9 Stay-at-Home Mom Tips to Make Life Easier

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Learn my best stay at home mom tips for making your days easier! Being a SAHM can be so hard but you don’t have to do this alone.

As someone who has been a stay at home mom for nearly a decade now, I’ll be the first to say how hard it is.

It’s not easy by any stretch of the imagination.

Somedays you just collapse into your bed and hope morning doesn’t come too soon. Not to mention the guilt you might be wrestling with as you fall asleep.

But none of us are alone in this. I’ve had so much help, so much trial and error, and a lot of learned experience to know that there are some things that can help.

I’m going to share my best stay at home mom tips with you to hopefully make your days go just a little easier. It won’t change overnight, but if you work at it, things will start to feel lighter.

Now, let’s get to it!

Prioritize Self-Care

The very first thing to talk about might just be the most important – that’s self-care. It’s so easy to forget to take care of ourselves while keeping up with everyone else around us.

I want to urge you to get out of that habit. It’s not doing anyone any favors.

Now — I’m not talking about taking a bubble bath at the end of the day or booking a day at a spa. I think we’ve all heard enough of that pointless advice.

I’m talking about things like:

  • Feeding yourself enough
  • Getting movement in your day
  • Staying hydrated
  • Carving out alone time

When I first became a mom, it was soooo easy to get the kids breakfast while I completely forgot to feed myself. I then plopped on the couch because *surprise* I didn’t have the energy to do anything else. I’d sip my coffee while I lost my mind because I thought I couldn’t step away from them.

This is the worst way to operate. You’ll become depressed, anxious, and overwhelmed easily.

But I know the utter chaos that is having kids. You might feel like anything else is just impossible.

Here are some tips to easily implement good habits:

  • Have plenty of snacks that are high in protein and fat available. This can keep you going until you have the chance to sit down and eat your next meal. You can grab a handful of cashews and a cheese stick while comforting that toddler tantrum.
  • Take your kiddos for a walk or have a dance party in the living room with them. Anything to get your blood flowing! The earlier in the day, the better.
  • Set up an activity your kids can do while you take a few minutes in the next room to scroll Instagram or read your favorite book. Cleaning up any messes are worth a few minutes to yourself.

When all else fails and it’s just a disaster of a day, don’t be afraid to take time to recharge. Becoming overstimulated doesn’t help ANYONE.

Taking care of yourself is important for your entire family. It’s not selfish so toss the mom guilt out the window for me, okay?

Set Boundaries

Now let’s talk about everyone’s favorite topic *sarcasm* – boundaries.

As much as you want to think otherwise, you aren’t doing anyone favors by being an endless people pleaser who can’t say no in the name of taking care of herself.

You aren’t going to get a trophy at the end of this life for sacrificing yourself. Be a good person, sure, but take care of you too.

I’m talking things like:

  • Turning down a volunteer opportunity at your child’s preschool because you know you’re just absolutely zapped after a hard week
  • Politely declining an invitation to the third playdate this week because you already had plans to cuddle up on the couch with your favorite snacks and cozy blanket for a session of Stardew Valley while the kids went to your in-laws.
  • Telling your mother-in-law she needs to call first before just showing up when you aren’t mentally prepared for visitors

I’m talking about protecting your time, energy, and well-being. You can’t be there for others if you’re constantly running on fumes.

Set those boundaries, mama. They’re important.

Trust Yourself

The funny thing about being a stay-at-home mom is that suddenly there’s no shortage of opinions and expectations from the peanut gallery.

But here’s the thing — you know you and your kids best. You can handle it, even if it doesn’t feel like it. Whatever works for you and your family will ALWAYS be the right choice.

Being a stay-at-home mom can look different for everyone.

It might look like:

  • Making Pinterest-worthy cookies, art projects, and anything else creative.
  • Popping on Paw Patrol while you scroll Instagram and eat breakfast in the living room.
  • Perfectly planning your entire day with lots of outings, playdates, activities, and more.
  • A completely trashed home because you only have so much energy and you’d rather use it to spend time with your kids right now. The dishes can wait.
  • Involving your kids in helping you keep a tidy home because it’s important to you.
  • Choosing to limit the toys that come into your house to keep clutter away.
  • Buying all the toys because it’s just soooooo fun to spoil your kids.

Seriously. It looks different for everyone. Everything is okay. If someone thinks it’s not… it might be time to set some boundaries.

There is no “right” way to do things. We’re all just winging it and doing the best we can. Remember you have the freedom to make whatever choice feels right. And you can change your mind at any time! But do so because you WANT TO — not because your nosy Nancy neighbor is judging you.

Wake Up Before Your Kids

The day I started waking up before my kids on a regular basis is the day my life changed. And I still do it despite having a 1 year old! I might be crazy for being up at 5AM when I don’t have to, but I wouldn’t trade it for ANYTHING at this point.

It really is magical to have some pre-kid wake up time. It’s the golden hour where the house is quiet, the coffee is hot, and you can do whatever you want to prepare for the day.

Sometimes I’ll just scroll my phone while I wake up, sometimes I’ll decide to write, sometimes I’ll play video games in peace without backseat gamers trying to boss me around LOL.

But seriously. Just picture it.

You wake up, grab your coffee, and you actually have some time to yourself before the chaos of the day spirals out of control. You can ease into it instead of being thrown into the madness.

I’ll take the lack of sleep if it means I get time to myself first. It changes the entire day.

But spoiler alert — you can’t just suddenly start doing it and expect it to work. It takes time for everyone.

Here’s some tips for making it happen:

  • First and foremost – set a wakeup time when kids are allowed out of their rooms. If they’re little, you might need a grow clock (we loved this penguin clock!). My kids aren’t allowed out until 7:30 am and I’m strict on that.
  • Make sure kids have PLENTY to do in their room when they inevitably wake up earlier. Prepare snacks, water, activities, etc as needed.
  • Be ready to stick to the boundary! They will come out ALOT at first. But with time and lots of repetition, it will get easier. Just remind them of the new rule and why you’re doing it. I tell my kids that mommy needs alone time first thing in the morning so I can be a good mommy the rest of the day.
  • Start by waking up just 15 minutes before your kids. Gradually work your way to your goal wake-up time. I did NOT get to 5am overnight! First it was 7am, then 6, then 5. But it took a couple of years to feel “ready” and like I needed such an early time.

Waking up before your kids does take time and effort, but it’s soooo worth it. You’ll wish you had done it sooner! I like to get myself breakfast at this time too because I’m liable to forget to feed myself otherwise.

The peace and quiet in the morning is just UNMATCHED as a way to start the day.

Establish Family Routines

When I say routines saved my sanity – I mean it. A best friend urged me start when my daughter was a toddler and I was pregnant. Because man a toddler and a baby is NUTS on its own — routines helped so much!!

It can be overwhelming to know where to start though. My suggestion is to start small.

Here’s what I did when I started with routines:

  • Start by implementing a calming bedtime routine that will help everyone be ready for bed. Things like bath, story, dimmed lights, and whatever else helps. You can also just start with one thing at a time and layer it on as you go!
  • When you get the hang of that, look at the most stressful parts of your day. Where is there the most friction? How can you make it just a little bit easier?
  • When something stops working, try something new. None of this will be permanent. Kids grow up, we evolve into different people, and our needs change. Be willing to switch things up when they get difficult.

Family routines really help create some structure and stability that helps you feel grounded. I would be a very different person without implementing our routines.

I want to urge you to take it slow, though. It took me many years to really see the fruits of my labor. It will feel hard at first, but it’s so worth it!

Implement Home Systems

Once you start to tackle routines, developing daily systems are the next step. As someone with ADHD, this is an ongoing struggle that I’m constantly dealing with. I won’t lie to you. I do NOT have this all figured out.

But what I do know is when I’m on top of it – things run so much smoother. I feel more relaxed and clear headed. I can focus on my projects rather than the mess around me.

Start finding things that you can get on a repeatable routine. It’s baked into your week to the point you don’t even think about it.

This is what I aim for in a given week:

  • A load of laundry every 1-3 days (though I may have to restart it sometimes!)
  • Dishes done after every meal and at the end of the night since we don’t have a dishwasher and it can get overwhelming very fast!
  • Vacuuming the floor every 1-2 days because I have a baby crawling around so I have to be very extra about this LOL.
  • A few deep cleaning tasks at some point throughout the week but this sometimes gets missed because life happens!
  • Breaking down any other task into tiny pieces. My neurodivergent brain gets very overwhelmed very easily so I have to do what I can and let that be enough!

I’ve reached the point now where it’s not just about keeping up on chores because that’s what “good adults” do (whatever that means). I do it because it’s like an act of love to myself. It keeps me in a good headspace for myself and my family.

That is worth EVERYTHING to me.

Teach Kids to Respect Mom’s Space

I’ll say it now — you won’t see me letting my kids climb all over me all hours of the day. That is a quick road to burnout and having a meltdown all over someone by the end of the day.

I need breathing room. Lots of it, too!! It’s how I can be the best mama possible.

I started communicating this need to them when they were really little. I’m not afraid to send them to their rooms to play or have them go outside. Or even just setting up an activity in the next room.

At this point, it’s a normal everything for them. They will also express when they need space too! It’s so important to model this, in my opinion.

A few things you can say to them might be:

  • “Mommy needs a few minutes to rest so I can be the best mommy I can be”
  • “I love spending time with you, but I also need some time by myself too”
  • “I’m feeling a little overwhelmed right now, so I need some space right now”
  • “I need some mommy time to feel calm and happy again”
  • “When mommy has some quiet time, I feel more energized to spend time with you”

It really just depends on their age and how well they communicate. This helps lay the groundwork for healthy boundaries too!

It’s okay to not want your kids to follow you to the bathroom so you can pee in peace!

Explore Your Interests

If there’s one thing that us mamas struggle with it’s definitely putting so much into our kids that there’s nothing left for ourselves.

But I urge you not to let yourself do that.

You NEED to still have an identity beyond being a mom. You have passions, skills, hobbies, and things you enjoy spending time on.

Maybe you love to paint.

Maybe you love to garden.

Maybe you love to write (like me!).

Do things for yourself. You can involve your kids in them too if they’re old enough!

My 8 year old absolutely LOVES to sit and draw with me, learn about graphic design, see the websites I build, do puzzles with me, and all kinds of other things.

I’m still doing things I enjoy. When I didn’t, I was so miserable that I didn’t even have much of myself to give.

I was constantly exhausted and running on fumes. Taking the time to nurture my interests helps with that.

Set Realistic Expectations for Kids

Now. Question for you – do you have realistic expectations for your kids? Not the kinds that the adults around you tell you are reasonable. The ones that are backed by science. The ones that take their current skill level into account.

You have to be careful not to expect too much of your kids beyond what’s reasonable.

When that happens, you’re in endless cycles of power struggles, frustration, and everything feeling like it’s a disaster.

Things to ask yourself at any given time:

  • Is my child fully capable of doing this right now?
  • Do they have the skills to do this?
  • Are they tired, hungry, or dysregulated in any way?
  • Would it be better if I supported them in doing it?

I’ll also say that my last kiddo has humbled me A LOT in terms of milestones. He’s taking his own time to meet his. Every child is different and you have to acknowledge that. Just because we think they can do something flawlessly, doesn’t mean they can.

They need our patience, grace, and support more than anything.

It’s also important to stay up to date on developmental stages, though. I mean, expecting a high energy toddler to sit through a family dinner for 3 hours is going to be a bad time for everyone.

I can’t even do that, to be honest! Let them play after 10-15 minutes and be prepared with lots of things to keep them out of trouble, too.

This isn’t about letting kids run the show, but just meeting them where they are at.

Conclusion

Being a stay at home mom is HARD a lot of days. None of this is going to be a magic pill. It’s simply going to make things easier.

Remember to take moments to slow down and celebrate yourself. You’re doing an amazing job and you should always remember that.

Keep up the amazing work!

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