Firstly I have to say that I, personally, have the deepest respect for all you, stay at home mums, women who had the courage to leave behind the security of a well paid job or the benefits of a position you have been so happy with. The transition is never easy when choosing the new overwhelming job of being a mum as there’s no one to give you awards, make you employee of the month or come back with feedback on your greatest performance despite your best efforts and overall amazing results you manage to pull off for your family.
After one year of maternity leave but mostly after endless hours of conversations with several stay at home mums who seem to have successfully figure this motherhood journey out (as they’re doing a great job in supervising and working on their children’s education and needs), I gathered here 7 secrets to help you become better at your home job…
1. Don’t ever compare yourself to other mums
Seriously, I know we all tend to do this consciously or unconsciously. Each family is different whether we’re talking financial means, the amount of help received from friends and family or simply each member’s needs. All these bring a different dynamic to each family, therefore mums will always act differently and let’s be honest, no one will be better at parenting than you, the one who knows the ups and downs of these dynamics. Work with what you have and stop thinking why other mums seem to be better at the same job, it’s most likely most of them go at least once a day through the same comparisons.
2. Find your balance
Balance is what keeps us going (and prevents us from going mad) especially on those days when we feel that sleepless nights, cleaning, cooking and washing is all we do. Make sure you social life is not becoming extinct or the hair stylist from the salon down the road doesn’t forget your name because you only manage to get there once a year. Balance housework with outdoor activities for you or your family.
3. Weight expectations
Deciding to become a stay at home mum is a huge move and most of the time a two people decision as the financial burden may now lay completely with your partner. Which expectations did you have when taking this step? Staying at home all day long wearing your yoga outfit or buggy shirts may not feel as luxurious as wearing your chic designer suits and going to client meetings and presentations you used to enjoy a lot. You may end up missing the smart conversations with the professional bunch you used to spend all Friday afternoons with. Weight carefully your expectations so it can be easier for you to decide what’s the best way to go and ways to support your decision.
4. Plan ahead
It’s easy to get yourself trapped in every day’s madness when you are the cook, the cleaner, the entertainer, the homework checker while striving to be the role model of your children. It’s though important to plan ahead when it comes to holidays, school break activities, tutoring, birthday parties etc. Don’t wait until the last minute, your schedule is already crazy busy so you’ll end up sinking into your own frustrations thinking you could’ve done better. You’ll have this way time for yourself to enjoy the ride.
5. Isolation is not the answer
Finding yourself quite lonely and with less and less friends can become your biggest nightmare. It’s though important to check on the local community activities and fairs, get yourself and children involved in art and dancing classes and make a habit in attending them regularly. Not only the chances are that you’ll end up bonding with other mums or women, but you’ll feel happier. I know housework is an endless list of to dos, but children will remember the memories you make together, not the sink full of dirty dishes 😉
6. Find time for yourself
Despite what most people may think, stay at home mums can hardly find a moment to treat themselves, although everyone may believe staying in your pyjama until noon is a luxury not many could afford. But just because you’re not going to an office anymore and don’t attend lunch meetings in fancy restaurants doesn’t mean you need to hide yourself behind sweat pants and loose shirts. A spa break or a dinner with an old friend when help is available, would only lift your spirit and boost your energy levels. As a plus even your self-confidence would benefit without you realising it.
Create a routine that not only works for you, but for your children too. A good morning usually sets the tone for the rest of the day so try to keep it light or even the opposite, do as much as you can as early as possible so you can focus on other pressing things later. Squeeze in a short break here and there for a cuppa or a yoga stretch, keep a diary or a magnet fridge list with upcoming activities and try to keep your busy schedule organised.
If you have any other tips for stay at home mums, don’t hesitate to share. We are all here to learn about this roller coaster called motherhood…
If thirsty for more creative fun ways to enjoy motherhood and its perks, follow Allmumstalk Facebook page or you can get lots of colourful ideas from my Instagram #allmumstalk. Cool mums tweet, so throw at me your tips if braver (#allmumstalkhere)!
We’re all in this together 😉