Stay At Home Mom Life: The Complete Guide

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Written by Nikki Dee

Stay-at-home mom life...whew! Am I right?

From the moment I saw those first two pink lines on the pregnancy test, I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. Maybe even from before that.

In my mind it would be all play dates and sweet cuddles. Then I made the leap into stay-at-home motherhood and soon realized that I had jumped into  a pile of dirty dishes and never-ending guilt.

For me, there was also the gut-wrenching process of living on a tiny budget because I wasn't working anymore.

Maybe you've had the same mom-guilt reality check.

Should you start a side gig and try to contribute to the finances of your family? Is it selfish of you to want to stay home? And will you ever have a conversation that doesn't involve someone else's bathroom habits again?

And my personal favorite - how in the actual world do I stay home all day long with an infant and somehow get nothing done?

So much overwhelm.

Stay-at-home motherhood isn't all it's cracked up to be in the trenches, but that doesn't mean it isn't worth it.

You just have to...

  • know what you want
  • forgive yourself for the things that don't get done
  • and fiercely protect your decision to be a stay-at-home mom

'Cause we all know EVERYBODY has an opinion about our choices.

The Choice to Be a Stay-At-Home Mom

Working outside the home versus staying at home is a fight that every mother has within herself.

Working outside the home gives you important things like the ability to see yourself as more than a mom, to form relationships with adults - not just toddlers - and to bring in money to help your family financially.

As a stay-at-home mom you have the ability to be part of every moment of your kids' lives, avoid spending money on childcare and establish the life you want for your children.

Let's be clear, though, neither of these choices will make it any easier to keep your house clean. Because that just can't be done with kids...while keeping your sanity.

The choice to work or stay at home weighs on so many of us. And at the end of the day, you have to make the choice that works for you. Whichever route you go, it won't be easy.

If you decide to go the stay-at-home mom route, this post should give you some encouragement and some resources.

Perks of Being a Stay at Home Mom

Having a life centered around your home and family has its perks, including

  • Giving yourself permission to focus on your home life helps you release the guilt ofnot being home with your kids.
  • You can wear whatever you want - including pajamas. I prefer crazy clothing combinations that embarass even the FedEx guy, but you do you.
  • Your children will grow up with you as the biggest influence in their lives.
  • You get to experience every moment, every milestone.
  • You create the routines and rhythms of your family life.
  • You can truly create the home that you want.

There are so many perks for stay-at-home moms that it would be impossible to list them all. For me, those included the option to homeschool my kids and to build a business that I love.

Without being a stay-at-home mom, neither of those things would have happened for me.

I know other stay-at-home moms who don't have any aspirations for starting a business or homeschooling, but who enjoy other perks that I never considered before I met them.

At the end of the day, the biggest perk is making a decision that allows you to design a life based on your priorities. Nothing compares to that.

However, stay-at-home motherhood isn't without its challenges.

Challenges of the 24/7 Motherhood Model

Staying at home with your children can be a never-ending pile of laundry and a maddening amount of baby talk.

Not to mention the guilt of feeling like you aren't contributing to the finances of the family.

No matter what challenges you face as a stay-at-home mom, you are not alone. Even on the days when you feel lonely.

The most common challenges revolve around being home ALL THE TIME and yet feeling like you never have time to do the things that your home needs - cleaning, laundry, and even your own basic hygiene.

Somehow the 24/7 motherhood model can create a mental attitude that motherhood is all that you do.

You can't pee alone.

You can't shower without someone opening the curtain, freezing you to death, and asking where the grape popsicles are.

You can't cook, clean, or sneeze without someone on your hip.

Creating healthy boundaries is the hardest thing you need to do as a stay-at-home mom. But protecting your space, your mental health, and your priorities are all things you should try to do.

Also, get some mom friends. Even if they are in a Facebook group or a text group.

Dealing with Mom Guilt

Mom guilt is one of the worst things that mothers have to battle. It is an unseen force that takes over our thoughts with no relief. Any choice you make leads to guilt.

Work from home? You'll worry that you are a horrible mom for asking your kids to be quiet while you are on a conference call.

Work outside the home? You'll worry that you're a horrible mom for leaving your kids every day.

Bottle feed? You'll worry that your children are going to grow up with deficiencies because you didn't breastfeed.

Breastfeed? You'll worry that your body isn't producing enough milk and if you need to supplement.

Laundry not folded? You'll feel guilty about using your time to clean instead of spend time with your kids.

Mom guilt sucks. And there is seemingly nothing we can do about it. It was such a problem for me that I created a Ditch the Mom Guilt guide - download a free copy here - to help me work through my guilt and get back to a place where I felt good about my life. 

It's just a simple guide that helps walk you through some steps to acknowledge your guilt, forgive yourself and create a plan to be the mother (stay-at-home or working) that you have always wanted to be.

As a stay-at-home mom, there are some things that you can do to create an environment that makes you happy without losing your mind.

Ditch the Mom Guilt Printable

Create a Mom Plan for Success

Do you have goals for what you want your motherhood to look like? Do you have goals for what you want your kids' lives to look like?

I'm not talking about what they will be when they grow up. I'm talking about what they do when they get home from school, what discipline looks like in your house, who contributes to which chores, how you spend time together as a family.

Also, consider things like what you will do once they start school if they haven't already, your personal and professional goals and how they fit into the family dynamic, and anything else that is important to you.

It is worth spending some time writing down your ideas and goals. Because you will never get anywhere if you don't know where you want to be.

Once you have dreams, you need a plan.

Do you have a plan for how to get from where you are today to where you dream your family will be?

Because if you don't have a plan...

If you don't have goals...

If you don't know every single day, every single week, every single month of your motherhood what you need to do to get where you want to be...

You'll end up nowhere. Exhaustion and mom brain will take over and you will end up taking a nap.

Maybe your aspiration is to earn some extra money to do things for your family, or maybe you aspire to homeschool your kids. Maybe you want to travel more, buy a bigger house, have another baby, get a puppy.

Whatever you want in life, the best way to get there is with a plan.

Take out a sheet of paper and write down your goals. Put them on a whiteboard. Put them on your vision board. Stick them to the wall in your kitchen. Put them on the dashboard of your car.

Put them everywhere.

Know what you. Know the goals that you have and know how you're going to get there.

If your goal is to have more time at home, create a plan for how you are going to work less and spend more time at home.

If your goal is to eat healthier, create a plan for how you are going to avoid junk foods and incorporate more veggies into your diet.

Whatever you want, write down your goals and a plan for achieving them.

Post them in your house where you can see them. Make them colorful and beautiful. Put the priorities of your motherhood front and center in your life.

By having this battle plan it gives you so much power as a mom. When you have to say "no" to things that are hard to resist, it's easier if you can see the "yes" that you are replacing it with.

No, I can't have cookies after dinner because Yes, I want to feel good about my body this summer at the beach.

No, I can't watch another episode of Dateline, because Yes, I have to write a blog post to promote my new printables.

Here's how to make this mom plan:

  • Write down your ultimate goals
  • Give each goal a reasonable timeframe
  • Break down each goal into actionable steps
  • Put your actionable steps into a monthly and/or weekly planner so you always know what to do next.

That's it.

Will you always be perfect at working toward your goals? Of course not. Neither am I.

But if you move toward your goals even 50% of the time, that puts you so much further than you would ever get by wandering aimlessly through your life.

Another way that you can create a mom-life you love is to get organized.

Organizing Your Home and Family for Real Life

The center of our lives as mothers is our home and family. And those can also be the most stressful parts of our lives - especially if we feel like they are out of control.

That is exactly why it is so important to know what your family goals and aspirations are - and to keep track of everyone's schedule - and create a cleaning schedule - and - and- and -

But how?

Want to be the mom who has it all together?

Too bad. I don't know how to do that.

But I do know how to get your life organized so that you aren't so scattered and overwhelmed.

Check out these resources that I use to help keep my family organized and under control:

  • The Free Mom Planner - this is one of my favorite printables for starting your life of organization. It is functional and fun with cool designs and colors as well as tabs to keep you organized.
  • The Home Binder - an all-in-one resource to help you keep all of your family's information in one place, along with your plans and goals. It's a must-have for any family.
  • The Mother of All Binders - this is my go-to for everything. This binder has everything I need to organize my life, my family and my business.
  • Family Chore Charts - to help delegate activities so that you don't get so overwhelmed with all of the household chores.
  • Weekly Meal Plan - meal planning can be one of the most difficult parts of motherhood. When you know a week in advance what you are having for dinner, it makes grocery shoping and meal time much less stressful.
  • Rainbow Calendar - this calendar helps you organize anything from your family to your business plus it's so colorful you'll want to print it again and again.
  • The Homeschool Binder - if you homeschool your kids, then you know what a nightmare it can be to keep all the infromation you need at your fingertips. This binder is my answer and I love it.
  • Healthy Living Tracker - if you are trying to stay healthy, this single sheet printable can help you keep track of your goals and your progress.
  • Monthly Expenses - let's be real, spending is one of those areas we wish we didn't have to keep up with. But until we hit the lottery, it's probably something we should keep tabs on. This printable page helps you do just that.
  • Want more? Check out the Printables Shop for everything you need to organize your life, plan your success and entertain your kids.

Once you have all your organization in place, you are ready to put your mom plan in motion.

Put Your Mom Plan in Motion

Once you have a plan and yourself organized (or at least not overwhelming), you can start to put your plans in action.

Every day move toward your goals. Even if it is just a tiny bit.

And for the love of all that is good, forgive yourself on the days when you just don't have the energy.

Being a stay-at-home mom is a thankless, exhausting job. So, give yourself some grace.

At the end of the day, you are raising humans, championing for your family and steering this incredibly large ship. You are amazing. And I am so proud of you!

Stay at Home Mom LIfe

All printables available on this website are for personal use only. You may not alter, sell or redistribute them in any form without the written consent of the author, Nikki Dee Woods. If you wish to share these printables with someone, please share the blog post link with them.

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About Nikki Dee

From the time she was young, Nikki Dee knew she wanted to be  a writer. After spending years making money as a freelance writer, she became a mom. With her days full of squealing toddlers, client calls became almost impossible and Nikki Dee decided to start her own blog. Now she helps other moms who are trying to find their path to a dream life.

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