18 Expert Tips for How to Be a Stay-at-Home Mom in 2024: Navigating the Joys and Challenges

how to be a stay-at-home mom

The role of a stay-at-home mom is both rewarding and challenging. The challenges can often be so intense that we find ourselves questioning how to be a stay-at-home mom.

It demands a delicate balance between caring for the family, managing the household, and nurturing personal well-being. While the journey may be intense, there are numerous strategies to not just survive but to thrive and truly enjoy this essential and often underappreciated role.

I worked for many years before having children, but ever since our oldest was born I have had the privilege to stay home with our children.

Not every moment has been blissful, and many days become very exhausting, but by utilizing the right tips and tricks, this full-time profession has become truly rewarding and I wouldn’t want it any other way! 

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore a holistic approach to thriving as a stay-at-home mom. We will cover physical and mental health, personal growth, and the dynamics of managing a household.

Whether you’re a seasoned stay-at-home parent, or embarking on this transformative journey, these insights can help you to have a fulfilling and joyful experience.

18 Tips to Thrive When Learning How to Be a Stay-at-Home Mom  

Balancing the needs of your family, the household, and your well-being may seem like a juggling act where you often drop the ball. I know I often feel guilty and inadequate but with the right strategies, you can become the stay-at-home mom you want to be.

Here are the 18 tips that will help you be an amazing stay-at-home mom.

Prioritize Self-Care for Physical and Mental Well-Being

Mom Exercising

1. Take Care of Yourself

To thrive as a stay-at-home mom you must first understand the importance of self-care. While dedicating yourself to your family is admirable, neglecting your well-being can lead to burnout.

Start by creating a self-care routine that incorporates activities you enjoy. This could include regular exercise, mindful breathing or meditation, time for personal hygiene, or even moments of quiet reflection.

Mornings and evenings, while my children are sleeping, seem to be the best times for me to have moments to care for myself. Exercising and scripture study are favorites for me to start my day off before my kids wake up.

Even when I don’t leave the house in a day’s time, I still find it fulfilling to get myself showered, dressed in nicer clothes besides pjs, do my hair, and even a little makeup. This helps me feel good about myself and helps me still feel beautiful for my husband. Some days may feel as if my only talents are doing dishes and changing diapers. When I take care of myself physically it helps me to still feel young and energized, boosting my self-confidence and self-image.

2. Setting Boundaries

Recognize the importance of setting boundaries to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Clearly define times for household tasks, childcare, and personal time. This not only allows for focused productivity but also ensures that you prioritize moments for relaxation and self-renewal.

As important as it is to take care of yourself, make sure to not become so consumed with yourself and your desires that your family members become neglected. I find that the times I am most happy is when I serve others, including my husband and children. Setting boundaries and prioritizing helps to maintain a balance with all motherhood responsibilities.

3. Make Time for Physical Activity

Physical activity is a key component of self-care. Whether it’s a quick workout, a yoga session, or a leisurely stroll in the neighborhood, regular exercise contributes to both physical health and mental well-being. Consider involving your children in age-appropriate activities to make it a family affair.

I find the best time to work out is while our kids are still sleeping. Although it can be so hard to get out of bed early enough, it becomes the perfect jump start to my day, creating a domino effect of a positive attitude and energy!

Cultivate a Supportive Network

Mom Group

Don’t hesitate to seek support when needed. Whether it’s asking your partner for assistance, enlisting the help of family or friends, or joining a local mom’s group, having a support network can be invaluable in navigating the challenges and joys of stay-at-home motherhood. 

4. Connect with Other Moms

Building connections with other stay-at-home moms creates a sense of camaraderie and shared experiences.

Having mom friends can really help you keep your sanity! Being able to connect with and relate to someone is a huge help to relieve stress.

Attend local parenting groups, join online communities, or initiate conversations at school events. Surrounding yourself with a supportive network provides encouragement, understanding, and a platform for exchanging valuable insights.

While my husband was in graduate school I found such great support came from other young moms whose husbands were also in graduate school. It helped so much being in the same stage of life as these other moms since we could relate to many aspects of life.

Now in my stage of life I have connected with moms whose families are more settled with professions. It is especially good to connect with moms who have children who can relate to your children. It makes playdates even more enjoyable when you can all get together and connect.

5. Communicating and Time with Your Husband or Partner

Maintaining open and clear communication with your partner is crucial. Discuss expectations, share your thoughts and feelings, and work together to ensure that both partners are aligned in their understanding of roles and responsibilities. A supportive partner can be a tremendous asset in thriving as a stay-at-home mom.

One of the best tips for being a successful stay-at-home parent is to take time to be with your husband or partner! This time not only strengthens your relationship with them but also provides time for rejuvenation!

My husband and I try to go on dates frequently (at least once a week is preferred), and we try to go on at least one getaway trip a year.

Since I have stayed at home with our kids for so many years, there have been moments I feel as if I’ve lost my young energetic spark. Going on dates and getaways with my husband is so extremely valuable as it helps bring out the memories and hobbies we share together! 

6. Follow Your Favorite Parenting Blog

I sure hope that you find our blog helpful! I sincerely want to help other stay-at-home moms.

Connecting with other moms through blogs can be a great source of support as well as valuable resources. We have found some great insights from other blogs on our parenting journey. It is also nice being able to relate to the daily struggles and joys of motherhood!

Blogs often will connect you to products, courses, and even simple newsletters that can be truly transformational in becoming a successful stay-at-home mom.

Time Management and Organization

Scheduling

7. Creating a Realistic Schedule

Effective time management is a cornerstone of thriving as a stay-at-home mom. Let’s face it, being a mom is the HARDEST job out there! So take some pride in the fact that you are taking on the job!

Create a realistic schedule that accommodates household tasks, childcare, personal time, and any additional commitments. Break down larger tasks into manageable steps to make them more achievable.

I try to structure each day to include time for cleaning, reading, spiritual growth, playtime, and other goals. When I am consistent with a schedule our days are so much more productive and fulfilling.

Our kids also thrive on consistency. Mom win!

8. Utilizing Time-Saving Strategies

Explore time-saving strategies to streamline household chores. This could include meal prepping, creating a cleaning schedule, or using organizational tools to keep track of appointments and activities. By optimizing your time, you create space for activities that bring you joy and fulfillment.

I frequently use grocery pickup services for my grocery shopping which saves so much time! Not to mention not having to take my three busy boys into the store by myself!

Another huge time saver has been leftovers! Not everyone may prefer eating this way, but it helps significantly with three young busy boys. When cooking I try to make enough dinner to last for 2 days, that way I am spending half time in the kitchen and more time with my family.

9. Prioritizing Tasks

Not all tasks are created equal, and recognizing priorities is key. Focus on the most important and time-sensitive tasks first. This approach helps prevent feeling overwhelmed and allows you to allocate time and energy to what truly matters.

The best way I have found to prioritize tasks is to first become very clear about what is most important to me in my life. The things and the people that are most important to me should be what gets the most of my time.

When you prioritize necessary tasks first it will often feel like you have extra time remaining. With our children, I try to get the household duties done in the morning so that we can do something fun as a family in the afternoon.

One of my favorite mottos is “work hard, then play hard.” This also becomes a great teaching tool for your children. 

10. Delegating Responsibilities

Encourage a sense of shared responsibility within your household. Give your children age-appropriate chores and involve your husband or partner in daily tasks.

This not only lightens your workload but also instills a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

Our favorite parenting course “Positive Parenting Solutions” stresses the importance of giving children age-appropriate tasks. This not only helps you around the house but also gives your child a boost of positive power since they feel as if they are contributing in meaningful ways. 

Embrace Personal Growth and Continuous Learning

Mom learning to play the piano

11. Time for Hobbies and Interests

Thriving involves nurturing your passions and interests. Whether it’s reading, painting, gardening, or learning a new skill, engaging in activities you love adds a layer of fulfillment to your life. Dedicate time each week to pursue these hobbies that contribute to your personal growth.

When teaching our children to work hard at their talents, it is crucial for our children to also see us work to develop our talents. 

12. Online Courses and Learning Opportunities

The digital age offers a myriad of learning opportunities. Consider enrolling in online courses or workshops to expand your knowledge and skills. Many platforms provide flexible schedules, allowing you to balance learning with your responsibilities as a stay-at-home mom. 

Furthering your learning and knowledge is a great way to feel fulfillment and accomplishment. Some days can feel so long and monotonous just doing laundry or picking up endless blocks. Being able to progress in education and learning adds a sense of achievement and gratification.

While getting ready in the morning I like to listen to podcasts. This has been a great way to continue to learn since it can be hard to sit down and focus on a computer or book while kids are running around.

13. Setting Personal Goals

Set personal goals to guide your journey of growth. These goals can be related to fitness, education, hobbies, or any aspect of your life you wish to enhance. Break them down into achievable steps and celebrate milestones along the way.

Our family sat down one night and each of us created what we call a vision board. These boards contain pictures of “goals” we want to work towards.

Each day we have what we call “goal time.” This is a time set aside for us to each work towards our goals. During “goal time” our kids will often work on playing nicely together while mom takes time for her goals, one of which is blogging. So this article was created during goal time! 

14. Networking and Professional Development

Maintain connections in your professional field if applicable. Attend networking events, engage in online forums, and consider professional development opportunities. Balancing professional growth with stay-at-home motherhood can be both fulfilling and empowering.

Whether it’s engaging in a part-time job, volunteering, or participating in clubs or classes related to your interests, these activities contribute to a well-rounded and fulfilled life.

As important as it is to spend time with your children, it is also important your children see you setting goals and developing your talents and hobbies. What a great way to teach your children through example!

Balancing Family Time and Quality Relationships

Mom spending time with daughter

15. Creating Meaningful Traditions

Establishing meaningful family traditions contributes to a wholesome way of living for your family. Whether it’s weekly game nights, monthly outings, or annual vacations, these traditions create lasting memories and strengthen family bonds.

We love creating holiday traditions. It makes that season something our whole family looks forward to. We also try to go on a yearly family vacation. This creates such strong memories and unites our family in special ways. 

16. Quality over Quantity

Embrace the philosophy of quality over quantity when it comes to spending time with your children. Engage in activities that foster connection and meaningful interactions. It’s not about the quantity of time spent together but the quality of those moments.

Positive Parenting Solutions teaches the importance of doing what we call “special time.” This is just a few minutes every day where each parent spends undivided, uninterrupted time one-on-one with each child. Although it is frequently only for 10 minutes each day, those 10 minutes become true quality time with our children.

We also find major behavior challenges are diminished and our kids listen better when we are consistent with “special time.”

17. Limit Screen Time For Yourself and Your Kids

While technology has its place, limiting screen time for both you and your children is crucial. Establish designated times for screen activities and prioritize face-to-face interactions, outdoor play, and creative pursuits.

We have found some amazing screen-free activities for our kids! One of our favorite screen-free toys is called Storypod which is a kids’ audio player. Our kids stay entertained while also being educated! Every stay-at-home mom’s dream!

We notice our children’s poor behaviors accelerate the more we spend time on our screens. My husband and I have set a goal to put our phones in our bedroom in the evening hours so we do not become distracted by often meaningless things.

Quality time improves during those few hours of screen-free family time.

18. Maintain Open Communication as a Family

Encourage open communication within your family. Create an environment where everyone feels comfortable expressing their thoughts and emotions.

This fosters a sense of trust and understanding, strengthening your connection with your partner and children.

When children feel comfortable communicating with you about anything and everything, so many struggles for both parent and child can be prevented or eliminated. 

Dinner time is one time that we try to make an effort to talk as a family since we are all together and distractions are decreased.

10 Ways to Make the Most of Being at Home with Your Children

Mom baking with her children

Create Daily and Fun Routines

Establishing a daily routine provides structure, and incorporating fun rituals can make it enjoyable for both you and your children. Whether it’s a morning dance party, an afternoon craft time, or a bedtime story, these rituals create predictability and joy.

I like to read and sing to our boys right before bed. Bedtime battles are real, trust me, but these are two ways that help to bring a sense of calm right before bed and create a tender moment after frequent long days.

Plan Outdoor Adventures

Take advantage of the outdoors by planning regular adventures. Whether it’s a trip to the local park, nature walks, or picnics, spending time in nature provides opportunities for exploration, physical activity, and bonding.

We love going for walks around our neighborhood or jumping on the trampoline together. Simple moments make for great memories.

Play with Your Children

Foster creativity through imaginative play. Join your children in building forts, playing dress-up, or creating a make-believe world. Engaging in creative play not only sparks your child’s imagination but also allows you to relive the magic of childhood.

Our boys love it when we use boxes to create forts and it also provides an opportunity for artistic growth since they can easily color, paint, or draw all over the cardboard! Hours of fun fulfilled!

Cook and Bake Together

Turn the kitchen into a place of shared experiences by involving your children in cooking and baking. Let them help with age-appropriate tasks, from stirring ingredients to decorating cookies. The process becomes a delightful activity, and the result is a tasty treat for everyone.

Establish Family Traditions

Create lasting memories by establishing family traditions. Whether it’s a weekly movie night, a monthly game day, or a yearly family vacation, traditions provide a sense of continuity and strengthen the family bond.

Get creative and have fun with this one! Involve your kids in making traditions that will be most enjoyable for everyone!

Encourage Educational Exploration

Turn learning into a fun adventure by incorporating educational activities. Explore science experiments, conduct simple kitchen chemistry, or embark on a backyard scavenger hunt. Learning becomes enjoyable when it’s hands-on and engaging.

Make learning fun! It doesn’t need to be extravagant.

Celebrate Milestones and Achievements

Celebrate your children’s milestones and achievements, no matter how small. Whether it’s mastering a new skill, completing a puzzle, or achieving a personal goal, acknowledging and celebrating these moments contributes to a positive and supportive atmosphere.

Create a Cozy Reading Environment

Cultivate a love for reading by creating a cozy reading nook. Spend time reading together, exploring different genres and stories. This shared activity not only promotes literacy but also provides a calm and bonding experience.

We love reading in our home and strive to teach our kids to learn to read early so they can open their minds to learning anything they want through the world of books!

Capture Everyday Moments

Embrace the beauty of everyday moments by capturing them through photos or journaling. Documenting these moments helps you appreciate the simple joys and creates a treasure chest of memories to look back on.

Be in the Moment

Never let a day go by without being in the moment and enjoying with your children. The house doesn’t need to always be spotless and the laundry doesn’t always have to be perfectly folded. Embrace the fact that you are a parent and you have perfect sticky faces and perfect toddler giggles to love on and cherish while they are young! Value these moments as they will pass by all too quickly!

Conclusion

Thriving as a stay-at-home mom is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor; it’s a dynamic and evolving journey that requires adaptability, self-reflection, and a commitment to personal well-being.

Remember that enjoying your time as a stay-at-home mom is about finding joy in the little things, being present in the moment, and creating a positive and loving environment for your family. Each of these activities contributes to building lasting memories and nurturing the unique bond between you and your children.

You don’t have to be a super mom, you just have to be the best version of yourself! Your children love and adore you no matter how perfect you are. Believe in yourself and love the journey.

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storms to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” (Vivian Greene).

Motherhood is the hardest yet greatest blessing in the world! It often feels as if it’s a storm, but embrace that storm and dance in its rain! So much time at home with your children will become your most cherished memories!

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