30 May ROUTINE OF MY SAHM LIFE AND WHY IT KEEPS ME SANE?
Stay At Home Mom (SAHM) life looks like having privilege and luxury of time to do stuff at your own convenience.
When I was pregnant and decided to be a SAHM for a while, I thought to myself that I am going to rock this. I would have all the time in the world and it would be me and just the baby. I will make amazing lunches, dinners, pancakes for breakfast, and DIY games to keep him busy and god knows what!
We, women being the HOME MINISTER (but why only us, women? anyhow) have a habit of controlling everything that’s going in the house but once the baby comes, it seems tough to control EVERYTHING.
It can make you anxious.
Forget about mums who handle everything from house to the baby, I have seen mums going crazy who have helpers with them. Their stress hormones rise. Eventually, they end up feeling guilty and like a failure.It’s okay if you can’t control everything in the start. You will be able to sort it out sooner or later.
As a new mum, I understand we go through the phrase “taking a day as it comes” but later on no routine can make you insane.
It is not possible to strictly stick to it and don’t expect it to do wonders and play along from day one.
The major reason to have a routine is that mothers need time to boost and reinforce themselves so they have energy and enthusiasm to give back to their kids. For me, only half an hour in the morning is good to go when my kid is sleeping or playing on his own. My patience gets recharged in these 30 minutes of self-care. I am a way better mom when I take a few moments to breathe!
To make a routine, I believe we need to have a framework first according to the priority of tasks. Some activities need to be fixed and some can be flexible as the time permits.
But my schedule with a year old toddler looks something like this and it works for me.
My day starts between 7 and 8 in the morning. I get up and finish the coffee session, get fresh and take a bath. After an hour or so, my little one wakes up by 8-8.30. By 10, we are done with our diaper changes, playing with me, breastfeed and breakfast.
Later, after I clean up all the mess, he is ready for a massage. I make sure to give a gap of half an hour between his breakfast and massage time. Generally, after the massage, he is ready for a nap. If he isn’t, I give him a bath. Again, there is half an hour gap between massage and bathing time. The oil needs to sink in and the body temperature needs time to get back to normal. Then, finally, he is definitely ready to doze off for 1-2 hours.
It’s a good time for me to finish my pending important work, have a quick nap or some quality me time. I have trained my body to have a short nap while he is asleep so that I am active and have better productivity for the rest of the day.
The little one gets up and we are ready with our lunch. If the lunch recipe is going to take much of time, I prepare while he is having his nap. Typically, I prefer quick recipes for lunch.
After lunch, it’s our play time. Right now, he crawls and it helps in independent play as well. I devote almost an hour to play and teach him stuff with books, toys and hand gestures. For the rest of the hours, he is busy in exploring new stuff. In this independent play, I have to be alert to make sure everything around him is baby friendly.
Till 4, he is done with playing and looks for his nap. He again sleeps for 1-1.5 hours. In this time, I finish my work which could linger or pile on till late evenings because I can use the time later to relax and be with my husband.
After he is awake, he plays with his father, goes for a stroll in the park. By the time, he is playing, I get time to prepare dinner. By 9, he is done having his dinner. With a tummy full and happy, generally, he sleeps himself while playing in his cot. Then I have an hour for myself- I watch, read, do my beauty routine or go for a night walk.
I am trying to push timings bit earlier because baby growth hormones are active in the early evening time.
I have learnt a few things while setting up this routine:
When you get up early, of course, you feel ahead of your day but the point is how much early should we get up? Don’t wake up too early because when you are engrossed in your things then you almost feel resentful on baby waking up. I don’t like leaving things undone so I don’t start something which can’t be finished.
Do enforce baby’s day nap times. It gives you a lot of breathing space.
Going bed early helps in a big way. In the beginning, you might think this or that menial task could have been done in that time but trust me waking up the next day and completing things in more fresh mood is way better.
And if you try to fill every single minute of schedule, it will drive you crazy! Factor in some downtime. Sometimes, things don’t go as planned. So, try not to overstuff it.
Spend a fixed time with baby only. Don’t think or worry about anything else in that time span. This will give him or her great satisfaction for the hunger of attention, and emotional needs. For children 2 years and above, there are educational apps which are fun to play with and help in early development. OckyPocky is one of such apps which is great for early explorers.
The best suitable routine which ends up on an autopilot mode. Slowly, you will find the one. I feel a lot motivated to finish my work, blogging and to do list when I have time in my hands. A schedule helps me drive the day quickly and yet keeps me focussed and happy.
So, think about it. Start taking baby steps. You will get back peace of mind and your little one will get a happier momma.