5 Tips to be a BETTER {and happier} Stay at Home Mom


5tipsstayathomemom

Hello lovelies! I hope that you are finding this blog encouraging {once people start finding it..} and a place to be real, share and to seek fellowship. Today’s post is a difficult topic for most moms {and some dads, really..}, but especially for moms who are going through, or have gone through, postpartum depression. It is all about wanting to be better, which is pretty much your biggest hurdle when coping with ppd. But can I be honest with you? It really was part of my saving grace when getting out of mine.

I felt like if there was at least a desire to do good for my blueeyedbabies, then I really did love them. If I wanted to be a better mom then that meant I really did want to be a mom. And if I wanted to honor God, my husband and respect my self enough to keep house well, make food and be attentive during the day, that meant there was hope for me yet!

Also, I just wanted to add.. I’m not a doctor and do not feel like you have to suffer from postpartum depression to benefit from some {awesome} biblically based tips on parenthood.

Here are my top 5 ways I have helped my self to not only lift out of the fog of ppd, but to be a much better and happier mommy.

Coloss323

1. Just do it

Getting overwhelmed with keeping a home, whether you work outside of it or not, is one of the most difficult tasks a mother faces. Once you let something go for one day too many, like the dishes or laundry, it’s chaos. And finding your way to peace and healing in a chaotic home is impossible. Trust me.

And here is my biggest encouragement for this one.. Just do it.

Is there laundry to do? Take that first step, get off your bum, and get one load done a day.

Are there toys all over the living room floor before bed and you know if  you don’t clean them now they will be there in the am? Then pick them up. Better yet, have you kids help! It is always good to have a clean up game or song, or see if you guys can get it all put away before you count to twenty. And biggest thing, easy to overlook, always say thank you. Personally, I think it should be one of the most over-used words in a home. Children love to earn praise, to be big and helpful, and to have made you happy.

When your home is cleared of chaos, even just spot cleaned, you are going to function better and be a much more happy mommy, and that is the best thing you can do for your family.

Psalm48

2. SLEEP!!

You know when you’re laying in bed, it’s dark-thirty in the morning and your blueeyedbabyboy is standing at the baby gate wanting to play cars and you say, “Okay honey, mommy will be there in just a minute..” and then doze off or lay there hating your self for not getting up but at the same time pretty much physically incapable of moving your legs off of the bed. Yeah, not a good place to be.

Since you’ll be getting your chores done in the morning, dealing with messes as they come and being overall more positive about your abilities; you’ll have less to stay up for. This might sound silly, but once I finally started to do things even though it was hard and I didn’t have the passion for it, just did them simply out of obedience, I was blessed. I felt happier, of more worth, and I wanted that feeling more and more. Not only that, but at night while laying in bed, I spent less time thinking of how I hated my self and of all the things I hadn’t accomplished that day. Instead, I slept! And sleep helps, everything. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, there isn’t a much better mommy to be around that a well rested one.

When you get more sleep it is easier to wake up earlier, more refreshed and honestly.. it’s easier to be mommy. In our house a new unwritten rule has been established and it is this..

NO Being grumpy to others when you’ve all just woke up.

Simple, right? It should be a no-brainer. But guess what, it’s hard. But you know what else?? It’s worth it.

So instead of laying there in bed, listening to my blueeyedbabyboy and how he is awake and wants to play.. I get up, force myself to smile. Pray about it if I have to, and just take a BIG deep breath. I’m not saying I need this pep-talk every morning. In fact, most days now I wake before the blueeyedbabies do, and I love it! And no matter what, when I first see them in the morning I show them how happy I am to see them, to be the one to hold their sleepy-heads and still warm bodies, the one who makes them breakfast and gets to hear about their sweet-dreams; how happy I am that I get to spend another day with them. And it has made such a huge difference in our house.

1Corinth1614

3. Be there

This is one of my biggest failures, I will have to admit. And it is something that I have gotten so much better at since my postpartum depression fog has really lifted, which makes me a happy mommy.

Realizing that my blueeyedbabies are just babies.. helped a lot. They do not know how long a few minutes is, they don’t understand you are tired and just want to watch a half hour of tv or ‘snuggle’ with your hubby before bed. All they know is they want you and think they need you; and in all honesty, if you don’t come when they call at least once, eventually they will stop wanting and needing you to comfort them. This is the harsh reality of it and finding that fine line between being disciplined parents who have self-sufficient children and always being available is extremely difficult, especially at bed time.

What I have started to do is I go in only once {or twice} and explain that I love my blueeyedbabies so very much, that they are surrounded by their angels and that God is with them always, that there is NOTHING to fear. I tell them that mommy is tired and needs to sleep also, and then I thank them for being so sweet that day and for being helpful. We usually sing a song, snuggle for a minute and I let them know that I will check on them in a little bit.

While this usually does the trick, they’re toddlers!! So in reality, sometimes they just need to be held and other times they are just stalling and need to lay there until they fall asleep. This is the tricky part where finding the sweet spot, that fine line I mentioned, is so hard. That mommy guilt tends to get you and says, “What if they really is something bothering them? What if I should go in one more time?” Even though you know they are just trying to fool you, and it goes both ways.

How many times has your kiddo asked for something, asked for you to play especially, or to hold them and read, and you were too “busy” to fully engage with them? Lots? Me too. Next time this happens I want to encourage you to stop for a moment and feel that guilt in your heart. USE IT. Go play with your children, it will help them know you are there and it will help you gain some confidence in your parenting.

I got so sick and tired of feeling bad that I decided if there wasn’t enough time to play with my blueeyedbabies, then I was going to make it. Having some sort of chore schedule helps a ton. Just knowing what you have to do and just simply doing it, makes you feel so much more accomplished, and this helps get rid of the self-doubt and ppd.

1John47

4. Take Care of YOU {and your marriage}

It is too easy to go without a shower, to not put a bra on, and to not eat a proper meal some days. Bleh, real life here and it’s messy sometimes. One of the biggest things I want to encourage you to do is to not only make time for your children, to truly enjoy their company, but to make time for your self.

Showers are a luxury when you are a new mom, for sure. But even if you have to put the kids to bed 20 minutes earlier so that you can get a shower in at least every other day or so, I promise they won’t mind. Think of how much happier you would be??!!

Hair and make-up can be fun, not necessary, but it is a good pick-me-up; even if you are just putting it on because your husband will be home soon. And who knows, maybe he will recognize your effort and want to help you feel even more taken care of.. later.. which I highly suggest you let him. Often. It not only lets you feel like a woman instead of a well loved snot rag that makes lunch {which honestly is the BEST job ever} at some point during the day, but it also lets YOU be the one who is held and getting the attention. And what is so healthy for your marriage is that he feels that too.

Trust me, I get being ‘touched out’ after a long day of crying babies, “mommy can we plays” while trying to do dishes, and poop in the bath tub.  But the reality is, that’s not an excuse. You need it, you deserve to be pampered and to feel like a woman sometimes. And, everyone knows that the more sex you have, the more you want! So it could be the beginning of a beautiful new season in your marriage.

1Thess517

 

5. Pray

This is the big one. Pray always and about everything!

God hears you and loves you and wants good for you. It’s easy to feel alone when you are a Stay at Home Mom and sometimes prayer can be that companion when your heart needs to talk. I am always praying over my blueeyedbabies during the day, at the most random times, but I truly love the connection to God’s ear, to His heart. Prayer is our way into the spiritual world and it is a part of our armor that needs to be strong and familiar.

Praying for God to help me heal was one of the ways I admitted my postpartum depression. {If you are feeling sad, you NEED to tell someone.} And it also gave me hope that I recognized what was happening and that I wanted out of the fog. Knowing that my heart desired to be a healthier person, a better mommy, and a happier wife truly set a fire under my bum. When you pray over those you love and when you pray to love them better, you cannot help but hear God’s still, small voice encouraging you and guiding you. And these some of the things placed on my heart.

I want to encourage you to ask God to open your heart to where you could be better. It is not easy, but it is necessary.

Don’t be afraid, if you are willing to move forward and be happier, only good will come of it.

‘For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.’

2 Timothy 1:7

Thank you lovelies! Jesus loves you!

22 thoughts on “5 Tips to be a BETTER {and happier} Stay at Home Mom

  1. Great post, I am a stay at home mom and some days are better than others! It’s so worth it in the end though

  2. Thank you for the encouragement! I’m struggling with being there for my toddler; it’s been a long two days with her being sick and not napping at all and it’s easy to lose focus of what’s most important.

  3. Great post Ashley! This was actually something I needed to read today. The past couple of weeks have been difficult. I totally agree with these- especially the “be there”. Very encouraging!

    • Christina, thanks! I will say a special prayer for you that God gives you an extra boost of energy and willingness. It’s so hard with new babies and toddlers. But you are doing awesome!!

  4. What is so awesome to be a stay at home Mom is, we get to see our kids everyday when they come home from school. Our time is focus on them. I love the last tip, to pray. I do love to pray and especially when I have problems. I want God to enlighten me and make right decision that I will not regret.

  5. Great post and I agree with your points. I have not had to deal with getting overwhelmed with kids of my own, but I recognize how important it is to find a healthy balance with the kids, marriage, physical well-being, and mental state.

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