13 Survival Tips for a Stay at Home Mom (Ultimate Guide)

Being a stay-at-home mom can be isolating and hard work. After all, if the kids are in school, then moms are alone all day, and if the kids aren’t yet in school, then most of the conversations a wife has are with little kids, and there is very little down time. So how do stay-at-home moms survive?

  1. Balance daily duties with your own needs
  2. Connect with other moms for adult conversation
  3. Don’t be a control freak
  4. Teach your kids independent play
  5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
  6. Have hobbies you enjoy in your free time
  7. Use a planner or organizer for your daily routine

Those of us at a 9 to 5 take for granted being able to occasionally have deep philosophical conversations about the news of the day, crack a joke or three, or even stop what we’re doing to watch a video on YouTube or check our Facebook.

Newly married couples and new moms always struggle to find balance.

That’s totally normal at this stage of your relationship. But, you don’t want your relationship to get stuck there. Thus, recognizing the different Stages of a Relationship, identifying where yours is at, and finding ways to take it to the next level are crucial for couples to succeed in the long run.

So why not take just a minute and review the steps and what you can do in your relationship to ensure it makes it to the next stage? Just click the link to read it on my site.

But now let’s review the . . . 

13 Survival Tips for a Stay at Home Mom

1. Take a shower daily

It might seem like a small thing, but when your world revolves around diapers, dirty laundry, cooking & cleaning, it can be easy to let personal hygiene go by the wayside. After all, who’s going to see us anyway?

But a daily shower (or least 3 or 4 a week) where we aren’t holding a baby lifts our spirits. It makes us feel better about ourselves.

When we experience improved self-esteem, we become more inclined to engage in activities outside our homes. Feeling better about ourselves boosts our motivation to go out and explore the world around us.

2. Find activities outside the house

The life of a SAHM can’t revolve 100% around the house.

So, it’s crucial to seek out fun things to do, social gatherings, kid hangouts, and other events that help us step outside our homes and interact with people.

Plus the more kids are out of the house, the less mess they make!

Memberships to local zoos, museums, or even the local library are all great things to get as they make it easy to go on regular field trips.

3. Connect with other moms and friends

As we’ve discussed, your wife can’t have a toddler be the sole source of conversation for 8-10 hours. That would stretch the sanity of even the best of us.

So encourage her to find meet-up groups, local neighborhood Facebook mom groups, or just connecting with friends and family.

Trust me; she needs a connection with others to maintain her sanity.

4. Spend time on a hobby

Everyone needs something they love to do just for themselves.

It doesn’t need to take tons of time or cost tons of money, but for an isolated SAHM, she needs something to do she feels passionate about that doesn’t involve being a mom or wife.

That could be a true hobby or it could be something as simple as watching the kids for an hour in the evenings so she can read a good book.

As her what she would love to do, find a way to make it happen, and then encourage her to follow through; it’s easy to make excuses, so a gentle push from you may be necessary.

5. Be comfortable setting boundaries

Some of us, husbands and wives both, have trouble saying no.

Many of us were raised to be pleasers. We love saying yes to everyone and everything. But you know what else that is?

Exhausting!

Every time we say yes to something, we are effectively saying no to something else. In the world of the stay-at-home mom, it’s not uncommon for her to say yes to everything only to find her own needs wants, and desires totally last on the priority list.

So encourage her to say no.

Make sure she feels comfortable telling you if a request you have isn’t realistic for her day. Ask her what you can do to help her with her priority list.

Stay-at-home moms never get to clock out, so our work as dads doesn’t end the moment we get home.

6. Ask for help

As with the above, for many of us, it’s hard to ask for help also.

Especially if your wife feels a sense from you that everything to do with the house and kids is “her job”, it can be very hard for her to ask for help.

But depending on the size of the home, how many kids you have, and their ages, she may need help; sometimes desperately.

As day-job dads, we may never fully understand what SAHMs go through.

The good news is we don’t have to fully understand to be empathetic and supportive. Ask your wife what help she needs. Depending on your circumstances, maybe a once-a-week cleaning person might make all the difference.

Or, as I do in our house, get the kid’s breakfasts ready in the morning, clean the kitchen, and then take the kids to school (with the toddler).

Your wife’s needs may be totally different from my ex’s, so check in. Ask what she needs, and be as supportive as you can.

7. Get memberships for households with Pre-K kids

Stay-at-home moms can thrive by getting memberships to places like zoos, museums, and amusement parks for their pre-K kids. With a membership, you have quick and easy access to fun and educational activities.

It’s a great way to entertain the kids, especially when money is tight since the membership is already paid for. These outings provide valuable experiences for the little ones while giving moms a break from routine and a chance to enjoy family time outside the home.

8. Take a night off every once in a while

Taking a night off every once in a while is essential for stay-at-home moms to thrive.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with daily responsibilities, so a break is well-deserved. Whether it’s a date night with their partner or a fun outing with friends, this time away allows moms to recharge and focus on themselves.

Additionally, it encourages a more balanced life between work and personal time, helping to lessen tension and avoid exhaustion. Enjoying these moments of personal wellbeing can make stay-at-home moms feel rejuvenated and more lively, making them more prepared to meet the challenges of their position.

9. Plan regular date nights with your spouse

Planning regular date nights with your spouse is crucial for stay-at-home moms’ well-being.

In the middle of busy schedules and parenting responsibilities, nurturing the relationship with their partner is essential. Date nights offer quality time to connect, communicate, and have fun together, reinforcing the bond between partners.

It allows moms to step away from their role temporarily, helping them feel appreciated and valued beyond being a parent. These special moments also promote a stronger support system within the family, benefiting both parents and creating a positive atmosphere at home.

10. Organize a set routine

Organizing a set routine is a valuable strategy for stay-at-home moms to maintain a sense of structure and control amidst the chaos of parenting.

Having a routine helps establish expectations and provides a sense of stability for both the moms and their kids. Use an app like TimeTree on your phone (which you can share with your husband or phone-age kids), a dry-erase board, Google Calendar, or (my personal favorite) an app like GQueues (for both mobile and desktop/laptop).

However, it’s important to remember that with young children, especially Pre-K kids, plans might not always go as intended.

Having the ability to be flexible and adaptable is crucial for thriving as a stay-at-home mom. Being open to change and adjusting to different situations helps us navigate the challenges and joys of this role effectively.

Embrace the spontaneity and go with the flow when needed, ensuring a balanced approach to parenting and maintaining your sanity.

11. Stay physically active

Keeping up with physical activity is key for stay-at-home moms to flourish.

Frequent workouts, like strolling, running, or dancing, can uplift one’s spirits by triggering the release of endorphins and lessening stress.

Studies from Mayo Clinic demonstrate that exercising can considerably better mental health and amplify energy levels.

Adding exercise to the daily schedule can offer a well-deserved pause and improve the overall lifestyle quality for stay-at-home moms.

(Source: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20048389)

12. Have an activity to help manage stress

Having an activity to manage stress is vital for stay-at-home moms to thrive.

Participating in practices like meditation, yoga, martial arts, or other mindfulness exercises has been proven to positively affect one’s mood and lessen stress. Research from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) reveals that mindfulness exercises are terrific for lowering stress and anxiety levels.

Implementing such activities regularly can help stay-at-home moms maintain their well-being and cope with the challenges of their role with greater ease.

(Source: https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/stress)

13. Join a book club or start one with fellow moms

Joining a book club or starting one with fellow moms is an excellent way for stay-at-home moms to thrive.

This offers a chance to link up with folks who share similar interests, exchange ideas on a variety of books, and take part in substantial conversations.

Book clubs also offer a chance to escape daily routines and immerse in captivating stories, fostering intellectual stimulation and social interaction.

Sharing the joy of reading can alleviate feelings of isolation and offer a supportive community.

Whether meeting in person or virtually, book clubs provide a much-needed break and a sense of camaraderie for stay-at-home moms seeking a fulfilling and enriching experience.

14. Keep a gratitude journal to focus on the positives in life

Keeping a gratitude journal is a powerful practice for stay-at-home moms to stay positive and find joy in everyday moments.

By jotting down things they are grateful for each day, moms can shift their focus from challenges to blessings, boosting their mental well-being. Expressing gratitude for small victories, happy memories, or simple pleasures can bring a sense of fulfillment and contentment.

This practice helps cultivate a positive outlook and reminds moms of the many reasons to be thankful. Embracing gratitude can be a valuable tool for staying resilient and finding happiness in the journey of being a stay-at-home mom.

15. Prioritize sleep

Making sleep a priority is vital for stay-at-home moms to keep up their health and handle day-to-day tasks.

Getting enough rest improves mood, cognitive function, and overall health. Establishing a consistent sleep schedule and creating a relaxing bedtime routine can promote better sleep quality.

Napping when possible can also provide an energy boost. Adequate sleep ensures moms are refreshed and better equipped to handle the challenges of parenting and household responsibilities.

Attending to their sleep requirements is a key aspect of personal well-being, enabling stay-at-home moms to flourish and be in top shape for both themselves and their loved ones.

Final thoughts

Being a stay-at-home mom can sometimes feel isolating, exhausting, and without much recognition.

The latter is because often husbands don’t fully understand or appreciate what their wives go through during the day while they are off at work.

The lack of a daily schedule, the challenges of young kids, meal planning, and taking care of the family home can be back-breaking. And often 99% of the conversations that happen in SAHM life are with toddlers.

So a SAHM needs some excellent survival tips to not only make it through the day, but to actually learn to love all the amazing things about getting to stay home and raise their kids.

Thankfully with an understanding husband and the right priorities, stay-at-home parents can learn to enjoy the quality time with their kids while being a good role model, taking care of the house, and enjoy the occasional nap time.

SAHMs can also enter the workplace and start a career. However, it’s not always as great as people make it out to be. So enjoy these years while you can.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do stay-at-home moms not lose their minds?

Being home with kids can be rewarding, but it can also become daunting and tension-filled. It’s crucial for stay-at-home moms to look after themselves and discover methods to maintain their peace of mind.

One strategy to keep balanced is to ensure that you reserve some time just for you.

This could mean setting aside a few moments each day to dive into a book, go for a stroll, or simply relish some tranquil time. Having a little break from the children can help you rejuvenate and provide the vitality you need to face the remainder of your day.

It is also important to find ways to connect with other adults. Joining a local mom’s group or taking an online class are great ways to meet other people who are in similar situations as you. Talking with other moms can help you feel less isolated and provide support when needed.

Supportive husbands of stay-at-home moms don’t want our wives to just survive, right?

So how can SAHMs be happier and feel fulfilled? To be clear, no one can make anyone but themselves happy. But husbands can remove roadblocks to happiness, change their own attitude and understanding, and support their wives in their needs.

Finally, it’s important for stay-at-home moms to place their physical well-being at the forefront.

Eating healthy food, ensuring enough rest, and sticking to a regular workout routine can help to reduce stress levels and boost overall health.

Caring for your body will provide the necessary energy to handle all the tasks that come with being a stay-at-home mom.  

By setting aside some me-time, interacting with other grown-ups, and maintaining physical well-being, stay-at-home moms can keep their sanity intact while still savoring the joys of spending time at home with their kids.

For newbie moms, if you suspect even the slightest possibility of postpartum depression, it’s crucial to discuss it with a healthcare or mental health professional.

How do stay-at-home moms protect themselves financially?

Stay-at-home moms face unique financial challenges.

They frequently have to depend on their spouse’s financial support, and they might not have the same perks like health insurance that a working mom who has a job outside the home does.

And they can face a lot of financial uncertainty if the marriage goes south and they are facing a divorce since they don’t have their own income or their own career.

Separation or divorce can be a tough and emotionally taxing ordeal for any pair, but it can be particularly hard-hitting for stay-at-home moms. Without a steady income, stay-at-home moms may find themselves in a precarious financial situation if their marriage ends.

Fortunately, there are steps they can take to protect themselves financially in the event of a divorce.

The first step is to create an emergency fund. This fund should be a separate savings account from any joint account and should contain enough money to cover basic living expenses for at least six months. If your husband watches the bank accounts like a hawk, you may need to be discrete and take smaller amounts so as not to arose suspicion.

This will provide the stay-at-home mom with some financial security if she needs to leave her home or find another place to live during the divorce proceedings.

Do be aware though, that technically while married, all accounts will be considered community property. So technically your husband would be entitled to half of that.

The second step is to create a budget and stick to it.

This will help the stay-at-home mom track her expenses and ensure that she is not overspending on unnecessary items. It will also help her identify areas where she can save money, such as cutting back on eating out or canceling subscriptions that are no longer needed. And any extra money can go right into that emergency fund.

Finally, it is important for stay-at-home moms to seek legal advice before filing for divorce from a good family law attorney. And talking to a certified financial planner can’t hurt either.

A lawyer can help them understand their rights and ensure that they receive a fair settlement in the divorce settlement agreement. They can also provide advice on how best to divide assets and debts between the two parties, as well as how child support payments should be handled.

Lastly, get a credit card in your name only and don’t use it. Just have it in the event you need it.

By taking these steps, stay-at-home moms can protect themselves financially in the event of a divorce and ensure that they have enough money for financial independence during this difficult time.

Also, consider getting a part-time job or side hustle can also ensure a little extra income that you can save away for when you really need it.

Are mom friends necessary for stay-at-home moms?

Mom friends are an important part of the stay-at-home mom experience.

Having a support system of other moms who understand the unique challenges and joys of being a stay-at-home mom can be invaluable. It can provide much-needed emotional support, advice, and camaraderie.

Mom friends can help to break up the monotony of staying at home with young children.

They can provide an opportunity for socialization and connection with other adults, which is often lacking when you’re a stay-at-home mom. Having someone to talk to about parenting issues or just to share stories and experiences with can be incredibly beneficial.

Mom friends can also provide practical help and support.

Whether it’s watching each other’s kids so one parent can run errands or just having someone to call if you need advice on how to handle a particular situation, having a network of supportive moms is invaluable.

Finally, having mom friends is important for your own mental health and well-being. It’s easy to feel isolated when you’re a stay-at-home mom, but having someone to talk to who understands what you’re going through can make all the difference in helping you feel connected and supported.

In conclusion, mom friends are an essential part of the stay-at-home mom experience.

They provide emotional support, practical help, and an opportunity for socialization that is often lacking when you’re at home with young children all day long.

Having a network of supportive moms is invaluable for your own mental health and well-being as well as for providing much-needed advice and camaraderie during this special time in your life.


Image by Tim Kraaijvanger from Pixabay

Jeff Campbell