I think you will agree with me when I say being a stay-at-home mom is hard.
Lots of stay-at-home moms struggle with motivation and loneliness, while some find it hard to enjoy being a stay at home mom.
While it’s true that staying home full-time with your kids isn’t all sunshine and roses, it turns out that you can be a happy stay at home mom when you embrace certain habits.
And in this post, I’m going to show you ten things you can do so you can have fun staying at home with your kids.
This post may contain affiliate links. Which means if you buy something using my link, I may receive a small commission.
HOW TO BE A HAPPY STAY AT HOME MOM
1. ACCEPT THAT YOU ARE IMPERFECT
One of the reasons many stay at home moms are stressed and unhappy is because they put a lot of pressure on themselves.
They feel like they need to be super moms and be perfect, so when they fall short they think they are bad moms or they don’t have what it takes to succeed.
You can’t enjoy being a stay-at-home mom if you’re constantly under pressure. You will be much happier once you accept that you are imperfect and will make mistakes.
Your kids don’t need you to be a perfect mom. They just need you to be the best mom that you can be.
So give yourself grace. Don’t be too hard on yourself. When you make a mistake, acknowledge it, fix it if you can, then move on.
Parenting is hard enough without beating yourself up.
2. HAVE REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS
Like many moms, you may have heard that you can have it all. A wonderful job, perfect kids, a picture-perfect home and so on.
Many of us buy into this when the reality is that you can’t do everything well at the same time.
One of the reasons so many stay at home moms are burnt out is because they try to juggle too many responsibilities and don’t take the time to breathe and relax.
It’s better to set realistic goals instead of overextending yourself and getting frustrated when you can’t accomplish everything on your to-do list.
It’s important to have realistic expectations of yourself, your kids and husband so you can avoid getting disappointed and frustrated when you and others fall short.
Many moms set themselves up to fail by having high expectations and setting unrealistic goals.
You’re not going to be happy all the time and your kids won’t behave well all the time because life isn’t perfect.
Your home is going to be messy sometimes and you can’t always feed your kids healthy meals.
And yes, you are going to let a few things slide because you are too tired and can’t be bothered.
And that’s okay.
You will be a happier mom if you keep things real instead of constantly stressing and striving for more.
3. LEARN TO BE PATIENT WITH YOUR KIDS
This is possibly my biggest weakness. I am not a very patient person.
I am working on it but it’s hard. I have hurt my children so many times because I didn’t know how to be patient with them.
Being a mom is probably the hardest thing you’d ever do, and you can’t enjoy it if you don’t have patience because kids know how to push your buttons.
One of my kids is always trying to see how far they can push me before I lose it.
It’s stressful and lots of times I wish I could lash out, but I know that would only make the situation worse.
So, instead of losing my temper, I take some deep breaths, count to ten or twenty in my head before I address the issue.
Does this work all the time? Hell no! But it works most times and that’s good enough.
If you want to be a successful stay at home mom,you have to learn to be patient with your kids especially since you spend a lot of time with them.
Give them grace. Don’t be too quick to react when they make mistakes.
You’re going to face minor or major frustrations every day which means you have to be prepared to face them.
If you are finding it hard to be patient with your kids, here are some tips that have worked for me:
- Don’t take it personally. When you detach yourself from a situation, you can look at it objectively and try to figure out why the situation happened and the best way to deal with it.
- Walk away. When I get really angry, I walk away. I allow myself to cool down before addressing the situation. It helps, and can make a big difference.
- Don’t make a big deal out of everything. It’s okay to let some things slide. Telling your kids it’s okay is one way to let them know you are not angry. I find I am more patient when I actually verbalize it.
Here are a couple of articles with some more tips:
Like many things in life, you can learn how to be a more patient mom with some effort and dedication.
Parenting your kids would be more fun if you learn to be more patient with them.
4. ADDRESS WRONGDOING OR FRUSTRATIONS IMMEDIATELY
No, I don’t mean yell at your kids every time they do something wrong.
What I mean is don’t let negative feelings fester or build up inside you until you blow up or have a meltdown.
Since your kids or husband won’t understand if you blow up over a small issue, it’s better to address things as and when they occur.
I remember a few occasions when I had a complete meltdown because I had had enough. This is usually what happens when you let things build up.
If you want to enjoy being a mom, you have to address wrong doing or grievances as soon as they occur (as long as you are patient and treat your kids with kindness).
If something is bothering you, don’t ignore it or pretend it’s okay when you’re seething inwardly or close to breaking point!
Don’t wait until you’re completely overwhelmed or a situation gets out of control before you address it.
It’s difficult to be happy when your heart is filled with anger and negativity.
Don’t allow negative emotions stop you from enjoying your time with your family.
5. LEARN TO RELAX
Being a stay at home mom doesn’t mean that you have to give up everything that you enjoy.
Find ways to have your me time. Have a few hobbies or things that you enjoy doing.
What did you like doing before you became a homemaker?
While you may not have the time to do everything you’d like, you can still enjoy one or two hobbies.
You don’t have to lose yourself completely because you are a mom.
Find ways to take care of your needs and interests. You’d be a happier and better mom when you take care of yourself.
I love reading a lot so I always find the time to read. It relaxes me and helps me to unwind at the end of the day.
Another way to relax is to actually spend some time playing with your kids.
I know it is hard when you have a pile of laundry waiting for you, meals to cook and cleaning to do.
It’s so easy to be present at home without being present unless you’re intentional about it.
While my kids are a bit older now, I remember how their faces used to light up when I’d get on the floor to play with them.
Always remember that your to-do list and chores can wait but nothing beats having fun with your children.
6. PRACTICE SELF CARE
Stay-at-home mom burnout is something that affects plenty of moms.
That’s what happens when you give and give and give without taking the tine to replenish yourself.
Every one needs a break from time to time.
Don’t feel guilty because you can’t spend every waking moment with your kids.
It’s difficult to be a happy or successful stay-at-home mom if you are always stressed.
Being a mom can leave you feeling frazzled if you never stop to take care of yourself.
It’s important to take care of your needs, your health and your emotions especially if you’re single mom with no help.
I know it’s difficult to find the time when you’re on call 24/7. That’s why you have to be intentional about it and make it a part of your daily or weekly routine.
WAYS TO PRACTICE SELF-CARE
- Make time for yourself. Find some alone time to refresh and regroup.
- Pamper yourself occasionally. Get a massage, a pedicure or manicure or whatever makes you feel good.
- Get enough sleep.
- Eat healthy and exercise. You don’t have to join a gym or do anything too crazy. Just taking a walk around your neighborhood or running is good enough.
- Make friends with other moms/women and spend some time alone with them.
- If your budget allows it, splurge on something new like a dress or a purse (I travel a bit when I can, and I like having my hands free, so I am a big fan of crossbody purses like this one).
- Don’t spend all your time indoors. Find a reason to go out everyday so you can interact with other people.
- Read the Bible, pray, journal or read some devotionals.
- Listen to music.
Another way to practice self-care is to have a happy place or haven.
Find somewhere you can escape to when you need a break even if it’s for a few hours.
You will feel refreshed and happier after a short break.
7. ASK FOR HELP
Instead of trying to do everything yourself, learn to ask for help.
Let the kids help even if it means the task will take longer to complete. Think of it as another way to bond or connect with them.
Ask your husband for help if you need it.
I used to resent my ex for not helping me.
His excuse was, he didn’t think/know that I needed help because I acted like I had everything under control or like he was in the way when he tried to help.
I am sure some of you moms know what I am talking about.
Instead of feeling resentful toward your children or husband, ask them for help. Let them know how they can serve you or lighten your load.
You can’t be successful stay-at-home mom if you try to do everything yourself.
8. CHOOSE HAPPINESS
Did you know that you are responsible for your own happiness?
Yes, that’s right!
Instead of relying on external factors, you can choose to be happy despite your circumstances.
Start by defining what happiness means to you, then go out there and make it happen.
I used to enjoy being moody and sad for no reason.
Instead of finding pleasure in little things, I chose to be miserable.
I have since learned that happiness is a choice.You can choose how you want to react to the circumstances around you.
This is a choice you have to make daily.
Let me give you an example.
Instead of getting angry with your kids for making a mess or covering the kitchen floor with flour, you can choose to see the funny side of things.
In the same way, instead of focusing on all the negatives like your tight budget, colicky baby and messy house, you can focus on the things that make you happy.
Don’t let other people or external factors dictate your happiness. It’s your life, your choice.
9. DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS
Many years ago, I used to enjoy the British sitcom “Keeping Up Appearances.”
It was about a woman (Hyacinth) who tried so hard to be accepted by the upper class while being very disdainful of people she considered lower class.
Similar to Hyacinth, many of you are caught in the comparison trap.
You see this picture-perfect mom with the perfect kids and perfect home and you start feeling inadequate.
Stop it! Appearances can be deceiving.
When you compare yourself to others, you put yourself under a lot of unnecessary pressure.
That mom who looks like she’s living her best life may be going through some financial or health challenges.
Some of us are just good at putting our best foot forward, when the truth is, we are a mess away from the cameras.
Instead of comparing yourself to other stay at home moms or working moms, ask yourself “How can I be the best mother for my kids?”
The best way to stop comparing yourself to other moms is to focus on the things that are important to you and your family.
Forget about what other moms are doing.
For instance, don’t think you have to take your kids to Europe because other moms are doing it.
You don’t have to homeschool your kids when you’d rather send them to public school.
If homeschooling stresses you out, you need to find an alternative or find ways to make it more enjoyable.
You can’t enjoy being a mom if you’re constantly comparing yourself to other moms, or if you feel guilty for making different choices from others.
Just do you. You will be a happier mom that way.
10. LEARN TO LAUGH
Some years ago, I went to the mall with my kids. They started running around doing things they weren’t supposed to do.
Am I the only mom who feels her children want to embarrass her when they are out in public?
Anyways, after a while I got so angry that a called them “A bunch of weirdos.” You should have seen their faces.
The kids were so shocked they replied “We are not a bunch of weirdos.”
Normally, I would have been angry with them for talking back, but I chose to laugh. We laughed for a good 3-5 minutes.
Laughing changed the mood. At the end of it all, I was happy, the kids were happy and parenting didn’t feel too hard.
Laughter is good medicine for the heart. If you want to enjoy motherhood, you have to learn to laugh even in the midst of chaos and stress.
To this day, it’s our go-to joke when we need a good laugh. All it takes is for one kid to say “Remember when mommy called us a bunch of weirdos?”
Seriously, who calls their kids weirdos? #notmyproudestmoment.
If you really want to enjoy being a mom, try to tune out all the negativity.
Don’t take yourself too seriously and don’t be too hard on yourself or your children.
Each day, find something new to laugh about. Have fun, create good memories and enjoy this stage of your life.
That’s all you really need to do.
Parenting is hard. There’s no two ways around it. But staying at home with your kids can also be enjoyable.
Your kids will stress you out, they will demand more than you think you can give, but you don’t have to go through life stressed out all the time.
You can control how you react to things and your environment.
It’s possible to be a happy stay-at-home mom. You just have to be intentional about it and do a little bit of work.
Are you a stay-at-home mom? Are you enjoying it or do you find it a struggle at the moment?
Sound off in the comments!