Top 10 Tips for Stay-at-Home Parents

mother and baby

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.

MORE: Embracing Healthy Motherhood over the Myth of Ideal Motherhood }

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!

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Top 10 Tips for Stay-at-Home Parents

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29 comments

  1. Marien says:

    I agree with everything – except for the comment about shoveling snow while it’s still snowing.
    Having grown up up-north, I’ve learned that it’s easier to shovel 15 inches while it’s still snowing and 15 more inches once it’s stopped, than trying to shovel 30 inches all at once after it’s stopped snowing.
    Saves your back, LOL!

  2. Courtney says:

    Feeling privileged that my precious one is six months old so nappy time is mommy time usually great for a quick bubble bath

  3. KatieMalone says:

    I found a great company that focuses on green living and staying with kids. Take a look at http://edf.momsprovide.com.

  4. Hipmom808 says:

    Sometimes it’s hard to get into the shower, I have to turn my bedroom tv on to a Disney movie for my 2 year old and then put my 12 month old in his walker near my bathroom so I can peak out to see him.

    • mommy nhoj says:

      I used to bring my baby in a stroller near or sometimes inside the bathroom! 5minutes or less in times like this. Now, it’s easier. I have plotted her routine and nap schedule!

  5. EbyMom says:

    This article is interesting but my kids are still small though my 2yr old son cleans the table once he pours his drink. I clean always, I dont even keep count but I try to wake up early and take my bath.

  6. Anastacia113 says:

    I actually liked this article but I clean up at least 3 times a day and I do it in my pajamas :0)

  7. Amy says:

    I def do have the time or energy to shower everyday nor is this article helpful to me in any way.

  8. Janice says:

    I got a few of those wrong, and so did my daughter, but we did not get the same ones wrong.

  9. Nikki says:

    I almost have to believe the person who wrote this article doesn’t have kids. This is so cheesy and dumb. Break out into song or dance at an inopportune time to show the kids you’re a cool cat? Really? First of all, who even talks like that. Second, why would you’re kids need to think you’re a "cool cat" and why would you need to prove that to them? The first tip is just stupid. I would NOT leave my kids with someone- anyone ( in the words of the article) while I go grocery shopping. I don’t trust just "anyone" with my kids. Honestly, I don’t trust anyone except my husband and immediate family with my kids. Furthermore, I enjoy taking my kids out with me. The next stupid tip: taking a parent time out. Okay, yeah, if you want to get away from your kids for a few minutes, great, fine, completely understandable. But why do you need to "Raise your hand and say mom needs a time out". No. Just go in the other room for a few minutes. Why would you need to make a big announcement out of it? Gah. This article just bugs me.

  10. Grace says:

    you must have older children or only one child cause keeping everything clean all the time is a dream- for me and the people i know anyway, 4 children (3 mine, 1 nephew) and my spouse expects the whole house to be clean, and food ready when he gets home, ha- sorry masters student here with a spouse that works 3 jobs, and young children, anyway just saying that i admire that you can keep your whole house clean all the time

  11. Grace says:

    so i am not going to listen to the bum part here, i don’t have the engergy to shower everyday, nor do i want to- i am not dirty i shower every other day– this is what works for me

  12. vparker4 says:

    I’m a stay at home (step) mom and I love the tips in this! I’m still new to it being newly married and just trying to make it from day to day sometimes. Only tip I don’t really care for is cleaning once a day. My husband and I are both really big on the house always being completely clean. He never comes home to the house with anything left out or to the house smelling as anything other than cleaning supplies or the candles that I set out to mask the bleach from the bathroom lol

  13. Amy says:

    I think 10 is great advice, and I think we should all start by not listening to the "tips" in this article!

  14. Valerie says:

    I don’t think I agree with this article. :/ Just different opinions I suppose..

  15. MommyMagic says:

    Although I have mixed opinions about many of the point in this article, I agree 100% with #5. Let kids enjoy being kids!

  16. Kevryn says:

    I definitely need to put some of these rules into action

  17. lenigoodwin says:

    I know both my little ones are entranced when i dance, I can zumba for an hr while they play quietly and watch me. works like nothing else

  18. Danielle says:

    I am all for staying in my pajamas all day once in a while =)

  19. Maggie says:

    Intresting… I love the tip on dancing or singing 😀 and I’ll definitely follow the tip on cleaning once a day.

  20. mizzdebbie says:

    I think it’s important to make time for myself.

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