Whether you’ve been a full-time momming it for a short while or for years, you probably know all too well that moms don’t always inherently know how to enjoy being a stay at home mom.
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I’ve actually dabbled in every bucket since I became a mom. I’ve been strictly a stay at home mom, a working outside the home mom, and a work at home mom.
There are challenges to each one of these, and which one works best for you will depend on your support system, what kind of work to do, your child(ren), and your personality! All three of these have their benefits and challenges, but perhaps the most isolating is being a stay at home mom. And perhaps that is why some moms find it so challenging to be a happy stay at home mom.
Here are some practical tips that will help you understand how to enjoy being a stay at home mom:
1. Find Your Purpose As A Stay At Home Mom
Finding purpose as a stay at home is one of the keys to actually enjoy staying at home with your children. They are the most important beings in your life right now, but you are important, too!
Becoming more self-aware can help you to understand yourself and explore potential avenues to becoming happier with your current situation. Learning your Enneagram type with this book, The Road Back To You, can help you to understand yourself and others better, change your perspective, have more meaningful relationships, and understand your purpose.
Here are several other books that can help you to find your purpose and start enjoying motherhood more:
- More Than A Mom: Finding Purpose In the Everyday Monotony Without Losing Yourself Or Your Sanity
- The Passion Test: The Effortless Path to Discovering Your Life Purpose
- Man’s Search for Meaning (this one is a MUST read!)
- The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?
- Why You Should Climb A Mountain: And 58 Other Lessons On Success, Happiness, And Finding Your Purpose In Life…
- Believe Bigger: Discover the Path to Your Life Purpose
Many of these books are also available on Audible, and you can generally get a free trial with 1-2 books. Audible is my secret sauce for reading plenty of books, which really adds a little joy to my life! I listen to audio-books while performing many mundane activities, like cooking, cleaning, doing the laundry, putting kiddo to bed, driving, etc.
2. Practice Gratitude
Practicing gratitude daily is a great way to enhance your happiness as a stay at home mother. Regardless of your situation, I bet you can find a few things to be thankful for!
Perhaps today all you can think of is that you got more than 3 hours of sleep.
But maybe tomorrow you’ll be happy that you get to stay at home and witness all of your baby’s firsts. You get to experience the excitement of hearing your baby say “dada” even though you’ve been working on mama since she was born. You get to experience that face-splitting smile moms give when our sons take their first steps.
Maybe the next day you’ll be happy that you don’t have to struggle to get your kids ready for daycare while getting yourself ready for work. You don’t have to rush through that annoying morning traffic to drop them off just to end up late for work yet again. You don’t have to cringe at the thought of calling out when your baby is sick, knowing that your boss is annoyed you have to call out yet again.
As trying as being a stay at home mom can be at times, there’s certainly an upside!
This gratitude journal can help you to think of and keep track of all the things you are grateful for on a daily basis.
The following gratitude journals are also worth checking out, but getting more than one would be overkill:
- Present, Not Perfect: A Journal for Slowing Down, Letting Go, and Loving Who You Are
- Gratitude Journal: A Journal Filled With Favorite Bible Verses (KJV)
- Zen as F*ck – An uplifting mindfulness guided journal
- Christian Gratitude Journal For Women – A 52-week inspirational guide
- The One-Minute Gratitude Journal
3. Practice Self-Care
Like I mentioned above, you are important, too! You have to make sure you are taking a little time out of your day to devote to yourself. Even if that’s with the kiddo(s) in tow.
Here’s a post I wrote on ways to practice self-care as a busy mom. Because I know that you don’t necessarily have all the time in the world just because you stay at home!
Exercising is another form of self-care, and you might enjoy my post about how to lose weight as a busy mom. Exercise releases endorphins, which makes you happy. And taking care of your body will help you to feel empowered as well.
4. Join Groups With Like-Minded Moms
The greatest deterrent to enjoying being a stay at home mom is probably feeling isolated. Even if you are keeping busy with the day to day, all the feedings and cleaning and diaper changes and spit up and laundry and cooking and this and that and this and that, you can still feel SO alone.
And if you aren’t an introvert who revels in all that alone time, you need an outlet or two.
Find groups of like-minded moms that you can spend a few hours with and do the boring stuff alongside.
When my son was a baby, I found groups such as:
La Leche League
La Leche League International (LLLI) group meetings offers breastfeeding support, stories, and camaraderie. Breastfeeding is of course allowed, and if your baby takes a bottle that is fine, too! Click here to learn more about LLLI meetings, as well as search for a group in your area.
LLLI offers meetings in over 80 countries, and the meetings are completely free!
If you are interested in attachment parenting, joining an AP support group will help you to become more confident in your parenting style. When my son was younger I had difficulty finding support groups in my area, but he’s been around for almost 11 years now, and since then there have been more and more support groups popping up!
Click here to find a support group in your area, and note that during the COVID-19 pandemic they are offering online support groups!
Local Moms Groups
Although I couldn’t find an AP support group in my area, a kind mom at La Leche League invited me to a local facebook group for like-minded moms. I was blown away! There were hundreds of moms who chose to parent the way I do at the ready!
My son and I have been able to attend playdates, birthday parties, special events, potlucks, and more with these amazing mamas. I’ve also been able to find childcare from supportive moms who parent the way I do when I really needed help. Many are willing to trade childcare, or barter. And there are so many moms with a wide variety of skills!
Definitely search for a local moms group in your area. You can search on Facebook and MeetUp, as well as ask moms at the park if they happen to know of any.
5. Plan Your Day
Even if you feel like it is pointless, planning your day can go a very far in helping you to feel happy.
I love this Clever Fox Planner because it is a weekly/monthly planner that looks snazzy, comes in a variety of different colors, and also comes with stickers.
The first thing you will notice when you check it out on Amazon is that it has almost 6,000 positive reviews. This is because it has actually helped so many people to get results. It will empower you to have some structure in your day, and realize just how much you accomplish in your week whether those are big things or small things.
One reason stay at home moms experience sadness bordering on depression is because they feel like they are wasting their lives. Sometimes all the things we do don’t even register in our minds!
A planner will help you to keep a “tally” of sorts of just how much you do, even if it is tracking meal times, play dates, walks to the park, bathing the dog, taking a kiddo to a doctor’s appointment, or scheduling in a little time to paint your nails.
This weekly/monthly calendar will work best if you don’t have a million deadlines to meet. It is more flexible and won’t be as overwhelming as a daily/weekly calendar that has you schedule every hour of the day.
6. Look To Scripture
There is so much that the Bible has to say about how we raise our children.
This book is written by two Christian women to encourage and empower you to be happy in the early stages of motherhood.
It has real life examples and practical advice for dealing with multiple situations. It reminds you that while there is much outside of our control, we can control our perspective.
This book will work best for someone who is well-established with their walk with God. If you are a newer Christian, some of the authors’ feelings may make you feel like a bad Christian for having negative feelings about motherhood.
Know that all your feelings are valid and having negative feelings about motherhood does not make you a bad mom or a bad Christian. You are worthy of love in every moment, including this one. You are also a wonderful mother for seeking ways to enjoy being a stay at home mom. That shows that you love your child(ren) and want what’s best for them. Do remember that you are important, too, and deserve to be happy!
7. Start A Business
There are multiple different types of businesses you can start as a stay at home mom. Starting a business will give you a sense of purpose and help you fill any empty spots that might exist in your day. Having your own business will also give you an outlet to express your creativity, or intelligence, problem solve, and interact with a wide variety of people.
One huge benefit of starting a business as a stay at home mom is making money! Whether you actually need the money or not is beside the point. Making money empowers women to feel a sense of accomplishment. And if you don’t actually need the money, you’re going to have extra money to put towards savings, vacations, or activities to do with your child(ren). SCORE!
There are many businesses that work well for stay at home moms, and which one will work for you greatly depends on what you like to do and what skills you possess (or are willing to learn).
Here are some of the best businesses for stay at home moms:
If you are crafty, you can sell handmade items online on Etsy. Some of the things I’ve seen on Etsy include woodwork projects, homemade bibs, homemade masks, hand-poured candles, gift baskets and more!
Money Making Blog
If you have the determination, it is fairly easy to start an online blogging business. You can learn more about how to do that here. I have blogged for several years and made extra income, although I’ve never done it full-time.
The blogging community is very active and is a great place to be to help combat some of the loneliness!
Many people hire stay at home moms to help them with their own business. This is because stay at home moms tend to require less hours, and are sometimes willing to accept less pay than normal just to have something to do, or to have super flexible hours.
Most stay at home moms don’t want a job to take hours away from devoting to their families, so working for a pre-determined rate per project or for only a couple hours a day is often welcomed.
Some popular freelancing gigs include: writing, proofreading/editing, typing, creating graphics, social media management, and research.
8. Recite Positive Affirmations Daily
Positive affirmations are useful for increasing your sense of self-worth and accordingly, your happiness levels. Positive affirmations help to empower you, affirm that you are worthy, and help you practice self love.
There are positive affirmations you can find online, but I personally LOVE these personal affirmation cards. There’s a deck that works for all women, and one specifically for Black women.
These affirmation cards are well made, and will really go a long way towards helping you enjoy life as a stay at home mommy!
Stay at home moms should feel lucky to be able to stay home with their children. While it is true that many actually do, it is often mixed with feelings of sadness, depression, boredom, loss, insecurity, and loss.
Up to 30% of stay at home moms experience sadness and depression due to being a stay at home mom. It is normal and does not make you a bad person or mother!
There are ways to learn to cope, and with a little trial and error you can figure out how to enjoy being a stay at home mom. You can learn ways to make your days more fun, and ways to combat the loneliness you might be feeling.