Do you ever wonder how to be a successful stay at home mom, or how to go from surviving to thriving?
Sometimes, it seems like “stay at home momming” is the antithesis of success. I used to believe that you could be one or the other- you could be a sahm, or you could be successful– but not both.
How wrong I was!
If the successful life is truly that which is recognized by culture- wealth, fame, power, and being too busy- then success is something I would vehemently reject.
But here’s the kicker… success is in the eye of the beholder. It’s time to take back stay at home momming and redefine what success truly looks like!
So what does success mean to you?
In my humble opinion, being successful is staying true to who you are in Christ. It’s about living out your values and convictions.
Five years ago, I had the desire slash conviction to move out to the country. I wanted to live the simple life as we understood it. We wanted to spend more of our time doing those every day things that make life worthwhile; living in rhythm with the seasons, and connecting us to God and to one another. I wanted to glorify my Creator by honoring my calling to be in service to my family.
Success as a stay at home mom, for me, would look like living out that mission statement to the best of my ability.
And here I am today! A total success! 😉
I wake up early and milk goats because I know that raw goat milk is healing for my five year old’s eczema. I homeschool my children even though I’d have no trouble at all filling up 8 hours of alone time every day. And I learned how to cook, y’all.
I went from running an online business bringing in 4 figures a week, in 4 inch heels, to running a home in Birkenstocks making no money at all.
Successful? You bet.
I would totally give any Forbes Magazine cover model a run for their money if we were comparing achievements.
You might not have the same convictions as me. You may not feel the need to buy 6 acres, turn it into a humble little homestead, and spread barn chores like confetti over your children.
This is about you redefining success on your terms.
You may not resonate with every step that follows, but it should help you get your gears turning as you consider how to begin thriving as a stay at home mom.
I said it before and I’ll say it again: if you live out your values and align your life with your convictions, you will feel like you are doing everything you need to do.
When you feel as if you are fulfilling your calling in every way, how could you not be a success?
And if you realize that you’ve left some key areas neglected for too long, reacquainting yourself with your values will help you to recognize and change that, moving forward.
I know there are times when we don’t have time. Some seasons mean saying no to ourselves and saying yes to our babies. I get it.
Ultimately, I believe you can pursue your passions in some capacity at every stage of motherhood.
For example, I am passionate about writing. Though I have maintained a hobby blog for the last 11 years, since my first was born, it was my journaling that really got me through. Some moms can successfully build a blogging business with a newborn. I couldn’t.
Rather than admitting defeat, I redefined success. I learned how to be a successful stay at home mom even when I couldn’t do much more than survive. Journals have no algorithms or SEO rules to remind me when I’m doing something wrong. In that way, every day I found time to write, I was right on track.
Whether or not you’re intentional about it, your home has an atmosphere.
It might be one of chaos. It might be one of creativity, ingenuity. Maybe yours is one of comfort and peace. Perhaps your home atmosphere speaks to your current struggle with obsessive cleaning… or obsessive scrolling.
Whatever it may be now, it can be changed if it needs to be changed.
The key to this step is the “curating.”
Curate: to select and organizeWebster
Atmosphere: a surrounding influence or environmentAlso Webster
Why did I include these definitions? To help you see the difference between allowing your home to become whatever it may be and selecting and organizing the influences and environment of your home.
And honestly, Mama, you are the atmosphere of your home. Exude godliness, the fruit of the Spirit, love, compassion, and welcoming… and your home will be filled with those things.
Whether that means rising early to spend quiet time with the Lord, or shutting your door and sitting alone for half an hour every afternoon (why not both?), you need to take care of you.
If you’re living life from a depleted, never think of myself, always on the clock for someone else place… you’re not going to feel very successful. After awhile, you won’t even feel like you.
Look, if you’re anything like me, you spend a fair amount of time second guessing your every decision. When it comes to momming, I don’t want to have to guess which answer is the right one. I want to be sure.
While every individual personal problem is not explicitly addressed in scripture, the Spirit will lead you to those verses that speak into your situation and, moreover, your heart.
Generally, the difference between how to rightly handle a situation and the wrong way to go about it, is the difference in your own heart posture. No, you won’t always know the exact thing to say… but you will be reminded to say things in love, humility, kindness, and compassion.
And if I may, err on the side of grace more often than not… that is success! 😉
I’m going to ruffle some feathers here but maybe that’s okay.
Far too often, I’m out in public, and I can’t help but notice how many moms are on their phones constantly while their children stand around, or sit beside them, or otherwise wait (or fight?) for their attention.
I don’t mean checking the time or responding to a quick text message.
I mean out and out checked out.
And I get it. Stay at home momming can be lonely. We might feel connected when we’re scrolling one of the many social media channels available to us. But it’s not real. Real connection happens face to face, eye to eye.
Mom, if this is you, don’t hide in shame. But do be honest about how much time your scrolling and how much that is taking away from every important part of your life. I swear, the best thing I ever did was take myself off of social media.
And even if you’re not ready to go completely sm free, I bet you’ll feel a lot less guilty if you spend a lot less time on your phone.
As I was researching for this post, I came across the following advice on how to be most successful as a stay at home mom: get out of your house every day.
That’s terrible advice. Okay, maybe that just sounds terrible to me. I am homebody extraordinaire. Leaving my house requires more energy than I have most days. And when I do leave home, I nap promptly upon my return.
I do think you can get too cozy in your home. I’ve found that although I could be perfectly happy staying home for a couple weeks at a time, my kids get stir crazy.
And then they get bickering. Grumpy. Irritated by one another’s breathing.
So, while I don’t suggest leaving your house every day (who will do all the chores?), I do think making sure you get out at least once a week could be a good way to feel like a successful stay at home mom.
As much as I love the idea of being all free-spirited, flowing wherever God’s wind carries me… the reality is… that wind would carry me straight to the couch with my new favorite book every. single. time.
It’s incredible how much God wants me to read 😉
Having a sahm schedule keeps me focused on the tasks at hand. It gives us a rhythm, sets expectations for the kids to rely on, and anchors the hours in our day.
Crafting a schedule that serves your family might be one of your top stay at home mom moves.
I’ve written an entire post on this concept here, but the big take away is this: start your every day the way that feels best for you. Sleeping in longer doesn’t count.
I’ve found it super important, when it comes to my stay at home mom success, to devise a morning routine that’s slow, quiet, and involves a full mug of black dark roast coffee.
Read your bible, do some stretches, take a shower if that’s your thing… whatever it is that gets you waking up on the right side of the bed, do that. Because how you spend your first hour awake really plays a major part in deciding the tone of the entire day.
And, good news, you don’t have to wake up at 5:30am to have a morning routine and be a successful stay at home mom!
Basically, mama, be realistic in your expectations of yourself. You can’t possibly do all things, all the time, at the highest level. If it’s been a crazy week with no sleep for anyone, your home really doesn’t have to be spotless to be livable.
If it’s blog launching week for you, it’s okay to spend a little more time at your computer.
And if success looks like cooking from scratch, and cooking from scratch looks like dumping macaroni and cheese out of the box into water you’ve boiled your durn self, then let it be!
We all start from different places, and move towards different things. Some of us are designed to be crafty chefs, others of us know every hack to cleaning like a pro, and still others of us can handle work from home life like nobody’s business.
But none of us are great in every area at every moment. Let that be okay.
You’re at home with your kids. You rarely see another adult human. You feel overwhelmed by all that you have to do every day and you don’t look forward to getting out of bed each morning.
A successful stay at home mom? You barely qualify as a functional one.
But that can change, sister, and the change begins with you and your definition of success.
Go over this list of steps, decide which ones might be the most impactful for you right now, and just begin there. Keep in mind that you, by God’s grace, are the driver of the bus you call your life and how you spend your days is how you spend your life! So learn how to enjoy it more!
And please remember, you are allowed to feel accomplished even if you’re not impressive by anyone else’s standards!
Leave a comment and let me know what being successful means to you!