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At times it can seem almost impossible to stay sane while staying home with your kids! This is especially true if you have been working outside of the home for awhile and are now, just recently, able to stay home with your kids. Or, if you had friends and family who would come over all the time to help you, and then you had to move to a new city or new state and now know no one!
You may feel super excited to get to stay home with them and spend every second nurturing them….at first. But, after a few days (being all by yourself with them), you realize what it’s like to spend every single second with them!
They have sooo much energy!
Even your coffee can’t help you keep up with them! It seems like they drank more than you, but really, they didn’t have any at all!
So, what are you to do? You don’t have a plan? Who knew you would need one? You just thought you could stay home and enjoy being with them. You didn’t know you would need a plan of action to keep the house intact. Or, your mind!
I’m writing this because I KNOW!!!
I know what it’s like to have worked outside the home and be the one providing an income, and after almost 4 years of that get to be the stay at home mom! AND move away from EVERYONE my little family knows at the same time!
I thought being the stay at home parent would be easy; I thought it maybe even be fun to stay home with my girls. I wouldn’t need a real plan or schedule, or anything of the sort. My husband did this for almost 4 years. It can’t be that hard.
WRONG. I started realizing the challenges of the stay at home parent life less than a month after my husband started work. I have realized how much my girls and I need a schedule. Or, at least some type of routine. I never knew it was that important!
You Need a Schedule
Maybe you’re in the same boat. You’re thinking of how you deserve to take a break from schedules after working for so long or being in school for so long.
The one thing we haven’t thought of, however, is the fact that everything goes so much smoother with a schedule. We thrive on schedules, whether we realize it or not! Even if it’s a simple schedule. Like, when we wake up; we have quiet time, then breakfast. Or, after lunch is nap time or quiet time. It really does make a difference. When we have a schedule; our children, and ourselves, know what is going to happen next. We know what to expect and can then prepare ourselves for it. And if you haven’t figured it out yet, quiet time is vital to our sanity!
Don’t expect to ever stay on the same schedule for too long, though. When kids are little their schedules change all the time; one week they’ll take a nap everyday at the same time, the next week they may start trying to give up their naps. This will make you go a little crazy, just accept what it is and don’t spend too much time trying to get them to take their nap.
Go with the Flow! (or go insane!!)
Sometimes even if we have a schedule, whether it be flexible or set in stone (haha), it gets messed up! Nothing may go as planned, or something may take longer than expected. Something just did not happen the way we wanted it to and we don’t like that!
But, you know what, that’s just life; and that’s just how life goes sometimes. Sometimes we just need to go with the natural flow of things and stop trying to force something to happen simply because we want it to.
Going with the flow can help ease our frustration (aka prevent us from going mad)!
When we don’t try to force things, everything will fall into place a lot nicer. Don’t get me wrong, we still need the structure of a schedule. But, if something needs to change to make our lives a little easier; let it change. Don’t force your schedule down yours, and everyone else’s, throat just because it’s yours and you think your schedule rules all.
Guess what, it doesn’t it doesn’t rule all (in all honesty, your toddlers nap schedule probably does). Our schedule is there as a guide to help you along. And, guess what else, you have kids! They can make your schedule go out the window faster than you can create it, if they want to that is. What I’m trying to get at is don’t freak out if you don’t eat lunch at your scheduled time, or if a child takes longer to get to sleep than expected. That’s just how things go sometimes. That’s just life as a stay at home mom!
Close the Kitchen
Another aspect of staying home that I have realized, over the past year of being a stay at home mom, is that the kitchen should not be open 24/7. By this, I mean that there should be designated times when we eat. And, if we’re not eating, we are not to be in the kitchen. I’ve noticed my older daughter going in the fridge and attempting to get her own food. When she does this, she doesn’t eat the next meal I make her. So, this rule is almost as important as quiet time!
We shouldn’t keep this rule just for our kids, though. We should follow the same guidelines for ourselves and only eat at designated times with our kids. This helps our children and ourselves from eating all day long. Which in turn helps us control what and how much we put into our bodies each day. Sometimes we eat mindlessly, and that’s ok, but this rule will help prevent that. It may not prevent it completely, but it’ll help. We are creatures of habit; our brains and bodies will eventually figure it out.
As far as being a SAHM goes, there is more than just a schedule that you will need to have.
You will need to have patience! An immense amount of patience!
‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’s’ go a long way, too. Especially when it comes to picking up toys. Pick up time is not a fun time in my home right now. It usually ends with my older daughter asking for help….while I’m picking up for her. She explains how she can’t pick up by herself because there’s too much stuff. And, we got rid of half of all our belongings last year when we decluttered before moving across the country. I’ve even taken about 80% of their toys to keep in their closet so it’s not so overwhelming, but she still feels overwhelmed when picking up.
Patience is needed for more than just picking up toys, though; it’s needed for nap time and much, much more! Especially when your children start trying to give up their naps, like my two year old is now!
Be the first one up
I enjoy getting up earlier than everyone else; I’ve always been an early riser, so this is a no brainer for me! But, it may be a sanity saver when your kids start giving up their naps; you need sometime during the day just for yourself!
When I first became a stay at home mom I’d usually wake up to my girls already being awake more often than not. And, I knew it had to stop! I came across whats called a habit tracker, to help track habits, or to help start good habits a few years ago. So, I even created one myself and printed if off with my personalized list of habits I would like to start (like waking up earlier each day). The idea is quite simple. On the left side of the page is all of the habits you would like to start, on top are the days of the month. Then you simply fill in when you did the habit; the goal is to have the whole page full! Good Luck!
Now, I wake up at 3am and know I will get a solid hour of time to myself in the morning, which I usually use to write or design pictures, or something else having to do with this blog!
The list could go on…
I’ll stop here for now. There are so many different ways to find the peace of being a SAHM. There is no way I could list or explain all of them right here, right now! But, if you take action creating a schedule for yourself and children, focus on not centralizing your day in the kitchen, and creating better habits; then you’re off to a great start. Take some time with all of those actions, they don’t come easy. And, don’t forget to think before you act when dealing with difficult situations with your children. Take a look at a post I wrote about responding instead of reacting to see what I mean by that!
Don’t forget to take some time to appreciate yourself and appreciate your children. You are all such amazing beings that deserve the very best. Your children won’t stay this young forever, soak up all that cuteness while it lasts!
Comment below if you have any other awesome actions to take for finding peace as a SAHM. Comment below and share your knowledge!