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How to be a Successful Stay at Home Mom - SmartMom

How to Be a Successful Stay at Home Mom

Photo by Marapytta

When my oldest child was born, I stayed home with her while her dad worked. Half of it was great, the other half… well… not so great. I was frustrated, lonely, and in all honesty, pretty lost. I tried filling the days with activities, volunteer efforts and projects around the house, but let’s face it: there’s only so much you can do with a seven month old.

Just as I was really getting comfortable with how to be a successful stay at home mom, I went back to work. I thought I would love going back to work and that it would make me an even better mom.

I was wrong. I struggled with that too. 

It’s not because I was better at staying home, or better at working. It’s not because I’m a good or bad mom. I just wasn’t good at being happy with where I was. The grass always seemed greener, you know?

Anyway, the whole transition from stay at home mom to full time working mom (and now to work at home mom) has given me a lot of perspective on what it takes to manage each of those roles. All of them are demanding in their own ways and it’s critical to know the challenges going in so you can be prepared for them.

Looking back on my own experience and talking with other stay at home moms has shown me that there are three keys that help women learn how to be a successful stay at home mom:

Have structure.

I finally learned that it was better for me to have a set schedule rather than trying to figure out what I was going to do each day. I set up designated days for different events or activities. For instance, Monday was grocery day, Wednesday was errand day and Friday was “field trip” day where we did something fun in our neighborhood. I scheduled out tasks and projects and set weekly goals for myself. I got up at the same time everyday even if the baby was sleeping in and I went to bed at a reasonable hour. I provided our daily routine with a lot of structure, which was great for me and, of course, the baby too.

Have a social life.

There’s a reason why there are so many “Mommy & Me” groups out there: moms crave socializing. They don’t just want to sing nursery rhymes and finger paint all day, every day. They want adult conversation. Once I found some girlfriends that I could really hang with, I felt more comfortable in my own skin on a regular basis.

Have a sense of self.

I love being “mom.” It’s one of my favorite things in the world. The cuddles, the hugs, the tears, the craziness… I love it all. I relish being a mom. But I’m also Angela. I had to learn (and sometimes re-learn) what I like and what I don’t like. I’ve tried (and dropped) hobbies to keep me interested in things outside of my kids. The more I have balance in my life between “mom” and “Angela” the better I am at being both. I read, I knit, I watch sappy movies. And it’s all good stuff. Need more motivation? Having a balanced mom makes life easier for kids too! They can see that you have a variety of interests and thereby encourage them to seek out their own likes and dislikes, too.

Being a stay at home mom is hard. I have the utmost respect for women who do it and do it well. If you are a stay at home mom, what helped you learn how to be a successful stay at home mom? Share your tips and experiences below. Who knows? Maybe you’ll help someone else out.

 

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