When you’re a stay-at-home mom of small kids, it can be easy to feel unmotivated when you’re caring for the kids day after day and it feels like every day looks the same. You feel like you hardly leave the house, you feel isolated, and feeling productive and motivated can sometimes be difficult. So, what to do when you’re feeling unmotivated as a stay-at-home mom?
Make the Bed
This one is so simple we often dismiss it, but making the bed can have such a huge impact on our mental attitude for the rest of the day. Just accomplishing this small task in the morning can set you off on the right foot and motivate you to keep accomplishing things throughout the day. Check out more in this video from Admiral McRaven if you need an extra little kick in the pants to start making your bed. 🙂
Get Ready for the Day
Some days, it is so easy to just throw on sweatpants or even stay in pajama pants. After all, if the kids are little and there’s nowhere you have to be, it’s sometimes hard to find the motivation to get dressed and ready for the day. As a mom of a baby and a toddler, I have been in this boat many times. However, the simple act of getting dressed, doing my hair and putting on makeup in the morning makes a world of difference in how I face the day. A mental shift happens when I’m put together and I swear I get more done throughout the day simply by getting myself dressed and ready each morning.
Make a List
If you’re feeling unmotivated as a stay-at-home mom, this seems like no-brainer advice. However, it’s happened to me more than once where I’m feeling really frustrated partway through the day and I finally realize it’s because I’m winging it with no to-do list. Even if it’s just a sticky note you put on the kitchen cupboard (I prefer a bullet journal), make a to-do list. Dumping out the stuff on paper that’s clogging up your brain will be freeing. Plus, you’ll get the satisfaction of checking things off throughout the day and building good momentum as you get things done.
Now, I know the realities of life with kids. Sometimes it seems like if a day can go off the rails, it will. It can feel pointless to make a to-do list when someone’s teething, someone’s having a meltdown, someone’s sick, etc. You want to get stuff done, but you have a baby who won’t let you put them down! Totally been there. On those days, I just readjust expectations for myself. I do my best to get done what absolutely has to get done, and anything beyond that is just icing on the cake.
Give Structure to the Day
The days can seem endless when you’re a stay-at-home mom of littles, am I right? The hours can stretch out before you and every day looks the same as the last. This monotony can really dampen my motivation. However, I’ve found that when I give structure to the day, it does wonders for putting me in a productive mindset and helping the day to simultaneously go by faster and be more enjoyable.
Below, I’ve lined out what our typical day at home looks like. Now bear in mind, I have no school-age children yet, and things look different on days when I run errands or when we have a playdate with friends. Is this schedule rigid? No. I haven’t written times down because times vary a bit from day to day. I basically work off of general “time blocks” through the day. Giving this general shape to each day has helped me a ton in breaking through monotony and staying motivated as a stay-at-home mom.
|Block #1||Get up, get dressed, get kids up, breakfast, get kids dressed, go on a walk (we do this almost every day, rain or shine)|
|Block #2||Give kids a snack and turn on 15-20 minute show while I prepare lunch, eat lunch together, kids play, lunch dishes, change diapers, kids down for nap|
|Block #3||Nap time|
|Block #4||Read and/or snuggle after naps, change diapers, play outside until dinner prep time, finish prepping dinner|
|Block #5||Dinner time, Dad gets home and eats, play time with Dad|
|Block #6||Bath time, get kids ready for bed, kids down for bed|
Set a Timer
When there’s stuff you need to get done and you’re feeling unmotivated as a stay-at-home mom, set a timer to work in short, concentrated spurts. If you have a bunch of things you want to get done while the kids are napping and you feel paralyzed, set a timer for 20 minutes and just start on that first task. Give it all your focus, and then when the time is up, move on to the next thing. This can feel frustrating if you leave something unfinished, but for the most part, you’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish working with a singular focus for a short amount of time. Try it!
Connect with Other Moms
Sometimes, to get our motivation back, we need to connect with other moms who know what we’re going through. I feel more motivated when I’ve connected with a friend and I know she’s going through some of the same battles in parenting that I am, or she’s struggling to keep her laundry pile manageable, too. Just knowing we’re not in the fight alone can help us put our chins up and keep pressing on, even (or especially) when motivation is lacking.
This is so critical. If you’re feeling unmotivated as a stay-at-home mom, like you’re just wrung out and hanging on by a thread, you need to begin scheduling breaks. Whatever it takes, you need to schedule time away from your kids. It doesn’t have to be for days; even just an afternoon to yourself on a somewhat regular basis can do wonders to refresh your spirit and revive your motivation. Pouring yourself out for your family can be exhausting, and you will be a better wife and a better mother if you schedule regular breaks to get alone and fill your tank.
So, just know that if you’re feeling unmotivated as a stay-at-home mom, you are not alone. Being a stay-at-home mom holds a unique set of challenges, but with these seven tips, you’ll be on your way to rekindling motivation again.