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  • Writer's pictureOnce Upon A Mommy

How to Stay Happy as a Stay at Home Mommy...

Updated: Apr 12

By Cris S.

March 19, 2024


Becoming a Mother is a blessing like nothing else in the world. It has the most challenges and also the greatest rewards. As a mother of five, I am well aware of the ups and downs us Moms face as the years go on.

It was very recently that I raised my fifth newborn, as my youngest is now only a year old. And with my oldest being 18 and in college, I have already experienced how it feels for a child to grow up and "move on" so to speak.

Yes, I fully understand the trials and tribulations that Moms face on a day-to-day basis. And I'm not ashamed to talk about them, either.

Not only do we face challenges with raising our children, but we face ongoing challenges with ourselves. For all the Moms out there who are stay-at-home Moms, those challenges can be even more escalated.

This is because of the amount of time spent at home, with our children, and the sometimes limited adult-interactions that we get throughout the day. If we do get adult interaction, much of the time it can be very superficial: You meet another Mom at the park and talk for a bit (about the kids, of course) or exchange small-talk with other parents at the library.

Not that those superficial interactions are bad by any means. They are actually very healthy, and can elevate your mood or help with loneliness.

There are some other things you can do, however, to increase your feelings of self-worth and self-esteem. Because let's face it: Those qualities can falter a bit when we spend each and every day at home raising children (in leggings and a messy bun). It's interesting how Mommies do the most important and difficult job in the world, yet are sometimes looked at as if we are lazy or incompetent because we don't have a "real job" or do anything else for that matter. (It must be those leprechauns who maintain the household, right?)

Here are some things you can do to increase your overall well-being and happiness, because your happiness is a total reflection of your parenting and the lives of everyone in your household.

Make sure to get outside every day. It doesn't matter if it's sunny, raining, snowing, hot or cold. Getting a breath of fresh air is better medicine than you can possibly imagine. The sunshine speaks for itself: Sneak outside for a 5 minute sun bath while the baby is napping. If it's raining grab an umbrella and let the water fall onto it for a while. If it's only sprinkling, close your eyes and let the drops hit your face.

You can also join your kids outside for a little play time. Whenever it snows, my kiddos beg me to go outside with them. (I am not a fan of being out in the snow, by the way). But I know that if I do go out, I don't ever regret it!

The happiness they exude is contagious. It's fun to see them laugh and play and roll around. It makes me feel like I must be doing something right as a parent for them to be so happy.

So the next time you send your kids outside to play, consider joining them for a short while if you don't already. Throw the ball around or run through the sprinklers.

Or take advantage of nap time, and sneak out to the backyard for a short while by yourself. Enjoy the peace and quiet, listen to the birds, and sip on a cup of coffee while enjoying the fresh breeze.

Whether it's with your kids or not, breathe in some fresh air!

Learn a new hobby. The possibilities here are endless! Trade in some of your screen time for a new hobby such as painting, sewing, gardening or woodworking. With the wide range of online courses and YouTube videos available these days, you can learn virtually anything from the comfort of your home!

If you get really into a new craft that results in a great product, consider opening up an ETSY shop and selling it for some extra cash! There's nothing like bringing in your own income to increase the feeling of self-worth, even if it's just a small amount.

Here are some great ideas of new hobbies you can try, with or without your kids:

  • Learn to play the piano from home- Once again, there are endless possibilities as to what you can learn at home! Have you always dreamed about being able to play the piano but never got the chance? Or maybe it's a guitar that you prefer? Learning a new instrument is not only fun and enlightening, but it's something you will be able to do for the rest of your life!

  • Learn how to make beautiful watercolor paintings- This is one that I decided to try a few years ago, despite not being very "artistic". I still had a blast doing it, even if my paintings came out just mediocre. It was just fun to try something new!

  • Try yoga or pilates-

I've never been a fan of going to classes full of other people and exercising in a group. If you're okay with that, then by all means, join a class and get those endorphins flowing! If you are like me and prefer the comforts of home, there are endless online opportunities available to work out and feel good!

  • Become a better chef or baker- I love to cook for my family, but I never used to enjoy it until I started branching out with my recipes and skills. I am completely self-taught and am able to whip out meals in any cuisine: My family also appreciates and loves the diversity when it comes to our meals. (TIP: The more diversity there is in your cooking, the less picky your kids will become as they get older!)

  • Learn how to crochet-

This is a relaxing hobby that has become fairly popular among younger women. It's amazing to be able to make hand-made gifts like baby hats and blankets. If you get really into it, you can sell them at craft markets or online at ETSY.

  • Become an expert gardener- Okay, not necessarily an EXPERT, but gardening is another relaxing hobby you can take up and reap the rewards later on. You can grow flowers or your own vegetables and teach your kids how to be more self-sufficient and providing for yourselves. It also gets everybody outside for some much needed fresh air. There is an art to gardening, so if you're just starting out, start with some plants that are hardy and for beginners. (It usually says on the plant tag at the store or seed packet if it's an "easy" one to grow)

Keep a daily schedule for yourself and your kids.

Schedule + organization = HAPPINESS! Some days being home with your kids can feel like a circus at times (okay, maybe MOST days??) One way to counteract that feeling of utter chaos is to have some kind of schedule and routine. Have breakfast and lunch at about the same time every day. Set aside a block of time for playing, cleaning, and screen time. Make sure naps are at the same time each day too.

Having a schedule is healthy for everybody and helps to eliminate some of the child temper tantrums throughout the day. They quickly learn that certain things happen at certain times, and they are able to anticipate what's coming next.

This also helps to make sure that you get your own down time during the day, which is beyond important for a Mommy's well-being. Like any other job in the world, you need a break too, even if it's only for 15 minutes!

If you have a new baby, obviously a schedule is out of the question. Just make sure you are scheduling small "Mom breaks" throughout the day. When they fall asleep, take 10 minutes and step outside with a cup of coffee. Or take a hot, relaxing shower. (If you're paranoid, keep the bathroom door open and set the baby just outside the door in a bouncer or swing so you can still keep an eye on them!)

Set up a dry erase board calendar or large paper calendar to keep track of appointments, playdates, library visits and other outings. Also add on all your older kid's sports games and activities. Having it written out each month helps to lower the stress level of parenting, and makes it so that you won't forget anything!

Get a part-time online job. Don't knock this one until you try it. I know that there were many times over the years (usually the few months after having a baby) where I just needed to feel "normal" again.

Don't get me wrong... I've always LOVED everything about being a Mommy and I still do!

But there were times when I felt like I needed to do something more grown-up-ish. This is something I experienced with several of my children and it usually hit at around 3-5 months after having a baby. I think this is because I had spent so many years working outside of the home, and I was just used to contributing to something outside of the home.

Luckily for all of the stay-at-home Moms these days, there are ample opportunities to work from home, many of which can be done only part-time or you pick your own hours. This can be challenging with a baby, but absolutely not impossible.

If you have kids that are in preschool or elementary school, there are quite a few options that you can do for just a few hours a day.

Interested in starting up your own online business to make passive income?

If you don't already, set up a desk for yourself with a laptop (and a few cute decorations, of course). Even if you don't need the money, having a part-time job has always given me a sense of accomplishment. Not to mention the extra cash can be saved or spent on a fun family trip, paying off debt, or a new purse for you! (wink, wink)

Plan a once-a-month date... With yourself! That's right... Make your partner stay home with the kids on Friday night and YOU go out and have some fun! Maybe that means getting a massage alone or with friends. Pamper yourself: Nothing makes a woman feel more sexy than right after she gets her hair and nails done. Go out and buy yourself a new outfit or new pair of shoes.

As a Mother, we are constantly giving, giving, and giving. Our time, our energy, our bodies and our minds are forever revolving around our families day in and day out. Of course, most of us would rather not have it any other way. But it's extremely important to not forget about ourselves in the process!

If you end up getting a date night with your partner, this is a wonderful way to reconnect and focus solely on each other without all the yelling, noise and monkey-business of having kids.

This time away doesn't even have to be an expense. You can just go for a drive or a walk. Go to a park, lay out a blanket and read a book for 30 minutes. I cannot emphasize how imperative it is to have some time alone on occasion. It's okay if you miss your kids during this alone time. But it's also okay if you don't!

There are lots of things that you can do to make sure you stay happy and healthy. You just have to TAKE THE TIME for yourself to do those things. Trust me, I know that it's easier said than done, but it is so important to take care of yourself and not completely lose yourself in the life of Motherhood.

Not only are your children's lives flying by, but so is yours!

If your kids see you taking care of yourself, they will learn to follow suit. Teach them to take care of themselves AND others as well. Kids are going to do what you do... Not necessarily what you say!

Happy Parenting!


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