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How to Love Being a Stay-at-Home Mom

Whether you became a stay-at-home parent by choice or because the pandemic left you with no other options, making the adjustment from working outside the home to being home with your kids can be tough.

Many of us these days are juggling working from home, teaching our kids, parenting, and much more. If your day consists of Zoom meetings for your job, Zoom classes for your kids, laundry, housework, and, "Did I feed them yet?" you're not alone. It can seem like some days might never end.

A common misunderstanding is that being a stay-at-home parent is easy or that it isn't a job. Maybe in and of itself, you don't earn a paycheck, but it is most definitely a full-time job. Luckily, as a stay-at-home mom for almost eleven years, I've learned a thing or two. I'll share a few of my tips to help you cherish your days. Okay, maybe not all of them, but you will still feel (almost) human at the end of the day!


Get dressed every day:

This might sound silly, but getting dressed in real clothes every day is an easy way to counter that less than human feeling that can come over you on those tough days. It's easy to fall into that trap of thinking, "Oh, I'm not feeling it today. I think I'll just stay in pajamas just this once." Except that it's never just this once. Before you know it you simply change from last night's pajamas right into tonight's.

A much better option is to put on real clothes each morning. If you usually fix your hair or wear makeup, keep that in your routine. These things you've always enjoyed doing don't need to stop because you're at home now. You still deserve to feel "put together." You'll feel more energized and ready to take on the day if you are dressed and feeling sharp.

Stick to a routine:

There are going to be days when routines go out the window and that's okay. I'm not suggesting that you shower at 6 a.m. sharp, kids up by 7 a.m., breakfast done, and start school by 8 a.m. on the dot. That would be absurd and would only lead to a terribly stressful morning for all involved.

Instead, develop a broader routine that works for you and your family. For example, wake up around the same time each day. Shower and be ready to get your day started around the same time every morning It's easier to feel in control if you're on a schedule, even a loose one.

I wake up every morning between 6:00 and 6:30. I shower and I'm dressed and in the living room by 7:15. I don't have to get the kids up until 8:00, so that gives me 45 minutes to myself. That might not seem like much, but I treasure that time to have coffee and read a magazine. It's my time to enjoy the quiet and it's essential to starting my day off right.

I get the kids up and they eat breakfast, and I make sure they're all seated and have started their school day no later than 9:00. By doing this we're able to get a good bit of school finished before lunch. They can take a long break for lunch and come back refreshed and ready to finish the day strong.

Without a routine, it's easy to get caught in a cycle of feeling lost. If you don't have a clear idea of what you need to do and when you need to do it, you might end up wandering aimlessly and not accomplishing much. That leads to feeling like you wasted the day which dampens your mood. Stress feeds stress and it becomes a vicious cycle. By following a loose schedule you can avoid those negative thoughts.

Don't give up all of your extras:

We all have things that aren't necessities but that we enjoy doing. Some people have a monthly massage. Others visit the hair salon regularly or have a spa day. For me, it's getting my nails done. When I was still working I went to the nail salon about twice a month. That adds up, however, and it wasn't in the budget when we were suddenly living on one income.

For a while, I simply did not do my nails anymore. I missed it terribly. Knowing I didn't want to go back to spending that kind of money again, I looked for alternatives. I was able to find the things online to do my nails the same way the salon did. I was able to spend the amount of money I would spend on one full set and do my nails for over a year with those supplies! I've been doing my own nails at home for several years now and I love it.

If money is not a concern, by all means, continue visiting the salons and enjoying that time. That is your time to help you recharge and bond with other adults. It's important. If money is a concern, try to find ways to do things at home, or even visit a salon less often. But don't give up all those "extras" that you love. You may end up feeling resentful.

Make time for adults:

This one is big. You must make time in your life to spend with adults! After a full day of "Paw Patrol," "Peppa Pig," superheroes, and common core math, you can bet you'll need some adult conversation! No matter how much we love our kids, adult conversation is what keeps us sane.

This can be as simple as enjoying some quiet time with your partner after the kids are in bed. Having a drink or two and sitting together to catch up or even watch a show you both enjoy can really help you feel grounded again.

If you're a single parent, invite a friend over once or twice a week. If you can leave your kids alone or hire a sitter, a lunch date can be a welcome break.

No matter who you choose to spend your "adult time" with, just make sure you do it. You will feel so much better after having an hour or two of conversation that does not revolve around whether or not the pups will save Chickaletta. Again. Trust me on this!

Remember to breathe!

This is probably the single most important thing on this list. Remember to relax and breathe. Every day is not going to go perfectly. Most days won't if I'm being honest. You won't be able to get into that Zoom meeting. Your kid's online school platform will crash. Your kid will run in and say the most awkward thing when you're attending that virtual staff meeting at work.

Some days it's okay to just say, "I'm done. I'll try again tomorrow." It doesn't make you a bad parent. It makes you normal! Did you have those bad days at the office where nothing went right and you couldn't wait for the day to end? Why should being a stay-at-home parent be any different?

Don't be so hard on yourself. Take a breath, pour a glass of wine, and kick your feet up. You deserve it!


If you're feeling like you'll never adjust to this stay-at-home thing, don't beat yourself up. It takes time. I have worked harder as a stay-at-home mom than I ever did when I worked on an ambulance. The work literally never ends. But I wouldn't want it any other way. I love being here with my kids. I love being their teacher. I love my busy life.

Make no mistake, being a stay-at-home parent is hard. But if you follow these tips and make your own path, you can do it. More than that, you can rock it! So keep at it, I believe in you!

Do you have anything special you do to help you stay sane? Let me know!

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