14 Tips for Stay-At-Home Mums

I've been a stay-at-home Mum, and am currently a working Mum (teaching 2-days per week), and have loved both, but both come with their own set of challenges! The amount of organisation needed leading up to work days can be overwhelming, and then the hectic mornings getting kids dressed, fed and out the door, as well as yourself, can leave you feeling overwhelmed and flustered before you even start work! And being at home with the kids seven days a week can leave you feeling exhausted, unmotivated, bored, and like everyday is groundhog day. I wouldn't say personally that one is harder than the other, but the boredom for me can be frustrating and can really get you down. I've compiled some tips so that in those moments as a stay-at-home Mum, when it's only 10:30am and the kids are already driving you crazy, that you can find some rest, energy, or at least some motivation to keep going!

1. Keep hydrated.
I feel like there's no point writing 'get a good night sleep' because that just may not be happening right now. But, have you noticed how much worse you feel without sleep and also when you aren't drinking enough water? Keep drinkbottles handy, and a glass by the sink, and make sure to get your 8-glasses or 2L of water every day. Technically if you drink lots of coffee and tea, you need to drink more than the standard 2L, but at least aim for 2L. Use a 2L drink bottle or tick off each glass drunk in your planner or even on a post-it-note on the fridge. I bet you will feel better for it!

2. Get dressed every day.
I love a good pyjama day once in a while, but when it becomes a habit day-in and day-out, it certainly doesn't make you feel good - I've been there! Wear something that makes you feel good, do your hair and makeup if you wear makeup. If it doesn't happen every day, don't worry, but at least aim to get dressed each day.

3. Eat regularly.
This is especially important for breastfeeding Mums, but definitely for everyone too - make sure you eat small meals regularly. I definitely don't feel good if it's been a hectic day and I haven't made time to eat. Have fruit and snacks that are easy to grab on hand if you are in a rush. Use the time when your kids eat to eat with them, sit down if you can and savour it.

4. Shower regularly.
Again, in a hectic, rushed or challenging day, this may not be a priority, but it will make you feel better, especially if you are lacking sleep. If it doesn't happen in the morning, just aim for whenever you have a break (perhaps if your child is asleep) - even a quick 5 minute shower may make a massive difference to your day!

5. Connect with a friend.
In our social-media world, this is made super easy, as we can quickly flick a text or Facebook message to a friend to check in. Even better is a quick phone call, or a face-to-face meeting, and if they also have young kids, they will definitely know the struggle, and may just be keen for a playdate!

6. Make a plan.
If you are at home seven days a week, make a plan to do something different each day, to break up the monotony. For example:

Mondays - baking day
Tuesdays - craft day
Wednesdays - movie day
Thursdays - backyard picnic day 
Friday - board game day 

Making a plan the night before means you will be ready for the next day. It doesn't have to be something very time consuming, or something extravagant or costly, just something to look forward to!

7. Join a group and attend free town events. 
If you can and they are available where you are, join a playgroup, mother's group, support group, kinder gym or library session. You will meet like-minded parents you will be able to chat with, the kids can play with other kids, you will be getting out of the house and it will be something to look forward to - all ticks in my book! Again, these get-togethers don't have to be costly and most are free or only request a donation. Free town events are perfect opportunities for something fun for the kids to do too! 

8. Get out of the house. 
Even if there aren't playgroups and library sessions available where you are, or the times don't suit, try and get out of the house often, preferably every day. We love outside play, but we also love jumping in the car and heading to the park for a play. The fresh air does wonders for everyone, especially if the kids are having an off-day! 


9. Exercise. 
You can align this with getting out of the house - strap the kids in the pram and go for a walk, or chuck the pram in the car and find a nice walking track. Exercise on our own isn't always an option for every parent, so include the kids too, even if it's in front of a YouTube exercise segment or exercise DVD. I have recently bought a treadmill which is perfect for walking or running, rain, hail or shine! Even just putting on some music and having a dance with the kids, or racing the clock while cleaning - working up a sweat will clear your mind, and make you feel so much better physically as well. 

10. Ensure self-care is a priority. 
I am a big believer in self-care, and that we can benefit from it every single day. Even just a hot cup of tea on our own, lighting a candle, having a bubble bath, a glass of wine, or sitting down uninterrupted to an episode of your favourite TV show will refresh your mind. Try and do something for yourself during the kids naptime or after they've gone to bed, or when they are playing independently. You might want to book a nail or hair appointment while someone watches the kids, and while I absolutely love doing this, self-care doesn't have to cost money or take up large amounts of time. Find what works for you, and make it a priority! 

11. Get help if you feel overwhelmed. 
Make sure you ask for help if you are feeling lonely or overwhelmed. Let your spouse know what you are feeling, or reach out to a friend, family member or even a doctor or counsellor (online or over the phone if you can't get to one). If you don't ask and don't express how things are going, sometimes others will never know or realise what is going on, and therefore they can't help. If you feel overwhelmed with the housework, you might ask someone to watch the kids while you tidy (I do this often!) or even for someone to help out with the cleaning once every now and again. 

12. Head back to work, or work from home.
If you decide you'd like to do something different, don't feel guilty to find a side hustle or small business opportunity that you can run from home. Lots of Mum's have amazing talents in sewing or making things that they can sell, and Facebook and Etsy seem to be great platforms for getting your products out there. Or, consider heading back to outside paid work a few days a week. Sometimes choosing your days or hours, or finding suitable or cost effective child-care isn't an option, so you might need to get creative! I'm very blessed that I can book the kids in for daycare and preschool, and then just be available for casual teaching two days a week.

[Personalised notebooks are available from Padtastic]

13. Embrace the chaos!
This is one I've had to learn and have gotten better at over time because sometimes you have no other option! I love a clean and tidy house, but some days we are busy, other things are more important, or the kids just need more cuddles or attention one day, and on those days, the house has to wait. I still always try to do a few small things, so they don't end up being big things later on (like the dishes and the washing), but it will still all be there tomorrow for you! The list of three (an idea from Organising the Four of Us) is an effective way to feel like you've at least been productive in 3 areas in the day. Choose 3 things that you want to achieve, or the 3 priorities for that day, and make time to get them done. 

14. Make the time with your children count!
Lastly, try and enjoy hanging out and playing with your kids. I won't say enjoy every moment, but everyone with older kids always reminds me how quickly time passes, and this season won't always be here - the kids will grow up and you will head back to work. Enjoy those extra cuddles, read more books, play on the floor with kids. Have fun with them and make memories! 

I hope some of these tips have resonated with you, especially if you are having one of those days or weeks! 

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