Being a working mom for the last 6 years has provided me with many moments of both joy and challenges. Longing for the day when I could stay at home with my kids while equally loving the work that I was doing. Feelings of guilt at the same time as feelings of relief. Making the transition to Stay at Home Mom (SAHM) has been blissful, but also interesting. I’ve learned a lot about my type A, driven and control freak kind of self.
Here are 5 tips that I’ve put together after learning a little bit through my transition (so far). These mostly came about through trial and error and a whole lot of experimenting with what felt right for me and my family.
1. Make Lists
- It sounds simple, but making a list can be impactful for both your mental state and overall wellbeing. Some days the endless laundry, dishes, and making of meals can drive you up the wall, but somehow if you put these items on a list and physically check them off once completed, it will change your mood. This can also help with remembering the little things that can escape you when chasing around three kids. Such things like… get laundry soap, go to the post office, and get school supplies. I guess this comes from years of making lists of tasks at work and feeling accomplished by the mere act of checking them off. Don’t stop doing this just because you aren’t working outside of the home anymore. After all, raising tiny humans is a full-time gig that lends itself to lots of lists.
2. Get out of the House
- Easier said than done. I know. With three kids all in different stages, it can be an event just to get them into the car. My inner dialog sounds a little something like this. Make sure this baby is full, diaper changed, and happy. Oh wait, do I have an extra outfit and diapers packed? Have the boys both peed? Do they have shoes on? Bring water in case they get thirsty. Do they need snacks? And that’s just what’s inside of my head. Once you actually get out of the front door and into the car, that moment of sweet bliss when everyone is buckled in, the music is on and the A/C is blowing will taste so, so sweet. I am all for a good adventure or two, but this tip is just for getting out of the house, not spending a lot of money or energy on fancy outings. We save those for when Daddy is home. Haha! I like to just take a drive around the neighborhood or even go to a park and let the big kids run their energy out. More often than not, I will hit up a drive-thru coffee shop and finally enjoy the hot coffee that I deserve. When it’s nice outside, take a walk around the block or just sit on the driveway while the kids play with some chalk. The fresh air and sunshine will do you good. You see, getting out of the house doesn’t have to be about an elaborate plan. Just spending some time away from home can feel like a mini vacation and help with that cooped up feeling that for me tends to change my mood. I get back home usually feeling more energized and alive.
3. Self Care
- You have to take care of you. Trust me, I have had many of those days where I forget when the last time I showed or brushed my hair was. Sometimes it can be all consuming and draining and it’s easy to forget about yourself. Take 5 or 10 mins do something you love. Maybe it’s a facemask, a hot shower, flipping through a magazine or your favorite book. It might even be catching up on your favorite show or working out while the kids nap. Self care can look different for everyone and truth be told, look differently for each person day by day. The most important thing is to remember to just do it. Whatever it is to you, make the time and drop the mommy guilt. After all, like the saying goes…
4. Clean as you go
- I hate a mess. Clutter makes me crazy. It gives me anxiety and makes my brain feel cluttered when there is messiness around. Again, back to that type-A/control freak kind-o-personality. That being said, my house isn’t always clean. I have three little kids and a busy life. I found out that I will be always cleaning up after someone, so it’s best to clean as you go. It might be easy to just leave it for later, but let me tell you from experience, it always piles up faster than you think and you’ll be left feeling overwhelmed. I usually dedicate “after breakfast” time to tidying up. This helps me set the tone for the day and motivates me to clean as I go. After I am finished with the morning tidy up, I put my diffuser on with a nice energizing or calming scent. Depending on the mood. This clean as you go method was a little hard to swallow for me at first. I found myself in tears in the kitchen wondering why I was always doing laundry and dishes, feeling a little bit like Cinderella. BUT, I will say that something switched for me a few weeks ago. I realized that in the midst of my “complaining” someone out there was praying for what I was feeling overwhelmed by. That was a major lightbulb moment for me. A discontented heart is something that I think all human beings struggle with and for me, I have to remind myself to enjoy the right now, or I will miss it. Recognizing this helps me and I hope it will help someone else too. Knowing that we aren’t alone in our feelings is comforting and healing. So I guess I will say my clean as you go tip has a little bit to do with the physical clutter and a lot more to do with the mental clutter that we all suffer from in this fast-paced life.
5. Make Your Bed
- This was brought up a couple of weeks ago in a family group text. Making your bed is such a simple, yet impactful task. If done first thing in the morning it will set the tone of accomplishment for the entire day. I’ve been telling my 6-year-old this every day. The version for him is more like, “If you make your bed, you’ll have a good day.” Simple, but true. And even if you happen to have a bad day, at least you’ll get into a nicely made bed at the end of the day. My mom said over our group text, even if you make your bed right before you get in it at night, you’ll feel great. She was right. Try this even for just a week. I think you’ll find that it will be hard to stop.
I am definitely still learning how to gracefully transition to SAHM life, but with these 5 tips, I find myself a lot less stressed and feeling like I have it somewhat together. Of course, there are days that I forget to take my own advice, but I am trying to stay in the habit in order to make time for making memories with these little ones of mine.