There is a stigma that being a stay at home mom is the easy road, that life is all rainbows and butterflies. If you are a stay at home mom you know there is nothing further from the truth. You don’t get to escape tantrums and getting the house completing all the daily chores between tantrums and cuddles can be difficult to time manage.
I never knew how much stress care for a small human could bring, and I was a nanny for kids under 3 for a few years. Somehow when you are the one in charge of all the laundry, meals, family budget, scheduling, and keeping up with your partner it can become easy to get buried under all the stress.
After a bit of time I have found a way to make stay-at-home mom stress a bit more manageable and want to share it with you.
1. Plan Your Meals
Okay, I don’t know about you but having a plan for dinner is one of the most stressful parts of my day. It probably doesn’t help that at this point that is also the witching hour for my now 1 year old and trying to cook in the later part of the day is a screamfest most of the time.
Taking the time to plan meals and make sure to defrost what I needed the day before was extremely helpful (let’s just say we don’t have a microwave and day’s I forget to defrost become cruddy).
At this season in life using a crockpot, or slow cooker as some people call it, has been a saving grace. At midday I can make lunch and prep dinner and chuck everything in the crockpot and my cooking for the day is done. I just do all the prep dishes after lunch and life is a bit easier.
Write It Down
Sunday night or Monday morning with a cup of coffee just write down you meal plan for the week. I am a bit flexible with veggies myself so I just write veggies, some might find it more useful to write down every detail so that they know they won’t run out of ingredients.
If you are someone who likes to have a resource to help you out with meal planning, as paper notes get lost in the chaos of life (I know this feeling so well), then there is a really useful app called Plan to Eat which allows you to store recipes and drag and drop those recipes into a calendar. You can import recipes from other websites or add them yourself and then once you have filled out the week it makes a grocery list for you.
Talk about making things simple and all in one, thank you internet for helping moms like us find resources like this! You can try it out for free for 30 Days (Mom Note: put a memo in your phone calendar when the 30 days is up or you’ll forget.). Though, if you are like many mom you will fall in love with it and who doesn’t want a little less stress in their life for the price of a cup of coffee a month.
Do what works for you. I really insist you try meal planning a week or a fortnight at a time for the next month. See how much stress can be lifted off your shoulders when you don’t need to figure it all out each day in the middle of tantrum time.
2. Find a Morning Rhythm
How you start your day greatly affects how you feel the rest of the day. It has been proven time and time again. So you need to make a rhythm you can stick to every day to start your day off to feel a sense of calm , well as calm as you can when you have young kiddos to wrangle in the morning Haha.
A huge source of stress for stay at home moms is decision fatigue. There is so much to do and it feels like never enough time, so what to do first??
Have a morning rhythm so that once you have completed those tasks every morning you feel a small sense of completion. This sense of completion will fuel you for the rest of the day.
If you do this every day it won’t feel like a decision and a task to decide, it will just flow with what you do when you get up . There is no freezing moment of trying to decide what to do, this is where stress can begin.
You do it every day, so it won’t be a decision to ponder.
My morning rhythm looks a bit like this :
- Hubby gets lil fella up when he wakes at 6 and brings him to our bed for a milk feed
- I get up put on the kettle and go to the loo, because who doesn’t do a wee first thing in the morning
- Make a cup of coffee for hubby and myself
- Get clothes I washed overnight out the wash and into a laundry basket and set by back door
- Hubby gets dressed, so I make the bed
- Wish hubby off to work
- Eat Breakfast with Lil fella
- Put dry dishes away while lil fella goes to play
Now before breakfast, I can usually get all of those tasks done in 10 minutes of waking up . This doesn’t always happen, sometimes lil fella gets cranky when I get out of bed and things get rearranged. In general I try to have this rhythm completed by 9am.
Anything else I get done in that time frame is a bonus. I aim to hang laundry after the dishes, but sometimes it happens later when lil fella goes down for a nap. Sometimes laundry and dishes get swapped. Just depends on weather and mood. If it is by the back door though it is ready for me to grab if we go outside to play after breakfast.
Going through this same rhythm or routine makes my mornings go relatively smoothly. There is no rush to complete them, so stopping to decide when to do what. You just get up and do it once you get into the habit of it.
Habits and Routines = Less Stress of Decisions
3. Capsule Home Wardrobe
If you haven’t heard of a capsule wardrobe already , seriously what rock have you been hiding under, then I was quickly explain. It is a small amount of clothing that can be put together in multiple variations so you don’t have has many clothes.
As a lady, that is just hard! I tried the idea of a total capsule wardrobe…and honestly I like my clothes too much. I make sure if I buy anything I donate something, so my wardrobe doesn’t grow in size, but having the bare minimum of clothing is just not for me.
“…having the bare minimum of clothing is just not for me”
I have too many different activities in my life to have a true capsule wardrobe. I camp, I workout, I fish, I dress up, I help at the farm….like how do you combine all that?
BUT, You can have capsule wardrobe for home clothes. This goes back to the less decisions equaling less stress. If you do the same thing everyday, you can get away with wearing the same general thing everyday.
A “Home Only” Capsule Wardrobe
I had a boss at a summer camp who wore the same type of outfit every day, every year. White cotton t-shirt and blue jeans. That was one less decision he had to make every day when he had a camp of 200+ kids to run and a giant ranch to maintain at the same time.
We are moms, we have enough to decide everyday, so wearing the same comfortable outfit that compliments how we look everyday will make life easier.
Note how I said compliments how we look? Baggy t-shirt and sweats is comfy, but will do nothing for our self confidence…especially if someone stops by.
A nice plain shirt and jeans or slacks is an easy outfit that will look nice even if someone stops in for coffee. I am not saying to wear white shirts everyday…I mean come on, we are moms, wearing white is just asking for disaster Haha. Though, you can have the same plain shirt it different colors and maybe 1 or 2 pairs of pants that you like wearing.
Make that your go-to outfit for every day you are staying home.
It doesn’t matter what color shirt you pick, just pick a shirt and put it on, and slip on those comfy mom jeans. Wearing the same jewelry everyday will make your life simple too.
Now if you are going somewhere else, enjoy picking from your full wardrobe and take your time to match up what you want to wear. For the everyday, just keep your life simple by wearing your capsule home wardrobe.
Last Thoughts to Share
This is only a brief suggestion of ways to help relieve stay-at-home mom stress. Stress comes from many different aspects of our life and situations, it is different for every mom.
Life is hard as a parent, so give yourself some grace and learn to laugh at what you can.
Do you best to reduce your stress to a reasonable level, no one is completely stress free but you can find a middle ground of what you can handle.
Enjoy being a stay at home mom. There are so many positives that come with being a stay at home mom, moments you will get to be there for and their guide. It isn’t easy by any means, but it is worth it. Just don’t forget to take care of yourself through the process of motherhood, you can’t fill anyone else’s cup if you don’t fill yours.
I hope these 3 ways to reduce stress as a stay at home mom can help you find a bit more sanity in your days, and have more time to find joy in the time you have with your kiddos.