The Mission, should you accept it…

I have officially been a stay-at-home mom for a year and three months, therefore I now consider myself a mom pro! (FYI, I hope you can hear my sarcasm)

When I was pregnant with Emery (my first child) there was no way I was goin to be a stay-at-home mom! Even before I was pregnant I knew I could never do that! Nobody could change my mind; I was a working, would be bored at home, wanted to bring in the money kind of girl.

Then I had Emery…

From that moment on, I wanted/needed to stay home Unfortunately, we were not in a place that I could stay home. I went back to work when Emery was seven weeks. She stayed with my mom for the first eight months, which was so nice, and then went to an in-home daycare. I cried the first day I dropped her off at daycare, like most parents I’m sure.

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My favorite first baby

Shortly after Emery’s first birthday my husband and I decided that I could start staying home in March. I was so excited and couldn’t wait! And then in January I found out I was pregnant with my second child.

I was excited, but also sad, because that meant I needed to work a little bit longer. Elliot came in August and after seven weeks I went back to work again, however, this time I knew December 31st would be my last day, no matter what!

And it was!!!

Now the “real” work was starting. I had realistic views and did not really think we would sleep in everyday (which would of been awesome), or that my kids would constantly obey, or that I would have dinner on the table everyday by 5pm. I knew it was going to be so much work, and oh my goodness it is!

Below are a few tips that help me survive and whether you’ve been staying home or thinking about it I hope these help (or at least bring a smile to your face). Good luck on this mission, should you choose to accept!

1. Go to bed at a decent time: Seriously, my kids are in bed between 7-7:30pm almost every day and it’s so nice. David and I are usually pretty tired at the end of the day and we love the thought of going to bed after them, but rarely do. However, on the few days I really do go to bed by 9 or 10pm, it’s amazing how much more energy and (honestly) better of a mom I am to my kids the next day. Sleep is so necessary, so really really try to go to sleep early. Especially because kids get up early!!!

2. Take a nap when they do (if you’re tired, bc you didn’t go to sleep at a decent time, see number 1): You’ve heard this before, we all have. I don’t care how old your kids are, if they’re napping, so should you! I’m not saying I do this everyday, because sometimes I really do have a lot to do while they’re sleeping, but I do enjoy a good nap, and I don’t feel guilty taking advantage of this. There’s plenty of time or another day to get housework done.

3. Get out of the house at least once a day: Somebody told me this shortly before I started staying home and I took it to heart. This is very important when keeping your sanity. Go to the library, a walk, the store, a park. Anywhere is better than sitting at home and counting down the hours until your spouse gets home.

4. Make a rough daily routine: You don’t need to plan your day or week all the time, but it helps to have an idea of what’s going on in your area. I follow another blog called Katy Moms Blog, and once a week she lists all the happenings going on in the area. It’s so helpful and I save a lot of the info on my calendar for the next week so I have an idea of what to do. I also keep in mind good days to go to the park, play with friends, trips to the zoo, or anything else that might be going on in the area. Planning your days ahead make it so much easier to know you aren’t going to be sitting around being bored and wondering what to do each day.

5. Have go to meals ready: To make life easier, just have a few go to dinners that you know will hardly take any time and everyone loves. I know if I make spaghetti, tacos, or pizza my family will be happy. Those are easy meals for days that have been crazy!

6. Join a play group: Whether it’s a planned play group or just a group of friends that you know you can text and get together with, it’s important to surround yourselves with other people going through the same season of life as you. If you’re the only one of your friends with kids, join a bible study. That’s where I met a big majority of other moms.

7. Make time for you: Never feel guilty about asking your husband for a night to yourself. After a long day of feeding, playing, cleaning, and who knows what else making a little time for yourself is such a necessity. I love going to the movies, dinner, getting a massage, or even just going in my room and closing the door to watch Netflix. Obviously, it’s not every day that this happens, but when it does it’s such a great way to recharge yourself and prepare for another crazy day.

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8. Make time for your spouse: In the same way as above, you have to spend alone time with your spouse. David and I love going on date nights. We love to celebrate everything; birthdays, Valentine’s Day (never jip yourself of a night out alone, even if you think it’s a “cheesy” holiday), Friday nights, new movies coming out, work accomplishments, you get the point. Never forget you fell in love with the man in your life before you had children. While it may seem hard, always always put him first and children second. If you want to be a good parent, you have to be a good spouse first.

9. Find a clean-up routine that works for you: For me, a toy free room is always nice. I let my kids play all day, but I try to clean up as we go. It doesn’t always happen, but picking up a little here or there throughout the day makes me feel better. However, there are plenty of times that we don’t clean up until the end of the day. Whatever you choose to do, just find a cleaning routine that works for you and makes you feel good. I know if my house is too messy for too long I get in a bad mood, and that’s never fun. So I just do what works for us, plus I like my kids to have a clean slate for the day and to come up with new imaginative ideas.

10. Play with your kids when they ask: This seems like it could be obvious, but really it’s not, at least not for me all the time. Sometimes I get caught up with  doing the dishes, the floors, the laundry, etc. that I forget why I wanted to stay home to begin with! To be with my kids. I catch myself telling them all the time, “I can’t play right now I’m doing…” I have to remember that my kids won’t want me to play with them forever, so while they’re little and as long as I’m able I have to remind myself that work can wait, kids can’t.

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How could you not want to be with these faces all the time?!

Well I must admit, this blog turned into a little longer than I had planned and I’m sure you know a lot of this, but sometimes it’s good to be reminded. Do you have any tips on how to be the best stay-at-home mom? If so, please share! I’m always up to hear great ideas.

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