Stay-at-Home Mom Survival Guide

Being a stay-at-home mom can be isolating. After all, if the kids are in school, then they are alone all day, and if the kids aren’t yet in school, then most of the conversations your wife has are with little kids. 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.

For stay-at-home moms to avoid depression and survive, a few things are imperative:

  • They need a support network
  • An understanding spouse is crucial
  • Memberships – For SAHMs with pre-k kids, memberships to museums, libraries, zoos, etc are a great way to get the kids out of the house, have fun, and connect with other SAHMs
  • A night off – Few things can recharge your wife quite like a night off where she can just be herself, she isn’t a mom or even a wife

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.

How can a stay-at-home mom be happy?

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.

Here are some of the top things SAHMs can do to boost happiness:

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 feel better about ourselves, we’ll be more likely to want to get out of the house and do things.

2. Find activities outside the house

The life of a SAHM can’t revolve 100% around the house. Thus, it’s important to find activities, meetups, play-dates, and other activities that get us out of the house and connecting with others.

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?


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.

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

Staying at home with children can be a rewarding experience, but it can also be overwhelming and stressful. It is important for stay-at-home moms to take care of themselves and find ways to not lose their minds.

One way to stay sane is to make sure that you have some time for yourself.

This could mean taking a few minutes each day to read a book, take a walk, or just sit in silence. Having some time away from the kids can help you recharge and give you the energy you need to tackle the rest 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.

Finally, it is important for stay-at-home moms to make sure they are taking care of their physical health.

Eating healthy meals, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly can help reduce stress levels and improve overall well-being. Taking care of your body will help ensure that you have the energy needed for all the tasks that come with being a stay-at-home mom.

By taking time for yourself, connecting with other adults, and taking care of your physical health, stay-at-home moms can avoid losing their minds while still enjoying the rewards of being at home with their children.

And for new moms, if there’s even a chance you have postpartum depression, make sure you talk to a medical or mental health specialist.

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

Stay-at-home moms face unique financial challenges.

They often have to rely on their husband’s financial support, and they may not have access to the same benefits such as health insurance as working moms who work outside the home. 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 money.

Divorce can be a difficult and emotionally draining experience for any couple, but it can be especially challenging 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 wellbeing. 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 wellbeing as well as for providing much-needed advice and camaraderie during this special time in your life.

Final thoughts

The life of a stay-at-home mom can be lonely, grueling, and often thankless.

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. But that’s not always what it’s cracked up to be. So enjoy these years while you can.

Image by Tim Kraaijvanger from Pixabay

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

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