It’s supposed to be your “dream job,” right? You thought you’d wake up to your favorite tiny faces, play at the park, and snuggle with your babies all day. “It’ll be glorious!” you thought. But then reality sets in.
Sometimes being a stay at home mom is just hard.
Like, really hard.
I spent years as a librarian, and then a teacher, but nothing compares to these sweet years at home with my children. Being a stay at home mom is the best job I’ve ever had.
Along the way, I’ve learned a few secrets.
You know those moms who seem to just float through the grocery store on a Tuesday morning with their little angels in tow? Or the stay at home mom next door who always has a perfect makeup and a smile on her face, while the only thing on your face is leftover sweet potatoes from baby’s lunch?
These moms know the secrets, too.
So maybe you’re in your “dream job” and it’s not feeling so dreamy at the moment. No shame here.
Every day is not going to be great, and that’s OK!
But trust me, you can absolutely fall in love with being a stay at home mom.
Learn these seven secrets, and watch how these stay at home mom tips transform your perspective!
Secret 1: Write Down Your Purpose
For many of us, choosing to be a stay at home mom wasn’t an easy decision.
We gave up income, put our careers on hold, and forfeited many opportunities to be able to stay home with our children.
We go into it wholehearted, but somehow lose focus along the way. But if you really want to love this job of yours, you’ve got to be future-minded. You’ve got to believe that this is worth it.
Why did you choose to stay home to begin with? What value do you want to add to your children that you know they couldn’t get anywhere else?
How are these early years at home going to craft their character in the years to come? Get a picture of your mission, then write it down. On those chaotic days, pull out that slip of paper and remind yourself: This is worth it.
Secret 2: Put on Your Own Oxygen Mask First
Mama, if your typical alarm clock is a toddler prying your eyelids open at 7:30 in the morning, this secret is for you.
When flight attendants do their pre-flight safety presentation, they always stress this one thing to parents. Put on your own oxygen mask first. You won’t do your children a lick of good if you don’t take care of yourself first.
A stay at home mom’s oxygen mask is quiet alone time first thing in the morning. Yes, you’ll have to wake up before your kids. But even twenty minutes to yourself can be a game changer.
Read, pray, exercise, or journal. Do whatever it takes to get centered for the day and focused back on those future-minded goals.
Secret 3: Find Your Rhythm
When I first started out as a stay at home mom, I was in vacation mode. Oh my, it was fun. For about a week.
And then the laundry and chaos crashed down on me like a landslide. Since then, I’ve learned that predictable routines and schedules are a stay at home mom’s best friend.
Chaos at home? Steal my simple mindsets and routines to calm the chaos at home with babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.
For example, ever since my son outgrew naptime, we created a quiet time routine that allows him to rest and me to get a whole hour to myself during the day while the baby naps too.
Routines can be helpful for planning your week as well. We do library story time on Tuesdays, Wednesdays are church, and Fridays we visit Grandma.
Having a routine will help you prepare your child for school, give you dedicated moments of rest, and help with difficult transitions throughout the day as well.
Secret 4: Slow Down and Unplug
When I mention routines and schedules, we may equate that with having somewhere to go or something to do every moment of every day. When our calendar is full, we tend to think our life is meaningful. Moms who thrive as stay at home moms know this secret.
It’s the slow moments that really matter.
Within your schedule, create margin to slow down and connect with your kids. It all goes back to that big mission you wrote down. Is my goal in life to drive my kids to as many activities as possible?
Or is it to help them connect with the world and people around them?
This may mean turning off the TV, telling stories while you push your child on the swing, or putting down your phone to build a block tower together.
I didn’t say it would be easy! But making time for slow moments will make you love being a stay at home mom!
Secret 5: Be Nice to Your Future Self
One of the biggest challenges of being a stay at home mom is managing your children and your household at the same time. Especially with babies and little kids, it seems like the housework never ends.
On simple secret that helps me to fight that feeling of overwhelm (and be able to focus on the parts of motherhood that I really love) is this simple phrase: “Be nice to your future self.”
Whether it’s just getting those dishes done so the thought of a dirty kitchen isn’t cluttering up your brain, or fixing bad behavior habits early, being nice to your future self means just getting the hard work done up front so your mind, soul, and house can breathe.
If you can learn the habit of getting the yucky stuff out of the way first, you’ll start to enjoy being a stay at home mom and avoid that overwhelming feeling when things start to pile up.
Secret 6: Share the Work
When I talk to stay at home moms who are feeling crushed and defeated, I often find one thing in common. They think they can do it all themselves. Listen, it’s just not possible!
So let’s shake off that guilt right now and make plan to share the workload. Teach your kids to help with chores, or ask a friend to swap babysitting so you can take turns going to the grocery store.
Trust me, it seems so much easier to just buckle down and get it done yourself. Teaching kids to do the work right is not easy.
But if you want to love being a stay at home mom, you’ve got to acknowledge your limitations.
Ask for help.
It’s not a sign of weakness. It’s a show of strength!
Secret 7: Be a Friend
Listen, as a dyed-in-the-wool introvert, I get it.
It’s tempting to stay tucked away inside your own home. Let’s just avoid all those awkward playground conversations, stick to the safety of your own backyard, and it’ll all turn out just fine.
But “just fine” really isn’t what we’re going for. Stay at home moms need to fight isolation at every turn.
So how can you connect with other moms when you feel like you’ve got nothing good to offer?
The answer is simpler than you think. If you want to fight the isolation of stay at home motherhood, just be a friend.
Being a friend looks like making the first move to chat with the other mom at the library.
Being a friend looks like sending a text to invite your neighbor and her kids to make mud pies in the backyard. Being a friend can be as simple as smiling and saying “You’re doing awesome,” to the mom with the crying kid at the supermarket.
Don’t make the mistake of waiting for friends to come to you. Be a friend first, and I promise friendship and connection will follow.
Feel like you’re in over your head as a stay at home mom? Enjoying being a stay at home mom is sometimes hard, but know this… It’s not impossible.
Just start with these seven secrets, and I know you’ll fall in love with being a stay at home mom! Yes, you may still be wearing baby’s lunch on your face… But dang girl, you make sweet potatoes look good!
Tell us below, what secrets would you share with a fellow stay at home mom? Which stay at home mom tips help you fight chaos and find joy?