For a lot of moms, working from home while still being able to be a stay-at-home mom is a coveted dream that often feels out of reach. It can be hard to find flexible work, hard to take care of your kids and the house, and nearly impossible to mesh the two together. But once you do figure it out, it can be the best arrangement imaginable. Whether it’s for extra money, personal fulfillment, or just to keep an oar in the water, it can be a total game changer for your life!
I’ve been working from home since I had my son and I’ve learned a lot through the years. Some things failed miserably and others opened up amazing opportunities. Here’s my advice for how you can make it work:
There are lots of items I would consider absolutely essential as a mom, but honestly there’s only one item I can’t go 20 minutes without and that’s my phone. And it’s not because I’m playing Candy Crush or posting pictures on Facebook. It’s because of the collection of free apps I’ve gathered that tell me what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. Ones that calm my baby, put him to sleep, then calm me. And ones that tell me what’s going on outside the world of baby. And for those moments when I do have time to post on Facebook, it makes the process possible (and fun).
Putting together a baby registry (especially if it’s your first!) is one of the most exciting parts of a pregnancy. You can really start to visualize your baby being with you! There are tons and tons and tons of things to add to your registry – and you’ll still get a ton of stuff not on your registry – but you really don’t need (or necessarily want) all of those things. So here are the things you definitely DO want!
It’s hard to believe that at such a young age your toddler is able to actually help out with the cleaning, but it’s the perfect time to get them started! Not only do they love to be little helpers, but it’s a great way to keep them busy and mix things up a bit. Not to mention that it’s great to get some habits instilled early so that they eventually do certain chores on their own.
Most of the chores my son has taken on started because he wanted to be doing exactly what I was doing. Then I started to realize that he was capable of doing more and before long he had his own list!
Believe me, you (and they) are ready for this! Here are some chore ideas to start handing off to your toddler:
For me, nothing beats being a stay-at-home mom. It is the best decision I ever made and I wouldn’t change it for the world. But I feel lucky that in addition to being a stay-at-home mom, I’ve found an outlet that lets me escape the hardest parts of the day – the times when you feel unproductive, flustered, lonely, or out-of-control. Being at home is worth it – but it’s still tough!
For me, that outlet has been through writing. It has culminated in this blog, but behind that are freelance jobs, pet projects, and other sources of writing for pleasure or pay. And I didn’t start out as a writer. In fact, I often can’t believe that I’ve even found myself here because writing was never something I actually enjoyed, nor was it something I planned on doing. It just happened. But thank God it did, because now I don’t know what I’d do without it!
Related post: How to Start a Money-Making Blog
So, if you’re considering leaving the workforce to be a stay-at-home mom, or already are and are in desperate need of an outlet, here are all the reasons you need to seriously consider taking on some freelance work:
The ABC’s are one of the funnest things to start teaching your toddler – assuming they’re interested in learning. Luckily, there are so many different ways to incorporate the ABCs into their day – and more importantly, a billion ways to start exposing them to their letters so that they start to pick it up on their own.
Having a late talker, we were obsessed with learning the ABCs, so I’ve tested out more than you can imagine. Here are some of the coolest ideas I’ve come across, as well as some new fun things to try:
Co-sleeping is a wonderful, wonderful thing. It’s a decision I never really anticipated making, but now that I’ve experienced it with my oldest, I hope I get to experience with every other child I end up having. But as with all great things, at some point you realize it’s time for a transition. And in this case, that transition means a move from co-sleeping to a toddler bed. Whether it’s overcrowding, time to welcome a new baby, or just the right time for your toddler, you will reach a point where your co-sleeping toddler needs to move out!
Related Post: 12 Ways to Make Co-Sleeping Safer
So how do you do that? Or, as so many like to point out, are you destined to sleep with your child until they leave for college? Hardly.
My husband and I co-slept with our son until he was 2 and then began the transitioning process. And believe it or not, it was way easier than we thought! Just like with breastfeeding, the co-sleeping transition seemed to be 1,000 times easier for my toddler than for me…which was a relief because I ended up being the only one that needed to cry-it-out. 🙂
Obviously every child (and parent) is different, so some tips may work better than others, but this is what worked for us. And as I said, we were able to pull it off without any crying-it-out (at least from the toddler).
Whether you find out ahead of time or at the moment of delivery, hearing that you’re having a boy is an amazing feeling. You’re life’s about to change! Amidst the excitement though, you are bound to experience one tiny twinge of disappointment – no bows, glitter, tutus, or accessories. But it’s ok, you tell yourself, because having a boy will be more fun anyways. And trust me, IT IS. And best of all? You will be blown away by the cute baby boy clothes that you will come across if you look in the right places.
What you don’t know yet is that baby boy clothes can actually be way, way cuter than anything you can find for a girl! Not only do boys have their own adorable accessories, but they can pull off being dressed like mini versions of their dads, something little girls just can’t seem to do (or maybe it’s that yoga pants and an oversized T-shirt just don’t pack a punch ;-)).
Here are some of the cutest places to get baby boy clothes (and accessories) that you may not have thought of:
This scenario plays out in my house almost everyday: The playroom is strewn with blocks, cars are on their sides, balls are piled in the corner…and my son? He’s playing in our cabinet with the pots and pans. There’s no question he loves his toys, but sometimes I can’t believe how much he loves his “not toys.” So much so that I find myself converting old household products into play things just for some free indoor excitement.
So if you’re tired of buying toys, look around your house and see if you’ve got any of these big winners:
Related article: The Baby Products I Wish I Hadn’t Bought…and Definitely Didn’t Need
As small home dwellers and frequent travelers, my husband and I have developed somewhat of an expertise for getting around with our baby. When you’re in close quarters with a little one, you basically have no choice but to be creative (or depend on the creativity of others), so we’ve come across some amazing space-saving baby products and gadgets that make life waaaaay easier.
Some of these were amazing gifts, some we discovered out of desperation, and some were just plain dumb luck. But ALL of them have proved to be essential and/or quite a relief in our day-to-day lives or travels.