So you're a stay-at-home mom?
Me, too. Nice to meet you!
It's tough, right? I mean, really tough.
Some days we bask in the blessing of being able to stay home with our sweet, precious ones and others ...
Those "other" days are what make us wonder why we wanted children in the first place, let alone stay home with them full-time. They're the days we wonder how we (and our kids!) have survived as long as we have.
So I'm here with a little bit of help. I've listed below some of my top sanity-savers to help you get through the day-to-day without completely losing your marbles.
(Sorry, I can't keep your two year old from swinging on the chandelier ... because, quite frankly, I can't keep my own from doing it.)
May the odds be ever in your favor...
- Create a schedule.
This one speaks to my Type A personality and it is one of the top things that has kept me sane as a SAHM. I thrive in scheduled environments, and I find I get quite a bit done when I follow a daily schedule. Kids can thrive this way too. My kids even find it fun to fill in a calendar and check-off To-Do lists.
- Do a little laundry & dish duty every day.
This one is slightly related to the above tip, but these two things keep my mind less cluttered because the space around me is less cluttered. This actually takes very little effort if done daily.Doing one load of laundry daily (I'm talking start to finish, ladies. Fold and put away!) will keep the dirty clothes to a manageable amount. Start the load early in the morning, and by lunch, you can have it done! This way you won't have to spend an entire day (or two!) catching up when your family runs out of clothing.Dirty dishes can quickly pile up around the house and sink. The easiest plan of attack for this is to be PROACTIVE. Every night right before bed, start the dishwasher and let it run while you sleep. First thing in the morning while the kids are eating breakfast, empty the dishwasher. This way, it is ready to be loaded throughout the day. So as soon as snacks and meals are finished, dishes go immediately into the dishwasher.
Voila! No more massive piles of laundry and dishes laying around in plain sight all day, every day.
- Schedule a day/night out.
However often you need - once a month, once a week, once a day - it doesn't matter. Just schedule some time out and away from your children. You can make it a date night, a girls outing or a solo trip to your local coffee shop. Just get OUT for a bit.
- Ask for help.
Just because your main "job" is to take care of home and family, doesn't mean you don't need or want help at times. Why do you think lawyers, doctors and other successful working professionals hire assistants and other employees? Even teachers often have teacher's aids!Nobody can do it alone. So don't feel like you have to either.This a 24/7 job. So ask your husband to help clean up after dinner or give the kids a bath while you do. He may not love doing dishes, but I bet he'd love to lighten your load. Hire a babysitter every once in a while so you can run errands or go to the dentist without them. Swap duty with another SAHM every week, so each of you can run to the grocery store for an hour without kids running up and down aisles and throwing junk food into the cart. Have your kids pitch in! I live under the belief that if a child can work an iPhone or iPad, they can work a washing machine. So have them set the iPad down (Heaven forbid!) and go fold laundry, feed the dogs or dust the coffee table.
- Put Yourself in Timeout.
This one, while it has a negative connotation in your kids' minds, it's actually really fun for us. When you feel your head about to implode, tell your kids you are about to get in MAJOR trouble and need to go to time out. RIGHT NOW! (I recommend adding a level of urgency and franticness to your voice for believability.) It's amazing how well the role reversal works, especially on the younger ones. You may just get a couple quiet moments to yourself. Bask in it, because you deserve the amazingness of timeout too.
- Go outside.
Just because you're a "Stay at Home" mom, doesn't mean you have to STAY AT HOME. Get outside, go to a park or on a walk around the neighborhood. Removing yourself and the kids from indoors can break up to monotony of the day. Plus, a little vitamin D is good for the soul.
- Make friends.
You can actually combine leaving the house and this suggestion. I do all the time and it's one of my biggest sanity savers. Some of us are lucky enough to be going through our life stages with the same group of friends we've had for years. And some of us have just moved to the area or have grown in different directions than our old friends.Either way, us moms need each other in a very real and messy way. Join a local moms group or meet with women from church. Set a coffee date with some of the other preschool mamas while the kids are in school. Sure, it might be awkward at first, but eventually it will become smoother and easier.
You need friends to remind you that before you are a SAHM, you are YOU and it's okay to laugh, complain, even sometimes brag about the crazy shenanigans that happen to you each day at home.
Give these a shot, let me know your thoughts and if you have tips I need to add!