5 Ways to Relax When you are a Busy Mom Strapped for Time

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My day consists of working full time as a preschool teacher but it doesn’t stop there. I am also a wife, a mom of two, and a new blogger. Not to mention I try to live a healthy lifestyle which can also be time consuming. Most nights I am asleep by 12 AM or later and up at 5:30 AM. I try to catch a little time to breathe after work before coming home to the kids. By the time the they go down, I am too tired to do anything for myself.

Sound familiar? Well, I decided to put together a list with links of quick and practical, yet relaxing ideas to do when you are strapped for time but in desperate need of some ME time. This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something from one of these links I get a small fee. Don’t worry though, I only recommend things I use and love.

Sit down with a nice cup of coffee. My absolute favorite way to relax is to sit down with a homemade mocha. One thing I look forward to every Saturday morning is actually sitting down to drink my coffee while the kids play. My husband got me this espresso machine for Christmas a few years ago. It has been the best gift EVER! I no longer have to go to Starbucks to get a fancy espresso drink. So, while I constantly drink coffee to survive, there is just something relaxing about actually sitting down and ENJOYING that cup of coffee.

 

Take a hot bath. A hot bath is always a great way to unwind after a long day. Even better add some essential oils or Epsom salts to relieve stress. Not only does it give you time to breathe and think, but you come out feeling like a new person.

 

Get some exercise. I know you might be thinking, exercise is not relaxing. However, if you are super stressed, a quick run or brisk walk can be just what you need to get your blood flowing to regain some energy. It is a healthy way to relieve stress and it leaves you feeling refreshed.

 

Read a book. Reading a good book is a great way to unwind before you go to sleep. I recently read The Nightingale and For the Love LOVED them both!  You can’t go wrong with either!

 

Just go to bed early. If you really don’t have the energy to do something for yourself, sometimes the best thing you can do is just go to bed early. After a full night’s sleep, you may just feel much better.

 

I am realizing that my health and sanity is kinda important to function as a teacher, mom, wife, and blogger. My goal is to do at least 2 of these things each day. What do you to to unwind, relieve stress, or just relax? Leave a comment and let us know your ideas!

 

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

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Living on One Income-Are You Financially Ready?

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Making the Decision to Stay Home

Deciding to be a stay-at-home mom (or dad) is a HUGE decision. Maybe you are the parent who always knew they wanted to stay home. Or, you might be the parent that said you would NEVER stay home. Either way, there are a lot of factors to consider when making the decision for one parent to stay home with the kids.

Can you Afford to Live on One Income?

The biggest factor most families must consider is their financial situation. Are you financially ready to be a stay at home parent?  One way to find out is to try living off of one income. Automatically put one paycheck in savings for three months and consider how it affects your finances. Do you still have money left over at the end of the three months? Do you need to cut spending in some areas? Will you save any money by staying home? Will you spend more money by staying home?  I have listed out steps you can take to help you answer these questions below.

Figure Out Your Budget

I highly recommend signing up for a free account with Mint.com. It is a great free and secure tool for budgeting, tracking and paying bills, and managing your money. Mint allows you to enter your bills, credit and debit information, and create your own budget. It shows you easy to understand graphs of where your money is going. You will also receive alerts you when you are getting close to going over budget in any one area. I suggest signing up for a free account to track your spending for these three months to see where you might be going over budget.

Next, make a list of expenses that you have because of work including daycare, work attire, gas for commuting to work, etc…I like to think of these extra work expenses as income when you stay at home. 🙂 Subtract these expenses from your budget and do a happy dance!

Of course, while you will be saving money in some areas, you may spend more in others because you stay home. For example, you may not have to pay for lunch and snacks when your kids go to daycare. However, when you stay home this is an added expense you will have to pay. Some daycare providers also pay for diapers and wipes so don’t forget to add those types of expenses as well.

What Can You Live Without?

Now, at this point you should have a general idea of how much much you will have left at the end of each month. You may realize that you are way over budget and feel like staying home is not a possibility for you. However, if you really want to stay home, consider things that your family could possibly give up to save money. For example, you may be able to cut cable and use Netflix instead. Or, you might be able to get rid of your gym membership and work out at home. If you are over budget, make a list of things that are not a necessity and subtract them from your budget. Remember that this is potentially temporary and you may be able to add things back in slowly when you get a better feel for your budget.

Consider a Part Time Job

If you are still over budget after completing these steps, you might consider other ways to earn a small income on the side. You may be able to find a job that you can do from home such as blogging or customer service. Another option would be to find a part time job in the evenings or on the weekends. This may not be ideal as you wouldn’t be together as a family as much. However, if you are absolutely set on making it work, you might consider this as a temporary solution.

To Do Checklist

In order to help simplify the process, I have created a checklist of steps to take in order to decide if you are financially ready to live on one income. I hope you can use this checklist in order to get a better idea if you are financially ready to live on one income.

 

 

 

What else is keeping you from being a stay at home parent? Leave a comment below and let me know!

 

Please pin this article if you found it helpful. Join me on Instagram and like my Facebook page to be a part of a wonderful community of new moms!

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How to Create the Ultimate Sensory Bin

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My daughter throwing rocks in the water.

As a preschool teacher, I invite my students to participate in sensory play every single day. As a mom, I try to integrate it at home as well. There are many benefits to sensory play and you may be doing it without even knowing it. Playing in the water, dirt, or even baking or playing with toys in your home can be considered sensory play. Your child relies on his or her senses (touch, taste, smell, sight, and sound) to learn new things.

Think about your baby who puts absolutely everything in their mouth. Why? This is how they explore new things in their environment. They might pick up something sticky and realize their hands are dirty. Your child might touch something hot and realize it is painful. They might smell cookies baking in the oven and associate it with something that tastes good. They are learning something new from all of these experiences. While scooping, pouring, and measuring different objects may seem simple, they are complex tasks for a toddler.

My daughter scooping noodles in the “sensory bin” at home.

There is something to be said for natural sensory experiences such as these. However, you can also provide sensory experiences your child might otherwise not encounter. It might seem like a huge feat to create a sensory bin for your home. That is why I am sharing an idea that my aunt gave as a kid’s birthday gift. It is easy, tidy, and can be as cheap or expensive as you would like it to be. This sensory bin has always been a huge hit with kids of all ages, and is my favorite thing to pull out on a rainy day. An added bonus is that it always seems to be a very calming activity!

Here are the must haves you need to start.

  • A under bed storage bin like the one pictured here will allow for your child to reach over the sides and have plenty of space to play.  Be sure to get one with a lid so that you can easily store it away when it is not being used. (You can also find these at Walmart for less, but the link is for Amazon in case you want it sent to your house.)
  • A table cloth that is bigger than the bin but can easily be folded up to put inside the bin when it is not being used. This is a must because when your child is done playing you can just fold it up and pour the mess back into the bin. If your child is like mine, they will find ways to still get it on the floor, but it is a great opportunity to have them help clean up!

Now choose your sensory items. Here is a list of ideas:

The options are endless, but these are some of my favorites. Some items you may have to purchase more than one to fill the bin. It is up to you how messy you want this to be. The good thing about the sensory bin is that you can put it on a table, the floor, or even take it outside.  Keep in mind if you have a child with allergies or who puts everything in their mouth and choose accordingly.

*I just have to note that these can be considered choking hazards for small children. They should be closely supervised while at play.

Finally, get some tools for your child to use. Here is a list of ideas:

I love using all of these tools for different objects so choose your tools based off of the sensory items you will be using it with.

What if you don’t feel like doing the work to put a sensory bin together? Here are some great themed sensory bins that you can buy!

 

 

 

 

Have Fun!

This is such a creative gift. Especially for stay at home or home-school moms who need something new on a rainy day. Leave a comment and tell me your favorite ideas for a sensory bin!


Please pin this article if you found it helpful. Join me on Instagram and like my Facebook page to be a part of a wonderful community of new moms!


We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

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