Combining finances & avoiding burnout as a stay-at-home mom

Hi Mary Jo,

I’m a stay at home mom with two toddlers. What is something I can do that’s quick at the end of the day that won’t keep me up all night so I’m not tired the next day.

Thanks, Rebecca


Full time motherhood is one of the most taxing jobs on earth. It’s being a care-taker 24/7. Taking time for yourself is not a luxury – it’s a necessity for maintaining mental health. You need to focus on all areas of you in order to achieve proper self-care in the shortest amount of time. I have divided my suggestions by categories below.


  • Run in place 5 minutes
  • Do yoga stretches
  • Spend time with an inside garden or patio garden
  • Put on a facial mask or give yourself a mini facial.
  • Soak in fragrant bath oils with your favorite magazine.
  • Play with a new hair style or make-over by watching a fun 5 to 10 minute YouTube tutorial. 


  • Design a prayer corner. Have blankets and comfortable surroundings in a quiet area. On a nearby table keep inspiring psalms or quotes you find uplifting and strengthening.
  • Download a favorite free app called “simple habits” with 5 minute relaxing mediations. These focus on removing negative thoughts, minimizing overthinking, and restoring confidence and order in your life.
  • Join an online bible study group. These help you feel connected and encourage spiritual growth.


  • Begin a new puzzle and store it under your bed to keep it safe so you can complete it on your time.
  • Get a sketch book out and sketch for 15 minutes at night. This helps the mind process left over worries from the day so your sleep won’t be troubled with them!
  • Write in a journal.
  • Buy a coloring book and color at night with a cup of your favorite hot tea.
  • Read a book or do a crossword puzzle.


  • Make a date with friends for a time when your partner or a babysitter can care for the kids. Face to face time with friends is a necessity.
  • Get the free app “Marco Polo” and encourage your friends to join you at the end of day.
  • Talk on Face Time with friends.


Hi Mary Jo,

If you are going on your second marriage, do you recommend combining your finances with your new spouse or not?

Financial problems are one a primary reason for marital conflict. If financial concerns were an issue in your first marriage, it’s important to protect your second marriage from following in the same steps. There is no one perfect way for every couple, but having a joint account declares to each other that you’re together in ownership and your vision for the future of your life together is solid.  This can align goals and demonstrate respect for shared values, which helps bond the couple and provides trust and security.

My caveat with joint accounts is in the case where communication is lacking or monetary trust is broken, which will lead to excessive financial conflict. A great alternative is to have one joint account that pays bills and creates savings for the future. Both partners contribute to the joint account. Separate accounts can then be opened with equal and agreed upon amounts of “fun money.” This gives both partners reassurance, especially in a second marriage where financial issues from the past left unresolved may be repeated in the second marriage. The key in either method is dependent upon having routine budget talks and checking in to make sure you’re on the same page with what you value financially for the marriage.

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