When people find out I’m a stay at home mom and ask me, “What do you do all day, don’t you get bored?”, I literally want to throw them over a bridge. Literally. But if I can’t find a bridge I in my most fake, polite voice say, “Well actually no, I never get bored, I usually never have enough time in my day to get everything done that I want to.” Which is the total truth! If I could get everything accomplished that I wanted to every single day I would be ecstatic! But that’s just not the case. Sometimes just getting dressed is a goal to reach……..
I am very BLESSED that I get the option to stay at home with my kids and I know I’m blessed. I have worked full time in the past and I hated it. God made me to do what I’m doing and I’m just grateful that we are in a place in our lives where that’s an option. But just because I’m blessed doesn’t mean that it’s not hard sometimes…. a lot of times.
Even though I love it and thank God every day that I get to do what I’m doing, I still struggle! And guess what? That’s ok! Do people who work outside of the home sometimes get frustrated with their job? Or struggle to find time to fit everything in that they want to? Yes! And it works the same way for women or men who work inside of the home.
Over the last 5 years or so I have found ways to help create a more peaceful, organized life for myself. These things may or may not work for you, but they work for me. Some of them may seem very simple but sometimes it’s the simple things we need reminded about.
So here they are, 8 things that help me survive staying home with young kids:
- MAKE GOALS FOR EACH DAY: Every night I make a list of what I want to accomplish for the next day. I have my everyday basic goals like: dishes, make supper, clean bed-rooms, make bed, do my devotional, keep the kids alive 🙂 , etc. And then I’ll have goals that are more specific to that day like: do payroll, send a birthday gift, get groceries, etc. This may seem like something simple but it has changed my life drastically. If I write it down then the next day when I get a free 10 minutes here or there I’ll look at my list and do one of the items, cross it off and go on to the next when I get more free time. I usually never get everything crossed off but it helps me stay on task throughout the day.
- TAKE CARE OF MYSELF: This is one I am still working on but I am a firm believer that if we feel good about ourselves then we are a much happier person and in turn a much better Mom. When I make the time to put on an outfit that makes me feel good, do my makeup and if I’m really going for it… my hair, then throughout my day I find I have way more energy, am in a better mood and get way more accomplished. There are still days I throw on a pair of sweatpants and a hat but as long as I don’t let myself get in a rut of doing that ALL the time then I am good. I have been in that rut before and I felt pretty crappy about myself.
- HAVE A SET BED-TIME FOR KIDS: This is one that has really helped me keep my sanity. Obviously this is impossible if you have a baby but if you have older kids having a set bed time can mean a couple hours for you to get caught up on whatever you need to, relax and/or spend time with your spouse or even go to bed early yourself. Have a bed time routine so every night your kids know what to expect.
- KEEPING A ROUTINE: Kids like routine. Kids like to know what to expect and like doing the same things. I try my best to keep us in a routine. We get up around the same time most days, have breakfast around the same time, eat lunch and take naps around the same time. I always have us try to eat supper around the same time and we have our bed-time routine. Baths, pajamas, brush teeth and books read. There are days where our routine gets messed up but that’s just life. Keeping a routine keeps us on a schedule. And when I’m on a schedule my day always seems to run smoother.
- HAVING AN OUTLET: Whether it’s working out, painting, taking pictures, volunteering, scrapbooking, etc. it is good to have an outlet. I like painting and re-doing old items and it’s a great outlet for me. I can forget about life for the time being and just focus on what I’m doing at the moment. If you don’t have an outlet…… find one!
- HAVING ALONE TIME WITH YOUR SPOUSE WITHOUT THE KIDS: This one is probably where I struggle the most but I know it’s important. After having kids your relationship with your spouse changes, it just does and I think that’s true for 99.9% people in this world. Your life revolves around this tiny being who seems to take up all of your energy and at the end of the day you just don’t seem to have any left. It’s really hard sometimes to make time for each other but when you feel connected and in-tune to your spouse life really does become more enjoyable. And to do that you have to spend time together. When the kids go to bed make it a rule to spend a certain amount of time with each other. On a larger scale plan a weekend get-a-way without the kids. It’s good for kids to learn to be without their parents from time to time.
- PUTTING GOD FIRST: When I make time for God in my day my day always seems to run smoother and better. Knowing I can put all of my hurts, worries and troubles on GOD and he will help me through them gives me such a sense of peace. I am human. I am not perfect…. I never will be. I have my insecurites, hang-ups, and problems but GOD shows me his grace and always leads me in the direction I need to be going.
- CLEANING UP BEFORE GOING TO BED: I really hate waking up to dirty dishes and a dirty house so I make it a point to always have the dishes done, kitchen cleaned and the living room cleaned up before I go to bed. I can never accomplish all the cleaning duties I want to but if I have these 3 things done I can let go of those other things. Waking up to a clean kitchen, no dishes and a clean living room (the 2 areas of the house where we spend the most time) helps for a more peaceful morning. And when it’s a more peaceful morning I usually have more time for my girls and other things I need to do.