I know I chose to be a stay-at-home mom. I am responsible for taking care of these kids all day, keeping them busy with activities, feeding them, and the list goes on. There is no real lunch break or even bathroom break. It’s exhausting and I notice my patience lacking when I don’t take care of myself and set myself up for success every day. So here are my tips to save my sanity as a stay-at-home mom.
Wake up before everyone else:
Easier said than done at first. Especially with a newborn. While I started at just 10 minutes before my kids generally wake to get some peace, I slowly increased the time. Evaluate what it is you’d like to accomplish. For me, it’s drinking a cup of hot coffee, getting dressed, and reading 10 pages of a book. With that, I aim to wake up 30 minutes minimum before the rest of my house, although waking up even earlier I find I get so much more done.
Yes, we eat lunch at home. Yes, my kids still have a lunch box. There is usually a slight lull while the kids eat breakfast at the kitchen counter and I am able to talk with them while I pack. They get some options of what to include in their lunch, often even helping. This whole thing takes maybe 5 minutes since we’re in the kitchen making breakfast already anyway. But it has saved my sanity so many times in the past. There is literally no more thought about what I will feed them for lunch as the time approaches because it’s already done.
Leave the house in the morning:
I aim to leave the house every morning with the kids, even when it’s raining outside. (I might skip if it’s downpouring, but a little drizzle doesn’t hurt). There are plenty of free activities at the library to take advantage of, even visiting multiple branches. We also go to the gym and my kids love playing at Kid Care. We also frequently visit playgrounds (especially Moncus Park on Mondays). These options are great because they are free, but there is also The Children’s Museum, the zoo, the science museum, a trip to a trampoline park. It helps to get energy out and avoid cabin fever (for myself and the kids). This is also where the prepacked lunch when we get home comes in handy.
After nap time, we take another trip outside. This time, we typically stay more local to our house, opting for the backyard, or exploring our neighborhood. A walk, wagon ride, or bike ride help switch things up. We’ve done DIY scavenger hunts for specific outdoor items or colors. I’ve given them buckets to collect rocks or flowers. We also go outside in the rain. They love jumping in puddles or riding a scooter for an extra splash. With the proper rain gear, a little rain doesn’t have to be a damper on your day.
Reset the house and ourselves:
A little before my husband gets off of work, I try to start picking up the house a bit. By no means is the house pristine, but the dishes are collected in the sink, toys we aren’t playing with anymore get put up, and we end by sitting on the couch reading. This helps the house refocus and find some peace. When he gets off work, we can focus on the nightly routine and play with those toys we didn’t pick up yet.