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So, you’re a stay at home mom too? Awesome! Welcome! I’m sure that means you have all kinds of time to get things, right? Wrong! I have to laugh anytime someone says that to me. I don’t think they quite know what it is us moms do at home.
It can be easy to get swallowed up in the day-to-day tasks of life and forget to take care of yourself. You completely deserve to be a happy stay at home mom!
Prior to becoming a mom, you may have had a somewhat glamorized vision of what being a stay at home mom would be like: Staying in your pajamas all day, not answering to anyone in boss form, sleeping in (hahaha!), and getting all kinds of things done around your house with all that time.
Well, I’m guessing once the moment arrived your opinions have changed a little. I’d like to help you out a bit, mom to mom.
Try these tips and just see what a difference they can make moving forward!
#1 Take Time For YOU
This is not new advice, but it is definitely important! You are most likely the one running the household. You are busy taking care of kids, supporting your husband, preparing meals, doing laundry, washing dishes, and a myriad of other things that keep your “to-do” list stacked.
Where does “you” time fit in with all of this? That will depend on your specific life at the moment! If your kids are in school, set aside some time for you while they are away. If you have young kids, take some time during nap time. Your YOU time can include anything you enjoy. Some ideas include reading a book, taking a bath, painting your nails, calling a friend, writing in your journal, watching a movie, sleeping, etc.
As a mom, it is less likely you’ll have a set time of day that you can always take for yourself. That’s OK! Just try to fit something in everyday, even 5 minutes, that gives you a little TLC (tender loving care).
#2 Get “Ready” For The Day
No judgment here! I totally get how crazy things can get from the moment your feet hit the floor. You’re packing lunches, getting breakfast ready, helping kids get changed and dressed, not to mention starting the laundry and loading the dishwasher (all before 9 AM of course).
There have been many days (I wouldn’t dare venture to guess how many) that I have just chosen to not get “ready.” I throw my hair up in a ponytail, forget about makeup, and occasionally even stay in my comfy clothes all day. My husband has never said a word, he’s great like that;)
But, there is something to be said for feeling good about yourself. It is like night and day, the days that I get up and do my hair, put on some makeup, and get dressed in actual clothes. You have probably heard the way you dress/feel affects how you act– it is so true! If you have been anything like me, I suggest you give it a go as well. (Disclaimer: I am NOT suggesting you have to get up and ready and be pristine every day, nobody’s got time for that. I’m just suggesting doing it sometimes to give yourself that bolster in confidence.)
#3 Nurture A Hobby
Before I become a mom, I spent nine years in an elementary school. Going from a busy schedule of getting this and that done at work to focusing on my family and home was quite a shift. I wanted to find a way I could keep progressing in my own learning and give me something to learn about and do outside of my day-to-day chores at home. This led me to the blogging world.
I have loved it ever since! Learning about building a website and the ins and outs of the online world has been fascinating and has given me a focal point I can focus on, something that is specifically for me. Nap time is one of my favorite times to sit down and write. In fact, my daughter is sleeping even now as I type. =) Find something you enjoy doing and take time to foster that skill or interest!
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#4 Eat, Eat, Eat
Did I just tell you to do something as basic as eating? Why yes I did! But hear me out. I know how easy it is to get caught up in preparing the meal, making sure everyone eats, and cleaning up to only later realize you didn’t eat yourself. Us moms are so worried about everyone else that we forget to give our own bodies the sustenance as well.
Please take the time to eat! You may be amazed at how much better you fill after you’ve given your own body the chance to refuel. You might even feel up to taking on that mountain of laundry…. maybe.
#5 Drink Water
Yup, I said it. Drink that water! Water has an awesome ability to keep our bodies feeling hydrated and full of energy. I don’t usually track the amount of water I drink in a day, but I try to drink all day. There are many opinions on how much water you should drink a day, this is one opinion.
It sounds like a lot, but if you start drinking the moment you wake up and keep it going throughout the day, you’ll hit it in no time. Just make sure you aren’t too far from a bathroom if you aren’t used to drinking that much in one day. =)
#6 Remind Yourself That It’s Ok
It’s OK to leave the clean laundry on the couch. It’s OK that your kids have strewn all their toys across the house. It’s OK that you don’t have dinner on the table right at 5:00. It’s OK that you leave dishes in the sink overnight. (This is a particularly hard thing for me sometimes, I love to wake up to a clean kitchen).
Sometimes life gets to be a bit crazy and we tend to harp on ourselves for not always being on top of everything. But just remember, it’s OK!
#7 Make Time For Your Spouse
Once again, life tends to snatch up all of our time if we aren’t careful. We get going with the ins and outs of the days, weeks, and months and our relationship with our spouse can often suffer.
Set aside time to spend together, just the two of you. When going out on a date isn’t possible, put the kids to bed and have a stay at home date; play games, watch a movie, make a dessert, make a craft, etc. My husband and I enjoy reading through book series together. We are just finishing up the last book in the Harry Potter series. =)
#8 Have Fun With Your Kids
Wait, there’s more than just keeping them clean, fed, and safe?! I’m totally joking, of course there is. Kids are such a light in our lives and can bring so much happiness to us. They are probably the reason you are staying at home, right?!
I have found myself focusing on getting all of my household chores done to the point that my toddler had spent most of the day entertaining herself. Having time for independent play is great, but not all day every day. Having play time with mom is awesome. You can have a lot of fun together! Here is a list of activities to get you started.
#9 Independent Playtime
Now, I know I just talked about the importance of having fun with your kids and I still stand by that! But it is also important to give your kids the chance to play by themselves. It gives them a chance to explore things on their own, shows their creativity, and discover new things.
It can also give you a moment to finally unload the dishwasher or wipe down the bathroom you’ve been putting off for a few days. We all know how that goes. 😉
I know what you may be thinking, “I don’t have time to go to the gym!” Well, neither do I. I’m not much of a gym person anyway. Exercise can be in the simplest form of going for a walk. This is my go-to form of exercise. I have a mom friend who I walk with several mornings a week, both of us pushing strollers. It has definitely helped me to have an accountability partner! There have certainly been days I wouldn’t have gone walking, except that I knew she would be expecting me.
Pick something that helps you to get your body moving. If you enjoy dance movements, you could try a Zumba video and do it from within the comforts of your own living room!
#11 Spend Time With Friends
It’s quite the amazing feeling to talk to an adult after having spent a lot of time with your kids. It can be healing for the soul! Take some time call up a friend and just talk. Or when your schedules line up, get together! I enjoy spending time with my friends and just talking about anything and everything. It helps me remember that I’m a person too haha.
If you don’t feel like you have a lot of friends to turn to, take time to make friends. Join mom groups, talk to other moms at the park, etc.
#12 Ask For Help
As hard as we try, we are still human. We have limitations on even what we as ‘supermoms’ can achieve.
It is totally OK to ask for help, especially on those days that we feel our patience is wearing thin or the sense of overwhelm is threatening to take over!
Some moms fear that it is a sign of weakness to ask for help, I disagree. I think it’s a sign that you recognize your own limits and needs and you are looking out for everyone’s best interest!
This could be as simple as calling up a trusted friend or relative and asking them to watch your kids while you go to the store by yourself. It could be paying a neighborhood teen to help care for your lawn or clean your house. If money is tight, be creative. You could do a trade for the services you need help with.
One of my favorite trades is babysitting. I love finding a friend to trade off babysitting with! We take turns dropping our kids off and then heading out on a date, to an appointment, or wherever we’d like to go.
#13 Maintain A Routine…. Most Of The Time
Routines are how we do life. We have a routine for how we wake up in the morning, how we get ready for bed, the order we get dressed…. all kinds of things. For kids, routines are essential. Most kids have a difficult time if their daily routines are always changing.
Naptime and bedtime fall in this routine category. Your kids will likely sleep a lot better and be happier all around if they have a consistent schedule for napping and nighttime sleeping. There are for sure those occasional times that you are out and about during one of these schedules and your kiddo doesn’t quite get to sleep on time, that is fine.
This is for your sanity as much as it is for your kids. You can then *hopefully* look forward to a consistent time during that day that you can spend by yourself.
It’s more the idea of having consistency most of the time. =) Less guessing for everyone! Your kids will be happier and you will be happier.
You’ve got this, Momma!
Being a mom is highly rewarding. The smiles, giggles, and fun make it all worth it. There have been and will be tough days, but that is OK. You will make it through. Anytime you are feeling a bit down, take a moment. Try one of the tips above to help get yourself back on track. You’ve got this!