You know how, when you're flying on a plane, the flight attendants doing the safety demo always remind you that if things start going haywire and the oxygen masks drop, you have to put your own mask on first before helping anyone else? Even though daily life with your family shouldn't feel like a plane in distress (at least, not most of the time), that "take care of yourself so you can take care of others" mindset is critical, especially when you're a stay-at-home mom. In other words, there are several important things grown-ass stay-at-home-moms do, without guilt or apologies, in order to keep themselves from burning out.
Real talk: as great as it is to be able to stay home with our kids, being a stay-at-home mom is still work, and it still involves sacrifice. While parenting is always challenging no matter what arrangement we choose, spending the majority of your time with kids can be both especially fun, and especially tiring. Having worked with kids as a teacher, worked with other adults, and worked at home and stayed at home with kids, the times where I've felt the most spent at the end of the day (though also, the most happy) have definitely been when I've passed most of my day with kids. Between their high energy levels, the amount of effort you invest in making countless moment-to-moment decisions on their behalf, and the constant vigilance required to make sure they're safe, kids will take a lot out of you. It's important to protect and restore that energy every day.
That's why moms who know what's up know that putting boundaries on their time, energy, and attention is priority one. We may make some mistakes from time-to-time, but more often than not, we remember to do the following things so that we can keep showing up and kicking ass at the best job in the world: raising our awesome kids.
Grown-ass moms decide what's most important to us so we can spend our time accordingly, instead of burning ourselves out trying to do everything. Cause ain't nobody got time for that.
They Take Time For Themselves
Choosing to stay home with our kids doesn't mean completely losing track of our own interests, or spending every waking moment with our kids. Everyone needs time to just be, and we need the time and space to do our own thing.
They Spend Time With Grown People Every So Often
As great as it is to be with our kids and watch them grow up, we also need to hang out with friends our own age on occasion. Unlike parents who work outside the home, stay-at-home moms don't necessarily have adult interaction built into our day, so we have to make time for that. (Perfect excuse to add "happy hour" to the to-do list this week.)
They Stand Up For A Fair Division Of Household Work
Being home with the kids during the day doesn't necessarily mean that one person should be responsible for everything at home, all the time, and the other person gets to come home and relax because they've been working outside of the home all day. If they live with a partner, grown-ass stay-at-home-moms make sure their partner does their fair share at home during nights and weekends, so they don't burn out.
They Stand Up For Themselves, In General
They Connect With Other Moms
We all need our village. Building our network of other grown-ass moms who look out for each other is critical for keeping ourselves happy and getting the support we need to be our best.
They Keep A Reasonable Routine
Not a rigid schedule, but not a total free-for-all. Having a routine helps us make sure our kids know what to expect every day, which is good for them and good for their behavior. It also helps us guard our time for ourselves.
This is one of the main advantages of spending your days at home, so please play whenever possible. Get down on the floor and play with your kids, or just find time to play your own way. It's OK to prioritize play over doing other stuff around the house.
They Pay Attention To Their Needs
Grown-ass moms make sure to stay in touch and facilitate the things that make them happy, so that if something about a situation isn't working for them, they can make whatever changes they need to make things feel right again.
They Ask For Help
As awesome as they are, every grown-ass mom knows she can't do everything alone. We know that there's nothing wrong with asking for help, especially since we spend so much of our time helping everyone else.
Because keeping up with kids all day is work, and because moms are human, not superheroes. We all need to get solid rest everyday, so make sure you get enough downtime and enough sleep.