After navigating my way through pregnancy, childbirth, the 4-month sleep regression, teething, sleep training, and The Terrible Twos, I finally feel like I’m getting the hang of this whole motherhood thing, and I rarely have the urge to add rum to my morning tea anymore.
Of course, with potty training, the transition to a big girl bed, and The Trying Threes looming in the near future, it’s only a matter of time before my world is turned upside and I start crying myself to sleep again. But before that happens, I have the overwhelming urge to share some of my sanity-saving tips for stay-at-home-moms with you.
1. It’s okay to ask for help. If there’s anything I’m really bad at, it’s asking for help. I blame my parents for this, by the way. They were so hell-bent on making me independent and self-sufficient that they forget to teach me how to be needy. And while I appreciate the fact that I’m not useless like some of the other wives in our social circle, it kind of sucks trying to be perfect all the time, you know?
2. Date nights are important. The mere thought of hiring a stranger to take care of my child so I can go out for dinner with my husband used to make me feel too guilty to breath. But after 2+ years of being at home 24/7, I finally realized it’s not a crime to want to feel like an adult a couple of hours a month.
3. Get your hands off the Ho Ho’s. For the last several months, I have spent my afternoons blogging with one hand while simultaneously shoveling carb-laden foods into my mouth with the other. And while the feelings of instant gratification have been nothing short of fabulous, this set-up has done very little for my mood swings and expanding waistline.
4. Move it! With my husband’s work schedule, the only time I can squeeze in a workout is at 5:30 am, so it’s no wonder my motivation has decreased over time. But I find I am at my best when I get 30 minutes of exercise in before I start my day. It gives me more energy, makes me more patient (not really), helps me sleep better, and prevents me from opening a bottle of wine at 9 am.
5. Adults need time outs, too. On those days when it feels like everything I touch turns to shit, I’ve often found the best thing I can do is walk away and take a 5-minute breather. It helps me put trivial things, like temper tantrums, picky eaters, and (heaven forbid) spilled wine into perspective.
6. Shake things up a bit. For the last 2.5 years, I’ve been operating under a very rigid schedule, and while this has proven to be a good thing for The Tasmanian Devil, I’ve come to realize that a little spontaneity can be kind of nice.
7. There’s a fine line between 1 glass of wine and 2. Especially when you’re dragging yourself to the gym at 5:30 am and spending the rest of the day listening to Dora yell, “We did it! We did it!” over and over (and over) again.
8. Get out of the house. I don’t know about you, but being cooped up inside all day makes me feel really depressed, so I make sure I have a reason to leave the house every day. It takes a little creativity on my part, like driving three towns away just to buy milk, but it’s amazing what a little time outside of the house can do for your mood.
9. Find on outlet. I don’t care what it is – crafting, cooking, cleaning, or blogging – find something that you’re passionate about, and make time for it. It’ll do wonders for your soul. Just like my blog has done for mine.
10. You’re not superwoman. As much as I like to try and do everything RIGHT THIS MINUTE, I need to learn how to let things go once in a while or I’m going to end up with a ulcer. And if I get an ulcer, I won’t be able to drink wine. And that would be really, really depressing.