Clock strikes 6AM and you’re woken up from your slumber; not by the alarm clock but by your precious little bundle of joy. Time to get the day started eventhough you’re so tired from staying up the night before, straightening up the livingroom from the daily activities that went on.
Now its a new day and you back at it again. The repetitiveness and the lack of sleep is starting to make you feel burned out. You know you have to keep moving and be in a positive mood so you don’t show agitation or negativity in front of your child…
When I became a stay at home mom, it was like a dream come true. I had always wanted to do this but as weeks and months passed, I began to see how this can lead to depression if not managed correctly. If you’re a stay-at-home mom, I’m sure you’ll agree that sometimes even just doing laundry or cleaning (every day) can become daunting tasks that you end up wanting to avoid.
Looking for those fleeting moments of relief or comfort to break up the monotony of your schedule can be few and far between but necessary. Here is a list of things that I decided to start incorporating into my days to maintain the sanity:
1) Connect with others / reach out for help
Something as simple as a conversation with another adult can help you get your mind straight. Interaction with adults is a must!
Its ok to ask for help! You’d be surprised to see who is willing to lend a helping hand. Whether its to help tidy up or even just to stay with your child(ren) so you can catch a break or take a shower peacefully.
2) Outdoor play/ activities
A few weeks ago, my son stopped napping during the day. This was strange to me because he’s not even two yet. So I started incorporating more active things for him to do. When we go outside, I let him run around and if it’s raining, I put music on and he dances. Sometimes I do both in the same day. Use this time for yourself to get physical as well. Exercise is important.
As your child gets older, they can entertain themselves. This gives you a chance to at least put your feet up or get some things done.
3) Nap time
When your child naps, maximize the time you have while he/she is sleeping. Sometimes you may even want to nap right along with them and that is A ok!
I look forward to my son’s naps. This is my me-time and I’ll do all kinds of things from showering to writing or watching a movie or simply resting if I feel I need it.
4) Create these 2 Lists
4a) List of things you want to complete
I recently came across a concept (new to me) called brain dump. Feel free of course, to look up different ways of doing it but it’s essentially self-explanatory.
Release onto a sheet of paper or planner, all the things that are looming around in your mind. Jot them down as you think of them. It could be anything from appointments, things you need to do around the house, new activities you want to try with the kids, to things you need to get at the store… really anything! Remember to include things you want to try/do for self care (more on this later). Don’t worry about categorizing. Right now, the point is to free up space in your mind so you can calm your thoughts.
Once you think you got it all down, you can either re-arrange them into smaller lists according to categories or you can number them to prioritize. OR if you see a different way of doing this that works for you then of course do that.
4b) List for self care
I personally like to keep 1 list for self care and 1 list for everything else. In my opinion, self-care should be a top priority, which is why I have it separate from everything else; it allows for easier access.
Once you catch up with everything you want to do, you can keep an ongoing to-do list(s) and brain dump once or twice a week or whenever you start to feel overwhelmed. A brain dump is also good to do at night if you are having a hard time sleeping.
5) Morning Routine
This next point is so simple that when done every day, I’m sure you’ll see improvement and/or gain a sense of structure and control of your household.
Choose 3-5 simple chores you can get done right away in the morning… after the coffee of course! For example, make the bed, gather clothes to start laundry, tidy up the kitchen, clear off the table… — anything you see that is little or no effort. Make it a habit of doing it every morning. So that if, some days, these are the only things you did that day, you still have some feeling of productivity. These things could also be done during nap time but it’s best to have a set time every day to do this.
6) Visit with Loved Ones
Every once in a while make it a point to have adult interactions. Your husband is great to talk to. You can catch him up on all the cute and not so cute things that happened throughout the day but don’t be afraid to call up a friend or find other mama friends and hit up the park! This is especially good so that your kids have play time with other kids their age.
A change of scenery is needed for sanity. Which brings me to the next item on the list…
7) Get Out
Get out of the house! Got some errands to run or groceries to buy? Gather up the kids and go.
Being a stay at home mom is a tough job. Yes its a job and you’re never off the clock. Don’t ever let anyone tell you, you got it easy or you’re “just” a stay at home mom. Your raising little humans for crying out loud! Your job is important and you matter. Above all, remember that you are not alone and always be easy on yourself.
What else would you add to this list? Comment below?