If you’re like most moms, you’re busy from the time you wake up until the time you fall asleep. Chances are that you get up far too early to feed the baby, rush around to make school lunches, try to get your teenagers to tumble out of bed, and get everyone safely on the bus. Then you have errands, meetings, grocery shopping, and housework to handle.
Forget trying to find time for a hobby or a nap. By the time your kids get home from school, it’s almost dinner time so you have to rush around the kitchen to find everything you need. Everyone downs their food and then it’s off to soccer practice, church meetings, or a friend’s house. At some point, your kids will conquer their homework, and by the time everyone is ready for bed, you’re exhausted.
It’s no wonder that stay at home mothers are stressed, tired, and overworked. It’s easy for moms to get overloaded with the busyness of the day. It doesn’t help that many moms are very competitive and judgmental with one another, which means that trying to impress your friends can add extra stress to your already hectic schedule.
If you’re a stay at home mom, you’re lucky to have one of the most important and valuable jobs in the world. It’s also important that you try to find time to take care of yourself and your own personal needs. Constantly running around isn’t good for anyone and can lead to stress, depression, and anxiety. As a stay at home mother, there are a number of ways you can proactively learn to manage your busy schedule and stay on top of things at home. You might even find time for a little leisure, even if it’s something as simple as taking a bath by yourself.
The first thing you need to do when you’re busy is to get organized. Get a planner or a large, oversized calendar you can hang in the kitchen and write down everyone’s schedule. If you know where you have to be and when you have to be there, you’ll have a little more time to yourself since you won’t be rushing around at the last minute.
Additionally, make sure to streamline your morning routine as much as possible. Have your kids lay out their school clothes the day before, including their socks and shoes. This will prevent your family members from running around at the last minute trying to find things. Keep all of your lunch-making supplies in one spot and, if possible, keep your lunches simple. You don’t have to make your children’s lunches fancy. Remember that it’s just one meal. Try to make the same thing for each child to make your job a little simpler.
It’s also a good idea to keep a chart of when you’ll do which chores around your house. Obviously, some things need to be done daily. Your kitchen sink would likely be overflowing if you only washed dishes on Fridays, after all. Some chores are fine to do just once a week, though, so take advantage of this. For example, keep your vacuuming to one day a week if you can.
As a mother, it can be challenging to recognize when it’s time to let someone else take the reins. Sometimes, though, it’s okay to admit that handling everything is a bit too much. Evaluate your current responsibilities and think about which things you can hand off to another family member. For example, if you cook dinner and clean the dishes, consider asking your teenagers to wash the dishes once or twice a week. Younger kids can help with chores like taking out the trash. If your children are old enough, you may even consider asking them to make their own school lunches or to do their own laundry (they can use the countertop dishwasher and front-load washing machine to make it easier).
Remember that you are not a bad mom if you ask your family members to help. In fact, many moms find that simply sharing the workload with other family members helps them to feel much more relaxed and at ease about their current responsibilities.
Find Things That Make You Happy
Perhaps one of the most important things to remember is that it’s okay to find activities that make you happy and that are yours to enjoy alone. For example, maybe you love to read mystery novels but you never really feel like you have the time. This week, make a conscious effort to find the time for yourself. There’s nothing wrong with taking twenty or thirty minutes just to relax and unwind after a long day. While you may not work outside of the home, it doesn’t mean that you don’t work. What you do around the house is still incredibly important.
If you can arrange childcare or your spouse is willing to take care of things for a few hours, consider joining a mother’s reading group, going to a movie with a friend, or even going out for drinks once in a while. Having some time to feel like an adult and not have to worry about things like changing diapers or making bottles can help you feel more relaxed and at ease. Additionally, you may find that this time to yourself refreshes you so that you can feel even better about your job as a stay at home mother.