• Motherhood,  Postpartum

    Mental Health Stay at Home Mom: 5 Tips to be Happier

    We do hundreds of tasks a day to keep our household running. Still there are many days where we feel like we have achieved nothing, because no matter how many loads of laundry we do in a day, there will always be more. Gratification from tyding up behind our kids isn’t as valuable for our mood as achieving personal goals. In order to feel productive we also need to we fill our days with tasks that feed our mind and soul.

    Declutter: Have less stuff

    I’ve moved 6 times in my adult life and it is a tedious job to pack and unpack all our belongings. It confronted me with what I should keep or should get rid of. Life happens when you have kids, things pile up without noticing it and a cluttered house is a cluttered mind. Free yourself of the redundant objects. I’m not saying that you have to konmari your household, but having less stuff will definitely calm the mind. . There is less to pick up, dust off and is easier to organise. If you haven’t used it in a year, you probably won’t use it in the next year. Why keep a bicycle in the garage if you are not using it? Sell it or donate it so it can fulfill its purpose again. You might want to look into Marie Kondo’s method afterall if you want some pilar guidelines to follow.

    Detox: Social Media

    We go through our facebook and instagram feed and hop from board to board on pinterest. App programmers designed it in a way to keep us scrolling and scrolling. The longer we stay on the apps, the more advertising money they make. There is always another tweet or another picture to like. Clean up your friendslist and unfollow pages you are not interested in anymore. It’s okay to delete the “friends” who are not really your friends. There is no need to waste time on it. It certainly does not make us feel better.

    Learn a New Skill

    It’s the easiest way to notice progress in yourself, might it be photography, a new cuisine or a sport. Look for a tutor that can come around your place, pick up a book on the subject or sign up for a workshop. The learning process will stimulate your brain (bye bye mommy brain fog) and fuel your creativity. Best of all is earning a sense of accomplishment and pride. Let your partner hold down the fort and go for it.

    Read a Book

    It doesn’t matter if it is a fictional novel, autobiography or a self-help book. Book readers have a sharper mind and are better at critical thinking. Reading can inspire us and challenge our views. Pick up a book and read 20-30 min before going to sleep.

    Socialize Offline

    Face to face contact make us happier, healthier and it might help us live longer! Statements made in the book “The Village Effect” by Susan Pinker. Pinker is an award-winning author and psychologist. She explains how crucial in-the-flesh contact is in a world where much of our socializing has been replaced by online networks. There might be moments where it sounds exhausting to have to make yourself presentable and fight the kids in the car seats to go out and meet a friend, but it will lift you up. Or invite a family member over to your house. You could reorganise your closets together or cook a meal. Your “village” helps you to feel loved and appreciated.

  • For Dads

    DAD GUIDE: how to give mom a break

    Hey dads! Have you heard of the hospital fantasy? It sounds kinky, but it has nothing to do with sexy doctors or sponge baths. There is a scene in the movie “Bad Moms” where an exhausted, neglected stay at home mom, played by Kirsten Bell, asks her friends if they also share her ultimate fantasy. Which is to be in a not too serious car crash that would land her in the hospital, so she would be the one to be taken care of, and she would be free to watch TV and do nothing. Relatable to moms? I high fived the screen.

    The Mental load

    Being a mom is tiering! Our super power to be light sleepers after childbirth is just a small part of it. Most importantly is that we keep mental notes of everything. We fill in weekly itineraries, come up with a healthy meal plan, which has to be followed up with a groceries list, keep up the laundry, vacuum crumbs, help out in school activities, plan doctor appointments, keep track of seasonal wardrobe changes, buy gifts for special occasions, keep track with our kids development charts, find activities for the kids to do, find the best diaper deals online, pack for lunch/swim class/holidays, clip teeny tiny fingernails and much more.

    The cycle doesn’t end. “You should’ve asked” is a comic by Emma that perfectly explains what the mental load is. We have left the 1950’s a long time ago, yet the caretaker tasks are often for the women in the household.

    Dads, it’s not entirely your fault. A lot of women feel the pressure to be the perfect multitaskers. It’s what society wants us moms to be and we moms actually feel guilty when we cannot fit 48hrs in a day. Whatever the reason is, we deserve a break. Give her some time off of having that mental load and let her know that you have got her back. We all need some alone time once in a while, undoubtedly. She can fill her cup again and this helps her to be happier and better at what she needs to do.

    Morning rush hour

    Mornings are hectic in most households, but it is a different level of play when you have preschoolers in the mix! Babies need to be changed, fed and changed again. Toddlers will fight the toothbrush/ potty/ clothes/ breakfast.

    Here are a few things that need to be done and make it easier for everyone to leave the house:

    • Pack the diaper bag. Make a list with your partner so you know what should go into the bag. Have it ready and stocked up.
    • Prepare the kids lunch bags. Stay up to date of what you are allowed to pack for school. Some schools do not allow nuts and/or sugary foods.
    • Pack snacks! Nobody wants to deal with a hangry child.
    • Prepare for the weather. Is it going to be rain gear or sun hats? Is the footmuff installed on the stroller for the strong chilly winds?
    • Wipe the kids little noses and mouths before leaving the house and we are good to go.

    Let her sleep in

    Plan it together the day before, so she has time to wake up by herself (instead of “Maaamaaa”), have a hot shower and enjoy a cup of coffee with breakfast. You could go to the shops with the kids or take them for a long walk. Or even better..

    Plan a day away with the kids

    Take the kids swimming, go to a museum or visit a park. Your partner will have time to read that book that she has on the nightstand for forever. Catch up on her favorite show. Take a nap. Or eat a bag of candies without having to lock herself in the pantry.

    Do groceries

    Make a list of what your family needs and if you are not sure which brand or version you should have, make photo’s of the items at home. Kids ran out of shampoo? Put it on the list. Not enough toast for school lunch for the next 2 days? Put it on the list. To finish the task, put away the groceries when you return home, foldaway the bags and the crates that you’ve used.

    Mealtime

    Eliminate the time you spend on your phone while mom is busy in the kitchen taking care of the warm meal. This will allow you to spend some quality time with the kids. Learn to make your children’s favorite wholesome meals. Therefore you won’t have to order take out when your partner wants to have a night out with friends. Set and clear the table with the kids. All little bits help.

    Step up

    Mothers often feel caught between wanting to direct or letting you find out how to do things yourself. The biggest help you can offer is to be present and to be hands on. Even if you are not sure how some of the things are done. The good news is that parenting is something we learn on the job. Let the experience be your teacher!