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Everything about being a stay-at-home mom.

Life-Changing Secrets to Make You a Successful Stay-at-Home Mom

Are you a stay-at-home mom who has finally conquered its struggles and challenges? If so, are you now working towards becoming more than the woman that you are today? Here are 8 ways to help empower you to transform your life as a stay-at-home mom and become successful in your own ways.

This is part 2 of my post, “How Stay-at-Home Moms can Survive and Thrive“.

Life-Changing Secrets to Make you a Successful Stay-at-Home Mom

What makes a successful stay-at-home mom?

Our answers wouldn’t probably match.

While some of us look at being a successful stay-at-home mom as being efficiently managing our multiple roles at home, some have a different perspective. 

If you ask me, I would say that being a successful stay-at-home mom means I’m able to serve my purpose of staying home with my kids. No, it isn’t to become an all-around cleaner or a master chef of home-cooked meals. Although of course, it’s part of my duties.

My ultimate purpose is to personally guide my kids as they grow up in all aspects of their lives, most especially on their spiritual growth. That’s why I chose to stay at home.

Of course, I want them to have a successful career in the future, and to have a happy family of their own. But all of these only comes next after I see them as successfully fulfilling their duties to God and as members of the Church of Christ.

successful stay-at-home mom and kids

Now, what does it mean to thrive as a stay-at-home mom?

Being a mother is a game of survival where every stage of motherhood is a battle. And being a stay-at-home mom is yet another game.

“I will tell you though – being a stay at home mom is no joke.  From the outside, it looks like it would be a lot easier – nowhere to be in the morning, no more pressures from the outside.  But it’s not,” says Steph in her article on becoming a stay-at-home mom.

And I couldn’t agree more.

Although most stay-at-home moms are definitely happy with their choices (like me, and fellow stay-at-home mom Abbie who considers it as “living the dream” in her blog post), we still can’t hide the fact that there are challenges and struggles that come along with it. 

But we’re naturally survivors.

The thing is, since most of us just want to survive, we sometimes forget the need to thrive. Just like a deer being chased down by a lion, focusing our efforts just to survive the day. 

successful stay-at-home moms don't just run for survival like a deer

I’d say we should stop just trying to survive but instead, aim to thrive. To grow and flourish as a person. To become a better and even the best version of ourselves. To become a successful stay-at-home mom.

You might say that being a mother had already made us better. We’ve grown in ways we never imagined we could.

We learned to control our patience, to multi-task, to improvise. We’ve become masters of different skills. But that’s us being a mother. 

What about that woman within us before our kids? 

Don’t we have skills that aren’t about feeding kids and changing diapers?

Some of us are talented graphic designers, writers, or entrepreneurs. Some of us love traveling and exploring new cultures.

Do you define being a successful stay-at-home mom as someone who travels a lot with their kids?
Zaanse Schans, Holland, Netherlands. January 2019.

If we’re not going to pursue our own passion and chase our dreams, who would be there to teach our kids about passion and self-discovery? After all, isn’t that our ultimate goal why we chose to stay at home? Isn’t that how we would know that we’ve become successful in being a stay-at-home mom?

While every mom has their own standards of how they would define themselves as a successful stay-at-home mom, I know some of you agree with me (and that’s probably why you’re still reading this).

So, how can we thrive and become successful stay-at-home moms?

If you want to not just survive this thing called “motherhood” but to also thrive and become a successful stay-at-home mom, here are the steps:

1. Find your WHY

I’ve come across this when I was reading an article by mymommstyle.com. Camille says, “it is my personal belief that motherhood is a divine calling that I am meant for. This is my most important work. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for me to work toward something that burns within me to give more or be more than the woman I am today.”

And I agree with her. 

That’s why it’s important to start our journey to becoming a successful stay-at-home mom with knowing exactly what’s our WHY.

When I joined an MLM company in 2016, this is the first exercise that we did after signing up: defining our WHY. We were told to create our dream board to remind us what we are aiming for, and to push us to do our best to achieve whatever is on that board. 

Thankfully, it reminded me that I wanted to be a published writer. And that has become my WHY. That has become my sign of when I can tell myself, “hey, you’re a successful stay-at-home mom.” Of course, that’s after I also I achieve my purpose for my kids.

Now if you don’t have a dream board, I suggest that you start creating one. I’m not sure if you believe in the “law of attraction”, but having a dream board sort of attracts positivity to your life that makes your dream come true. I can say that because 2 out of the 5 things in my dream board already came true.

My personal dreamboard. 2 out of 5 have already came true -- having a family with 2 kids, and being to Paris.

Once we know our WHY, it’s time to start a plan. Writing them down will help you keep track of your goals. So with mine, I had them all written down on my iPhone’s Notes. And once I was ready to nail them, I just had to look back and start each of them one by one.

12-Month Goal Planner Download

2. Don’t get too overwhelmed with your duties at home

With everything going in between raising kids and doing an endless routine of household chores, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Whenever you feel like you’re head’s about to explode, stop. Sit down for five minutes and focus on your breathing. In short, just relax and calm down (here’s how to avoid the stay-at-home mom burnout).

We know there are lots of things to be done, and it’s not being weak or incompetent if we admit we can’t do everything alone. 

Delegate tasks between you and your husband. If your kids are old enough to help with the chores, let them. Hire a cleaner once in a while to deep clean your house. Ask a relative to babysit your kids once a week. Find ways to relax and master the art of self-care.

Once your mind is cleared and you’re no longer overwhelmed with your duties at home, then you can focus on ways to thrive and become a successful stay-at-home mom.

successful stay-at-home mom - relax

3. Have the right mindset

Do you feel guilty because instead of reading a book about child development, you’re reading this article on how to become a successful stay-at-home mom?

While it’s our goal to guide our kids on their development, there’s nothing wrong with also developing ourselves as a person. Who else could be our kids’ role model anyway?

So stop feeling guilty, or feeling ashamed, or thinking it’s impossible.

If you want to thrive and become successful as a stay-at-home mom, you need to start from having the right mindset.

Start believing that you deserve to grow as an individual. Have faith in yourself and on what you can do. Have a positive growth mindset. Talk to yourself and say, “I can do better than this.”

If you want to become a successful stay-at-home mom, have the mindset of a successful stay-at-home mom. 

Sometimes, it’s all about tricking our brain so it forces our body to act like we’re actually what we think of ourselves. 

believe that you can become a successful stay-at-home mom

4. Focus on opportunities and possibilities

Once we become a stay-at-home mom, it’s easy to get trapped into a daily routine of parenting and housekeeping. Our mind starts to look at our situation as something “normal” because this is what stay-at-home moms do anyway, right? I don’t think so. 

I chose to become a stay-at-home mom to be there for my kids, and it just so happened that we can’t afford to hire a helper yet. That’s the advantage of working moms; they can still be there for their kids (they make up for it whenever they can), they can hire a helper, and they can thrive in their career. 

But not just because we can’t hire a helper means we can’t thrive in our passion. So rather than focusing on our limitations, we need to look for ways to do things more efficiently. There are various ways on how to be more productive (Kami shares in her post 5 productivity tools for busy moms), and how we can manage our time better at home. 

If we choose to focus on the lack of time or the fact that we don’t get as much rest as we want to, we’re letting go of the opportunities and possibilities of becoming a successful stay-at-home mom. 

To be honest, I just realized not so long ago that stay-at-home moms don’t actually lack time—in fact, we have lots of it in our hand. We’re just too focused on the perception that as stay-at-home moms, our only duty is to our family.

I mean, our kids don’t really need our attention 24/7, right? They need time to engage themselves in individual play. 

“My kid is clingy and doesn’t want me out of her sight,” you might say. And so is my youngest daughter. But not when she’s asleep. So I took that opportunity, woke up earlier every day before she does, and nailed down my writing goals. And then all the possibilities came pouring in. I’m not a successful stay-at-home mom yet, but I’m working on it.

Every situation is different, I know. But if we keep on telling ourselves that it’s not possible to become a successful stay-at-home mom and we keep on giving ourselves an excuse not to thrive, then it’s not really possible.

5. Look straight into our ultimate goals

As a stay-at-home mom, one of our objectives is to spend more quality time with our kids, right? And so, whatever we do should support this goal. 

Our kids’ needs should always come first. Everything else can wait for 30 minutes or so, even the laundry.

That’s why I’ve come to the point where if I have to stop what I’m doing just to cuddle them in their sleep because they asked me to, I will (and I just did while typing this sentence).

I’ve also realized that quality time isn’t necessarily more time. While we stay-at-home moms spend more time with our kids compared if we work from 9-5, that doesn’t translate to “quality time”. Quality time means we dedicate our full attention to them without any distraction. 

successful stay-at-home mom - quality time
Quality time with the kids also means for us that we take them out somewhere fun.

That’s why I’d like to think of myself as a “working mom”, too, whose day job is to do the laundry, clean the house, feed the kids, etc. When I’m done, then I spend some quality time with my kids by taking them out for a walk or playing with them. To be honest, I’m bad at managing distractions aka my phone, but I’m working on it.

Now, our ultimate goals might not be the same as the others. But whatever it is, we just need to start working on it and prioritizing it over the others, so we become more receptive to opportunities and possibilities to thrive and become a successful stay-at-home mom.

6. Keep on learning about parenting

According to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, “if we stop learning, we stop progressing in life”. I believe this holds true even for parenting.  We can read books, attend parenting classes, or engage with online mom groups. We’d be surprised by how much we can learn on top of what we already know.

successful stay-at-home mom - keep learning

When we keep on learning, our brain gets the exercise it needs. And the more we learn, the more we become confident about our parenting skills. And the more we become confident in ourselves, the more we know that we can thrive as a person and become a successful stay-at-home mom.

7. Stop comparing yourself to others

Once we know our ultimate goals and we start to learn from others, it’s sometimes also easy to feel as if our goals and our parenting skills are not any better compared to other moms out there. So, stop comparing.

We’re all different and we have our own strengths and weaknesses. While some moms prefer to homeschool their kids, others don’t. While some moms prefer zero screen time for their kids, other’s don’t. While some moms prefer exclusive breastfeeding, other’s don’t. That doesn’t mean others are better moms. And learning from others doesn’t mean we apply everything we’ve learned. It just means we have more options to choose from.

successful stay-at-home mom - quote from Jill Churchill.

“There is no way to be a perfect mom, but a million ways to be a good one”, says Jill Churchill. That’s why we should go easy on ourselves. Cut ourselves some slack. Strive for good enough, and not for perfection. So as long as everything we do is for our kids’ best, we’re doing good enough.

If others are focusing on their role as a mother, don’t feel guilty that you’re also thriving to flourish as an individual person. You can still be a successful stay-at-home mom even if you do things outside of being a “mom”. 

8. Surround yourself with the positive-minded people

Remember when we were told that it’s good for stay-at-home moms to make friends? Apryl Duncan wrote an article about the reasons why we need friends, and that includes the reality that friendships are a necessary support system, which I believe so. 

In my pursuit of passion, I have friends who support me in what I do. But not all my friends are behind me on my journey, and I get it. You can’t always have what you want in life, anyway. 

That’s why if you want to thrive, you need not just to make friends and develop relationships — you have to make sure that these people who’ll surround you are positive-minded ones. You know how they say that we should surround ourselves with like-minded people? I believe in that, too. 

If you love traveling, then make friends with people who are passionate travelers, too. If you’re an art-lover, find people who love art, too. If you’re in love with financial investment, then network with people in the same industry. If you want to be a successful stay-at-home mom, talk to successful stay-at-home moms. This way, we’ll be reminded of our goals and we’ll never lose track.

It’s time to start thriving

With these 8 steps, I hope that you’ll also be able to start your journey to becoming a successful stay-at-home mom. Our definition of success or failure isn’t definitely the same, but remember not to measure it against others. We won’t be happy with our own success if we compare ourselves from the success of others (that’s what I learned from Mark Manson).

Here’s what to do next:

  1. Create your dream board and put it somewhere that you can always see i.e. your phone’s wallpaper, or at your bedroom wall.
  2. Using these 8 steps, start formulating your monthly plan (you can use my free printable 12-Month Goal Planner that you can download below; start with the first three months, and go forward along the way) on how you will achieve these dreams. Remember, a dream with an action plan becomes a goal. So, go for the gold and aim for that goal!
12-Month Goal Planner Download

Are you a successful stay-at-home mom (or on the way to becoming one) and would like to add your thoughts? Or maybe you have questions that you'd like to ask? Share them in the comments below.

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How Stay-at-Home Moms can Survive and Thrive (Part 1)

How Stay-at-Home Moms can Survive and Thrive (Part 1)

Are you a stay-at-home mom who’s just starting out and not sure where to start? Yes, you chose this path. But have you prepared yourself for the actual struggles and challenges? Don’t worry though, because you’re not alone in this. The rest of us are surviving through these ways that I’d be sharing here, and so you can, too.

How Stay-at-Home Moms can Survive and Thrive (Part 1)

Being a stay-at-home mom is hard. I swear.

Some even say it’s not for everyone. And I’d be lying if I say I didn’t ask myself if it was really meant for me. 

I grew up surrounded mostly with mothers who worked, so when I dived into this territory of stay-at-home motherhood, I wasn’t sure what to expect.

But as most have had, I’ve eventually learned the struggles and challenges of being a stay-at-home mom, and I’m just glad I’ve survived.

The thing with our struggles and challenges is that they are so difficult to explain to other people. They wouldn’t probably understand how tough it truly is until they’ve become one themselves.

And yet, we carry on. We remain strong despite everything. But of course, we’ve been expected to.

Stay-at-home moms are expected to survive

Has anyone ever asked you how are you feeling so far? 

They know you’re fine because you’re still alive and kicking. Your kids are happy, and they assume you’re happy, too. But are you?

Of course, you’re happy. Isn’t this what you’ve dreamed of? Like me. This is what I’ve dreamed of. So I should be happy.

But really, are you happy? Aren’t you struggling emotionally? Aren’t you suffering mentally?

If you do, let’s talk more…

The Struggles and Challenges of Stay-at-Home Moms

You’re probably familiar with some of these ones (or maybe not yet…):

  • The guilt of not making our own money and not being able to contribute financially to the family. 
  • The sudden shortage of time, because most of it goes to bathing, feeding, and entertaining our kids. Anything left is where we try to finish the laundry and so on.
  • The result? Lack of personal time. Even time to take a long, hot shower. Or do our nails.
  • And because we lack personal time, the feeling of isolation and the constant craving for a meaningful adult conversation, which is also probably a result of spending day after day with no one but our kids (and our husband who’s mostly busy with work anyway).
  • Losing our identity in the process, because now we’re mostly babysitters, cooks, cleaners, housekeepers, drivers, etc. 
  • The exhaustion — oh yes, this! – when we’re thinking and doing things non-stop, with our kids’ nap time as the only time we can actually rest (if we even sleep instead of rushing to finish any pending chores).
  • The lingering sadness when all of these struggles pile up in our brain, and then there’s no one to talk to, resulting in depression. 

Some people would probably tell us that it would get easier as our kids grow. But I don’t think it will. I’ve heard stories from moms of teens who face far more complex issues. 

No, they no longer lose sleep like moms of infants and toddlers do, but they lose their minds guessing what their older kids are up to.

How do we survive these struggles and challenges?

To survive is to continue living despite the hardships, which we all are doing perfectly fine anyway. Or are we?

If you’re new to this territory, here are some solutions I can offer:

  • If you feel guilty about not making your own money, remember this: you may not be contributing financially but the value that you bring to your family by raising your kids hands-on is priceless. On another hand, talk to your husband. Come up with an arrangement where you get your own allowance so you can buy yourself what you want without feeling guilty, like what we do. Among us, millennial moms, staying at home instead of working (with or without kids) isn’t common anymore. So if it’s your ego that’s hurt, work part-time from home or sell something online. There are different things you can try, like these 12 side hustles. Or these tips on how to get some extra cash rolling in. I did blogging, though I’m not earning from it yet. For now, I’m just on the process of learning the industry.
  • Look for ways to better manage your time at home so you don’t feel like there’s a lot be done with so little time to do everything. Establish a schedule that you think will work you and your kids. I’ve created my own, and it worked wonders for me. If you plan to work from home, here are some tips to stay on top.
  • Once you’ve finally managed your time better, you can now have a bit of time for your self. Take advantage of this! It’s not your reward — it’s required, so you don’t fill from an empty cup. Self-care is as important as taking care of our kids, and there are various ways to do this! Try these 6 self-care ideas, or these tips on how to stay active.
  • Look for other stay-at-home moms to make friends with. Talk to them. Share your issues. Even if it’s only on Facebook, having someone to talk to who fully understand what you’re going through is a huge relief. When you’ve developed a hobby, join a tribe and engage with them. 
  • If you’ve lost your identity, try building it again one step at a time. Find time to rediscover your passion and start making plans about it. List down your goals and take action steps each day to bring you closer to your goal. Again, I did it with blogging. I am passionate about writing! So it became my outlet. It took me almost a year of just planning, but now I’m glad I’ve finally put these plans to life.
  • If you’re struggling with anxiety and depression, you can try these things that worked for me: pray and lift up your worries to Him. Talk to someone, ideally a fellow stay-at-home mom. Listen to your favorite music every morning to start your day right. Find a distraction — a hobby or anything — to keep your mind away from those depressing thoughts. And if nothing seems to work, consider talking to a therapist. If you’re a new mom and is suffering from post-partum depression, try these coping methods. Try these ways as well on how to stay sane as a stay-at-home mom

Our struggles and challenges are not exactly the same with other stay-at-home moms

To summarize everything, stay-at-home moms have almost the same struggles and challenges that people don’t usually see from the surface. But then there are ways to survive through it all. 

Not all struggles and challenges though are created the same. Some stay-at-home moms don’t suffer depression. Some don’t have issues if they don’t make their own money. Some are just fine without a passion to pursue. And that’s life! 

One of the worst things we can do is to compare ourselves to others and feel like we’re failing just because others are doing better. So don’t! We all have our own strengths and that’s where we should focus instead.

So before I end this first part of my post, I’d like to leave some actionable steps for you.

  1. Identify which of these struggles and challenges bother you the most, and then write them in a journal (or on your phone). 
  2. Start reading from available articles and come up with a plan on how you will overcome these struggles. As they say, written goals are more likely to succeed. Make a daily commitment to work on your plan. And include your plan in your prayers.

Now let me thank you for going this far. 

For Part 2, read my next post on “How to Thrive and Become a Successful Stay-at-Home Mom“.

Do you have other struggles and challenges that you want to share? Let’s talk about it! Let me know in the comments. 

If you need an online support system, sign up here and get access to over 20+ stay-at-home mom Facebook groups that you can join. I compiled it just for you. 

Share this with the rest of the world and let them know our struggles are real.