Top Tips To Stay Sane As A Stay At Home Mom

Stroll-air My Duo double stroller

My last maternity leave was vastly different than my first one was since I had an infant AND a toddler. I constantly felt like my toddler would get bored and fall behind after he was flourishing in full-time daycare.

To keep all of us sane, I set some ground rules early on and I truly feel that it made life a little more manageable. Here's how I managed the most whirlwind year of my life to date:

Make a list
Before I started mat leave, I spent a couple lunch hours compiling a list of local activities on the different days of the week. That way, I didn't show up for circle time on the wrong day or a locked EarlyOn Centre. Let's be honest... I was not in a place to look up what to do the morning I wanted to do something. I was way too sleep deprived! lol Our favorites were the park, library, art gallery, and EarlyON centres (check to see if you have free government-run drop in centres, the ones in Toronto are great!)

Create a daily routine (but stay flexible!)
I would start my day off with a filling breakfast (and coffee!). I was extra great if I could pre-prep breakfast and batch freeze (which didn't happen often) so usually it was fruit and cereal, oatmeal, or pancakes with yogurt. It's safe to say that I've passed down my hangry gene to Taylor so I needed to be prepared. lol

Snacks for toddlers

Get outside
If you get a sudden urge to go for a walk or to a local event, do it! A change of scenery is always good for you and the baby. Just get out, leave your house and go to the store, Starbucks, park, whatever, just get outside! No matter how young your child is, they can go stir crazy. As a baby, Taylor used to meltdown around 4:30 pm if we hadn't left the condo. I only made that mistake a handful of times before I figured it out. Nixon is the same. I always love pouring a coffee in my travel mug (or grabbing Starbucks en route) and going for a stroll. It doesn't matter where you go, it's the fresh air that lifts your spirits. Also, you need to keep your sanity. Needless to say, I spent a lot of time at parks, Riverdale Farm, even the mall. It also helped that my Mom Tribe started Fitbit challenges to keep us active! Check out these outdoor activities with kids for more ideas.

hiking with kids

Find your passion (or at least an interest) 
For me it's Toronto Style Edit! When I have a few minutes to myself I love to crack open my laptop and work on a blog post. I find it helps keep my mind sharp and serves as a creative outlet. This way I don't feel as though I've only been speaking to children all day. When a laptop wasn't doable but I felt especially creative (usually 3 am feeds!), I would draft something in my cellphone.

Call a friend
Plan a lunch date or a night out. Have someone watch your child (if possible) so you can have some genuine 'me time'. Trust me, you'll miss your babies so bad and spend most of the time wishing you were with them but it's so necessary! Last time I had a babysitter my husband, myself and three friends went to on of our favorite bands concerts. It was amazing and so necessary.

The Interrupters Toronto Concert

Try Adulting!
Have your SO or family member/friend watch your baby/ies one evening and go visit a friend or two. Bonus points if you have enough energy to hit the gym together. Disclaimer: I did not hit the gym with a friend. lol I did however go for dinner with some moms I met at the park and Nixon would not settle for Tom. He ended up crying quite a bit until he fell asleep. Ever since that night, he has been an amazing sleeper. It took mama going out to learn how to self soothe. Go figure!

Avoid Adulting!
The laundry will get done tomorrow! Give yourself the free pass to feed or nurse your baby guilt-free while binge watching Netflix, take a nap when the babe does or just read a book. Whether it's putting on Ellen during nap time, reading for 15 minutes before bed, allow yourself to recharge!

Find your Mom Tribe 
Have you noticed that everyone is such an amazing (opinionated) parent until they have children of their own?! Ugh! 
Find a support group that does just that... Actually support you on your journey! Whether it's strangers in a Facebook mom group (like me), friends that are also raising little ones, or randoms you met at the park (shout out to Jenn, Pia and Roxy!) Meet other parents aligned with your values or at least respects and applauds you for them. I found so much solace in my secret Facebook group and with a few local moms I met at the park.

mom tribe

For more ways to make your crazy life with kids easier, check out these mom hack products I swear by!

© Simplify Your Motherhood
Design:Maira Gall.