Thursday, April 18, 2013

Life as a Stay At Home Mom

*Here's the second part to my posts regarding being a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM). Read about my decision to stay at home here

Wonder what being a SAHM is like? I'll break down what life has been like by Leah's age since it has changed as she has gotten older. 


0-3 Months: The first 6 weeks was more about survival. Leah's nights and days were reversed, so she wanted to sleep all day and then was wide awake at night. We were figuring out this whole breastfeeding thing, and I pretty much stayed in sweats and a ponytail the entire time. Tears were shed from a combination of sleep deprivation and hormones. We were blessed that my parents came up a couple nights every week to cook, clean, and give us some breaks. After the first 6 weeks, things started to settle down a bit, and I was getting more comfortable in this new role. I didn't have too much of a routine in place and followed Leah's lead. The days pretty much consisted of feeding and sleeping, and we occasionally ventured out on walks. At around 2 months, Leah's naps only lasted 45 minutes each time, and it would drive me crazy.  To make up for that, however, she started to stretch out her night time sleep naturally so I was able to catch up on sleep. 


3-5 Months: Starting at 3 months, I followed a stricter routine of Eat, Play, Sleep in 3-4 hour cycles. The routine was very helpful in allowing the day to be more predictable and planned. {When baby #2 comes, I will definitely try to start this routine from day 1.} We started the cycle with a feeding, and after that we had about an hour of "play time." We scheduled play dates once a week, Gymboree twice a week, ran errands in between, and even ventured out to restaurants during that hour. That was followed by a nap. At 4 months, we decided it was time for Leah to move into her own room, and at the same time we would sleep train. Little did we know, she was totally ready to be in her crib. After two days of barely any crying, she started to take 1.5-2 hr naps, and slept through the whole night.   During her naps, I caught up on emails, showered, ate, did laundry, prepared baby food, etc. These 3-4 hour cycles actually made the day pass by pretty quickly. Before I knew it, Matt was home from work, he would play with Leah while I made dinner, and then she was off to bed. 


5 Months - Onward: At 5 months, I started noticing Leah was getting super clingy to me. I couldn't leave her side for very long without her complaining. After discussing it with Matt, we decided to put her in day care twice a week. This really helped keep me sane, and helped keep the family running a little smoother. Mondays and Thursdays, she's in day care all day. I'll go grocery shopping, do laundry, go to the gym, run any other errands, and prepare dinner. As a result, I've been able to put together nice homemade meals 3-5 days a week. Before, I just threw together anything that was in the fridge, or we got delivery. I also like to meet up with friends for lunch or get a pedicure. Leah has benefitted by having pretty good socializing skills with other kids. She is usually super sweet and loving towards them. She has also grown to be able to trust other caregivers and isn't clinging to me for dear life. 
     On non-day care days, she wakes up and immediately points to her mouth for food. I feed her breakfast, and then do an activity in the house until her nap time. When she took a morning nap, it was at 9:30am. Now at 16 months, she has transitioned to one nap from 12-2/3 pm. As a result, I am trying to plan more outside activities in the morning. These activities continue to consist of play dates, Gymboree, museums, playgrounds, meeting up with Matt for lunch, and/or running errands. I'm glad I've found a group of mommies, with children the same age as Leah, to schedule play dates, talk about all things baby, and even go out on "mommies night outs". It's pretty hilarious the topics we cover. In the afternoon, I'll take her to an indoor playground, and then head home to prepare dinner. 

Right photo by Bob Cho
That's our day to day life in a nutshell. Next week, I'll post what I've learned from this experience as a SAHM. 


6 comments:

  1. aww how sweet is that picture of Leah and the other baby hugging!

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  2. we've gotta do a playdate with our girls sometime!! xo

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  3. What a great post. My daughter (2) loves to hug others! In fact, you can't stop her. :-)

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  4. How did you find your mommy play date group?

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