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A-Stay-at-Home-Parent-s-Survival-Guide

A Stay at Home Parent’s Survival Guide

Being a stay at home parent has so many benefits, but it's also a really, really tough job! Here's some top tips for keeping your sanity when times get rough.

1. Inside Clothes & Outside Clothes

When I left work, I never really thought how it was going to affect my wardrobe, but the black trousers are now slowly being taken over by hoodies and leggings. All perfectly acceptable clothing, but for the sake of my mental health, I have inside clothes and outside clothes.

My classification system of what has holes and what doesn’t, I would recommend. Simple, saves time and effective when you are under pressure.

2. Regular Contact with Adults

Social media counts, and in my own case has provided me with essential laughs and grown up discussions to get me through days when leaving the house is not possible due to illness, weather or lack of motivation. Too much kids telly is not only a bad thing for the kids, it’s not great for you either - especially if the only adult you have had any contact with is the polar bear captain of an octopus shaped submarine.

3. Planning

The management of who, what, where, when and how of two children’s social lives is no easy feat! It requires dedication, concentration and a firm belief that all of the parties will be attended, with the correct names on cards, at the correct times in the right places. Planning takes time, and I often overlook giving it enough time to ensure as few hiccups as possible to make sure my daughter doesn’t run out the door to football in a party dress.

4. Minding your Mental Health

Lack of sleep, plus screaming children, plus rainy days equal stress of epic proportions. The constant nature of life as a stay at home parent means that it can be hard to get perspective on things. Leave bad days behind, everybody has them, they just don’t admit it. Recognize when you are stressed and do whatever it is you do to de-stress that you haven’t been able to because, well, let’s face it, you have a long list of people to look after and frankly it’s the last thing on your mind.

5. Secret Stashes

Hidden currently in my house are:

  • Rainy day games
  • Rainy day colouring in books and crayons
  • Emergency chocolate digestives
  • Emergency diet coke
  • Emergency jellies

These are all essentials that stay hidden until needed. I did think of getting some form of glass case, but if I see biscuits I have to eat them. Glass is expensive to replace.

6. Hobbies

We all love our children dearly, that goes without saying. But even the most dedicated of us need to take some time for ourselves. Making time for yourself is difficult as your own needs tend to come further down the list. Hiding in the toilet doesn’t count as a hobby though, it preferably should involve you leaving the house to engage your mind in something other than wondering how in fact you are going to get the jam out of the carpet. What other advice would you add to this survival guide? Let us know in the comments!

As always, we would love to hear your opinions. Please leave a comment below.


About the Author

Jane is a writer, blogger and mammy based in South Dublin. She has spearheaded equality programmes and advocacy campaigns for large NGO’s and is now following a lifelong dream in establishing herself as a writer. Recently qualified in Journalism, Jane has won the June 2015 Original Writing Short Story competition, has been longlisted for the Blog Awards 2015 and runs The Postmodern Mammy. Never one to shy away from controversy, Jane enjoys writing about parenting, politics and social issues.

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