Monday, October 22, 2012

7 tips for stay-at-home-mamahood sanity

Source: via Greta on Pinterest

I love this quote...because it is so very, very true.

Now, I'm not an expert on anything really, but in the last 15 months as a stay-at-home mom, I've learned a thing or two...
1. Become okay with really comfortable clothes/shoes.  
This one was really hard for me at first.  I was never that girl in college who rolled out of bed and went to class in sweatpants and my hair piled on top of my head in a messy ponytail.  I tried to look 'put together' and fashionable.  Prior to having my baby I was used to dressing up for work.  I had always actually loved dressing up.  Even when the dress code was "very casual" I would wear heels.  Every. Single. Day.  And skirts, and preppy button down shirts.  And I am pretty sure I had the "Editor" style pants from Express in every color imaginable.

I even wore high heels throughout my pregnancy!

Then came baby, and my new job as an SAHM.  The first eight weeks I think I rotated between three pairs of sweatpants.  Big, baggy sweatpants.  I remember feeling completely gross.  {which may have been the hormones and the generally icky recovery process from having a baby with a giant head exit your lady parts.}  In any case, I wasn't used to feeling so unkempt.   Not wearing makeup everyday.
Plus, when I did go out in these first eight weeks, I was kind of stuck between still wearing my maternity jeans, which were way too big and kept falling off my booty, and wearing my pre-baby jeans, which were too tight and gave me an smallish but very unsightly muffin top.

Fortunately, things got better.  I lost my baby weight {read about that journey here} and in the process of that weight loss I became at peace with my comfy new dress code.  Now, unless I am going out to meet friends, M-F I am usually wearing workout clothes.   I put them on immediately in the morning, so I am ready for our morning jog or trip to the gym.  Then, after my shower during his morning nap, I change into comfy {not sexy or uber-flattering} jeans and a cotton shirt or tank top {+ cardi now that it's cool out} and that is how I spend the rest of my day.  I will sometimes put on makeup.  Sometimes not.  I have learned to be okay with the "sporty, casual, baby-friendly, don't care if I get dirty" version of me.  We do a lot of things that require getting dirty and sweaty.

Needless to say, I have saved a LOT of money on clothes and shoes.  Plus, it is extra fun now to dress sexy and flattering for date nights, and stylish and trendy for girlfriend nights and shopping trips!

2. Be flexible.  I am a total control freak, but I've learned to control that freakishness since becoming a SAHM.  You can have a schedule, but you cannot control the things that babies throw at you  (Not literally. Well, sometimes.}   One day your precious one might be sick, or teething really badly, and your entire plan for the day gets blown out of the water.  {Or, in my case, all of last week was completely shot because he had a contagious virus that thankfully I didn't get!}   Instead, you will spend it comforting and simply helping your baby get through their illness/teething.  Or you'll get invited last minute to a playdate, so the laundry you were gonna do will have to wait for another day.  Or, let's face it, you might just feel like spending an entire nap hour blogging/napping instead of dusting or prepping for that night's dinner.  Oh well -- it happens.  Breathe and go with it.  Oh, and perhaps convince your hubby to cook or, in our case, order takeout.

3.  Let go of guilt.  I think it is completely okay to do things for yourself during the day.   Do you like running or working out?  Find a gym with a playroom, or invest in a jogging stroller {I do both.}  Love to write?  Use at least one naptime a week to blog or journal.   Adore the Kardashians?  It's completely okay to have an episode on while you hang out and play on the floor with your darling babe.   You NEED to do things for you.  Staying at home is not JUST about the baby, it is about staying true to who you are as well.

4. Be healthy.  I really don't think a lot of SAHMs have time to sit around watching TV and eating sweets.  Pretty sure that is a complete myth men have dreamed up.  However, it might be easy to overdose on empty calories when you are running around after a toddler.  Keep healthy snacks on hand, ALWAYS have a water bottle around to sip throughout the day, and do at least 30 minutes of a workout you enjoy.  Involve baby when possible.  I think your kiddo will appreciate the example you are setting, and hopefully grow to model your healthy habits.  I save all indulgences {wine, dessert, bigger meals} for when baby is asleep or with a sitter so I can actually savor them in peace.

5. Remember: They are watching and listening!  This one freaks me out regularly.  Every time I see Cormac do something that I know he saw me do, I have to remind myself that kiddos are incredibly intelligent and observant, even when they cannot talk.   I see him picking up dustrags and trying to "dust" the cabinets.  He wrestles with the broom to pretend to sweep.  He yelps until I will pick him up so he can push the jogging stroller.  He'll grab my keys, stand at the door and fiddle with them until he finds the 'right' one. He gently pets and hugs the dog.    He finds farting noises funny and laughs uproariously at them. He has meltdowns. Yep.  Pretty sure the good, the bad, and the ugly he saw either me or Hubby do.

6. Don't forget to play!  I like to get a ton done during the day, whether Baby is asleep or not.  When he is awake I will still try to clean some, prep dinner, run errands, all the while trying to involve him and teach him what I am doing, or let him play independently while I get things done.  I have to remind myself daily to take time to completely stop what I am doing, let certain tasks go unfinished, and just PLAY.   See the world through his eyes.  Act goofy.  Really listen to what he is "saying." Look into his eyes and have a quality, one-on-one interaction.    If you have never been a stay-at-home-mama you may think this one should be easy.  It's not.  If you happen to be like me you put a LOT of pressure on yourself to get a lot accomplished.  I have a schedule for housecleaning, I plan and prep all our meals, work out at least once a day, try to keep the house as tidy as possible, AND want Cormac to learn and grow and have a well-rounded experience with me.  IT IS HARD {impossible?}to try to do all these things well.   So I remind myself, every day, that sometimes I am allowed to forget all the other stuff and just PLAY with my kiddo.  Those are usually the best days. :)

7.  Schedule YOU time.  Every week.  So important. Have at least one 3-4 hour period where your husband {or babysitter, or partner, or whoever!} takes your kiddo{s} and you get out of Dodge.  Seriously, just go somewhere by yourself.  Doesn't matter where.  The grocery store, a coffee shop, the mall...just go and be by yourself.  Do things that make you happy.  Actually enjoy a latte instead of chugging down a cup of coffee or abandoning it only to remember it hours later, ice cold.  Enjoy the company of Y-O-U.  Savor the silence.   Remember, this is besides a date with your husband, or plans with girlfriends.

So there they are.  Again, I'm no expert on motherhood by any means, but these are the things that keep me happy and sane.  Well, slightly.  :)

Are you a stay-at-home mama?  
What keeps you positive and motivated during your work day? 

{and please, if you say it is just all easy and wonderful and glorious, the rest of us know you are don't even go there.}


  1. I definitely hand it to you SAHM mamas! I really don't know if I could do it. I say that, but know that whatever we mamas are called to do, we'll do it. :) I just see myself as a WM.

    As a WM, my struggle is that when I get home from work, I just want to spend every second with my babe, and getting stuff done usually happens after he goes to bed, which leaves me no me time. I've gotten better over the last several months, and we've figured out time-saving things, like making meals we can have for 3 nights, so we don't need to spend time cooking....or going to a yoga class after the babe goes to bed. Adn occasionally taking a Saturday morning shopping trip. {Can you tell I've been thinking of a blog post? } ;)

    Anyway, you seem to have it figured out! Until Baby # 2 comes! Can't wait to see the new list!

  2. I'm not a stay at home mom but these are all great tips regardless.

  3. thank you for this!! everything was such an encouragement to me, except you know...the running, being healthy etc. part. the rest i totally identify with! the target picture was literally my life yesterday hahah! sad but true that target alone is now a highlight. i'm hoping to get a lot better at getting things done during the day as emmie's naps get more normal. most nights roll around and my house is just messier - not cleaner! yikes!

  4. Good stuff!! So many of these I have found to be true as well...aside from the working out ;) I am still trying to stick to some kind of workout routine.... You're a great mom!! :)

  5. haha I laughed out loud at the target picture! its like a vacation!! although I'm in canada so we havent gotten target yet its being built to open soon at my mall lol

    also I've realized through my mom-ness that my actual style IS the collage kid with messy bun.. perpetually on exam week. it's not a bad style (debatable) but dressing up is becoming more exciting than it used to be! yay for mom rules.


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