I never intended to be a stay at home mom.

I had aspirations to be a doctor. I got my pre-med degree and started visiting university medical programs. I had all necessary information to start testing, writing admission essays, and filling out paperwork. Then I got pregnant…

Once I took one look at that little blonde haired, blue eyed baby boy of mine, I knew I never wanted to leave him. While I didn’t become a stay at home mom right away, that was my new goal.

I worked full time for another year for the health benefits and to help out while they found some one to take my place. In that time, I was expecting another baby so I went to part time. Finally, after a third, I was only working one day a week.

For the past eleven years, I have been a full time stay at home mom to four kids. In this time, I have experienced all the emotions, different sibling dynamics, and two moves. This has given me lots of time to think and consider what I might say to another stay at home mom who isn’t thriving but just surviving.

stay at home mom

When Being a Stay at Home Mom Feels Lonely

I have heard from many stay at home moms that they get lonely. I have experienced this as well. When you have a baby who sleeps all day, all that extra time to rest and do “stuff” seems nice at first, but then you get a tad bit lonesome.

Even when your kids get older, there is a need for adult conversation and to be in community with some one who can understand you and your daily challenges in motherhood.

First, I want to say this is completely normal and there is nothing wrong or selfish about feeling alone! God made us to need others.

Second, I want to say that you are not alone. You may feel lonely, but God is with you. And, there are thousands of other moms in the same place you find yourself.

Finally, sometimes this lonely feeling is a good thing. It teaches us to depend on God through His word and prayer. It also helps us to value friendships more when we see how vital they are to our mental and emotional health.

Gods word says in James 1:23 NIV, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” The hope is that this trial gives you the desire to thrive as a stay at home by finding godly ways to use your current season.

You are not alone. God is with you.

How to Not Just Survive but Thrive as a Stay at Home Mom

I sometimes think, “I wish that I would have had some one sit me down and fully explain what I would experience as a stay at home mom.” But, I’m sure, just like with most things, there has to be an element of experience before we could fully understand. So, if you are still new to being a stay at home mom, this may sound nice to you, but it may take time for everything to sink in.

This is my list of things that I need to keep thriving as a stay at home mom. They keep me sane, grateful, and on mission. My prayer is that they inspire and encourage you too.

  1. Make Quiet Time a Priority

I need alone time with God. I need to read the Bible and pray. I cannot pour from an empty jar. God fills me so I can fill my household.

I get up before everyone, fix my coffee, read my Bible, take notes, and then pray. It is usually only 20-30 minutes before my youngest is climbing up beside me, but it is enough to have intimate, quiet time with my Lord.

  1. Have a Cleaning Schedule

Being at the house all day allows us to see all kinds of “things” we need to be cleaning and organizing. I can fall down a rabbit hold with this. It is compounded if you have littles (and bigs) always making messes.

For me, it is so helpful to have a cleaning schedule. I must sweep the floors a couple of times a day and the kitchen has to be cleaned every night. But, most stuff can go on a routine of once or twice a week. Also, by doing this, you can get your kids on a consistent routine to help.

  1. Define Boundaries

I think we can feel obligated at times that we stay at home so we can take on too much. Or, others assume since we are home and we have extra free time. Set up boundaries for days and times that you will not compromise.

Maybe you stay home on Mondays after a busy weekend. Or, you are always home for lunch and nap time. Set up intentional family time as well when Dad and older kids are home.

For my family, since we homeschool, I have no compromise time for school every day. I also have boundaries of what is school time and space and what is for family time and space.

  1. Practice Hospitality

Since the home is our domain, we have the opportunity to obey scriptures, serve others, and to create a space where people feel welcome. It doesn’t have to look perfect or be extravagant.

It starts with an inviting attitude. Don’t expect others to always include you, but seek to include them. Invite others stay at home moms over for play dates. Invite expecting or new moms over for encouragement. Invite seasoned moms over and ask questions and soak up their wisdom.

Practically speaking, always have tea or coffee and small snacks ready to serve. Have a defined space that you know will be clean and don’t worry about the rest of the house.

Spiritually speaking, be ready to share Biblical encouragement and pray for others. Also, this is a great example to set for your children to grow in hospitality toward others.

  1. Set Goals

It’s important to set goals for yourself and your household. One of my favorite quotes is from Donald Whitney’s Spiritual Disciplines where he says, “Discipline without direction is drudgery.”

We can be disciplined within the home all we want but we must do it with direction in mind. This gives us purpose and joy in our work.

First, we are serving God. Perhaps we have a goal to not complain about housework or to be more grateful for the gifts and blessings we have been given, so we make a gratitude list or print scriptures on contentment . As a family, you might decide to memorize scripture together every week or make treats for all the neighbors once a month.

Second, we are serving our families. Possibly one goal is to teach our children how to care for their own homes. This means we take time to teach them the how and why of household work. Yet another could be to cook together a new recipe each week.

Finally, there is so much joy and satisfaction in seeing your goals met. Most importantly, though, knowing they have grown your closer to the Lord and your family. Also, it inspires you to set more goals!

  1. Live on Mission

Just because we stay at home, doesn’t make us exempt from fulfilling the great commission. Our first priority is to give Jesus to our families. We should have a daily family prayer and Bible time. And, we should use every opportunity to speak God’s word into them.

Our second priority is to share Jesus with others. It looks a little different for all of us. But, here are some suggestions: 1)Be a gospel presence online through your social media. 2) Set up intentional times to be outside (or have them over) so your can share the gospel with your neighbors. 3) Go on prayer walks with your kids. 4) Have gospel tracts ready to hand out when you are out grocery shopping or running errands.

how to thrive as a stay at home mom

10 Ways for Your Family to Live on Mission

Scriptures to Encourage the Stay at Home Mom

I hope these scriptures serve as a reminder to you that you are not alone because God is always present with His people and you can be completely dependent on God to supply your needs. Part of that need is friendship and fellowship with others.

Scriptures to Remind You that You are not Alone

  • The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV
  • So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 NIV
  • And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—  the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. John 14:16-17 NIV

Scriptures to Remind You to Depend on God

  • But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. Luke 5:16 NIV
  • Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Psalm 42:11 NIV
  • My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Psalm 62:7 NIV
  • But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33 NIV

Scriptures to Remind You that You need Others

  • Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NIV
  • Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2 NIV
  •  Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.  Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.  Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Romans 12: 10-13 NIV

4 Reasons Moms Need Friends Too

Matthew 6:33 NIV