Behind every great child is a mom who’s pretty sure she’s screwing it all up. —Unknown
We've all heard the saying about the days being long and the years being short. Being a Stay At Home Mom (SAHM) can feel that overwhelming and as if you're not doing anything right, but you don't have to feel that way. Our tips to help you thrive as a SAHM will have you feeling like super mom in no time.
Being a SAHM has benefits for everyone in your family and when you're feeling stuck or overwhelmed, pause and remind yourself why you wanted to stay home in the first place.
Whether it's because babies grow so fast that you wanted to be home to witness all the "firsts": the first babble, the time your baby sat up for the first time, baby's first crawl, feeding baby solids for the first time, etc. Or because you want to be able to keep a tidy house, make your family home cooked meals or have time to make arts and crafts (check out these Sensory Activities for Toddlers...).
There's a reason you made the decision to stay home so when it gets hard, think about the benefits. And if you decide that staying home isn't your cup of tea, that's okay too -- just take time to think about your decision.
Now before you start rolling your eyes and think to yourself: "easier said than done", we're not suggesting a one-size-fits all schedule. There's no rule that baby has to go to bed at exactly 7:01 pm every night.
Create a schedule that works for your family. If your partner comes home late or early, adjust bedtime accordingly. If you're a night owl, don't worry about putting baby to bed so early that you get absolutely no sleep because you stayed up all night while baby slept.
Do create a rough schedule so that you'll have a routine. When you have a routine, things will flow so much better and you won't waste precious time trying to plan what's next. You'll also feel accomplished as you move throughout your day. Remember not to penalize yourself if you fall out of routine. Adjust and move on. You can't schedule every second of every day.
While caring for your baby is a priority, you need to take time for yourself! We're not talking about basic self care either. Yes, taking time for a face mask is great, but we're talking about doing something you love, like finding a hobby or finding a job that you can do from home.
Just because you're a Stay At Home Mom, doesn't mean you have to wear yoga pants, throw your hair up in a bun and get excited over trips to Target (yes all of those things are cool in their own way). Don't lose yourself now that you're a mom. If you love reading, find a book club. If you love exercising, make time for it in your schedule. If you love to write, find a job that pays you for your talent. Check out our Tips for Effectively Working from Home with Baby.
When mama is happy, everyone is happy. And if Target and a hot Starbucks latte is what does it for you, go ahead and hold that shopping cart tight.
This should probably be #1 in how to thrive as a Stay At Home Mom. If you surround yourself with other moms who are happy to be a SAHM, you'll be happy too. That's because you'll have a tribe of other women that understand what it's like and can support you unlike someone who's not in your same position.
If you're asking friends without kids for advice or their opinion on something SAHM-related, they just won't get it because they haven't been in your shoes. If you're a new mom without other moms to support you, join some mommy/baby classes to meet other moms, setup regular play dates, or find a group on Facebook that aligns with your beliefs. Remember, birds of a feather...
Despite your best efforts, you're going to have days where you wonder where things went wrong. If your kids spent too much time on the ipad (here are some tips to help with that...), or all day in their pajamas, or you haven't showered (all week) -- it's okay!
As a Stay At Home Mom, you are not expected, nor required, to have a perfectly clean, meticulous home at all times. Laundry doesn't have to be done. Your kids can eat chicken nuggets for lunch (or even breakfast) and live to tell about it. You do not have to have a home that looks like it belongs in Better Homes & Gardens and you do not have to look like an Instagram Influencer.
Take the pressure off mama! You're doing a great job. Your kids would rather see you happy and enjoying your time with them, rather than worrying about those laundry piles.
So the next time you're feeling stressed, overwhelmed or wondering if the kids will turn out alright, heat up your Happi Tummi and sit down to take a relaxing breather! Tomorrow is a new day and a fresh start.
Tell us: What's your favorite SAHM hack? How do you make the most out of your days?