life as stay at home mama
I'm a stay at home mama! We've struggled financially a lot in the last couple years, so I assumed being home with Nora entirely wouldn't be in the cards for us, but we were obedient to the Lord in small things, that ended up leading us this chapter of our life, and I'm so very happy it did. I love being full-time mother and homemaker; I truly feel I'm living out my calling, which is an amazing place to be in at 24 years old. God has provided for us since taking this leap of faith, in ways we can't even comprehend, which is just confirmation that we made the right decision in having me stay home. It's a beautiful gift, and I couldn't be more grateful.
Being a SAHM isn't always easy, glamorous, or as pretty as it may seem. Some days are really messy. Some days we don't get out of our jammies, and lots of tears are shed. Some days I can't put Nora down at all and get nothing done but keep her from crying all day. Some days I forget I even own makeup, and some days I can paint my nails, prep dinner, get the dishes done and put away laundry. Some days I remember to eat breakfast and lunch and shower... some days I eat chocolate chips and realize it's been 5 days since I last washed my hair... It's all about balance. That's just motherhood.
I was asked to be part of a fun collaboration with fellow stay at home mamas that are also journaling their way through this wild, amazing ride. I'm linking their blogs below, so be sure to check their answers out as well! It's so fun getting to know the "behind-the-scenes" of our IG friends, isn't it?! We were all asked to answer a few questions we think you'd all enjoy reading about, so here it goes!
Describe a typical day's schedule.
At seven months into this baby/parenting thing, we've definitely found a rhythm for a typical day, and I love it. Nora wakes between 7-8am (give or take a bit), and shortly after, I'll grab her out of her crib, change her very full diaper and feed her a bottle. She's SO happy in the mornings, especially after that first bottle. She plays for a bit, and climbs all over me/the bed/the couch/the floor... wherever she gets plopped down first. And it's the best because she's so smiley and playful. Depending when she wakes, she'll go down for her first nap a little over an hour-two hours after, so typically between 9-10... basically just whenever she starts getting a little fussy and rubs her eyes. This nap length is always a guess. It can be anywhere from 45 mins - 2 hours. Just depends haha. Not sure what it depends on exactly, but I really like the two-hour morning nap days ;) during this first nap is when I "wake up." I'll brew coffee, shower if needed (I love starting my days with a hot shower, but obviously not always possible), maybe read a little bit, or some days I'll just sit on the couch and drink my coffee in silence. If she's still sleeping I'll get started on a number of things: answering emails, planning out blog content, tidy up the kitchen, dishes, start on laundry, or get ready for the day if we have plans to leave when she wakes up.
When she wakes from her nap, if she's hungry I'll feed her some sort of breakfast: rice cereal, yogurt, applesauce etc. Then let her play. She isn't quite crawling yet, but she's definitely mobile. She crawls backwards, scoots and rolls in all directions, and does this funny sit-fall-twist thing that somehow maneuvers her to things. It's so funny. If I'm needing to tend to something while she plays, then I'll put her in her Joovy Spoon walker, or her door-frame jumper. She loves both, and I don't leave her in either for extended periods of time, but they're so great if I'm needing my attention on something else. I'd then feed her a bottle when she's hungry again and put her down for a nap around 1/1:30. This one is almost always at least two hours, so I tryyyy to be super productive during this one. Some days that isn't the case, because life is always happening and sometimes mama needs a break. And remember, this is just our "typical" day. Some days we aren't home at all (we share a car, and DJ commutes to work) because we pack all our errands into one day. A day after a day like that, is usually spent trying to play catch up on chores, emails, etc.
When she wakes around 3/4, she just plays, or sometimes has a bottle right away. Or sometimes I wear her, or put her in the stroller and we go for a walk outside. We do this before her morning nap pretty often too. Just kind of depends on the weather and how the day has gone. I try to get outside every day, but we've been having back to back storms for the last couple months, so we've been pretty cooped up inside. Daddy comes home at 5:30, and we have dinner together. We feed her bits from our plates (chicken, sweet potatoes, green veggies etc.), but usually has some sort of mashed food like avocado, veggies etc.
She takes a bath every night at 6:30, and it's seriously her favorite thing. She gets so incredibly happy, splashes, and giggles and plays and it's totally precious. She gets cozied up, and has a bottle, then down in her crib (usually without a fuss) by 7.
Again, this is like a "perfect" day. Sometimes she's teething real hard, or has a cold, and our whole routine gets thrown off. Or some days we have back-to-back meetings and outings, so we aren't home very much on those days. But even still, she's a trooper and eats, plays and naps and sleeps so well, which helps a lot. On the days when we're out most of the time, she takes cat-naps in the car or stroller then typically has an early bedtime like around 6/6:30. On these days she usually wakes around 9 or 10pm for one last bottle, but still... she does so great!
What is one thing as a mama that makes your heart pitter-patter?
Oh man, Nora is so busy. She's always moving, and wanting to look around and see and do everything... so when she just relaxes and rests her head on me (or even better, falls asleep!) ahhh my heart melts into a puddle on the floor.
How has being a mother/homemaker challenged you?
It's challenged me to create boundaries with my time. In a good way. I was one who would say "yes" to everything, and had a hard time telling people or opportunities "no." Now my time is spent so differently. If even to protect nap time for both Nora and myself... creating space in my days by saying no to things has been hard in some areas, but greatly beneficial in others. I've been challenged to spend my time more wisely, and not only to be more productive, but also to just be sure that I'm caring for myself and tending to my needs as well. We can't be good mothers or homemakers or wives if we're running on empty.
Do you struggle with routine or do you have a happy reliable routine down?
Ooh, SO happy with routine! Love it so much, for sure. We function much better with routine, and little ones thrive with routine. Our routine helps keep my sanity haha.
What are two things you do for yourself to recharge? Maybe in the coveted "me time" or during nap time?
Spending time alone, in quiet. Some days this looks like a hot bath while Nora is sleeping, and some days it's just sitting in the still quiet mornings, sipping on my coffee in peace. And the other is quite the opposite... spending time surrounded by women/wives/mothers, encouraging and uplifting one another in this amazing journey.
How would you describe your parenting style in three words?
Loving/nurturing, honest, practical. (Oops... I cheated)
When do you feel the most joy in your day?
Mornings. Nora's the absolute happiest in the AM, so she's super fun and sweet. Definitely my favorite time of day, and especially on the weekends when we're all three home and snuggly and together.
Do you ever feel a sense of guilt being a stay at home mom?
No. It's what I'm meant to do, and I almost didn't have this opportunity. I said yes to working full time at the start of this year, and turned it down two days before I was supposed to begin. I think I value being a stay at home mom so much more because of this. In my mind, all this time with Nora and being home to care for everything was taken away, so I appreciate it so much and I'm fully confident that I'm living what I'm called to do in this season. Like I said above, it's a huge gift, and I am so so so grateful for it.
Share three activities/places/crafts you currently enjoy with your babes.
Walking, playdates (which double as momdates), and libraries/play museums. Nora isn't crawling or walking or really able to craft much yet, so we haven't explored into much else, but I know it's all right around the corner! But honestly just being outside, and having Nora feel grass and rain and wind, or interacting with other babes is our favorite right now. Oh and lotssss of baby wearing!
Lastly, just for fun, how many babies do you want to have?
Three! I want another girl and a boy. We'll see what's actually in our cards though ;)
Some days blog work, photo editing and emails can't happen during nap time, so I do what I gotta do to get things done!
We've loved this apartment SO much, but I'm definitely ready for Nora to have her own room in just a month! Her changing area is currently in our living room, and her crib is in our room. Everything else is just kind of sporadically placed, ha!
Nora literally vomitted ALLLL over the floor as the above photo was taken. I couldn't help but include it, because that's real life mom-stuff there haha.
Nora naps in her crib during the day, but sleeps in her travel crib at night. Her crib is in our bedroom, and we noticed she would wake in the middle of the night with us, but not in her travel crib in the living room. She also plays in her crib while mama puts laundry away or gets dressed ;)
Hope you enjoyed reading a little behind-the-scenes into our average day! Be sure to check out these other beautiful mamas as well <3