When we first started The Makings of Motherhood, I wrote a post about staying at home and the transition it took to reach a part of this life that I felt confident and comfortable in. When I wrote it, S was about sixteen months. The original post is broken down into a few parts and though it ebbs and flows with each season of life and motherhood, I chose to label the four I currently saw (and still do) as surviving, managing, confidence, and new growth. While I always feel like we are in days of each of those, I am happy to say that I still feel like our rhythms and routines work for us. Establishing these has been huge in my productivity, mindset, and organization. Now she is two, the first installment of my SAHM Chronicles is begging for an update! Honestly, this can apply to mom’s every and anywhere.
I always love seeing other Mama’s hacks and helpful tips to make life go smoothly, so today I thought I’d share a few ways I stay (most days) of sane mind as a SAHM/WFHM. We all have our days and I am far from perfect. So please, do not take this as me “pretending to have it all together and these are my magic steps to do so too.” One hundred percent, no way.
Pre-week, weekend organization: This has been big for me, and if I don’t do it I definitely notice throughout my week. I take Saturday and Sunday, either during nap time or I break it up. I pre-plan meals, workouts, outings (the most I can while still being flexible obviously), and household stuff like cleaning routines/grocery shopping/food prep. I have a great planner that I really love and have a fun time writing it all out. I helps me feel ready to tackle my week and have a little bit more of a calm in knowing which things will happen when. Again, planning EVERYTHING isn’t ideal with weather/seasons, Unexpected Life Circumstances, and friend’s schedules. I know that things will change. They do usually. Or someone’s sick or something and we go with the flow.
A balance of in and out: Our weeks are usually pretty packed with playdates, park outings, errands, etc. Over the last few months, as S gets older and more active for longer amounts of time, we’ve definitely been balancing the two extremes of being out in the world and having time at home. She generally does better out of the house (and so do I) but we know we need mornings or days of recharging at home. Though too many of each and we go crazy! Find what balance works for YOU.
Rhythms and routines: These are HUGE for us. When I taught, my students were on a schedule. They knew that on Mondays they had music or Fridays they had computer lab. (Most) kids thrive on routines. And while loosening up on my hard and fast routines is definitely my hardest to-do, S and I both take solace in rhythms throughout our day. We may not do the same thing every Tuesday, but if we’re home, she knows how the day will likely go. If we’re out, she knows what to expect. While we do have some days that are special or emergencies when we go completely out of our routines, these generally keep us both thriving and the most productive.
Together and apart: I’m with my kid all.day.long and while I love her to pieces, Mama needs space and time to myself. Recently, I’ve started planning this too! I know, sounds a little obsessive, but hear me out. I’m a better mom when I have the time to recharge myself over something productive. In the summertime, I was running a few nights a week. As soon as she was in bed I’d head out the door for a few miles around the neighborhood and it was just what I needed. Now that it’s darker earlier, we purchased a treadmill to use in the offseason. I used to sit in bed and mindlessly zone to Netflix after bedtime, which was fine and some nights I DO still need that. So I do. But for me personally, getting physically out and moving has been huge. Alone. *insert praise hands.* I’ve also been working on getting up a little earlier than her. This isn’t everyone’s ideal for every season of motherhood and babies, though. Also, I am 1000% not a morning person. Again, find what works for you! Because it’s so important. I keep seeing a quote or common theme floating around the internet and social media world;
“My kids don’t need a perfect mom, they need a happy and healthy one.”
I think for so long, our world and society has thrown itself into this Ideal Motherhood Picture. It’s created this image for moms that you need to do this, this, and this in order to be successful or to be a “good” mom. It’s that you need to completely and totally sacrifice yourself, your mental/physical health, and your well-being in order to put your kids first and on a pedestal. Don’t get me wrong, I want my child to succeed in life. I will absolutely sacrifice things and bend over backwards to make that happen. But most days, I think I can help her succeed a bit more when I help myself succeed first. And I can do so without feeling guilty, without feeling pressure, and without feeling like less of a mom for doing so.
We are totally about the oxygen mask theory over here, and proud of it.