I am a few years into the stay at home mom life, but this isn’t something I had initially considered for myself. It’s something we had talked about for a while, but for financial reasons (daycare is expensive), I took the plunge and decided to be a stay at home mom.
I had so many visions in my head for how great it would be, but when it really came down to it, I was lacking the motivation as a stay at home mom the longer I did it.
And you know what? That’s okay. We need to feel this way sometimes to remember our sense of purpose and reevaluate what we need to feel more fulfilled in our important role.
Whether you have always wanted to be a stay at home mom or this is something completely new to you, you may have had an idea in your head of how things would go. But the reality of the day in and day out challenges may have you rethinking your decision.
Being a stay at home mom comes with its challenges, it’s not easy! Anybody that tells you that it is has never done it before. It will test you in ways you never thought possible.
Feeling fulfilled as a stay at home mom can be even harder, especially the longer you do it. And it may not be exactly what you chalked it up to be.
After taking care of little ones all day we need to make sure as moms, that our tank is full as well. We need to take care of ourselves so that we can feel good about taking care of our home and family.
This post may contain affiliate links. While it is at no extra cost to you, I may receive a small commission. Please see my full disclaimer for more information.
You might be lacking motivation as a stay at home mom, but why?
1- It’s hard work
This was a big shock to me when I first became a stay at home mom. You don’t realize how much work it truly is until you spend the entire day trying to keep the tiny humans alive. They are exhausting!
Not only do I struggle to keep up with their energy levels, I then get to clean up after all of their messes, make all their meals, make sure they take naps, wipe noses, change diapers, oh and did I mention I haven’t gone to the bathroom alone in two years? And this is not even including the household duties I have to keep up with.
If you are a mom of toddlers like myself, independent play is limited and they depend on you for every need so unless they are napping (at the same time on a good day), I don’t get a break until they go to bed at the end of the night. And by that time, I’m exhausted.
2- “The comparison trap”
We have all been down this rabbit hole. Your scrolling instagram and see a family that you follow with their kids all in matching outfits holding hands at the park all cute, or the mom who is showing her really expensive new diaper bag inside her sparkling clean house.
These can be very deceiving and can lead you to feel very disconnected from your own life. This can make you feel unfulfilled because you are dreaming about something that is not your reality.
It can make you feel as if you are not good enough for your kids, and aren’t providing them with the expensive things or the perfectly clean house that they deserve.
It’s not worth the comparison because what people portray is generally a small glimpse into their actual lives. Their reality may not be any better than yours.
There will always be someone with more money, a nicer house, or fancier things than you so it’s best to not compare and realize that each of us have our own struggles.
3- The Guilt
This is a huge factor in not feeling as fulfilled as a stay at home mom. I don’t think there is a day that passes that I don’t feel guilty about something.
- Not accomplishing enough in the day
- Buying something I shouldn’t have
- Not contributing financially
- Not feeding my kids healthy enough
- Not playing with my kids enough
- Letting my kids watch too much TV
The list could go on and on… The guilt will start to eat you alive if you don’t let yourself let go of it sometimes.
4- The isolation is real
When you’re dealing with little ones all day and have limited to no adult interaction you can start to feel a sense of isolation.
It doesn’t help when you’re on your third load of laundry, making dinosaur shaped pancakes for the fourth time this week, or reading the same book for the tenth time today.
You can only have so many conversations with your toddler before you start, well…..frustrated.
You don’t get much time to yourself as a stay at home mom. Even if the kids are napping, it’s not like you can get out for a little while and meet a friend because you can’t leave your kids home alone.
Your sense of fulfillment as a stay at home mom can start to dwindle when you do this day in and day out for years.
5- Your not using skills you once did
Whether you went to college and got a degree, or you have always wanted to be a stay at home mom, we all have skills we used regularly before having children.
Before you had kids and possibly newly married you most likely had a job, were going to school, or had something that consumed your time other than caring for kids. You were also most likely used to having conversations with adults pretty regularly.
All of these factors can cause a lack of fulfillment when you become a stay at home mom. Not because you don’t love your kids, and don’t think they aren’t the greatest thing in the world. But because you are now living out your days with the needs of your kids in mind instead of yourself.
6- Lacking Confidence
I feel that this is a factor that isn’t talked about enough. I have had people ask me what I do for a living and I will reply with “oh i’m just a stay at home mom”.
By replying like this it implies that I am lacking confidence in being a stay at home mom. I don’t really consider it a “real job” or at least that’s how I think other people perceive stay at home mom life.
It is especially frustrating when I get asked “don’t you get bored being home all day, what do you do?” because I DO get bored, it’s just a different kind of bored…
The truth is, i’m not being fulfilled enough mentally.
Has anybody else been asked this, especially by family?
What some people don’t realize is that physically I have PLENTY of things to do. And honestly it should be pretty obvious what I do all day long, I take care of my kids and house.
Some people have a very black and white view to stay at home mom life, maybe you even did before you became one.
One example I have is the MESS. When you didn’t/don’t have kids maybe you cleaned the house once a week and that was sufficient. With kids around, I am cleaning and straightening the house a few times a day. Kids, especially toddlers are a walking disaster.
These are things that people without kids might not understand and it leads them to asking questions like “what do you do all day long?”
- cook 3 meals a day + snacks
- clean, which is never ending and might feel like its all we do
- change diapers
- get everyone dressed
- entertain ALL DAY LONG
- bathe kids
- keep nap schedules
- clean some more
- pay bills
- Try and take care of myself
etc… you get my point.
Okay, by now you’re probably wondering how you can stay motivated and more fulfilled as a stay at home mom….hang on, i’m getting there.
Tips for staying motivated as a stay-at-home-mom
1- Remember the purpose and reason you became a stay at home mom
This can be hard for some moms because maybe this isn’t something you wanted, but financially it is something that works for your family. Or maybe you have always looked forward to being a stay at home mom, but you are finding yourself in a motivational rut.
No matter what the reason is, it’s good to look back on that reason every once in a while to help bring more purpose to why you are doing what you are doing.
I don’t want to be that person that says “they are only little once, enjoy it” because that can be hard to swallow sometimes (and quite frankly, annoying) when you are just trying to get through the day.
BUT, for motivational purposes, it is true that they are only little for a short time. So if getting back to work is something that is important to you, or if you are finding yourself in a rut, This season won’t last forever..
2- Get up before the kids (at least by a few minutes)
This is a big one that I feel can make a huge difference in your morning routine. If you can get up in enough time to make some coffee, catch up on the news or have some “me time” before the kids wake up that really can make all the difference in your day.
Sometimes a little bit of quiet before the chaos begins is just what we need to get the day started on the right foot.
The overwhelm can be put into overdrive if you are changing diapers, making breakfast and are at the beckon call of kids the moment you open your eyes.
3- Get dressed everyday
I’m not saying you even need to put on jeans, but something other than what you slept in to make you feel more put together will help you have a better day. The days that I stay in my pajamas all day and barely look at myself in the mirror are the days that I feel emotionally drained by the end of the day.
You may be thinking, why would I need to get dressed if i’m going to be home all day? Trust me on this one! It will make all the difference.
4- Try to get in a workout
This can be any type of body movement. If working out is something that you already love to do, great! But if you are lacking in motivation in that area take it easy and start out with some stretching, yoga, or even just a walk around the block will do the trick.
The key is to get your body moving in some way, you will feel so much better!
5- Expose your eyes to sunlight in the morning
I know this may sound silly, but it really does make a big difference. When you expose your eyes to sunlight first thing in the morning the benefits are endless.
Not only does it help improve your mood but it also helps aid in sleep by producing more melatonin, it helps to wake you up and so many other benefits. Try and walk outside for 5 or 10 minutes while you drink your coffee. I don’t think you will regret it!
6- Have an activity or outing planned
Having something to look forward to for yourself and your kids can make a big difference in your day. An outing to the park, a long walk, a trip to target, or just a drive in the car. Whatever that may be for you.
Now I know this isn’t practical every day, but a few times a week can help improve everyone’s mood. Being in the house all day (especially if you live somewhere where you have a colder climate) can wreak havoc on mental health and can make you and the kids grumpy.
7- Get outside
It is so important for everyone to get outside each day, even if it is only for a few minutes. If it is really cold out, bundle everyone up and go grab the mail, or let the kids explore outside for a few minutes. They will love it!
If they are anything like my kids, the cold doesn’t phase them, only me! If it’s warm out, the possibilities are endless. Let them play outside all day, less to clean up inside later!
8- Take care of yourself too
When I say take care of yourself too I’m not referring to the typical “self care” that we all hear so much about these days. That is something you need to make a priority for as well, but isn’t always practical for us mammas.
What I am referring to are things like feeding yourself 3 healthy meals, drinking water, getting dressed, having boundaries when you need a minute.
These are things that we as mothers sometimes forget to do because we are too busy providing these things for our children.
Make sure to keep in mind that “self care” can mean different things to different people. While some people don’t think going to the grocery store alone or taking a long shower is self care, it might be for you. Not everyone has the luxury or money to get their nails done or go get a facial.
Don’t let someone make you feel bad or downplay what you think self care is for yourself, because it is different for everyone. Sometimes a long shower is just what we need to recharge.
Related: The secret to staying motivated when you are overly exhausted
9- Write a To-Do list
Writing a to-do list is helpful if you are someone who wants to accomplish too many tasks in one day (like myself). You can’t clean the house, take care of the kids, do the laundry, and deep clean the basement all in one day. Instead, write a to-do list and write down 1 or 2 tasks you would like to get done that day.
This way you have something to look at, and you can feel accomplished checking off the tasks you got done. If you prioritize a few tasks a day, by the end of the week you should have most everything accomplished.
10- Find something that you enjoy outside of the kids- My #1 tip!
Finding a creative outlet for yourself can make a big difference if you are finding yourself lacking purpose as a stay at home mom. There are many things you can do that can make you a little cash if that is something you are wanting, or just as a fun hobby.
Finding something that gets you excited can make a huge difference in your days. Because I have something that motivates me to work on during nap time, I am more excited to hang out with my kids, and take care of my home the rest of the day.
- Start a BLOG (It’s not easy, but it’s fun!)
- Create an Etsy shop for something you love to make
- Sell your clothes on Poshmark or local consignment stores
- Freelance writing or virtual assistant
- Learn how to bake, knit, or sew
The possibilities are endless, just as long as it is something that brings you happiness and purpose outside of caring for your kids.
Instead of being bored during nap, set the dishes aside and find something that get’s you excited about the day and something that you can look forward to, maybe even contribute a little bit financially if that is something that is a concern.
If there is one tip I have for being more fulfilled as a stay at home mom, let it be this!
11- Set boundaries and remember the kids are not in charge, you are!
This is something that I struggle with and need to remind myself of daily.
Sometimes it’s easier to let our kids have whatever they want to avoid a meltdown, but it’s important to hold your boundaries in front of your kids and remind them that we are in charge.
It’s tough staying motivated as a stay-at-home-mom, but you got this!
Being a stay at home mom has it’s own separate battles that someone who is going to work everyday doesn’t understand. We have to be our own advocates and make sure we take care of ourselves so we can better take care of our children. The motivation that is needed to tackle both of those things can be a struggle at times, but I hope these simple changes in your day can help you stay motivated!
Do you have any tips for staying motivated as a stay at home mom?
You may also like: