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1. Exercise. Whether it's early in the morning by yourself or an afternoon walk with the stroller. You need to stay fit for this profession. The endorphins will keep you friendly and feeling like you've taken care of yourself is always a bonus for SAHMs.
2. Have something to look forward to. Whether it's a favorite smoothie on Friday or a 30-minutes of your favorite novel each evening, you've got to have things to keep yourself upbeat and positive.
3. Give the kids chores. My 5-year old and 3 1/2-year old do chores every morning. Make bed. Get dressed. Read. They do it each day on their own. It has to be something age appropriate and something they can do on their own. I used a little chart to initiate this habit. It worked great. Within 2 weeks, they were both doing chores without being told. My 3 1/2-year old will even do all of her chores before coming out of her room in the morning. This has given the kids something productive to do in the mornings while I clean up breakfast and get the baby dressed.
4. Avoid caffeine if at all possible. It seems to have become staple of SAHMing, but caffeine can actually sabotage your SAHMing once the buzz wears off. Moodiness is a major problem for SAHMs who can be pretty isolated anyways. I know this isn't a popular idea, but cut coffee and sodas out or at least limit them to times when you're not caring for the kids later.
5. Get crafty. When the kids are in bed, what do you do? Watch tv? Spend time on the Internet? Do you often go to bed too late wondering why you wasted your time? Maybe you need a project of some kind that you can do at home that you are interested in and that you can see progress with. Women back in the day did quilting, sewing, crocheting. That has unfortunately become nearly a lost art, but it's what they did to use their creative skills and keep themselves busy in the evenings. What's something you've wanted to do?
6. Eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Avoiding meals (or forgetting, as I used to do) is another way to make yourself crabby. Eating will keep the blood sugar stable and keep you from binging. Have your vegetables and fruits, and make sure you eat enough at each meal.
7. Make chores a game. Time yourself. Race the kids. Play with the time of day you do the chores. Teach the kids to do the chore! Pick a way to spice up a normally boring or problematic household chore.
8. Record your days at home. Many women that I talk to wish they had those days back when their children were little. So many small things happen, too, that we easily forget. Try to record these moments via video, blogging, journaling, photo album, scrap booking, or audio recordings. You could record yourself reading your son's favorite book to him. Set up the camera to automatically take pictures of you while you cook. Write notes on what you love about being a SAHM. This is something you and your kids will treasure.
9. Educate yourself. Have you wanted to know how to cook really well? Do you want to know the proper way to set a table? Have you always wondered if you could plant an herb garden successfully? Why not try? If you're smart enough to run a household, you are smart enough to learn anything you want to that will make your life as a SAHM more interesting.
10. Have some fun. Don't be one of those women who give us SAHMs the reputation of being uptight and boring. Within reason, do things that make you happy. Make faces until your kids bust out in laughter. Play Milli Vanilli really loud and dance around. Rearrange the living room. Bake a triple layer cake. Learn (or re-learn) to do a hand stand. Challenge your husband to a dance off. Come on, lighten up. You can find a way to have fun, can't you?
Being a SAHM doesn't need to be boring. I dare say that the amount of satisfaction you experience as a SAHM is only limited to your attitude. Sure, there are times when kids are sick or you're broke, but our attitudes can go a long way in making life bearable, tolerable, or downright enjoyable.
Are you bold enough to try any of these tips? Let me know how they turn out!!