How to Survive the Stay-At-Home-Mom Life
If you had told me a few years ago that I would become a mother at the age of 18, I probably would have laughed at you. In fact, even now I sometimes find my current life situation hard to believe. My life now consists of diapers (36 a day to be exact), nine or ten bottles, 12 sippy cups, and lots of naps. I have a two-year-old son, a one-year-old son, and a daughter who is a month old as I am writing this. Life can get pretty crazy in my house, I'm a stay at home mom whose main role in life is "mom." It can be easy to let yourself become overwhelmed if you have one kid, let alone three, so here's how this momma survives.
Set an alarm for everything!
I have exactly 15 alarms on my phone for what we do at what times every single day. These cover all the major things we gotta do from sunup to sundown. I never thought I'd need, want, or even appreciate an alarm that reminded me to start cooking dinner so we can all eat on time, but I LOVE it! Children (and adults, let's be real) thrive on routine! Having a good structured routine lets your kids, and you, know what to expect every day. I'm not saying never do anything different, deviating from your routine can be good for everyone, but consistency and structure really will help all of you. It's good to try new things, but when mom says it's bedtime, it helps you all if bedtime is the same time every day.
Just kidding, I'm totally not one of those moms. I'm not judging you if you are, I promise, but really? Freezer meals? With my lifestyle? It just isn't happening! I have about ten meals I consistently make for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and every day I sort of just decide what food is going to be eaten that day. Yes of course, we try new things, I see those recipes on the internet that grandma shared! Unless you are already a really good cook before becoming a mom, which I wasn't, don't stress yourself on it. Your baby does not have to eat some new exciting dish every single day, I promise. And truthfully they don't even care that much what you feed them, they just want to be fed. Learn how to do a few things really well, and keep doing those things. If that happens to be freezer meals for you, then go for it!
Remember why a husband is called a partner!
The best thing you can do for each other is to really and truly be partners. I've heard many women say that in their household they do all of the _____ and their husband does _____. Usually for stay at home moms like myself, that looks a little something like, "My husband works and I do everything else our household needs." I'm not knocking anyone's way of life here, if it works for you, it works. But I hear so many women keep saying it's fine, and even if you think it is for a while, you might not always feel that way. Here's my own perspective on the situation. When my husband and I first decided I would be a stay at home mom, I remember these exact words coming out of his mouth: "This will all be fine but you have to take care of the house." If you've lived it, you know being a mom is hard. Both of us vastly underestimated what my life would soon turn into, and before I knew it I felt like I was drowning. That was just with one kid. It took a lot of talking, a lot of crying, and a lot of both of us reevaluating what being a stay at home parent meant, but now I can honestly say we split the workload pretty evenly. Ask him for help. Please, tell him you need help. Tell him when it becomes to much, because one day it will be, and that's okay. And fellas, if you're reading this, I can tell you, your wife is going to be a lot happier to see you if you take over those midnight feedings and let her sleep once in a while...
Make some lists!
That's right ladies, make a list. I don't care how mundane the task is. If you can just write down what you need to do, crossing it off the list is so satisfying. Here's a short example of what one of mine might be:
- Take a shower
- Put the clothes in the dryer
- Sweep the kitchen floor
- Take the trash out
- And on, and on, and on...
Staying at home and never really leaving your house can get repetitive. Let's be real, you do the same things every day. I know you do, and that's okay. After a while though, you may start to feel like you aren't really doing anything. I love having a visual representation of everything I've done in front of me. Looking around at my house that is always a mess, and looking down at the paper in my hands, I can say wow. At least I did something today!
Do not discredit your own work!
One thing that really hurts my feelings is when moms say something along the lines of "I just stay at home with the kids, I don't work or anything." I used to be one of those moms to, so I get it. I really do. But look at it like this, being a mom is your job. For most people, they get up, go to work, clock out, and that's it. They're done. No more work for the day. You, my dear momma, get up, and everything you do all day long is dictated by someone else's needs. You don't clock out. You're always on call. You're getting up and changing those diapers, you're cooking those meals like you're a short order cook, you're wiping the boogers and holding those babies. You have the most important job in the world, you are raising the next generation. You are making the people who will inherit this planet. You are the one sacrificing yourself for the people around you, and to me, that means you work harder than anybody. I'm proud of you.