Today is my baby girl’s 1st birthday, and I am feeling all the emotions. Sad because time flew by so quickly and she’s growing so fast, happy because she’s learning new things every single day and becoming so smart, and mostly excited to see what the future has in store for my Sweet Caroline! When I found out I was expecting a baby, my days immediately became consumed with planning and research. How much do I feed her? What do I feed her? What does that sound mean? What if I don’t know what I’m doing? And the question I asked myself the most – how will I ever balance my life and not go crazy?!
When someone tells you that a child changes your whole life, believe them. Children change your life in so many ways, but the changes made in your life are the absolute best! My first year of mom life has been challenging, but it has been oh so fun and rewarding. I thought I would share with you some tips to help you survive your first year of motherhood. I am by no means a parenting expert, and I’ll never claim to be. These things just worked for me, so maybe they can help you out too!
- Buy a planner. If you like to be organized and have a schedule, then make today the last day you live without a planner! I am obsessed with the Plum Paper planners. You can completely personalize these planners: appointments, your husband’s work schedule, feedings, sleep patterns, to-do lists, and so much more.
- Sign-up for Amazon Prime. Ordering online and having the quick shipping will save you so much time. You can order everything from Amazon: wipes, clothes, toys… you name it. When you realize at 10pm that you forgot to go buy diapers, you’ll thank me because you can order those on Amazon Prime too!
- Don’t let other people’s opinions get to you. So many people are going to be quick to tell you what you’re doing wrong, what they would do “if they were you,” and give you endless advice without you asking for it. This will happen, but it happens to everyone! Don’t let it get to you, you’re an amazing mom! The way someone else would raise your kids doesn’t effect you… you are the one raising them. Just smile and thank them for their advice.
- Get into a routine early. We have had our daughter on a schedule since the beginning, and it has helped so much! There will be a few crazy days where your routine gets thrown a curveball, but don’t worry, just get right back to it the next day. Find what works for you and your family. New babies aren’t born with a routine, so create one for them! My biggest piece of advice for your child’s schedule is to set a bedtime early enough where you can still spend time with your significant other. Which leads me to my next point…
- Don’t forget about date nights. Eighteen years from now when your baby moves out of the house and onto their newest adventures, it’s just going to be you and your significant other at home. It’s important to have date nights and spend time with your spouse without the kids so you can keep your love going strong. After all, you’re going to be the ones your children look up to as their expectations for love. Call the grandparents, your friends, your neighbor, or whomever else you feel comfortable leaving your child with for a couple of hours and go on a date! You’ll be glad you did.
- Meal prep and create a menu for the week ahead. When you’re running in late from work or you’ve been mommin’ hard all day, the last thing on your mind is what’s for dinner. Then, at the last minute, you’re ordering pizza, going through a drive-thru, or trying to throw dinner together at home and it’s SO stressful. So, take one day a week (I like Sundays) and plan dinner for the upcoming week, go grocery shopping, and prep anything you can ahead of time. The Instant Pot has become my new best friend. I can have all my ingredients ready to go, throw them in the Instant Pot, and within 30 minutes we have a delicious meal that’s wayyyy better for us than Taco Bell or McDonalds would be.
- Prepare the night before. The last thing you’ll want to do after getting the kids to bed is get ready for tomorrow. But take 5 minutes to do it and in the morning, you’ll be so glad you did! Pack the diaper bag, pick out clothes for the next day, sterilize the bottles, and anything else you can do at night instead of rushing around to do it in the morning. Doing this has saved me so much stress, and I wake up feeling refreshed and productive instead of overwhelmed!
Something you’ll never get back at the end of each day is time. Time to relax, time to read just one more bedtime story, or time to play. These are all things I find myself wanting more of. Use these tips to help you save time and live a less-stressful #momlife. I hope they are as helpful for you as they have been for me. You’ve got this, mama!