Family

Tips for stay-at-home mums

Being a stay-at-home mum has its ups and its downs. Here are some tips on surviving life's toughest job.
Tips for stay-at-home mums

Have a routine

Your days can just slip away if you don’t have an organised schedule. Work out what essential tasks have to be done every day (such as washing and dishes), slot in other chores such as grocery shopping around meal times and sleeps, then work out when you can do fun activities such as trips to the playground. Plan your routine and try to stick to it as best you can.

Be organised

Spend a bit of time planning activities at home and various ways of keeping the kids occupied. Keep boxes of dress-up out ts, art and craft stuff and puzzles and games handy for when they are bored. Rotate toys, putting some away for a while so that when they get bored of the ones they usually play with, you can whip out others they haven’t seen for a while. Visit a toy library regularly so they have a range of toys that don’t cost you a small fortune.

Write lists of things to do

Keep lists of various activities handy for when you are stuck for ideas. For example, have a list of free places to take the children, another of favourite playgrounds and one of kid-friendly cafés. They’ll be useful when your brain has turned to mush and you can’t think of what to do to keep the kids busy.

Look after yourself

It’s easy to get into the habit of wearing sloppy old clothes and not bothering to get your hair cut regularly, but you’ll feel so much better about yourself and life in general if you just invest a bit of time in your appearance and wellbeing. It doesn’t have to mean spending lots of money – even giving yourself a manicure or putting on makeup before you go out will help.

Get yourself a project or hobby

Hours of colouring in, playing with dolls or watching cartoons can drive a normally sane person quite mad and can also be terminally boring. Find something to keep your brain and/or your hands occupied that you can manage to do either while your kids are around or once they are in bed. Think about researching your family tree, scrapbooking, compiling digital photo albums or learning a new skill, like a language.

Stay in touch with friends

Adult company is important when you spend most of your day around little people. Find time to keep in contact with your friends – even if it’s just a phone call once a week. But also arrange regular get-togethers with your pals and try to talk about things that aren’t kid-related.

Build a support network

Get together with other mums, not just to give your kids a chance to play together and keep each other occupied, but so you’ll have the chance to let off steam and compare notes. Knowing you are not alone in dealing with the trials and tribulations of being a stay-at-home mum can make the tough times a lot easier. Maybe you can also share childcare duties, taking it in turns for one of you to look after all the children for a couple of hours while the other gets a bit of time to herself.

Don’t take it out on your partner

When you’ve had a bad day it can be tempting to let rip at your other half when they get home from work. By all means let them know about any problems or frustrations you have, but don’t direct your bad mood at them. It’s not their fault and you’ll just be putting your relationship under strain.

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