"Oh, so you're a stay-at-home mom? Does that mean you just sleep all day?"
This is one of the common questions that I reluctantly answer. If only it was that easy but if you're a parent and you stay at home, you're not alone.
You have kids to take care of, soiled clothes and dirty dishes to clean, and the list just goes on and on. The sad thing is... napping is not in it. If you stopped working and settled at home, you know what I mean.
If you're someone who has no idea what I'm trying to say, don't worry, I get you. Before I became a mom, I thought parents who stayed at home have the opportunity to sleep or to do anything they want. Turns out, I was wrong. Even a quick bathroom break is a challenge when you have a child and more or less, you'll end up feeling overwhelmed.
With so many tasks at hand, how would you organize everything? Is it possible to come up with a plan and follow it?
The Reality Of Being A Stay-At-Home Mom
Until now, I don't know where I got the idea that being a stay-at-home parent is easy when I barely remember my mom or myself lying on the couch and watching TV all day.
I have more than 10 hours a day before my husband arrives from work but I don't know why I can't accomplish everything. It feels like I'm wasting my time -- the sink's still dirty, the laundry's a mess, and dinner... let's not talk about it.
That's when I decided to come up with a plan.
Like everything else, it wasn't easy at first but when I started to make a list of what I need to do each day, there's an improvement. The house looked clean, at least most of the time; we rarely do takeout or food delivery for dinner; there's more time to play with the little one, and the best part is I was able to allot time for myself.
How did I do this? Here are 3 easy steps!
Set Goals Daily Or Weekly
Download an organizer app or carry a notebook and pen and start jotting down the things you want to accomplish on a daily or weekly basis.
This helps you avoid feeling overwhelmed and forget important activities or dates, like your wedding anniversary.
Just sit down and think of the things you need to do per day, and be realistic.
Do you need to do the grocery? How much laundry do you have to do? Are there specific household tasks you need to fulfill today?
Do you attend a playgroup? What time do you need to bring your kid to school? What other tasks can you fulfill before you get home?
Weekend outing or activity? Where are you planning to take the family? What things do you need to bring? Do you want to visit the museum or watch a movie?
And of course, don't forget about yourself? Do you need a quick pamper? Massage? New books to read? Yoga class?
Write down these things and schedule them accordingly. Again, be realistic and by that, I mean list the activities you can do considering your energy, time, and child.
Set Yourself Up In The Morning
For me, having well-planned mornings results in a better, smoother day… at least most of the time. Usually, this is the time when moms are free (since the family is still asleep) and the energy after a good night's sleep (unless it’s the other way around). So, be sure to spend this time wisely for yourself.
Since my son’s already four and he sleeps until 8 or 9 in the morning, I have a lot of free time for myself. I use this time to exercise, make myself a cup of coffee, do my online job, and prepare the meals we have for the day.
During weekends and while brewing coffee, I also load the washing machine, prepare breakfast, and save myself a little more time for Netflix.
Have An Evening Routine
Normally, we have a schedule at night time and by that I mean, we eat at around 6 in the evening, clean the kid after an hour or so, and get him ready for bed.
This is also the perfect time to do minor cleaning, such as picking the toys, sweeping the floor, and cleaning the table. This routine helps me feel less anxious in the morning since the house is already tidy.
For bedtime, I let my child play a little more while I finish some tasks for my online job or read a book. Of course, tea!
This is my evening routine and what worked for me might not work for everyone else. Nonetheless, you can always make adjustments according to your lifestyle, your child’s age and needs, and your household.
The important thing is that you write down your goals so you can come up with a schedule and do your best to follow it.
Do you have other tips for stay-at-home moms and dads? If yes, please feel free to share it in our community or in the comment box below.