Staying Inspired as a Stay-at-Home Mom

I sit here curled up with my second cup of coffee for the day. A sunshiny morning drifted into afternoon rain and now gives way to chubby flakes of snow. Ahh, snow on the 3rd of April—perhaps I’ll cry some chubby teardrops onto my keyboard while we’re at it.

Both my babies are asleep which has become the case more and more lately. I remember when I was expecting, wondering how nap time would work with two kids and two conflicting schedules. Basically, it was a zoo for eight months but now we’re getting somewhere 😉

It feels like a really long time since we’ve had good weather here. Last summer was kind of a dud—cool, rainy, Gypsy moths stripping the trees so bare it looked as brown as winter in the middle of July. Our days outside were limited and few compared to our normal summertime routine. Summer cooled into a very sickly fall and we were still in survival mode with our newborn. Then winter came as winter always does and has sat on us proud and stubborn ever since.

We are legit stir-crazy and I find myself every day trying to think of an excuse to leave the house and escape these walls for which we’ve spent so much time over the last year. Which in turn has me thinking about this life as a stay-at-home mom and ways it can be enjoyed a little more.

I realize it’s a privilege to stay home with my kids. I know moms who would love to spend their days with their children and with enough time to really “make home.” I’m thankful I get to do what I do—but you guys, sometimes I still want to burn the house down. I like to stay busy, go places, see people, talk to adults sometimes. So being home almost all day every day between these same walls with these same crazy humans can get to you after a while.

In the summertime, I’m a rock star mom lol. We go to the park, the lake and ocean, take long walks, play in the backyard….the TV is almost never on and we’re almost always outside. Then winter comes and I curl up and cry for nine months while Netflix keeps asking if I’m still watching. Rude.

Here’s what I’m trying to say…I am (still, right now, currently) learning how to make these long days at home a little more enjoyable and I wanted to share a few ideas in case you’re curled up crying, too:

Go Places…Even if You’re Alone

I didn’t do a very good job getting out of the house this winter, in part because I couldn’t find anyone to go with. Most of my friends have jobs or homeschool so they’re not available in the middle of a weekday to hang out. But I’ve realized it’s still fun to go places even if it’s just me and my kids. We go to play places, children’s museums, Target (give your kid a bag of that Target popcorn and they’ll ride around happily for a bit while you lose your mind in the $1 section). I love bargain shopping so we go to Marshalls and Home Goods and dig around for deals. I make sure Roman gets to spend some time playing in the toy aisle so it’s fun for him too.

And once it warms up there will be tons of stuff to do outside so it will be even easier to go places together. All I know is, the days and weeks get really long when you stay home all the time so even though it’s work and can be intimidating to go places alone with littles, just throw your stuff in the car and do it; it’ll be good for all of you.IMG_20170519_214606_556.jpg

Stop Hustling for a Minute

I hate the word “hustle,” just for the record. You hear it talked about constantly like the most virtuous and admirable thing you can say about a person is that they’re “hustling”—busy, getting stuff done, moving up.

It’s hard when you’re home and see both how much can be done and how much everyone else seems to be getting done (via social media mostly) to ever feel like it’s okay to sit down and not do anything. This has been a hard lesson for me because I’m a doer and like to be moving and accomplishing. But I’m learning how important it is to my kids and my days just to slow down and hold them or play in the dirt or go for a walk and not constantly be moving onto the next thing.

I think too, that telling people you’re a SAHM can feel a little small and intimidating and it’s tempting to puff your life up with something more—a project or an at-home business so you don’t feel like you’re “just” a mom or “just” a home-maker. I’ve struggled a lot with this and have wrestled with my purpose and identity as a mom. But I’m learning that filling my days with hustle and stuff doesn’t fill a void—it just distracts from what I’m actually here to do—make home and raise a family; the rest needs to fit in secondarily during this season of motherhood.IMG_20180403_161709_370.jpgIMG_20180403_161556_913.jpg

Find Time Alone + Together

Find some time alone away from your house to change up your surroundings and get some fresh perspective. My husband and I try to trade off every few weeks and let each other have a night out. I like to grab dinner (without having to share with anyone, what?!), get a coffee, walk slowly through those bargain stores undistracted, or go to a café and write. And if I can’t get out of the house alone, I try to take advantage of naps and spend some time reading or writing instead of just moving onto the next chore or mess—that stuff will always be there waiting, trust me.

Also, find some time with your husband. Get a sitter and schedule a date or order pizza and have a fun dessert after the kids are in bed. Whatever it takes, make your relationship a priority and keep things fresh.

Love Your Space + Change Things Up

Since you’re going to be spending a whole lotta time at home, make sure you actually like your home as much as possible. I’m not saying things have to be perfect but don’t be afraid to spend some money decorating if you can or shop your own home and change things up every now and then.

Our master bath has been driving me crazy so the other day I decided to move stuff around and borrow from other rooms to get a fresh look. It’s amazing how much of a difference a fresh coat of paint or moving things around can make.

String some twinkle lights up in your bedroom for ambiance, light a candle, buy a cute throw pillow, or put some fresh flowers in vases around the house. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive to have big impact.

Get Up Before Your Kids

This is the game changer for me. If I sleep until my kids wake up, the day always seems to descend into anarchy and chaos. No matter how tired I am, it’s worth it to start the day before my kids even if it means trying to take a nap later while they nap or trying to get into bed a little earlier.


A couple other things that help me are getting out of my yoga pants and in real clothes, making my bed and keeping things clean and organized, and having a hobby that doesn’t revolve around my kids (for me, writing, decorating, bargain shopping).

So if you, like me, are struggling to stay inspired during these last painfully long days of winter, I hope this will be an inspiration and encouragement to you. And if you have any other ideas, leave them in the comments—I’m always up for trying something different! ❤

15 thoughts on “Staying Inspired as a Stay-at-Home Mom

  1. I totally feel you! I’m already dreading when it’s too cold to walk to the park. I’ve never been home so much in my life and it almost drove me crazy, but each day I’m doing better at tryin to stay in the now and enjoy the little things with my son. Thanks for the encouragement 😉

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    • Winter is so hard when you’re cooped up inside with little ones. I’m already trying to be proactive in coming up with a plan and outings for the cold days ahead. Thanks for the comment!

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  2. itsamomslife550575916.wordpress.com
    I am so glad that us moms can stick together and relate to each other on a personal level. All of our stories are different but they are all the same. I love the poetry in all of it. I just recently started my blog today and I hope it inspires moms everywhere just like yours has. Thank you for your posts. 🙂

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  3. oh how I enjoyed your post! Love your transparency and humor! I could relate to sooo much of your post! Thank you for the tips and encouragement!

    I love what you said “This has been a hard lesson for me because I’m a doer and like to be moving and accomplishing. But I’m learning how important it is to my kids and my days just to slow down and hold them or play in the dirt or go for a walk and not constantly be moving onto the next thing.”

    Learning this lesson allows me to enjoy my days and time with my kids so much more…I live to be in the moment and not absentmindedly thinking of the many things I need to accomplish on my to-do-list.

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    • Thank you so much for these encouraging words! And thank you for reminding me of my own words to slow down and enjoy my children on a day when I was struggling to do just that ❤

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  4. I love lists like these! I’m always looking for new ways to reboot, and this list is so helpful. I’ve been looking for a “reason” to get a few new Spring decor pieces, I really do think that will help me enjoy these walls more! Thank you! 🙂

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  5. Very Well Said Kari! I am in pretty much the same boat, two toddlers, boy and girl, 2.5 and 15 months old. I feel the same way you do as well. I feel like if we could get together and talk about life we’d be great companions lol! I read your other article about where you started and ended up. Again, almost same path for me. Being a SAHM is the hardest thing I have ever done, so bitter sweet! Bitter because of the streaming chaos as you say, but so sweet because of those precious moments and opportunities to parent and teach your children instead of someone else doing it! Thanks for sharing your insights and being so transparent! You are very inspiring!

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    • Nice to meet another mom on here who’s in the same place and understands where I’m coming from— and I’m sure we’d be great companions too 🙂 Being a mom and especially a SAHM is worlds harder than I ever imagined but I’m starting to realize too how much it’s changing me and what a gift of grace that is even on the worst days. Thank you for taking the time to encourage me. I will be following your blog as well ❤

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  6. I think everything you said is absolutely spot on. In the grand scheme of life, your time as a stay at home mom is so short you will be so glad you did all these things. I think it’s very important to maintain balance and not feel pressured by our culture so much. There is so much pressure to “produce” and not enough encouragement to just “be’. Even God encourages us at times “be still and know that He is God.”
    Even now after my kids are grown and gone I have to make myself get out of my yoga pants, too! Oh yeah, and make the bed! 😊

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    • I’ve really struggled with this idea of “hustling” and constantly feeling like I need to do more. But I keep hearing that still, small voice reminding me to slow down and grab hold. Thanks for the encouraging comment ❤

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