your kids, spouse, or even yourself: go look.
Or, take your kids to the playground or for a walk. The exercise and fresh air will be great for them, plus they’ll love it!
Yes, I know it’s difficult to go places with kids. I’ve felt lucky, and stuck at the same time, because my family has been a one car family since before I became a stay at home mom. But, trust me, if you don’t feel like you can handle your kids out in public, there’s only one way to change that; by actually taking them out in public. Don’t be scared or feel embarrassed if your child throws a tantrum.
If you’re not able to get out during the day, make sure you still find some time to exercise! If you are able to get out during the day and chase around your little ones at a playground, then great! But, not getting the chance to do that is alright, too. Just pop in a workout video, or find one on youtube to do. (Let’s face it, we have smartTV’s and it’s easier to find a workout video on there than it is to walk 5 feet over to where our DVD’s or Blurays are.)
Let your little ones work out with you; they’ll drive you crazy til you let them, anyways. Or, if they still use a highchair; workout during breakfast or lunch while they are confined.
Either way, getting some exercise in during the day is always a great idea! Other than helping maintain, or lose, weight, it’ll also help reduce stress, help keep energy levels up, clear your mind, and make you happy!! Don’t you just feel so much better after a nice work out? I know I do, and I’ve been slacking in this area the past few weeks. I really need to get back into it!
Tickle Your Children
Another tip for helping you be happier during the day is to tickle your children!
They’ll love it! Plus, their laughter is one of the best sounds in the world! They’re also bound to tickle you back and make you laugh! You know what they say about laughter; it’s one of the best medicines in the world!
So, if you’re children are being difficult or you’re not in that great of a mood; tickle your children and have fun with them. Moods will be altered for the better and it’ll help you remember that being a stay at home isn’t all that bad. It’s for these moments that you love being home with your kids all the time; make more of these moments with them!
Talk to an Adult
No matter how much fun you have with your kids during the day, it can still feel lonely to go all day without talking to another adult. And, you know what, I was warned about this by a friend at work before I started staying home with my girls. But, for some reason thought I’d be immune to it for the fact that I’m an introvert….yeah, I’m not immune to it.
So, any unexpected phone call from my husband, or text from my mom, is certainly welcome anytime of the day. Even just a 5 minute phone call from my husband on his lunch break is enough for me to feel like an adult again. You can go a little crazy only talking to little kids all day long!
Find Something for YOU
As moms, we don’t tend to have our own hobbies, unless you count budgeting, cleaning, organizing, making food, and caring for others. But, unless you love dealing with numbers or cooking/baking, those don’t really count as a hobby. And, you need something just for you, that you enjoy (and I’m not talking about your coffee here).
It certainly could be baking or cooking, if you enjoy that enough or love creating your own recipes. (I’ve really enjoyed doing this on occasion). Or it could be reading, writing, making crafts, knitting, making art, dancing, or really anything you can think of that you enjoy doing!
Personally, my ‘something’ is blogging! I love it; I get to write, design graphics, talk to amazing people, deal with techie stuff, and actually use what I learned when I went to college (I was a psyche major obsessed with the brain and nutrition)!
If you want to know why else I blog, read 8 Reasons I Started a Blog and Why You Should NOW!!
Mandatory ‘QUIET’ Time
I’ve been a stay at home mom long enough to know I get cranky during the day, or maybe get a bit loopy from too much coffee, if we don’t have quiet time.. Just like breaking up the day with an outing, you can break up the day by having a ‘quiet’ time, or nap time, during the day!
Naps in my home, for my youngest, are getting harder and harder to come by. And then, when she does nap she doesn’t go to bed at her bedtime, and my 5 year old is non stop talking or asking me for things while her sister sleeps. But, if my youngest doesn’t nap I feel like I don’t get a break all day long, not that I really get one anyways. It’s a temporary lose-lose situation for me right now, but we’ll get through it; kids go through phases and nothing lasts forever. But, this is when it’s vital to have a quiet time during the day.
Your kids don’t need to sleep, but they should either be playing quietly, drawing/coloring, or even put on a show for them to watch, while you take a break and get some ‘me time’ in. This is when you can do that thing just for you; read a book, write, whatever. (You also might want to get another cup of coffee to enjoy, if your kids actually do stay quiet….) Don’t get too disappointed if ‘quiet’ time doesn’t always work. You may have to train your children to have some down time to relax during the day; that they don’t have to be ‘go, go, go’ all day long.
Keep up your Home
I know this doesn’t sound like much fun, and you may have to do this during ‘quiet’ time, but I tend to get it done while my kids are playing (and hopefully not fighting). But, if you don’t keep your home decently clean and organized, you’ll start to feel overwhelmed by the clutter pretty quickly!
What you need to do will depend on you, your home, and your family. For myself, we don’t have a dishwasher, so I have to keep up with the dishes everyday; I can’t stand waking up to a sink full of dishes, or a messy house. So I ‘reset’ my home every night before bed; simply pick things up and put them where they belong (and set the coffee so it’s ready for me when I wake up).
There are a few exceptions to what I try to keep clean, though. My husband has a little corner in the living room with his stuff in it, so I don’t touch that; he’s a grown adult and should be able to clean up his own mess, plus it’s out of the way and mostly hidden so it doesn’t bug me too much. And, I’ve almost given up completely on keeping my girls playroom picked up and organized; every time I spend any time picking up and organizing their toys, they have the room looking like a tornado went through it 5 minutes later- it’s a losing battle. (Plus, we’ll probably be moving closer to my husbands work soon- I’ll organize everything again then.)
Completely overwhelmed with stuff and feel the need to declutter, read Learn How to Declutter (for beginners)
And to keep your home clutter free, check out How to Keep a Clutter Free Home!!
Enjoy being a Stay at home Mom while you can
I know being a stay at home isn’t always easy (and is sometimes very frustrating, like when our children test their limits), but there are always small things we can do to make it better! And our kids do eventually grow up; we’ll miss these early days in their lives, so enjoy it while you can!
Whether you go out to break up the day, or receive a quick call from your husband or another friend just to talk. Do what you can to make your days more productive, so you can feel more productive and happier!
Don’t lose who you are because you’re a mom, you’re more than just a mom; you’re YOU. And, you’ve got this! You determine how your days will be as a stay at home mom, no one else. So, ease up on yourself! Take a tip or 2 (or more) from above and actually implement them into your days. You may start feeling life be more enjoyable sooner rather than later!! Don’t forget to enjoy your kids, they’re the whole reason you get to stay home in the first place!
Leave a comment below if you have any other tips to enjoy life more as a stay at home mom! And, don’t forget to share with someone who needs these tips in their lives right now!!