Most moms would prefer to stay home with their child(ren) if it was an option. It is definitely better in some aspects (no traffic stress, time with your children, etc) and much tougher in others (time management, child care, etc). Instead of discussing the varying ups and downs, I’d like to focus on how to keep your sanity if you are about this life.
1. To-do Lists
I am going to lead with this because I feel it is the most important thing. I use to try and wing it and would wonder why I would get nothing done. I would start my day off doing what I thought was the most important and sometime throughout the day I would get side tracked by social media, cooking, cleaning, helping with homework, etc.
As a WAHM, there is a ton of things to do in a day, so you have to write it down and refer to it as often as possible. I use an app on my iPhone called Any.Do. I love this app, because it sends me an alert in the morning and throughout the day to keep me focused.
Kids love routine. They like having something they can look forward to. It’s tough for me to keep a routine because I can get lost in a creative zone and essentially zone out.
Train your children to become more independent. I don’t mean plopping them in front of a TV and make them prepare their own food when they get hungry, but your children shouldn’t have to rely on you for every little thing.
- If they are of age, work on getting them potty trained.
- Teach them how to log onto their favorite educational website.
- Set up an area somewhere in your home where they can paint, color or do crafts.
- Make healthy snacks accessible. Teach them to ask first then get it on their own.
- Do not pick up the baby every time he/she cries. They WILL learn to self-soothe and play on their own.
- Teach them to clean up after themselves!
- Keep nap times consistent — about the same time every day.
Once these tips are incorporated (and they will take time and consistency), you will find yourself having a lot more free time.
3. Support System
My husband recently quit his job of 16 years to run our fitness club full-time. He now has the flexibility of coming home in-between the sessions that he trains to relieve me if I am sick or overwhelmed. When he couldn’t, my mom and mother-in-law would make themselves available when I needed them.
It is so important to have people around you who will give you a helping hand or a listening ear. There will be days when you feel like you just cant handle it anymore and having someone to turn to is vital.
Your routine will not be fool proof. You have to be flexible if your child is sick or gets crafty and makes a huge mess or you have to run errands or they just really want your attention. As a WAHM you have to give yourself some leeway, because these things will happen. Instead of getting frustrated, be grateful for the convenience and the ability to take them on!
5. Your own space
Having your own space that the child(ren) are not allowed to infiltrate can be hugely beneficial. If you don’t have an extra room in your house to call an office or workshop, then create a space within your bedroom and make it off limits to the kiddos.
Once you reinforce that boundary, they will begin to understand they are not allowed. This will help to keep things organized and becomes a solace for when you have to focus on business at hand.
6. Other interests
You have to have something to do other than working and taking care of the kids. For some this is a hobbie, exercising/yoga, watching your favorite show(s), hanging out with friends, enjoying time with your husband and/or kids. All work and no play not only makes you dull, but very stressed!
This is the toughest one for me. I like what I do, so I could spend hours after my kids and husband have gone to sleep working on my next project. But it never fails — I am exhausted and grouchy in the morning.
Sleep improves your memory, keeps you healthy and a host of other benefits — but most importantly, it makes you feel better!
If you just cant turn it off, there is always coffee to save the day! I really don’t even see how any parent gets through a day without it. I admit that it’s become a slight addiction for me at this point, but hey… there are worst things to be addicted to. Coffee can be a parent’s best friend!
We have to remember that we are not super human. Where we excel in one area, another area will suffer. It’s important to maintain a balance because our children are the most important work.