Managing Your Time As A Stay At Home Parent
Being a stay at home parent can be very challenging.
Whether or not you also have a side business, being the primary caregiver for your children is no joke!
From the moment you… or should I say your child… wakes up, it is go, go, go! There always seems to be an endless list of things to be done; laundry, dishes, sweeping, cleaning the walls, scrubbing the bathtub, grocery shopping, cooking 27 wholesome meals and a day, it just never seems to end. In addition to the chores, we want to give as much attention as we can to our little ones, who are only small for such a short period of time. On top of all of that, there are a bunch of events for your child; swimming lessons, mommy and me gymnastics, story and song time at the library, park play dates and so on. How in the world do you balance all of this, plus still have time for your partner (if you have one), not to mention time for yourself as a stay at home parent!? These tips might help you get some ideas!
- Take your child to do something after breakfast that is special and geared towards them. If they’re old enough, ask them what they’d like to do, if you don’t already have a system set in place. Some examples are swimming lessons, mom and tot gymnastics, story and song time at the library and park play dates with a moms group. The good news is, there are many very inexpensive or free things to do, you just have to dig around! This is a great way to give your child something to look forward to every day and lets them know that you care about their interests.
- If your child naps, awesome! If not, I suggest trying out ‘quiet time’, where your child plays, reads, colors, etc quietly in their room for about an hour after lunch. Of course, this should be altered to be age appropriate and is easiest implemented as soon as your child no longer takes naps. This gives you a break in the middle of the day, and also your child a rest. Take this time to have a quiet lunch to yourself, work on a project you’re passionate about, or get some house cleaning in!
- Afternoons are always up in the air, it often depends on the child’s mood. Try getting them involved in helping out with any light housework or meal prep (we recently got a ‘kitchen helper’ stool for our toddler and it’s been life changing!!!). Consider taking a walk to the park if your little ones seem to be full of beans!
- The evenings can be tricky… that hour right before dinner time is when I find I need the most help! Trying to get a meal prepared after a long day for tired and hungry children can be challenging. Don’t be afraid to ask your partner, friend or family member to play with your child or take them for a little walk while you make dinner.
- Once your children have gone to bed, it’s okay to tidy up a little bit, but it is also okay just to plop down on the couch and throw on your favorite show!
- On the weekends, try to find some alone time for yourself. For example; every weekend my husband and I will take turns getting an afternoon to ourselves. And now that my daughter is a little bit older, about once a month I will go out for an entire day, sans baby. Try striking a deal with your friends who also have kids, you watch their kids one afternoon so they can have a date, and in exchange, they’ll watch yours the following day.
The funny thing about kids is, we can plan and schedule and organize as much as we want. But, all of that can just fly right out the window at any given moment! It’s important not to hold yourself to such a high standard, thinking everything must be perfect all of the time just because you’re a stay at home parent. News flash: those supermoms you see on social media have their ‘moments’ as well, it’s not always sunshine and rainbows.
Having some sort of an outline for how you’d like the day to look can be helpful. However, allow yourself to scratch all of that and lay on the floor playing with your kids all day, throwing a quick pot of pasta on as a last minute dinner. Give yourself grace, you’re doing a great job as a stay at home parent.
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