As a stay-at-home mom of three, I’ve learned a thing or two about navigating the rollercoaster that is home life with little people. It’s a full-time job, a relentless cycle of meal planning, household chores, and trying to maintain a semblance of personal sanity amidst the chaos.
But here’s the thing: thriving as a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) isn’t just about surviving until nap time or the end of the day; it’s about finding joy, fulfillment, and maybe a bit of your old self in the midst of it all.
So, let’s dive into 25 ways to not just survive, but truly thrive as a SAHM.
finding purpose as a stay at home mom
1. Establish a Daily Routine
Establishing a daily routine as a stay-at-home mom is not just about creating structure; it’s a powerful tool that can provide a sense of purpose and direction in your role. This routine becomes the backbone of your day, offering stability and predictability in what can sometimes be a chaotic environment.
In the early morning hours, as the sun rises, you can start your day with intention. This could mean waking up before your children to have a moment of quiet reflection, sip on your favorite beverage, or engage in a brief workout to boost your energy levels. Setting aside this precious time for yourself can set a positive tone for the day ahead.
As your children awaken, your daily routine becomes a well-orchestrated symphony of activities. It involves planning meals, ensuring that everyone is dressed and fed, and attending to their basic needs. This routine provides a sense of security for your little ones, knowing what to expect and when, which can lead to a happier and more content household.
Throughout the day, your schedule may include educational playtime, outdoor adventures, and creative activities that stimulate your children’s development. Each of these moments contributes to their growth and strengthens the bond between you and your kids. These interactions become part of your purpose, as you witness your children learn and thrive under your guidance.
Nap times, those brief respites during the day, become opportunities for you to catch your breath, recharge, and engage in activities that fulfill your own needs, whether it’s reading, pursuing a hobby, or simply enjoying a moment of silence. These moments of self-care are vital to maintaining your own well-being, ensuring you have the energy and patience to continue nurturing your family.
As the day progresses, your routine includes household chores, which may seem mundane but are essential for creating a comfortable and organized living environment. By tackling these tasks efficiently and incorporating your children into some age-appropriate chores, you not only manage your home but also impart valuable life skills to your little ones.
Finally, as the sun sets and bedtime approaches, your routine can involve winding down activities like storytelling or gentle play. These moments provide a sense of closure to the day, allowing you to reflect on the joys and challenges you’ve experienced together.
2. Embrace Quality Time
Embracing quality time with your young children as a stay-at-home mom is a cornerstone of your role, and it holds the key to nurturing their development and fostering deep connections. In the bustling world of parenting, where distractions are aplenty, dedicating genuine and meaningful moments to your little ones can be transformative.
Quality time doesn’t necessarily require elaborate or expensive activities. In fact, it’s often the simple, everyday routines that leave the most profound impact on your children’s lives. These moments of connection are like building blocks, constructing a strong foundation for their emotional well-being and your sense of purpose as a parent.
One of the simplest yet most cherished activities is reading a book together. Whether it’s a colorful picture book for toddlers or an engaging chapter book for older kids, sharing stories transports both you and your children to new worlds and adventures. It’s a time when imaginations soar, curiosity blooms, and bonds strengthen through the act of turning pages together.
3. Carve Out Alone Time
Carving out alone time is a vital component of maintaining your well-being and sense of self as a stay-at-home mom. It’s not a luxury; it’s a necessity. Amidst the myriad of responsibilities and demands that come with being a full-time caregiver, finding moments for yourself is a lifeline that allows you to recharge, reflect, and regain your inner balance.
Nap Time Respite: The precious moments during your child’s nap time provide a perfect opportunity to carve out some much-needed alone time. It may be as simple as donning a face mask for a quick self-care session, flipping through a book, or even indulging in a short meditation. These small acts of self-kindness help you reset and prepare for the next part of your day.
Stepping Outside for Fresh Air: Another valuable way to carve out alone time is by stepping outside for a breath of fresh air. Whether it’s a leisurely walk in your neighborhood, sitting on your porch with a cup of tea, or simply gazing at the sky, these moments in nature can be profoundly rejuvenating. They provide a change of scenery and a chance to reconnect with yourself.
Maintaining Your Morning Routine: Your morning routine, even if modified to accommodate your role as a stay-at-home mom, can serve as a cornerstone for self-care. Waking up a little earlier than your family allows you to have a peaceful start to your day. You can engage in activities that invigorate you, such as yoga, journaling, or a quick workout. This sets a positive tone for the rest of your day.
Reflecting on the “Me” in Motherhood: Being a new mom can be overwhelming, but it’s essential to remember that your identity extends beyond motherhood. Carving out alone time helps you reconnect with the person you were before becoming a parent. It allows you to pursue your interests, hobbies, or even explore new skills, which can be immensely fulfilling.
Prioritizing Your Mental Health: Alone time is crucial for maintaining a positive attitude and safeguarding your mental health. In moments of solitude, you can reflect on your thoughts and feelings, practice mindfulness, and address any challenges you may be facing. This self-awareness contributes to your overall well-being and makes you a better parent.
4. Stay Connected with Adult Conversation
Amidst the joyful chaos of being a stay-at-home mom, maintaining a connection with adult conversation is like a breath of fresh air for your sanity and emotional well-being. It’s an essential lifeline that keeps you grounded and connected to the outside world.
Social Media Connections: Social media platforms can be valuable tools to stay in touch with mom friends and family members. These virtual spaces provide a convenient way to share experiences, seek advice, and offer support to one another. Engaging in online parenting communities can foster a sense of camaraderie, knowing that you’re not alone in the challenges and triumphs of motherhood.
Phone Calls and Video Chats: A heartfelt conversation with a friend or family member over the phone or through video calls can be incredibly uplifting. These interactions allow you to share your thoughts, feelings, and experiences in a more intimate and meaningful way. Hearing a familiar voice or seeing a friendly face can provide a sense of connection and reassurance.
Play Dates and In-Person Gatherings: Organizing play dates with other moms and their children or arranging occasional in-person gatherings can offer a much-needed break from the routine. These interactions provide you with the opportunity to bond with other adults while your kids enjoy socializing with their peers. Sharing stories, laughter, and experiences during these get-togethers can be both therapeutic and enjoyable.
Understanding Support: Speaking with adults who understand the unique challenges and joys of being a stay-at-home mom can be incredibly comforting. It’s a chance to exchange tips, commiserate over sleepless nights, and celebrate the small victories that come with parenting. These connections remind you that you are part of a larger community of mothers, each navigating the intricate path of motherhood in their own way.
5. Keep a Positive Attitude
Maintaining a positive attitude as a stay-at-home mom is not just a nicety; it’s a powerful tool for your mental and emotional well-being. While there will undoubtedly be tough times along the journey, focusing on the bright side of being a home mom can make a significant difference in your overall outlook.
Take time to reflect on the positive aspects of being a stay-at-home mom. It’s an opportunity to witness your child’s growth and development up close, to create lasting memories, and to be a constant presence in their lives. Recognize that you are providing a safe and nurturing environment for your family, which is an invaluable contribution.
6. Get Organized with Meal Planning
Meal planning is undeniably one of the most important things you can do to streamline your life as a stay-at-home mom. It is a game-changer that ensures you make the best use of your time, especially when you have young kids demanding your attention.
By setting up a home mom schedule that includes meal planning, you take the first step toward a successful stay at home. It eliminates the daily stress of wondering what to cook, giving you much-needed peace of mind.
Furthermore, it allows you to prioritize providing nutritious meals for your family, creating a positive mindset about their health. Embracing this simple routine means more time for quality moments with your little ones and less time spent worrying about what’s for dinner the next day.
7. Implement Simple Cleaning Routines
Maintaining a clean and organized home is one of the best things you can do for your family, but it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task that consumes all your time. Instead, focus on establishing simple cleaning routines that fit into your daily schedule.
These routines, often involving your kids in age-appropriate chores, not only lighten the load but also teach them responsibility. It’s about finding an easy way to ensure your living space remains welcoming without becoming a slave to household chores.
Your main role as a stay-at-home mom extends beyond just cleaning, and by implementing practical ways to keep your home tidy, you can balance your important tasks while enjoying the benefits of a clean living room, fresh laundry, and a well-maintained home.
8. Prioritize Self-Care
In the midst of the whirlwind of parenting, it’s easy to forget that you matter too. Basic self-care is not a luxury but a fundamental component of your well-being.
While it involves occasional indulgence in face masks and pampering, it goes beyond that. Prioritizing self-care means ensuring you’re eating well, getting enough rest, and occasionally doing things that bring you happiness. It’s about recognizing that you deserve to be the best version of yourself, both for your family and your own fulfillment.
Whether you’re in survival mode or tackling yard work, taking moments for yourself each day, even if only for a few minutes, is the only thing that can recharge your energy and keep you going. It’s about maintaining good habits and a healthy routine that benefits not only you but also your family in the long run. In the end, it’s the bottom line for being a happy and fulfilled stay-at-home mom amidst the challenges of parenting.
9. Find a Hobby or Side Hustle
Discovering a hobby or engaging in a side hustle can be a transformative step for stay-at-home moms. Beyond your essential home mother duties, nurturing a personal passion or exploring an entrepreneurial endeavor can provide a much-needed creative outlet and a sense of accomplishment. It’s an opportunity to dive into something you love, whether it’s painting, gardening, writing a blog post, or starting a small business. This not only adds depth and purpose to your daily life but also opens doors to new experiences and connections. Additionally, a side hustle can bring in a little extra income, contributing to your family’s financial well-being and bolstering your sense of self-worth.
10. Schedule Playdates
Playdates are more than just fun outings for your kids; they’re also vital for moms. They offer a chance for adult conversation and a change of scenery, both of which are essential for your well-being. Amidst your daily home schedule and taking care of young kids, connecting with fellow parents during playdates can be a breath of fresh air. It’s a time to share experiences, exchange parenting tips, and enjoy the company of adults who understand what you’re going through. These social interactions serve as a lifeline, reminding you that you’re not alone in your journey as a stay-at-home mom. They provide valuable moments of connection, laughter, and support.
11. Set Time for Your Partner
Maintaining a healthy relationship with your partner is crucial, even when you’re both exhausted from the demands of parenting. Finding time for each other, no matter how busy life gets, is a priority that can strengthen your bond. Consider scheduling quality time, even if it’s as simple as watching a YouTube video together after the kids are in bed. These moments of togetherness reaffirm your connection and provide a chance to unwind and relax as a couple. By nurturing your partnership, you not only enhance your own well-being but also create a stable and loving environment for your children to thrive in. It’s about balancing the roles of parent and partner to create a harmonious family life.
12. Take Advantage of Nap Time
Nap time is a treasure trove of opportunities for stay-at-home moms. These moments of respite are precious, and utilizing them wisely can make a significant difference in your daily life. Whether you use this time for self-care, indulging in hobbies, or simply enjoying a cup of coffee in peace, it’s one of the best times to recharge both physically and mentally. These uninterrupted minutes allow you to catch your breath, rejuvenate your spirits, and regroup before the next wave of parenting duties. By taking advantage of nap time, you ensure that you have the energy and patience to tackle the challenges that come with caring for young children, ultimately enhancing your overall well-being.
13. Stay Active
Incorporating physical activity into your daily routine is a vital aspect of being a stay-at-home mom. It’s not just about fitness; it’s also a way to boost your energy levels and improve your mental health. Whether it’s a family walk around the neighborhood or a quick YouTube workout during quiet time, staying active has numerous benefits. Physical activity releases endorphins, which can lift your mood and reduce stress, making you a happier and more balanced parent. Moreover, involving your children in these activities sets a positive example for them, instilling the value of a healthy lifestyle from an early age.
14. Learn to Say No
As a stay-at-home mom, there can be an overwhelming pressure to do everything and please everyone. However, it’s essential to learn the art of saying no when necessary. Prioritizing your family’s and your basic needs is paramount. While it’s tempting to take on every request and commitment, it’s crucial to recognize that your time and energy are limited resources. By learning to say no to things that don’t serve you or bring you joy, you create space for what truly matters. This practice not only reduces overwhelm but also allows you to focus on the essential aspects of your role as a caregiver and nurturer.
15. Embrace Imperfection
In the world of parenting, imperfection is the norm, and that’s perfectly okay. It’s essential to embrace imperfection both in your home and in your daily routines. The house can be messy, and plans can go awry, and that’s all part of the journey. By accepting these imperfections, you reduce stress and create a more relaxed environment for your family. Moreover, embracing imperfection sets a healthy example for your children. It teaches them resilience, adaptability, and the value of embracing life’s unpredictabilities. In the end, it’s about finding beauty and joy in the imperfect moments and allowing them to be an integral part of your unique and fulfilling stay-at-home mom experience.
16. Seek Professional Help When Needed
Seeking professional help is a responsible and courageous step that every stay-at-home mom should feel empowered to take when necessary. There is no shame in reaching out for support, whether it’s for mental health, child care, or even cleaning services. Recognizing when you’re struggling and taking proactive steps to address those challenges is a sign of strength. Whether you need a therapist to navigate the complexities of motherhood, a trusted child care provider to help balance your responsibilities, or cleaning services to lighten your load, getting help can be a game-changer. It allows you to prioritize your well-being, maintain a positive mindset, and create a more harmonious family life.
17. Create a Mom Tribe
Building a mom tribe of like-minded mothers is not just about finding friends; it’s about cultivating a support system that can provide invaluable guidance, advice, and camaraderie. These connections can be a lifeline in your journey as a stay-at-home mom. A mom tribe understands the unique challenges and joys of motherhood and can offer a safe space to share experiences and seek support. Whether you connect through playdates, online communities, or local parenting groups, these connections can help you navigate the ups and downs of parenting, offer practical tips, and remind you that you’re not alone in your journey. Building a mom tribe enriches your life and strengthens your sense of purpose as a mother.
18. Set Realistic Goals
Setting realistic goals for yourself is a powerful way to stay motivated and maintain a sense of purpose as a stay-at-home mom. Whether your goals are related to parenting, personal growth, or managing your household, they provide direction and a sense of accomplishment. It’s essential to make these goals achievable and celebrate small victories along the way. These milestones remind you of your progress and boost your self-confidence. Realistic goals also help you manage your time effectively, prioritize tasks, and maintain a positive mindset. They serve as a roadmap for your journey, guiding you toward personal fulfillment and a sense of achievement in your multifaceted role as a caregiver and nurturer.
19. Practice Mindfulness
In the busy life of a stay-at-home mom, practicing mindfulness is a powerful tool to maintain your mental and emotional well-being. Take moments throughout the day to engage in mindful practices. It can be as simple as taking deep breaths during quiet time, grounding yourself in the present moment, or practicing gratitude for the small joys in your life. Mindfulness helps you stay centered and reduces stress, allowing you to approach your daily tasks with a clear and focused mind. It also fosters a positive mindset, enabling you to appreciate the beauty in the everyday moments of parenting and find fulfillment in your role as a caregiver.
20. Educate Yourself
Continuous learning is a valuable aspect of being a stay-at-home mom. Take the initiative to educate yourself, whether it’s by learning new skills or reading about parenting strategies. Knowledge empowers you and makes you feel more prepared and confident in your role. It allows you to adapt to the ever-evolving challenges of parenthood and provides you with a sense of personal growth. By staying informed and open to new ideas, you can make informed decisions for your family and enhance your effectiveness as a caregiver and nurturer.
21. Delegate Household Chores
Managing a household as a stay-at-home mom can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to do it all alone. If you have older kids or a partner at home, consider delegating household chores. This not only lightens your load but also teaches responsibility and teamwork to your family members. It’s an opportunity to instill essential life skills in your children and create a sense of shared responsibility within the household. By working together as a team, you can maintain a well-organized and harmonious home environment while ensuring that everyone feels valued for their contributions.
22. Create a Supportive Home Environment
Fostering a supportive home environment is essential for the well-being of your family. Communication and mutual respect are key elements in creating a space where everyone feels supported and valued. Encourage open dialogue, active listening, and empathy within your family. This not only strengthens your relationships but also sets a positive example for your children. A supportive home environment allows you to navigate challenges more effectively, enhances your sense of purpose as a caregiver, and ensures that your family members thrive in a loving and respectful atmosphere.
23. Plan for the Future
While being a stay-at-home mom is a significant phase of your life, it’s important to think about your future beyond this role. Planning for the future provides direction and motivation. Consider what you want to achieve personally and professionally in the years to come. This forward-thinking approach helps you maintain a sense of purpose and ensures that your goals and aspirations remain a priority. Whether it involves further education, pursuing a career, or exploring new passions, planning for the future allows you to continue evolving and growing as an individual, ultimately benefiting both you and your family.
24. Celebrate Your Hard Work
As a stay-at-home mom, it’s crucial to take moments to celebrate your hard work and the exceptional contributions you make to your family’s life. You are undertaking one of the most challenging jobs in the world, and recognizing your efforts is essential for your well-being. Acknowledge your daily accomplishments, no matter how small they may seem. Whether it’s successfully managing a hectic day, witnessing your child’s growth, or maintaining a harmonious home, each achievement is worth celebrating. These celebrations serve as reminders of your value and significance in your family’s life, bolstering your sense of purpose and fulfillment in your role as a caregiver and nurturer.
25. Always Keep Learning
Stay open to continuous learning as a stay-at-home mom. This extends beyond parenting and encompasses a broader quest for knowledge about yourself and the world around you. Remaining curious and engaged in learning keeps life interesting and enriches your family life. Explore new hobbies, delve into books, take up new challenges, and seek opportunities for personal growth. By doing so, you not only become a positive role model for your children but also maintain a sense of self and purpose that transcends your role as a caregiver. Embracing the opportunity to learn fosters personal development, making you a more well-rounded individual and enhancing your capacity to navigate the complexities of parenthood with wisdom and resilience.
As a new stay-at-home mom with a new baby, I often found it challenging to manage my time and maintain a clean house. The early days of being a full-time caregiver presented me with a lot of new responsibilities, including daily grocery shopping and the never-ending load of laundry. As a first-time mom, I needed to establish simple routines to make the most of my day.
Balancing the demands of my new role while ensuring I had enough time for myself was crucial. I quickly realized that part-time independent play for my little boy could be a huge help. As an introverted mom, finding good routines and specific times for self-care became essential for maintaining enough energy and overall well-being.
One of the most important tips I received from my best friend, who is a working mom, was effective time management. She emphasized that maternity leave was a time to adjust to my new role but also a time to explore different ways to make the most of each day.
While the working world had been my domain before, being a stay-at-home mom was now the best option for my family. It was a long way from my previous routine, but I was determined to create a supportive environment and set time limits for my daily tasks.
One thing I’ve learned is that incorporating healthy meals into my daily basis was crucial not only for me but also for my baby. As a single day turned into the last time, I realized that free play for my child was not only a good routine but also a great way for him to learn and grow.
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- Shattuck, R. M. (2021). Patterns of childcare use for young children within women’s work/family pathways: A group-based multi-trajectory modeling approach. Social Forces, 100, 1251-1283. This study explores how childcare use and employment interact in the lives of mothers in the United States, highlighting the importance of accessible childcare for maintaining employment and the diverse pathways women navigate between work and family life. Read more.
- Snitker, A. (2018). Not Mr. Mom: Navigating discourses for stay-at-home fathers. The Journal of Men’s Studies, 26, 203-221. This study examines the experiences of stay-at-home fathers in the United States, highlighting the tension between resisting and complying with traditional gender expectations and the impact of societal perceptions on their roles. Read more.
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- Ashraf, S. (2021). A case study: Depression among stay-at-home career-oriented mothers in Pakistan. The study presents a case of career-oriented stay-at-home mothers in Pakistan, discussing the psychological impacts of transitioning from career to home life and highlighting coping strategies. Read more.