Survival Guide: For stay at home moms

Sometimes being a stay at home mom can be hard, regardless of what a lot of people might think. As moms, we turn to each other for tips, or advice when we feel like we are drowning.

I've put together my tips for making my life as a stay at home mom a little bit easier. I have been a stay at home mom since my son was born 2 years ago, and I've learned a lot. Some of these things I just picked up on within the last couple months, because parenting is a journey. Things will change in a couple of months when my second son is born, and I will have to find what works again but that's okay.

8 Tips to make it a little bit easier....

1. Meal Planning. Dinner can be a burden sometimes, even just thinking about it can stress some people out. But honestly, who can honestly say they always remember to think about what they need to take out of the freezer for dinner first thing in the morning? Especially when you have kids to take care of, it can slip your mind. Meal planning can save you time and money. I will be making a dedicated post on meal planning since I started doing this with my family a couple weeks ago. But for now, lets go over some main points to help you understand what it is if you aren't familiar with it. First, you think about what meals you want/can make for the week depending on what your family likes, for example do you want to cook every night or have a couple nights where you cook a full meal, some where you pop a pizza in the oven, maybe you want to order out one night. Think about it, write down your ideas and you are already half way there. Once you have your mind set on your meal ideas, write them down next to a day of the week, and you can switch up the meals for the days of the week too. Say it's Monday and you planned on making chicken parm for dinner and you are just too tired to be bothered making it..but you wrote down on Thursday you would order a pizza instead of cooking, you can just switch the days and make chicken parm on Thursday and order a pizza tonight. So you don't have to fully commit to the meals on those days, just as long as you are sticking to the meals you wrote down on that week the meal planning will work out in your favor. Tape your meal plan to your fridge/freezer door, or somewhere you look every morning so you can glance at it and grab whatever you need out of the freezer. One less thing you have to worry about everyday.

2. Take time for you. What I mean by this is simply take 10-20 minutes or even less/more time to get yourself ready in the morning. I know, it seems impossible because of all the things you do, but trust me you have the time, you just have to find it. I thought I didn't have time to do anything for myself in the morning for a long time, but when my son wakes up in the morning he likes to drink his milk and watch cartoons on the sofa with his blanket and teddy bear. I used to lay with him, but now I take that time to get myself ready and make coffee. After all, your children consume your day and all of your attention throughout the day, so taking a little bit of time for yourself isn't going to take away from time spent with them. I'm almost certain that this little change will make you feel better and more put together for the rest of the day.

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3. Set goals. Whether it be folding laundry, organizing that messy closet in your house, or long term goals...write them down. If they are daily goals, then jot them down in your planner. Accomplishing goals small or big can make a huge difference in how you feel and gives you a sense of confidence, of course besides the things you do on a daily basis for your kids.

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4. Find connections to other moms. Online groups, and local groups of moms are all over the place. When I was pregnant with my son Mason I didn't have many friends and I wasn't very close to most of my family. I found a group on facebook of women who were all due in December of that year like me. We got through our pregnancies, worries, questions, etc together. It made me feel like I wasn't alone even though I did have my boyfriend, it's always nice to talk to people who really understand on a mom level. To this day, I am still a member of that group and we continue to support each other. But an important thing to remember when getting involved with other moms, is to not compare yourself to them. It can be really easy to start to doubt your parenting, or even your lifestyle. That is dangerous and it can really bring you down. Remember that what works for other moms might not work for you,and the other way around. If what you are doing is working for you and your kids then stick with it, it's one thing to take advice from other moms and another to completely turn your world to match theirs. All that matters is that you and your children are happy. Not everyone will agree with how you raise/take care of your kids, and that is okay.

5. Realize how lucky you are. Some days are very stressful and hard. It can make you wish sometimes that you were working instead of dealing with it. But, when that happens take a moment and remember how lucky you are to be able to stay home with your kids. Not everyone who wants to are as lucky. Even your spouse for example, I'm sure he would love to stay home and not miss the little things everyday like crawling for the first time, or trying new foods. Don't get me wrong, It's totally fine and normal to get frustrated on the hard days, just take a minute to yourself and think about this because sometimes it can just make your day easier.

6. Try to clean as you go. Cleaning is another thing that we can never keep up on. A messy house does not make you feel productive, and it can often stress you out putting you in a bad mood. This doesn't mean in any way that you should always keep your house spotless, just kept up on so you don't fall behind. Many times I have let our apartment get too messy and I would unintentionally get so stressed that I would take it out on my fiance. Picking up throughout the day can really help, for example something as simple as putting your dirty dish in the dishwasher when you are done with it instead of in the sink can save you 10 minutes of loading the dishwasher. It can also save you from staring at dirty dishes piling up in the sink. Make it a habit to start the dishwasher as soon as it is full, so that you don't end up forgetting to start it and having no clean dishes. Another thing that can help tremendously is keeping your counters clutter free, if you don't have a ton of cabinet space to put all of your appliances that you are not constantly using in...then doing something as simple not putting anything on the counters unless it belongs there ex: scraps go in the garbage, ketchup back into the fridge, juice mix back into the cabinet are just a few examples of what we tend to leave on the counters without even thinking about it. This can clutter counters very quickly and make it look like the kitchen is a disaster. And this goes for the rest of the house too.

7. Give yourself a break. You are not superwoman, you need to rest too. Whether it be taking a nap when baby is sleeping, taking time to sit and play, or having a moment just sitting on the sofa. You don't need to constantly run around doing things. Something I've learned is that dishes can wait, meaning you are important too so if you are exhausted, then give yourself a break. If someone has a problem with the fact that your house isn't always clean then they shouldn't be coming over. They should be coming over to spend time with you, or your child, not to judge you.

8. Give your child a break. Okay, I'm going to be honest. It took me a while to get this one down because the toddler stage is so difficult to deal with sometimes. What I mean by this one is to try not to loose your temper/patience too easily. Babies/toddlers or kids in general are all learning everyday. They are learning new things, what they are allowed to do, what is off limits, etc. Your child depends on you when they are hungry, or have a dirty diaper, they can't fulfill their needs on their own. That's why they need you to be patient with them and give them what they need and teach them what they need to learn. Nobody can teach their child what is off limits, and how to do things in one day. Being a parent takes patience with almost everything, so if you don't learn how to have patience you might be spending everyday stressed out and upset.

I hope you can take something away from my tips, and make it a little bit easier for yourself and your kids if you are having trouble. Remember, all parents are different and sometimes when you look at other mothers their life seems so easy and it seems they have everything together, their kids are so well behaved. Then, you look at yourself and wonder what you are doing wrong...I've been guilty of that too. But don't do that to yourself anymore, not everything is as perfect as it seems.

If you have any tips and tricks that help you as a stay at home mom, leave them below. You might help someone else, or even myself. I love hearing what works for other moms!!

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30 Week Pregnancy Update!

Whoa, only 10 more weeks left in this pregnancy!!

30 weeks, pregnant, third trimester, trimester, baby, baby boy, LizForeverrr

I can't believe how much faster this pregnancy is going compared to my last, but in a short amount of time it will start to slow down. After all, the last couple of weeks feel like years!

Everything was going great in my last pregnancy update, which I believe was at 20 weeks and if you missed that one you can read it here: 20 weeks. Unfortunately, as soon as I clicked publish on that update, I got a call from my doctor. It wasn't exactly an expected phone call either, because it had been about a week since my last ultrasound so I assumed that everything was okay.

What my doctor said was that my placenta is partially covering the opening of my cervix. So, because of that they were putting me on pelvic rest until I get another ultrasound later in my pregnancy. She also said that if I have any bleeding to either call the office right away or go into the emergency room. would think she would continue explaining and not just leave me at that, but she didn't. That's all she said. Obviously I was scared, and I was a little bit in shock so I didn't really know what to say.

And what do you do when your doctor doesn't give you enough information? You go on google, which is probably the one thing you shouldn't do. But I did, and scared myself even more. My biggest concern was that I would need a c-section, because that is terrifying to me. This is what I found out: What I have is called "Partial Placenta Previa" and the symptoms that can occur with this is bright red vaginal bleeding in the second half of pregnancy, and this condition can also cause severe bleeding before or during delivery. Turns out, I would HAVE to have a c-section if my placenta does not move out of the way. Good news is that with partial placenta previa there is a higher chance of my placenta actually moving out of the way as my uterus expands. There is still a chance that it won't though. So I can't completely depend on that.

Scary, right? One thing concerned me about this also is that I have O- blood. If you don't know, O- can be used universally, but anyone who has that blood type can only receive O- blood when a blood transfusion or something similar is needed. I'm sure the hospital has blood supply, but I'm such a worry-wart.

While I was on the phone with my doctor though, I did express my concern about waiting until later in my pregnancy to do a follow up ultrasound considering I had my son prematurely at 34 weeks and was given no reason as to why that happened. Since they were going to wait until 36 weeks to give me another ultrasound, and I was only 20 weeks at the time...this was concerning. I had an ultrasound every month with my son, but I guess this doctor does things differently. Anyway, I was frustrated because on the phone the doctor said that I can request a sooner ultrasound if I am concerned about it...but when I did it was refused. The reason being because when the uterus expands bigger, there is a chance that my placenta will move out of the way...but if they give me an ultrasound too early they can mis-diagnose it. So I have no choice but to wait.

But right now, I am trying my best to stay positive, and trying to limit my activity along with trying not to lift my 2 year old son too much.

Okay, I definitely just rambled forever about that, so let's move onto a little update about my Makena shot. In my last update, I explained what it was for but I didn't start the injection yet. I did start the injection not too long after that, and I've had 3 injections so far.

Let's move to symptoms...

Swelling- Fun! I woke up one day with pretty bad swelling on my hands/wrists. And I was worried about pre-eclampsia because my mother had pre-eclampsia with all 3 of her kids including me. So I called my doctor, but they were not concerned because I haven't had any other issues this far into my pregnancy.

Shortness of Breath- Breathing has definitely been a workout lately since baby boy is starting to get bigger and bigger each week.

Itchy-Itchy!! My belly, and boobs have been so itchy lately it's become a bother. I put lotion on about a million times a day, but it only helps me for about two minutes before it's back. So it's something I've just had to accept. Recommendations on things that can help me are welcome!!

Heartburn- It's been so bad twice that I actually threw up. Milk is the only thing that somewhat helps, and I say that because I can't take tums or any other medicine for that matter without puking. I have such a low tolerance for pills. But on the plus side, baby boy might come out with a head full of hair like his big brother did!

Soreness- I usually feel extremely sore in my pelvic area when I wake up in the morning. I'm not sure why but it's a little painful. It does go away after about a half hour of being awake, so maybe it is just the way I'm sleeping.

So Thirsty! One thing I can not seem to get enough of is water. Which is very weird for me because I absolutely hate water, and usually never drink it. But it's been the only thing I drink, besides my coffee in the morning.

So that's about it for my 30 week pregnancy update. I hope you all enjoyed. If you are reading this because you are 30 weeks pregnant, let me know if you are feeling the same way in the comments. I would love to hear. Don't forget to follow me on social media below for daily updates, and to chat with me!

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