To the dedicated, hard-working, always-going, sometimes shouting, often laughing, sometimes crying, ALWAYS loving – stay-at-home moms:
First of all, let’s just agree that no matter what your situation, motherhood is HARD. Motherhood is such a complex and abstract concept to understand and we are all living through different experiences. Stay-at-home moms do not live the same life as working moms, but that is not to say that one type of parent has it easier or harder than another. This particular letter is dedicated to those stay-at-home moms. We see all your daily effort and we’re here for you.
For all the stay-at-home moms out there, keep hanging in there and doing your best. Your kids see that effort, and even though they might not acknowledge it now, it matters. Being home with little ones day in and day out can be somewhat maddening, particularly if you are not finding ways to care for yourself. Perhaps the most crucial tip for stay-at-home moms is to get out of the house!
Yes, it can be hard sometimes to get the kids and yourself ready, pack a diaper bag, snacks, toys, and all, and still make it out the door, but you know that something as simple as a change of scenery will help the day go more smoothly.
Kid-Friendly Activity Ideas for Stay-At-Home Moms
- Find a playgroup of some sort. This is a great place for you to meet other stay-at-home moms and for your little one to have a chance to interact with…well….anyone besides you! It’s a great way for younger kids to learn socialization skills, how to follow basic rules, and have some fun with kids close to their own age. Some playgroups meet weekly, and some meet more often. You can check local parent social media groups, community centers, religious centers, or even local libraries to find a playgroup that fits your schedule. Playgroups are a hot spot for stay-at-home moms trying to fill their day. Use this time to build friendships for yourself as well as your toddler.
- Take a walk. Sometimes as simple as putting the baby in the stroller for a walk around the neighborhood can do wonders for both of you. If you have a toddler, try and let them walk if you can. This will help burn off some of their endless energy while giving them a sense of independence.
- Keep a list of indoor activities. A lot of indoor play spaces are opening up now, and you can find free ones in local malls or even fast-food restaurants. A trip to the library or aquarium is a great rainy-day activity. There are many social media groups where both working moms and stay-at-home moms share tips and advice. This is a great place to look for activities for your little ones.
- Think simple. Kids can be entertained by the simplest of things. “Spray-paint” cardboard with a spray bottle filled with water. Let them play as long as they want during bath time. Finger paint! Make cookies, from scratch or from a kit. Let the kids get involved with housework. Even toddlers can help sort laundry and wipe up messes. Bubbles are always good for a quick activity and easy to clean up inside the kitchen or bathroom or outside if you’re up for it. Coloring can be quick and easy, as can playing with play-doh or salt dough. Storytime is a great activity for kids of multiple ages and easy to do inside the house or out.
Keeping busy will help the day pass by with less meltdowns. A great tip for stay-at-home moms is to keep a stash of simple activities that your toddler can do independently for when you need a little break.
Find museums here: Museums for All
Read More: 7 Easy & Fun Activities For Toddlers
As a stay-at-home mom, it often feels easiest to choose to stay at home with the kids rather than choosing to drag them out. Too much time inside can make you start to go a little stir-crazy. Going out for mini-adventures will not only help you mentally reset, but you’re also making memories with your little ones.
Something as simple as a leisurely walk around the block to look for birds will give you a mental break and keep a toddler occupied. If you’re feeling adventurous; museums, malls, and restaurants are also generally much less crowded during the day. Trips to the park can be especially beneficial because there are usually other stay-at-mom moms there during the day. Try and start a conversation, it’s likely they are just as in need of friendships with other stay-at-home moms.
Dealing with Mom Guilt
We’ve all been the victims of overthinking at some point in our lives. It seems that overthinking minute situations and experiences is only exacerbated when you become a mother. It’s easy for stay-at-home moms to get caught up in their thoughts and constantly weigh the pros and cons of all of their actions. It’s a bad habit to get caught up in and it can be extremely difficult to curb these negative thoughts.
As a stay-at-home mom, you might be asking yourself if your daily choices are enough for your child. You might also feel guilty about leaving the house alone, taking time for yourself, or wanting more. These thoughts are normal. However, remember that you are not JUST a stay-at-home mom. You are a person too, independent of your children, and it’s essential that you allow yourself to recharge and reset. You are enough for your children. Having these thoughts only cements the fact that you are a caring and loving parent who wants the best for her children.
Stay-at-home moms might also be dealing with high-stress levels, anxiety, and anger. If you feel like these feelings are getting out of control, remember that it’s important to talk to others about them. Talk with your spouse and your family. If you feel that you need more support, consider going to a therapist who understands women and the family dynamic particularly the perspective and emotions of stay-at-home moms.
Fill YOUR Cup
Sometimes it feels like being a stay-at-home mom is all-consuming. It’s important to take time to unwind so that you’re not always running on empty. At times when sleep, free time, and privacy are elusive, it’s easy to feel like you’re dissolving into a stay-at-home mom puddle. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed by your children’s constant needs and touched out at the end of a long day. Children are innocent and egocentric and they have no shame or restraint in demanding the things they want or need. This can leave us, the stay-at-home mom and primary caregiver feeling drained and empty when bedtime finally rolls around.
It‘s important to find a support system of other stay-at-home moms who can relate to your feelings. While it can be hard to put yourself out there, it is rewarding in the long run. Do activities that calm you, rather than cause more stress. Go for a weekly yoga class. Leave the kids with your partner or a trusted caregiver and take a long walk all by yourself. Treat yourself to a mani, even if it’s a DIY one while you’re locked alone in the bathroom.
Read More: The Importance Of Self Care and 5 Ways To Indulge even as a stay-at-home mom
It can be difficult to put yourself first when your brain is constantly running in stay-at-home mom mode. When you’re depleted though, both you and your children suffer. In order to be the best parent for your children, you need to be happy and healthy yourself. Stay-at-home moms need a break too!
Don’t overwhelm yourself with the kid’s needs. Put off potty training for another month if you can’t mentally deal with it at this point. Heat up a frozen or boxed dinner if you can’t fathom making a meal from scratch. Doing these things does not decrease your value as a mother. Sometimes doing what’s best for your children, is doing what’s best for you. When you’re a stay-at-home mom, it is easy to get caught up thinking about the things you did or did not do in a day. Take time to remind yourself that parenting is a marathon and not a race.
Rewards of being a Stay-At-Home Mom
Being a stay-at-home mom is incredibly stressful, and some have compared the duties of a stay-at-home mom to the equivalent of working 2.5 jobs. With that said, we all know just how incredibly rewarding being a stay-at-home mom can be. You are there for all of those beautiful moments. You see all the milestones that your child is meeting. You are making precious memories with your baby, that can never be replicated or replaced. Being a stay-at-home mom is so valuable and so meaningful.
As stay-at-home moms, we often run through the gamut of emotions on a daily basis. As overwhelming as it can feel, know that your work is important, it is seen, and it is worth your time and energy.
WANT TO READ MORE?
Check out A Letter From A Working Mom To A Stay At Home Mom And Vice Versa for more heartfelt and honest mom truths.
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