Although I don’t head into the office on Monday mornings anymore, I still have a full-time job by staying home with my babe.
A few of you have asked me how the transition has been from working to staying at home. I love being a stay-at-home-mom and knew it was for me even before I had kids. My days are definitely not perfect, but I am slowly trying to find balance in this new phase of life.
Here’s some things that help me stay sane day by day at home, in no particular order.
1 // An exercise routine
Resuming exercise as I knew it after having a baby took me longer than I expected. The year before having Claire, I had just run a marathon and was in the best shape of my life. I didn’t think it would take long to get with it again, but it did.
I thrive on schedules and knowing what to expect. Adding a baby with an unpredictable schedule to the mix means I wanted consistency even more. I did Jillian Michael’s Ripped in 30 to get started, along with tons of walking with Claire. Now I am doing T25 (only 25 minutes – great for new moms with little time!) & am just getting back to regular running.
Since I suffered from a little bit of postpartum depression, exercise helped wonders. It relieves stress, helps me feel accomplished early on in the day, & has helped me put myself first when I am sometimes feeling last.
2 // Connecting with other moms
I really don’t know what I would have done without my new moms group back in Boston! I found a group that was put on by the hospital that Claire was born at. I went weekly to an open forum mom group where you could ask anything, say what was going good or bad for you, and just get support from other moms. There was also a lactation consultant there – so helpful!
Now I am part of a MOPs group & sometimes go to a playgroup that I found too. There are many different options for mom groups, whether it be an official group or just getting together with other mom friends you have. I feel so much better knowing other people are struggling with the same things and just being able to talk to people who are in the same phase of life right now.
3 // Making the bed every day
This simple task sets the tone for my day. Even if I don’t clean a thing and Claire cries all day and I don’t get anything done, it’s nice to see that my bedroom is cleaned up. It’s a breath of fresh air in a sometimes stressful lifestyle.
If making the bed isn’t your thing, it could be anything that gives you that breath of fresh air feeling. Prepping your coffee pot the night before, having an outfit planned for the next day, doing a quick 5 minute pick up of one room. Whatever it is, do something every day that helps you feel normal.
4 // Getting out of the house (almost) daily
Some days, it’s fine to stay home and have no agenda, but day after day of that with a small person who cries and does not talk is very isolating. I don’t have a “true” schedule, but here’s an example of what my week can look like:
- Monday: MOPs group from 9:30-11:30
- Tuesday: Grocery shopping/run errands
- Wednesday: Stroller Walk group fitness class
- Thursday: meet up with a friend for a walk
- Friday: playgroup from 10-12
If ever I get bored and realize I don’t have something to do and just can’t take sitting around anymore, going for a walk is my go to. I also like to go the library with Claire every other week and pick out some books for the both of us. All my get-out-of-the-house things are simple. It doesn’t really matter what we do, as long as we do something.
5 // Staying off social media
Motherhood is hard enough, but as modern moms, we now have to face social media and the instant comparison trap that it provides.
I don’t see anything wrong with using social media to share about kids and motherhood. I’ve just realized that in this season in life, it’s been much healthier for me to take a step back from being glued to it. The closer I am to social media, the more I judge others and myself in an unfair and unhealthy way so staying off of it helps keep me balanced.
6 // Using a Planner
I didn’t think a planner would be an essential item as a SAHM, but it’s been my saving grace. I got a planner that has a to do list with little check boxes on it for each day of the week.
Most nights or early in the morning, I plan out what I am doing for the next day or that day. Even if it’s simple things like workout, vacuum, & go on a walk, when I put it on a list it helps me have focus and a routine.
When I’m not using the planner, I often feel lost and like I have no idea what I’ve accomplished. It really helps me to see what I am doing with my day and helps me get more things done.
7 // Listening to music
When all you hear most days is a baby crying or silly electronic baby toys, it’s nice to break it up with some other sounds. I like listening to Classical music on iHeart Radio to provide some peace for my day. When Claire is awake, I like playing worship music or kids radio stations too.
8 // Putting on real clothes & makeup sometimes
Since staying home usually doesn’t require I see that many people in a given day or week, I am often stuck in a rut of half-PJ outfits or only wearing yoga pants. Putting on makeup to deal with a baby who could care less is not very appealing!
Needless to say, about 2-3 days a week, I try to break out of that mold with a real outfit and makeup. If you’re not a mom yet, this probably sounds really odd and like I’ve “lost myself” to motherhood. But makeup or pants with buttons is really not a priority right now. I’m sure it’ll all come back someday!
9 // Stop having expectations for my baby
This is probably the most helpful thing but hardest thing for me lately. I approached motherhood with a “lets make everything better” attitude, but guess what? Babies cry, they do not sleep through the night very often or take awesome three hour naps all the time. And sometimes you have no idea what is going on with them.
Instead of expecting Claire to sleep through the night, I’m thankful for a six hour stretch. Instead of putting her down for a nap and hoping she sleeps as long as possible so I can get things done, I relish in the 20 minutes that she does happen to sleep.
It’s really not fair to expect a baby of any age to do anything yet. They are brand new and still adjusting to this strange new world and growing all the time! I am a much happier mom when I release expectations for Claire and just go with it and accept that she does what she does.
10 // Margaritas
I’m not kidding. Wine also counts too.
Do I really need to say more? 😉
Staying home is not always easy. It’s easy for me to stay in my PJs until noon and lose focus of why I am staying home or what the heck I do all day. These are just a few things that have helped me find peace in my new “job” as stay at home mommy.
Questions for You:
- Does being a SAHM or working outside the home appeal to you more? Why?
- If you stay home with your kids, what helps you the most?