For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6 NASB)
Being a stay-at-home-mom is the best job I’ve ever had, but it has also been one of the most challenging. It’s not complex like a brain-surgeon’s job, but rather difficult in that it’s similar to juggling rings of fire like clowns do at the circus. But when things aren’t crazy, days can become uninspired when I’m not looking for the beautiful. I’m human. It happens.
I don’t know about you, but I never want to forget to be grateful for this time in my life, because these really are the days. I’m always looking for ways to be better–a better wife, a better mom, a better person. Here are my seven tips to being a better SAHM. These tips are things that I’ve learned along the way during my one-year journey as a stay-at-home-mama, and they are also things that I want to improve on to be the best I can be. Lord knows I need these reminders to stay disciplined.
1. Wake up & pray.
“You’ll never be a perfect parent, but you can be a praying parent.” I saw this quote in a daily devotion on Proverbs 31 Ministries, and I believe it hits the nail right on the head. I know I need more practice in this first tip, because it is oh-so important. My alarm clock is Charlotte’s little (sometimes loud) voice coming through the monitor on my nightstand, and the first thing I do when waking up is check my Total Baby app sleep timer on my iPhone to see how long she slept (because I’m a freak about her sleep). But instead of grabbing my phone, what if I did this? –> Each day I wake up, I want to ask God to make me a better mom and wife than I was the day before and to fill my spirit with all His goodness. I really want to start waking up before my Charlotte does to spend more time in prayer. This would be a great time to read a daily devotion, a chapter from a Bible Study, or to have a little God time all while preparing for the day ahead. Because if there is one thing I know I can do right during the day, it’s being a praying mama. And prayer always gives me peace.
2. Get dressed for the day.
Even if it’s just a change into yoga pants and a fresh t-shirt, get out of those PJs, girlfriend! (And right now, I’m really talking to myself, because we have a serious PJ problem in our house.) But really. Brush your teeth, wash your face, put on a little concealer over those dark circles under your eyes (again, talking to myself), wear your smile, and make yourself feel pretty. Do this when you wake up before the baby gets up OR at least get this done as soon as possible to help make you feel like you’re ready for work, because it is, right? Also, it will help motivate you to get out of the house occasionally, attend play dates, and make new friends. It’s a win-win. I always feel more confident when I look my best.
Most importantly, dress your spirit. “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV).
3. Pack your patience & be present.
Keep in mind that you are molding a little human being into the person God wants them to be. But as they learn and grow, inevitably they will throw tantrums, make messes, be loud, cry for no reason, and
do exactly what you tell them not to do. (This is when #1 comes in handy.) Be patient and work with your child. In order to do this, you must be present. Put away your technology and distractions. Because being present will allow you to see all the beautiful things your child does throughout the day. These little things will make your soul smile and remind you having your little babe is truly worth it. While you’re present (and even when you’re practicing that patience), tell that baby you love him/her every chance you get.
4. Be sure to eat.
This seems like common sense, but I find myself skipping meals all the time (and not on purpose). But I get cranky-pants when I don’t eat. Food and water is pretty necessary, y’all. Eating is fuel for the brain and body, and those two things are pretty important when you’re a SAHM. So stay healthy and stay hydrated. We don’t get sick days. Your baby has to eat, so eat when the baby eats. This also might be a good excuse to get out of the house and go to Chick-fil-A, too. You’re welcome.
5. Enjoy the quiet time.
Here is where having your baby on a schedule has a huge advantage. When your baby is on a schedule, it makes life so much easier. There is purpose, motivation, and routine. Babies thrive on structure. So when they are taking a nap or are old enough to have playtime by themselves, enjoy the quiet time. Read a book, catch up with your DVR, call a friend, listen to music while doing some chores, or whatever your little heart desires to give you some peace.
6. Praise your husband.
Let’s not forget about the husband. He is a big reason why you are able to stay at home, so thank him and love on him, too. Instead of greeting him with all of the negative things you’ve endured throughout the day, greet him with a smile. He’ll appreciate the positivity. You know how important it is to feel appreciated, and he’s no different. It’s that golden rule, sister: treat others how you want to be treated. You’ll both be happier for it.
When God was creating the earth, He rested on the seventh day. We as mamas need our rest and rejuvenation, too. Plan a mom’s night out, take a trip alone to Target, start a new hobby, go to the salon…you get the picture. Take the time to recharge and reboot. I know I am always so excited when I come back home after being gone for even an hour. But you need that time. Your baby and your hubby will thank you.
Some of these tips can be hard to do at times. Being a SAHM is a brutal, beautiful job. Do not be so hard on yourself. When you get discouraged, remember you are stronger than you think you are. We CAN do hard things, because those little fingers tugging at our shirt with a milk smeared smile remind us that we can do anything. As long as you can say, “I did the best I could today,” then you’re doing all you can do, and that is the best gift you could ever give your family. Let us always strive to be the best version of ourselves. Because when we know better, we do better.
She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
(Proverbs 31:25-31 NIV)
What are some things you do as a SAHM to make your days better?