Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Monday: 5 Ways to be Happier as a Stay at Home Mom

Being able to stay home with your children is an incredible blessing. In the hectic world we live in, more than ever, it seems like every family needs a dual income to survive, so to be able to leave one potential earner at home while the other goes away to work is sometimes miraculous. And there are many good reasons to do it- I have at least five reasons for being a stay at home mom.

But.

Let's be honest.

While every stay at home mom loves her children (I'm sure) and wants all good things for them and feels grateful for them and enjoys time off from work and, and, and..... well, it can be tough. Frustrating. Hard. And it can make you feel unappreciated, dumpy, and undervalued. While hard work in an office can result in promotions, raises, and other forms of appreciation, hard work as a stay at home mom will result in great things- but often not seen or appreciated for years.

So.

While I acknowledge the blessing of staying home and the wonder that it is, here are a few tips to help you be happier as a stay at home mama.

Go on walk!
1. Go outside every day. I'm sure you've had those days when you go to bed at night and realize you never once turned the doorknob to go outside. Whatever your reason, whether it's a walk, to run to the post office,  to get an ice-cream from Mc Donald's, I do not care. Just make sure that you see daylight (or moonlight) once a day.

2. Get completely ready BEFORE your kids are up. Whatever stage of life your children are in, make sure that you are up, dressed, hair done, and make-up (if that's your thing!) finished by the time they are up running around. If you don't do it first thing in the morning, it will often not get done at all, or else haphazardly done throughout the day. You will feel worlds different if you can face each day knowing you look your best and it's like sending a signal to yourself at the beginning of the day: I AM worth spending some time on. It is a real challenge sometimes, but fully worth it.

3. Always pursue at LEAST one personal interest. You love your little ones and most of your day revolves around them: changing diapers, giving baths, cleaning your home, making meals, and other incredibly repetitive tasks. In the midst of all of this, find one thing for YOU that YOU enjoy. This is NOT a free pass to neglect your children and focus selfishly on yourself; rather, it is a way to find joy and accomplishments outside of your children so that you can always feel that you, as an individual, have worth. Options? Gardening. Reading. Running. Gourmet cooking. Blogging. Photographing. Swimming. Just pick something you love and budget some time at least  once a week for you to do something for you.

4. Get adequate rest.  I say adequate because I know that you will not get all the sleep you want until your kids are out of the home. (And maybe not even then) You'll certainly be up late working on projects that can't be done with your children running around and then up again in the morning before they get up- but find some kind of balance.

Have your husband work on that late-night project so you can sleep. Or find a time every day when you can get an hour nap. However you swing things, do not allow yourself to run off of too little sleep. If you do, you will lose your temper far too easily, which will cause you to say/do things with your children that you will regret. You are staying home with your children to give them the best upraising they can get. Make sure it IS the best by giving yourself rest so that you WILL be your best self.

Make him cookies!
5. Love your spouse/significant other. It is easy to become wrapped up in your children's wants and needs. Very easily- because they want and need so much! Do not, however, allow this to take away from your relationship with your significant other. If you do not show love and affection for this person who is an integral part in your life, regardless of how perfect of a mother you are, you will not be happy. So whatever may work well for you, make sure to show your love to your husband each day in a different way. Bake him cookies, kiss him when he comes home, or hold his hand when you watch TV together. It doesn't mater how you do it, just make sure that you get it done!

Do you have other tips for what has helped you find joy in the journey of being a stay at home mom? Share them below so we can all benefit!

New to mom-ing? Check out 5 Tips for First Time Moms.








13 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing. I like number 5, I am not good in baking, but I can give me a huge smile and big hug. :D

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  2. I 100% agree with all of this!!! :)

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  3. Do crafts with your child/children! Color, paint get outside with chalk even little boys love crafts!
    Teach your kids. My son's 2yrs (as of a month ago) I set aside 30mins a day to focus on him learning. From abcs to colors speech motor skills I involve my 9month old by singing songs like wheels on the bus and patty cake which my 2yr old does along with me.

    I need to do a better job at 5 so thank you for reminding me :) this was a great read :)

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    1. Thanks so much! And I love the focusing-on-your-kids. Incredibly important for you AND your babies!

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  4. I am SAHM as well I really enjoyed reading this. I liked #2. I had never thought of getting ready before they are up and am going to start! I have a 2 1/2 year old and a 14 month old so showering with them up is not an option.
    Thanks for sharing! Sara

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    1. Thanks, Sara. When I try to get showered after my babies wake up (2 years and 5 months).... Yeah, doesn't work so well! ;)

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  5. Thank you. I really needed to read this :)

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    1. Thanks, Kelly. That always makes me happy to hear.

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  6. I so needed to read this just now. I have been feeling guilty about desperately needing just a little time for myself, beginning to resent a lot of things where I shouldn't or never would!
    Thankyou xxxx

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    1. Anonymous, being a mom is very important, but it doesn't mean that you stop being an individual. There's no reason for an overhaul, but a little time to help yourself improve can go a long way to tempering potential resentment. I'm really glad to hear this helped.

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  7. Found your post via Pinterest. Great read and great tips, thanks for sharing your experience and helping to make other SAHM's have a happier home life. :)

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  8. Just think as a Home Maker we get to make our own world rather than try to work around or fit into someone else's like at a job or something. Let's make ourselves beautiful happy worlds so we will love living in it and our loved ones will always want to come there to be part of it. The power is all in our hands girls.

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