Category: Newborns
in Newborns, Toddlers

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!

 

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in Newborns, Toddlers

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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in Newborns

How to Support Your Husband as a New Dad

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Okay mamas! You have done the hardest job of all. You delivered a precious baby after carrying for 10 whole months. You’ve endured morning sickness, night sweats, and heartburn. You haven’t had a good night’s sleep, a shower, or a good meal in DAYS! You have put all of your energy into taking care of this brand new baby.

It can be easy to feel like you have nothing left to give to anyone else. Let’s face it, you probably don’t, and that’s okay. So, how can you support your husband as a new dad when you feel like you are hardly getting by?

You might be surprised by some of the answers I got from some new dads. In fact, the number one response I got is something that might even help YOU out. So here we go, ten ways to support your husband as a new dad.

  1. Give him opportunities to bond. The overwhelming majority of dads said they would like more opportunities to bond with the baby. Many times, especially if mom is breastfeeding, the mom takes on all things baby, while she has dad fetch, change, cook, make, clean, etc… Talk with your husband about things he could do to bond with the baby. Maybe he gives baths, rocks the baby to sleep after a feeding, or does tummy time activities. The point is, don’t automatically assume all responsibility for the baby just because you are the main source of food! Find something your husband can do with the baby, and let him do it!
  2. Provide direction. Your husband may not have those innate motherly instincts that you do (surprise, surprise)! While some things seem like common sense to you, they may have to be learned by your husband. Give him some grace if these things don’t come naturally to him. Give him gentle suggestions like, “Maybe WE should try…” or “I wonder if…would help?”
  3. Tell him what you need. This may seem strange on a post about supporting your husbands needs. However, believe it or not, your husband wants the best for you and the baby. He wants to help you in any way he can. Sometimes he just needs you to tell him what you need! Again, they are learning and they can’t read your mind. If there is something you really want your husband to start doing, don’t stew about it, just tell him! Chances are he will be happy to help.
  4. Be patient. Remember, your husband is learning just like you are. Be patient and sit back and enjoy. Enjoy watching your husband become a daddy. Don’t expect him to figure it out overnight.
  5. Give encouragement. When my husband became a new dad, the hardest thing for him was feeling like he couldn’t soothe the baby when she was upset. He would become frustrated when he would try to soothe the baby and it wouldn’t work. Then he would hand her to me and she would stop. He felt like there was no point in even trying. This is where you come in. This is the time for you to point out what a good job he is doing with the baby. Thank him for all that he does for you and the baby and encourage him to keep trying.
  6. Listen to his suggestions. While you may feel you are having to give your husband A LOT of direction in some areas, give him some credit. Sometimes they have good ideas. 😉 One night, I was at my wits-end when my colicky 3 month old. She would scream through the entire night. I wasn’t getting sleep and had no idea how to comfort her when she was like this. I woke my husband up, desperate for some relief from the crying-baby duty. My husband suggested trying a pacifier. Of course I said no, because that can lead to orthodontic problems and cause nipple confusion and…Well, my daughter finally stopped crying and when I looked up, there she was sucking away on her pacifier. After that night, we knew where her pacifier was at all times and she slept like a little champ. I thank God my husband didn’t listen to me! 🙂
  7. Work as a team. Remember you two are in this together through thick and thin. As time goes by you will fall into a routine of doing things, each of you better at some things than others. Allow him to help you in any way possible and do the same for him.
  8. Trust him. Show your husband you trust him to take care of the baby. Allow him chances to take care of the baby without chiming in your two-cents every five minutes. If you know the baby needs to be fed, changed, or go to sleep try to keep quiet and let him figure it out. I promise, he will!
  9. Ask him how you can help him. Talk with your husband. Ask him how HE is doing. This whole thing has been about you and the baby, and so many times, dads get left out. If your husband has gone back to work, ask him how it is going.
  10. Let him know you appreciate him. Tell your husband constantly how much you appreciate him! Not only will he feel like you notice his efforts, but most likely it will encourage him to keep it up!



These are all tips given to me by new dads. (A special thanks to all of the dads that provided input!) My hope is that they will help parents through this time of transition to a family of 3. Happy Parenting! 🙂


Have any more tips to add to the list! Let us know in the comments below!


Don’t forget to pin this article on Pinterest for future reference! Join me on Instagram and like my Facebook page to be a part of a wonderful community of new moms!

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