Before I became a mom I always envisioned that I would stay at home with my children. Growing up my mom stayed home and I loved having her around everyday so I knew that someday I wanted the same for my children. So for today’s post, I wanted to share how I became a stay at home mom, my experience thus far and some tips for stay at home moms to maintain your sanity when you face those challenging moments that us mamas know all too well!
When I became pregnant with my daughter I was in my last semester of getting my bachelors degree. It had taken me almost 6 years to complete my degree so I had only been working a part time job while my husband was the main bread winner. My husband and I discussed whether I should look to start my career while pregnant or if I should stay home. Long story short, we decided that me staying home made the most sense for our family. Aside from the financial aspects of daycare in our area and not having family near by to help, my husband knew it was my dream to stay home with our children so that is what we decided on.
The day I had my daughter, as corny as it sounds I felt like my dreams came true. I was finally a mom! I had this beautiful little girl to love and teach, and the best part was I would be able to stay at home with her and spend every single second with her. WELL, although this was a dream come true for me I did not realize how challenging being a stay at home mom could be despite the blessing of being able to.
Even with my husband who has always been a tremendous help to me, I felt and still feel sometimes that I am on the clock 24/7. And the truth is as a mom, whether you stay at home or not, you kind of are. Though the challenge with staying at home is that, at least for me, I started to feel a tad isolated and that my entire existence was solely being a mommy. I know that may sound a tad selfish and dramatic, but it is the truth. Truth is, more moms then not that stay at home may feel this way, but are afraid to admit it or ask for help because it is their “job”.
I want to tell you that in my experience as being a stay at home mom, I am a better mama to my daughter and a much happier person when I step back and realize that my needs are just as important as my daughters. My daughter is and will always be my number one priority, as well as any children my husband and I may have in the future, but taking care of yourself as a mom is crucial to your success and happiness as a stay at home mom. It is okay to admit that you feel a little overwhelmed and need some help. Trust me that the quicker that you accept this you will instantly feel a weight lifted off of your shoulders!
I wanted to share some tips/tricks that have helped me be a happier, healthier and more productive mama! Hope you find these helpful!
- Find Something You Love For You & Do It Regularly.
- Before I had my daughter I didn’t really have any hobbies, however I found that once I became a stay at home mom I craved a creative outlet that I could look forward to doing each day once my daughter fell asleep that gave me a sense of accomplishment. So I took on crafting and DIYs First I taught myself crochet then it progressed into refinishing decorative pieces around my house and furniture. It is something that is my own that I can look forward to at the end of each day and that to me is key!
- Hack Your Mornings The Night Before
- This one applies to any mama really, but I find that since my days are spent 90% of the time in the house, things can get chaotic real quick. So once my daughter is in bed for the night, I set aside 10-15 minutes to straighten up the house, do the dishes, prepare the coffee machine for the next day and plan out the next day. I find that taking out that time in the evenings to get organized really helps my mood and starts the day out on a positive note!
- Don’t Pile On The To Do Lists
- As much as I am a planner by nature, planning when you are a mom doesn’t really go…well … to plan. However being the type A personality that I am, I can’t simply abandon the to do lists altogether. So what I do is make a list of weekly goals and I keep it short, no more then 5 items max. This way each goal is not assigned to a day so if it doesn’t happen on a particular day I don’t feel bad for not completing it. Also I find that 5 things or goals a week is realistic, so I can get certain things done to give myself a sense of accomplishment but it also leaves the majority of my time for fun stuff to do with my daughter, which at the end of the day is the most important!
- Get Out Of The House!
- I try to get out of the house at least 1-2 a week minimum, even if it is to run errands or go to playgroup it is nice for you and your kids to have a change of scenery since staying home all day everyday can make anyone a little stir crazy! In the spring/summer, I like to go outside just about everyday, we love daily walks and trips to our local park, even if it is just for a half hour or so I find the fresh air really improves our moods!
- Take Care of Yourself
- For me working out has always been important, beyond the physical components I love how it makes me feels. Even a short 10 minute workout improves my mood and makes me feel more confident. I find that being a mom, I don’t have the luxury of long workouts, so short but effective workouts a few times a week are something I find both enjoyable and doable. I also find that even though I am a yoga pants girl for life, doing my hair or putting on some makeup, or doing my nails (whenever I get the chance) also help make me feel like I am human again!
- Don’t Be Hard On Yourself
- I heard this quote recently and it really stuck with me, it’s “you are raising a home not a house”. As moms we are responsible for taking care of our little ones, making memories, creating that sense of home. The house and its endless work can wait, it never trumps your family. I know, especially being the type A person that I am and being a stay at home mom it can be difficult not to focus on if the house is a mess and all the housework that I have to do. That can be done anytime, but it is important to focus on why you are a stay at home mom and that is to be with your little ones. I found that the sooner I really put my focus into perspective, it changed my outlook as being a stay at home mom.
I hope these tips are helpful to any of you stay at home moms, or really moms in general that find yourself feeling a little burned out by motherhood. Being a mom is such a blessing, worth the sleepless nights, the stretch marks, the temper tantrums and all the other wonderful chaotic things it comes with but remember to take your of yourself! A happy mom makes a happy home!!
Till next time!