Credit: Nicole Hanks

I have two kids with a pretty big age gap between them. An 11 year old and 10 month old, both boys. I was lucky enough to be a stay-at-home mom from birth until recently with my second child. The most common misconceptions about stay-at-home moms is that you “don’t really do anything” and are “lazy” because you get to stay home instead of getting dressed for work, commuting to a building, or answering to management. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

Here are a few tips to help you be the best happy-at-home mom (or dad) possible and keep your sanity!

  1. Yes, it may sound silly. But, get ready for the day. Go ahead and put on a cartoon for your little one so you can get yourself ready. You will simply feel better. Even if I just did my hair one day or makeup, it would make me feel a lot better than the days I wore the same yoga pants for 3 days straight. Yes, that happened.
  2. Many moms feel that because they stay home, that they shouldn’t get help from others, be them paid or otherwise. Ignore the guilt and ask for help sometimes! Sneak away to go grocery shopping alone (which will cut your shopping trip time in half) or enjoy a girl’s afternoon out. It truly does wonders for the soul.
  3. Join a play group or a class with other moms and babies. Outside socialization is great for baby and let’s face it, having a conversation with other adults is sometimes the best medicine!
  4. Don’t negotiate with naptime. This is sacred time that all happy-at-home moms need. If your child has aged out of naps, start a quiet time! It may take a few times, but eventually they will catch on.
  5. Teach your child independent play. I believe in this whole heartedly. Just because you stay home with your child doesn’t mean they need your sole attention every second of the day. It’s a great time for them to learn to entertain themselves which benefits the child as well as yourself.

I feel truly blessed to be able to have the time that I did with my little guy before I started working outside the home again, here at Mix 106. These are just a few ideas that I found to help me keep a positive outlook and not lose myself. I know the struggle sometimes in feeling like you have to do it all. Just know, you are a great mom and cherish those moments with your babies.