How to Keep Your Sanity as a Stay-at-Home Mom

It used to be the norm that moms stayed at home with their children while dads went off to work. Times, they sure have changed. Today, many moms have no choice but to work in order to keep up with the ever-increasing cost of living; however, with that said, there are still plenty of mothers who do have the opportunity to stay home with their children.

Playing with kids

While yes, it certainly is a blessing to be able to stay home with the kids and partake in all of the wonders that come along with parenting, that doesn’t mean it isn’t tough. Keeping the kids entertained, going to mommy-and-me classes, running errands, cooking, cleaning, dealing with tantrums because the drink a toddler requested wasn’t given to him in the cup that he wanted… and sometimes, she really feels like she is going to lose her marbles.

Working moms may be under the impression that stay-at-home moms have it made; however, as a stay-at-home (well, actually, a work-at-home) mom myself, I can attest to the fact that grass isn’t always greener on this side of the fence.

For the stay-at-home moms out there who feel like they are going to go nuts if they have to hear the theme song to Elmo’s World one more time, who feel a little lost and lonely (yes, it is very possible to feel lonely, even when you are surrounded by your children all day,) and who sometimes wish that they were anywhere else but, well, home with the kids, I hear you! I, too, have been there! After nearly 7 years of being home with my children, I finally feel like I have gotten a handle on dealing with the struggles that come with being a stay-at-home mama(well, for the most part, anyway.)

If you’re a stay-at-home mom who is looking for a little advice to help you get through the trials and tribulations, here are some tips that have really helped me along the way…

A schedule is essential

It’s easy to just let things flow naturally when you’re a stay-at-home mom. Unless you have a class to attend with the kiddos or appointments, you often don’t have to be anywhere at a particular time. While going with the flow is all well and good, it can actually turn out to be a nightmare.

Kids need structure, and so do adults. It’s nice to know that there’s a plan and when things are going to happen. For kids, it makes life a lot easier when they know that lunch and naps happen at a certain time every day, and it also makes life a lot easier for moms. Create a schedule and try to stick to it as much as you can. Of course, you can totally be flexible – in fact, sometimes, you have to be flexible; however, when kids know what to expect, you’ll avoid meltdowns (on both their behalf and yours), and your day will go a whole lot smoother.

>> Here are a few daily schedule templates I found

But so is flexibility

While a routine is totally a necessity, sometimes, you have to shake things up a little bit. Doing the same thing day in and day out, day after day after day can make you go a little nuts. Once in a while, break from the routine. You don’t have to go super crazy, but switching things up even just a little bit can help you stay sane.

Get OUT!

Going outside with kids

I can’t stress this enough – GET OUT OF THE HOUSE!

It can be pretty tempting to stay inside all day when you’re a stay-at-home mom, but let me tell you, if you don’t get out, those walls are going to start closing in on you – and fast! I will never forget when I had my first son how stir crazy I felt after just a week of being home. I literally got to the point where I actually couldn’t stand being in the house anymore. So, I decided to get out! Yes, he was a newborn, but I packed him up in his stroller and we went for a walk at least once a day (sometimes several times a day,) and it made all the difference in the world!

Sometimes, looking at the same walls day in and day out can make your skin start to crawl, and eventually, your sanity can feel like it is starting to slip away. Getting out of the house, whether it’s to the park, to the library, for a play date, or just to the grocery store, can really help to keep your sanity in check. Plus, getting out is great for the little ones, too!

Get dressed

Yoga pants and a sweatshirt seems to be the unofficial uniform of stay-at-home moms. And while yes, it’s certainly comfortable, it can really start to impact your mood. A lot of moms let their wardrobes go by the wayside when they stay home; they feel like they don’t have anyone to impress, and it’s way better to have baby food spill on sweats than on a nice button down. But, dressing this way day after day can make you start to feel a bit, well, blah, and it can totally start to impact your mentality and your mood.

It’s really quite amazing how much what you wear impacts how you feel. I’m not saying that you should dress to the nines, but trading in the yoga pants and sweatshirt for a pair of jeans and a nice(er) T-shirt can really be a sanity saver.

Do some non-mom things

Mom yoga class

Yes, being a mom may be the most important thing in the world to you, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t still have needs for yourself; after all, you are still a person!

Make sure you take some time to do things for yourself that don’t involve being a mom. For example, you could join a gym that has a daycare and get in some workout time (which is great for the body and the mind) while the kiddos play; or, you could arrange to have someone else (your husband, your parents, your sister, a girlfriend…) one night a week so that you can go out and do something for you that doesn’t involve being a mother. Many stay-at-home moms put their needs on the backburner, which is often why they feel like they are going to lose their minds.

Ask for help

Mom asking for help width=

I’m super bad at asking for help. I always have been. I’m a typical Type A (or as my mom calls it, Type AAA) personality. I like to do things for myself and I feel like asking for help proves that I am not self-sufficient; however, when I became a mom, that changed…

It was really hard and it took me a really long time to do it, but eventually, I realized that I really needed help. So, I swallowed my pride and started asking for it. I’d ask my husband (who is always ready and willing to lend a helping hand, despite how hard-headed and stubborn I can be about letting him do things his way,) my parents, my sister… And you know what, it made a big difference. Whether it’s help with the laundry or the grocery shopping, or just asking someone to tend to the kids to take a shower in peace, sometimes you just need to ask for help. They say it takes a village to raise a child; I add to that statement by saying that it also takes a village to keep a stay-at-home mom’s sanity in-check.

Take a time out!

Time outs aren’t just for kids; they’re for adults, too! On those days when nothing seems to be going right; when the orange juice spills all over the countertop while I’m pouring it, the kids take forever to get their shoes on to get out the door, they argue about every single thing and I feel my blood starting to boil and my patience quickly waning, I put myself in a time out!

I’ll walk away from the situation for about five minutes so I can just breathe, regroup and settle myself. Taking a time out helps me keep my cool so that I don’t end up blowing up.

Try really playing with your kids

The baby needs to be fed and changed, the dishes need to be washed, the carpets need to be vacuumed, the laundry needs to be folded; there are so many responsibilities that come along with being a stay-at-home mom (well, that come along with being any type of mom.) In an effort to get everything done that needs to be done, I often forget to take time to play with my kids.

Playing with your kids isn’t only good for them, but it’s good for you, too! It helps to foster an even deeper relationship with them, it allows you to teach them valuable skills in a way that they can really relate to, and it also just lets you get a break from the monotony of daily life and just enjoy spending time with your kids. Plus, before you know it, your little ones will be grown, so take the time to enjoy playing with them now – the dishes can always wait until later.

Find something you really enjoy doing together

You aren’t big into playing with trucks or building block towers, but maybe you’re really into painting, and so is your toddler! Find out something that you both enjoy doing and do it! It’s amazing how much fun an activity is when you both really like doing it. Your kids will learn something from you, you’ll learn something from your kids, and you’ll just have fun together – and make memories that will last a lifetime!

Independent play is important

independent playFor some reason, I feel super guilty when my kids play by themselves.

For the longest time, when I saw them grab a toy and play alone, I’d feel super bad because they didn’t have a playmate, and so I’d put whatever I was doing aside and get involved in whatever it was that they were doing (even if I hated what they were playing.)

Eventually, though, I learned to let that go. Kids need to play independently. It fosters their creativity and teaches them that they don’t always have to rely on you – and believe me, that’s a huge deal, especially when they start getting a little older.

Let your kids play independently; in fact, encourage it! And while they are engaged in their play, take some time for you!

Stop feeling guilty!

One of my biggest issues as a mom is always feeling guilty. I feel super guilty because I work from home and can’t give them my undivided attention 100% of the time. I feel guilty when I tell them that they can’t have a toy. I feel guilty when they say they say they’re hungry, even though they flat out refused to eat the meal that they asked for. Bottom line: I just feel guilty, and feeling guilty all the time was doing a number on my sanity and my happiness. Plus, it wasn’t doing my kids any favors, either.

Though I do still struggle with feeling guilty, I have tried to let it go. I am not a perfect mother, but who is? The fact is that I am the best mother that I can possibly be for my children and for myself, and in the end, that’s all that really matters.

Be silly!

Kid Being silly
Kids love being silly, and silliness can be great for adults, too! Turn up the music, have a dance party, dress up in costumes, make up a different language… Just be silly with your kids. They’ll love the antics, and so will you! Plus, it will do wonders for your sanity.mommy being silly


Being a stay-at-home mom really is a blessing, but there are times when it feels like a curse. If you ever feel like you are losing your sanity, give these tips a try and see if they help you keep it together – and just make you happier!

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