How to be a successful and happy stay at home mom

Maybe I can’t tell you exactly how to be a successful stay at home mom. But, I can certainly give you 4 things you must do on your way to your own version of SAHM success.

I’m not sure how you define “success” as a stay at home mom.

I mean, at one time, I thought being a successful stay at home mom meant I was taking care of the kid, house, and husband and finding time to work some kind of work at home job. That’s partly why I started my stay at home mom blog. Making a little extra income couldn’t hurt right?

Well, in the last couple years, I’ve realized the income is no where near as important as my job as a stay at home mom. I was putting a lot of time and effort into finding ways to earn an extra income, and it was unnecessary.

But truth be told, it was taking me from my family more and more. I’m not the best housekeeper in the first place, but more work meant less time working around the house. Not to mention, trying to meet deadlines kind of stressed me out when the kids didn’t want to work with me.

And, I’m not insinuating that you’re not a successful stay at home mom if you work from home. And maybe you need to earn extra income in order to be at home with your family.

It’s just that, for me and my family, the extra income wasn’t a necessity. It just became a huge focal point that made me less successful at things that were more important to my family.

If you were given the opportunity to define it, what would your how to be a successful stay at home mom tips be?

Regardless of opinions of success, I think there are several things you must do if you want to be successful as a stay at home mom.

How to be a successful and happy stay at home mom

How to Be a Successful Stay at Home Mom

Prioritize

In order to be a successful stay at home mom, you first need to figure our your priorities. But, not just yours! Discuss with your spouse what he believes to be priorities for your family.

Have a discussion about what you both envision to be important to benefit the family as a whole. If there are any disagreements, come to compromises.

In our case, I thought earning income was a priority, but after some discussion, found out that it was a burden I had put upon myself. My husband simply wanted me to take care of the home and family. He wanted me to raise the kids with the values we both believe in, educate them, and take them out for experiences.

If I was able to be a good wife and mother and still find the time and energy to work from home, that would be a bonus, but never was it a priority for him.

Routine

How to be a successful and happy stay at home mom

No matter your work status, staying at home successfully really takes a fairly consistent routine.

For starters, children do best on routines. Just one good reason why kids need routine is so they can get on a schedule. This helps them fall asleep better at night. But, knowing what to expect and teach them to look forward to things, just as examples.

But, kids aren’t the only ones who benefit from routines. As a stay at home parent, being in a routine helps you stay consistent with cleaning, cooking, and getting the kids to and from school. After factoring in all your daily requirements, you can build in fun with the family, practicing a little self care, and even when you can chill with the hubby.

Want to work at home, too? Not going to be easy if you don’t have a relatively consistent schedule mapped out.

Delegate

How to be a successful and happy stay at home mom

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the last 7 years as a stay at home mom, it’s that I have to delegate tasks that others can handle.

I’m a firm believer in doling out age appropriate chores to my children to teach them they have a responsibility to be productive members of the family. The earlier they learn and build upon skills to become self-sufficient, the better they’ll adjust when it’s time to move out of the house.

Just because I’m a stay at home mom, doesn’t mean I’m a full time maid for children who are capable of helping around the house. And, I never want them to get comfortable with me doing everything, because eventually, I want them to move out and not need me.

Look, stay at home moms wear a lot of hats, so I wholeheartedly believe in delegating when you have too much on your plate.

Take Time Off

How to be a successful and happy stay at home mom

That one time I called sipping Starbucks while the kids took a bath “a break”

Everyone who has a job gets some kind of time off, don’t they? A day or two a week is pretty much everyone’s expectation and I know in recent years there’s been a huge shift in those seeking more work-life balance.

But, stay at home moms don’t get work life balance, really. Our days start early and can run pretty late. Not to mention, our nights can be interrupted at any time with kids crying in the middle of the night.

That’s why it’s extremely important to get your schedule in order and designate some downtime. Pick a hobby and designate time once a day or once a week to give yourself something to look forward to.

This is a great time to pick up a new hobby, expand on a current one, or simply visit a salon to get your hair done or have a massage.

This year, I’ve made Saturdays my mandatory mom’s day out. I don’t have a specific thing I do every Saturday, so it depends on what I feel like. If I’m due for a hair cut, I’ll do it. If I just want to go out and shop, I will. But, there were plenty of days I’d sit down at a restaurant working on the blog or hiding in corner of the library to work.

When it’s all said and done, I can’t tell you how to be a successful stay at home mom 100% guaranteed. Mainly because I don’t know what you consider success.

Is your measure of success having more fun with your family or do you need to get more cleaning done?

Do you want to strictly be a stay at home mom, or are you actually going to work from home?

The only thing I can tell you is this:

You have to know your priorities, set a schedule, delegate what you can, and take some time off. But these are just my tips on how to be a successful stay at home mom …

Or, at least get on track for stay at home mom success.

Congratulations! You’ve decided to stay home with your kids. Transitioning to a stay at home mom can be quite exciting and challenging especially for someone who has been working full time – 8 hour shifts. It is a wonderful gift where you can stay home with your kids but it’s easy to realize of how wonderful experience it can be.

How to be a successful and happy stay at home mom Set a schedule

Just because you are not working anymore doesn’t mean you can get rid of schedules. Trust me – setting a schedule will make your day go much smoother. Schedules will help you complete your tasks, help you achieve what you had decided to on that day, plus help you feel less tired and overwhelmed.

Take time for yourself

Stay-at-home-mom doesn’t mean you only take care of the children, the house, run errands, cook, do laundry and the list goes on. You need to take time for yourself. By doing this, you will be much happier as now you are doing what you want to or love to do. It could be reading books or magazines, gardening, knitting, scrapbooking, or watching favorite movie.

Quit being perfect

Working on being a great mom doesn’t mean you have to be a perfect mom. Let’s be real – there is always room to do better; improve the way we take care of our children. In order to enjoy the whole process you need to be less obsessed about being perfect.

How to be a successful and happy stay at home mom

Keep yourself fit

Dedicate some time daily for workout. Exercise will keep you strong and motivated. It will provide you with energy that you need in order to take care of your children plus do other needs around the house. Also drink lots of water. Water is the best solution to keep you healthy.

How to be a successful and happy stay at home mom

Socialize with other stay-at-home-moms

Meet and talk to other moms you stay at home moms. You’ll be surprised how much you can teach and learn from each other. Plus it will keep you engaged in adult communication rather than being staying isolated.

Teach your kids to play independently

By teaching or letting your kids play independently will help them expand their imagination. By doing this, you will be able to get some time to do other things like fold the laundry or make important phone call.

Cut down on electronic time

It’s amazing how much time is spent on the computer, cell phone, tablets, etc. Imagine how much of free time you can get if the amount of time spent on electronics can be sliced into half. You will be able to achieve so much more and be able to get other things done like reading books to your kids, playing with them or completing that DIY project.

Maybe I can’t tell you exactly how to be a successful stay at home mom. But, I can certainly give you 4 things you must do on your way to your own version of SAHM success.

I’m not sure how you define “success” as a stay at home mom.

I mean, at one time, I thought being a successful stay at home mom meant I was taking care of the kid, house, and husband and finding time to work some kind of work at home job. That’s partly why I started my stay at home mom blog. Making a little extra income couldn’t hurt right?

Well, in the last couple years, I’ve realized the income is no where near as important as my job as a stay at home mom. I was putting a lot of time and effort into finding ways to earn an extra income, and it was unnecessary.

But truth be told, it was taking me from my family more and more. I’m not the best housekeeper in the first place, but more work meant less time working around the house. Not to mention, trying to meet deadlines kind of stressed me out when the kids didn’t want to work with me.

And, I’m not insinuating that you’re not a successful stay at home mom if you work from home. And maybe you need to earn extra income in order to be at home with your family.

It’s just that, for me and my family, the extra income wasn’t a necessity. It just became a huge focal point that made me less successful at things that were more important to my family.

If you were given the opportunity to define it, what would your how to be a successful stay at home mom tips be?

Regardless of opinions of success, I think there are several things you must do if you want to be successful as a stay at home mom.

How to be a successful and happy stay at home mom

How to Be a Successful Stay at Home Mom

Prioritize

In order to be a successful stay at home mom, you first need to figure our your priorities. But, not just yours! Discuss with your spouse what he believes to be priorities for your family.

Have a discussion about what you both envision to be important to benefit the family as a whole. If there are any disagreements, come to compromises.

In our case, I thought earning income was a priority, but after some discussion, found out that it was a burden I had put upon myself. My husband simply wanted me to take care of the home and family. He wanted me to raise the kids with the values we both believe in, educate them, and take them out for experiences.

If I was able to be a good wife and mother and still find the time and energy to work from home, that would be a bonus, but never was it a priority for him.

Routine

How to be a successful and happy stay at home mom

No matter your work status, staying at home successfully really takes a fairly consistent routine.

For starters, children do best on routines. Just one good reason why kids need routine is so they can get on a schedule. This helps them fall asleep better at night. But, knowing what to expect and teach them to look forward to things, just as examples.

But, kids aren’t the only ones who benefit from routines. As a stay at home parent, being in a routine helps you stay consistent with cleaning, cooking, and getting the kids to and from school. After factoring in all your daily requirements, you can build in fun with the family, practicing a little self care, and even when you can chill with the hubby.

Want to work at home, too? Not going to be easy if you don’t have a relatively consistent schedule mapped out.

Delegate

How to be a successful and happy stay at home mom

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the last 7 years as a stay at home mom, it’s that I have to delegate tasks that others can handle.

I’m a firm believer in doling out age appropriate chores to my children to teach them they have a responsibility to be productive members of the family. The earlier they learn and build upon skills to become self-sufficient, the better they’ll adjust when it’s time to move out of the house.

Just because I’m a stay at home mom, doesn’t mean I’m a full time maid for children who are capable of helping around the house. And, I never want them to get comfortable with me doing everything, because eventually, I want them to move out and not need me.

Look, stay at home moms wear a lot of hats, so I wholeheartedly believe in delegating when you have too much on your plate.

Take Time Off

How to be a successful and happy stay at home mom

That one time I called sipping Starbucks while the kids took a bath “a break”

Everyone who has a job gets some kind of time off, don’t they? A day or two a week is pretty much everyone’s expectation and I know in recent years there’s been a huge shift in those seeking more work-life balance.

But, stay at home moms don’t get work life balance, really. Our days start early and can run pretty late. Not to mention, our nights can be interrupted at any time with kids crying in the middle of the night.

That’s why it’s extremely important to get your schedule in order and designate some downtime. Pick a hobby and designate time once a day or once a week to give yourself something to look forward to.

This is a great time to pick up a new hobby, expand on a current one, or simply visit a salon to get your hair done or have a massage.

This year, I’ve made Saturdays my mandatory mom’s day out. I don’t have a specific thing I do every Saturday, so it depends on what I feel like. If I’m due for a hair cut, I’ll do it. If I just want to go out and shop, I will. But, there were plenty of days I’d sit down at a restaurant working on the blog or hiding in corner of the library to work.

When it’s all said and done, I can’t tell you how to be a successful stay at home mom 100% guaranteed. Mainly because I don’t know what you consider success.

Is your measure of success having more fun with your family or do you need to get more cleaning done?

Do you want to strictly be a stay at home mom, or are you actually going to work from home?

The only thing I can tell you is this:

You have to know your priorities, set a schedule, delegate what you can, and take some time off. But these are just my tips on how to be a successful stay at home mom …

Or, at least get on track for stay at home mom success.

Home » How to Be a Successful And Happy Stay at Home Mum

How to be a successful and happy stay at home mom

Despite popular belief, being a stay at home mum is one of the most important jobs on earth. I can’t think of a more rewarding job, nor a more challenging one than this one right here. Think about it this way: a stay at home mum is a queen. She has one of the most important jobs of all—managing the castle, all that it entails, and its inhabitants.

Yes, staying at home can be a big decision, especially if you have a career and have been used to praise, socialization, and a regular paycheck. You might even think that if you decide to stay home, it is a “step down,” a demotion of sorts. But nothing could be further from the truth.

Being a stay at home mum requires wearing a litany of hats. You’re a full-time babysitter, a nurse, a chef, a behavioural therapist, and most importantly, a teacher. I mean who can do all that by themselves?

If you decide, that yes, you are going to stay home with your child but aren’t sure how to navigate the new waters without completely losing yourself, allow me to offer you some ideas that will make your experience an exceptionally happy one. By following through with the suggestions below, you will feel successful, happy, and ready to tackle anything that comes your way.

Wake Up Early!

Some stay at home mums complain that they don’t have enough time for themselves. Valid point. Try getting up early, before the kids do. This is the first thing that you should keep in mind if you want to be a successful stay-at-home mum.

Being up before everyone else offers you alone time to get some personal things done. The house is quiet and peaceful—the perfect setting to do what you need to do. That could be taking an uninterrupted warm shower, reading passages from your favourite book, having a cup of coffee etc.

Waking up early offers you many opportunities to do what you need to do so that you don’t feel as though you’re missing out.

Dress Up!

No, I don’t mean dress up like you’re going out dancing, but you don’t have to be in your pyjamas or sweats all day, either. How you dress makes a difference in your mood—on how you feel. So, dress casually but nicely.

You don’t need a ton of clothes! Stick with what fits you well and makes you feel pretty without much fuss. You can be at home and still dress to impress. You will feel so much better about yourself.

Exercise and Have Fun With Your Kids!

Taking care of your little ones doesn’t mean you give up on yourself. Take some time during the day to exercise. It will keep you strong, toned, and happy.

Have the children join you, and make it amusing by playing some fun workout music. They’ll use up a lot of energy and enjoy the time with you simultaneously.

Establish a Break

During the day, it’s important to set aside some time to do something quiet; perhaps set aside 20-30 minutes to read.

During this break, you and your kids can do something they personally enjoy. Encourage your kids to get creative. Research shows that creative activities, such as art, are wonderful for children.

Set Up a Routine!

Most stay at home mums respond well to a routine. For instance, from 8 – 9, breakfast and cartoons; from 9 – 12. chores and homework; from 12 – 1:00 p.m., lunch. After that, nap time, if appropriate, or personal time.

The routine, of course, will be based on the age of your children and your own personal views.

Hire a Babysitter!

Sometimes you might like to go out with friends, get pampered at a spa, or what-have-you. A babysitter or a trusted family member can help with that.

These little breaks can be the fuel you need to keep going. It’s like getting a mini-vacation. It’s revitalizing. Once you get home from your spa treatment or the movie you saw with your friends, you will have renewed energy. You can now refocus on your castle tasks. And remember, a happy mom, makes for a happy child!

Meet Up With Other Mums

Meeting up with other stay at home mums will provide you with support. Additionally, the kids get to socialize with other children and you with other like-minded moms. Not working outside the home sometimes can feel isolating, so talking to other adults is a nice treat.

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Need a jumpstart on summer routines & chores with kids? Check out our Basic Routines Bundle for 75% off!

How to be a successful and happy stay at home mom

The house smells like toast and freshly brewed coffee. I grab the Bun pot and fill my cup. The coffee is almost too hot to drink, but I sip it anyway because coffee and I belong together. Wrapping my hands around my mug, I can’t help but think how much I love an organized stay at home mom schedule.

In case you didn’t know this is the part about being a stay-at-home mom that is just for me. I check my phone and see a message from my friend Kelly. She always makes me laugh with her jokes about wine and not sleeping. This is how I connect and feel human even when motherhood takes over *almost* every crevice of my life.

I take another sip of my coffee and it dawns on me that right now I’m filling my cup in more than one way.

How to be a successful and happy stay at home mom

Stay at home mom schedules are awesome.

I’m nourishing my soul by taking a few minutes to sip steaming hot coffee in the morning stillness. I’m taking a moment to breathe before the chaos of the day starts. And even once chaos starts, the schedule will save me. And this is why..

It saves a mom’s sanity.

Honestly, it’s a luxury to reliably predict your day to day happenings. It can help you feel more at ease with everything. Less stress, happier mom. Personally, that’s how we thrive and function in our home. As a busy stay at home mom, I can rely on specific times of the day to get things done, and that makes me feel more organized and less crazy.

It increases a mom’s focus.

If you know there is a set available time to get something done, it becomes easier to stay focused. I’m a lot more motivated to finish something on my to-do list when I only have a set amount of time. A schedule can help drive you to accomplish tasks on hand. If I know I have an hour, I work quickly to work through my to-do list, rather whittling away at it bit-by-bit throughout the whole day. By increasing your focus, schedules eliminate wasted time throughout the day to accomplish one menial task.

How to be a successful and happy stay at home mom

Better self-care for mom.

If I know my kids will play alone for a certain amount of time each morning, I can prepare and anticipate a time during the day to get things done. Like drink a cup of coffee for 5 minutes. Or shower for 10 minutes. Or briefly chat with my parents, who live half-way around the world.

Moms need to take time to build up themselves so they have something to give back to their kids. Even if it’s only for 30 minutes in the morning while your kids play alone. 30 minutes of self-care recharges your patience. I’m a waayyyy better mom when I take a moment to breathe!

You’re more intentional with daily life.

For me, true happiness is based on intention. When I have time to get things done around the house, and take care of myself, I am more intentional with all the fun stuff and free time. So if you take a day trip or an afternoon outing, the 20 things you need to get done at home won’t be cluttering your brain and ruining your time. It can help you feel more relaxed.

How to be a successful and happy stay at home mom

Personally, I’m happier with the schedule. I feel better because I know there is an upcoming time slot when I will be able to get things done in the near future. If there are chores left undone in the house, there will be time soon. No worries.

A sample schedule for you, mama.

Schedules and routines are very popular on this blog, so I thought it would be fun to share our current daily schedule with you. I appreciate seeing what other moms are doing, and maybe you do too.

As a military family, my husband is a gone on and off quite a bit for work. This is a schedule I tend to follow when he is home. We like to have time together in the evenings, and we make a point of heading to bed together each night.

  • 5:00 am wake up, drink piping hot coffee, laugh with Kelly
  • 6:00 am baby wakes up, feed her, get her dressed for the day, briefly catch up on news
  • 7:00 am toddler wakes up, eat breakfast
  • 8:15 am take toddler to school
  • 8:45 am return home
  • 9:00 am baby naps, I work from home during this time
  • 11:00 am baby wakes up, feed her, eat lunch, play, run errands
  • 1:00 pm baby naps
  • 2:15 pm baby wakes up, feed her, pick up toddler from school
  • 2:45 pm return home, play at park near our home
  • 4:00 pm head inside, toddler watches TV, baby naps, I cook dinner
  • 5:00 pm baby wakes up, eat family dinner, baby eats solids, clean up
  • 5:45 pm bedtime routines start (Yes! Two kids seem to take my husband and I an especially long time. We like to give plenty of time! Plus, this give us lots of time to roll with bedtime stall tactics!)
  • 6:30 pm kids are both in jammies, feed baby, read stories, enjoy our snuggle time.
  • 7:00 pm both kids down for the night, hallelujah.
  • 7:00-10:00 pm several nights per week both my husband and I work in the evening. The other nights (it’s about 50/50) we watch movies and shows on Netflix and Amazon Prime.

I take one more sip of coffee.

Kelly sends me one more joke about being a sleep deprived parent and then I hear my daughter stir and cry a few times. I feel it coming. The chaos of the day starts to roll inside my mind. It’s picking up speed. And I know before long, I’ll be running full throttle like a runaway train. The schedule will bring me back to center though.

I take one more look at my Bun coffee pot (I’ll never use another coffee pot!) and drink of my coffee. This time it’s a gulp instead of a sip. I’m ready for the kids. Let’s do this. Bring it.

Print this free self-care for moms checklist.

This post comes with a free printable checklist to help with prioritize taking care of YOU. I always have the hardest time remembering these ideas. This printable simplifies it!

Sharing is caring!

When you are home all day with no boss or job description, it’s hard to know what to do with your time. You may even wonder how to be a successful stay at home mom.

I had the same problem when I first became a stay at home mom.

There was no official start to my day, so I didn’t know what to do with myself. Some days I would stay in my pajamas or work out clothes ALL. DAY. LONG.

Then about an hour before my husband would get home, I figured I should do something. So I’d quick throw a load of laundry in, pull out something for supper, and jump in the shower.

It’s a little embarrassing to admit…

But I know that I’m not the only one.

If you are reading this and feel like you are the only one, please know you are not.

Maybe you can’t completely relate to me.

Maybe you are pretty good about getting showered and dressed in the morning and staying on top of the laundry.

But you know you that you waste a lot of time during the day and could be more productive at home.

Let me tell ya, we stay at home moms ALL feel like this from time to time. You are not alone.

I love the quote “It’s okay to not be okay. But it’s not okay to stay that way.” Instead let’s talk about how to use our time better as stay at home moms.

How to be a Successful Stay at Home Mom

Focus on one thing at a time.

Many times, we try to multi-task thinking this will help us get more done. But what often happens is we take longer to accomplish tasks and don’t do them well.

  • cook supper
  • text a friend
  • answer the kids’ questions
  • fill up the dishwasher

All. at. the. same. time.

We think we are getting a bunch of stuff done and we can’t believe how busy we are.

But what really happens is…

  • we burn supper
  • the kids get ignored
  • you forget to start the dishwasher.

You are doing TOO much at the same time. If you stop multitasking, I can just about guarantee that you will get more done and do things better.

I used to be the queen of multitasking, but I certainly wasn’t the queen of my household!

I felt like I was doing two things at one time, but the truth is I’m much faster and more effecient when my focus is completely on the task at hand. I used to clean the bathroom and watch YouTube videos, but that was only slowing me down because my attention was divided.

Now I clean the bathrooms much faster without distractions. Then I have more time to simply sit down and watch the YouTube video and fully enjoy it later.

I also used to listen to podcasts while cooking supper. What ended up happening was I kept messing up supper because I was distracted.

Another thing that has helped me is putting my phone on my kitchen counter instead of carrying it around in my pocket.

It’s so easy to grab my phone and start scrolling throughout the day. This wastes SO much time and distracts me from my kids and what really has value.

Now when I want to be on my phone, I’m on my phone.

I have time that I set aside to just chill and check Facebook or watch YouTube videos. And I’ve found it so much more enjoyable than getting on my phone while I’m doing something else.

When you are able to focus on one thing, you are able to give all of your time, energy, and brain power to that one task.

You are able to do it well.

BUT…. if you focus on a bunch of things and are constantly interrupted, you divide your time, energy, and brain power. And you don’t do any of those things well.

Follow a Successful Stay at Home Mom Routine.

Everyone thrives on flexible routines.

It took me awhile to figure this out. For months I stressed myself out, didn’t get enough sleep, and had a hard time getting things done.

Then one day, it finally occured to me that when I was teaching, I followed routines to manage my time and I needed that at home too.

Because after all, being a stay at home mom is a job too even though I don’t receive a monetary paycheck.

Do you follow routines at home?

If not, you may feel like you are running around all day, but not accomplishing much. If you want to know how stay at home moms are effecient, the answer is routines.

You, your kids, and your husband all benefit from following routines.

Your family doesn’t have to wonder if their clothes are clean or if there will be supper on the table.

If you need help getting those things done, grab the FREE Stay at Home Mom Checklist!

It will show you what to do to keep a clean house, get dinner on the table each night, and spend quality time with your kids!

Now, I feel like I need to share a BIG warning here.

If you are a rule follower, it’s easy to become rigid and have the mentality of follow-the-routines-or-else!

That is dangerous.

Routines are meant to make your life easier and give you the time to enjoy life. They should not be a burden or get in the way of enjoying your life.

That means your routines are specific to YOU.

When I started following cleaning routines, I copied a few different people’s routines, but the problem was that their schedule didn’t work with mine.

My husband had a crazy work schedule at the time. It was not the typical 9-5 job which meant my schedule was crazy too.

Following someone else’s cleaning routine only led to frustration. I became much more effecient at home when I created and followed my own routines.

Learn from my mistake and create your OWN schedules and routines.

Once you create and follow through with your routines, you’ll find that you are much more productive at home and it may even feel like you have more time in your day!

I often get asked how to make time for hobbies or devotions as a stay at home mom. My answer?

Routines allow you to manage your time and focus on doing what needs to get done.

So really my two tips go hand in hand. A routine is simply a plan that focuses on accomplishing one thing at a time.

When you follow a flexible plan for the day and stay focused on one task at a time, you will find that you are much more productive at home.

So now, it’s time to create your own household routines!

No more wondering what you are supposed to do all day.

End your day with pride of all that you accomplished instead of wondering where all your time went!

If you are an overwhelmed stay at home mom, be sure to get the Free Stay at Home Mom Checklist.

August 9, 2013 Updated October 2, 2017

How to be a successful and happy stay at home mom

Thinking of extending your maternity leave for a really long time? Or quitting the office job and becoming a stay at home mom instead? Here are six things you really ought to know or do:

1. You must embrace the the yoga pants. You might go in to this whole endeavor thinking that there is NO WAY you are joining a gym or going to preschool pickup in yoga pants and tennis shoes. But you know what? The reason why SAHMs have been doing these things for years is because they are good decisions. Joining a gym means childcare, time away from your kids, and a chance to be around other adults, usually in your same situation. And yoga pants are the ultimate multi-tasking legging choice! There is absolutely no point in getting dressed up for a ten minute pick up of a four year old… unless you are doing it because other moms at the preschool are judging you. In which case, get a new preschool.

2. Your kids are in charge. And they are mean bastards. As much as we like to think it will happen, our husbands will never walk in to the house after their day and say, “Hey, you did a really great job today! I am so proud of you and don’t know how you do it all!” I mean, how often do you say to your husband, “I know it is so hard to get up every morning, head in to work despite the weather and our adventures here at home, work hard to keep your job, and come home to kids screaming because they are DONE for the day?” Right? We all take each other for granted. So if you are looking for words of encouragement, your partner is not the right place. Don’t expect it.

Your kids are the boss of you. They will run your day and your time in a grueling way. And they will let you know when they are unhappy with screams and tears and embarrassing meltdowns in Chick-fil-A. It will be very rare that they will tell you how they appreciate what you do. But you know what? When they are almost four and they randomly say “Mommy, I love you so much” or “Mommy, I am so glad you are here.” That’s like money in the bank.

3. Reevaluate your performance metrics. You will most likely get on blogs or websites or have Facebook friends who make being a SAHM seem like one easy ride of Martha Stewart baking, Pilates classes, and Pinterest-inspired crafts with their Janie+Jack dressed kids, all done in an immaculate house.

Well, if not lies, they certainly are only putting their best face forward. Every mother has breakdown moments. Every mother has days where just getting eye makeup on while the teething baby is clinging to her desperately is a feat. You will, many times in the upcoming years, yell “I just want to pee alone!” So redefine what you feel “success” is. For me, success is now a day where my house is not a disaster at the end of the day (I like to start relaxing when my husband gets home, I don’t want more chores staring me in the face after dinner), I get to engage in one social situation in the course of the day (playdate, gym conversation, lengthy phone call, whatever it is I’ll take it), and I am dressed in a way that will not be embarrassing when the college kid comes by to sell us a newspaper subscription.

4. You’ll need to have something of your own. Get or have something—ANYTHING—outside of motherhood. Whether this is getting involved in your church, helping on the preschool board, taking one night class a week, learning the guitar, being part of the leadership of your mothers’ club or your local alumni club (blogging?)…whatever it is, find it. You’ll need an outlet outside of your house walls and your kids to give you something to feel like a contributor. It will make you feel respected and important. So discover what it is that can give you a small spark of passion and inspiration and devote a little bit of time to it. After all, you need to be able to talk about anything other than the color of the last poopy diaper at the next cocktail party, and politics will not be your thing for another few years (no way you can watch the news with a two year old following you around).

5. Get some new friends. I know this sounds brutal, but you need some new friends. No, I’m not saying go ditch your old ones. In fact, work hard to hold on to relationships, but now more than ever you are going to need friends who understand you and what you are going through.

When you have a Monday where you feel irrationally depressed that you are not going to be able to get your IUD in easily because you cannot find childcare on a weekday afternoon OR because you have yet to eat lunch one time that week OR because you feel like death warmed over from the flu yet are home alone with two kids under under, find a friend that you can call. Find a friend where you can bring your kids over to her/his house on a moment’s notice, the kids can play and socialize, and you can pop open a glass of wine and lament about how good you had it when you worked. Isolation will be staved off for one more day. You need friends who are in a similar circumstance.

Because here’s the deal: there is a LOT of emotion out there, and literature, too, about the SAHM “versus” the working mom. Who has it harder, who is more stressed? Like it’s a giant competition and the most frazzled one wins. But the truth is it is damn hard for everyone.

6. It really is so fleeting and it truly is just a phase. I won’t bore you with the “savor the moment” crap you probably hear all the time, but do remember that what seems so crazy hard now will be over in an instant. Some day, in the blink of an eye, you will be able to go back to work in some form and you will probably cry over how great your years at home were with little kids who needed you so badly.

How to be a successful and happy stay at home mom

When I decided to be a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM), my mother, ever pragmatic and financially prudent, sat me down, very concerned, and said, “Can you put some money away? Just for you? If something goes wrong, what will you have?” I blew her off. Nothing was going to go wrong, and since our money was our money, squirreling some away was basically stealing it. Besides, my marriage was totally solid and this is what I’d always wanted. Always.

Three years later I was getting divorced, and as my wise mother had predicted, I had nothing of my own. Let me be clear—I gained a lot by being a SAHM. My son gained a lot and that is most important. In the end, we do it for our children and I deeply respect the choice. Were I given the choice again, I may not do it differently.

However, many of us, most of us I think, go into this somewhat blindly or at least idealistically. There is a level of dependence on another that has some romantic undertones, but which is far deeper than we can see up front. There are some real-life ramifications, financial and emotional, that should be addressed before going into it.

Use this as a guide and talk it through with your spouse. Perhaps some 20/20 hindsight from someone who has been there can shed some light on a partnership usually entered into in utter darkness.

Here are four ugly truths about being a SAHM:

1. The Relationship With Your Husband Will Likely Suffer
When you got married, you were likely a woman with a career and goals and. a life. You and your husband talked about politics, philosophy, work, whatever it was that made you guys click — that thing that had you both say, “I can talk to him/her forever, about anything!”

When you become a SAHM you give that all up to become a mom. When your husband comes home from work, you are likely desperate for grown-up interaction and conversation yet what you’re contributing is likely to revolve around poop, feeding and nap schedules and cute things your child did that day, all of which are important to share with your spouse.

But eventually he may wonder what happened to his bright, vibrant, intelligent wife who used to turn him on by spewing statistics about the annual revenues of the company she was VP of, or, well, just about anything other than babies. You may wonder the exact same thing about yourself. Your husband may start to look at you like you’re an alien and really crave some conversation that’s not baby-centric and so will you, but you’ll be at a loss as to how to produce it.

Worse, your husband may begin to find that intellectual connection and stimulation somewhere else. While you’re home raising this amazing being you created together and will bond you and your husband for life, you’ve begun to lose all the things you had in common to begin with. So what can you do to offset this?

Do anything. Keep up with the things you and your husband used to love to do and talk about together. Sit down together and make lists of the things that inspire you about each other and make a conscious, designed effort to keep yourself up to speed on the things that intellectually and emotionally inspire each other.

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It has been said many times that marriages that work are ones that have an interest in something bigger than the marriage. For example, couples who share a deep faith, or who do spiritual work together, or volunteer for an organization together, are more likely to have successful marriages because the success of their marriage isn’t solely dependent on the other person fulfilling their emotional needs. So talk with your spouse about what that could be for you and make a commitment to that thing together.

2. You Will Wake Up One Morning Wondering Who The Hell You Are
I remember the moment when I sat on my couch while my two-and-a-half-year-old son was napping and said out loud, “Now I know why they drink and pop pills.” The mind-numbing boredom of it all was suffocating the life out of me. I was not born to do this, as I had always imagined. I didn’t want to bake cookies and make my own baby food and create elaborate recipes for dinner for two after all.

Frankly I didn’t give a f*ck. I had fantasies of getting in the car and just driving away into the sunset. I had given up everything that I was and had in order to do the greatest job in the world and the truth was that I hated it. Hated it! I had no idea who I was anymore, not that I’d had such a keen sense of it in the first place, but now I was really lost.

This had nothing to do with my deep and desperate love for my son, just the deep and desperate loathing of being an empty shell of a human. And suddenly I got it. That episode of Desperate Housewives where one of the moms started popping pills on the soccer field? Totally got it. I had become a desperate housewife.

There are many women who feel a deep sense of fulfillment in the role of a stay-at-home-mom, homemaker and housewife and more power to them. I only wish I had felt that.

Here are some things that can help if you find you’re losing your mind:

How to be a successful and happy stay at home mom

There are many habits of a happy stay at home mom to make your day easier. We’ve all dreamt of being a stay at home mom one day. Many of us have daydreamed of waking up late, spending all day in our Pj’s and relaxing all day with your little one. Staying at home as a mom is a wonderful gift if you’re able to. However, it’s not always going to be easy.

A Happy Stay At Home Mom

It’s surprising how difficult it can be to be a stay at home mom. Looking after a little one and watching his or her every move can be exhausting especially if you have little or no time for breaks. It’s important to make time for yourself because if you don’t you’ll become stressed, exhausted, and very unhappy. Whether you’ve become a new stay at home mom or struggling as a stay at home mom try out these tips that will make your life easier.

Make Friends And Spend Time With Them

If you don’t have mom friends it’s important you make some. Moms are specials human beings and other moms get that. Mom’s friends are different as they can relate to your daily struggles and won’t judge you for not vacuuming or wiping a surface. Furthermore, if you have mom friends spend time with them. It’s important to spend time with like-minded people and talk as they understand exactly what your going through.

Wake Up Before Your Kids

I know this may not be how you imagined it to be, but yes you do need to lose more sleep and wake up before your children do. You may be thinking that you’ll be more tired during the day. However, this is not the case and you’ll every surprised. If you get up shower have a cup of tea or coffee and breakfast You’ll be refreshed and ready to start your day before the kids wake up. As you’ll be ready when you take the kids to school you can run some errands straight after instead of coming home, rushing to get ready, and heading out again.

Have Some Me Time

We all know as moms we are pros at scheduling. With this in mind remember to give yourself some me-time within your schedule. There are many things you can do with your me-time such as hobbies you once loved, go out with your friends for the evening, or even go for a manicure/ pedicure or a massage or even shopping. It’s important for every mom to have some time alone away from screaming crying kids once in a while. By making time for yourself you’ll realize your happy as a stay-at-home mom and with yourself.

Check out Baby-Chick for more information on getting scheduling some me-time.

Schedule Your Day

Yes, we all thought being a stay-at-home mom would mean we can do what we want when we want however this is not really the case. If you want to stay in your pj’s all day it’s ok to now and again however you’ll end up spending all your time lazing around with your child and get nothing done. This will actually make you feel lazier. By the end of the day, you’ll have got nothing done and feel even more exhausted by doing nothing. I’ve tried both ways and it made me feel a lot better planning things and getting them done on time.

Forgive Yourself

No parent is perfect and it’s important as a mom that you forgive yourself. This is especially important when it comes to raising kids. There are many times we all make mistakes and even regret some of the worlds we say. Parenting especially being a single mom is hard and your cant be so hard on yourself. By forgiving yourself you’ll be a lot happier and a much better parent.

Play With Your Kids

With a lot of work to do we sometimes forget the real reason we quit our jobs was to stay at home with our kids. Since a stay at home mom is to stay with your kids why not spend some time playing with them. You can make crafts with them and even cook with them. It’s important you schedule time to spend with them. Even if you only have 30 mins to spend with your child pursuing an activity it will do both of you good and give you time to bond. When you’re doing something and your child is bugging you, the main reason is because they want your attention. If you stop what your doing and spend time playing with them it will make both of you much happier.

Habits Of A Happy Stay At Home Mom

As you can see there are many ways in which you can change your habits or add to them to make things easier. As a stay-at-home mom, we can get so stressed or overwhelmed that we forget the real reason we quit our jobs to stay at home. The most important thing is your sanity and your child’s well being by spending more time with your child you’ll be happy and so will your child. It’s also important to spend time for yourself allows you to feel special now and again. Follow our habits of a happy stay at home mom to make your home life easier.