Stay-at-Home Moms: Steps To Stay Healthy

Three mothers walking with their babies in strollers

Some women are eager to become stay-at-home moms. Others may find themselves in the role out of necessity, such as during a job change, move or other life transition. Whatever the case, caring for your children and household full time is important — though often undervalued.

The challenges for stay-at-home moms can be overwhelming. But you should still prioritize your health. It starts with ditching the idea that you can — or should — try to do it all. Striving for unrealistic expectations can lead to stress that results in health problems.

Instead, take these proactive steps and adapt them as needed to stay healthy and benefit your family:

  • Stick to a routine. Creating a daily schedule provides both you and your children stability. First, schedule day-to-day basics such as eating and sleeping. Then use the remaining time to prioritize other essential tasks. Writing out a schedule will also help you fit in healthy habits throughout the day.
  • Know when to ditch the routine. Every day is different. Show yourself — and your family — some compassion when life happens. Kids get sick. Plans fall through. Errands take longer than anticipated. That’s OK. Being flexible is an important life skill and these interruptions can be an opportunity to show your kids how to handle the unexpected.
  • Team up with other moms. You may be tempted to do it all by yourself. But we all can use an extra set of hands sometimes. Connecting with other mothers is a good way to share the collective load and create a network for emotional support. Meetups let you socialize with shared activities such as a trip to a library or park.
  • Exercise with your kids. It’s one way to make sure you’re fitting in fitness. When they’re young, you can put them in a stroller built for walking or running, give them a sippy cup and healthy snack, and head out on a trail. While they’re content in the stroller, you can stop at certain intervals and incorporate strength training with dumbbells. As your kids get older, you can get them to stretch with you, or play along by “racing” you or going on a nature walk. Modeling healthy habits also helps set your kids up for success.
  • Plan meals together. Mealtime can be a stressful balancing act. Sometimes it feels as if nothing quite works, especially if you have a picky eater. One way to try to tackle mealtime tension is by involving the kids. They feel ownership, and you can reduce the seemingly never-ending list of daily decisions you must make. You can give them a list of options and let them pick from it, so they don’t suggest chicken nuggets and burgers every night. Prepping in advance also helps you get ahead of the game.
  • Preserve “me” time. Parenting is one of your most important roles. But it shouldn’t come at the expense of your emotional and physical well-being. You still need time for yourself and the hobbies you enjoyed before you became a mom. When the kids are young, you may feel pressed to have time to yourself. Or you may feel guilty for leaving them with your spouse, family or a friend. But by recharging, you’re lowering your stress levels, maintaining your fitness and rejuvenating your mind.

All these tips can empower you to be at your best as a mom and benefit your health. So just try them.

Looking for more ways to connect with others who are striving to live a healthier life? Join the #GoRedGetFit Facebook group today and take the first step in making your health a priority.