First things first – hey y’all! I’m Sara and I’m so excited to be here. Like, SO FREAKING EXCITED. Sorry. Trying not to yell. Anyway, I’m here from Sara Dear, a blog about real life homemaking. I’m going to be talking about Stay-at-Home-Mom-ing here on MWOA and will probably say the word awesome more than one person is allowed. I’m happy to be here, I’m so happy you’re here, and I’m happy we’re here together to build a better mom community, one awesome post at a time. Now let’s get on with it.
Can we just get real for a sec? Like, really real? I’ve been a little burnt out. Okay, a lot burnt out. Let me preface this with the obvious – I love my kids. I love staying home with my kids. I love being a stay at home mom/blogger/house manager. But I’ve been stuck where we all end up at some point. I’m just so tired. We’re all so busy, you and I. Life just gets a little overwhelming sometimes and there’s not time to think or sit or shower, and at the end of the day you still can’t really figure out what you did. So today’s post is in no way me sitting up on my pedestal preaching about how perfect my life is being a SAHM, and how I’ve got it all figured out. Because it’s not and I don’t. It’s just to serve as a gentle reminder to all of us mamas, myself included, on how to get out of our rut, cure the burnout, and get back to enjoying our kids and our lives when it gets monotonous and those tiny little humans make us a little bit crazy.
- Find a daily routine. Figure out what you want to get out of your day, figure out a flexible timeline, then commit to it. We all thrive on routines, kids and adults alike. And if you have a good idea of your day, when you’re going to have time to do this or that, then you’ll spend less time stressing about your to-do list and can focus on the task at hand. Flexibility is one thing, a free-f0r-all is another. A solid routine will benefit both you and your kids, even if it’s just because you know what you have to do in order to make it to bedtime and wine time tonight. To see how I formulated my own daily routine, and exactly what mine is, click here.
- Get out of the house. It doesn’t have to be expensive, or complicated, and you don’t have to look like a 10. Just change your environment and your kids’ environment. You don’t even have to get in the car. Go outside in your back yard even! Go to a friend’s house where she doesn’t care what you look like or how loud your kids yell because hers are also yelling, and drink some coffee while you’re at it. Being holed up in your house, while it seems safe and easy, is actually really dangerous and really hard. So get some fresh air! Just because you’re a stay-at-home-mom doesn’t mean you have to be home all the time.
- Get ready in the morning. There are a lot of people that preach you should get up, do your makeup, fix your hair, wear real pants, blah blah blah. And that’s fine. If that’s your priority, then more power to you. But that’s not my thing and it doesn’t have to be yours if you don’t want it to be. I spend approximately 10 minutes in the morning brushing my teeth, throwing some powder on my face, some dry shampoo in my hair, and putting on clean yoga pants. It’s not fancy, but I don’t need to be fancy to sit in the floor and play with play dough. I need to be clean, willing to actually answer my door if someone shows up, and just feeling like I got dressed and ready changes my attitude a lot.
- Wake up before your kids. I try really hard to do this. And I’m the least morning-ish person you’ve ever met. Trust me. Most days “getting up before the kids” means I woke up early enough to scroll through Instagram for 20 minutes, begged my hubs to bring me coffee in bed, and took those 10 minutes to get clean and dressed. But having a little bit of time in my day when I’m not on mom duty or wife duty or blogger duty gives me a fresh start, a little bit of peace and quiet, and also helps me wake up because that can take a while. Sometimes I even get breakfast… but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.
- Outsource what stresses you most. Even if it’s just for a little while, take some things off your plate. Schedule a house cleaner for a little while, get your groceries delivered, give your husband bedtime duty solo. The important caveat here, though, is to not feel guilty about it. That’s way easier said than done. But… if you want to feel the fresh air on the other side of this funk, you have to have a little breathing room.
- Look on Pinterest! There are 1,001 toddler, preschooler, baby, mommy, dog, etc activities on Pinterest from other bloggers. Most of which can be done with either really inexpensive craft supplies or stuff you already have lying around. When I’m feeling antsy, or I can tell my boys are, I pull out a special activity and we focus on that for a while. I don’t keep these out with the rest of their toys all the time, so it feels like a special treat when I do pull them out. It’s a nice little reset to get our day back on track and it is a fun way for be to engage in their play and learning while also keeping myself from getting bored of stacking the same blocks over and over and over.
- Expect less. While we’re talking about Pinterest… your life does not have to be Pinterest worthy, ever. Sure, the images we see on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, even on blogs are so inspiring, but they can be equally intimidating and make us feel bad about ourselves. But please realize those photos are just small little snapshots into someone’s curated portfolio. None of us are perfect. I promise. Don’t expect yourself to be. Just be you, do the best you can, and realize that if it doesn’t look like your life could be featured in a magazine, it’s because that is real life.
- You’re not Mom Solo. This is a reminder for myself in particular for when I’m feeling like I have to do it all. Keep my house sparkling, run a blog (and do it well), be a mom to twins and teach them and help them and keep them fed and clean, and the list is never ending. But here’s the thing… I’m not the only one who lives here! I’m half of the team that created these people. My blog is still going to be there tomorrow if I go to sleep before 1AM. All I mean is that enlisting help doesn’t make you less awesome, it just makes you a little less tired. There should be no shame in giving yourself a little slack.
- But you could be Mom Solo. Like you, but without the caravan of kids. Go get a coffee. Go get a pedicure. Go sit in the Target parking lot and read the book you bought last summer and haven’t read yet. Go out for drinks with a girlfriend; hopefully another mom that also needs a break and wine.
- Most importantly remember: You are an awesome mom. In case nobody has told you lately, this is hard stuff, and you’re a doing a really good job. Kids are exhausting and trying and infuriating, and we love them all the same. But it’s okay to not love it 100% of the time. If you find yourself hating the SAHM gig more than not, then maybe it’s time to reevaluate some things. But it is normal to feel burnt out and to lose momentum. There isn’t a single day that I don’t wonder if I am cut out for this, even on the very best days. But my kids are healthy, they are happy, my house is clean enough, and in spite of the hardness, I am happy. So to you, fellow mother, wherever you are and no matter how crazy you feel right now, I just want you to know you’re an awesome mom and those kids are as lucky to have you as you are to have them. And I promise, this too shall pass.