When I started to become a stay at home mother (from pregnancy actually), I was worried it might drive me to the end of my wits. When you stay at home to look after your child day and day out, the routine can get boring and the demands of it exhausting. This is especially true for first time mothers and on the first year of doing it. However although it has its down moments, I feel like this has been the most fulfilling and fun experience I have ever had in my entire existence. I put together a short list of what helps me get through it well daily and enjoy moments with my little one.
1. Treat each start of the day like you are going to enjoy a nice day.
I start my mornings with a healthy breakfast of porridge, a fruit and a glass of juice then I take a shower. I find that I when I put on nice clothes and some basic beauty regime, I feel uplifted and chirpy plus I seem to get many things done at home so I do this most weekday mornings before I formally start the day.
2. Plan an activity outside of the house.
May it be coffee/ lunch with a friend, a trip to the park, a short leisurely walk in the neighbourhood, shopping, a trip to the playgroup or any errand out of the house really helps me. I try and do one of them daily so I have a reason to get out with my little one and break up the day.
3. Find time to enjoy a short hobby, activity or any endeavour for yourself.
Easier said than done when your time and mind is occupied by thoughts of your little one but it works for me. I read a book while sipping freshly made coffee or a cup of tea, write when I am not napping with the little one and at least once a I week squeeze in an hour of exercise. I sometimes just sit back and daydream about our life and the future. I attend pilates or when the weather is nice, I run in the park. This precious time for myself gives me the perfect balance.
4. Get a routine going and stick with it for as long as possible.
I like following a good routine. Babies rely on us for almost everything and routines give them the right cues of what to expect. Apart from breastfeeding where I fed on demand before weaning, I devised a daily routine for us and my husband is part of it – feeding, play time, nap time and bed time! I stick with it once I have nailed it. This is a lifesaver as you can schedule your chores, outside trips and your precious ‘me time’ especially. I however watch my baby’s moods and adjust the routine as he grows.
5. Nap when your baby naps.
This was so hard for me at first because I tend to rush with chores everytime our little one sleeps but as soon as I got our family routine sorted, I started doing this. And I tell you this makes a whole lot of difference to my mood, I feel refreshed and rested. Our little one enjoys it too because we nap together.
6. You are awesome and never forget that.
Being a mother can be fun and fulfilling but it has loads of challenges too. From pregnancy to giving birth (not to mention body changes) to raising your little one and you are able to handle it. This means you did a very good job. Allow yourself and your partner to remind you of that and pamper you for being a super mum!