Being a stay-at-home mom has a lot of hard days. I feel like I’m up to my eyeballs in dirty diapers, potty training, and spit up every single day, and I question my sanity those days. I would be lying if I said I didn’t put myself in a time out at least once a week.
But there is a way to not lose your mind every day. It is so simple in theory, but much harder to actually put in place. You ready? Okay, here goes:
Have a plan, but be flexible.
Easy, right? Yeah, not so much. It doesn’t have to be a super-ridgid schedule where you have every moment planned with activity. Just set aside blocks of time where both you and your kids know what’s going on and what’s coming up. If you need some help putting this schedule together, check out my post about making a stay-at-home mom schedule.
If you have each minute planned out, you may overwhelm yourself. That is why it is so important to be flexible. If the kids are calm and content while coloring at the table, you may want to continue it while preparing lunch. Whereas, if they’re throwing crayons at each other, maybe go ahead and move to a quiet movie on the couch. Don’t be so stuck in your schedule that it causes more stress.
It’s also important to be flexible for other reasons. If one of your kids wakes up sick, you all may just want to crash on the couch for the day. But flexibility isn’t just for bad things that could happen. A friend may call and want to have lunch with you and the kiddos. If you already know what’s on the menu for lunch, you can decide if you want to table the plan to meet up with her or decline because you already have the kids down for a nap while you’re preparing lunch.
To regain your sanity, it’s important to set up expectations for each day. When kids have a plan, they have stability. Mine always seem calmer when they know what to expect throughout the day. But do not flip out if the schedule isn’t going exactly right all the time.