Category Archives: Dear Stay-At-Home-Mommy

Dear Stay-At-Home-Mommy: Part 4 YOU (continued)

Alrighty! How are you? I’m doing just okay. To be honest, it’s been a long and rather stressful day. Lots of crying and too much whining. On Mondays, Jeff works from 8am to 9pm. Longest. Days. Ever. It’s 7:30 pm Olivia’s crying and I’m popping in her paci, so she can fall asleep for the night. Ella is watching a movie, and I’m ready to crash on my bed. I’ve spent the day running back and forth serving those sweet girls and need a little me time. SO, here I am. With a pint of Blue Bell ice cream and a few moments to spare before putting Ella down for the night. And really just want to tell you to forget everything I’ve shared in this little series. I think this series makes it seem like I have this whole thing somewhat together and that couldn’t be more far from truth. Really, it’s been a mess of a day. And sometimes a clean house, putting make up on, exercising is just not possible. Much less finding time to persue your passions and hobbies. Did you hear that? I’m with you. No pressure or judging here, friend. But, praise the Lord, all days are not like this. So if you do get some free time, I wanted to help you identify some ways that you could spend those moments more intentionally. To do something that fills you up, instead of scrolling the time away on your phone leaving you empty.

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• PASSIONS & HOBBIES:
Do you know what these are for you? Here are some ways to identify them:
• Ask your parents what you liked to do when you were young! Maybe it’s just me, but I seem to overthink questions about who I am and what I love and what I love to do in my free time that are super sparse these days. But my mommy knew what I liked to do back when I had all the free time in the world. She said I liked to draw and to be outside. So neat because doing both of those totally fill me up today!
• Do you use Pinterest? If so, what are you pinning? Fashion, Home Decor, Recipes, Crafts, Photography tips, Health? If you don’t use Pinterest, what kind of magazine would you choose? If you see reoccurring theme, you maybe interested in that topic!
• Pretend you had a whole day to yourself or with your best friend, think about how would you spend that time. NO cooking or cleaning allowed. 😉 Would you read? Paint your nails? Go for a walk? Organize your closet? (That one doesn’t count as cleaning because it’s fun for me! Haha!)

Now that that hopefully helped you identify some of your interests, try to think of some ways you could implement them in your life. For example: if it’s practicing calligraphy, put your supplies out in the open. Should you get sometime, it’s right there waiting on you! It may be a few days of the supplies sitting on your counter before you get to play, but it’s just as easy and accessible as your phone and hopefully you’ll make the right choice!!

• GOALS & TO DOs:
I know, I just mentioned getting things done is sometimes impossible, but I do find that having at least one goal and making it happen, gives me a sense of accomplishment. And sometimes that’s important as a stay at home momma, am I right? That’s all I’m going to say about goals & to do’s. Because we don’t need anymore pressure and guilt. Just do you, friend! xo

 

Dear Stay At Home Mommy | Part 3: You

Did you think I forgot about this little series?? Nope. Just a crazy season of life over here. I’ve also been taking the advice I’m about to offer. I’ve been making time for me. Lately, that’s looked like reading, painting my nails, and more reading. In fact, I’ve been reading a book called “The Fringe Hours” and it’s about almost everything I’ve covered and want to cover in this series! I feel a little more confident that I am not alone. We are not alone. All of my thoughts and ideas are in line with what the author has written–kinda neat!

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So how are you? How are you REALLY?
Have you gotten to brush your teeth yet? If not, go ahead. I’ll wait! 😉

I shared in Part 1 that I don’t think it’s all about me and my feelings, but I do find that when I get to do little things for myself, I am so much more content with and grateful for my role as, “just a stay at home mom” which overflows into how I love, serve, and even play with my children. I think it is more worshipful and pleasing to the Lord this way. Don’t you? If blogging and hopefully encouraging a momma or two makes me feel happy, then letting Ella watch a movie and Olivia sit in her swing as I’m typing this is fine. Even though I am constantly laying down my desires for them, I still feel guilty for choosing to do things for me. Surely I’m not the only one?? We’ll talk more about this on a later post.

So dearest, sweetest, stay-at-home-mommy, if they are fed, changed, and happy, please do something (or several things) for YOU. Here are some ideas:

• EXERCISE. Well, I said these were ideas except for this one. This one I super suggest!! And maybe even plead with you to try if you haven’t/aren’t. It’s so worth it! It’s important and really good for you. I have science to back me up on this. 😉
I know, I know. It’s hard. And ain’t nobody got time for that. But here’s the thing. You really do. As my husband likes to say, “hashtag: sorry, not sorry.” You make time for whats important to you. If you’re reading this right now, I love you a lot, but it proves that you do have time. It doesn’t have to start off intense or for a long period of time. Just put those babes in a stroller and jog around the block. Or start with a speed walk if jogging seems discouraging to you. I promise you won’t regret it. I’m not a fitness expert. But it’s crazy how much better I feel after I get a workout in; especially if it’s been a stressful day.
My husband likes to workout too, so we’ve had to play around with our schedules so that both of us can get it in. I’ve tried waking up at the crack of dawn before the girls were up for the day, but that was just waking them up. We were recently exercising after we put the girls down for the night, but by the time I would cool down, shower, and start to wind down, I was getting to bed too late and not getting enough sleep. So now we’re trying a new routine. You have my permission to experiment. Miss a day, extend grace to yourself, and try again!

• PUT TOGETHER. Teeth brushed, showered, and dressed. STAT. And a little make-up (sometimes that looks like just slapping on some eye concealer, mascara, and chap stick) goes a long way for me. Kinda like “an aesthetically pleasing home” in my last post, how I look affects how I feel. If my hair is tangled, frizzy, and crazy, I feel a mess. If the dark circles under my eyes aren’t concealed, I feel even more exhausted than I really am. Am I the only one??
If you’re life is anything like mine, you can’t sneak away for 15 minutes to do these things. One of my sweet friends shared this with me, “wake up FOR your kids, not with them.” Sometimes I wake up before them and am ready to rock and roll, and sometimes I hit snooze because my four month old is on a sleeping strike. 😉 I regret doing the latter almost every time. But, again, we have to extend grace to ourselves on those days and try the next day. I personally think it’s worth it. In the book I mentioned reading, “The Fringe Hours,” she quoted a friend who says “your 5am-9am determines 9am-5pm.” Isn’t that so true?! If my day starts crazy, it usually stays that way. But if I’m calm, collected, and ready for the day, it makes a world of difference.

A couple of tips that have helped me get physically ready some mornings:
– Shower at night.
– Wash hair less frequently. 😉 Really, though. Dry shampoo it up!
– Make-up first. In case you gotta rock the leggings, t-shirt, and bun for a little longer than you’d like (insert: hungry bellies and crying babies). I, at least, feel a little more put together.
– To avoid the 15 no-go outfits piled on your bed. Adopt the momiform. Cute, casual, comfy, basic items that you can mix and match on the go! Here are some examples:

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What do you think? Do you have any tips on either of these?! Next blog post will be about passions, hobbies, goals, and to-do’s. Stay tuned! xoxo

Dear Stay-At-Home-Mommy | Part 2: Your Home

Confession. All the sweet feedback from Part 1 was super encouraging and at the same time a little paralyzing. I’m not sure if I can hit home like that again, but I’m praying God would use this even still. These are more just practical tidbits that you can feel free to leave or take. So, I’m thinking we’ll delve into four specific topics: you, your heart, your kids, and your home. Not necessarily in that order.:)

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Let’s chat about our homes today. As stay at home mommies we spend a ton of time, you know, in our home. So I think it’s kind of important, right?!
But before I start, let me once again remind you that I do NOT have it all together. I cannot do it ALL. So, for you own sake, stay away from my hair because I legitimately cannot remember the last time I washed it. Haha! Really though. I don’t remember.
I share that because you get to pick and choose what your priorities are, and whatever they are for you is completely OKAY. Sometimes I do get to do all the tidbits I’ll mention today and in the series to come. And sometimes I don’t. So that I can wash my hair per my husband’s request… KIDDING! But I’m surprised that he hasn’t. 😉  Okay. Done with my hair– back to our homes. 
These are a few things that have simply helped me be more content with my role as a stay-at-home-mom:

• A HAPPY HOME. I like to open all the windows and let in as much natural light as possible, have some fun music playing in the background, and light a candle. Plants make me– I mean… my home happy too!! 😉 Maybe even some fresh flowers if we have some extra cash laying around. What are some little things you do, or can do, to make your home a more enjoyable place to be? I asked some lady friends via Instagram and they all agreed on letting in lots of light! They also suggested decorating for the holidays, wall decor, and pretty throw pillows. Which lead to my next point.

• AN AESTHETICALLY PLEASING HOME. This may sound superficial and may very well be, but a home that is easy on the eyes is a must for me. My husband is not the biggest fan of this– for obvious reasons ($$$). Haha! But the atmosphere I’m in affects how I feel. Maybe God just built me this way? Or do you feel the same way too? It doesn’t have to be pricey or showy, but homey, bright, and happy is what I’m suggesting. So, talk to your hubbies and see if there’s anyway you can pretty up your home a little bit. Slowly, but surely is fine. Not fun, but worth the wait– in my opinion. 😉 Here I shared about how I ever sooo slowly created a bedroom I love on a small budget. God taught me a lot in my waiting! And continues to as I’m dyinggg to replace our Big Lots couches that are pretty much falling apart. 

• A CLEAN HOME. This is not to induce any guilt if your home is a hot mess right now. I’m all about you being stress-free-guilt-free. Promise. But I’ll be honest and share, in a completely non-braggy way, my place is very rarely a hot mess. Not because I’m the most on top of it mommy ever (Ella is watching a movie right now, so that I can make this blog post happen), but because a clean home makes this mama feel like I have it somewhat together. It gives me some sanity in the crazy. (I should also admit that my definition of “clean” is very loose-y goose-y. 😉 I really just mean a picked up and organized home– with the exception of our master bathroom. For some reason, I cannot keep up with it!!) I know where the pacis, diapers, wipes, and the diaper cream are at this very moment and it beats running from room to room looking for them with a crying baby. I feel at peace, and I know the girls feel it too!
I’m trying to get organized with how I clean; for example, do a certain area on a certain day of the week, but I haven’t been too successful with it. I’ve stuck to doing laundry on Sundays pretty well. And almost always pick up and do the dishes at night after the girls go down, so that I can wake up with a clean slate! Best feeling ever, right?! Do you have any tips or routines on how to keep your home clean?

• MEALS PLANNED & PREPPED. Ugh. This is my biggest feat. I cannot nail this down for the life of me, BUT I’m working on it. Anddd I may or may not have a few items coming to my shop super soon to help all of us mommys out with this area!  Also, my friend Natasha Red will be launching some products soon too. All I know is that in the handful of weeks that I have taken the effort to meal plan, I do not regret it one bit. The day just runs a little smoother, and the less stressed you are trying to figure out what to feed your toddler every 30 minutes (or is it just mine?!)  the more joyful you can be!

What do you think? Do you already do some of these? Do you have some suggestions for me and any other mommas reading here?!

Dear Stay-At-Home-Mommy | Part 1

“How does it feel to know that before God laid down the foundation of the world, He chose YOU to be their mommy?” I heard this last week and it moved me. It gave me freedom, yet so much responsibility. It was a fresh reminder that my weary heart desperately needed. I wanted to start a little series to chat about finding joy in being a stay at home mom because it’s not something that comes natural to me. One of my part-time-working-mommy friend jokes that on her days off, she goes to work. Because it is hard, friend. It can be very lonely, stressful, tiring, and sometimes boring– if I’m being honest. Maybe I’m alone in this?

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Being a stay-at-home-mommy is not my preferred choice. I’ve never admitted that because 1.) I know there are a lot of moms that wish they could stay at home but aren’t able to 2.) I feel like a bad mommy and 3.) Because of my pride, I don’t want others to think that I’m a bad mommy or that I don’t love my girls. Because I do. I love them to PIECES and then some, but I’d rather work than sit and try to to figure out what one princess doll should say to the other. And I’d rather design than read the same book over and over, yet I cannot stand the thought of dropping them off at day care. So, a stay-at-home-mommy I will be until I get to lovingly drop them off at school. 😉

I want to exercise this whole series with caution because I personally believe that true contentment and unwavering joy is found in Christ. He offers love that surpasses these momentary trials. Seeking Him is my go-to. I also believe it’s not all about me. So when I’m changing the fifteenth blown out diaper, I trust that in some way it’s for my good, but mainly for His glory. Haha! That being said, I think there are practical little things we can implement to find joy in this season.

Today I want to talk about setting goals and rhythms. Goals for your little ones is a new idea– to me– and I think it’s brilliant! They can be big or little, monthly or yearly, spiritual or physical–whatever you’d like really! But it just gives purpose to your seemingly meaningless day-to-day duties as a mommy. I don’t have any for my girls yet, but I plan on having some by the end of this month. As for routines and rhythms, I’m still working on these too. If you came here thinking I had it all together, I don’t. We’re going to go at this together. 😉 We just had our second baby girl and then had an out of state move two months later. It’s been straight crazy– to say the least! One thing I will say, is to be gracious, flexible, and creative, while finding your rhythm! I’ve had to try taking a shower before the girls wake up, during nap time, after they go down for the night, and while the littlest is asleep and the oldest watches a movie. Play around and see what what works best for you and your littles!! I’d love to hear your thoughts or ideas. xo