10 Ways to Rock being a Stay-at-Home Mom

So as most of you know I am a full time Mama to three beautiful babes. All of which are four and under. Being a stay-at-home-mom is honestly nothing I expected. Most days it is pure insanity, I'm talking chaotic, disgusting, loud, and did I say messy? Oh and the emotions! Don't get me started on the arguments me and my four-year-old get into! Anyway so you wanna rock it at home with the kids without losing your mind.. follow these quick tips!

1. Schedule.. Schedule... Schedule

I'll say it a thousand times, kids thrive off a schedule. They may be screaming "I don't want to nap," or "I'm not even hungry!" But stick to a schedule! I'm not talking about a crazy strict schedule but try to keep naps and mealtimes consistent with location and times. Meal times at the table with set times has helped our family immensely. I've also adopted the timer rule from the parenting book (123 Magic) I set a timer out at meal times for twenty minutes. Ideally they sit at the table until they are done, but the reality is they have 20 minutes to eat and once the timer is up so is the food.

Also naps are NOT optional and make sure to catch them before they are dead dog tired and likely to fight you even more to lay down. Have a routine for nap time similar to how you would at bedtime. Believe it or not, kids love to know what's coming. They thrive off the security and simplicity that something during their day will be (nearly) the exact same every day.

2. Clean up the kids mess! But only twice.

I'm a bit of a clean freak and I'd love to take out one activity at a time. The reality is your house will be a disaster area.. and that's ok! The toys are played with and it's less time in front of a screen. I used to run around after my girls cleaning up as we go but that quickly got old. I've now created the twice a day cleaning rule. Clean up the playroom when they nap and clean up at bedtime. Any more than that is seriously a waste!

3.  Keep up with the house. 

This is kind of crazy I know and some days just won't happen. I'd say about once a week I just say screw it to the housework, laundry, dishes, etc. Because after all we are only human and it can wait. I try to keep up with the house work so it doesn't become ridiculously overwhelming. Most days I wake up, grab all the dirty laundry I can find and start a quick small load. Nothing is worse than multiple laundry baskets looming to be folded. Every evening I clean up the toy room. I also organize the toy room because I've found that my kids play so much better with their toys if they are well taken care of and organized. I have kid height shelves where the toys are available to play with in the appropriate fashion, kind of Montessori inspired.

I also clean while the kids are awake. My girls know that cleaning is a normal part of our daily routine. And don't get me wrong.. they themselves aren't the greatest at cleaning but at least when they see me vacuuming they no longer scream at me to stop.

4. Essential Oils 

We LOVE our oils and consider it pretty vital to a happy healthy home. Diffusing uplifting blends in the morning get us going. And diffusing calming blends in the evening helps calm the crazies at the witching hour. I'll do a post later about our essential oil daily schedule.

5. Get out!

Just because you are a stay-at-home Mama doesn't mean you are chained to your house. I get my kids out at least once or twice a day. I really despise the rain but I've adopted an all-weather outside rule. Some of our favorite days have been dancing through puddles, even when its pouring out. My kids are obsessed with the rain. They get soaked, filthy, and have the time of their lives. Afterwards I pile them in the warm tub

With this rule make sure to seek out adult interaction! Fellow mom friends do wonders to maintain your sanity. Regardless of where you take the kids, stepping out of the four walls of the home no matter how hard it is will make the gang feel better.

6. Dollar Store Finds

The Dollar Store is seriously my favorite place ever. It is a goldmine for toddler and kid activities. There really is no need to scour Pinterest for the crazy crafts, simply pick up some cheap fun treats once a month from your local Dollar Store and your kids are sure to love them. Just go by yourself to stock up, two year olds are way to grabby.

7. Research your town's weekly events

When I had two babies two and under I wanted to pull my hair out with the monotony that most days brought. What helped exponentially was to create a weekly schedule of things we are going to do. On Wednesdays we went to story time at the library, Friday mornings we went to a mommy and me open gymnastics class, and Sunday we all geared up for church. With little ones you may not have to be anywhere but forcing yourself and your littles to be somewhere at a specific time really helped me maintain sanity and broke up the days.

8. Create an inspiring play space

Nothing is worse than a drab office environment. Considering this is your job you deserve to have an inspiring area where you and the kids can thrive. Shoving the kids toys in a corner doesn't spark creativity. Designating a space no matter the size for your kids to enjoy really makes all the difference for us SAHMs. You and your little ones will benefit from a cheery, organized, beautiful play space.

9. Keeping a level head

I find one of the hardest parts of being a stay-at-home mom is to keeping your cool. Spending all day with demanding, manipulative, irrational toddlers is enough to make even the most sane person want to jump ship. It's OK to need to step away for a minute. And if you can't step away, FaceTime one of your favorite people to share in the hilarity that is the chaos of your life. I can't tell you how many times I've been in the throws of full blown meltdowns on all accounts and simply phoned my sister or mom. A close family member or friend can exponentially  help you keep a level head and just laugh about the psychotic witching hour.

10. When in doubt, slow it down and hug it out

Finally, after three kids, I realized that there is zero need to rush. That's the beauty of being a stay-at-home mom. Hurrying along isn't necessary. What is necessary is slowing life down and enjoying every little discovery they bring you. We are the lucky ones, we have the gift of witnessing darn near every first milestone our babies cross. So at the end of each day we may have multiple bodily fluids covering our yoga pants, and dark circles under our eyes but this won't last, and neither will our kids baby-hood.

Each night after they are tucked in bed, I scroll through my camera roll and thank God my days are spent surrounded by this crazy clan I made.

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