10 Tips on Keeping Your Sanity as a Stay-At-Home Mom
BY CHRISTINA LOEWEN
Cozy snuggles, fun adventures and endless love. The idea of being a stay-at-home mom is a total dream, however, the reality is far more complicated. I absolutely love being a stay-at-home mom and I know how blessed I am to have the chance to stay home with my girls, but I am pushed to my limit both mentally and physically daily. There are days where everything goes smoothly and we are all happy but there are days where I feel my sanity slipping.
When the happiness of your family depends on you keeping your sanity in check, how can you keep yourself from losing it? This is a question I have been asking myself since I first became a stay-at-home mom and three years later I have finally found a system that works for me.
Although this post is about stay-at-home moms, these tips can apply to every parent! In no way am I implying it’s easier to be a working parent; this is just based on my personal experience. I think we all struggle with our sanity as parents at some point. Here are my tips on how to keep your sanity as a stay-at-home mom.
1. Create a daily routine, but don’t be afraid to break it
We all know how important structure and routine is for kids, but it is also extremely important for mom. Without routine our lives can feel chaotic and soon enough the days start to all run together into one giant fog where you begin to question your sanity, life choices and your entire existence! Ok, i’m being dramatic here but for real, routine helps reduce anxiety and gives us control of our days. You get to decide what your days are going to look like and you have the power to make your life awesome! How cool is that?
With that being said, I believe it is also important to not be afraid to break your routine. Breaking out of your routine occasionally can be so beneficial to the soul. Be spontaneous and keep it fresh. If you get a sudden urge to go for a walk or to a local event, do it! Changing things up sometimes prevents us from feeling like everyday is the same. Plus kids love spontaneous adventures.
2. Find an Outlet
Find something positive to channel your energy into. Being a stay-at-home mom can leave us feeling frustrated and stressed out, so channelling those negative feelings into something positive can prevent those emotions from becoming us. Redirecting your energy into something you love helps you stay positive and helps to approach your issues in a more productive way. What do you love to do? Find something that makes you happy and do that! I am passionate about photography and writing, so every day I find some time for them. It makes me feel like I am my own person and not just “mom.”
3. Get out of the House
You need to get the heck out of your house. Being cooped up inside all day can make you feel isolated and stir-crazy especially when you have kids demanding every second of your attention. I know it’s hard work getting everyone out, but it’s worth it and you need it! Even if it’s a 15 minute walk, just pack up and go! It’s amazing what some fresh air can do for ones sanity.
4. Ask for Help
This is easier said than done. As moms, we never want to admit we are in need of help because we want everyone to believe that we are fine doing it all solo. However, everyone needs a break in order to get ourselves together mentally. Swallow that “I can do it all” pride and ask someone to help you. Even if it’s just to watch the kids for 20 minutes so you can take a bath. You deserve it and you need it.
5. Do Adult Things
Go on a date night, to the gym or to friends! You need to do adult things sometimes. We spend so much time playing with our kids and it is amazing and fun but you can’t play barbies all day every day and not go a little bit crazy. You just can’t! Going out and doing something without your kids is so freeing and helps you feel like you aren’t so (for lack of a better word) trapped. Every time I go and spend a couple hours away from my kids I am totally recharged and ready to spend endless hours playing “Ring Around the Rosie” and watching Paw Patrol.
6. Find Pleasure in the Little Things
Finding happiness and pleasure in small things can be a huge pick-me-up. It gives us something to look forward to each day. Take a moment to recognize and appreciate something small that you love every day. For me, it’s the cup of coffee I have at nap time and reading at the end of the day. Happiness is elusive to so many because we are always counting on the “big things” to make us happy. If you can find great happiness in the day-to-day than you will be an overall more positive person!
7. Don’t Listen to Judgment
This one is important. No matter how good of a mother you are, you will be judged. You need to learn to ignore it because it will make you feel like crap otherwise. Judgement can make us question our parenting even if you are doing everything right. This will drive you mad so when someone says something judgmental to you do NOT let it effect your mental state. You’re a great mom and you know what’s best for your family!
8. Find Friends with Kids
Before I found friends who had kids I felt like I was going crazy. I was so emotionally lonely and felt like no one really understood my struggles as a mother. Finding some mom friends who were going through all the same issues I was made me feel way more normal. Talking and laughing about the all of crazy things you go through with your kids to someone who can relate will give you a much more positive attitude towards motherhood.
9. Take a Day Off
What I mean by this is take a day to only focus on yourself and your kids. If you wake up feeling just drained then have a chill day! Ignore the housework and cancel unnecessary plans. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in all our plans and our to-do lists that we forget to just relax. You don’t need to go above and beyond every day. If you wake up and just aren’t feeling up to taking on the world than don’t! It’s okay to hide away and focus on relaxing sometimes!
10. Give Yourself a Break
No one is perfect. We are all just doing the best we can. As moms, we feel constantly guilty about everything. Are my kids eating healthy enough? Are they socialized enough? Should I be doing more activities with them? We are so hard on ourselves because we are responsible for raising humans. It’s a tough job! Cut yourself some slack and stop criticizing your every move. You’ll go crazy if you constantly live under the illusion of perfection.