Staying home with children is nothing short of exhausting. I have worked and gone to school full time while PREGNANT, and all I can say is that staying home with children is even harder than that.
I’m sure a lot of you moms know what I’m talking about. So, whether you’re educated, uneducated, self-educated, or whatever you are, if you are a stay at home mom, you have one of the hardest jobs out there. It is also the most important one you could ever have.
Hopefully you’ve all learned to not view your at-home duties as a burden, and instead embrace them and do them to the best of your abilities. Your abilities will fluctuate on a daily basis I’m sure, as you battle with fatigue, and maybe even a bit of malnourishment as you always put your children’s needs before your own. You probably don’t drink enough water or get enough to eat. You probably don’t get a lot of work out time to give yourself a much needed energy boost. You’re probably coasting through your day on fumes, chugging as much caffeine as possible so that you can drag along behind the kids. Just remember though, that your babies are only babies once, and they grow at a heart-breaking speed. Here are some tips for you to get more out of your day as a stay-at home mother. (I feel like I’m going to get attacked by a mob of feminists writing this.)
- Do get up early and cook breakfast.
My children don’t sleep in past 6:15, but I think as long as you’re up before 8:00 you can still have a great start to your morning. Whatever breakfast is, just prepare and eat it right away. I have found that this gives me more of an energy boost than caffeine, and my children’s dispositions are much better as well. They don’t get emotional or hangry. You’re setting the tone for your whole day at this time.
2) Meal Prep
Using one day per week to meal prep for breakfast will make your life a lot easier. You can make pancakes and freeze them, grate some potatoes into hash browns and freeze those (we add thinly sliced bell pepper and red onion to ours), pre-slice any meats you might use, etc. etc. etc. Whatever you like to eat can probably be prepped for. You’ll have a much more pleasant morning if it is easy. It is fairly easy to just toss some frozen hash browns into a pan and cook them. Eliminate the things that you hate in the morning…which for me means the prep work…the cutting, grating, mixing, anything like that.
3) Only cook dinner every other day and cook it early!
This, to me, was revolutionary! We tend to make meals in large batches, so that I only cook every other day. My husband suggested this to me as a better alternative to cooking dinner every afternoon. His mother does this, and she is seriously like a Mexican Martha Stewart. She does her cooking in the mornings. So you can have your “dinner” at lunchtime (if you want) and then eat easier lunch-type fare in the evenings. Whatever time you choose to eat your biggest meal, cooking it early will free up the rest of your day.
4) Do one load of laundry per day.
It’s so much easier to keep up on this than to suffer one HUGE pile of laundry to put away once or twice a week. So wash the clothes, switch them immediately, and fold and put them away asap. We use military style folding to save space too 🙂
5) Just spend 20 minutes to one hour cleaning every day.
That should be enough to really do a lot if you’re using that entire block of time. I’d suggest doing it right after cooking in the mornings, so that you can just start cleaning when you clean up that kitchen mess. That might not be your forte though so you can do it whenever you want.
6) Make your kids help you!!!
From toddler age on up, they can help you, and they can do a lot more than you think they can. Toddlers can definitely understand how to clean up and put things where they go. Don’t let them just leave their stuff everywhere. You shouldn’t have to live in a space that is constantly covered in kiddy litter. See my post on having fewer toys for more information.
Don’t let them just kick their shoes off when they come inside, make them put the shoes where they go. They can pick up the laundry they drop, and things they knock down, etc. Just let them know what is acceptable and what isn’t, and your mess will be a lot less terrible. It isn’t mean to teach them how to pick up after themselves. No one is going to do that for them as an adult, so it’s best to just let them know that right now. You can even find ways to make it fun for them, like having a race to pick things up or having fun music on.
In short, these things should all help you free up more of your day. Honestly applying these exact tips has freed up more time for my children. So while you might not be giving them all of your attention while you cook breakfast, or clean up, this requires only a portion of your day, and then the rest can be used for whatever you want. You’re allowed even more quality time with your children than you would if you try to sort of pay attention to them all day while you’re trying to accomplish other things. Whatever it is that you’re doing, be sure to give it all of your attention. There is a time for everything.
Luckily if your day goes something like this, then you should have lots of time to do things with the kids 🙂 or for yourself!
Does anyone have tips on how this could be even easier?