Staying Sane as a Stay-At-Home-Mom
I feel like staying sane as a stay-at-home-mom is something I have to consciously work at every single day. Even though being a mom is my very favorite, I can’t help but feel like I’m losing my mind sometimes while meeting the endless needs and demands of my little family.
Today, I’m sharing a few things I strive to do every day to stay sane, happy, energized and focused in a job where I’m never truly ‘off the clock.’ I certainly don’t hit all these perfectly because…well, if you’re a mom, you understand why. Life can just get in the way so quickly. But, I strive to do these things daily and when my efforts are successful, I find I’m better for it and so is my family.
- Wake Up Earlier: I know this seems counterintuitive because it is a universal fact that moms everywhere are sleep deprived. But hear me out. Luke 5:16 says, “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” I feel like someone needs me every waking minute of every day & I think Jesus felt the same way. Crowds of people followed him around begging to be healed of their sicknesses. People came from all over to hear what he would say next. He was constantly pouring into others and I think that’s why he often withdrew to pray. He knew where the source of his strength came from and he wanted to ensure he was tapped into that. I think waking up earlier – even if it is just 10 or 20 minutes – to read my Bible or write in my prayer journal makes such a huge difference in my day. It sets my perspective on the tasks ahead. Sometimes my prayer isn’t even long – it is just a few minutes of asking God to help me see my day as He sees it and to see my children as He sees them.
- Exercise: You knew I was going to say this, didn’t you? This makes a big impact on my day. Whether I get up (even) earlier to run, or I take the kids with me to our local YMCA or I squeeze in a nap-time workout (I am still loving the 21 Day Fix DVD’s) – I strive to exercise 5 days a week. Those endorphins just do wonders for my mood.
- Go Outside: When I feel myself starting to go a tad bit crazy during the day, I know it is time to go outside. Every day is different for us, but I try to have some outdoor activity planned every day – whether it be the playground or walking the dogs or letting Atlas ride his scooter while I push Andi in the stroller or going to the pool or watering the flowers and letting the kids play in the water hose…just something to get us outdoors. I swear fresh air brings about a fresh perspective.
- Play Music: Music is totally a mood changer for me. When I can’t handle hearing my kids fight over the same toy anymore, I turn on super loud music and declare a dance party in our living room. Both my babies love it and it almost always ends with us all smiling on the floor together. Whether it is my favorite worship song or some good ole’ country tunes, I try to play music every time I’m in the kitchen prepping food.
- Tap into my Passions: I find that when I’m still tapped into things I’m passionate about, I’m a whole lot happier. I personally love to write, so I try to journal or write every week. Even if I can only journal for a few minutes each day, the writing is therapy for me because it is my passion. I also love flipping through fitness or fashion magazines. This isn’t something I can usually do daily, but if I can flip through a few pages of a magazine and read about something I love on a Sunday afternoon while the kids nap and Dave watches golf or at night before bed, I find that I feel more energized and fulfilled. Even curling up in bed with a book before I turn out the light at night leaves me feeling a little more human (you know, as compared to a work horse).
- Keep it in Perspective: I always tell myself on the days when I feel like my life has turned into a total **** show (sorry mom, there’s really no better way to describe it), “I’m managing blessings.” So for example, when Atlas has taken it upon himself to unsuccessfully pour himself a glass of milk and I totally want to cry over spilled milk, but I can’t because Andi is simultaneously eating Ob’s dog food again and Marley is barking at the UPS guy and Dave is calling wanting to know if I can go to a work event with him next week and I want to respond by telling him “NO! I’ll probably never be able to leave the house again because I’m the zoo keeper and these monkeys have all gone bananas – Come home now and bring tranquilizers!!” – I take a long deep breath and I look around and count my blessings. Healthy kids who can make big messes. Check! Dogs who are super protective and loyal. Check! Darling husband who wants to include me in all he does. Check, Check! Sometimes a change in perspective, an attitude of gratitude and a glass of wine are all I need to keep the crazy at bay. When I think about how lucky I am to have the support system I do for this journey, it takes away some of that ‘overwhelmed’ feeling. Dave is truly the greatest husband to me and father to our kids and he is always so eager to help. I tell him frequently that he is actually my sanity. And I’m fortunate enough to have a mom that both my kids adore and she’s always willing to listen to me, encourage me and come watch my babies when I need a breather. I know I’m super lucky to have the help that I do and it is something I never ever take for granted.
- Laugh: This is an easy one. Just laugh more. I try to laugh at my kids, laugh at myself and laugh at my husband. Laughing at the chaos that is our life helps me because laughter is absolutely the best medicine. This is a trick my mama actually taught me.
Alright! Your turn, mamas! What do YOU do to stay sane in the midst of motherhood? If you have a live-in nanny, don’t tell me, but otherwise share in the comments below! 😉 We are in this together! *insert virtual fist pump here*