Being a stay-at-home mom is far from easy, despite what people think. For some, it increases the risk of depression. Moms need effective strategies to learn how to be a happy stay at home mom.
When you spend your days before having a baby out with friends or enjoying an upcoming career, switching to staying home with your baby is a big transition. I felt bored, lonely, and I had no idea how to be a happy mom.
Were moms who stayed home with their babies REALLY happy, or did they pretend?
It turns out that happy moms don’t wait for happiness to come to them. Yes, a mountain of responsibility falls on your shoulders, and it feels like your to-do list is never-ending. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to find happiness as a mom; it means you need effective strategies that bring it to you.
Let’s take a look at some of the best tips I received that helped me survive being a stay at home mom without pulling all of my hair out.
14 Tips on How to Be a Happy Stay at Home Mom
These ten tips worked for me when I struggled as a SAHM. I thought everything would be wonderful, but I was wrong. These tips changed my world.
1. Have a Morning Routine
Have you ever had a morning when you did all of the things because you felt ready to face the world? You made a hot breakfast, started chores, and enjoyed a cup of coffee in silence.
A morning routine starts your day off on the right foot. Put some of the most important tasks that need to be completed each day in the morning. Children tend to be their happiest when they wake up in the morning and have a full belly, giving you time to get things done.
2. Create Goals and Write Them Down
Take time every day to create daily goals and always write them down. You should also create monthly and yearly goals – these give your time as a stay at home mom even more of a purpose.
Make sure you make goals that aren’t always related to your kids. Your goal might be to exercise more often or find a new hobby you really love.
3. Get Dressed Everyday
The more time that I spend in my jammies, the worse I feel as a SAHM. I dress in nice gym clothes most of the time, but sometimes, you need to get dressed and make yourself feel good.
Do your makeup, even if you’re stay at home, and do something other than put your hair in a messy bun.
Now, I prefer to be comfortable, but you can still look put together and comfortable. Leggings are a must-have item in my closet, and during the fall, cozy weathers combined with leggings looks perfect.
4. Make Sure You Have a Stay at Home Mom Schedule
One of the keys to being a happy stay-at-home mom is to develop a schedule. If you want to accomplish what you need to be done each day, a plan ensures you have the time to get it all done while giving yourself free time.
This was really crucial for me to be a happy stay at home mom.
I felt like I was failing ALL THE TIME before I put together a stay at home mom schedule. My days were chaos, and at the end of the day, I wondered where I spent my time that day.
Trust me, make a routine – it will change your outlook as a stay at home mom.
5. Get Up Before Your Kids
This tip was one that I didn’t want to try because I love my sleep, but getting up before my kids makes a huge difference. It gives you time to be by yourself without worry about your kids.
I use this time to start my morning chores that need to be done, like emptying the dishwasher and starting a load of laundry. I enjoy a hot cup of coffee that I don’t need to reheat, and I move through my morning “getting ready” routine in silence.
The difference that this simple time makes in my mood is enormous. By the time my children wake up, I’m ready for the day, and I’m a happy mom.
6. Have Kid-Free Time
We all need kid-free time. That might be dinner out with friends or spouse, or it could be enjoying your favorite show at the end of the night. Me-time is a vital part of your happiness.
You are more than a mom, and that’s something that mothers forget as they go through the motherhood journey. Spend time on yourself because, in a few years, your kids will be more independent.
7. Find Some Hobbies You Enjoy
Finding hobbies helps you be a happy stay at home mom. I love to workout, garden, and read books. Those things fill my soul and make me feel like an individual, not just a mother.
Don’t be afraid to try things, even if you fail at them. Maybe knitting won’t work for you, but a pottery class could ignite a fiery passion. Invest in yourself.
Related: 25 Hobbies for Stay at Home Moms
8. Encourage Your Kids to Play By Themselves
I love creating fun activities for my kids, but let’s be honest – we cannot and should not entertain our kids all day. Even if you are a SAHM, that doesn’t mean you should be your child’s constant play companion.
Developing the skill to play independently is quite important for kids. Start with small goals like playing for 10-15 minutes alone. You can gradually extend this time and make it a goal for your family.
9. Take Time Individually for Each Child
Now, while I said kids need to play independently, I think it’s quite important to take time for each child.
We quit our jobs to be a stay at home mom for our kids – right? So, we have to make sure we remember that they are our true priority.
Kids need individual time, and as you add more kids, that becomes more important.
Make it a goal to spend 15-20 minutes individually with each child. That could be working on a puzzle, working on a craft that you create together, play dolls, read books, or simply cuddle on the couch.
10. Ask for Help When You Need It
Even a stay at home mom needs help sometimes, and there is no shame in asking for help. Everyone has bad days, so try to ask before the day gets too bad.
If you feel overwhelmed, ask a friend, relative, or babysitter to lend a hand and watch your kids. It’s easy to wear ourselves thin as mothers, but being a stay at home mom is a job. Everyone needs a break from their job sometimes, even when it’s the best job for you.
11. Stick to Your Kids’ Bedtime
Sleep is a non-negotiable part of the day. Stick to your child’s bedtime no matter what. Not only do kids need all of the rest possible to ensure they grow properly, but kids are also grumpy without receiving adequate rest. Dealing with a cranky, fussy child is enough to give yourself a headache, so avoid that at all costs.
As a stay at home mom, keeping sleep times is truly a key to being a happy stay at home mom. You need breaks – period – end of story!
You have to have time for yourself and the chance to decompress for an hour or two before going to bed. The easiest time to get this is getting your kids to sleep at a reasonable time.
12. Make Sure You Get Good Sleep
Value your sleep as well. An average adult needs between 7-8 hours of sleep to function properly. Take a look at your daily routine and figure out what time you need to sleep to reach this amount.
If you wake up at 6 AM daily, you need to be asleep by 11 PM. That means you might want to be in bed by 10:30 PM and enjoy a good book with a lamp before dosing off to sleep. You need time to settle down, so be sure to put the phone and computers away; blue light disrupts sleep.
13. Make Some Friends
Motherhood is lonely when you stay home, especially if all of your friends work. Developing meaningful relationships is crucial to be a happy mom, but it’s hard to make connections.
See if you find any other moms in your neighborhood; it gives you a reason to get out and about with your kids. Look for a local mom group on Facebook, through your church, or library. There are tons of opportunities if you search for them.
14. Get Moving and Exercise
Exercise doesn’t mean you need to run five miles; it means you go for an evening walk with your kids or dogs. It means doing yoga before or after your kids go to bed or wake up.
Getting sweaty a few times a week is essential for your health. I like to push myself, letting off some steam from the week. Exercise feels good, even when it burns because it releases endorphins throughout your body. Regular exercise is proven to decrease anxiety and depression while improving your mood.
Figure Out How to Be a Happy Stay at Home Mom
Make figuring out how to be a happy stay-at-home mom a priority for you. Not only does being a happy mom reduce your risk of depression, but it affects your relationship with your children and partner. Everyone in the family benefits from this, so it’s time to step up and make changes to reach your happiness goal.