You only have so much time so let’s get right to it.
1. Plan things to look forward to. Even if it is grocery shopping alone, plan it and look forward to it.
Some of us do not have the luxury to call much else self care, so own it. Put your ear buds in, sing in the deli and dance in the freezer section. The time is yours.
The feeling of looking forward to something has carried me through hour long tantrums and endless days. Recently planning a girls trip with friends might have just saved my marriage.
Scheduling time away from home alone or with others makes it easier to appreciate the harder days at home alone with the littles. The time is yours.
2. Rely on family and friends without guilt or concern. The kids will be fine for a few hours.
Whether it is at your in-laws, father’s, or your own home, hand over your children without guilt!
They will be fine.
If grandma doesn’t make lunch for them the way you do, it is ok, they will survive and the mess will eventually get cleaned up. It is not extra work for you to clean up after the help, it’s a break, so rely on it.
Help is the last thing a stay at home mom wants to ask for but it is the first thing on any’s wish list. Don’t be afraid to ask for it before you lose your mind. This is not a suggestion it is a threat. Feel your guilty feels and move on, you’ll be happy you took the break.
3. Exercise. There is nothing more exhilarating than an endorphin high. It can last longer than a sugar high and it has extra benefits.
Find a way to get you one regularly. It is intoxicating. And even provides a nice hangover high I can ride into discussion battles with a three-nager. It gives me the energy to hit other areas on this list while managing stay at home mom duties.
Strap the kids down and go for a walk right now. Turn on yoga in the middle of the play room and just do it. Tell your significant other the world is going to end if you don’t hit the gym, and hit it.
Hit it hard, you don’t know when or how you’ll get the next one so make it count, even if you don’t have time to shower after.
4. Turn off social media and the news. Facebook and Instagram do not define your mom skills and the news will only torment you.
Shut it down.
I wish more mom-influencers would post pictures of the ugly side of motherhood. It would make the rest of us feel better. So beware scrollers – the pretty filtered snapshots are just that…pictures of blissful moments. Other’s moments are not your joy. Comparing them to your life will not bring you joy.
Don’t believe all of what you see on social media and definitely don’t let it drive you to believe you are any less than the supermom you already are, or aren’t – we ain’t all made the same way.
If you think you need to listen to the news to stay up to date on what’s happening in the world, try to measure how much good news and bad news you hear and think about how that exaggerated noise is affecting your every day. Does a 40 second expose on the benefits of kale really help you change the diapers?
5. Find a Pod Squad
Forming a group of neighborhood friends with children the same age as my kids has been a lifesaver. For my sanity and for my children. Read more here on The Pod Squad.
6. Read. This keeps my mind sharp and my interests peaked.
Using my brain on something other than meal prep and preschool academia has driven my passion to pursue more for me (when I finally get the time of course). I like to include a few pages with my morning coffee or before I go to sleep. This isn’t always possible with babies or multiples but it can be rewarding when strived for.
7. Spread love with honesty.
When we welcome our first child into the world, or our second, third or fourth; all the focus is on them. New life has commercialized us weary moms out of the picture. I pushed that baby out after carrying it for 9 months and visitors bring gifts for the newborn! Gifts we must then wash and put away.
After struggling with motherhood, I’ve made it my mission to spread love and honesty to new moms and growing families. Offering a box of Hershey’s kisses, lavender scented candles, chamomile tea, and tissue packs can go a long way. A voucher to babysit or cut the lawn, paired with a few kind words and real life testimony (i.e. shit will be hard, you’re going to struggle, life is going to suck for a minute, you’ll get through it) let’s any new mom or growing family know they aren’t alone.
8. Talk about your feelings with the people you love.
“I don’t want to do this any more”, my overused greeting to my husband when he finally gets one foot in the door.
“Mom is tired when you don’t sleep in your own bed”, my sunrise saying.
Tell everyone how you feel.
“I resent the fact you get to leave the house for 40+ hours a week”. “I feel like I am not providing enough for the family in this role”. Talk it out. Then go to the war room and cry it out in prayer.
Letting my tears fall and expressing myself consistently has made this role more manageable. You don’t have coworkers to joke with or deadlines to take your focus off of reality. So it’s easy to get lost in the madness, just don’t lose yourself. Vent to the people that love you even if their only response is “goo-goo gaa-gaa”.
9. Find work for yourself. Work on something that makes you happy.
Not because you need more to do. Whether it is planning your friend’s engagement party or reselling stuff around the house. Put your hands on something that isn’t a dirty diaper or a homecooked meal.
Work from home or get a part time job. Find something to work on for yourself. Develop a skill or discover a new passion. This has kept me as a mommy feeling better as a mommy, because being a stay a home mom doesn’t have to be my one and only role. See how we hustle from home here.
10. Kick everyone out. Reclaim the comfort of your own home.
Regain the comfort of your home space. Force your partner to go for a walk with all the kids, even if it takes 2 hours to prepare for 4 blocks to the park and 7 minutes of playing. Get them out of the space you are trapped in 24/7.
Nothing gives me more energy to cook another damn dinner than watch to The Real Housewives alone for 30 minutes before hand, in the house, by myself. Finding your own joy in your home without the overcrowding sounds of the every day grind will keep you feeling secure in your place as a stay at home mom. Bake, nap, vacuum, shower or fold laundry, just do it alone in your home. Reclaim your space so you don’t drive yourself crazy in it.
11. Remember each moment and every day has its end.
Even when I thought I’ve had the worse day ever another one rears its ugly head to prove me wrong. But even in our worst moments, when we feel defeated or overcome with terrifying emotion, those moments all have an end. This even stands true for the good ones. So, cherish the good AND the bad, savor this time, put it in your diary, look past it so you can look back on it and remember just how precious it is, no matter how difficult or wonderful, you are blessed.