Working as a stay at home mother is an experience that no one can fully relate to until they were in that situation their selves. Most people envy the thought of others being able to stay at home with their children, thinking to themselves “That must be the life”.
You may catch snide remarks from others who motion that it must be easy, stress free and how “lucky you are to be able to be home all day with the kids”.
Well, I would say they at least got one thing right, a stay at home mom is lucky.
Or in my opinion, I prefer to say, “Blessed".
But it is definitely not a walk in the park.
Unfortunately, you can try to explain that to everyone around you until you are blue in the face but it won’t make much of a difference unless they take your place for at least a week and see what its like from your sleep deprived perspective.
There will be days that go really well and you feel like your family is straight out of a Disney movie (hooray for those days!).
And then there will be days that you catch a glimpse at your self in the mirror, wearing the same shirt from three days ago with God knows what stained on, racking your brain to remember the last time you had adult conversation and you ask yourself, “How am I still standing?”.
A great deal of SAHM mothers out there are suffering in silence with depression and anxiety. I am most certain that these mothers love their children to bits but struggle with the fact that they feel alone and helpless.
After experiencing a bout of the blues subsequent to having my second child I was able to coach and train myself back to a healthy mentality. I found out that I had to manifest positive energy within myself and my home.
I realized my little girls were depending on me to give them the best version of myself. I had to get my act together. It took a great deal of practice and I may have had a slow start but I decided I no longer wanted to feel depressed, lonely and helpless. I made a few changes in my daily routines and lifestyle that annihilated my depression and I have compiled a list of Things I Started Doing in My Life That Helped Me Stay Sane As A Stay At Home Mom. Enjoy!
1.) Set A Bed Time and Implement It
This took plenty of practice.
A lot of trials and errors.
But slowly… very slowly ..
We all adjusted to the new schedule and suddenly the kids would be fast asleep by 9 pm and there I was, free to do whatever I’d like.
The extra time alone after your littles fall asleep could be used to tidy up the home for the next day, prep for the next days meals, you could work on a project, read a good book, meditate, or spend some often sought after, valuable alone time with your spouse.
2.) Wake Up At Least One Hour Before The Kids
if the sound of waking up one hour earlier than the kids scares you, you are not alone. It is definitely understandable considering that you know you will have a very long day ahead of you.
I suggest working your way up
by first waking up fifteen minutes before the kids, and then adding another fifteen minutes, and so on. There are so many ways you can take advantage of this extra time alone before the kids wake.
You could fit in a luxurious five minute shower.
You could tidy up around the home (if you didn’t the night before),
you could get a head start on making breakfast and sneak in your caffeine so you will be all energized for your day (who doesn't love to wake up to happy, caffeinated mommy?)
I use that time to start my day with prayer and meditation on my patio, breathing in the fresh, crisp air from outdoors. It’s how I gain control of my day, from the very beginning of it, before it really starts.
3.) List Daily Goals
This was one of the things I started doing that soon became my favorite. Now, if you forget to do it the night before, no worries, you can always write out your goals first thing in the morning before you start your day. I’ve noticed that having a plan of action provided much more structure for our family.
I like to plan my day out from beginning to end. So I’ll start off with what I intend to serve for breakfast and work my way through the day up until bedtime.
As the tasks are finished you can cross them out from the list and at the end of the day you can see what you accomplished. I suggest buying a white board and having it up somewhere you can access and view very often (like your living room, dining area, or kitchen).
4). Open the Blinds and Curtains First Thing in The Morning
I was very guilty of waking up and allowing the curtains to stay closed in every room of the house for the better half of the day. The sun was always too bright and I wasn’t really a morning person. Then I realized that the atmosphere in my home contributed to my laziness and sluggish demeanor. I wasn’t very productive and would instead want to lie on the couch and watch movies all day.
That was unacceptable.
When I began opening up the curtains and allowed the sunshine in my home I felt energized and slowly began to embrace the day with open arms.
I then began opening up the windows so the fresh air could flow in from outside. I highly suggest this as it removes the stuffiness from the house.
5.) Get Out of The House
This was the one thing that I started doing in my daily routine that has changed my life drastically.
I never wanted step out the door because the girls were so young and it was so tough leaving the house with them. My first-born was still very dependent and my second was just an infant who hated the car seat and would wail anytime she wasn’t attached to my breast.
It would be a nightmare anytime I tried to leave the house.
It wasn’t until I realized that not only were my kids bored at home doing the same things, I was starting to feel cooped up, restless and trapped. Come to find out the only person that was trapping me inside of that little home was me! I had to condition myself to take on the challenge of getting the kids and I out of the house at least once a day, even if it was for twenty minutes. And let me tell you, twenty minutes can do a lot for you.
So my suggestion is plan to go to the park every other day.
I suggest locating a group of some sort that you can be a part of. You could find a local moms group that meets up a few times out of the month.
Do your research on toddler/ children activities and discount days available to you in your area. This will be a great way for you to meet other mothers and slowly build your community.
I understand money is always a concern when you are a stay at home mom but I came to realize that it was an investment in not only my mental health but also my children’s social development.
6.) Find A Project You Can Do
Finding something outside of taking care of the kids, your spouse, and your home may seem a little daunting at first. I know you’re thinking to yourself, “On top of doing laundry, cooking and feeding the kids, sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, fixing the beds, entertaining and teaching the kids, getting out of the house, grocery shopping and splitting my time with my significant other you expect me to find something else for me to do? Have you lost your mind?!”.
I get it.
I totally get it.
But if you were able to get a in the swing of things from tip #1 and tip #2 you may have found a way to squeeze some time alone to fit in a project you can accomplish for yourself.
I know our family gives us all the purpose we need in life and they are more than enough of a reason to focus on excelling in our home. But it is also very good, in my opinion, to have a personal goal or purpose separate from our families.
I know a stay at home mom who studied for her real estate license on her free time.
Another saved up enough money to open up an online store.
You could start on a hobby you loved doing when you were younger or would love to take up.
My neighbor loved baking and soon began marketing her goods on social media and was making supplemental income from baking and selling her goods. Eventually, she was able to start selling her baked goods during the weekends at the local farmers market. The possibilities are endless!
7.) Listen to Positive Music and Watch Positive Videos
A movie day here or there is totally fine, especially when it is all rainy and there isn’t much to do outside. I used to treat myself to “trash t.v.” and would watch reality stars live their glamorous, dramatic lives because it was entertaining and strangely satisfying.
Please don’t judge me.
But that was exactly what it was...
And after I watched a few episodes I would feel like garbage.
I began replacing those pointless movies and dramatic reality shows with positive videos of encouragement and words of motivation.
I started to look up documentaries on eating healthier, on exercise, and on meditation.
I replaced music that had no substance with podcasts about strength, spirituality, and sounds that lifted my mood and frequencies.
Basically, I replaced the garbage I was allowing to saturate me with much more positive entertainment and directed my time and attention wisely and towards productivity.
8.) Meet Friends & Build A Community
You will find yourself slowly accruing a list of people you can surround yourself with from exploring the opportunities in tip #5. Be open to conversing (although it can be nerve wrecking at times, especially if you are not a natural social butterfly) and remember, you both have at least one thing in common and that is raising children.
These people have good intentions for their children because they are introducing their kids to public environments for their social development and interactions.
This should help you in stepping out of your comfort zone by reminding yourself that all of these parents around you have a common interest and most likely they are looking to meet other parents to connect with too!
Soon, you will have a busy schedule through out the week with play dates and toddler time group activities.
How beautiful it is to have good company!
9.) Don’t Forget Yourself
Often times, the title of stay at home mom and wife entails that we place ourselves last on the totem pole in tending to.
We are usually the last to eat, the last to get ready for the day, and the last to bed.
We make coffee with no intention to drink it warm, and there are a number of us out there wearing the same clothes we had since we were pregnant (and not because we haven’t lost any of that weight!).
Well, I am here to inform you that you must not forget yourself!
Taking care of yourself will make you feel good on the inside and the outside.
There are other ways to treat yourself and you can do this weekly or monthly depending on what you choose to do.
You can get a monthly pedicure, a body massage, or get your hair done (I always opt for a deep condition.. super relaxing).
If you want some time with your spouse, splurge on a babysitter and go out for dinner, dancing and a movie.
Or if your significant other can watch the kids, gather up your girl friends (which whom you’ve built your community around from tip #8) and have a girls night out.
If your craving for some alone time, then find a babysitter and go to a coffee shop and work on your craft (Tip #8), watch an afternoon matinee, or take yourself out to the park and read a good book under a shady tree.
10.) Always Remind Yourself …
a) Your little ones are only young for a short amount of time (this too will pass, so soak up every moment like it’s your last.)
b) You don’t want to live with regrets when they get older.
I advise to kiss your little ones and hug them tight when you feel overwhelmed.
c) You are doing an excellent job!
The most important part is that you are aware of yourself and the areas you need to work on, and that you are constantly trying each and every day to be the best version of yourself for you, your spouse, and your little ones.
And remember ...
d) Tomorrow is another day and another chance to get it right.
No one is perfect and I realized I will be on an endless journey of learning and growing and starting all over again until the last of my days. The key is to never giving up and to accepting the good days along with the bad days, with open arms.
Because I know that everyday with my family is a blessing that some people don’t get to experience.
And that, in itself,
is enough for me to continue in striving to thrive as an imperfect housewife.
TTYL My Beautiful People,