If you are looking for Tips For Stay At Home Moms you are in the right place. I wanted to share real tips that I wish someone told me and things that I have learned along the way of being a stay at home mom for twenty-two years. You can learn more about becoming a happy stay at home mom too.
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More than eleven million parents stay at home with their kids according to one study and I am happy to say that you can be one too.
It takes some work and planning but once you decide that you want to stay home with your kids you will need to handle a few things before as well as manage things during their time when they are young and as both them and you age.
You always hear that you should glean wisdom from other stay at home moms in your similar situation. I know this will sound a bit harsh to some, but stop listening to all these podcasts of “specialists” who have no kids telling you how to parent, raise your kids and run your home.
I had someone recommend a few different blogs and podcasts to me saying that they gave great advice and were industry experts. I listened to a couple of episodes of one and then I looked up the expert that was giving all the advice.
They did not have a kid, step kid or bonus kid. I thought, wait, did something happen to their kids. Let me poke around. Nope, nothing happened because there were no kids.
Now that is not to say that just because you don’t have kids you can not have an opinion. But studying something gives you a different level of expertise than being on the frontlines.
That is like someone who is in college as a medical student is ready to operate just because they are learning and can apply a few techniques. Sorry, I am going to need you to be battle tested before I can even begin to listen. No experience means no experience.
Just think, you want your kids to have the best advantages and to be able to give great experiences. You do not want to guess every step along the way. You will already be doing that on other things with parenting. Don’t do it with everything.
I wanted to share with you some organizations that were helpful to me when my husband was in Iraq and Afghanistan that a few battle tested moms told me about.
Join Local Groups That Focus On The Moms
I loved Mothers of Preschoolers. MOPS was held at our family church and it was easy for me to become a member. We did all sorts of fun crafts, shared meals together, and also had activities for the kids separately.
The time that my kids were able to interact with other kids was great for them and it was great for me too. It allowed me to have time with other women that wanted to craft, hangout and I met two of my dearest friends there.
Another group Mocha Moms is a group for women of color and supports the moms with weekly meetings. You can join as a working mom or a stay at home mom.
I really wanted to join, however there was no local chapter for where I lived. But, I see that they have grown, so check them out.
Join A Local Moms Park Group
You may have to do some digging around and searching for this one. Because we homeschool we were able to find some pretty good local groups.
But even if you do not homeschool there are plenty of groups that do day, evening and weekend park trips.
We have joined a few that even did STEM in the park, museum and movie field trips.
Invest In A Good Amount Of Workout Clothes
Every time I say this to people they look at me like I am speaking Klingon or something. Let’s face it, when you have kids, you are in a constant state of bending down, getting messy with food or paint hands, and just plain don’t want to have to be uncomfortable.
More than likely you will be laying down with one or all of your kids to get them to nap. And I for one would like to be comfortable enough to fall asleep too.
A good soft t-shirt and a comfy pair of workout pants does the trick every time. Plus you can make a run for it if you need to jet after a kid who is doing something like turning your wall into a Jackson Pollock.
Before You Do Anything, Take Care Of Yourself First
I see a lot of moms who run themselves ragged every day doing for everyone else before they even think of themselves if they even think of themselves. Being at home to take care of your kids is not a sacrifice you need to suffer through, it is a gift that you get the ability to experience.
So building time for you should be a priority, because if you do not take care of yourself then others will not be taken care of in the way that you probably intend to.
Think of it this way, when you get on the plane and they start the safety instructions, one of my favorite parts of the instructions is the mask. Safely secure yours and then, you mask and then others like your children.
The children quite frankly would probably not know what to do without your wise instructions and guidance. So make sure you are around to give it, both mentally and physically.
Get Enough Sleep
I frequently talk to moms who say they only get a few hours sleep per night or that the kids won’t sleep long, well the first thing I do is point them to the recommended sleep guide for the proper number of hours they should be sleeping.
Find and fix that problem. Sleep is a serious thing and can lead to so many health issues; like insomnia, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, depression and more.
It is better to nip it in the bud before it becomes problematic.
Things that can help with issues sleeping:
Take a bath
To fully understand this, I want to say I used to say, when do I have time to take a bath to myself all the time. You have time, you just need to clear your mind, get better organized and make the time to take care of yourself.
Taking a bath has become one of my favorite routines, I do it up each time. I make sure that everyone is either gone from the house, or they know to be extra quiet. The extra quiet part made me giggle, even writing it, but you know what I mean, as quiet as it can get in your home.
For me, that meant, movie time for the kids. Hubby would make them snacky foods and they could watch a good show. After I get in the tub. Or they start prior to, it never seems like the bath lasted as long for me.
I generally do a cycle where I add in a bunch more hot water and once that gets cool, I hop out and call it good.
Here are some of my favorites for a mom bath:
- Jets (if you do not have)
- Bath salts
- Bath bomb
- Cooling mask
- Towel for hair
Make Sure You Are Spending Your Money Wisely
If being a sahm mom is going to last through the kid’s graduation from high school, you will need to plan and be good at keeping a budget. No ifs,ands or buts about it.
The sooner you get a handle on it the better. Find an app, a notebook or spreadsheet that allows you to track your finances. This will ensure that you know what is coming in and where it is going.
Cut back on items that do not benefit your long term goals. We cut out dry cleaners, maid service, a lot of vacations that included plane trips.
Now we do add things on depending on the season of our lives, but for the most part, if it doesn’t fit our budget, we do not do it.
Plan Your Meals
Let’s face it, when it comes to meal planning I love it and swear by it. But When my kids were newborn and toddler, I often forgot about myself. My meals consisted of quick nibbles and they were often not the healthiest of nibbles. But you can plan what you want to eat very easily and with minimal effort, if you just spend ten minutes to gather what you want and make a plan to get those items on your grocery list.
I would make foods for myself as the kiddos got a little older, I would make things like scallops and salad, salmon burgers, chicken salad and so much more. Just so I would have healthier alternatives than quick bites.
Get Up And Get Dressed
Getting dressed you don’t have to wear a dress and shoes or a full face of makeup, unless that is your thing.
If you just need to have a simple basic system that works and do not know where to start, think Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, President Obama they all wear uniforms.
Not a military uniform, but like a military uniform, you can have a select amount of clothes that you wear each day, each being the same shirt, same pants, etc. This allows you to spend your brainpower on something else.
I have been doing it for so many years, I really can not remember when I started, but it has helped me so much. I learned it from my grandmother. She would tell me to make sure that I wasn’t making a huge fuss unless I was going out.
You can have a uniform. Like an outfit you wear each day. Obviously, launder it when needed. But if you are staying in the house that day… you can wear it the next day.
Limit the clothes you wear indoors. So that you have less laundry as well.
Make Sure to Have Lunch With Friends
Saturdays were my days to hang out with friends. Or when the kids were in school, a friend and I would get dressed up and head to lunch, maybe have a margarita and hop over to a movie.
It was nice to have some time with an adult and to get dolled up. Let’s face it, we need that motivation as often as possible. Make it happen often at least two times a month.
I know it sounds strange, but sometimes we need to have a bit of extra hands-on with the kids. So we have to let household things go. So I have hired maids, ordered food delivery meals that were affordable and delish, and even hired someone to run errands for me and do odd jobs.
My neighbor, Desi was my favorite neighbor ever. She would decorate the house outside for me, run errands with me so I could run into the stores and run back out while the kids were in the car and even watch our dog.
Getting dropped off in front of the store and picked up at the door saves time and can really be motivating to have someone help you do things fast.
Get Your Hair, Nails, Face, Feet Done. And As A Bonus Get A Massage
I got a massage membership and a facial membership and loved it so much. Every week I had something to pamper myself.
One week was nails, one week was hair, another week was massage and feet. It was glorious.
I joined an MLM.
Ok, now this was not my favorite thing. But it did give me a sense of community and I was able to make some money on the side. Side note, I do not recommend this because less than 1% of mlm’ers actually make money. Despite all the glitz and glamour. And if you are not financially stable this could be detrimental to your family. Link out
Do Not Become The Errand Girl For Your Friends And Family
You being a sahm does not make you everyone’s go-to person for everything.
Give Yourself Grace
You are not in competition with anyone. You do not need to be a certain type of mom in order to be a good mom. Love your kids and do right by them. That makes you a good mom. Anything else is just gravy.
People will have lots and lots of opinions, and that is ok. You can always stop answering their calls. It’s that simple.
I found this great book that really helped me to set up some clear boundaries in my life.
Embrace Each Day
It is hard sometimes to enjoy being a stay at home mom, but it can be done.
Count Your Steps And Stop Exercising
Ok, I know someone out there is thanking me. I love to work out, I really do. But I only like to do it in cycles of inspiration.
If I have a million things in my head, I will not.
I used to love running and jogging, but to be honest, I really do not feel safe as a black woman running on my own. So if you want to run, please look into running groups.
So here’s the deal, you can get steps in just by doing your everyday things. Cleaning, cooking, tidying up, chasing kids. It adds up. Most days I stayed in the 5000 range but there were days that easily hit 10000 or more.
Get a fit bit, garmin or apple watch to track your steps. You can also track with your phone, but I really try not to carry it now that my kiddos are older.
Schedule Time To Plan Your Week
If you have worked outside the home or your kids are older you already know that planning lunches, and getting outfits ready can save a lot of tears in the morning. And it can save you frustration as well.
You can easily plan your time one or two nights a week. I would plan play dates, park dates, lunch dates, movies date, at home circle time, activities and more. I even planned the times I would clean around activities and nap time.
It seriously helps to keep you motivated when not every single piece of clothing is dirty or in a pile on the floor needing to be folded. The toll it took on my happiness every day because I had to stare at that pile of laundry was not worth it. I learned how to do a load of laundry a day very quickly to keep up and stay on top of the laundry. Almost 17 years later, I still do a load a day.
Cut Down On Your Processed Foods
You are setting goals and habits for your kids. And what they see you do, they will think is the norm. This will help you to stay focused and also not get sluggish during the day.
Take Supplements To Stay Healthy
I know, it sounds weird, but it is true. You really can’t afford to be sick. Your kids and your spouse are relying on you to do your job. You really don’t get sick days, hashtag mom life.
Now we will get sick, but quality supplements can help you to avoid illness and help you bounce back faster when you do get ill.
Be A Stay At Home Mom
Learn to love your home. You can not run the streets all day every day. Your job is right there in the title. Stay at home mom. This means staying home is your job, your main focus is being at home and running your home and in order to do that. You kinda need to be in it.
I used to tell my hubby I could not wait to stay at home all day and sit on the couch watching Oprah and eat bon bons all day. I giggle at this everytime I think about it, but it’s true. I had this image in my head of what my job was going to be and it was nowhere close to what I had imagined.
Of course there are days to get out of the house both with the kids and by yourself, but the truth is, I am at home more than I am out and about.
But the majority of my time is spent taking care of myself, my hubby, my kids and my home. The home includes, all things in it, for it, and all the finances to keep everything going. So it is definitely a forty hour a week job, and then some.
So if I want to get my sleep in and my bath time, I really never have a ton of time to be running around. It just does not fit into my daily routine.
Now, each home is different, so no judgment. But if you start to feel like you are getting overwhelmed, sit down and assess how much time you actually take care of you home and how much you are not. Make adjustments so that you have a better balance.
Feel free to reach out to me. I always answer my emails.