A majority of Liam’s life, I’ve been a stay at home mom and I can tell you there is a right and wrong way to do it. I’m still trying to perfect my so called technique but there are a few tips that I feel the need to share!
Obviously when you are a stay at home mom, a majority of the chores and home responsibilities fall on your shoulders. Don’t spend your entire day cleaning; you will get trapped in a cycle of madness and it will decrease your overall happiness levels and increase your anxiety because your house was spotless less than 10 minutes ago. What I decided to do within the last couple months has helped my anxiety so much.
I will get up in the morning, drink my coffee, eat my breakfast and shortly after my husband leaves for work or after I take him to work, I will clean for 30 minutes. I’ll get the dishes does, start a load of laundry, pick up toys and what ever else I can fit in in that time. Then when my son’s napping I will get the real cleaning done in another half hour; disinfecting the counters, mopping, vacuuming, clean the cat box etc. A clean space makes a clean mind, but that only works if you aren’t cleaning 24/7. So you get the house to an appropriate level in the morning and then in the afternoon when the baby is sleeping you get it where you want it. You can take the entire length of your child’s nap if you want, though I would take a majority of that time to yourself for decompression time.
Now, since you’re not working money is probably a little tight or tighter than your used to. No need to freak, there are some subtle things you can do to lighten the load.
The very first thing I did was make a babysitting profile on Care.com. This is a win in more than one way; watching a child your child’s age gives them someone to play with and practice social skills with. The best part is you are getting paid to do what you are doing already! I suggest looking up daycare prices in your area and doing 20-50 dollars cheaper a week! The biggest thing is to set a rate that makes your time worth it. I found the sweet spot price is 150 dollars a week for my area for one child! I am working with a family right now that pays me 30 dollars a day for on child and an extra 20 dollars a day when I have their other two kids. What ever your family brings in a month, just add about 500 to that.
You can also become a couponer. We live in Virginia so our grocery store go-to’s are Food Lion, Target and Farm Fresh. All we did was sign up for the rewards and we get coupons in our email that save us anywhere between 5 and 30 dollars a grocery shopping trip! If your child is in diapers, most diaper companies have rewards as well! The way I see it, if it’s a free rewards program, Sign Me UP. If you save an average of 15 dollars a grocery shopping trip and you grocery shop once a week, that’s 60 dollars a month!
My last money saving tips is shopping out new companies to go through. Recently I changed our internet company and we will be saving 50 dollars a month! If you don’t want to switch companies, ask your current company if there is anything you can do to decrease the amount your spending on your bill! I did that for several companies and we will be saving about 200 dollars a month all together!
It’s important to do things for yourself, especially if your job is to chase around little miniature versions of yourself. When your spouse get’s home and gets settled, go take a long shower or go to the grocery store by yourself. Buy yourself a coffee or a Candy bar. Listen to music or your audiobook in the way there. Having an hour of time a day or even every few days to focus in nothing but yourself will do wonders for your sanity. I have a very sweet husband who tells me to get a pedicure or spend money on myself at Target and I encourage you to do the same!
This one is easier said than done. Go on dates with your spouse. I love my husband and I miss spending time just the two of us, but it’s hard to find people you trust to watch your little minions. It’s even harder not to take advantage of those people when you find them. That’s another time you can reflect on care.com.
I’m tapped out of tips for now, but more will come! Thanks for hanging out and good luck fellow parents! Feel free to comment anything you think I missed!