Don’t get me wrong, I love staying at home with my children. Being allowed to control every aspect of their upbringing is a blessing that I wouldn’t trade for anything else, but some parts of staying at home absolutely suck.
I was more depressed than I’ve ever been for the first few months after quitting my job to stay at home with my daughter. I don’t think I got out of my pajamas unless I actually had to be somewhere. I spent my days watching Netflix, playing with blocks, and cleaning my house. After awhile I found myself dying to go back to work, I honestly had forgotten how hard it was to be a working mom and I wanted to go back. Instead of jumping the gun and going back to work, I decided to figure out how to survive at home. Here are a few survival tips:
1. Put down the yoga pants:
Seriously, that shit is for working out or for bedtime, put on some real pants. In fact, go ahead and put on some makeup while you’re at it.
2. Take a shower:
I don’t care if the kids are screaming their heads off, it’s important to shower. In the beginning I was always waiting for a good time to shower… there is never a perfect time when you’re home alone with kids, but do it anyway.
3. Find a hobby:
Oftentimes we end up losing ourselves at home, we don’t feel like we deserve to do anything for us because we “aren’t contributing financially.” But seriously this can make the difference between going crazy and staying sane.
I try to do yoga in the mornings when I wake up, because it gets my heart rate up first thing and I don’t feel so tired.
5. Get up early:
Sleeping in when you have nowhere to be is seriously great, but if you wake up when your kids do, you may have lost the only 15 minutes of alone time you will get all day long.
6. Find a friend:
My best friend and I get together every Monday with our kids. It makes the day go by faster, it wears our children out, and we get to hang out as adults. She has been my saving grace.
7. Find a tribe:
I personally go to a stay at home moms bible study every Friday at 9:30. Usually we just end up talking and having adult conversations while our kids are being watched in another room. I have met so many awesome women through this group, and it gives me something to look forward to.
8. Stay away from drama:
Seriously, I don’t partake in gossip or being the nosy neighbor, because if I did it would take over my life. People’s problems get on my nerves, especially when I have time to sit and think about them.
9. Get outside:
In the winter this is can be difficult, but in the summer time, we spend most of our days at the pool. North Carolina is hot as hell in the summer, so staying wet is the only thing to keep you from being miserable… also, last summer I had a killer tan, and I taught my 2 year old how to swim… win/win.
10. Get away from the kids:
I don’t know why but I feel more guilty getting a Sitter now that I stay home with them 24/7 than I did when I worked, but dropping the kids off will give you time to recharge. Sometimes I drop my kids off and go to a coffeehouse to drink coffee and watch people.
11. Let the haters hate:
The other day, I was talking to a friend, she was going on vacation, I jokingly said something about all of her vacations and she came at me with “what are you talking about, you don’t even work?” This would have killed me a year ago, now I just laugh it off. Honestly, people don’t understand how it is to stay at home with 2 kids and it’s not my job to explain it.
And when all else fails:
12. Take a nap:
Seriously, I do it all the time. I have a newborn, he’s up half the night and he sleeps all day. I turn on a show for my daughter, set my alarm for 20 minutes, and I sleep. If she needs me, she wakes me up, and she can’t make too big of a mess in only 20 minutes.
Like I said in the beginning, staying at home with my daughter and now my son is the biggest blessing. I get to watch them grow up, and I get to decide the things that they learn. I don’t know if I will home school them or send them to school and get a job someday, but I have a few years to make that decision.