Sunday, July 20, 2014

Stay at Home Mom

The other day I mentioned that I can now refer to Lee as PGY1 on message boards and fb groups but I've also earned a new acronym as well - SAHM.
I'm definitely a SAHM because I'm typing this one handed while nursing my Leo.

I am new to this gig so I'm no expert.
My little one is a week shy of 5 months old.

As a whole it has been the fastest 5 months of my entire life, but in terms of individual days.... at times it has seemed quite long.

I remember that I used to think what do SAHMs do all day?!
And now that I have a tiny one I  think - what do SAHMs of older children do all day?! What did I do all day before having Leo?!
It's all perspective I guess.

I just thought I'd share what I do all day and offer some things that I have found to be helpful.
Maybe you're about to have a new baby of your own and you're curious or you're never having kids and think that being a SAHM is all about sitting around watching TV and drinking coffee.

This is not my everyday, but this is a typical day.

Wake up
Get ready
Go for a walk
Come home
Hope Daddy comes home soon
Cook dinner
Go for a walk
Put Leo to bed
Watch some tv or blog
Go to bed
Wake up in the middle of the night with Leo at least once, usually twice

In the middle there I do laundry, dishes, clean the house, eat for myself, talk to my family and friends, change a lot of diapers, and keep Leo, Lee, and myself happy.
And you know what?  I am happy!
Being able to be here 24/7 to watch this baby grow and  learn is such an amazing experience.
This week he learned to sit up and last week he found his toes. It's always something new, exciting, and fascinating.

Leo is such a good baby.  He really makes my job easy and fun.
But I am also a pretty laid back person.  I just go with the flow.

Here are things that I've found important/helpful, but like I said I don't really know what I'm doing, Leo and I are learning together.

#1 - make friends with other moms.
We are very new to this area.  The only people I know are from our church (which is actually a lot! I love our new church and they LOVE Leo!!), from the hospital (and unfortunately none of the new residents here have wives that are mothers), and the few elderly ladies I've met in our condo complex.
So I haven't found a friend yet that I can just call up to hang out whenever I'm bored.  That is a goal.
All the MOPS and mommy and me kinda groups take the summer off here.  So in September I'll probably be joining some type of group or as Leo gets a little older venture out to the local park or library.
However, I have LOTS of friends and support from other mothers long distance. My best friend Amber has a little guy about 2 months older than Leo and we talk multiple times a day - texting, email, facebook, skype, etc.  Being able to share this new experience with someone else who can totally relate has been great.  We share the happy moments like - omg my baby just rolled over and the frustrating times - omg my baby screamed through the entire grocery store.

#2 - set goals.
I try to have a goal for each day.  Maybe it's going to the grocery store or cleaning the bathroom or painting my nails, haha!  Seriously.  It not only gives me something to look forward to, but I feel so accomplished when I am able to complete the task.  Sometimes if they're small goals I'll set two.  One before lunch and one after.  It sounds crazy, but it keeps me sane!

#3 - have a routine. I aim for a schedule, but settle for routine.

#4 - include baby in household chores.
Leo is such a curious baby.  He loves to be talked to and to see what is going on.  I've found that things like folding laundry was so much more enjoyable when he's involved.  I'll sit him on the floor or in his jumper and fold the clothes in front of him explaining what each item is.
 For instance - This is a dress.  It's blue.  These are polka dots.  I wore this to church. This is a shirt.  It's red.  It's daddy's.
I do the same for dishes - This is yellow plate. This is a frying pan.
I used to bring him into the kitchen in his bouncer when I'd cook or do dishes, but I've recently discovered that it's so much easier to put him in his little umbrella stroller and push him around with me.  A, I no longer have to pick up a 19lb baby and bouncer and B, this house is a little larger than our last place so I can quickly move from room to room and bring him with me!

#5 - know what your baby likes and have a go-to will make baby happy in case of emergency trick.  Leo loves this one song that Lee started to signing to him when he was really tiny and now if I need a quick smile or to get his mind off of being upset I sing and he instantly snaps out of it.  He also has a favorite painting in his room (that mommy made!! ah feels so good) and for some reason he just lights up when he sees it.  And walks in the stroller are always a crowd pleaser.
Oh and Baby Einstein videos on youtube.  Yes I know all about limiting screen time (daddy's a dr, remember?) so this is only in small doses, but desperate times call for desperate measures.  Leo flips for these videos.  He loves any of them with the puppets.  This one is his all time favorite, skip to 8:36.

#6 - take advantage of nap time.
I feel kinda like this is something everyone says but it's much easier said than done.  If you can, ie you're not holding your baby during their nap, then get some stuff done while they're napping  or sit on the couch watching Cake Boss with your feet propped up.

#6 - get out of the house!
Leo loves to go on walks. Mommy loves to shop/browse.  Thankfully we live within walking distance to lots of stores so we often combine the two!

#7 - eat well.
This may sound silly, but one of the benefits of being at home to me is the ability to eat whatever you want, whenever you want  Who says you have to have lunch at noon?  Who says you can't have macaroni and cheese for breakfast?  Oh and drink lots and lots of water.  It's good for everything - including your milk supply!
And to be honest I have a stash in the fridge of Dr. Pepper (ok being really honest I think it's like Dr. Thunder... ;) and Reese Cups.  Some days I just need it!

#8 - be silly.
When it's just me and Leo I do lots of things I would never do in front of other people.  Things that I probably wouldn't do in front of Lee if I didn't already know that they'll make Leo laugh.  There's no need for sophistication with a baby.  I have a blast doing it and get in a pretty good workout dancing around like a fool.

#9 - share your day on social media.
I recently got an iphone. I know, I know, like 10 years later than the rest of the world.  But like I've explained, we are and have been poor!! But Lee's new job is paying for his phone bill and I could tack on for less than we were paying before! win win!
Anyway, I love sharing (er, oversharing?) pictures and videos of Leo!  It probably annoys some, but I know that our family and friends at home love it too! It's nice to have interaction with other people, be it virtually, when the only person you've had a conversation with the entire day is 4 months old.

#10 - don't loose sight of what you love to do.
Yes being a mother is the greatest thing I've yet to do.  Spending time with my Leo is tops.  But I do have other interests.  I try to sneak in some time painting or crafting when I can and Leo is already becoming a great thrifting and beach combing partner :)

I'm sure there are lots of tricks I don't even know yet - please share what works for you!!!


Amber said...

HAHAHAH let's face it. You get the "omg my baby screamed through the entire grocery store" emails wayyyyy too often from me.

I wish we lived closer I miss you so much! But I love that we get to share this even if it's through email or texts or Skype or whatever.

That being said let's see if we can work out a Skype date soon! Now that the boys are more engaged with everything maybe they will finally realize they are destined to be BFF!

TiffanyClark said...

Kels, I love this! Such a fun post! I miss you lots!! I could hear your voice as I was reading your blog! This will be very handy when Derek and I decide to start a family because hopefully I will get to be a SAHM, too! :) Love you lots! Also, do you have a new phone number? Message it to me on email or facebook or something. If it's not new, I don't know if I still have your number in my phone! Let's catch up soon! :)


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