Tip Tuesday: Staying at Home with a Toddler

His Outfit: Jacket | Shirt | Pants | Shoes
Good Morning!
I almost changed the title on “how to survive being a stay at home mom”, but then I thought that could be offensive, lol.
If you’re reading this and you are a stay at home mom, then you know how long the days can get but also how quickly they can pass. You know that you live for those sweet snuggles your baby or toddler give you but how quickly their mood can turn into a tantrum.  You can not WAIT for your husband to walk through the door at 6 o’ clock every evening so you can give your body a break from holding your toddler all day. (Or is that just me?).
You know that you have the option to go back to work but you simply always choose staying at home with your little one. And that’s exactly the way you want it to be. (I’m right there with you!). So I thought I would share a couple tips I have learned from the past 16 months of being home with my son. I hope you find these helpful!!
Tip #1 – Develop a Schedule/Routine
My days all start the same. (or at least I try to) Come up with a routine that works for you and your babies and stick with it. Someone else’s routine may not be the routine for you and that’s okay! Personally, I would love to be a morning workout mom, but it just never works for me. (I’m a nap time workout girl!) I usually try and get up before my baby to have my alone time, and then I map out our day. I know that nap time comes around the same time everyday so whatever errands or playdates that will occur need to happen before or after nap time. Planning ahead and having a consistent routine makes things way less stressful.
Tip #2 – Make Time For YOU
Yes, it’s completely okay for you to make time for yourself. In fact, I 100% recommend it. This can look different for every mom. For me it means getting up every morning before my baby wakes up so I can do whatever it is that I want. I don’t clean, cook, or work out. BUT, I do something that I enjoy doing. I light a candle, make a cup of coffee, and either work on my blog or put on the T.V. and watch my favorite show. Obviously, you can use this time to be productive. But I love knowing that my baby is sound asleep, and nobody can distract me from ME time! I am also a much better mom to Colin when I am able to have this time to think, relax, and de-stress.  
Tip #3 – Plan Meals Ahead of Time
This is such a huge tip for me. If you plan lunch and dinner ahead of time you save yourself such a headache. There are lots of ways you can do this, but I would suggest typing up a grocery list (or writing) of all of the things you need for the entire week ahead. Make sure you have everything you need for all of your meals. You could even do your meal prepping on Sunday for lunches. This is perfect for those of us who get hangry (sorry, husband). And getting everything you need on Sunday helps you avoid any last minute grocery tips with a cranky baby after nap time (my kid). It’s also super hard for me to figure out what we want for dinner, then follow a recipe to make it all with a toddler. So preparing ahead of time is super helpful. 
Tip # 4- Get Out Of The House Every Day
Recently, I joined MOPS. If you haven’t heard of it, basically it’s a support group for working and stay at home moms, all moms! They have meetings once a month, but also playdates, and moms night out. You can learn more about it here if you’re interested. This is just one resource but there are so many things you can do with your toddler or baby to get out of the house. Go to Starbucks together (it can be fun for you too!), the local park, the science museum (we did this starting at 6 mos. and just strolled him around!), a kids museum, even on a walk around your neighborhood. We try to get out at least once a day and this can even be a trip to the grocery store.
Tip #5 – It’s Ok To Ask For Help
If you are fortunate enough to have family that lives nearby, do not be afraid to ask for help. It’s okay to feel like you’re at your breaking point and about to burst. Being home with a baby or whiny toddler is hard! Don’t let anyone tell you that it’s not okay for you to feel overwhelmed. I have just one toddler but I still need help or a break every now and then. 
Tip #6 – Have Patience, Grace, and Be Kind
I added this one in here because I have to find patience every single day with my toddler. He is only 16 months but I find myself often getting frustrated with him. Remember that they are not aware of how frustrating their actions can be to us as parents. They actually have no clue LOL. I have to remind myself this often! Most of the time when he is being super fussy, all he wants is to be held. I typically drop everything I am doing and just snuggle him on the couch. Honestly, it’s the best thing I found that works for us. 

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