How Not to Get Bored as a Stay-at-Home/Work-at-Home Mom

Being a work-at-home mom, I find myself often busier than I was in my former office job! The difference is that I'm less stressed, more involved with my family, and I prefer my current lifestyle. In fact, I enjoy the busyness of the role. Still, there are some days when the routine gets to me. During those times, I need a diversion.

Have any of you felt the same? In case you have, I've listed down some "boredom busters" that have helped me get through the rut.

1. Organize your day. I don't know about you, but I like checking items off a to-do list. It makes me feel so accomplished. I got used to having a to-do list in my old job, and I've carried the practice over to my tasks. I keep the list on my laptop using the easy-peasy Teux Deux browser-based to-do list. Being that my work is mostly on my laptop (which goes with me everywhere), it's the perfect tool for me. I love it (Although I'd love it more if I had an iPhone where I could use the mobile app!)!

A to-do list is great because it keeps you doing something all the time, even if you put "rest" or "siesta" as an item. With each check-off, you'll feel satisfied that you did something productive. It's a delicious feeling I've gotten addicted to. 

2. Create a to-do list of things to do when you're not doing anything.Would you believe I have a checklist of ideas of what I can do when I'm not doing anything? While it's rare these days that I'm not busy on something, here are some of those items (Make one for yourself, too!)

THINGS TO DO WHEN I'M DOING NOTHING:
  1. Get a foot scrub.
  2. Cook or bake.
  3. Shave/Wax legs.
  4. Sort out handbag.
  5. Rearrange furniture.
  6. Read a book.
  7. Blog (Hehe.)
  8. Update style file.
  9. Go through wardrobe for stuff to toss, donate, etc.
  10. Organize the pantry.
(You get the idea?)

3. Reflect, pray and meditate. Maintaining a spiritual life is an extremely important part of being a WAHM/SAHM. I first learned about this from Anne Ortlund's book "Disciplines of the Beautiful Woman." In this book, Anne emphasizes that while a woman has been gifted with the ability to do many tasks at once (i.e. as a wife, a mother, a worker, and so on), she still needs moments to care for herself, her spirituality and her character. Personally, I've taken this to another level by contributing to a women's blog community dedicated to self-care, for which I write monthly. If I find myself truly bored, I get myself in the zone for reflection so that I can make good use of that blank space in my life for the moment. 

4. Get out of the house. If time or budget affords you, get out of the house. Take the kid for a walk in the afternoon. Go for a brisk walk for half an hour. Visit your next door neighbor. Check your home supplies (food, toiletries, etc) and see if you need to make a run for the store. Schedule a date with your spouse--leave the kid at home. The point of getting out of the house is to get yourself into a new environment. 

My boredom buster list is just four items, but broken down into bite-size pieces, these items give me much to do when I'm stuck doing, well, nothing. Hopefully you'll pick up an idea or two!

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Comment by martinecdeluna on February 5, 2011 at 3:05am

Hi, Alaina, MamaTales; thanks for leaving comments. :)

I still get to interact with adults when I go to client meetings. I also meet up regularly with parents whom I met in the homeschool circle. Since my schedule is relatively flexible, I can even "escape" on weekdays to go out with the girls.

Alaina -- I know what you mean! I blog in the wee hours, too. I don't get to do everything I intend to do at times (especially on days when I am just too lazy to do anything but Facebook--eek.). However, the lists have helped me greatly; I guess it's just my way of doing things so that I feel good about myself, too!

Comment by MamaTalesBlog on February 5, 2011 at 2:56am
I'm more of a stay-at-home-mom.  I also left my job to spend some time with my baby while she's a baby.  I do feel the whispering of getting stir crazy at the newer pace.  It's not a slower pace running after a toddler but I do miss the interaction with other adults.  :P
Comment by Alaina Forbes on February 5, 2011 at 1:58am
Very funny article. I wish I had any spare time though to do things on a list. I blog after the kids are in bed but that is about it, lol.

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