Spending Time at Home : The Art of Slowing Down

Spending Time at Home

I don’t know about you but as a stay at home mom being at home can be daunting.  Being home, 7 days a week can be not only lonely but can make the days drag on.  Things become the same old same old and you become bored. So, you over compensate, right? You schedule to go out to eat, spend time with family, go to the zoo, and the list goes on and on! You avoid spending time at home in hopes to feel less contained and monotonous.

So where is the medium? How do you enjoy slowing down without going crazy? How do you make the decision to intentionally slow down and spend time at home. 

The Art of Slowing Down

We (my family and I) somehow got caught up in rushing around (to no where), always having plans and over scheduling A LOT.  I always hear the song  I’m in a Hurry (and I Don’t Know Why) by Alabama when I am feeling this way.. is that just me? Okay any who back to the point.  We were trying to not feel bored and ended up feeling something worse.

I noticed a change while we were over scheduled.  My family felt disconnected.  We were “doing,” all these things how could we feel so disconnected… Although fun: the zoo, family visits and going here and there, they were draining us.  It was/is time-consuming.  It’s time in the car, loading and unloading.  It’s chasing Killian in environments that aren’t baby proofed.  It was taking its toll.

How to slow down

I would say like any good thing, slowing down takes practice and being intentional! My husband and I are pretty open when it comes to how we are feeling.  So when we both looked at each other after a few MONTHS of running ourselves ragged we knew something had to change.

Step 1- be intentional with one block of time. Getting started takes one small commitment.  What can you commit to one day, one weekend, one afternoon?  Start there.

So, we started small with something manageable, one weekend.  That’s it.  That’s how it got started, one small weekend. We agreed that the majority of that weekend we needed to be at home.  We had only scheduled to have one small family lunch and we stuck to that but that was it.  The rest of the time we had to be home.

Now what?

Now you have decided one, that your family and you need a slow down.  Going and going has somehow brought you to this point and you have agreed to spend time at home, slowing down with each other.

Great!  Now the easy part- do it! Just be at home.

Our weekend at home was absolutely not Instagram grid worthy.  We didn’t sit in matching outfits, cooking in our perfect kitchen laughing all weekend.  We just spent time in our home with each other.

It sounds so simple and maybe not impressive but it made such an impact on us. Staying at home and tinkering around the house was awesome. We were amazed at how:

  1. long our weekend felt versus being out and about.
  2. much stuff we got done without even trying.
  3. many meals we ate at home, together, and at the table.
  4. relaxed we felt, even while getting things done that were over due.

Making the choice to spend time at home just that one weekend helped reset the dynamic in our family for the week to come.

But staying at home is boring…

So, I know some of you are thinking this right now as you read this post.  Spending time at home doesn’t have to be boring.  Like I said any good thing takes practice and being intentional! Just agreeing to start is a huge step.  If a whole weekend feels like too much, especially being a SAHM then pick a smaller time frame.  Maybe, just one Saturday you agree to spend time in your home.

Trust me, not having plans can lead to some of the best memories BUT if you need plans here are a few staying home activity ideas that will help you slow down, connect and still be together as a family.

These are just a few activities that could help you reconnect as a family in your home.

Make a plan to schedule unscheduled time

Once you commit to spending time at home schedule to do it again. Be intentional!  Commit to whatever you feel like you can handle and to what you think your family needs.

We started with one weekend and have talked about making a three-day commitment.  My husband works in the evenings so for us staying home in the mornings can be hard because it’s when we get our ‘running around done.’

BUT

This is also what seems to drain us and make us feel like we haven’t connected.  For us three days a week at home is what we need to feel like we are balanced.  Find your balance and try to stick with it.

So, let’s review

  1. Make the decision to slow down.
  2. Talk about what that needs to look like.
  3. Commit to what works for your family.
  4. Make a plan to not make plans!
  5. Be intentional practice slowing down during those committed chunks of time.

LASTLY! Leave me a comment and let me know how you’re doing with it!

I would love to hear all about your ‘boring days at home and how they are going!!

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15 Things I Wish Someone Would Have Told Me When I Was Pregnant

15 things I wish someone who have told while I was pregnant

If you have ever been pregnant then you know this feeling (and if not you are very lucky).

You just found out you were pregnant or just announced that you were and you except everyone to be so happy with you but…. no.  Some people instead meet your excitement with comments like:

“You know you will never sleep again.”

“Kiss your social life good bye.”

“Your life if over.” etc.

I hope you didn’t have to hear negative comments but if you did or you are hearing them I want you to know something….

Motherhood is AMAZING!

It’s unlike anything you have ever done and there is nothing that can prepare you for the love that you will feel for this little tiny human that YOU made.

I have never understood why people feel the need to rain on new parent’s parades.  Parenthood has been so much more than I could have ever fathomed.  You are constantly learning.  Whether you are learning things about yourself, your partner or your child it’s a learning experience.  Everyday is something new you have never experienced before!

Of Course It Is Hard

Parenthood, like anything else is life is hard.  Of course there are things about it that can suck from time to time.  But let’s be honest if you have ever been around a child you knew going into this parent thing, it wasn’t always going to be sunshine and rainbows.

You don’t need to hear how much lack of sleep can suck, you need to hear that baby cuddles at 2 am make up for the lack of sleep.  You don’t need to hear “your social life is over.”  You need to hear that taking your little to new places is so amazingly fun.  There are so many negative things I could sit here and type for you.  Details of those days that have been so so hard as a new mom.  But has a new mom you need SUPPORT.  You need ENCOURAGEMENT.  You need to know YOU ARE GOING TO BE AMAZING!

So…

If you are a new mom or mom to be know this, it. is. amazing. This is the best adventure you will ever go on.  You will never be the same again. Once you see that little human staring back at you, you will know how amazing it is.  Everything you do now you will do with your baby in mind.  You will WANT to put them first (most of the time).  You will want the best for them and you will be fight tooth and nail to make sure they get it.  You might not get 8 hours of sleep, or have freshly washed hair everyday or be able to run out whenever you want but know this, it’s worth everything you are sacrificing.

And if you are already a mom, be kind!  Remember your own excitement when you were pregnant for the first time.  Tell those new moms you run into about all the joy they will feel, all the love and pure excitement that comes from being a parent.

And if you can’t….. then don’t say anything at all.  Don’t steal their joy.

 

What would you like new moms to know that no one told you about when you were pregnant?

 

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Teething Bites: Our Tools For Surviving Teething

Teething Bites: Our Tools For Surviving Teething

Teething Bites: Our Tools For Surviving Teething

*This post contains affiliate links.

Warning!  This post contains some cold hard truth about teething.

Let’s get honest about teething IT SUCKS!  I am not one to be a Debbie downer about this awesome journey through parenthood.  I love my job, even when my tiny human is cranky BUTTTT goodness teething is not for the faint of heart.

My son popped his front two bottom teeth at the same time the week of Thanksgiving.. We DIDN’T EVEN KNOW!  He never got cranky or refused to sleep, NOTHING. So, being the blissfully naive parents that we are (as most new parents are) we thought ‘Hey this teething this is not as hard as everyone said it’d be.’

Boy were we WRONG

My son has been cutting his front two teeth plus another one on the top. Y’all it has NOT been fun. My son has not slept a full night in his own bed in almost a MONTH.  He hasn’t slept a full 6 hours in almost as long.  If you are going through teething with your little one, know that you are AMAZING for surviving each day!  Seriously, between the lack of sleep, the whimpering throughout the day and the screaming any mom who has been through teething and survived to tell their story, you ROCK.

Okay so some of that might have been a bit on the dramatic side but has been so much harder than I thought.  And my husband and I have learned some trick along the way that have helped make this really hard time just a little easier.  Even on the worst days at least one thing on this list has given me a few seconds of peace.

The Tools

Here is the list of things that have helped us and how we used each one.  Before you read this list know that every baby is different. I am no expert and this is what has worked for us and hopefully at least some of it will be helpful for you.

The list

Baby Food Feeders

Even if you don’t have a teething baby I highly recommend these.

These things are AMAZING.  When my son started teething he didn’t have much interest in those frozen teething rings but I knew that he needed something cool on his gums to make him more comfortable.
One day I found these in the kitchen.  My mom had given me some that my nephew never got to use and I had hidden them away.  At first, if I am being honest, I had no idea what they were for.  So like any good mom, I called my mom haha.  She explained they had used them for teething and you could put whatever you wanted inside for baby to chew on. Anything?  So the next trip to the grocery I got a big bag of frozen mangoes and stuff one of these suckers full.  My son LOVED it.  He was so happy if only for a few mins.  He was getting some fruit and the frozen fruit was numbing his gums.  It was a win, win.

Now that we have been using them for a while there are some pros and cons to both sets that we have.  The ones with the netted material are nice because they are larger. Meaning I can get more fruit in there which equals less running back and forth to the freezer. BUT they are also a tad bit messier.  Which is why I like the plastic ones with the caps when we are out and about.  They hold less food but are cleaner for when my son is already dressed but still needs something cold on his gums.   Both are really nice to have and have helped us tremendously!

Frozen Fruit

Now that you know all about they baby food feeder you also know you need something to put in them.  For us it’s frozen fruit.  When I go to the grocery I get a big bag of frozen fruit for around $3.  The first time we tried it I got a bag of mangoes.  Frozen Mangoes are nice because they make almost zero mess.  They won’t dye his face and they don’t have seeds.  They are really nice for when we are out and about because he won’t end up covered in fruit.

After he ate through a whole bag of mangoes we tried a variety bag of mangoes, bananas, strawberries.  Again, mangoes are the bomb.  My son loved all the fruits but bananas and strawberries work better in the netted ones because he can’t pull bigger chucks of food out like in can in the plastic ones.

We have also tried blueberries, pineapples and raspberries.  My only warning is make sure you don’t use a fruit that will stain their face if you are out and about 🙂

Ibuprofen

I’m not a huge fan of using medication if I can use something natural BUT my little guy has been in so much pain. You know that cry that breaks your heart… yeah we were to that point.

So when we took him for his 9 month check up the doctor looked at his gums and said “ow.” Even she could see his whole top gum was swollen. She suggested we use ibuprofen instead of Tylenol. We had been using Tylenol for about a week and honestly it wasn’t helping much. I thought he’d out grown his dosage but the doctor said his dosage was right. So we bought ibuprofen and tried that.

What. A. Difference. Not only does ibuprofen last longer than Tylenol it helps with the swelling. As soon as we switch we finally saw some relief for him. Ibuprofen has become a tool in my bag of tricks for teething and although we don’t like to use medication much when your child is in pain you’ll try it all.

Frozen Teething Toys

As I said before my son didn’t take to these at first. Everyone always asked if we used them or if we had them when he was cranky. We do/and did have them he just doesn’t always like them. There is one that he really likes that I will suggest though, Tomy | The first years has this plastic teething ring you can freeze and he uses this one a lot.

Although this is one of the only ones he will use, I didn’t want to leave teething rings off the list because I know they work for most babies. And this one works for my little guy. These are definitely worth having in your bag of tricks.

Gum Brush

Another item I didn’t know anything about until my son started teething. These things are great. We buy this pack  it has a gum cleanser you can use but that little plastic brush is the life saver.

You just put the little brush on your finger and you can massage their gums. If you use Orajel these brushes are a nice way to apply it. Again, we don’t use Orajel a lot but when push comes to shove we will.

 

Patience

Cliche as it sounds… patience!  Teething is hard for everyone.  And after a few days your patience are shot, you’re running on no sleep (#teamnosleep) and you are wondering how you going to keep going until those teeth come in.  You can do this.  Especially you new mamas who had no idea how bad teething could get, you got this.  Cuddle your little one, enjoy those naps when all they want is to be held and know that this is also a season that will pass.  One day we will look back and long for those cranky, sleepy hugs and they will be all grown up.  You can do this!

 

What are some of the teething tricks that have worked for your family?  I would love to hear all about it

 

Lots of Love,

Lena

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