Life for a stay-at-home mommy can be hectic, cluttered, and feel like a whirlwind. Here are 5 things I do every day to make sure I’m doing what really matters.
I have worked outside the home…
When my children were young, my husband and I decided that it was a good “move” for me to stay-at-home and raise the kids.
What a great idea! Before I knew it, I was also working from home and home-schooling full time!
Life became hectic and cluttered very quickly…
On top of my necessary mommy activities, I also taught a group Bible study, was a Sunday school teacher, played piano church, and ran a full-time online business. Yikes!
For me, it seemed like time speed up and I didn’t have time to do the things that really mattered with my kids. Wait! Wasn’t that the point of staying home in the first place?
One day, I sat back and re-evaluated that really mattered to the emotional development of my precious kiddos (I knew I was going to have to teach them school and feed them nutritiously… this is now what I’m talking about).
I started thinking about this when I noticed that my emotional cup was running dry. On top of this, the kids were beginning to be clingy, whiny, and irritable during school-work.
Here are 5 things that I believe are necessary every day for the emotional balance of kids and moms who stay at home full time:
1) Read a Book Together
Kids want attention…
They want real attention. Not the kind that comes with you halfway on your phone and trying to get them to play together so you can get some work done… nope!
I have discovered that when I start my morning by reading a short picture book (3-5 mins) with my youngest, he is one happy kid! His emotional cup is full because I have given him my full attention for that time. He needs that… and I need my morning snuggle story-time.
For my older kiddos, we read a chapter from an exciting chapter book during their snack time. They beg for it every day! It’s a time that is vitally important to them… and they don’t let me forget it!
Why does it matter so much to them?
- They love it! We have worked hard to foster a love of reading at an early age.
- I am giving them my full attention during this time.
- They’re able to disconnect from the world around them and enter into an imaginary world for a few minutes every day.
That is just why it matters to us. But, look at why reading matters in general:
- Listening to a read-a-loud builds listening, comprehension, and logical bridges in a young child’s mind.
- It provides an outlet for children to experience emotional dilemmas they may not be able to verbalize.
- Listening to reading strengthens speaking and the use of vocabulary.
- Lastly, listening to a read-a-loud activates empathy within children and builds key foundations for compassion (understanding of the world around them).
Reading is one of the things that matter!
See the list at the bottom of this post for a list of some of my favorite read-a-loud books!
2) Eat a Meal Together
When I was in the 5th grade, my teacher posed a question to my class. She said: “Raise your hand if you eat a meal at home with your parents at the table.”
Three of us raised our hands…
There were 22 in the class. I remember thinking how blessed I was to be able to have a family meal every day.
Sitting with my parents and eating became a CORE value in my life. Most of my childhood memories (of us all together) are of us sitting and chatting over dinner.
Fast forward to today… I can barely find time to sit and eat. But… I MAKE IT HAPPEN!
So many valuable things happen at the table:
- At the dinner table we discuss our day,
- talk about upcoming events,
- laugh about crazy stuff,
- and make eye contact.
You don’t know you’re missing it, until you make it part of your routine and see its benefits.
3) Pray Together
You know the famous quote: “A family that prays together, stays together.” I want my children to grow up knowing that a relationship with Jesus is not just a Sunday morning activity.
Prayer (talking with Jesus) is a natural part of our day-to-day life. In fact, when given the opportunity, kids love to pray!
Prayers that kids participate in:
- Praying in the morning to bless our day together
- Saying aa blessing for our snack and lunch
- Praying for a need that may arise that day (safety for a family member driving, someone they know who is sick, etc)
- Bedtime prayers
Prayers that I speak over my Kids: (Kids need to hear us praying too!)
- Thankful prayers throughout the day
- Blessings over their school, work, or play
- Prayers for them before they go to sleep
I’m holding to the promise that If I model and encourage a relationship with Jesus with my children, they will make that a part of their core values.
Prayer is one of the things that matter...
4) Play Together
My mom was one of those fun parents that knew how to play with her kids…
I have memories of dancing, doing messy art projects, and playing hide-and-go seek with my mom as a child. Unfortunately, I am not as talented in this area as her.
My husband says that I don’t know how to play. Thankfully, he enjoys playing with the kids! My favorite sound in the whole world is the sound of my kids laughing uncontrollably!
One way that I make-up for my lack of playing abilities is by breaking out the children’s board games! They love playing Shut the Box, Snakes & Ladders, and Monopoly Junior!
And yes… they laugh sooo much!
Playing that leads to laughter is quality family time… and that’s one of the things that matter!
5) Talk about Life Together
I have seen first hand the damage that is done to a person who’s parents never explained life to them… never allowed them to ask questions… never taught them “why.”
Granted, kids are finicky when it comes to wanting to “talk.” This is especially true as they get older. I’m sure anyone with pre-teen or teenagers can agree with that!
But, as a mom, I am still going to do my best to set aside some time every day to listen…
This usually happens right before bed, when the day is swirling around in my kiddos head and they are trying to wind down.
Examples of starter questions to help talk about life:
- What was your favorite part of today? Why?
- What are you looking forward to tomorrow?
- Did anything challenging happen today?
- Did you do something that you’re proud of today?
- What could have made today even more awesome?
When they are young, this “talking about life together” usually consists of them asking about the next day. But as they grow, deeper topics of discussion are going to happen.
It’s important to pave the way for this dialog to take place. That way when it happens, kids know how to express their concerns with you.
There are Some Things That Matter
I pray this post helped you re-evaluate some things that simply matter for the emotional development of your kiddos. I know that for me, these 5 things are simple necessary in our lives.
Please leave a reply below if you have any comments or would like to add to my list!