How to be a SAHM (SANE AT HOME MUM)

This post was originally featured on www.meetothermums.com.

With two years’ service under my belt in my current position, it’s been a revelation that I’m actually in possession of the highly sought after thing called ‘Job satisfaction’.

I say job, but what I am talking about is being a stay at home parent. So actually, the total opposite of having a job. Well, on paper anyway.

Anyway, I digress.

So given this was a life decision initially made for me as opposed to ‘by me’, and certainly not part of ‘the plan’, it was somewhat of a step into the unknown. A leap of faith. People weren’t sure I could do it. I wasn’t sure I could do it. And, I hear over and over again from friends, family and ex-colleagues ‘I’m not sure I could do it’.

But guess what, I’m totally in the swing of things. I have it sussed, and here’s how you can too.

1. Live in the moment. Be here now – just like Liam and Noel once said. It’s pretty refreshing to stop worrying about what’s going to come next and just think about how great things are today. Get down on your hands and knees and soak up those tiny playmates before they are stinky teenagers wanting nowt to do with you.

2. Stick on the spandex. I’m on about exercise Mama, and yes – I’m talking to you. Don’t panic, it’s going to be a revelation that it actually equals precious you time, listening to your fave tunes and getting out of those four walls ALONE. More appealing already eh? The endorphins will do wonders for your mood and energy levels, and once you get a sweat on (or maybe get it washed off) you’ll be pretty damn proud of yourself.

3. Be every version of you. Yes, you are Mum, but remember once you were a hot girlfriend, an adoring wife, an awesome sister, a dependable daughter, a fun loving friend, the coolest ever Auntie, and more. That’s still you by the way, so reconnect with all of it and don’t let that chick go.

4. Do stuff! Someone once told me the best way to survive maternity leave is to leave the house every day – even if it’s to post a letter. I’d extend that beyond that year and then some. No one wants to die of boredom, or be a prisoner in your own home with only Mr Bloom for company. Check out the cheap / free stuff going on in your area and scribble out a timetable to stick on the fridge amongst the #crapcraft. Sure, have the odd day at home, but get those tots out as often as you can to breathe some fresh air (and drink tea / let it all out with other Mums).

5. Do nothing. Balance out doing loads of stuff with a whole lot of nothing. No Mum / kid wants to get to bedtime in an exhausted mess after navigating two play groups and a picnic lunch between two school runs. Say no occasionally and balance a morning out with a lazy afternoon or vice versa. Allow yourself some time to chill indoors with those thousands of toys you have accumulated. The kids need it, and you need it.

6. Surround yourself with like-minded folk. There are other people out there just like you, and you won’t have to venture far to find them (See #4). It’s hard at first but if you can sniff out the Mum with the same love of craft / coffee / Colin Farrell as you, your days will be brighter. It might mean kissing a few frogs, but your new BFF is out there just waiting to meet you.

7. Get a project on the go. Plan a charity coffee morning, start thinking about the next big event on the horizon, or even get involved with what your next home project might be. How are you going to make it happen? Who are you going to involve? It’s a totally rewarding thing to see something come together off of your own efforts, so get thinking and use this time to make a difference. You could join a local steering committee or be a parent rep for your local children’s centre. Start a campaign; What’s missing in your community? Maybe there’s a gap that you can help fill.

8. Mix things up. A little spontaneity goes a long way. Maybe ditch one of your regular weekday toddler hangouts and arrange a meet up with an old colleague. Sod the jam sandwiches and cheese sticks and request a table for two (one highchair) in Nandos. You don’t have to blow the budget, but make today memorable if it feels like lately the weeks are blending into one.

9. Be amazed. It’s easy to get caught up in the washing, cooking, cleaning…but remember why you’re here. Watch, photograph and write about milestones and magical memories. Smile, laugh, play and above all try to have fun.

Just pairing up a few black socks… #sahm #laughingatmyownjokes #pbloggers #mbloggers #laundry #socks #widn

A photo posted by MUM|MUDDLING|THROUGH (@mummuddlingthrough) on

10. Remember the bad days at work. It’s all too easy to look back with ‘rose tinted glasses’. Ah, the pub lunches, the coffee breaks, the banter…but do you remember the commute? The panic of being late again? The endless admin? That guy who majorly got your back up. Every. Single. Day. Do you remember the screech of the alarm clock at 5.30 and the Sunday night sinking feeling? Celebrate my friend, for we are our own bosses, and this year we deserve a big fat bonus (It’s called a takeaway on Friday night).

X MMT

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26 thoughts on “How to be a SAHM (SANE AT HOME MUM)

  1. Chilli Regina Reply

    Great post! Agree with all that you’ve said. Being a SAHM isn’t easy, it can get mentaly un-challenging, lonely, depressing, falling into boring routine, going insane. People judge. So, you highlighted some great points on staying a sane stay at home mom. Hope that all of the SAHM embrace it and follow your steps! BTW – I remember those Sunday evenings and Monday mornings. So glad they are over;))

  2. justsayingmum (@justsayingmum) Reply

    Oh I love! used to be a hot girlfriend (!!), mix it up, like-minded people – all of that! So true and fab pointers. You should be a SAHM life coach my lovely – now there’s a book idea! You’re welcome xx #CoolMumClub

  3. beautybabyandme Reply

    I love this so much! As a SAHM I can relate so much to what you’ve said – it’s not always easy but it’s all about balance and it is so worth it xx #coolmumclub

  4. bobsys mum (@stressed_mummy_) Reply

    Running is totally the answer to staying sane! I helped me so much through the newborn weeks. Then i ran a 10k, then i allowed myself a week off, then it became a month, then it got cold. Now i just can’t motivate myself to go outside! must run! for sanity!! #coolmumclub

  5. letyourlightshinemummy Reply

    Exercise, I’ve gotta say that’s a slightly alien concept to me these days, but you’re right it definitely gives you time. I used to love listening to the tunes whilst cross training. Being a SAHM is great, it is hard work, but I agree no more Sunday night sinking feeling. #coolmumclub

  6. motherhoodtherealdeal Reply

    I LOVE this post – this is a must read for every stay at home mum. Such brilliant points all round you wise old owl you! #coolmumclub high fives all round xx

  7. Laura Dove Reply

    I love this! I’ve been a SAHM on and off for twelve years and the last five years consecutively. I think the biggest one for me is leaving the house, I swear on the days when we don’t I spend the entire day just losing my sh*t!!! We spend a lot of time going to Tesco on those days, walking to the corner shop and back, anything at all to just get out of the house and stop ourselves from going crazy. It’s hard though, the hardest job I’ve ever done! #coolmumclub

  8. Mrs Morgan Plus 3 Reply

    I would love to be a sahm. I only went back 4 weeks ago after maternity leave for the 3rd time (am off on sick leave at the min for another 4 weeks due to an op) but I am not enjoying being back and missing my babies so much #coolmumclub xx

  9. Rhyming with Wine Reply

    You have nailed it with every one of these little gems! I have only just started to embrace the “balanced” thing of a morning out / an afternoon in, as I’ve been a bit guilty of planning two / three / erm yep. Sometimes… outings into our days and we all just ended up frazzled! Brilliant advice all round xx #coolmumclub

  10. Annabel Kirk Reply

    Great post, really important to remember point 10, rose tinted glasses are very powerful!

  11. Louise (Little Hearts, Big Love) Reply

    Love this post. Being a stay-at-home mum can be hard and monotonous at times and there are many days when I feel like I’m going crazy but getting out and about always helps to lift my mood. Having days of doing nothing are always good too! 🙂 #coolmumclub

  12. Nicole - Tales from Mamaville Reply

    From one SAHM to another – very useful advice and I can vouch for a number of the points. Especially the going out/ planning something – when the little ones are occupied they are happier which means they are less cranky which means mum feels better!
    #coolmumclub

  13. Jo (Mother of Teenagers) Reply

    You have certainly got it nailed, ultimately what’s not to like and of all of these no.10 is the one we all need to remember if we ever do have those moments of regret. #coolmumclub

  14. Helen Reply

    I love this. That black sock montage is genius – can’t believe I missed it. I totally agree with the mantra of leaving the house every day. It sucks away your soul and sanity if you stay cooped up. You make this SAHM thing look pretty cool xx #coolmumclub

  15. Janine Reply

    You know, I can’t believe I’ve been a SAHM for three years now. It’s gone insanely fast and I must admit I’m not looking forward to having to go back to work when my youngest starts school even though the kids drive me crazy.
    There’s some great advice here, especially about trying to get out every day. I find it much easier to get out now that I only have one at home and one in school but even in the school holidays I try to get out (even if it’s not until the afternoon) because we all go stir crazy when shut indoors for too long. I draw the line at exercise though. Whenever I get out the DVD and give it a whirl, I get the kids climbing all over me laughing hysterically like it’s some kind of game. I gave up exercise for that reason a long time ago. These days my exercise is limited to walking the dog and believe me even that’s a mission with two kids in tow.
    Thanks for hosting #coolmumclub 🙂

  16. Amina Reply

    Sounds like you totally know what you are doing. I can’t agree more with you. I definitely agree with leaving the house one and exercise. Sometimes we an get ourselves into a rut and I think excursus and just being outside can really keep you sane! Also agree with having a project. Being committed to something other than your children can really help you focus and keep your brain ticking! great advice lovely!

    Amina xx | http://www.AliandHer.com

  17. New Mummy Blog Reply

    Hahaha yes to every single one! I absolutely agree with getting out every day, I’d go completely insane curled up in a corner if I didn’t! #coolmumclub

  18. Cheryl @ Tea or Wine Reply

    Love this!! I was nodding away with every single point you made. Can totally relate to getting out of the house every single day, we do that even if it’s to go to the local park or shop. And so true to get down and enjoy the kids before they turn into teenagers. Time goes quick, my youngest starts school next year and whilst they drive me mental at times, I’ll be howling when she goes! #CoolMumClub xx

  19. Rachel Peachey Reply

    Oh thank you your title made me snort with a laugh! Sane at home mom, you’re talking to me. Where’s my head? Did I even brush my teeth. Yes, living in the moment, leaving the house EVERY single day and finding humor in writing with socks are excellent pieces of advice. Thanks! #coolmumblog

  20. Nadia - ScandiMummy Reply

    These are all brilliant. I think I might print this and hang it in my office (which is in reality our living room). I think I needed to be reminded of some of them. Thank you for sharing with #coolmumclub

    Nadia – Scandimummy x

  21. Mess and merlot Reply

    Both mine are at school now and our weekends are usually manic with ballet/parties/ football but when they were at home with me I HAD TO GET OUT OF THE HOUSE for the sake of all our sanity! On the days where I do have the kids at home during holidays now, I find a walk in the evening once my hubby is home takes me from full on banshee mode back to human. I love your running top so much 🙂 🙂 Loads of lovely things to remember here, I’m definitely guilty of being too busy sorting socks to be amazed so must try harder! #coolmumclub

  22. shinnersandthebrood Reply

    This is so lovely. You are right – it’s so easy to get bogged down with keeping busy – I’m all about the odd quiet afternoon at home taking it easy. i feel very lucky to have some like-minded people around me too. So many nice practical tips here. #coolmumclub

  23. Alana - Burnished Chaos Reply

    Great advice. I can relate to all of this except the exercise! Hubby works away for ten weeks at a time so no chance of me leaving the house on my own to exercise, I have to make do with an exercise bike in the dining room during nap time but now naps are reducing my only options will soon be 5am or 9pm and we all know that ain’t happening!
    #Coolmumclub

  24. Helena Reply

    I feel I need to print this off and stick it to the fridge to look at every day. #coolmumclub

  25. Silly Mummy Reply

    So true! Agree with all this! It is all about the balance between doing loads of stuff & doing absolutely nothing! #coolmumclub

  26. crummymummy1 Reply

    The picture you paint sounds wonderful! As a stay-and-work-at-home mum I envy you! #coolmumclub

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