This afternoon it was warm, and for the first time this year I opened the back doors and we ventured out into our back garden (which is in a bit of a state as the lawn hasn't been mown and we just aren't gardeners!). Mani's mom bought Jack a Little Tike's car which he ADORES. He climbs in and out countless times in the day, shutting the door, turning the steering wheel, holding the key, getting out and then repeating the whole process all over again.
I drive him round the house and he squeals with delight and he did the same when I took him around the garden this afternoon. The light was beautiful and it was so lovely to get out in the fresh air without a big coat and scarf and see the green buds on the bushes and trees starting to grow.
I cannot wait for summer!
This year I want to be able to look back at each month and remember what we did. I want to look at photos and reminisce about moments and fun times. Last year went by so quickly but I am so appreciative of all the photos I took. It gives me a chance to remember the awesome, happy and AMAZING things. This is what February looked like for us.
I pass this blue door in a red wall on my way to work each day. I love it.
Spring Delights at my favourite place. Burford of course.
Birthday tea and cake with friends. Spent a lovely Sunday together at Wyatts Garden Centre. Helping with the laundry.
I adore this window in our kitchen with the light coming through.
Now that I am back at work I find myself thinking a lot about when I was a stay at home mom (SAHM) and I wonder how the hell I did it. I love Jack to the moon and back but we all know being a parent is a tough gig sometimes. Going back to work has helped me be me again and have time for myself. It has given me that slice of independence back and I really love the social aspect of it too. So I thought I would share what I thought helped me be the best SAHM I could be. You could call them survival techniques I suppose. Some days are much easier than others. Here is what helped me cope:
1. KEEP HYDRATED
You may think this silly but seriously - drink copious amounts of tea and/or water. It will keep your energy levels up and it is healthy. This is also super important if you are breastfeeding.
2. EAT WELL & OFTEN
While we are on the topic of what you are putting into your body make sure you eat well and often. Don't skip meals and don't eat too much crap. You will rest better if your tummy is full and you will play hard if you have the energy! Plus, as they get older, I found Jack ate better when I ate with him. Monkey see - monkey do.
3. GET OUT
Don't stay at home all day everyday. At first when you have a baby it can be very daunting to get out the house. But go for that walk, go on that play date and go to that baby massage class. You will never regret going out, it is good for you and gives both you and the babe a change of scenery. It gives you back the normalcy that seems to go out the window when you first have a baby.
4. MAKE FRIENDS
Following on from the getting out - the only way to make friends is to get out. I met my best friends through classes, the village toddler group and through other friends. Yes, it is VERY scary going out somewhere if you don't know anyone but you are all in the same boat. It is so therapeutic to chat to other moms with newborns. You don't have to be BEST buddys with everyone you meet with, just have light conversation, let your babies run riot or feed and enjoy being in the company of other moms.
5. HAVE DAYS OFF
Having said all that - don't do too much either. You will get so tired and so will your baby. It is SO good to have days off mooching around the house, drinking tea, sleeping, tidying and playing. I sometimes put so much pressure on myself to make sure I was doing something everyday but it is not necessary. Enjoy the time at home with your baby. It goes so quickly and it is so very special.
6. SLEEP WHEN THE BABY SLEEPS
Or at least just sit and rest. This is the most shared and sometimes irritating piece of advice you will get as a Mom. But I have to tell you folks, it is the most valuable. When Jack was a newborn I slept when he slept. But then as he got older I did want to do my own thing in that slot of time, like drink tea in peace and create, take photos, bake and blog. But when Jack's sleeping got really bad and I got beyond exhausted I knew I had to start doing it again. So it is all down to your own set of circumstances really. Be sensible, if you are tired and need to rest don't go madly rushing around the house trying to do all the chores or cross things off your to do list. Look after yourself, rest and be still.
What tips do you have for being a stay-at-home Mom? I do miss it sometimes. ♥