As a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) I get the question all the time from my working friends: what do you do all day? My go-to response is that I am Cinderella without the fancy ball or Fairy Godmother! Some people have the misconception that it’s so wonderful being home with your kids ALL DAY LONG. Well, I do love being a mom, but the kids also drive me nuts, and so does the constant cooking, cleaning, running all over town, and not always finding time to do what all of us moms want to do … take a much-deserved nap.
My life before kids was all about me. I was a teenage mom and did a lot of growing up–quickly! I had to learn who I was: a new mom, now a woman with major responsibilities, with an actual person depending on me. I went to school and got a job and worked so hard for the first few years. Well, after I felt I was in a place that I could devote more time to my family, I realized that I wanted to be the hands-on mom and stay home.
Having five kids, I’ve learned a few things about how to keep my sanity alive as a stay-at-home mom. So here is a glimpse and some of my “mom hacks” that help me to survive on my most hectic days. You can see that I am not the “Peg Bundy” type of SAHM!
- Never look to Pinterest for help being a SAHM. I did this, and I felt so behind the curve with the ALL the info that was coming my way! To say it was overwhelming is an understatement! People will say, “oh, it’s a breeze being a SAHM. You just have to find a routine.” Well, they sold you a dream. It’s not about the routine, it’s about being able to be flexible. Remember you are human, and give yourself a little bit of grace. My 4-year-old does not want to hear that its 1:05 PM and we have to leave the park. Sometimes, it’s okay to stray from the plan stay till 2:00 and make more of those memories.
- Reclaim some of your time back. This one is a major rule for me. I have to have a moment in the day that belongs to just me. I like to let my little one paint at her art table, and I go down the hall and read in my Bible for a few minutes. Now that she is in school, I have claimed a few hours to myself! Talk about winning. Using this time helps me to regroup, center myself, and be a better mommy. That does not mean there will not be days I lose it, but I have “me time” to look forward to.
- Find your people. This is vital to your SAHM health. Not only will these women give you real-life advice, they will be there for you when you are ready to meltdown. To be honest, they are one of the exciting parts of my day because I get to have adult conversation! These are the moms that you can talk about your sore nipples, the fact your husband won’t get up to help give the baby a bath, or that your kid slept in their bed all night. Your tribe will be with you through the highs and lows.
- It’s okay to bribe your kids when you need to. Bribing your kids is a new mom language that is here to stay! If you have a strong-willed child like I do, you know that some days are easy and others are full on bribing wars. Knowing when and how to pick your battles is also key. The serious stuff is a non-negotiable. However, the silly stuff like, “please put on both shoes,” “let’s not wear our underwear on our head outside the house,” and my personal favorite, “please don’t try to paint the dog,” leaves room for some bribing. My daughter loves LOL Dolls, so I always keep one in my bag, just in case I have to bribe on the spot.
- Get down there and play with your kid. You would be amazed at how fast they will go down for a nap after an hour of playtime with you. We love to play UNO! I know my daughter Layla has no clue what she is doing, but we have a blast. Electronic games (the ones that get you off the couch and moving) on your gaming console are always a great idea. That one-on-one bonding for a little while during the day seems to put a massive smile on my child’s face.
SAHMs have been blessed with an opportunity to help raise, love, and be here for our families on a 24/7 schedule. Like all moms, we have the job of growing and shaping the young minds of the future.
If you are a SAHM, what other tips have you found helpful?