Being a mom is hard work. It’s incredibly fulfilling, but it can also be incredibly draining as well. Add working from home on top of caring for a baby and whoa, things just got a little trickier. Here are some tips for staying sane that I’ve learned over the past seven + a half months:
Ask for help. For so long, I resisted asking for help from others. I had this terribly backwards mindset that if I asked for help, it meant that I was admitting weakness. Ha! Well, the joke was on me. Ever since we moved closer to family and friends, I’ve been taking others up on their offers to watch Briar and in turn, have not only felt better about my workload, but about my mental state as well. I also think the stimulation Briar gets from other people and other environments is good for her! After all, I’m sure she’s tired of seeing my face 24/7. I’m not ashamed to admit that I need my tribe.
Combine efforts (but not too much). There’s a certain glorification to being able to do ten things at once…and I don’t buy into it. That being said, there are certain ways to “combine efforts” (if you will) in order to make myself and Briar happy at the same time. For example, I’ve learned to answer emails while pumping. Listen to inspiring podcasts while taking the baby for a walk. Wear Briar in the Ergo or the Boba wrap while shooting photos. And when necessary, nap when the baby naps (and eat when the baby eats, and do laundry when the baby does laundry ;)).
Capitalize on nap time. From about five and a half months on, Briar has been taking consistent daily naps. Each day is a little different; sometimes she takes one nap, sometimes she takes three. But no matter the quantity, the girl is finally napping for at least an hour every single day. After so many months of infrequent power naps and no semblance of a schedule, I almost didn’t know what to do with myself when she started napping everyday! Initially, I kept anticipating that she would wake up after twenty minutes and we would be back at square one (feeding, entertaining, not getting work done). But now I’m beginning to really capitalize on that time to myself and use it for good.
Work out. Whether I make it to the gym or I simply take Briar for a brisk walk around the neighborhood, being active is still one of my favorite ways to burn off stress and get refocused. It’s all too easy to put off exercise when there are e-mails to be written, dishes to be washed, and toys to be picked up. But to me, exercise is a non-negotiable. I need that release or else…bad news bears (just ask my husband).
Let it go. There are many things I will not accomplish at this stage of life. I may never fully tackle my inbox. I may forget about projects and deadlines. I may go a week without blogging. I may make stupid mistakes that I wouldn’t have made pre-baby. I may not be making as much money as I possibly could. I may never strike a balance between working and raising a baby at the same time. I’m slowly learning to give myself grace and accept the fact that I am doing the best than I can do at this stage of life.
Whether you work from home or you leave the house everyday, how do you stay sane?