In addition to the pure joy a baby brings, there are a few very key things that make being a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM) a bit easier. These are the ones that I have found to be the life savers:
1. A programmable coffee maker. It's 7am. You were up 2, 3, maybe 4 times during the night with your sweet bundle, and it just hurts to get out of bed. But then you remember, you (or your very thoughtful husband) got the coffee ready the night before and now it's waiting for you, fresh, hot, and ready for consumption. And all of a sudden getting out of bed doesn't seem so bad. This was not me this morning because we forgot to get the coffee ready last night. So I had to go down to a freezing kitchen (why still so cold, MN?) this morning and then sit there and wait for my coffee to finish brewing. I know, I know, #firstworldproblems
2. A smartphone. I have written most of this post on my smartphone because my baby loves the computer and I can't use it in front of him or he has conniption fits trying to get to it. He used to feel the same way about my phone and I had to hide that from him as well, but he's over it now, moved on to bigger and better things.
The smartphone is something I feel slightly conflicted about. Being home all day can get lonely, so things like Facebook and Instagram become means of socialization, windows to the outside world. I also keep books on my phone and apps for reading scripture and doing the Liturgy of the Hours. But I don't want to be always on my phone. I also don't want Johnny to see me always on my phone. I would like him to see me reading books, actual paper books. I know that E-readers are the future, or even the present? I know that they are super convenient. But the part of me that should have been born 100 years ago loves holding a book made of paper, feeling the pages, writing notes in the margin with a pencil. And I want Johnny to love books. I also want him to be creative and imaginative. I want to engaged him while we're home together. So I try to keep the phone usage to a minimum unless Johnny is happily playing with some toys, or if he has fallen asleep. Smartphones are great for when you've got a sleeping babe in your arms who will wake up if you try to put him down.
3. Good hygiene products. I know it's a big stereotype that SAHMs never shower, but for this mama, it is pretty true. Some moms I know are great about showering on a daily basis. For me however, it is very difficult. I would either have to get up at 6 each day, (not going to happen) or shower before bed (I hate doing that, what a complete waste of first-day clean hair). So I shower on the weekends and I usually get up early on Wednesdays for a midweek shower. What do I do all the days in between? I use this deodorant from Weleda. Get it discounted at Vitacost. It's great and it literally smells like a gin and tonic, so it's like happy hour all day long. Kind of. I also use this really great dry shampoo. My sister, who happens to be my hair stylist, introduced me to this a while back and it is hands down my favorite hair care product. Just brush your hair, spray it in, do a little back-combing, and you'll look like you came straight from the beauty parlor. If these two things aren't getting the job done I put on some lipstick. It's hard not to feel put together whilst wearing lipstick.
4. Mamas' Groups. I believe that whatever it is you are doing in life, you need a good support system. I think women need to support each other; and I think moms especially need to support each other. It doesn't replace the support we get from our husbands or parents. But there's something very special about the fellowship of women who are raising their children together. I am very blessed to have so many great moms in my circle of friends who I get to do life with and be encouraged by. Hearing their experiences makes me feel like I'm not in this alone. They've been there, done that. Or are currently doing it. Teething, diaper rash, introducing solids, problems with sleep, even if no one has a good solution just being heard and hearing someone say, "Yes, we have gone through that", makes mothering feel more normal and much more doable.