How to stay motivated as a stay at home mom is hard to do, especially when you’re experiencing some mental and physical issues.
You could be having postpartum depression, stay at home depression and those alone can make it almost impossible to get out of the stay at home mom rut.
But there are some ways to at least, get a little bit of motivation to kickstart your day.
To at least clean up the kitchen, do the first round of laundry, and so on.
But first, let’s discuss the possible reasons why you’re feeling stuck and unmotivated as a SAHM.
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List of Contents
Possible Reasons Why Stay at Home Moms Are Lacking Motivation
Having unrealistic expectations
This is probably the top-level reason why we stay at home moms feel stuck and stay in a rut.
We romanticized the idea of becoming one.
Then we actually become one and boom – you realize it’s boring, monotonous, isolating, you never have proper alone time and it’s really hard, especially as a new mom with a newborn.
Lack of control
It’s demotivating and debilitating when you feel like you have no control over an important situation or your life in general.
If you’ve been forced into becoming a SAHM due to financial reasons or just the simple reason of not being able to figure out why your baby is crying can illustrate a lack of control.
And this can cause anxiety, worry, and frustration.
Lack of appreciation
Being a stay-at-home mom most of the time is a thankless job.
Most are expected to do everything and just accept the responsibilities without getting any rewards for doing it.
I mean, when dads “babysit” their kid for a few hours, they get a lot of praise for it!
For SAHM moms, they expect us to do it most or all of the time, so our efforts are taken for granted.
Seeing other moms thriving as SAHMs can also cause us to become disheartened.
We might feel guilty about not being able to keep up with them and make us feel more dispirited and depressed.
Feeling burned out
You are running on an empty tank. Mom burnout is real and scary and depressing.
You can’t find the reason anymore to keep going. For example, what’s the point of cleaning a messy house, if things and clothes are going to get dirty again?
Lack of goals
Not having one can make you feel bored and restless.
Human beings are wired for goal setting and if you can’t find the clarity to set some definite goals, you will feel bored and unmotivated.
Signs You Might Be On Stay at Home Mom Rut
- Often feeling listless, bored, and tired
- Not caring about your appearance, health, home
- Losing interest in most of the things you used to enjoy
- Feeling angry, resentful, and impatient all the time
Actionable Tips on How to Stay Motivated As a Stay at Home Mom
Create a schedule
Routines bring comfort as they create a sense of structure and control in our lives.
So creating a daily routine or a stay-at-home mom schedule can help us feel motivated. Which can lead to better time management and better focus to get things done again.
Below is my own schedule when we had the semi-lockdown because of covid but now it’s all changed as my daughter is 4 years old and I have a few more things to deal with.
I also always have a to-do list that I create each night and I feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment every time I tick off most of it at the end of the day.
I use the Notion app to create my schedule and to-do list and I highly recommend that app, it’s free and so flexible, you can even keep your photos and documents in it!
Change up your schedule
If you already have a routine going on and you still feel overwhelmed, tired, and frustrated most of the time, maybe you need to change it.
You can check out some samples of SAHM schedules here as an inspiration to revamp yours.
You also might need to look into things such as how to get your newborn to sleep longer at night, dealing with cluster feedings, and such.
But ultimately, you need a change in your schedule.
Get out of the house
A new-ish environment can instantly take you out of the rut you’re feeling.
So go out, do long walks with your baby, go hiking and put them on a baby carrier, visit a new park, just get out of the house for a while.
Our choice of clothing can also affect our mood. So if you’re in your pajamas all day long, you might feel like sleeping in and doing nothing all day long.
So dress up! Wear something more than pajamas or sweatpants.
One of the easiest ways to lift your mood, to feel energized and get motivated, is to work out.
If you can’t find the time to do it alone, do it with your baby!
Check this video out on sample exercises you can do with your newborn
Schedule breaks or me-time
You won’t be able to take care of your baby and your family properly if you don’t get one. So remember to get some rest and to take some breaks.
Schedule it, so you won’t forget it!
Say for eg., instead of scheduling folding laundry while your baby naps, make it your break time instead.
Listen to inspiring podcasts
This is just me but what helped me get over the stay-at-home rut was listening to a lot of inspiring podcasts.
I couldn’t read nor watch that much TV before as I don’t have the time. So I turned to podcasts as I can listen to them while I do chores.
And that really changed my mindset. I listened to some inspiring and motivational podcasts like Jay Shetty’s, The School of Greatness by Lewis Howes.
I even tuned in to entrepreneurial-related podcast shows like Start-Up and Side Hustle Nation. And that ultimately changed the way I think about my life and gave me the clarity and courage to pursue what I want.
Which is having my own blog!
I truly believe in that saying “What you put into your life is what you get out.”
So if you’re always hearing or thinking negative things about yourself, then that would manifest that in your actions.
But if you think otherwise, you’d see opportunities, hope, and chances instead.
So put in some positive sayings and affirmations and hear that every day through uplifting podcast shows, to get inspired and motivated.
Ask for help
It’s overwhelming sometimes to wake up to a wailing baby, then see a mountain of laundry, realize there’s no more edible food, and that you have a messy house in general.
If you’re feeling burned out, ask for help. Don’t feel guilty about it.
Ask your spouse, parents, in-laws, friends if they can pitch in and help you out, at least on some tasks.
Find your mom tribe
Friends can be found on all sorts of platforms these days, even online!
Having someone you can genuinely talk to about almost everything can help alleviate the loneliness that you’re feeling.
So if you’re having a hard time making some mom friends because of the pandemic, turn to online groups instead. You can find a lot of parenting groups on Facebook and Reddit.
How to Stay Motivated As a Stay at Home Mom on a Long Term Basis
Stop comparing yourself to other moms
Most moms don’t usually broadcast their mental health issues, financial troubles, and other problems on social media.
Whatever you see out there is mostly curated to give this idealistic image of their life.
So if you find yourself getting envious of a SAHM who seems to have it all, stop comparing yourself to them.
You’d just be wasting your time and no good can ever come out of comparing yourself to others.
Create personal goals
You can make mini-goals or even long-term ones.
You can develop a new skill, like baking.
Or get your kid to master the alphabet by age 3.
Or you can do DIY interior decoration.
Or do some side-hustles.
Whatever goals you’d like to achieve, make it specific and achievable in a certain timeframe.
Take baby steps in reaching them. Don’t push yourself too much and just enjoy the process. This will make you feel more confident and motivated.
Practice the art of gratitude
Sometimes thinking about all the things that we need to do can be paralyzing. But what if we think about it differently?
Instead of thinking, “I need to do..” turn it into “I get to..”
That way, your tasks, and chores become more of a privilege, something that you’d be thankful to do every day.
Practicing the art of gratitude can get you in that state and having a gratitude journal can help you list down the things that you’re grateful for.
Find yourself again
Motherhood is a life-changing event that most of the time, we end up not recognizing ourselves anymore in becoming a mother.
Taking care of a baby and making your children your world or at least the center of it, can do that.
So if you feel lost and you don’t know yourself anymore, go back and try to remember the things you enjoyed doing before you became a mother.
If your views and preferences have completely changed, then try and test out new things that you might be interested in.
For eg., I used to like reading but when I became a mom, I just couldn’t find the time and energy to sit down and read a book.
So I turned to a podcast, which I now definitely love, as I can enjoy listening to a book while finishing a chore!
I also remember blogging a lot before in college and now, I’ve found a way to do it and enjoy it again, on a different level!
So look back on your old life and find that spark in something again.
Or if not, find some new avenues or hobbies to enjoy again.
Treat being a SAHM as a job
This is the most unusual advice I’ve seen in some online parenting groups.
And it seems weird but it kinda makes sense. Especially if you came from a high-intensity, stressful job and you’re a Type A personality.
Think of it this way – the welfare of your kids and the upkeep of your house is your “career.” That means you’re in charge of literally anything related to your kids and your home.
So with those responsibilities come goals that you need to set on a daily, weekly, and even yearly basis.
And having goals can energize us, motivating us to become better and leading to overall satisfaction once goals are realized.
So treat this SAHM as a career and get some SMART goals started.
Manage your expectations
I believe this is the most important thing to learn if you’re a stay-at-home mom who’s stuck in a rut – managing expectations.
We often have unrealistic expectations about mothers and we try to meet them.
We try to do it all and have it all. We try to become 100% present with our kids while 100% devoted to our work while giving 100% of our attention to our relationships, all the time.
That will cause you to become stressed, and self-critical and you will definitely feel like a failure most of the time.
So try to manage your expectations about yourself, your relationships, your work, and basically your life.
It doesn’t mean lowering your standards. It just means adjusting them when needed, adapting to the changes, and preparing for problems.
So for eg., instead of expecting your baby to sleep at a certain time and getting frustrated when they don’t, adjust your thinking.
Expect your baby to do that all the time. No biggie.
Then think of how to enjoy this time with your newborn, instead of thinking about how to get out of this situation. So you can get some chores or work done.
When you expect that, everything seems easier to handle.
Try applying that in every area of your life and you will definitely feel a positive change in your thinking.
Takeaway on How to Stay Motivated As a Stay at Home Mom
What you’re feeling about the lack of motivation and being on a rut, is normal. It’s perfectly normal.
So don’t be too hard on yourself. This SAHM gig is hard AF.
Imagine you’re trying to keep a little human being alive while dealing with changes in yourself, your body, your relationships, and more.
So give yourself some grace. Give yourself some time to process and think about your next move.
Just take note that you might have postpartum depression or stay-at-home depression. Open up family and friends and ask for professional help if you need it.