I love being a stay-at-home mom to my one-year-old daughter, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy. It took me a while to find balance, but once I did, I was much better able to enjoy my days.
Here are some things I do to stay sane as a stay-at-home mom. I know they might not fit with everyone’s parenting style, but it’s what has been working for me for the past (almost) fifteen months.
1. Get dressed for the day.
I don’t wear anything fancier than a tee and jeans, but I feel so much better about my days as soon as I get out of my pajamas.
2. Clean up the chaos.
Whenever my daughter goes down for her nap or to bed for the night, I clean up her toys and books. It doesn’t take much more than five minutes. I enjoy a clean house while she sleeps, and she has fun pulling everything back out when she wakes up.
3. Get out of the house.
This is so much easier to do when the weather’s nice, and I’m lucky to live within walking distance of most places we want to go. But it’s also been well worth the effort this winter. Just be realistic about where you want to go, what you want to get done, and how long you’ll be out.
4. Playdates, playgroups, and baby or toddler classes.
The older my daughter gets, the more important these are for both of us. She can play with kids her own age, and I can make new friends, have adult conversations, and celebrate and commiserate the ups and downs of parenting and toddlerhood.
5. Add taking care of your child to your daily to-do list.
I’d love to get the 100 things on my never-ending to-do list done, but the reality is that my “job” as a stay-at-home mom is to take care of my daughter. And so, on any given day, if all that I get done are two bottles, three semi-homemade meals, 1-2 naps, six diaper changes, and countless hours of reading and playing, then I’d call that a success.
6. Some days are “lazy days.”
Some days, my daughter and I spend all day in our pajamas. I don’t clean up the mess, we don’t leave the house, and I ask my husband to pick up dinner on his way home. And that’s okay, too. Some days we need to survive and stay sane.