Saturday, June 17, 2017

5 Life Hacks For Stay-at-home/ Homeschooling Moms

On the last Mother's Day, I went to a local church for service and instead of a sermon extolling the
virtues of motherhood there were several Moms on the stage sitting on the couch and sharing life hacks for all moms in attendance.

It was a great idea and those women shared many valuable things, but I was a bit sad that they did not have a single stay-at-home Mom on stage as well, and it is a church of about 5000 people where stay-at-home Moms do attend.

Somehow the society today and apparently even the Church do not see all those women as valuable on par with "working women," or perhaps they did not want to make the latter feel guilty for working outside of their home? Whatever the reason was, it sent a wrong message, so I am going  to write here my five life hacks that I found valuable as a full time stay-at-home/homeschooling Mom that I am sure actually women of all walks of life will find helpful.

1. Resist Playing The Comparison Game

I don't know why, but we women have a great tendency to constantly compare ourselves with other women and often find ourselves lacking. It is the most worthless game to play because you will never win. Remember that every person and every woman is unique. That means that our mothering is unique and so are our families, so neither of us can ever be like another. What is working for you and your family might not work for another woman and her family and vice versa, so quit trying to keep up with other women who seem to you better at things, better looking, or more put together because it is an illusion. She has her own trials, her own strengths and weaknesses, so don't compare yourself to her, but instead learn from each woman you meet what you can and what will work for you, and admire the talents she has that you are lacking. I guarantee that you have the talents that she dose not have and is admiring you for them. Never stoop down to making biting remarks, or to putting another woman down, so that you will feel better, because it will never make you feel better only more bitter, and you will lose many valuable friendships by doing it as no one wants to be around bitter people. Instead praise and support women you admire, and you will receive praise and support from them in return and really feel better about yourself. You don't have to perfect. No one really is.

2. Make Time For Yourself

It is counterintuitive to many of us  to make time for ourselves while there are so many things to do for our families, it might even seem selfish, but it is necessary. Running around a clock and caring for the needs of others can be tiring. If you will not give yourself any time to relax and recharge, you will eventually become cranky and you will not be able to be the kind of kind, patient mom that you want to be, so it is a gift to others when you take care of yourself, so don't be shy t tell your husband, family, or friends to take care of the kids sometimes , so you can have the time for yourself as well.

3. Play With Your Kids

Many children complain that their parents do not play with them. Don't let the chores or other things get in the way. Schedule regular play time with your children. There is nothing better to help you bond with them and to keep the lines of communication open as they grow up.

4. Simplify And Prioritize

It is very hard to be the Mom you want to be when you are overwhelmed with responsibilities and activities. Simplify your life by letting go of activities that are not as important in order to create time for what is important. Reduce your furniture and the stuff at home to minimum of what you actually use. Less stuff means it takes less time to clean up and it creates more peaceful environment. Do not say "yes" to every activity people invite you to participate in, but choose the ones that are most important to you and your family. Reduce the extracurricular activities of your children to one or maximum two that they are really interested in. You will save both time and money.

5. Be Content

Be content with everything you have been blessed with. The home that serves your family needs, your children's personalities. Be thankful for and work with what you got, which kind of goes very well together with life hack #1 because if you do not compare yourself to others, you will be more content and happy with what you have. Our children did not have the  room filled with toys, expensive gadgets  growing up, but they had plenty of time with us and the few toys and things that they really care about and liked. By not competing with other families in material things or social status we taught them to  do so as well, which helped them to grow up into happy and content teens. I am sure they will continue to be so as they become adults. We also taught them to have fewer friends, but to value their friendships and to invest their time in them instead of  trying to be popular and have as many friends as possible, but of very shallow nature, and we do  the same ourselves, which results in a lot of more satisfaction and  saves wasted time and emotional energy. Contentment is a key to happiness and indeed a great gain.