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I’m going to get really honest with you; I did not want to be a stay at home mom. It was a thought that never had crossed my mind. My mom always worked. Sometimes from home, but mostly, I grew up in daycares. No, I don’t have major memories of horror stories or feelings of being neglected by my parents. That’s not why I decided to be a stay at home mom. Ultimately, it came down to saving big financially (on the cost of daycare) and because I believed it was the best thing for my children. After all, it was only 5 years, right? (Going on 10 now). So let’s talk surviving SAHM status both mentally and financially. The ups, the downs, and how to not lose yourself while you help your kids find who they are! 

*This post contains affiliate links through which I may make a commission. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Setting clear intentions

It’s so common these days to read blog posts, and books or see motivational quotes designed to help the working mom or the workout mom achieve her #goals.

For some stay at home moms, those personal goals get put on hold in order to focus on creating a home and raising a family.

I’m not downplaying the huge responsibilities of working parents, because they bust their butts and deserve credit for that. They also have a boss (most likely), schedule, and coworkers to hold them accountable for getting stuff done.

I’m going to be honest, some days, when there were nothing and no one to hold me accountable, I just turned into a hot mess with no direction.

Those were the days I was more likely to snap, let the house chores implode and wind up falling into a depression.

Goal setting for SAHM’s

It is hugely important to set clear goals or intentions for what you want to accomplish in a day, week, month and maybe for the year.

In fact, there is a great organizational planner designed to help you plan groceries, workouts and daily life.

Examples of intentions:

Daily

  • Read alone for 20 minutes.
  • Get outside
  • Get 1 vegetable fully eaten

Weekly

  • Do laundry one day.
  • Groceries one day (or automate your groceries with Shipt or Instacart)
  • Enjoy the weekend.

Monthly

  • Get toddler “off” the pacifier
  • Get to the gym 6 times
  • Go on a kid-free date night!

Remind yourself what you want to accomplish and it will make it a lot easier on those days when you feel absolutely defeated and getting out of bed feels harsh enough.

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Keeping a schedule is one of the best ways to stay sane as a SAHM.

Time blocking

Running a blog from home while also being a SAHM mom/homeschool mom was one of the most stressful things I’ve ever done. Trying to find the balance between work, school and momming was difficult.

The best tip I could give any mom who is feeling overwhelmed by the amount of things she has to do in a day is, time blocking.

What is time blocking?

Time blocking is sort of like life on a schedule, but with a little more flexibility.

For example, you could say your 6am – 9am time is for coffee and getting everyone dressed for the day.

  • 6 am – 9 am is mommy’s coffee and reading time
  • 9 am – 12 pm is running errands
  • 12 pm – 3pm is nap time/important phone calls
  • 3 pm- 6 pm the dinner rush
  • 6 pm – 9 pm is bedtime procedures.

Having a schedule like this can be super helpful if you are trying to multi-task so much that you feel like nothing ever actually gets done.

It allows you to carve out time for each important thing without having to have a set-in-stone schedule.

Automating your life

The next best thing you can do to dial down the chaos of SAHM life both mentally and financially is to automate as much as you can!

What do I mean by this?

If there is a way to make your must-do daily tasks easier (or avoid doing them at all), do it! 6 ways to stop running errands every day.

What you can automate:

  • Prescriptions – If you have a family you need to get prescriptions for, why not get them sent straight to your door? PhilPharmacy works with insurance companies to get prescriptions filled and is usually the same cost as the pharmacy.
  • Groceries – Thank goodness places like Walmart and Costco have hopped on board with grocery pick up and/or delivery! Take advantage of this! Not only can it save you a ton of time, but also a ton of money! If you don’t have to pace the aisles with your kids, chances are you will be spending a lot less on food! Also, check out Shipt and Instacart.
  • Meal Planning – Some mamas love cooking, others not so much. Plus, when you have 800 other things to worry about, how are you supposed to learn how to cook healthy meals and stick to a budget? Answer: $5 Meal Plan. Get affordable meal plans that are designed to feed families healthy on a budget!
  • Bills – Nowadays you can get all of your bills automatically paid if you sign up to do so. This way you aren’t stressing about making sure everything has been paid each month. Although, I still recommend an easy to use budget to track all other expenses.
  • Emails – If you have important emails you need to send, you can knock out a few and easily schedule them now through platforms like Gmail. I pre-schedule all of my blog posts and emails so that each day I can focus on more important things.

Be realistic about yourself

News flash: you are not Superwoman. No one is. Do not set goals for yourself that are unattainable.

There is nothing wrong with aiming to be better but don’t set too much too fast because chances are you will come out feeling like a failure.

If you can’t bake cookies for the PTA, make homemade all organic baby food, completely breastfeed for a year, do your makeup every day, give your husband a back rub, keep the house spotless and maintain 10 friendships then don’t even try!

Focus on keeping the house semi-presentable, the kids alive and put on jeans once a week and feel successful, then just stick with that.

Great books for mamas:

Plan your financial future

Some things many SAHM’s don’t think about is planning for their retirement. I hate to break it to you, but more often than not, men die before women and if the finances have been poorly planned, it’s you that will see the consequences.

Here is a great article from Dave Ramsey’s team about the Spousal IRA.

What is the Spousal IRA?

This allows a work at home parent to set up an IRA in their name.

Putting 15% of your total pay away toward retirement/investments is the best way to make sure you are both secure financially in the future.

Check out the charts here to see how this type of savings plan can actually be more beneficial to you than just a one person have a 401K and an IRA.

Avoid paycheck to paycheck

On top of planning for retirement, managing your money day to day is so important. If you are not great at sticking to a budget, try my easy to use, Fun Sized Budget Bundle or the Dave Ramsey budgeting app, EveryDollar.

To take it a step further, I recommend Financial Peace University to every couple. It’s such a great way of getting financial struggles broken down into more manageable pieces.

Other reads you’ll love:

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Get out of the House

For the first few years of motherhood getting out of the house meant walking around Target talking to my 4-month-old…like a lunatic.

No wonder Target wound up getting most of my money at the end of every month!

Unfortunately, most of my friends were still living the single, childless life, so I felt pretty isolated.

I joined mommy and me classes but to be honest, they weren’t really my cup of tea. Small talk for me is basically like sucking the life out of me in a very slow and emotionally exhausting way.

Here are some basic ideas on how to get yourself out of the house to prevent total isolation styled craziness:

  • Mommy and me classes
  • Gym time
  • Walks to the park
  • Just walks
  • Plan coffee dates
  • Get your nails done
  • Get a massage
  • Get a part-time job
  • Put your kids in early learning classes a few times a week

Of course, depending on everyone’s different needs and personalities, these things will look different for everyone.

Ultimately, do what you can to get yourself out and about. Get fresh air, adult contact, and a little R&R whenever you are able to.

If needed, start working

The biggest thing that helped me both mentally and financially was when I would find or create a job for myself. I have always been an independent person and I enjoy the feeling of working. Repetitive things like dishes, cleaning and sweeping tend to make me a little bit crazy.

When it comes to working, I love fast-paced environments, challenges and the feeling of earning money.

Work from home jobs

There are so many jobs you can do right from home if you are still trying to avoid the cost of babysitting. Here are my top picks for SAHM’s.

  • Blogging – I have loved blogging because it allows me total freedom over my schedule and workload. Blogging allows me a creative outlet and has allowed my family to have an entirely new income. Get my FREE course on How to Make Your First $1,000 Blogging.
  • CrateJoy – Create your own subscription boxes for your business! CrateJoy is a program that helps you set up a website, gets your boxes started and gives you a platform to sell from. Get a 2-week free trial!
  • Sell on Amazon – Did you know you can buy items in bulk when they are on sale and then sell them on Amazon for full price? Check out this beginner guide to learn how to get started selling with FBA.
  • Rover – If you are already watching kids at home, why not add a cuddly pup to the mix and get paid for it? Rover allows you to do doggy daycare or over-night dog sitting. I got my first Rover pup within 20 minutes of signing up! Learn about Rover.
  • Stella & Dot – Join a company that strives to help women succeed in business. Work as often as you want, as much as you want helping style women while also helping other women sell the styles that they create! Learn more
  • Tutor or Teach online
    • CourseHero – Become an online tutor and teach what you know online to students around the world who need your help! Learn more
    • QKids – No degree? You might be in the clear. With QKids you can earn $16-$20 teaching English online and if you have experience with kids, you may qualify!
    • SayABC – Earn up to $21 per hour, set your own hours, and teach English online! Apply today.
    • VIPKid – If you have a bachelor’s degree you can make between $17 and $22/hr by teaching English online in over 32 different countries!

Let it go

This is the most important lesson to learn when it comes to at-home parenting. Just let it go. This time is short and it really is precious. Some days you will have to let go of the little things like dirty laundry, messy hair and all organic. If you spend too much time fussing over the details, you might miss out on those really big moments that never come back again.

If you are trying, if you love your kids and if you give each day your all; then you are doing a great job. Don’t ever trick yourself into believing you’re not. Be flexible, find what works for you and your family and try to soak up all the best parts.

Don’t Forget to PIN This!

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Sheree | 23rd Feb 18

    This post is so jammed packed with resources! I have left my job last April and we are still learning to be “comfortable” on one income (until my blog takes off). It’s not easy to run a household of 6, and requires a lot of organization. I too have days of depression where I can’t get off the couch to do anything. Thanks for taking the time to compile all this information. It’s good to feel I’m not the only one struggling.

    • heartsoulwhole@gmail.com | 25th Feb 18

      So glad you enjoyed it! I did NOT intend on it being so jam packed. But there’s really a lot to say!

  2. Maegan | 23rd Feb 18

    I am so impressed by this post! It’s totally packed with helpful info. I always wanted to be a SAHM, but it’s definitely harder than I ever imagined it would be (and more rewarding too!). Having a few hours of “me time” once a week to get out of the house has been a lifesaver! Pinning!

    • heartsoulwhole@gmail.com | 25th Feb 18

      Thanks Maegan. YES! You absolutely have to carve time for yourself! It is not an easy thing!

  3. Hil | 23rd Feb 18

    Great tips! I know some SAHMs who feel guilty getting me time, but you need what you need to be the best mom you can be.

    • heartsoulwhole@gmail.com | 25th Feb 18

      Yeah, I definitely struggled/struggle with the me time thing but now I see it’s really helpful for everyone…funny how I still can’t just do it for me. Haha.

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