Perhaps it’s the longer and sunnier days that have made being a stay-at-home mom, a little bit more enjoyable lately. Sun makes me happy. Being a wife and mother makes me happy. Being a stay-at-home mom makes me happy too.
I have been a stay-at-home mom for 21 months, and I love it. Yes, it’s lonely at times. The days can easily become monotonous, lazy days are incredibly tempting, and cabin fever is r-e-a-l. With a limited “going out” budget (and currently freezing cold winter), as much as I would like to take my kids out to every indoor playground in the city, it can get expensive. Still, I have a very happy and enjoyable stay-at-home motherhood. My children, of course, are the biggest source of my happiness as a mother and human being, but for the stay-at-home part, I find a few things make a difference.
Routine. I loooovvvve having a routine- especially with two kids. How does this make me happy? As a stay-at-home mom, I’m on duty pretty much all day, but routine gives me two things; nap and bed time. I need that nap to reset, I don’t even want to think about the day my kids drop naps (haha). Bed time also gives me around three hours, kid free, before I go to bed. I recharge, rest mentally and emotionally, and have time to do the things that I enjoy. For it, I am a better and happier mother and wife.
Attitude. I’ve said this before in my two under two post, but I say it again- attitude is everything. I am one of those annoyingly positive people (I know I am). I’m OK with it, because it pays off! It begins with me; the more positive energy and attitude I transmit to my children, the better their own moods and attitudes are going to be, and over all, our days easier and happier.
Make my home beautiful. As a stay-at-home mom, I spend a lot of time at home, so why not make the space I spend most of my time in beautiful? I’m not talking about hiring an interior designer and having a make-over completed, #aintnobodygotmoneyforthat…or at least I don’t (haha). Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and what I do to make my home beautiful may be different to someone else…which is beautiful in itself. I move furniture around lots (my husband hates it haha). I grow plants and have them around the house. I re-arrange books so that they look prettier together. I put pictures up. I open the blinds and let the sun in. I try and keep my house tidy (and mostly clean)…little things. Creating a beautiful space motivates and inspires me to just… be.
Journal. I have kept a journal since I was 9 years old (I still have my first hello kitty one), it’s second nature to me. As a mother though, keeping a journal has been such a wonderful way to reflect- on the good, the bad, and to let it all out. Writing is therapeutic to me, one of the reasons I started this blog. On the harder days, I can go back and read about the really good days we have, and why I love spending my days at home with them.
Start the day the night before. Once the kids are in bed, it’s hard not to immediately sit down and relax for the night. Waking up to a messy kitchen and toys all over the floor, however, sucks. I want to start my days off in the best note possible. With my husband, we take 10 minutes after we put the kids to be to pick up the place – do the dishes, wipe the counters, put the toys and laundry away; it makes such a difference. I also try and have a plan of WHAT we’re going to get up to the next day. If we’re going out, I prep whatever I can the night before to make the ‘leaving-the-house’ process easier. If we’re not going out, I plan a craft/game/activity, and get all the materials ready the night before. I also plan lazy PJ and cartoon days, and I have no shame admitting that.
In many ways, I find being a stay-at-home mom has taught me to find, and pay attention, to the little things in the domestic every day life that make it special. The way the entire house smells wonderful after you bake a cake with your children. The way your toddler finds wonder in the different type of sunlight we get through the seasons. The strange happiness you find in folding clothes and making your dresser look beautiful. The feeling you have when you eventually settle down for the night; the house is quiet, the lights are dim, and you realize you can’t wait for all of it to start again the next day.