What are stay-at-home mom essentials, and why do you need to have them?
There are certain essential items every stay-at-home mom needs in their home. These items will help you manage your day better and make life with kids easier. If you’re reading this post, then you’re probably in the process of becoming a stay-at-home mom. If you need help deciding whether the stay-at-home mom life is for you, check my recent article: Should I Become A Stay-at-Home Mom? (Questions to ask yourself + quiz included)
How I came up with this list of stay-at-home mom essentials
I decided to put together this list because I wanted to help new stay-at-home moms easily transition into their roles. I didn’t have any of these items when I began my journey years ago. It made things very difficult for me in the beginning.
To make my list, I created a questionnaire and polled 115 stay-at-home moms. The questionnaire was posted online as well as in my local community. 115 women took the survey. Below are their recommendations.
The list was broken down into 5 different categories which are: cleaning essentials, cooking essentials, chore essentials, childcare essentials, and self-care essentials. This covers the daily life of a stay-at-home mom.
let’s jump in and look at each category
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Cleaning Must-Haves for stay-at-home moms
This was the number one item most stay-at-home moms said they can’t live without. It doesn’t matter which brand you get. Just make sure you get yourself a robot vacuum. The iRobot Roomba i3 was the most recommended robot vacuum because it self-empties. It’s also good for pet hair, carpet, and wood floors.
If your kids are young, then you know that you’ll probably be spending most of your day cleaning up after them. There were days I gave up vacuuming because I just couldn’t do it for the 10th time that day. If I’d gotten my Roomba earlier, it would have saved me hours of vacuuming.
I suggest you get a handheld vacuum to tackle those hard-to-reach places that the robot vacuum can’t enter. A handheld vacuum is also good for quick clean-ups, so you don’t have to drag out the huge vacuum every time. I recommend the Eufy handheld vacuum because it’s battery-powered and has very strong suction.
Cleaning Apps on the app store
I recently learned about the Youtuber called Flylady from some stay-at-home mom friends of mine. She created the Flylady method of home cleaning. She also has the flyladyplus app on the AppStore that helps you target areas to clean each day.
Her method makes it easy to clean your home because you tackle one area at a time. There are a lot of people on YouTube that use her method and vouch for it. I try to follow it as well, and it does make cleaning easier.
Another app that was suggested to me is called Tody. I’ve not tried it out myself, but some of the stay-at-home moms who answered my questionnaire said it works great. Just like the Flylady app, it helps you map out your cleaning schedule for the day.
Cooking essentials for stay-at-home moms
More stay-at-home moms recommended the slow cooker as one of the cooking essentials they can’t live without. It’s great for the busy mom who wants to cook meals and still have time to do other things.
All you have to do is throw in your ingredients, set the time, and just let it cook. I use my slow cooker at least once a week. I recommend the Hamilton Beach Set and forget it slow cooker for its simple-to-use features.
If you want a device that does the same thing as a slow cooker but also has the ability of a pressure cooker, then an instant pot is for you. I’d say that the instant pot can cut your cook time in half, which gives you more time to do other things. This 7-in-1 instant pot has the ability to make yogurt, slow cook, steam food, cook rice, and so much more. I’ll be upgrading to this instant pot when I move in the next few months.
Grocery delivery service
If you’re the type of person who runs to the grocery store every week, then you know how much of a hassle that can be. You have to load your kids in the car, drive there, put them in the stroller, then get as many groceries that can fit in your stroller basket.
A grocery delivery like Instacart will save you from all that hassle, and give you more time to spend doing the things that matter. All you have to do is provide them with your shopping list. You’re assigned a personal shopper who gets your items and delivers them to your door.
Every SAHM I interviewed said they use a grocery delivery service like Instacart.
Meal delivery service
There are days when you just won’t have the time to cook even with your crockpot or instant pot. If you want your family to still get a healthy meal, then a meal delivery service is a great option.
I have meals delivered to my home once a week. This gives me a much-needed break from cooking. I have used Blue Apron in the past and really liked them. A few of the SAHMs I interviewed also recommended them.
I also like the company what a crock because they focus on delivering meals just for the crock pot. I like them because they have large portions that can feed up to a family of 6.
Paper plates & cups
If you want to do fewer dishes and save time, then I recommend getting some paper plates and cups. I got tired of doing dishes multiple times a day, so I started using paper plates for lunches. It was the best time-saving idea I ever had.
My Cuisinart food processor is extremely important. I don’t know what I’d do without it. Every week, I take out all the veggies In the fridge and chop them all up. This way, I don’t have to cut anything when I need to prepare a meal. If you have excess veggies, you can freeze them as well.
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Essential Items To Make Chores Easier
Routines/schedule for chores
Having a routine for house cleaning is essential to maintaining your sanity as a stay-at-home mom. You don’t have to be super strict with it, but you have to have a simple checklist of the items you need to take care of each day.
To see my cleaning routine/schedule check out: Easy Daily Cleaning Schedule For Stay-at-Home Moms
When it comes to running errands and doing chores around the house, it can be very difficult if you don’t make a list. You will forget what needs to get done. Having a to-do chore list for the day will keep you on track
Routines/schedules for kids
Apart from giving kids chores, it’s also important to have routines for them as well. Kids function better when they know what to expect in each part of the day.
Make sure you have a morning routine, afternoon routine, and evening/bedtime routine. To see my routine for newborns and toddlers check out: Stay-at-Home Mom Schedule With Newborn and Infant
A Monthly Calendar
Making use of a calendar (either a physical or digital one) will keep you organized and on task for the day. You will be more stressed if you don’t know what is scheduled for each day.
I make sure to record every appointment, play date, family visit, or event in the calendar. I also share it with my spouse so we don’t double book anything. It keeps us both on the same page.
If you have older kids, you can share it with them as well, and have them record their events on the calendar directly. That’ll take some load off you to do it for them.
Reminder app for a to-do list
If you’re the type to forget what you have to do, then I suggest you use the reminder app on your cell phone. You can set it to include the date and time something needs to get done. It’ll remind you a few minutes or hours before, based on what you prefer.
Grocery Shopping list
It goes without saying that you need to have a pre-planned grocery list before you head to the supermarket. If you don’t you will end up buying random items and spending too much money.
It’s a good idea to check your local grocery store for the items on sale that week. This way, you can plan your weekly meal based on the sale items.
I usually buy whatever meat is on sale and then build the rest of the meal around that.
Meal plan for the week
Before the start of the week, you should look in your fridge to see what veggies, meat, or other ingredients need to be used up. I suggest creating your meal plan based on those leftover items, in order to avoid food waste.
Your meal plan should be created for the whole week (Monday to Sunday), this will help you avoid running to the store halfway through the week to do more shopping.
I highly recommend the app Mealime for meal planning. It’s completely free. It gives you recipe ideas and helps you create a weekly meal plan. You can even print out your shopping list from it.
Housekeeper or cleaning service
A lot of the stay-at-home moms I spoke to said they pay for a cleaner to come to help out once every two weeks. I think this is a great idea if you can afford it.
When my kids were younger, it was nearly impossible to keep my home clean and still have time for chores, cooking, and outings. Getting a cleaner to come in once every 2 weeks to do a deep clean for me was one of the best decisions I ever made.
Stay-at-Home Mom Essentials For Childcare
When it comes to keeping your home clutter-free, a good toy organizer like the Humble Crew from amazon is a must-have. I like this organizer from amazon because it has many cubbies to store items. It’s also low enough that little kids can reach their toys easily.
Chore list for kids
If your kids are old enough to do chores, then have them join you in taking care of your home. Chores can be as simple as emptying the dishwasher, reloading it, folding the laundry, or making the bed. Giving kids chores teaches them discipline and responsibility.
A park or playground nearby
We practically live at the playground near my house. Getting the kids outside is the only way to burn off their energy before a nap.
I suggest you find a park or playground close by you so that you have a place to take your kids every day. There’s nothing worse than being stuck indoors all day with hyperactive children.
Your local library or children’s center
If you don’t have a park or playground near you, then look up the closest library in your area. Libraries usually have activities for children like arts and crafts, reading, etc. All their activities are free.
You will want to make a list of all the free activities happening that month and put it in your calendar. That way, you never forget to take your kids
Stay-at-Home Mom Essentials For Self-care
If you’re the type of person who forgets to prioritize self-care, then Therabox is for you. It’s a subscription that delivers monthly self-care items to you.
Each item in the box is full-size. Examples include; facial care and skin care products, journals and self-care exercises, etc. Each activity in Therabox is designed by a licensed therapist, so you know they are trustworthy.
Stay-at-home mom friends
If you do nothing on this list, please do this one. Being a stay-at-home mom is a unique job that only other SAHMs will understand. You need to surround yourself with like-minded people who understand your daily struggle.
If you don’t, you will surely become depressed in your new role. Before I found my “stay-at-home mom tribe” I was very lonely. I hated the isolation that came from staying home all day.
I was able to find some awesome groups of SAHMs in my neighborhood. Check out 17 Proven Ways To Make Mom Friends (Loneliness No More) We have play dates at each other’s homes every week. This gives us an opportunity to catch up on adult conversations while our kids play together.
Learn to set boundaries
Learning to set boundaries when it comes to your kids and family will help you stay more grounded. As moms, there’s this pressure to always be “on” and do everything for everyone. If you’re not careful you will lose yourself in your kids and family.
Boundaries can be as simple as knowing when you need a break and saying “no” to the demands of others (including your kids).
Find a hobby
According to Utah State University, a hobby provides opportunities for social connection, reduces stress, and improves mental health. Having a hobby can be the difference between being depressed or thriving in your role as a stay-at-home mom.
Leaving the corporate world behind was hard for me. I missed the social aspects of my work. It wasn’t until I found a hobby (i.e this blog) that I started to feel alive again.
Check out my post on 29 Fun Stay-at-Home Mom Hobby Ideas (money-making hobbies included) to get started on finding a new hobby today.
Take some time for yourself each day
When you are a stay-at-home mom, you’re always on the clock. There’s no such thing as a day off. With that being said, it is up to us to take some time off when we get the opportunity.
When my kids go to bed around 7 PM, I silence my phone and take the rest of the evening to relax before my husband gets home from work. It’s important to find ways to let go of the tensions of the day, so it doesn’t spill over to the next day.
Most of the stay-at-home moms who took my questionnaire said that a gym membership is one thing they can’t live without. Some go to the gym to lose weight, while others go just to have a place to be without their kids each week.
There are some gyms that offer childcare. If you have any in your area, I suggest you take advantage of them.
Chiropractor or weekly massage
Caring for kids and the home all day can result in some aches and pains. If you find yourself in this situation then a weekly or monthly session with your chiropractor or massage parlor is just what you need.
It’s something to look forward to each week. You get alone time without the kids and have someone else take care of you for a change.
It’s very important that you have a solid plan for how you will manage your day before you become a stay-at-home mom. Creating a list of essential items to have at home is part of being prepared.
On your list, make sure you have something to make cooking, cleaning, chores, and childcare easier for you. I hope that I have given you a comprehensive list of stay-at-home mom essentials.
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