Being a stay at home mum is hard and sometimes a bit monotonous. I’ve always aspired to have a career rather than a family so being a full time mum has been a definite learning curve for me! So, with that in mind I thought I’d write a blog post all about how I get the most fulfilment out of being a stay at home mum and what little things I’ve changed to make sure I really enjoy my time with the girls! It isn’t just for people who are full time mums, though! Whether you work part-time, or just have weekends with your babas I hope this helps you!
1. Be present
Now that the girls are older they often are quite content and happy to play on their own. Sometimes, it might be easier for me to just let them get on with it and of course sometimes I do. Sometimes, I clean up after their meals and get on with stuff whilst they play but I also make sure I take the time for a good hour or so to put my phone out of reach and just enjoy playing with them. Granted, it can be very tempting to give them half my attention whilst checking my emails or watching a YouTube video, but the thing is I can do that whilst they nap or in the evening. Of course it’s good for kids to be able to play on their own but it’s also really important to enjoy your precious moments with your kiddos!
2. Screen time
Of course, at the moment my girls are too young for pretty much any other screen than that of the television so I can’t comment too much on tablets and phones and stuff. HOWEVER, we all know that ‘studies show screen time is crap for your kid’ or words to that effect. For the most part, I agree – there’s nothing worse than having kids tv blaring in the background all day long and now that the girls are more perceptive I won’t watch anything too ‘adult’ around them. Watching too much tv can affect their concentration as they grow up and other things. That being said, I do let the girls watch television – especially if they’re tired or I just need to distract them whilst I make their tea or get ready in the morning. A big tip for watching television with your children though is to actually watch it WITH them from time to time, rather than just using it as a distraction as I said before. Every now and then I put something on that I’ll also enjoy (Disney movie, Shrek or that kind of thing) and sit and watch it with them. It may only last twenty minutes but it is so lovely to have snuggly quality time with them!
3. Get out and about
I know this one is probably said to you ALL the time but it actually is so so helpful. It is so difficult to get out of the house especially with twins so its definitely important to find a time that works for you – I personally prefer to go out either all morning or all afternoon so the girls still get one of their naps at home. Obviously sometimes we go out all day but week to week I prefer to have time at home each day – the girls never nap enough when we’re out and about! Baby/toddler groups are an amazing way to give your child a change of scenery and a few new toys to play with as well as social interaction with other children (learning to share etc.) but it also helps us mums get to know other mums and have a bit of adult chat ourselves. Not every play group is going to work for you so it might take some time to find one that’s at the right time and distance from where you live. Also, sometimes other mums aren’t going to talk to you and you either have to really make the effort to push yourself in to conversations or give up and try a different group. Of course you’re not going to gel with every group of mums but don’t let it put you off trying again! I currently go to three baby groups a week and it really saves my sanity! Play groups aren’t the only way to get out of the house, of course. Just heading down to the park or for a stroll round the shops can be fab and give your child a bit of fresh air. I love taking my girls for walks and getting out in the sunshine (or sometimes rain!). If you just can’t face going out, get out in the garden! We have some mud suits for the girls so that they can crawl around in the garden and not worry about getting mucky and we have a slide and a seesaw for them in the garden that were pretty cheap. In your garden you can wear your pjs if you wish but at least your child is burning off some of that energy! Finally, don’t be afraid to go for adventures with your kids during the week! Normally, we wait for the weekend to have our big days out as that is when daddy is home and it gets expensive doing it regularly, however I’ve realised that this puts a lot of pressure on us to do lots at the weekend and make it memorable. Sometimes if my husband has had a tiring week at work he just wants to chill at home for most of the day and that’s fine especially if I know that we have got out and about and stimulated the girls a lot through the week! It can be daunting going out all day alone with your kids but it won’t be as bad as you think!
4. Find a hobby
I know, I know this feels like one of those things you always hear but bear with me! It can be tempting to just slump on the sofa during nap times and evenings or get on with the long to do list or house work and of course some days that does have to be done. However, its also important to take time for yourself and do something that you enjoy, whether that’s sitting reading a book, baking a cake or sewing some clothes. I enjoy baking but I also enjoy writing my blog and editing videos so that is something I do to just feel like ‘me’ rather than ‘mummy’. It doesn’t have to be anything hard work or taxing – maybe pick up your hubby’s play station controller and give that a go! You might surprise yourself.
This one is absolutely key. Yes, house work is important and its good for your child to have clean clothes BUT ask yourself, can this wait til tomorrow or when my child is asleep? It might not seem like it now when they days sometimes drag by but these are the times we are going to miss SO much when they grow up! Prioritise each day what chores and house work you want to get done on that particular day and leave it to that. It can be hard to let things go but you also need time to rest and enjoy yourself without feeling frazzled and stressed. Have a calm conversation with your partner about how they can help you with housework rather than having a go at them/nagging!
I hope you have enjoyed this blog post – I don’t have it all figured out but these are some changes I have made recently to try and help my time with the girls go more smoothly and be more enjoyable.