How To Be A Happy Stay At Home Mom Using These 7 Simple Habits
Ever get the feeling that people think the life of a stay at home mom is a life filled with nail salons, day wines and shopping?
Actually, if you’re anything like me, you’ve probably had comments like these before from people who genuinely have no idea what it actually takes to be a stay at home mom and the emotional rollercoaster that can be thrown onto you if you really didn’t know what to expect (like I was).
And many times people assume that we probably some form of postnatal depression. And while in many circumstances, this may genuinely be the case, it isn’t always. Sometimes we just need something different in our lives that leave us feeling happier and more content.
Why It’s Important To Learn How To Be A Happy Stay At Home Mom
Over the last 18 months or so, I’ve been through a whirlwind of change which has ultimately led me to be happier and more centered. I’m more fulfilled as a stay at home mom, and more aware of my values and the values that I want to instil in my children as a parent.
At the end of the day, we only have one chance to raise our kids… and they’re so impressionable right now that if we can be more intentional with our actions, we have the potential to create some pretty amazing human beings.
In this blog, I want to share with you my quest in learning how to be a happy stay at home mom and the 7 habits that I believe have had the biggest impact in my happiness and fulfilment. I hope you can find inspiration from my journey to help you feel at peace in your own journey.
The Challenges We Face As Stay At Home Moms
Before we had kids, my husband and I had many conversations around wanting to be present in their lives.
We didn’t want to send them to daycare during the day, and (if we were lucky) spend an hour with them in the evening before putting them down to bed.
We were lucky enough to be in a position that this was possible, and we had my daughter C with us at work…
But the days were long and we were far from ‘present’.
It wasn’t until I was around 7 months pregnant with baby #2 (M) when we finally bit the bullet and decided I’d go into full-time mom mode.
I was really looking forward to it.
I’d gone straight back to work after having baby #1 (C) and she’d been coming to work with us until she was around 18 months old..
I only lasted about 3 weeks on maternity leave before I got itchy feet and started browsing the internet for new hobbies or side hustles.
It was a rude shock to the system just how difficult being a stay-at-home mom could be if we are made to take away parts of you that we believe defines us.
I didn’t realise how isolating it could feel.
The Fear Of Judgement and Lack of Connection.
I felt out of place in ‘mothers groups’.
While some moms were beautiful, smart, intelligent and caring women, others would constantly compare children as if it were some sort of competition at the local show.
Many would fall somewhere in between.
In a place where I really should feel understood and supported,
I had a constant fear of judgement for my efforts of being a mom and would get slammed with advice I didn’t always want. I think much of this comes because I moved home to a whole new state and didn’t have my friends around.
The Mind Unchallenged
This one surprised me… I actually missed work…
I missed the social interaction. learning new things, and the mental challenge that comes being in a workplace and was completely unfulfilled ‘just’ being a mom.
The Village No Longer
When I was a kid, I was brought up in a small town surrounded by cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents and neighbors and spent hours upon hours hanging out with other kids or at other people’s houses.
My mom tells me that bringing up children now is so different to what it used to be. Back then the ‘village’ raised a child, now the village rarely exists and that can be extremely difficult for moms who now play so many different roles.
It can create loneliness and a sense of isolation, even if we are bringing up our children in the busiest cities in the world.
7 Habits Of A Happy Stay-At-Home Mom
1. Communication & Connection
The biggest habit that I believe has helped me find happiness and become content as a stay-at-home mom was ensuring I had good channels of communication with the people I love.
I have a good marriage.
Communication is something that we’ve always valued highly and it’s played an enormous role in learning how to be happy as a stay at home mom.
Having that regular conversation about what you’re going through and what your partner is going through helps you talk through the situation and cope on a particularly hard day.
Your partner doesn’t want to see you struggling.
Being vulnerable and talking it through can empower both you and your partner into helping you find solutions for what is bothering you.
That need for communication also flows onto your family and friends too.
Make the commitment to pick up the phone and call friends that you see less frequently and talk about things other than just motherhood.
Allow yourself the time to connect with your loved ones on topics that are meaningful to both of you.
2. Surround Yourself with Like-Minded People
When we have kids, we sometimes find that we fall away from our typical ‘friends group’ a bit because we have different responsibilities now
Finding people who you can spend time with in a routine that fits being a ‘mom’ can be really beneficial in your mental health and your mindset.
This is something that I struggled with a lot as I mentioned before. But remember, that the world is a very different place now that it was years ago. I found my group of entrepreneurial mammas and aspirational people from every corner of the globe with the help of this amazing thing we call the internet.
I now have a group of bloggers and entrepreneurs join me in a Facebook Group to help each other out, and we often jump on live calls to answer each others questions and get to know each other better.
The internet isn’t the only place I connect with people.
I still do my best to get out and grab a coffee or dinner with friends who are available. But if you find that your schedule is constantly clashing, face-to-face catch ups can be really difficult. The internet is a resource we have at our fingertips.
3. Allocate Some ‘Me Time’
Giving up all your time to your little human being can be exhausting. There’s only so many times you can visit the same park and not want to pull your hair out.
As mothers we sometimes forget or even refuse to take some time out to ourselves.
Even 30 minutes or an hour of time to yourself to read a book, get your nails done or even just rest can make the world of difference to your mental health.
My oldest daughter has a late sleeping pattern. We often struggled to get her to sleep before midnight, my youngest was the opposite. It meant that we were chasing children from 7am to 11pm most days… it’s exhausting.
If your partner, sibling, parent, grandparent or friend can take the kids to let you have some time out to yourself, you’ll be feeling a million bucks in no time.
4. Start (And Use) A Budget
If you’re lucky enough to get paid maternity leave, you are also probably more than aware that it only lasts so long. If your goal is to stay at home beyond your paid leave, or if you aren’t getting paid leave at all, then starting a budget (and using it) is an absolute must.
Money is one of the biggest stressors in our lives and can cause a lot of tension in marriages. Having a solid understanding of your financial position can remove that tension and help you determine if staying at home is financially possible.
Budgeting doesn’t need to be about how much you need to ‘give up’ to survive, but rather being fully educated around your money removes the stress and means you can actually enjoy guilt free spending.
I use this Excel budget spreadsheet because it not only lets me map out any bills coming up, but it also allows me to plan for the future and forecast our cashflow – emergency fund, vacations, investments, etc. even with an irregular income.
It means I know where we stand financially at any point and can budget in fun money so I don’t need to feel guilty or unsure whether I can actually afford something.
We’ve just started using this budget to save for a 12 month caravaning trip around Australia, while paying off our mortgage, and growing our emergency fund further.
If you haven’t set up a budget yet, this one covers everything… I love it!
5. Give Yourself The Credit You Deserve
Some days are hard… There’s no escaping it.
Remind yourself daily… even better, many times a day, that you are doing your absolute best. Even though it may not seem like it at the time, your kids really do appreciate everything you do for them and your actions are shaping their future.
Kids can be ruthless in their tantrums and attitude, especially when they’re nearing the terrible twos.
I know how hard it can be to not lose your temper when your two year old is as stubborn as an ox and talks back to you like a teenager.
Its doubly as hard if you’ve had a bad sleep and you’re over tired and the spaghetti is flung against a wall… literally or figuratively… it doesn’t matter.
If your Instagram feed is full of moms whose homes are spotlessly clean, their hair is perfectly done and their bodies are so bangin’ they could pretty much walk straight down the catwalk, it might be time to switch off Instagram.
Please don’t compare yourself to others.
You’re only getting a glimpse of their life, and I can assure you that no matter how ‘perfect’ their life looks, we all face those temper-tantrums at some point.
6. Find A Hobby Or Side Hustle
This habit was actually one that I believe saved my mental health the most.
I didn’t realise just how much I’d defined myself by my career until it was taken away in becoming a stay at home mom.
I went browsing the internet looking for different hobbies/crafts that I could do at home and went down some rabbit hole.
I came across some training for digital marketing skills and figured if I could learn more about marketing to help our tourism business.
I didn’t need to get far into the training to realise how learning the skills to sell things online could open up an entire world of opportunity for creating income – most of which I had no idea even existed before.
That led me to not only supporting our tourism business, but also starting my own blog helping people learn how to start their own blog and use Pinterest to drive traffic.
Having a project where I could learn, develop and have a purpose in helping others leaves me feeling fulfilled.
7. Take A Step Back To Really Embrace The Moment
It can be easy to take for granted the days we have with our kids.
Some days I step back, pinch myself, and question where the time has gone.
They grow so fast and we’ll never get that time back again.
I know… hugely cliche right? But it’s so true!
I’m incredibly grateful to be in a position where I can be at home with my kids (despite through those temper tantrums I mentioned earlier).
If you find yourself busy in life and just ‘going through the motions’, try to consciously make the effort to embrace and enjoy the moments.
My kids are three and one… Sometimes they fight like cat and dog… But sometimes they are the best of friends.
When C holds M’s hand as we go for an evening walk, or when they play ‘ring-a-rosie together’, or they hold their ‘tea parties’ with the giant teddy M was gifted when she was born, it reminds me how lucky I truly am to live the life that I do.
Take a moment… Cherish it… It won’t last forever and you deserve those warm fuzzies.
Learning how to be a happy stay at home mom doesn’t always come easily. Sometimes it can completely take us by surprise how we react to making that transition.
But, using habits, just like the seven I mention in this blog, has really helped me feel more balanced and settled in myself.
Did you find this blog helpful? Let me know in the comments below what was most helpful to you! I’d love to know.
And don’t forget to save this pin to your ‘stay at home mom’ board on Pinterest so you can come back to it at any time.