At some point or another as a stay at home mom, we feel like our hard work goes unnoticed. Wait, maybe that’s every day. We spend the entire day cleaning up messes as they happen, calming down upset children, or powering through our errands with a toddler who is hungry or tired. When our spouse comes home from work or a friend stops by to visit, one would think we had been sitting around all day by the appearance of our home or maybe even ourselves!
But I’m here to let you in on a little secret. It’s something that took me a solid year to figure out. Believe it or not, there are ways to make it look as though you have it all together, even when you don’t! So, for that day when you just can’t get it all done, when your toddler is teething and clinging to your leg, or your newborn wants to nurse all day, use these 6 secrets for making it look like you do it all as a stay at home mom, like you’re put together, and like you know a secret that other moms wish they did.
6 Secrets for Making It Look Like You Do It All as a Stay at Home Mom
Secret #1 – Make Yourself and Your Kids Presentable
When you stay at home most days, it can be easy to fall into a pattern of not actually getting ready. Aside from wanting to look like you are on top of everything, getting dressed and ready each day can have a big impact on your productivity and how you feel throughout the day. Anyone who follows me here at Sane Momma knows that I am a BIG promoter of self-care for moms.
The most important thing you can do to avoid looking like a hot mess of a mom is to take a shower. Even if you only have five minutes, just hop in, soap up, and rinse off. Then comb your hair, or at least throw it into a decent looking bun or ponytail, and put on some basic makeup. I like to use tinted moisturizer or BB Cream. It’s subtle but it looks like I tried. I’ll usually throw on a little mascara and some lip gloss too. It’s amazing how much better I feel after I take 15 minutes to put myself together.
Get the kids ready
Get your little ones dressed and ready as though they are going out as well, even if you aren’t planning on leaving the house. I’m guilty of leaving my little guy in PJs all day because why do extra laundry when I don’t have to, right? But when my husband comes home it just reminds him that we’ve been home “lounging around” all day (ha!) while he had to go to work. Not to mention it helps with the process of establishing your bedtime routine by teaching kids that it’s time for bed when they are in their pajamas. Honestly, an extra tiny little toddler outfit to add to the laundry basket is pretty insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Kids grow out of their clothes so fast, you might as well get as much use out of them as you can!
Secret #2 – Clean Smarter Not Harder
When it comes to cleaning, there’s just no way you are going to be able to clean your entire home every day. So, start with the things that you know will pile up if you don’t do them today. Throw in a load of laundry, wash and put away the dishes, take out the trash and make the bed. Accomplishing that alone will make a huge difference. I try to do these things first thing in the morning. Then I know that no matter what the day ahead throws my way, I at least have that much done.
Once you have the daily messes squared away, take a few minutes to spot clean. Pick the dirtiest areas of the home and clean those first. For me, this usually means wiping down the kitchen countertops, dining room table, and bathroom counter and vacuuming around the dining room table/high chair.
If you’re feeling ambitious…
If you have the time to do a little more, pick one area to tackle. Maybe today you focus more on the kitchen and clean out the refrigerator, wipe down the microwave and sanitize the sink. Or perhaps it’s a good day to bleach the bathroom tub, wipe down the shower walls and clean those horribly spotted bathroom mirrors. Just pick one area and start there. If you don’t have time to finish, at least you have your daily messes and spot cleaning done already.
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Secret #3 – Skip the Errands
Seriously, how much longer does it take to run errands when you have a toddler? It’s kind of ridiculous, right? This winter is killin’ me. I am so wiped out by the time I warm up the car, get my son all bundled up, clean snow off the car, and attempt to get him in and out without slipping on a giant pile of black ice. Forget it!
Did you know that you could order groceries on Amazon? Best.Discovery.Ever. I went ahead and joined Amazon Family (A variation of Amazon Prime with special discounts on diapers and family related items) which means that I get free 2-day shipping on everything (well, almost everything). You can get a free trial of Amazon Family here. Not to mention, they have the subscribe and save feature for those items you know you will need regularly. This is great for diapers, paper towels, and toilet paper.
If you live in an area that has it, Amazon fresh is another really great option. You can get fresh produce delivered right to your door. You can get a free trial of Amazon Fresh here. There are also a number of grocery stores that offer delivery. They often have free delivery if you order certain items or a certain dollar amount. Of course, there are always third-party grocery delivery services too. Just Google “grocery delivery + your zip code” to find out what is available in your area.
You still have to leave the house…
Now even when I order everything online, I still have to run errands sometimes, but I can usually just run in and grab a couple of items. My husband asks that I get errands done during the week so that it doesn’t cut into our weekend time but, if I only need to grab a couple of things, I can usually squeeze that into the weekend without interrupting family time. And we all know how sacred a kid-free trip to the store is!
Another thing to remember is that, even though it’s a pain sometimes, it’s important to leave the house regularly. The nice thing about getting groceries delivered is that your outings can be focused on something more enjoyable or beneficial for your little one(s), rather than rushing through a grocery store just to get back home.
Secret #4 – If It Smells Good, it’s Clean
There’s a reason why Febreze has been such a successful product. If something smells good, it is perceived as clean. So, make your home smell good! Every day take a couple of minutes to make your home smell amazing. The first step is to get rid of anything that is causing an unpleasant odor. That means take out the trash, run the garbage disposal (try these awesome garbage disposal deodorizers), and empty the Diaper Genie. I know, Diaper Genies are not supposed to smell but in reality, it just lessens the odor slightly. If you stay home most days, it may be hard to notice the smell, so really look around to find potential sources. Don’t forget to check the pantry and the refrigerator for any food that may be on its way out. Basically, get anything that smells up the house OUT of the house.
Watch out for poopy flowers!
Once you have removed the bad smell, it’s time to introduce some good ones. While cleaning products will make your home smell clean, some other pleasant scents can do the trick when Lysol-ing the entire house isn’t possible. Light some candles or spray some deodorizer, but be careful. Sometimes this can be overwhelming. Be selective in which scents you choose and don’t overdo it. My crazy aunt always says that using flowery deodorizer in the bathroom just makes it smell like poopy flowers, haha.
Of course, you could always take a tip from Clueless… “whenever a boy comes, you should always have something baking”. If your husband comes home after a long day and smells cookies baking, I’m pretty sure he’s going to be happy about it. We try to keep our meals pretty healthy during the week so I don’t do this much anymore, but the aroma of a delicious dinner throughout the house can have the same effect! This is particularly easy to achieve by cooking something in the crock pot all day, like a roast.
Speaking of cooking…
Secret #5 – Meal Planning is a SAHMs Best Friend
This is huge. Plan your meals in advance and make them simple ones! I adore crockpot and one pan/pot meals. If you take the time to plan out your meals it makes your grocery shopping process easier and often cheaper (even if you are having them delivered) and it allows you to prep in advance. When you take some time at the beginning of the week to prep everything, your daily time spent on dinner is significantly reduced. Throw your already chopped meat and veggies into the crockpot. Or put your preseasoned chicken breasts and pre-chopped veggies onto a pan and throw it in the oven. Boom – Done!
I won’t go into too much detail here, but I’m pretty obsessed with meal prep. As mentioned previously it can save you time and money, but it has also been the secret to my success in losing the baby weight. If you’re new to the world of meal prep, check out my recent post Meal Prepping for Beginners
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Secret #6 – Do a 10-Minute Check-Up
If you have the luxury of knowing exactly when someone will be coming over or when your spouse will be coming home, schedule 10 minutes of time beforehand to freshen up. Quickly pick up the toys scattered across the house, make sure the kids aren’t covered in whatever they ate for lunch, spritz on some perfume and for goodness sake look in the mirror! I can’t tell you how many times I have forgotten to look in the mirror all day. Had I done so, I would have been appalled! Take a second and comb your hair, un-smudge your mascara and throw on some more lip gloss. It takes 2 minutes and makes a world of difference.
Now You Know…
So, there you have it. You know all my secrets! (Well, not ALL of them – but you get the idea) Now, here’s hoping my hubby doesn’t read this post!
It’s easy to compare ourselves to others, especially as mothers, but every mom has secrets. Unless you can afford a maid, a personal chef, and a nanny, there’s just no way you can get it all done every day. And that’s OK! Hopefully, these 6 Secrets for making it look like you do it all as a stay at home mom will help you to feel like you have it all together even on those days when you just can’t get it all done. Ahem Every day?
What are YOUR secrets as a Stay at Home Mom? Spill ’em in the comments below!
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