Being a stay-at-home mom is one of the hardest profession there is. This is a 24/7 role with no overtime pay, paid vacation leaves and other benefits extended to normal workers. Yes, tending to the children is work — hard work, that is.
According to recent data by the Pew Research Center, the rate of stay-at-home moms has been rising steadily for the past 15 years. The trend is consistent with women’s relative success in the labor market. Major industries such as healthcare and hospitality are and will continue to be, dominated by women.
Staying at home with the kids is a choice for most women who would rather ensure that their children grow into well-rounded individuals than spend many hours working away from the home. No “raising kids quotes” are needed to motivate a mom to wake up in the morning and rise up to the challenge of being the manager of the house — the nobility of bringing up future leaders, thinkers and movers is more than enough.
If you are deciding of joining the increasing population of stay-at-home moms, you must know that this role is not just about household chores, tutoring the kids and watching soap operas. This is the era of technology, creativeness, and self-expression. There are so much for you to know and do without leaving the comforts of your home.
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Exercise, exercise, exercise
Taking care of children is stressful, and stress can wreak havoc on your health. In worst instances, some moms are given prescription drugs to calm down their nerves. You don’t need to wait for the “worst case scenarios.” You need an outlet to vent out the pressure and frustrations that go with your role.
The American Psychological Association (APA) suggests that exercise helps the brain cope better with stress. Physical activities force the body’s physiological systems involved in stress response to closely communicate with each other. This communication enhances the body’s ability to thwart anxiety, depression and other mental issues that result from stress.
Raising kids in a condo should not be an excuse for you not to exercise. Space should not be an issue as most condo projects have fitness facilities for owners and tenants. Know how to get fit at home without equipment by checking out the Youtube videos of Zumba and aerobics trainers. They offer free tips on exercising without any equipment other than your body.
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Breathe in, breathe out
A new study published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology reports that even a few minutes of meditative activities can help quiet the mind in stressful situations. Explore mindful meditation which involves focusing your attention on the present moment, curiously and non-judgmentally.
Find a spot in your home. You may or may not use a yoga mat. What is important is a peaceful place where you can do a 10- to 15-minute meditation each day. This will not only reduce stress, it can also do wonders to your overall well-being.
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Experiment with homemade beauty products
Our skin is exposed to hundreds of chemicals from the products we use and the pollution around us. One of the perks of spending most of your time at home is the opportunity of experimenting with skincare products using ingredients in your kitchen. Some of the recommended DIY natural beauty tips you can try include a face mask made of honey, milk, and turmeric; a body lotion from olive oil, coconut oil and beeswax; and aloe vera toner.
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Hangout with Charles, Jane, and Haruki
Ditch the primetime soap operas, grab a book and read away. Reading is among the best activities stay-at-home moms can do. Revisit your reading backlog. You may have had novels you never had the time to finish or a list of bestsellers you’ve always wanted to get hold of.
One tip of fueling up the bookworm in you is to build your own library at home. You don’t need expensive mahogany shelves or thousands of titles. Make use of the modern living room furniture you already have and transform these into functional bookshelves. You can mount hanging shelves on your walls or repaint old shoe racks to hold paperbacks. Let your imagination work!
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Let creativity flow
Who says stay-at-home moms are all about brooms and pots? This is your grand chance to learn a new hobby. You can never be old to learn how to play a musical instrument or to start your photography portfolio.
If you are into sketching, painting and other visual arts, you can turn your condo unit into your very own studio/gallery. Check out free condo living tips in the Net about maximizing your space. If you have a terrace, you can use this as a makeshift music area. You can also use your living room wall as a gallery of your framed paintings and photographs.
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Earn a degree
While the kids are away, the mom can earn a degree at home. The Internet is changing the way the world operates — from communications to education. Today, you don’t need to attend actual classes anymore as certain schools offer distance learning programs. Many US colleges and universities, some are even Ivy Leagues, offer 2- and 4-year programs for those unable to leave their countries or are living mobile lifestyles. Online schooling is particularly popular among freelancers and start-up executives.
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Discover items that spark joy in your life
Organizing the home should not be a pain in the neck, literally and figuratively. Your kitchen is one of the areas you can’t not clean regularly otherwise, kitchen crimes such as pest infestation are sure to happen.
You can turn your regular condo cleaning schedule into an opportunity to unleash your KonMari ingenuity. Marie “KonMari” Kondo, a decluttering guru, shares no-nonsense tips in her bestseller The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Using feng shui principles, she recommends doing away with traditional organizational beliefs and keeping items that spark joy.
Instead of simply tossing out items, the KonMari method involves recognizing the real value of each thing you own. “If you can say without a doubt, ‘I really like this!’ no matter what anyone else says, and if you like yourself for having it, then ignore what other people think,” Ms. Kondo writes. This technique can also be applied in various aspects of your life like in keeping friends, memories and life prospects.
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Bond with family and friends
Yes, your world revolves around your family but your circle of love spreads beyond your home. No amount of Facebook “likes” or Instagram photos can compensate for worthwhile time with the people who matter to you.
Have lunch with your sister and talk about memories and future plans, or set tea time with college friends. You are a super stay-at-home mom who is living the life you truly deserve.
Check out our other list of Awesome Things You Can Do When the Kids Are at School