I have to say first that even though some days are better than others, I always feel extremely blessed, lucky, proud, and happy to be a stay-at-home mom.
I have found a rhythm of how to make my days flow smoothly and (usually) stress-free as a stay-at-home mom. I have failed at many things and gave up on ideas that I thought would work with my kids, but it never hurts to try, especially if it helps you!
Sometimes you will have an off day with kids crying and not feeling productive at all, but that's what being a stay-at-home mom is. We all have those days, and they will be gone someday.
If I can help spread encouragement for stay-at-home moms, or any mom for that matter, I want to! We all deserve to be happy and proud as mothers, and especially to feel like a happy and productive stay-at-home mom. Read my tips below:
1. Stick to a schedule
I have learned that with little ones it's so important to keep them on a good routine/schedule. Schedule changes are so hard on children, so try to stay consistent.
We try to have the same time every day and night for waking up, naps, play time, lunch and supper, and especially bed time. I find the hardest time of the day is supper and bed time so that's the routine we try to work the most on.
One way to make our supper time routine less stressful is by having our family menu planned out weekly. This saves me time on deciding what to make! I use a picture frame and put bright colored paper behind the glass. Just use a dry erase marker to change your menu weekly!
2. Become an early riser
I used to sleep until the girls woke up. Then we would all be tired, trying to wake up and get some breakfast, and it would become chaos. Now I try to wake up before the girls so I can have some coffee and sit by myself and watch the morning news.
Get yourself ready for the day during this time. Shower, get dressed, do your hair, brush your teeth ... whatever your routine for getting ready is, do it in this time. That way if you do have to go somewhere, you just get the kids ready and go. Plus it's a kick start to the day and that way you can get more done instead of sitting in your pajamas all day.
3. Make lists/goals/rules
I'm the type of person who makes lists for everything, but it really does help to have a "to do" list everyday.
The night before I write down things I need to get done the next day. It's a good idea to not forget anything important that needs done (which is easy with little ones!), and the feeling of crossing something off your list is a feeling of satisfaction.
Writing down goals helps as well, to always have something you are working towards, whether it be for yourself or helping your kids. Write down ways and ideas that will help you feel like a happy and productive stay-at-home mom, and look at your list everyday.
If your kids are old enough, it's a good idea to put a list of rules or chores that is visible for them and to stick by.
4. Keep up on housework
Yes, at times this is impossible, especially with a 5 year old, 3 year old, AND a newborn, but it's best to try and stay on top of it! I have found that if I have a house that looks like a disaster, I feel like a disaster, so if I stay caught up on housework, I'm a more happy and productive stay-at-home mom.
I've seen some people only designate one day a week as 'cleaning day', however I find that with kids it's more efficient to do a little bit of cleaning everyday. Besides keeping up with the laundry and dishes, I try to do one room a day.
It also makes everyone in the house feel so much better when toys are picked up before bedtime, so the next day you can start fresh and not with a leftover mess from the day before.
5. Get out and get involved
Just because you're a stay-at-home mom doesn't mean you literally have to stay at home. Get out of the house with your kids and go to the park or library. Even going for a walk or playing in the yard works.
We make it a point to go outside at least for 45 minutes a day (weather permitting), and when the weather is nice out we might be outside almost all day!
Fresh air and a change of scenery is good for both mom and baby. You can also make play dates with other moms or go to reading groups for kids so they can interact with others and you can be around another adults and have some mom time.
6. Go on date nights and spend alone time with your partner
This is so important! Staying connected with your partner while raising children can sometimes take the backseat, so always take the opportunity to have some quality alone time with them.
Go out on a date or to a movie, you can even take the kids to a babysitter and have a movie night at home, just the two of you! This will be good for both you, your husband, and your kids!
7. Do 'You Time'
Having time for yourself is important as well. Sometimes we as moms forget to take care of ourselves because we are taking care of the kids and house all day.
It's important to set aside time for yourself, whether it be early in the mornings, during nap time, or after the kids have gone to bed.
Find your own hobby if you haven't already. In my spare time I love to crochet or read feel good books or color in adult coloring books. It's a great stress reliever!
If you are looking for more than a hobby, think about starting a blog or maybe even starting your own business, like I have with essential oils!
8. Limit electronics
Leaving the computer and TV on all day can cause you and your kids to become zombies.
Shut your electronic devices off and have some time to actually get down on the floor and play with your kids, read books, sing songs, do crafts or play outside.
9. Slow down and include the kids
When you are cleaning or cooking, if your child shows interest in what you are doing, let them help and teach them!
Most household activities kids can participate in with you, and it will make them feel like your big helper. This was very hard for me at first, but in the end I learned that it really doesn't take the much more time, and once the kids learn how to help, it really is a huge help around the house!
It may take longer to get done at first, but it will teach them what you are doing and make them feel special. In the end they will be learning responsibilities and having fun with mom at the same time!
10. Show love everyday
The most important thing in my opinion, and it goes for everyone, not just stay-at-home moms, is to show your love for one another.
I think that when you show love to your family it makes it easier for them to show love in return, which equals happiness.
Hug them, kiss them, cuddle them. Make them know that they are loved everyday, and you will more than likely get the same in return.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on The Jessie K. It has been modified and republished here with permission.