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I’m going to start off by saying, being a stay at home mom is NOT for everyone. Some days, even us stay at home moms find ourselves wondering how we can be a HAPPY stay at home mom.
Some moms prefer spending their time at home while others need fulfillment through their careers.
The truth is, I really don’t think there is one right or wrong way in any of this.
However, if you are a stay at home mom, you might as well put in a little work to actually enjoy it! After all, it won’t be long before those little longing hands no longer need you to wrap them in love.
Hey mama! If you need help organizing your home life to find a little more sanity amongst the chaos, check out FAMILY ROUTINES created by Hilary Erickson! She has a great course to help you get your household routine in check so it no longer has to feel so overwhelming. Check it out HERE before it goes away!
How to be a happy stay at home mom
There will be days where you don’t feel happy.
There will be days where you want to feel less needed.
It’s ok. It’s normal. Please don’t feel guilty for also just honoring your feelings as a normal human being outside of being a mother.
However, if you’re finding it hard to find much happiness, I have a few tips for you that could help!
1) Prioritize your needs too!
Listen, before having kids, we as moms, had needs too!
Maybe you enjoyed working out, going for a run, knitting, or reading. Whatever it is that you love and that brings you joy, you need to find a way to make it happen.
Not only is it important to get some time away from your kiddos to simply refill your cup, but it’s important to genuinely do things outside of mothering that bring you fulfillment.
If you’re feeling a little lost about what kind of things you enjoy these days, take a few minutes to write down a list of things it could be! Here’s some prompts to help you out:
- Make a list of areas you’d like to visit.
- List 5 local leisure activities you’d enjoy doing.
- Write down 5 fitness goals you’d like to accomplish.
- List 5 people you’d like to hang out or catch up with.
Now that you have your list, pick a few items, and start scheduling them into your routine!
2) Surround yourself with mom friends.
I truly believe having mom friends is CRUCIAL to our sanity.
I mean, who else better understands the emotions and craziness we deal with day in and day out?
If you struggle to make mom friends or want to expand your circle, I’d encourage you to check out the app PEANUT.
Peanut is an app that helps you find local moms to connect with! It’s as easy as swiping up (to make a connection) or down (to keep searching). Plus, the app is 100% free!
But Peanut isn’t the only place to make connections with new moms.
You can also find moms at local kid play centers, daycare or schooling events.
And if in-person connections aren’t your thing, try Instagram! Believe it or not, I have a few of my best mama friends from Instagram. We’ve literally never met, but we talk and text all the time. I’d be lost without those ladies!
3) Stick to a stay at home schedule or routine.
Having a schedule or routine in place for you to follow as a stay at home mom can make your days feel smooth.
Plus, most kids thrive on a routine so it’s mutually beneficial for all!
They key to a perfect schedule is to not OVER do it.
You don’t need to have 8-million things planned in a day where you’re stressing about them. Instead, just focus on the IMPORTANT tasks and give yourself some time-window opportunities to be flexible for other tasks.
For example, some important tasks each day could be:
- Picking up/Dropping off kids to school/activities
4) Don’t take things personal.
One of the hardest parts of motherhood is to stop ourselves from taking thins personal.
Our kid throws a fit? We instantly thing we are doing something wrong.
Retraining ourselves to use these opportunities to try and see what our children NEED instead of what we think we did wrong can make such a difference not only in how we feel when these issues occur but in how we handle them too!
5) Give yourself a break and order take out every once and a while.
You read that right.
You don’t need to stress over cooking home made fancy meals every single day.
Give yourself a break every one and a while and order some take out!
If you don’t enjoy take out or it doesn’t live up to your nutritional standards, you could always try something like Freshly!
They deliver healthy, chef-cooked meals straight to your home! What’re you waiting for? Give yourself a break from making dinner this week and let Freshly handle the meals for you!
Benefits of being a stay at home mom
If you’re still reading this, it’s because you’re trying to decide if being a stay at home mom is really for you, right?
So before we talk about what to expect and get into those realities of stay at home mama life, I want to highlight some of the positives or benefits of being a stay at home mom first.
- You get to be with your child 24/7 & never miss a milestone (well, most of the time)
- You can save money by not needing childcare
- Eliminate the stress of going to a job you dislike or doesn’t respect your time as a mother
- Your schedule is much more flexible to schedule in date nights, girls night out, kids activities, school events, etc…
- You ALWAYS know what’s on the schedule (duh, you’re in charge)
- You may have more time for personal activities (exercising, hobbies, etc…)
- You’ll be able to schedule designated family events to increase your family time
- You basically get to be in control of your household
Now, I know these benefits sound great. I mean, they sound amazing. However, I think it’s only fair to also highlight some of the ‘cons’ to help you weigh out whether this life is the best fit for you.
- It’s a 24/7 commitment – this means there are NO sick days
- Can feel isolating being home all day with your kids
- You may not get or have help when you need it
Personally, I think a lot of the cons are more mentally tough than anything. Hence the importance of pointing them out if that area isn’t an area you’re comfortable taking these challenged in.
I also have seen a lot of moms get stuck in the middle. They leave their career thinking they want this stay at home mom life and then end up feeling guilty for leaving their ‘life long career’ they worked so hard to achieve ‘just to be a mom’.
So here’s my opinion. You are NOT ‘just being a mom’. Being a mom is the most REWARDING and sometimes the TOUGHEST ‘job’ out there. So if you feel bad for focusing more time to help raise your littles while they’re still young, just remember, you only get about 18 years with them before they’re ready to leave the nest.
And if ultimately you prefer being a working mom at the end of the day, then girl you follow your heart and you do it! Just please don’t guilt yourself into thinking one way makes you less of a mom than the other — it’s just so not true.
Myth 1: Moms who stay at home have it EASY
What to expect as a stay at home mom
This topic can be tricky. I think it really depends on who you may ask or how many kids they have or what other tasks they’re handling.
Everyone’s story will be different, and I’m here to share my take on this topic!
Personally, I don’t think being a stay at home mom is easy by any means. I know there’s a lot of people who imagine that it’s rainbows and butterflies at home all day long, but it’s far from that.
I do, however, absolutely love being a stay at home mom & am beyond grateful to have the opportunity, but like I said I do think it’s filled with its own unique challenges that we will break down below.
You have to learn how to manage household chores with a baby
Taking care of household chores with a baby or little one (especially a teething or sick baby) is a task of its own. It took me 10 months postpartum until I felt like I had finally developed a better system that works for my son and I while my husband was gone at work. Even with a system in place, babies can be unpredictable which means so could our routine.
The system I found works best for me is when I start my day off by selecting 1-2 main tasks to accomplish for the day. If I start my day with a big list of things to do, I immediately feel defeated.
This really helps me stay focused and not get caught up by other things that could be done later. Then once I finish my main tasks, I’ll pick a couple of optional tasks and see where I can fit them in throughout the day.
You get to cherish all the memories of your baby as a stay at home mom
One of the coolest things about being a stay-at-home mom with my son is that I never have to miss any important moments or milestones!
I was there when he started to crawl, when he first rolled over, when he said his first word (Mama), and just now when he’s so close to walking! I love that I get to be a part of all these milestones with him.
On the contrary, if he’s not happy, silly, and exploring, then he’s usually crying and throwing a fit. I mean, I did tell you it’s not all rainbows and butterflies, LOL.
However, the takeaway is that I’m able to stay home and cherish all these memories with him. Through the good and bad! And those are the things that are so important to me when I step back and look at the big picture.
Being a stay at home mom can feel lonely
It’s very true. Being a stay at home can feel lonely and just, really isolating. Usually, if you’re a stay at home mom you either leave your career or work from home.
This means you probably don’t see people as much as before.
It also means that you’re closest friends have turned into the Target Cashier or the Costco Clerk just because you see them more than your own friends (and let’s be real, they’ve totally seen you lookin’ run down and exhausted, so they really are your friend).
LOL all jokes aside…I still have my friends, but it’s just harder to make plans with a little one.
If you’re someone who has family on standby to babysit, you may not run into this issue.
But if you don’t have that, then you may find yourself feeling a bit lonely at times. The solution? Just try to get out of the house.
Even if it’s a walk around your neighborhood with baby, playing outside for a little, going to the store to window shop or sightsee, and maybe even go to the zoo or a small kid-friendly amusement park!
Working from home as a stay at home mom can be a tough balance!
Working from home is a privilege beyond all. However, doing ANY job while caring for a baby (which could be a happy baby, fussy baby, sick baby, etc..) has its share of struggles!
Find activities that can keep your little one preoccupied at a time such as learning or developmental toys! You can even try using things like baby activity centers or pack & play yard. What I find works for me is placing my son in one of these, then I’ll do some work, come back within 10-15 mins and then repeat.
It does help to keep a monitor on them at all times to make sure they don’t get hurt or get into anything at all while you’re preoccupied.
Another solution is if you have a friend or family member you trust, you can ask them to help watch your little one while you work! I know it can be hard to ask, but sometimes it’s worth the effort!
Finding time and energy to cook or meal prep isn’t always easy
GIRL – Let me tell you, this is one area I have so far yet to master. I’ve never personally been much of a cook, nor have I ever enjoyed cooking much so cooking at the end of a busy day (especially if baby was a wild monkey that day) is the most draining task I can think of.
I have played around with cooking earlier in the day – usually when I know my son is guaranteed to be in a happy mood that way I can cook & clean as I go and then have a few meals knocked out all at once.
It works out well, but it just isn’t something I want to do all the time.
How to be happy as a stay at home mom
I cannot stress enough that in order to truly find your happiness as a stay at home mom, you have to include prioritizing yourself.
It also helps when you can clearly identify WHY you wanted to be a stay at home mom in the first place. Was the decision one you wanted or was it forced upon you?
Below are a few tips I think can be helpful in trying to find and maintain your happiness as a stay at home mama.
You MUST, at all cost, find a hobby exclusively just for you!
I’m not joking. You will NEED to find some solo-mama time in between all the stay at home mom shenanigans. Whether it’s something you do once a week, once daily, whenever or whatever it is, identify it and cherish it!
Not sure what kind of hobby you should take up? Some ideas could be:
- learning a new craft (Bluprint is an awesome site for creative people!).
- Get a gym membership or find a personal trainer to start exercising.
- Schedule in some girl nights.
- Catch up on some reading, writing, or drawing.
- Movie Buff? Make yourself a list and watch a certain movie each week until you run down your list, then make a new one!
- Go for a run without baby – it could be with friends or alone, but the point is it should be YOUR time.
- Have an in-home spa night! Gather your favorite skin care products and glamour up!
Remember, your life DOESN’T revolve around everyone else.
As you just read above, it’s pretty easy to fall into the thought trap of being in the last place to everyone.
You’re the last place to your baby, last place to your marriage, the chores, your job. Although it’s not true, it sure feels like it.
BUT it doesn’t have to be that way.
Remind yourself of who you were and still are before baby! Those needs of that individual still need to be met.
What’s your best tips on how to be happy as a stay at home mom???
Leave your answers in the comments below!