I always wanted to be a Stay-at-Home mom – raising, teaching and watching my children do all their first steps. It sounds so perfect and dreamy but the reality is A LOT more complicated and exhausting than I’ve expected. I can’t say often enough how thankful I am to have the possibility to stay at home with Raphael, however, being a mother has pushed me to my limits – daily! Some days are going really well and smoothly other days I feel like I can’t handle the chaos and I feel like I am losing it. I am by far no expert in “mommy-ing” but I am trying my best every day to give Raphael what he deserves. So here are my 10 tips for keeping your sanity as a (Stay-at-Home) mom.
- CREATE A DAILY ROUTINE & STAY ORGANIZED : Create a schedule and try to stick to it as much as you can. While going with the flow is necessary sometimes bringing structure in my daily routine helped me to be more calm and patient.
Especially, after those crazy months finally having a daily routine feels like heaven – gosh, we needed this so badly!! I feel like I am more in control of the day which really does avoid running randomly from one spot to another and getting stressed out. Your day will go a WHOLE LOT smoother with a schedule.
On the other hand I definitely think that breaking the routine once in a while can be beneficial – to you and your child! Sometimes, you have to shake things up a little bit to stay sane. You will stay flexible and your baby learns how to be more flexible too. I’ve always loved being spontaneous but I have to admit that being spontaneous with a babe isn’t super easy. And one thing I’ve learned since being a mom is you can’t control everything and/or prevent things from happening but you can control how you cope with them. Create a plan and have a routine but don’t panic when it is not going exactly as you planned – going with the flow is key!
- GET OUT OF THE HOUSE: I can only speak for myself here but being home all day makes me feel really depressed and isolated. It literally drives me nuts! So that is why I am leaving the house at least once a day, whether it is going to a stroller fitness class, meeting some moms and their little ones for a play date, joining a mom group, doing some grocery shopping or go for a quick (not!) run to target & Starbucks. ALSO I feel like Raphael is getting bored as well when we stay home all day! Right now it is hard to get out because it is freezing in Ann Arbor and it takes forever to get everything packed up and ready for leaving the house but it is so worth it!
- FIND YOUR COMMUNITY: Motherhood can make you feel really lonely that is why connecting with other moms is so important and helpful. They are all in the same situation, going through the same issues, sitting in the same boat. It is nice and fun to get together, to have play dates, hang out and talk about the beauty and craziness of motherhood. Even just texting with my mom friends helps me getting through the long winter days when I can’t manage to get out of the house (that happens sometimes).
- ASK FOR SUPPORT: I can’t say often enough how grateful I am to have my incredible husband who is always supporting me as best as he can even though he has a really busy job! We – as mothers – often times don’t like to admit that we need help or a break but sometimes we do and it is okay to ask for help AND it is ok to take a time-out! Having someone watch your child for even just 30 minutes so that you can eat or take a shower helps a lot.
- FIND AN OUTLET: In my opinion that’s a big one! Being a Stay-At-Home mom can leave us feeling isolated and stressed out! Channelling those negative feelings into something positive – something you love to do – can prevent those emotions from overcoming us. It helps to stay positive and to approach those issues in a more productive way. Find something that you are passionate about and make time for it! I started to blog before Raphael was born. Even though I don’t have as much time as before I still love to write and share my experiences. Also I am still modeling once in a while which makes me really happy!
- HAVE A BAD DAY: Sometimes I wake up without any motivation and energy! And I had to learn being okay with such feelings (without feeling guilty) and that I don’t need to be above and beyond every day! Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our to-do lists that we forget to just relax. It’s okay to focus on relaxing sometimes!
- PRACTICE SELF-CARE: Going out and doing something without your child feels really refreshing. Every time I spend a couple hours (which does happen rarely! I REALLY HAVE TO listen to what I am telling you, actually!) away from my child I come home happier, excited to hug him and give him a million kisses. And I feel like I am more focused on playing with him (being with him 100%) instead of just hanging in there. Read more about why taking care of yourself makes you a better mom
- LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS & STOP FEELING GUILTY: I used to feel guilty about not doing enough activities with my child, not being able to do all the work around the house, not cooking healthy meals and having dad playing with him after he got home from work etc. We are not perfect, we are human. It’s okay to be imperfect, it’s okay to ask and accept help. We need to stop being so hard on ourselves. Yes we are raising little humans and yes it’s a hard job. But we are doing the best we can so we should definitely stop criticizing ourselves. We are all doing an amazing job! #mompower
- APPRECIATE THE LITTLE THINGS: I love to drink my caramel Frappucino and strolling around at Target, I love the time I can spend with my husband in the evening when Raphael is sleeping! Finding happiness in something small what you do every day such as journaling, drinking your coffee, reading a book etc. helps being an overall happier mom. It gives us something to look forward to each day.
- BREATHE, MAMA: Taking some time to breathe and meditate while baby is sleeping helps a lot. ALSO listening to music can do wonders. Regroup, settle and recharge! Read more about how to create those pauses throughout the day here.