How a Stay at Home Mom Stays Sane

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If I hear, “It can’t be that hard, you get to wear pajamas all day!”, one more time, I am going to lose it. I’m sure all stay-at-home moms agree. I can easily describe my daily stresses that anyone could understand like diapers, meals, cleaning, ect. But what I can’t easily explain is the mental stress. While I am extremely grateful for this precious time, I must say that I am often left feeling drained, overwhelmed, alone, and depressed. It’s seeing the same walls, doing the same routine, having conversation with only a 2 year old, that can make a mom go nuts. There are a few things though, that I’ve found to help and I wanted to share them.

1) Wake up Early But sleeping makes me happy. Yeah, me too, but I’m telling you it really feels great. Get up before the kids do and get yourself mentally ready for the day. Have your coffee and enjoy time alone.

2) Get Dressed Even if you are staying home all day, you will feel better and more productive if you look and feel like a normal person.

3) Easy Meals Make your day a little easier by simplifying something you do 3 times a day. Maybe do some prep on the weekend preparing freezer meals that you can just heat up when you don’t have much time.

4) Take Care of Yourself I’ve survived days on coffee and whatever scraps of food leftover from the kids’ lunches. Lord knows it helps nobody. I get tired and cranky. Remember to eat well and drink water. You’re no good to anyone if you don’t take care of yourself.

5) Put Energy into Something other than the House and Kids That’s pretty much why I started this blog. It’s a fun and nice distraction from boring routines. Do something that makes you happy. Everyday. Find the time. You deserve it.

6) Make Contact with the Outside World This is so important. Try to have at least one conversation a day with someone who doesn’t live with you. I love my family more than anything, but sometimes they can get a little predictable, and boring. (sorry guys)

7) Make Time for Your Significant Other Date Night! Give yourself something to look forward to and keep your relationship strong.

8) Go Outside Fresh air and sunshine can do miraculous things to your mood. The kids will have fun too, and get some exercise.

9) Music Listening to music during the day can instantly put you in a better mood. I’ve found that a fun song can also break a toddler’s bad mood too.

10) Don’t sweat the Small Things I am a huge sweater of all things, big and small, so this one is important to me. Take a breath and realize that an unfolded laundry pile is not the worst thing to happen in life.

Something that I often struggled with, is feeling like I’m not contributing enough to my family because I don’t make any money. To combat those feelings, I try to remember how much money I save us on child care. I also spend time comparing prices and couponing, this way I can still feel like I’m contributing financially.

I hope this may help someone! Also, is there anything else you might add to the list?

Frugal Fall Family Fun

So, now that summer is slowly drawing to a close I feel that it is time to tighten up the purse strings in preparation for all of our winter/holiday expenses. Now, I can save money on groceries, household items, ect, but what really hits our bank account is all of our impulsive “fun” purchases. I feel like the weekend is a death trap for our money, so I’ve compiled a list of things we can do together as a family this fall to have fun while saving some cash.

1) Nature Walk I plan on taking the boys on a walk through either a park, or down some dirt roads behind my mom’s house. I’ll show them all of the pretty changes taking place within the trees.

2) Homemade Fall Decor If you have access to the Internet, you can find thousands of craft ideas using inexpensive or free materials for fall decor. I plan on the kids helping me and using materials (leaves, pine cones) found on our nature walk. That’s right, have those little ones earn their keep by making your decor.

3) Bake/cook Something with Fall Produce This idea is my favorite because it involves food 🙂 Check out your local farm stand and get some apples or pumpkins. Make a day out of baking pies or making applesauce. If you have little ones, let them help you take out the squishy pumpkin guts or mash up the apples.

4) Local Hayrides/Pumpkin Patch Activities A lot of rural communities have free or cheap fall activities/ festivals for families. Check out what’s in your area.

5) Visit Family If you have family in the area, go see them! Spend a day picking up on Christmas gift ideas. Bring them a baked good you made.

6) Outdoor Family Photo Session Don’t spend a ton of money on professional photos, just go to a park or other scenic area and take some pictures yourself. If you’re somewhat creative this could be really fun.

7) Bonfire If you or someone you know has an outdoor fire pit, grab some marshmallows and cozy up. Kids of course will love the idea of making s’mores, and just imagine how nice it would be snuggled up in a comfy sweatshirt, with your sticky little one falling asleep in your arms by a fire.

8) Make a Halloween Costume Make a day out of designing, getting materials, and putting together a costume. You’ll save money and have fun.

9) Jump in Leaves Ok, duh. Everyone knows that. But thanks to the kids favorite show, Caillou, I have a cute game. Challenge the kids to a leaf-catching competition. Whoever catches the most falling leaves before they hit the ground wins.

10) Clearance Shop Ok, so this isn’t really a fall fun tip, it’s more of a summer one. But now is the time to buy discounted summer toys. Last week we bought a kiddy pool and 2 slip-and-slides from Big Lots all for $10!

Most importantly, I think the key factor to my family in saving money will be planning ahead. We’ll plan each weekend, even if we plan to not do much. This way, there’ll be less impulsive, boredom-inspired spending sprees. Hopefully, we can stay out of trouble 😉
If anyone has any more ideas, I’d love to hear them!

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Love Letters

“If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together, keep me in your heart, and I’ll stay there forever.”
-Winnie the Pooh

With that thought in mind, I thought I’d share with you one of my most meaningful things I do for my boys. A few months ago I got the idea to write letters to my kids that they can read later. I wanted to capture these days and precious moments and be able to share them with them. Also, the letters can be with them when and if I am ever not.
I don’t write everyday, or every week. Just whenever inspiration strikes and I want them to know something.
Here’s an example, it’s my first letter to my 2 year old:
My Dearest Liam,
Words cannot express how much I love you. I’ve decided to begin writing letters to you and your brother so that hopefully one day you can see what I see in you. Today you are 2 years old and growing fast.
The other day I thought to myself, when was the last time I rocked you to sleep? The truth is, I’m not sure. It seems like you’re getting to be such a big boy who doesn’t need mommy as much. While I am so proud of you, it breaks my heart and each time you run to me to be held I cherish it and hope it’s not the last.
I’m so excited about writing these letters. I hope that when you read them, you will smile.
All my love,
Mommy ❤

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