Top 10 Tips for Stay-at-Home Parents
As a stay-at-home mother, I find it almost comical that the word “stay” is part of the job description.
Yes, it is a job! I find that I am rarely staying at home, or anywhere, for any length of time before moving on to the next task or chore that needs to be done. My life is a series of routines that combine into one, which, over the course of a week, causes a great deal of stress, frustration, and exhaustion.
Never stay in your pajamas all day or go without a shower!
After many years of learning how to perfect this stay-at-home mom thing, I have decided that there are certain tips that must be followed in order to preserve your sanity and get you through, week after week! These are my top 10 tips for stay-at-home parents.
1. Find someone, anyone, who is willing to watch your children on the fly! If you have a friend, neighbor, acquaintance, or an in-law who is willing (even if they drive you crazy), hand the whole gang over at least once a week. This way you can grocery shop alone, or just be content and alone for more than a five-minute stretch!
2. Have your own friends and your own life. If you only participate and talk to other adults who are in your child’s social circle (meaning play group, sports team, or class), you will be stifled and never really find people in your life that make you happy. If you don’t design a life of your own outside of your children, you will be lonely and miserable when the kids get older and change their friends. Keep in mind – you must have more to do than always following your kids around. Otherwise, you are in trouble.
3. Learn the art of “not listening.” Kids are loud. It’s easy to enjoy the happy sounds our kids make – singing, laughing, playing; but between incessant whining, complaining, fighting, and screaming, it is easy to become irritable. This is when the art of “tuning out” comes in handy. Sometimes just shutting your ears off for a minute, can help you collect your thoughts and calm your nerves, which may help you keep your cool.
4. Every once in a while, break out in song or dance at a completely inopportune moment in front of your children. You know – in their class, around their friends, or at the dinner table. It will make them laugh (most of the time) and prove to them that you are one cool cat and still got it. Young kids will think you are a hero and older kids will realize instantly that, in a pinch, you could act that way in front of their friends. Laughter goes a long way in spicing up a hectic day!
5. Try to say “yes” more than “no.” Really! This is easier than you think. If you let go of all your compulsions and expectations and allow you and your kids to enjoy this time together (which will be over before you know it) and start saying “yes” to things, life is smoother. Not because the kids will be running all over you, but because you will be learning a lot and teaching a lot by allowing your children to express themselves and have freedom. Yes, you can pick your nose. Yes, you can eat in the shower. Yes, you can stay up all night. Rarely do they really want to do what they are asking to do!