I love being a stay-at-home-mom, I find it soothing and stress free (stress free in the sense of I don’t have to juggle a job, housework and being a mom and wife). Maybe you have found your rhythm, like I have, or maybe you struggle with how survive as a stay-at-home-mom even though it’s something your heart desires. Well, I’m here to help. I’ve found ways that allow me to be happy and productive mom. Right now I only have the one child, so some of these ways are pretty easy or right now don’t apply to me, but I will be incorporating them as my child gets older and when I have more children.
1. Stick to a Schedule. I say this loosely. Overall, a schedule really helps your children function throughout the day. They know when snack is, play time is, lunch, nap ect. But in case for some reason you schedule needs to change for a doctor appointment or play date, you want your children to be flexible enough that it doesn’t completely throw them off and become cranky.
2. Wake up Before Your Children. This one can be hard for me. I was doing really good for awhile and then I got into a bad habit of not waking up before him. Waking up before your children allows you to physically and mentally prepare for the day. You can get your shower done, dressed, have eaten breakfast, read your Bible and any tasks you need to accomplish.
3. Make lists/goals/rules. If you’re a list person or somewhat forgetful (which is perfectly A-okay!) you may want to compile a list of to-do’s for the next day. Writing goals for you or the kids is a wonderful thing to work towards. You want to accomplish something, so write it down and strive to do it! Rules/Chores are something parents slack on today and that could be why they are so stressed and their kids have bad behavior. But rules and chores are so important. There should be rules that the children are familiar with of things they are not allowed to do and they should be made aware of the consequences. Once your children get to a certain age, they should be made to do chores, they can even start helping you before they “take over.” Mommy is going to be around their whole life to clean the house, wash dishes and fold their laundry. Teach your children how to do it so you can set them up to succeed in life. Doing everything for them makes them lazy, you their slave and sets them up for failure.
4. Keep Up the Housework. Don’t get behind on keeping the house clean. This is where your kids can come in handy. Have your kids pick up their toys when they are done playing with them. Do they laundry before it piles up. Keep dirty dishes out of the sink. Sweep and vacuum on a consistent basis. You can pick one day a week that’s “clean the house day” or pick a chore to do every day (except for the dishes, they should really be done on a daily basis).
5. Get out and be involved. Whether you join a Bible study at the church, have play dates, take your kids to the park or put them in an extra curricular. Do something outside of the house with your kids. You all can sometimes use a break from being cooped up inside and whether you get out just you guys or you get together with friends, it’s important to not be glued to the house.
6. Go on dates with your husband. It doesn’t have to be weekly but maybe once a month if you can swing it financially. It’s important to keeps the sparks alive in your marriage. You need to stay connected to your husband if you want your marriage to work. Go out or stay in and take the kids to a babysitter. Talk about your life, your dreams, your goals and how much you love one another.
7. Have “you time.” As wives and mothers we almost never get time to ourselves and if you’re anything like me, you don’t really know what to do with yourselves when you’re alone. “You time” can be as simple as going on a walk alone, lock yourself in your bedroom with a book or going out with your ladies friends. Just rejuvenate so you are the best you you can be for your family.
8. Limit electronics. If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you will know my stance on electronics. I don’t hate them, but they have become a crutch for too many people, especially parents because it can be so easy to turn on the screen and get your kids out of your hair. But limit your children’s screen time to one hour a day. That’s one hour for each kid but be smart about it mom. Have then all on screen time at the same time! That way you don’t have the other ones using the excuse “I’m just watching.” Also, make sure you children have completed any school work and chores before turning it on. During the off time, play with your kids! Take them outside, sing songs, build forts, play with blocks and read books!
9. Include your kids. In everything you can. Whether it’s cleaning or cooking (cleaning goes back to number 3 and 4). Have them help you cook dinner or make dessert. Just last week I had my 15 month old help me make brownies for daddy. He had no idea what he was doing but he loved stirring the batter (with mom’s help of course).
10. Show love every day. Instead of yelling at your kids, praise them. Encourage them. Talk to them. Give them hugs and kisses. Love is so important to everyone in this world and your kids are some of the most important people in your life and they need to know that you love them. A home filled with love is a good home.