Like most mothers out there I have my struggles. Each day has its own battles that are hard fought and not always won. But there are also days that are so beautiful and so rewarding that you can’t help forget what the bad days are like.
20 Habits of a Healthy and Happy Stay at Home Mom
Become an Early Riser and Wake up Before your Kids
Now I don’t mean that you need to get up at the crack of butt every single day, but making it a regular habit to wake up before anyone else in your house, especially your kids, can give you that extra bit of time you need to mentally prepare yourself for the day ahead. You can take those moments to plan out your day, take stock of the things you need to accomplish or even just sit in silence.
Even if you aren’t into setting an intention for your day you will at least have the time to enjoy a hot cup of coffee. ALONE. Now when was the last time you were able to do that?
Get Ready for Your Day
A few months ago I had a conversation with a woman who was shocked and almost appalled at my decision to be a SAHM. Her reaction to learning about my life choice was to say “Oh, not me! I could never spend my day sitting in my pajamas without accomplishing anything. What do you even do all day?”
Now, as much as I wanted to give this lady a real piece of my mind, she did bring up a point. I couldn’t remember the last time I had taken the time to really get ready for the day. I had a closet full of a ton cute clothes that I never wore because they didn’t go with my usual baseball cap and ponytail (hello yoga pants).
The next day, I woke up early and took the time to do my hair and I even applied a little makeup (GASP!). I put on an outfit that I hadn’t worn since pre-pregnancy and you know what happened?
I felt AH-MA-ZING!
It was as though I suddenly had more self-confidence. I felt better about myself and right away that put me in a better mood. Being in a better mood made me want to do more with my day. Not only did I feel more productive but I WAS more productive.
Though I do still rock my yoga pants once in a while, taking the time to get dressed for the type of day I want to have is a definite priority on my list of things to do.
Create Goals and Write Them Down
You may wake up with the best of intentions, thinking of all the things you want to accomplish that day but then your kids wake up. Suddenly you are neck deep in “Mama do this!” and “Mama I need that”.
Without taking the time to create daily goals and writing them down (whether on paper or on your phone) it is shockingly easy to allow your kids to dictate your day. Before you know you it’s almost bedtime and you have accomplished absolutely nothing.
Writing down your goals (aka your list of to-do’s) not only keeps you more accountable but gives you a sense of accomplishment. I don’t know about you, but there are few things in life more satisfying than crossing off a to-do list. Especially when it’s a long one!
Develop a Routine and Stick to Your Schedule
I can’t begin to tell you the importance of having a routine!
Now, of course, there is something to be said for spontaneity but even that has its time and place. When it comes to staying at home with little ones having a routine and sticking to that schedule can mean the difference between sanity and complete and utter chaos.
I don’t mean that you have to do the exact same thing every single day as that kind of monotony would eventually make anyone go a little crazy. But having a solid structure or framework in place can make a world of difference – plus it makes assessing your child’s behavior that much easier.
Clean a Little Bit. Every. Single. Day
Part of being a stay home mom is taking on the majority of the household responsibilities – ie. The Cleaning. The idea of trying to tackle cleaning your entire home with small children can be absolutely terrifying, I totally get that! But I have to tell you that it is possible.
The key to keeping a (relatively) clean home without being completely overwhelmed is to have a cleaning schedule with small manageable tasks. Certain things should be done daily – such as the dishes, laundry (as needed), sweeping and making the bed, while other tasks can be done weekly – like mopping, cleaning the bathroom and dusting.
Taking 15 – 30 minutes each day to stay complete these tasks regularly actually means less work for you in the long run – and this is coming from someone who absolutely loathes cleaning.
Get out of the House
Being a stay home mom doesn’t mean that you actually have to stay home! Get out of the house, explore your neighborhood, even just spend some time out in the yard! Changing up your scenery doesn’t just provide mental and visual stimulation for your children but is likely going to be what saves your sanity (ever heard of the phrase “going stir crazy?”)
Plus, spending time outside of the house gives you the opportunity to make some other mama friends – which is so important that I even included on my list!
Get Involved in your Community and Make Some Friends
As I mentioned earlier, being a stay at home mom can sometimes be incredibly lonely. That is why it is so important for you to get out and focus on building friendships. Finding your tribe and having a group of friends that know exactly what you are going through is only going to help you feel supported.
I know that making friends as a new mom isn’t always easy, but I can promise it is definitely worth the effort.
Quiet Time, Naps, and Bedtime
Naps, Quiet Time, and Bedtime are non-negotiables in our house – even with a 1.5-year-old. Having that quiet time is crucial to becoming a happy stay at home mom. Not only are good sleep habits essential to your child’s overall health and development (you can read a great article about that here), but they help prevent meltdowns!
Fewer meltdowns = a happier mama.
Plus the added benefit of guaranteed “me” time certainly doesn’t suck either.
Encourage Independent Play
Independent Plays helps to develop your child’s problem-solving skills, encourages creativity, and increases their self-confidence. If that isn’t enough to have you sold Independent Play, the freedom it gives you as a Mama should be the cherry on top.
While your little one plays independently, you have the opportunity to focus on whatever you want – even if it’s just sitting down and taking a moment to yourself!
Limit Screen Time
I am not talking about your child’s screen time – though that is hugely important – I am talking about yours. Whether it is the time you spend on your smartphone, computer, or just watching television, taking the time to unplug can do wonders for your mental health (and your physical health too).
By limiting your screen time, you are encouraging other and often healthier behaviors. Remember, kids are sponges so everything that you do they are going to want to do too!
So, instead of reaching for your phone, take that time to read a book. Instead of watching a TV Show, go for a walk or even squeeze in a quick yoga practice. You won’t regret it!
Remember the quote “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.” from the movie Legally Blonde starring Reese Witherspoon? Would you believe me if I told you she was actually on to something?
Not only does regular exercise help control weight, prevent disease, and promote better sleep – it also increases energy and improves your mood.
Even if you don’t want to join a gym or a mom and me fitness group, going for regular walks or family hikes is more than enough to get that blood pumping and those endorphins moving.
Another great alternative is Yoga. Not only is it an incredible form of exercise, but the stress relief and mental health benefits associated with Yoga are unparalleled. If practicing yoga in a room full of people isn’t your thing, try YouTube! My personal favorite is Yoga with Tim. His 30-day challenge was exactly what I needed in my life!
Include the Kids
As a SAHM it is easy to feel as though you are responsible for absolutely everything – from the cooking and cleaning to taking care of the pets and the family budget. I am sure that the idea of creating more work for yourself is the last thing that you want to do.
But by including the kids in your regular day to day tasks – like the cooking and the cleaning – not only are you fostering really great habits for your children, but you are creating essential bonding moments.
My little one is barely a year and half old, but he loves to ‘help’ me sweep. We even purchased him his own little dust pan and broom. Sure, it creates a little more work when he ‘helps’, but he has fun and I love watching how his little brain works.
Plus it means that cleaning is fun for him and if we can continue to keep this up, it might even make getting him to clean his room when he is older a whole lot easier.
So if you have little ones that are showing interest in what you are doing, find a way to include them! Can they help you stir? Set the table? Feed the family pet? It might take a few extra minutes in the beginning, but eventually, all that extra work will pay off!
Find New Hobbies or Pick Up Old Ones
Whether you are an avid knitter, DIY’er, or gardener, having a hobby that provides you with a much-needed break from your everyday stressors is key to being a happy stay at home mom.
Having a hobby encourages creativity, promotes stress relief, and increases self-confidence. Plus, it can provide you with another opportunity to go out and meet new people.
If you don’t have already have a hobby consider learning how to play an instrument, take a dance class, or even join your local Roller Derby League. What’s important is that you find something that you can 100% for yourself!
Schedule ‘Me’ Time and Time with Your Spouse
There is no doubt that spending uninterrupted quality time with your children is important, but so is spending quality time with yourself and your spouse. As moms (and parents in general), we tend to put our kids before ourselves and our relationships, but that shouldn’t always be the case.
You can’t run on empty. You need time to recharge your batteries. Have a bubble bath. Plan a Date Night – even if it’s just at home after the little ones go to bed. Don’t be afraid to be a little selfish.
You and your relationship will thank you. I promise.
It sounds simple, in fact, it IS simple, but learning the art of patience takes, well, patience.
It’s easy to become frustrated when you’ve just spent your whole day cleaning and your kids manage to destroy all your hard work in a matter of minutes. It’s also easy to become (incredibly) annoyed with your partner when they come home and the first thing they ask you is when dinner will be ready.
The thing about being frustrated and annoyed is that those emotions do nothing but affect your happiness. Being frustrated isn’t going to get your kids to quit making messes, and being annoyed isn’t going to stop your spouse from being hungry.
Be patient and take everything with a grain of salt. Learn to shake off the little things and let them go. Whatever you can’t let go of can be used as motivation to find a new hobby or to get your butt to the gym!
Ask for Help
Want to know the number one secret to being a happy stay at home mom? It’s asking for help when you need it.
There is a reason why the phrase “It takes a village to raise a child” is a phrase in the first place. No one expects you to be able to do it all on your own and you shouldn’t have to. You have people around you that I am sure, would love to help if given the opportunity.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It doesn’t mean that you are failing or that you are a terrible mom. It means that you are human.
Don’t Compare Yourself to Other Moms
If asking for help when you need it is the number one secret to being a happy stay at home mom, then not comparing yourself to other mamas is secret number two.
With Social Media being what it is these days, it’s easier than ever to compare yourself to other moms. You can’t scroll through Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest without seeing a perfectly styled mama and her well-behaved children posing for a beautiful photograph. A photograph that also happens to show her incredibly spotless home.
That’s not real life though.
We don’t know how long it took that mom to take that picture. Or whether or not her children were having temper tantrums just moments before (or after). For all we know, that room could have taken hours to clean and might be the only clean room in her whole home.
Most of us only post the best moments, not the ones full of tantrums and messy rooms. So while it’s easy to compare someone’s best moments to our messy ones we need to remember that every mama has their own struggles and that not everything is always as it seems.
Don’t be so Hard on Yourself
There are going to be days where nothing gets done and your only accomplishment will be having kept the tiny humans alive. Do not allow yourself to feel as though you have failed in any way. Remember that you are a human being and that sometimes sh!t happens.
Bad days are going to happen. You are allowed to cut yourself some slack.
Do Something out of the Ordinary
Routines and Schedules are important when it comes to being a happy stay at home mom. But so is throwing caution to the wind and shaking things up. Plan a day trip, check out your local museum or make a plan to meet some mom friends at the nearest indoor play gym.
It doesn’t need to be crazy and extravagant, it just needs to be different. Both you and your kids will thank you for it!
When in Doubt, Just Dance it Out
There is something to be said for an impromptu kitchen dance party. Whenever I find myself feeling frustrated, or a little down, I grab my little one and crank up the tunes. Then we just dance it out.
If dancing isn’t your thing try a tickle war or a pillow fight. Jump on the bed or build a fort. All that matters is finding a way to be silly with your little ones. You can The Adventures of Napkin Man for this one!
Being a stay home mom certainly isn’t easy and no one (not even those allusive Instagram/Pinterest Moms) is perfect. Every mama has their own struggles and their own ways of dealing with this crazy (and wonderful) life. These tips and tricks have worked to help make me a happy stay at home mom, and I hope they can work for you too!
So find your tribe, ask for help when you need it, and don’t forget to be silly and have fun!
This is awesome. I am not a stay at home (I keep telling my husband to work more so I can stay home … :)), but all of these tips apply to me. I love limit screen time. It is so easy to get stuck working on your laptop for an hour easily. Thanks for sharing!
Right?! My phone and laptop can be huge time sucks for me so I make a point to limit the time I spend on them as much as possible! Being a stay at home mom definitely takes some sacrifice financially but if you can make it work, it is totally worth it!
Fantastic post! As a SAHM for the last 5 years I can independently verify that each one of these tips is true and helpful. Going to go put on some real pants now and schedule a dance party ?
Haha! Yes! I am so happy to hear that I have some back on this! It’s funny how much real pants can change the course of a day!
I loved reading this post. YEs we SHAM mom needs to take care of ourself to stay happy and calm.
Thank you! And yes we do!
I have been struggling with this whole mom thing and that first tip has been far my favourite. Just in the last week I’ve been trying to wake before the kids. It usually fails because my toddler is super restless in the morning, but it gets my quiet coffee and I get their breakfast made and its just so nice. Thanks for shraring and letting me know what works for you too.
My little one is super restless in the morning too, so it is hit or miss for me as well. Even if I just have those extra minutes to sit in silence before waking up and starting my day is a huge game changer. Being a mom isn’t easy, that is for sure, so I will take any help I can get (even if it is just finding a few extra minutes of silence)
I have been home for 6 years and it’s coming to an end soon. I think a job and staying at home are the best of both worlds but, I wouldn’t know I only stay home. My time home with both of my younger kids has been nice and I’m glad I got to do it. We played, we did homeschool, took trips, read books and so much more. It was a sacrifice but it was also one of the best times I have ever had.
It is huge work but so worth it. I am happy to hear that you were able to stay at home with your little ones for so long! I am sure they absolutely loved being able to spend that time you also.
Such wonderful tips. I especially love the suggestion to do things out of the ordinary. So important to keep things interesting!
Right?! Who loves doing the exact same thing every day? Keeping things interesting is so important for both you and your kids!
These are awesome tips! As a working mom who has summers off, I think many of these tips could be applicable to both SAHM and working moms.
Thank you! So happy to hear that more than just stay at home moms can benefit from these habits!
These are really wonderful tips. It’s hard not to fall into bad habits as a SAHM! You really need to be intentional about how you spend your time.
Absolutely you do! Especially since the bad habits tend to come a lot easier than the good ones!
I commend all SAHMs. I am not that person and realize that I am a better mom when I work. That does not come without guilt though. Am I spending enough time with my child? Am I knowingly picking my work over my child? In the end, we need to do what is best for ourselves and our children. As a working mom, I will definitely still apply some of these great suggestions.
You are absolutely right when it comes to saying that you need to do what is right for your children and family. I know that staying home is what is right for my child, but I would also have no problem going to work full time if that is what my family needed. I couldn’t give more props to the mamas who work full time!
It can be so hard! I would go back to work in no time but know that being with my family at home is the best option!
Fabulous tips and I agree with you on the majority. I seriously need to get out of my yoga pants more often…but maybe I’ll leave them on because I really want to check out Yoga with Tim!
Yoga with Tim has been my saving grace these past few months. I used to love going to my favorite hot yoga class, but now it just doesn’t fit with my schedule (or budget) so yoga at home it is! If you try any of his videos you need to let me know how you like it!
This is such a great post! Even if you are a work from home mum these are the things we forget to do too !!! ITs easy to end up in a zone and forget about other things to just keep you going. Such great advice .
I totally get what you mean. It’s so easy to just put your head down and work. I am guilty of it too as a SAHM trying to become a WAHM. So happy to hear you enjoyed this post.
This is a great post! I’m not a SAHM but I’m home quite a lot and a lot of this definitely applies to my daily schedule. I love waking up before them and definitely cleaning a little here and there makes a big difference. Also getting out of the house is so important. Even if it’s going through the Starbucks drive thru. Love this! They’re all great tips!
Thank you! I am so happy to hear that this post can relate to more than just SAHMs. I also love my SB drive through. I was a barista before mamahood. Thank you for stopping by!
These are great tips that I think apply to all moms! As a working mom, sometimes I think I could never be a stay at home mom, and then I remember how hard working is! 🙁 It’s tough all the way around, so at the end of the day, i’m with you- let’s just dance it out.
There is certainly no easy way to parent that is for sure! Some days I miss the regular interaction with other adults that happens when you work outside the home, but then I remember how much work working is. I don’t think I could juggle both. I respect working mamas so much!
I love that you included not to compare yourself with other moms. It is so hard to do but so important because each family is different so as a mom we do what is best for our family and that is all that matters.
Absolutely. It is so easy to get caught up in what other moms are doing but it is so important to remember to just do you. Everyone is different, their needs are different and as long as you are doing your best, that is what is best for your family!
These are wonderful ideas! All of these tips are so true and applicable. Thank you for sharing!
I’ve been a stay at home mom for almost 8 years now and these are great tips!!!
I love reading this post. I am not a stay at home mom but I would love too once our finances would allow me to stay and have my husband work . Thanks for sharing
It definitely takes work and being creative with your finances, but I find that it is totally worth it. I wish you the best of luck in becoming a SAHM if that is what you want to do!
These are all great tips! Even though I’m not a SAHM just yet, I can absolutely relate to needing to get moving more often and limit screen time. I also feel like cleaning a little each day makes a huge difference ! I used to just clean on the weekend and get super overwhelmed. Now I only do the big things over the weekened.
That is exactly the way to do it. I am so happy to hear that you can relate. Is being a SAHM a goal for you? It was seriously the best (and toughest) decision I ever made.
Such a lovely and accurate post. I make sure to do most all of these things daily because the minute I take a day off of cleaning, I am left with a messy house the next day, which kills my mood. Thanks to starting my blog in August I have a great planner that I write everything in and go nowhere without it lol. I find it hard to believe that I got through days before with out it.
I know exactly what you mean – my planner is basically my life! What planner are you using? I would love to check it out! Cleaning daily is the key to staying on top of things. I hate being overwhelmed with having to clean. There are so many other things that I could be doing with my time.
They are all so amazing, I love getting up early and readying myself up. Setting up goals is another task which I love. Maintaining schedule is so important for me to complete my things in time.
I am almost a slave to the schedule. I am trying to loosen up a bit, but I find that things go much smoother when we stay on course. It is crazy how one small thing can take days to recover from!
I definitely found getting active and outside with the kids a sanity saver, as well as alone time once dad came home.
It really is! Even just the change of scenery is enough to refresh the mind.
Very interesting read! Loved it. I’m working on my No. 7. Being a SAHM/WAHM has made me withdraw from my social life. Ha-ha!
It can absolutely do that! Good luck mama!
I absolutely love this and resonate with so much of what you wrote!! I’m currently working on waking up a couple hours before my son and you’re right…it’s definitely a game changer!!
It is crazy how much you can get done with just a bit of uninterrupted time. So happy to hear that this post resonated with you. LOVE your blog by the way!
I love it! Thanks momma! We are so hard on ourselves! I’ve written a similar post: 6 steps to a more productive day. Check it out (in all your free time!) at downhomedecorandmore.com
Thank you! We really are. Thanks for sharing your link. I look forward to checking it out!