I’m a newborn and family photographer, but you’re an intelligent person, so I’m going to go ahead and assume you already knew that if you’ve made it this far. Sense the sarcasm? Hold on tight, friend. There’s more where that came from.
When I’m not cuddling newborn babies (and secretly inhaling that newborn scent), I’m most likely spending some QT with my family, dancing like no one's watching or trying to figure out how I can live inside of a J.Crew catalog - maybe even all three if I'm feeling crazy.
PREGNANCY + PARENTING TIPS
February 26, 2020
FRAZZLED is the one word I’d use to describe myself when I’m not actively pursuing intentionality and trying to simplify. And it happens easily when you’re not only taking care of yourself but other small humans as well.
I mean how easy is it to let the laundry pile up, have only peanut butter and jelly to serve for dinner and forget that it’s show and tell day at preschool. It’s easy. I would know.
Luckily, we live in an age where convenience is what all of the people are after. And if we feel so inclined, we can take advantage of those conveniences!
I’ve only been living the mom life for a little over four and a half years, but I’ve found some ways to make it run more smoothly.
Y’all. Can we just take a moment to praise Jesus that this exists in our lifetime? I’m unsure of how our parents pushed through without this.
I don’t use this quite as much anymore, but you better believe I was all about it when Callahan was a newborn and Beckett was in the thick of his terrible twos in the dead of winter. Not only did I not want to expose my newborn baby to all of the germs, but juggling both of them at the grocery store was not my idea of a good time.
Instacart made more than a few deliveries to our home in those early days, and it was so nice. It’s also truly not wildly expensive. Sure, you pay a delivery fee, but you’re also not browsing the aisles and picking up unnecessary packages of Oreos and bags of Cheetos. So I’d even venture to say that you save a dollar or two when all is said and done.
If you want to try it and get $10 off your order, use this link and treat yo’self, sister.
If you’re already out and about and want to drive up and simply have your groceries brought out to your car, you’re in luck. That’s a thing too.
Target offers free pick-up of many of their items and your local grocery store likely does the same. Once again, even if you have to pay a small fee, it’s likely worth it.
Here’s how I look at it: Would I pay someone $10 to go into the store, buy my groceries and save me the heartache of a public terrible twos meltdown in the cereal aisle? Yes, it’s definitely worth ten dollars in my opinion.
Also, when your kids are sick, these options are GOLD.
The thought of living my life without a paper planner makes my heart race. There’s just something about writing things down each day that gives me a sense of ease and ensures that said things actually get done.
Each night after I put Callahan to bed, I sit on the couch with my planner and write down what needs to happen the next day. Things as a simple as packing Beckett’s lunch for school, emailing a client, doing laundry and what we’re having for dinner all get written down.
Sure, I may be able to remember most of those things the next day as well, but writing it down and getting it out of my head helps me to sleep better. If I fail to execute on this simple step, you better believe I’ll lie in bed and make a mental list of the things I need to do… and ya know… not sleep.
There’s something about walking downstairs to a clean living room and clutter free kitchen countertops that makes the start of my day leaps and bounds better than it would be if the remnants of the previous night’s snack fest greeted me upon waking.
I know at the end of the day you’re ready to crash. Me too. But taking an extra five minutes to tidy up is so worth it.
If you’re not used to doing it and the thought of it seems overwhelming, start by making small changes. Wipe down the counters and put the dishes in the dishwasher. Fold the blankets and put them away. Arrange the pillows on the couch in a nice way. Throw the kids’ toys in a bucket before you head to bed.
Before you know it, this will become routine and you’ll be reaping the benefits of the peace and calm that comes with it.
Did you know you can have your baby’s diapers delivered to your door on a regular basis?
Unfortunately I didn’t know about this when Beckett was a baby, and I was trying to walk two city blocks pushing a stroller and carrying a box of diapers. Because that would’ve been an even nicer perk then.
Even if you’re living the suburban life, though, this is your friend. You’re not tied into a certain number of months that you have to order, and you can change the size you’re ordering at any time. And you get a discount for subscribing!
Another perk? If you subscribe to more items you need regularly (think paper towels, dish soap, laundry detergent), you save more! Convenience and savings? Sign me up.
While our house has gained numerous belongings since becoming parents, it’s also been ridded of quite a few too.
I’ll be the first to tell you that organization is not my jam. It sounds great in theory, and I love the idea of it. But executing? Eh, not my forte.
For me, the answer is to own fewer things. This applies to everything from clothes to cups to toys. And I’ll be the first to tell you that books are the exception to the rule in my life, but I digress.
And why do I do this? Because it is so much easier to get ready in the morning when I can see all of my clothes and what there is to choose from. It’s easier to keep the kitchen sink emptied of dishes when my kids don’t fill it up with 15 cups every two hours. And my kids actually play better when they have fewer toys, because they can take inventory of what they have rather than being overwhelmed by a massive pile of who knows what.
I’m not an expert purger or minimalist, but Allie Casazza is. I love her realistic and doable approach, and I’d highly encourage you to check her out if you’re looking for direction.
Also, when you own less it’s way easier to keep things nice and tidy, even if you do have kids wreaking havoc around every corner.
Listen. I’m not type A, and I’m not rigid. But having a schedule to adhere to when it comes to keeping my home life running smoothly is a must for me.
For a while I tried to do laundry only two days per a week. This, my friends, was a bad idea. I’d end up with unmanageably sized loads of laundry, and the sheer thought of it overwhelmed me.
Switching to a Monday, Wednesday, Friday laundry schedule made it so much easier. A couple of small loads get thrown in, washed, dried and folded and voila! Everyone has clean clothes and Mom doesn’t want to gauge her eyeballs out. Win win!
I’ve witnessed people go about this successfully in two different ways. First, I’ll talk about what works for me.
Friday is my house cleaning day. I dust, vacuum, clean the bathrooms and all of the other miscellaneous things on this day. Some weeks it’s more thorough than others, but either way, it’s my designated Friday activity.
I also know that many people prefer to break it up over the course of a week. For instance, on Mondays they clean the bathrooms. Tuesdays are designated for dusting, Wednesdays for cleaning the kitchen, Thursdays for vacuuming and Friday for mopping.
I prefer the former simply because I’d rather reserve one chunk of time during my week to knock it out. I’m also really into the two minutes after I’m done when my house is totally clean. It may only be two minutes, but it’s a good feeling while it lasts.
Simplifying things not only makes our lives as moms easier, it makes them more enjoyable. It creates time and space to enjoy and soak in the fleeting moments rather than frantically going about our days trying to survive. Because even though parenthood is not easy, there’s still so much joy and goodness to reap from it.
Morgan Williams Photography 2017
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