Life lessons from a stay-at-home mum
Renee Murphy outlines the vital life-lessons she learned while at home with her two rambunctious boys.
Dress up when you leave the house
While you can’t beat trackpants, slippers and a sloppy joe sweater for comfort, you do need to ditch the daggies when you head out the door, mama. It is possible to look good whether you’re breastfeeding, or in the throes of parenting a toddler, if you follow a few simple guidelines. You won’t need to bust your budget to do it either – check out these practical style tips. And remember, if you get a compliment, save it (and the outfit) in your memory bank!
Nap whenever you need to
As a mum you discover the challenges of sleep deprivation. When you start doing silly things like putting your car keys in the fridge instead of the milk, it’s a sign you need a nap. So have one and don’t feel quilty! When you put your little one down to bed, grab your own blankie and relax. You’ll feel recharged after a 20-30-minute power nap. Then you can tackle that mountain of washing in the corner.
Every day is a new day
So, yesterday was a shocker. Baby grizzled all day; the dishwasher broke, the courier guy caught you braless in your nightie and you had to resort to cereal for dinner because you didn’t make it to the supermarket. A new day has dawned. Take it one-step-at-a time and B-R-E-A-T-H-E.
If you are a ‘doer’ it’s tempting to try and pack a lot into your day – baby gym, grocery shopping, visiting nana, making a chai-spiced pumpkin latte, colour-coding your knicker drawer… and that’s on top of keeping your little one nourished, rested and in a clean nappy! Little people aren’t programmed to do things on a tight schedule, so be kind to yourself and lower your expectations. At the beginning of the day (loosely) plan, then prioritise. Yes, a trip to the supermarket is essential if you are down to your last roll of toilet paper, but Marie Kondo-ing your knicker drawer can wait. Slow down, mama! Getting your errands done in the morning before everyone gets frazzled is a good idea too.
Talk when the kids are asleep
When your partner arrives home from work, they’re like a celebrity and everybody will vie for their attention, including you. After answering questions about Peppa Pig all day, you’ll crave intelligent conversation about the outside world (like you used to have at your day job before you became a full-time child wrangler). But it’s pointless trying to string a sentence together while competing with an excited toddler using their outside voice for every word. Save important conversations for when the little cherubs are tucked up in bed. Then it's time to reheat that chai pumpkin latte, quietly open the Tim Tams and debrief each other about your respective days like proper adults. Your relationship will be stronger for it.