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Being a stay-at-home mom is a wonderful opportunity to spend time with your children and help build the home and life that you want. As a stay-at-home mom, you have the privilege-and the responsibility-of marrying all the parts of taking care of a home in a way that uniquely suits your family and nurtures your kids. It’s your chance to really make a small, but positive impact on the world!
It sounds romantic, doesn’t it?
But let’s be real…that shindig is hard!
While being a stay-at-home mom can be exciting and rewarding, it’s also completely exhausting! And in the process of taking care of all the things that need to happen so that your house and kids stay somewhat put together it’s easy feel like you’re losing some of your own identity.
If you’re at the point where you are feeling that way, then it’s time for you to start taking time for yourself again! To help you out, here’s my favorite tips to help you find that time:
1-) Pick a hobby (or three…)
A common issue that I see is among us moms don’t actually have something that they want to do when they have time for themselves. As a result, when we do have time for ourselves we don’t know how to use it, and we just end up feeling more stressed.
The best way around this is to start a hobby that you’ve been wanting to do. Become a chronic learner! Don’t worry about being “good,” just start and enjoy yourself!
2-) Incorporate time into your routine
Think about what your daily routine currently entails. It probably revolves around taking care of the kids, cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, running errands…
We think of all these to-dos as things we have to do, right?
Now, if you included time for yourself in that list of things “to do,” you’ve automatically upped the chances of finding time for yourself. Of course, that means you actually need the time for that, which brings me to my next point…
3-) Decide what tasks are optional
As women, we tend to put a lot of pressure on ourselves to get everything done, like, yesterday. but let me tell you the reality of what happens when we think this way:
Putting all the pressure on ourselves to do it all doesn’t do much more than cause burnout and resentment. So decide right now what tasks you’re OK with not getting to. For example, my must do’s are laundry, tidying up, dusting, dishes, and vacuuming the living areas. My optional tasks are cleaning the bathroom, vacuuming the bedroom, and grocery shopping. Often I don’t actually get to these tasks, and I either delegate these tasks to Ted or let them wait until I do get to them so that I have some time for myself.
4-) Do a swap
If you don’t already have a friend who you can swap kids with for a date night or just some rest and relaxation, then you’re missing out! Finding mommy friends who both you and your kids get on well with is so important as a stay-at-home mom! It gives you the opportunity to share your struggles and feel less isolated from the world. It also gives you the chance to do things like swap kids so you have time for yourself (which, by the way…kids love!).
5-) Find a gym with babysitting
Oh my gosh, I don’t know where I would be without my local YMCA! As part of the membership, our Y includes two hours of playroom time for kids every day! Y’all..when do you think I get all the work done that makes this site so amazing (if I do say so myself 😉 )? I’ll tell you, it’s not at home with Little Grasshopper climbing all over me! It’s in the cafe at the Y while he runs around like a crazy person under the supervision of the amazing staff there!
And all the kids I know who go to the playroom absolutely LOVE it! So seriously, find a local YMCA or gym that offers this type of program and use it! Even if you don’t exercise during that time, it’s a great way to find time for yourself!
6-) Say “no”
“No” is one of the hardest words for moms to say to others. We feel bad if we don’t say “yes” or offer to help everyone with everything, only to realize later on that every second of every day is devoted to doing things for other people.
Now, I’m not saying that you should never help people. But you also don’t need to do everything that anyone asks. And if you find it emotionally difficult to say “no,” practice with small things. Eventually you’ll get more comfortable with it, and once you’re able to say it more you’ll start to find more time that you can use for yourself!
Those are my tips on how to find time for yourself as a stay-at-home mom. My challenge to you for today is to find the time to have a cup of coffee (or tea, or cocoa…) by yourself. Find a way to squeeze in these five minutes of time for yourself and you’ll be amazed at how much more refreshed you feel!
And for more parenting advice check out the most practical items new moms need to stay organized with a baby and how to keep toys from taking over your house.