I can't do it all as a SAHM—and that's okay

Am I going to eat, shower, or sleep in the 20 minutes I have of overlapping nap times?

I can't do it all as a SAHM—and that's okay

Feed the kids. Get everyone properly dressed (if you're lucky). Educate the kids. Entertain the kids. Cook constantly. Clean constantly. Manage finances. Do the 100th load of laundry that day. Plan all the parties for all the events. Meet mom friends. Join mom clubs. Socialize your kids. Save all the money. Make money. The list goes on and on and on and on.

When I first dreamed of being a stay-at-home mom, I visualized that I would have it all together. I would have our days planned every day, filling them with stimulating and engaging activities.

I would be a part of a huge circle of awesome moms and awesome kids. My house would be spotless and I would look cute every day doing it all.


I truly felt it would be amazing to be home and that I could do it all. News flash: I'm on kid #2, and I do not have my stuff together. I do okay most days, but there are also really hard days.

With a 2-year-old and a newborn, things are hectic all the time. The house is often "spot cleaned," there are hampers of laundry to be washed and hampers of clean laundry to be folded and put away (in the next 7-10 business days).

After chasing my toddler and nursing my newborn all day, I'm pretty sure a bird could mistake my hair for its nest. Let's face it; my appearance is often a hot mess. This is just a chaotic time of life having two littles.

I'm always picking and choosing what to focus on:

Is the house going to be cleaned or are the kids going to have fun?

Is the laundry or the dishes the one "fun chore" I have the kids "help" me with that day?

Am I going to eat, shower, or sleep in the 20 minutes I have of overlapping nap times?

Most days, when I finally put my feet up, I feel like a complete failure. I didn't get any of the perfect mom things done that I had planned that day.

On these days where I only manage to play with my kids, there is one thing that reminds me of my worth: my husband. When he arrives, he always asks about my day and we begin doing chores together. We clean the kitchen and switch off entertaining the kids, and we talk about our workdays. He's always interested in hearing about the silly things our son said and the new toys our baby likes, and he praises me for the work I did being a mom.

Because that's the reality, we both worked all day! My husband worked in an office contributing to medical advancement, and I worked in our home contributing to our children's advancement. Being a team with my husband at the end of the day and having him just as interested in my activities as I am in his reminds me that my work is important, too, even when we play all day.

After spending a lot of my nights feeling bad about my lack of accomplishments each day based on the standards I gathered from society on what I should be able to get done, I realized I was not a failure based on my family's standards.

No, I'm not doing it all, and that's okay.

Because what I am doing is important. It might not be getting all the chores done and teaching my kids a second language, but it's important work, nonetheless. It's important for my kids' development. My value as a stay-at-home mom is not only in the quantifiable output of tasks in addition to child-raising. There is immeasurable value in the indispensable time spent in raising little humans.

I get a lot done in one day. I kiss owies, push swings and teach how to share. I give bear hugs, play chase and tie shoes. I make meals, sing songs and show love to my babies day in and day out.

But no I can't do it all, and I'm not supposed to, despite what society says. As much as I hear the message or believe that "I'm not getting anything done" during my days as a stay-at-home mom, I know that I am doing my most important work being present with and raising my babies. The things I do with my children matter more than checking off everything on my to-do list.

The perfectly planned activities and good hair days can wait. For now, I'm lying in the grass counting clouds with my kids.

You might also like:

In This Article

    These challenges from Nike PLAYlist are exactly what my child needs to stay active

    Plus a fall family bucket list to keep everyone moving all season long.

    While it's hard to name anything that the pandemic hasn't affected, one thing that is constantly on my mind is how to keep my family active despite spending more time indoors. Normally, this time of year would be spent at dance and gymnastics lessons, meeting up with friends for games and field trips, and long afternoon playdates where we can all let off a little steam. Instead, we find ourselves inside more often than ever before—and facing down a long winter of a lot more of the same.

    I started to search for an outlet that would get my girls moving safely while we social distance, but at first I didn't find a lot of solutions. Online videos either weren't terribly engaging for my active kids, or the messaging wasn't as positive around the power of movement as I would like. Then I found the Nike PLAYlist.

    I always knew that Nike could get me moving, but I was so impressed to discover this simple resource for parents. PLAYlist is an episodic sports show on YouTube that's made for kids and designed to teach them the power of expressing themselves through movement. The enthusiastic kid hosts immediately captured my daughter's attention, and I love how the physical activity is organically incorporated in fun activities without ever being specifically called out as anything other than play. For example, this segment where the kids turn yoga into a game of Paper Scissors Rock? Totally genius. The challenges from #TheReplays even get my husband and me moving more when our daughter turns it into a friendly family competition. (Plus, I love the play-inspired sportswear made just for kids!)

    My daughter loves the simple Shake Ups at the beginning of the episode and is usually hopping off the couch to jump, dance and play within seconds. One of her favorites is this Sock Flinger Shake Up activity from the Nike PLAYlist that's easy for me to get in on too. Even after we've put away the tablet, the show inspires her to create her own challenges throughout the day.

    The best part? The episodes are all under 5 minutes, so they're easy to sprinkle throughout the day whenever we need to work out some wiggles (without adding a lot of screen time to our schedule).

    Whether you're looking for simple alternatives to P.E. and sports or simply need fun ways to help your child burn off energy after a day of socially distanced school, Nike's PLAYlist is a fun, kid-friendly way to get everyone moving.

    Need more movement inspiration for fall? Here are 5 ways my family is getting up and getting active this season:

    1. Go apple picking.

    Truly, it doesn't really feel like fall until we've picked our first apple. (Or had our first bite of apple cider donut!) Need to burn off that extra cinnamon-sugar energy? Declare a quick relay race up the orchard aisle—winner gets first to pick of apples at home.

    To wear: These Printed Training Tights are perfect for when even a casual walk turns into a race (and they help my daughter scurry up a branch for the big apples).

    2. Visit a pumpkin patch.

    We love to pick up a few locally grown pumpkins to decorate or cook with each year. Challenge your child to a "strongman" contest and see who can lift the heaviest pumpkin while you're there.

    To wear: Suit up your little one in comfort with this Baby Full Zip Coverall so you're ready for whatever adventures the day brings.

    3. Have a nature scavenger hunt.

    Scavenger hunts are one of my favorite ways to keep my daughter preoccupied all year long. We love to get outside and search for acorns, leaves and pinecones as part of our homeschool, but it's also just a great way to get her exercising those gross motor skills whenever the wiggles start to build up.

    To wear: It's not truly fall until you break out a hoodie. This cozy Therma Elite Kids Hoodie features a mesh overlay to release heat while your child plays.

    4. Have a touch-football game.

    Tip for parents with very little kids: It doesn't have to last as long as a real football game. 😂 In fact, staging our own mini-games is one of our favorite ways to get everyone up and moving in between quarters during Sunday football, and I promise we all sleep better that night.

    To wear: From impromptu games of tag to running through our favorite trails, these kids' Nike Air Zoom Speed running shoes are made to cover ground all season long.

    5. Create an indoor obstacle course.

    Pretending the floor is lava was just the beginning. See how elaborate your personal course can get, from jumping on the couch to rolling under the coffee table to hopping down the hallway on one foot.

    To wear: These ready-for-any-activity Dri-FIT Tempo Shorts are perfect for crawling, hopping and racing—and cuddling up when it's time to rest.

    This article was sponsored by Nike. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

    Our Partners

    Sorry, you can’t meet our baby yet

    Thank you for understanding. ❤️

    In just over three weeks, we will become parents. From then on, our hearts will live outside of our bodies. We will finally understand what everyone tells you about bringing a child into the world.

    Lately, the range of emotions and hormones has left me feeling nothing short of my new favorite mom word, "hormotional." I'm sure that's normal though, and something most people start to feel as everything suddenly becomes real.

    Our bags are mostly packed, diaper bag ready, and birth plan in place. Now it's essentially a waiting game. We're finishing up our online childbirth classes which I must say are quite informational and sometimes entertaining. But in between the waiting and the classes, we've had to think about how we're going to handle life after baby's birth.


    I don't mean thinking and planning about the lack of sleep, feeding schedule, or just the overall changes a new baby is going to bring. I'm talking about how we're going to handle excited family members and friends who've waited just as long as we have to meet our child. That sentence sounds so bizarre, right? How we're going to handle family and friends? That sentence shouldn't even have to exist.

    Keep reading Show less

    100 unusual + surprising baby name ideas

    From Adelia to Ziggy.

    Our list of 100 baby names that should be on everyone's list this year includes more choices than in the past of names that are obscure and surprising. That's because there are so many more unusual baby names coming into widespread use and baby namers have become a lot more adventurous.

    Expectant parents do not need to be told to move beyond Jennifer and Jason. Their thinking about names has evolved to the point that the most useful thing we can do is offer a large menu of intriguing choices.

    Here are our picks for the 100 best surprising + unusual baby names now.

    Keep reading Show less
    Learn + Play