I’ve been at this stay-at-home game for a little more than a half a year. So I’m no expert. But I’ve been on the brink of insanity and learned a thing or two in the past few months. Some tips from the trenches…
1. Get dressed. This seems obvious, but do you know how good it feels to stay in your pajamas all morning?! Unfortunately, I don’t feel like doing anything in my pajamas. Well, that false. I feel like sleeping. Clean up breakfast dishes? I can’t do that. I’m still in my pj’s!! So first things first- get dressed.
2. Put on shoes. We usually have a “no shoe” policy in our house. However, I’ve found if I wear shoes around the house it makes me want to accomplish things. Shoes=success. I mean, I never went to work without my shoes on. Okay, okay….I might have taken them off once or twice under my desk. And if you are worried about tracking dirt around the house, buy new shoes and only wear them inside.
3. Have a game plan. Each night after the girls go to bed, I come up with some kind of plan for the next day. It can be as simple as “We’ll go to the zoo tomorrow.” Even knowing that much, I can make a quick breakfast, pack a lunch, and hopefully get to the zoo when it opens. If I wake up with nothing planned I usually do just that…nothing. That never feels good. You can go all crazy and write up a full 20 item to do list each night. I’d start with a quick list (just 3 things) you want to do each day. One work thing around the house, one fun thing with the kids, one thing for you. Anything else is bonus!
4. Be flexible. The best thing about being a stay-at-home mom is you don’t have to stick to the plan. If you planned to go to the zoo, but the kids just won’t get ready to leave the house….then stay home! If the kids can’t do the craft you had planned, then color instead. If you don’t everything done on your to do list, then just do it tomorrow. No worries. Plans are good. Being flexible with plans is even better.
5. Find your go/stay rhythm. Just because you are a stay-at-home mom doesn’t mean you want to spend all your time at home. You also don’t want to spend all your time driving from park to playdate to pizzeria (it seemed like I needed another ‘p’ word there). It’s nice to have some days to relax. I like to have two days of running around doing errands/shopping/fun activities and then one day at home catching up on housework. After two days at home I get a little stir-crazy. Maybe two-day weekends are permanently ingrained in my psyche?