Here are my 15 daily and mental tips on how to feel fulfilled as a stay at home mom.
Do you ever feel that you could be doing more than just wiping butts, cleaning non-stop, and occasionally shouting at your kids to behave on a daily basis? Do you feel that your life is just like a Groundhog Day movie? Do you sometimes feel bored, restless, and even resentful at your life as a stay-at-home mom?
You’re not alone. Even though most won’t admit it because of social stigma, most moms feel that way. Especially those that didn’t really see themselves staying at home to take care of their kids 24/7.
I used to feel that way. I felt so unfulfilled and unappreciated. I felt like I didn’t know myself anymore and even though I can’t see myself not having my kid and my small family, I missed my old life. I missed the old me.
So how do you find purpose as a stay-at-home mom? How do stay at home moms feel successful? How can I feel fulfilled as a stay-at-home mom?
I don’t have all the answers but I want to share some of the things I’ve done to do to find that contentment, happiness, and fulfillment as a SAHM.
Daily Tips On How To Feel Fulfilled As A Stay At Home Mom
Don’t try to do it all
Overscheduling chores, tasks, work, appointments, and activities can easily lead to mom burnout.
Don’t put too much on your plate. Just do the 3 top most important things and do the rest at a more convenient time.
Celebrate small wins
There will be days where you’ll finish a lot of tasks and days where you’ll wonder how to get things done when you have a clingy baby and that’s okay.
Instead of stressing over your to-do list, look at and highlight the small wins for the day. Did your baby smile at you today? Were you able to take out the trash? Did you have a good rest sleeping with your baby?
Chalk these up as a win and don’t be so too hard on yourself. Being a stay-at-home mom is one of the hardest jobs in the world and if you can keep your little ones alive and thriving, that’s already a win.
Schedule your “me-time”
Circle that in your calendar. Ask your spouse to look after the baby. Or instead of doing a “need” in your to-do list, do something that you “want” to do instead.
For example, if the baby is sleeping, instead of rushing to cook a quick meal for the family, order takeaway and do your “me-time.”
Instead of doing chores, settling bills, etc., do something that you genuinely enjoy doing instead.
This brings us to the next tip.
Get a fulfilling hobby
The occasional Netflix night or scrolling mindlessly through social media can be a nice way to use your “me-time.”
These activities can be truly comforting and even energizing, for some people.
But if you find yourself numbing out in front of the TV, you’re probably trying to avoid feeling a certain emotion.
Try to find a more productive yet enjoyable “me-time” activity – get a useful hobby!
You can try journaling, to sort out your thoughts and feelings or just write for pleasure. You can exercise and set a body goal. You can try to earn money on the side by freelancing, baking, or modifying and selling clothes or shoes. Or maybe try out gardening, reading, etc.
Anything that fully engages you is way better for your body, mind, and soul.
Get out of the house
Spending time outdoors has a lot of mental benefits – reduces stress, fights off depression and anxiety, elevates your mood, and more.
Try getting out more and have a new perspective on things.
Sometimes being stuck at home, with no one to have a decent adult conversation with, can drive one insane. This can be more stressful, especially if you’re an extrovert and you love engaging with a lot of people on daily basis.
It can be hard to socialize physically with lockdowns, quarantines, and of course, the pandemic happening. You can, however, turn to online socializing!
You can join Facebook groups, Reddit discussions, online clubs, etc. You can initiate virtual parties with newfound/ current friends and loved ones.
Or you can reach out the old fashion way, without having to meet them face-to-face – by calling them on your phone.
If you’ve been feeling the itch to keep on honing and practicing your work skills, or if you just miss doing some work, then try freelancing!
There’s a ton of freelance websites or even other online groups like Facebook or craigslist where you can apply for freelance jobs.
You just need to see if your hours allow it and just try it out when it’s more manageable to take care of your baby.
Listen to an inspiring podcast
One of the few things that have helped me fight off my stay-at-home mom’s depression was listening to a lot of uplifting and motivating podcasts.
I didn’t have time to read a book so listening to podcasts became a necessity for me to help myself mentally and emotionally.
It was like having a personal cheerleader and life coach that you can access anytime you want.
It truly helped shift my mindset and retrain my brain to think in a different way, to deviate from my default thinking.
Try looking for a podcast show that suits your taste and listen to it every day. It will really help with the way you think and how you’ll look at your situation.
Mental Tips On How To Feel Fulfilled As A Stay At Home Mom
Learn how to manage expectations
I truly believe this is the most important lesson every new mom must learn if they want to feel less frustrated and anxious about becoming a stay-at-home mom.
Managing our expectations right from the get-go, will help you feel more in control of your life.
It doesn’t necessarily translate to lowering down your standards.
It just means that you’re prepared for whatever hurdle or challenge comes because well, you’ve been expecting it!
So you have better control over how you’ll deal with it or how you’ll feel about a situation or other people, than it or them, having control over you.
In short, expect that becoming a stay-at-home mom would be beyond challenging – physically, mentally, and emotionally.
This feeling won’t last
Here’s the truth about becoming a mom in general: you won’t love every minute of it.
You’ll feel overwhelmed, bored, resentful but then again you’ll also feel grateful, happy, and well-loved.
You’ll feel all these emotions and more in phases. And as we know, phases don’t last.
The newborn, toddler, and so on, will also come in phases. And when you think about it that way, it makes the time with your children more valuable.
Any feelings of unfulfillment in your life as a stay-at-home mom is also a phase. It won’t last.
But do lookout for symptoms of postpartum depression, stay-at-home depression, or even mom burnout and address them appropriately.
Don’t compare yourself to others
This is probably one of the lessons I had to learn the hard way, aside from managing my expectations.
I used to feel so bad when I compare myself to other moms who seem to have this stay-at-home mom shindig all figured out.
I used to feel that something is wrong with the way I parent, especially when things don’t go according to plan. Like when my baby won’t sleep longer at night. I kept comparing myself to other moms who had babies that slept well without any issues.
I wished I learned earlier not to compare myself to anyone, as it won’t do me any good and is just a complete waste of time.
So never compare yourself to someone who seems so far off in their careers, can cook delicious meals, have well-behaved kids, etc. Or are in a worse situation than you, just so you’ll feel much better about your life.
Either way, it won’t bring any improvements to your life.
Live life on your terms
I really find it slightly annoying when I encounter questions like “What do stay at home moms do all day anyway?”
Or when they pass certain judgments and assume that stay-at-home moms are lazy bitches who just sit all day watching Netflix while a maid cleans a house.
Or when people wonder why can’t a stay-at-home mom work while taking care of kids, I mean, it must be so easy to take care of them! Especially a newborn!
Don’t let other people tell you how to run your household, how to parent your kid, how to build your career, and basically, how to live your life.
Ignore them, ignore popular beliefs, ignore unfair standards, and live life on your terms. You do what’s best for yourself and your family.
Find yourself again
When you’re consumed with taking care of a tiny human being while maintaining the house, keeping your job (if it applies), and your marriage, your identity will shift.
Suddenly, someone is the center of your universe and that’s not you. Your baby and his/her needs come first. Even at your own expense.
And that changes you. Some might feel only the slightest of changes but for most of us, it’s a big change.
You’ll sometimes feel like your only purpose is to become a mother and if you don’t love every minute of it or if you’re not meeting standards or expectations, then you’ll feel like a failure.
So for such situations, it’s best to find yourself again. Look back at your past, before you become a mother and think of the things that you’ve done that made you truly happy.
If your past seems like a haze, move forward by finding what makes you excited. Pick up a new skill, a new hobby, meet new friends, etc., and try to find your own identity again.
Have a plan
Have a daily plan by setting routines in place. This will help you feel in control of your time. Check out sample daily schedules of other real stay-at-home moms and how they organize their time with chores, kids, “me-time” and more.
Set out a plan for the next few years. Your kids will eventually grow up and will need you less and less. You don’t want to find yourself being lost on what to do when you officially become an empty nester so lay out a plan to get a job or shift to a new career in the next few years.
When you intentionally spend time with your kids, you are building that genuine connection with them.
You notice little things about them – how tall they’re getting, how talkative they are now, how smart and funny they’re becoming. You suddenly notice how much they’ve changed – your little babies are now turning into older human beings. When you’re staying in the present, you stay and revel in that moment, making you forget your own worries. When you stay in the present, you forget your next tasks, your past disappointments and you just soak in the moment.
You will feel more at peace, centered and grounded.
These little moments with your little one will stay with you forever, a constant reminder of what makes a fulfilling, rich and meaningful life.
How To Feel Fulfilled As A Stay At Home Mom: My Takeaway
Don’t be ashamed of admitting that you’re struggling as a stay-at-home mom. You are not a bad mom for feeling that way. This SAHM gig is not for everyone. We’re all different, so of course, we’ll all think and feel different about well, everything! Even when it comes to being a stay-at-home mom.
Remember that we are all a work in progress and what’s important is to keep trying to improve ourselves and become the best person or mom, we can ever be. For our sake, for our family’s and for our children’s sake.
So don’t worry mama, just like everything else, you got this! Hang in there! 🙂
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