There is an excellent article in the March Ensign on "staying smart" as a stay-at-home mother (I've never liked that particular term, but it doesn't confuse anyone). Even though the Ensign is an LDS Church publication, most of the suggestions in this article apply to any mother. It is entitled "My Stay-at-home Education" and it is by Katherine Padilla. She says that she decided when her first child was born that she was going to "stay at home and be smart;" she has been a mother for 21 years.
One of the first things the author recommends is to read good books. She says, "Finding time to read has not been difficult for me. I read while I'm watching my children play outside and when I need to unwind... [it] gives my mind something interesting to think about while I'm taking care of the more mundane tasks of life."
She also goes on to suggest developing meaningful hobbies. Another suggestion is to use community resources, such as college classes, book clubs, and correspondence courses. One of the final suggestions, relating specifically to religious women, is to study the scriptures.
These really are simple ideas. Anyone could think of them. Yet they have to be printed in a magazine. I hear many stay-at-home mothers complain that they are bored and all they do is change diapers all day. I would hate it too if all I did was sit around and wait for a diaper to change.
Don't wait. There is plenty of time between changing diapers, giving baths, making peanut butter sandwiches, and playing card games to read, to write, to learn, to think. Hobbies are fun, but choose ones that are worthwhile, ones you can learn from. Take classes. Discuss books with friends who read (they can be hard to find, but they're out there). Learn about something completely new and exciting (like geysers. :)). Don't talk about diapers and body hair or whatever Oprah said yesterday when you could talk about meaningful things. Don't miss out.