Staying Sane as a Stay at Home Mom
Tips for finding peace in your mixed-up day
Being a stay at home mo is a very difficult and unforgiving lifestyle. It's around the clock, constant watch on -- let's be honest -- tiny psycho versions of yourself. As a mom of 3, soon to be 4 (all under 4,) I frequently get asked how I don't lose my mind being a stay at home mom while maintaining a 4.0 GPA in college.
Self care is the #1 most important thing you can do for your family as a wife and mother. Your health and mental state will affect every single person in your household. If you're feeling unimportant or sad, your kids will catch onto that. The stronger and more confident you feel as a person, the more your mindset will reflect on your family and their behavior towards you. Treating yourself with the same love and respect you give your family to is extremely empowering both as a person and as a parent.
Sleep is SO important for your mental state. As moms, we tend to put off our physical needs to meet the needs of everyone around this. The part that we forget is that your needs matter, too! Sleep is a powerful weapon against burnout. Getting burnt out is a very real thing and it can make your daily life absolutely miserable. I think we get so caught up in schedules and deadlines and to-do lists that we forget that we need to sleep. Your mind needs a break and a decent night's sleep consistently can really change your perspective. If putting off other daily items like vacuuming the carpet or folding the laundry means you get a proper night's sleep, then that's okay. Those things will still be there tomorrow, so take the time your body needs and get some rest (while you can.)
Remember-- You are only one person!
Rome wasn't built in a day. There is no possible way to get every meal cooked, every chore done, or every kid cared for perfectly. Pick your battles carefully, because as a person you only have so much energy. Don't get me wrong, moms are superheroes! But even Wonder Woman herself needs a break now and then. Another good thing to remember is that you hold the authority in your household, not your kids. If you need 5 minutes of quiet to drink your coffee, it's okay to leave the toddler in bed if it means you'll be a better parent for the day because of it. You are the most important member of your household. You hold everything together and keep the wheels turning, and I'm sure that by now you've earned a break. Don't push yourself to do more than you can and always set realistic goals for yourself. If you can get through everything you want to in a day then that's awesome! But don't beat yourself up if you need a sick day now and then. Sometimes having a day where everyone camps on the couch, watches movies all day, and has microwaved chicken nuggets for dinner is a refreshing change of pace for everyone. It's not the end of the world by any means!
It's okay to indulge
Listen, mom. You bust your butt for everyone in your house EVERY SINGLE DAY. You don't get much time to yourself, and you almost certainly don't get any time off or privacy. If you like a glass of wine every day before bed, do it! Buy the expensive coffee creamer that you love! Try to do something that's just for you at least 2 to 3 times a week. Take a nice long bubble bath or do some painting. Finding something creative or active to do for yourself can be very motivating and can help keep you motivated and moving forward. Trust me, it helps A LOT with morale. Personally, I chose to go back to school because I love learning and it gave me something that was mine and only mine. I also found that the structure of my home schedule helped me excel in my online college courses.
Another tip for self care is to get yourself something nice. A new outfit or nice dress to wear to the grocery store can do so much for your confidence, especially if you're feeling down from the monotony of your daily routine. Just because you're a mom doesn't mean you aren't still sexy, fun, intelligent, or well-spoken. You're one of the strongest people you know, and it can be such an ego boost to show it to the world.
Confidence and self care are key to keeping your sanity in check as a parent. Parenting is hard and it definitely doesn't come with an instruction manual. I hope these tips help the moms who are struggling or fighting burnout (or unruly children, because that can be the WORST!) And don't ever forget, you're definitely worth it!