How to Stay-at-Home Mom
Guest Post by Brenda Kimble
How did you picture your life would look as a stay-at-home mom? #HowtoStayatHomeMom
- Perfectly polite kids dressed in nice clothes?
- A house so clean you could eat off the floor?
- Time to do Pinterest crafts and story time every afternoon before the kids willingly took a nap?
Like most parents, it is likely you quickly found out that being a stay-at-home mom is a tough job and all those picture-perfect parenting moments include fewer silent nights and more piles of laundry than you expected.
While there are easy days, some days are just plain tough.
On days where you struggle to find the time to make a sandwich, let alone a full meal, you might feel your sanity slipping further away.
But don’t get discouraged! This is perfectly normal, and there are a few tips and tricks to help you to maintain your sanity and help you recognize joy in the small victories of stay-at-home motherhood.
Teach Your Children to Play Independently
Of course, you love playing with your child. It is not only fun to sit on the floor and play with Legos or cars and dolls and see the excitement in their eyes, but it is also rewarding to watch them grow and learn.
However, it’s not always practical. Set aside time each day to play and spend quality time with your child, but also teach your child to play and entertain themselves independently.
When children play by themselves, they use their imagination and learn to keep themselves content. After all, you are not their hired entertainment. You are their mother and it is your job to take the best possible care of them that you can. This sometimes means catering to other chores, like laundry and meals.
Think of it as a way to encourage their imagination, creative thinking process and independence. The separation will likely be harder for you than it is for them.
Some great ways to get their juices flowing are by providing them with some creative tools that don’t involve technology, like these
- building blocks
- beads for jewellery making
- dolls or action figures
- play kitchen sets
- colouring books
Delegate Chores and Responsibilities
This is another tough-love strategy that pays off in the end. Just because you are the stay-at-home parent does not mean that all the responsibility for household tasks falls on you.
Speak with your partner about task delegation. Taking out the trash or paying the monthly bills may seem like small tasks, but they add up.
If you can delegate some of the responsibility from your shoulders, you will feel less stressed and mitigate feelings of resentment toward your spouse, which keeps your relationship strong and your house in order.
As your children grow, find chores that are age-appropriate for them to help out with around the house. Assigning tasks and chores teaches your children responsibility and shows them that you trust them.
Take Time to Relax
Most moms feel rushed to get a lot of things done when children go down for naps or out with dad. But now and then, consider taking this time to simply take a breath and relax.
Taking a few moments for yourself is not selfish. It is reinforcing and it can drastically reduce your stress levels.
Try diffusing some essential oils, listening to your favourite soothing music, meditating or all of the above. Whatever you need to do to relax and de-stress can be beneficial for both your mental health and your relationship with your family.
If your home is messy, it’s okay. Kids are messy. Having a child in the house means having toys, crafts, sports gear, laundry and dishes and that’s okay!
If you find the messiness is overwhelming to you, designate a specific time of day when you and your children tidy up the house together. Teach them cleanly habits from the get-go.
Teaching a child to clean up their mess helps them to be more mindful of making one in the first place and teaches them valuable life skills.
Have a Hobby
Just because you are a stay-at-home mom does not mean you cannot have other interests. Being a stay-at-home parent may even give you the flexibility within your schedule to take up a hobby you have always wanted to try, such as beading.
Consider learning to knit or perhaps pick up jewellery-making. Use this time to discover what you’re passionate about and engage in that passion as a way to enjoy your me-time.
Find a Side Hustle
Do you sometimes wish you still had a foot in the career world? You still can, especially with the range of side hustles available to stay-at-home moms.
A side hustle will have you using your career skills to bring in some extra cash for you and your family. Whether it stems from your hobby or an online job, such as writing or customer service, there are plenty of work-from-home jobs that are flexible enough to fit into your schedule.
Expect the Unexpected
Even if you have the perfect day mapped out, things can fall apart, and living with children means plans are always subject to last-minute change. This is just the way of life as a stay-at-home mom. You have to expect the unexpected.
Kids can wake up sick and cranky, cars can refuse to start and washing machines may give up on that pile of laundry. Don’t let it frazzle you. Accept these things are beyond your control and simply go with it.
Do you automatically ask your spouse about their day when they come home from work? You probably do. It’s natural.
Make sure you are also sharing your day. Include your spouse on the news about the milestones your children are achieving while they are at work, and don’t forget they also want to know how you are feeling and if they can help you.
Remember, they won’t know these things unless you tell them–so share your day.
Don’t Beat Yourself Up
Award-winning mystery author Jill Churchill once said, “There is no one way to be a perfect mother, but there are a million ways to be a great one.”
While you can spend hours reading parenting blogs and striving to be the best mom, mistakes happen.
As moms, we’re not perfect. Don’t ever beat yourself up for making mistakes. Learn from them and do better the next time.
Finally, remember to enjoy these years with your children. Part of raising healthy kids is making sure you are also happy and healthy.
Which one of these brilliant tips is going to keep you sane? My favourite was “Accept the Mess”. And “Expect the Unexpected”. And “Don’t Beat Yourself Up”. What am I saying? I loved them all!!
Super excited to introduce Brenda Kimble, who’s just become our first official contributor. You’ll find her bio below the post. This is Brenda’s second post, the first one is over at our sister site, Inspiring Mompreneurs.
I’m looking forward to more posts by Brenda, and you?
All the best, Lauren Kinghorn, Visionary Digital Entrepreneur