Being a stay at home mom is not easy. I knew that before having my son and choosing to be a stay at home mom. What I didn't anticipate is how hard it would really be.
My whole day is ran by a 1.5 year old. He determines if I get to sit down and for how long (oh and where I can sit down). He determines how long my coffee sits there until I actually get to drink it. He even determines how much sleep I get. If you're a parent, you probably understand where I'm coming from.
However I have learned how to make my day go smoother. Now this isn't to say we don't have any bad days or that things always go smoothly, but these things have made it easier on me. Even on the bad days.
I try to do as much as I can the night before. Especially because I'm a night owl and have a hard time going to sleep before 11. I prep what I can for tomorrow's meals and what I can't prep I check to make sure I have everything. Prepping for the next day includes whatever cleaning that needs to be done. For me, waking up to a sink full of dishes and a dirty house immediately puts me in a bad mood. So cleaning the night before not only saves me time for the next day but I'm also in a better mood.
I try to plan our day ahead of time. Is it going to be rainy? Am I going to need a lot of indoor activities? These are things I like to know the day before so I can plan accordingly. I try to plan one activity that helps my son get his energy out because when he has tons of energy (like everyday) and nothing to get it out his tantrums are much worse. I also try to plan a quiet time activity, as well as an independent play activity. All these different types of activities help him and I keep our sanity plus it gives us something to do rather than the same thing everyday.
I like to have a list of things that need to be done around the house. I have this list divided into sections based on the amount of time each thing takes (5, 10, 15 minutes). That way when I have a few minutes I can look at the list and pick something off of it that's going to fit into my day right then. For example, making my bed, wiping down the counters & appliances, rinsing dishes, putting dishes away, starting laundry, all of those things take me 5 minutes. So after Sebastian goes down for a nap or he's playing independently I will glance at the list and get something done off of it. It doesn't take long and it's not overwhelming.
4. CLEANING ROUTINE
Along with a list of quick things I need to do I really like having a cleaning routine. Being in a routine helps keep my house from getting to that "can we just burn it and move" feeling that comes with being overwhelmed with everything that needs to be done. Now does that mean everything gets finished and my house is spotless? No, let's be real. But like all of my tips, it does help. There are tons of routines/schedules on Pinterest if you need inspiration!
5. ROUTINES FOR THE LITTLES
My son Sebastian has been on schedule since he was 4 months old. Obviously it's changed a lot since then but having a set routine for the majority of the days helps him and I. It helps me get more done and not loose my sanity. It even helps him because he knows what we are doing next. He naps, eats, plays and even gets ready for bed around the same time everyday. Routines aren't hard to implement you just have to get in the habit of doing things in a certain order or at certain times. It may be hard at first because it's new but it's worth it.
6. USE A PLANNER
I like to use a planner for all the extra mom stuff I have to keep up with like dr appointments, play dates, deadlines, and even daily goals. Everyday I write down 3-4 goals I have for the day. I try to make sure at least one of them is a fairly quick and easy goal so that even on those really crazy days I still feel accomplished.
7. SELF CARE
It's no doubt I'm a huge advocate for moms taking time to care for theirselves. It's just so important!! I always feel better if I can get some "me" time in the morning! Personally I think having some type self care in the morning gets your day started off on the right foot! Getting a warm bath, going for a walk/run, writing in your journal, watching a tv show, etc., are all great ways for self care in the morning.
8. DON'T BE SO HARD ON YOURSELF
This is probably the most important tip. You're going to have bad days. You're going to have days where you breakdown and cry and feel like you're the worst mom in the world… I can promise you that you're not though. And the fact that you are worried about being a bad mom shows how much of an amazing mom you really are. I always feel like a little extra self care is needed on these particularly rough days! Remember no mom is perfect, we all lose it now and then. Our houses all look like tornadoes hit them at one point or another. It's not a competition. Read the kids a book, give them a kiss, put them to bed and go take care of yourself! Tomorrow is a new day.