WT 041: How Do I Manage Being a Stay at Home Mom?

Being a mom is full-time job, and it can be hard to manage in any capacity. Keeping up with schedules and to-dos, dinner, and “me time” for yourself is mouthful all itself. Listen to today's episode to hear Karen answer your questions on How Do I Manage Being a Stay at Home Mom?

Question 1: This past year, with the addition of our second child, I made the transition from working to being a stay at home mom. Goodness is it so much harder than I thought. I truly imagined quiet mornings sitting with my little ones drinking coffee and watching the Today show. It’s actually funny how wrong I was! Since I’ve had a few months to get used to the all-out chaos and not showering, I feel the need to start implementing some kind of structure to the day, even if it’s minor. What are your tips on doing this?

Karen’s answer:

It is WAY harder than it looks! I love your honesty and I appreciate the question.  Okay, to ALL my stay at home moms, (and for the working moms, your turn is next week!) But, if you are a stay at home mom, they key is NOT to settle.  You are working just like everyone else, but you have to be even more diligent to keep yourself motivated, which is super hard. It was for me, for sure. Set goals for yourself, such as: I’m going to have my shower before my children wake up, I’m going to clean two bathrooms today, I’m going to have dinner on the table tonight, a meat, veggie and a starch. Then go after those goals.  It is so easy to think "I’ll do that later." The other key thing is to teach your child that you have work to do, you can’t just play with them all day long

Question 2: Karen, I need tips on running errands with my 3 kids. When I was working I would drop into the grocery store after work, or run to the bank on my lunch break…now I have 3 little ones in tow and everything takes about 10 times longer and it’s not uncommon to see tears (and some days that’s before we even leave the house). Please tell me your secrets!

Karen’s Answer:

Of course! That was everyday when my children were little.  You have to think strategically and smart. Combine errands that are in the same area of town.  I would always dangle the carrot out in front of my children, of Chick-fil-A, at the end of the errand running.  I also, would hire a babysitter to watch my children so I could run to the grocery store by myself. Think about working smarter not harder. It’s all in “how” you set out to accomplish your errands.

Question 3: Karen, I would love your advice on building community while being a stay at home mom. It’s funny, I have more interaction with women my age than I ever did when I was working, but since our days revolve around taking care of the kids, I feel less connected to other classroom and church moms than I did to my coworkers. What’s your advice for branching out and trying to build friendships?

Karen’s Answer:

I think with other stay at home moms, we ALL get into our own little world, and moms as a whole tend to get single focused.  We don’t think to look around, notice another mom standing by herself, or to ask her “How was your weekend? What did you do?” At work, everyone has something in common, the workplace, and that is usually the springboard to conversation. Classrooms don’t really lend itself to that. Plus, you’ve got the whole comparison factor weighing into everything, which I think makes most people feel a bit insecure, which also does not lend itself to conversation.

One way you can start a community is to start a Birds on a Wire moms group. You can host it at home yourself, or alternate with the other women. You can even bring the curriculum to your church and ask them to host and organize it! Learn how to start a moms group here.

Question 4: I love being a stay at home mom. I know it’s where God is calling me to be in this season, but I cannot help but feel a bit “left behind” compared to working moms who are doing cool things and sharpening skills. How do I deal with this jealousy and honestly…resentment.

Karen’s Answer:

So many stay at home moms feel this same way.  Honestly, one way you can feel like life is not passing you by is to start investing in other moms in your world.  Open up your home, start a BOAW group to learn and grow.   You can be a disciple of women in your own home.  I want to challenge all the moms out there that feel this way, to think about starting a BOAW group in their home. I’ve made it so easy for moms, just gather a few friends, plug in the DVD and facilitate questions.  It’s that easy! No homework, no expectations, just talking through mom issues with a few friends.  I love hearing success stories, from moms who have done just that.  I believe this is what Jesus meant when He said, “feed my sheep”.  Moms are isolated, lonely, struggling and BOAW is a great avenue to connect moms and to equip and encourage them.

Moms, we know your time is precious. Thank for spending it with us. We hope you feel encouraged, equipped and most importantly—the peace of God. If you want to have weekly encouragement emailed to you, visit birdsonawiremoms.com to sing up for free weekly tips of motherhood.

Thank you moms, have a great day!