Breastfeeding, Pregnancy and Housework OH MY! My SAHM Update

SAHM
I’ve had the privilege of staying at home with my girls full time for the last four months. While life has been busy, it truly has been rewarding and lots of fun. It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to have my family and home be my main focus and responsibility. Many people believe the myth that being a SAHM means you get to lounge around all day, talk on the phone and eat snacks; where anyone would get such a ridiculous idea I have no clue!! For me being a SAHM means serving my husband and my children and taking care of home full time without the responsibility of full time outside work. Being a SAHM is work that I LOVE and ADORE doing most of the time but don’t get it twisted, it IS WORK.

Our girls are 2 1/2 and 8 months and it’s so cool to watch them grow and learn new things right before my eyes. Of course there is the constant challenge of learning to balance time with my husband, playing, teaching and disciplining the girls and getting things done around the house. Some days the laundry or the dishes don’t get done and I have to learn to be okay with that.

MOM

To ensure that I get rest and stay sane, I wake my girls up early so that they can be tired at a decent time for a nap and have an early bed time. There’s lots of cooking, cleaning, bathing, playing, disciplining, teaching, cuddling, bathing, tickling, reading and arts and crafts going on throughout the day. I start my day running and by the end of some days I haven’t eaten much, my hair never left my scarf and my body is aching but I go to bed still grateful for the chance to be at home and not in the work force.

BOY

Last November, my husband and I were surprised and overjoyed to find out that we were expecting another baby. Our youngest daughter was four months at that time. In the midst of my shock and mixed emotions, my awesome husband was happy and very encouraging. My husband reminded me that God was with us, we were a great team and everything would be fine. Now I am almost five months pregnant and everything with baby and I has been great. This week we found out that we’re expecting a baby boy!! We’re over the moon excited to welcome our son into our family this July.

To many people’s surprise, Elaina and I still have a great nursing relationship. It IS possible to nurse while pregnant. For me, nursing while pregnant hasn’t been any different from when I nursed my oldest daughter Elyssa. Many people, including one doctor, told that me that my milk would dry up soon after pregnancy and Elaina would refuse my milk but so far neither of those things have happened thank God. I believe that God will give me peace about when to wean her. My prayer is that she and I will both be okay with weaning when the time comes and it will be a smooth transition before our son is born.

The everyday challenges of being a SAHM plus being pregnant, nursing a baby and chasing a toddler makes for some very interesting, tiring days. But I most say that it hasn’t been as challenging as I thought it would be and I give all glory to God for that. God continues to give me the grace, energy, joy and wisdom needed to care for the girls and stay rested and healthy for myself and my son. The days that I have energy I pick different projects to do like cooking multiple meals, clean the house, do laundry etc, and the days that I don’t have energy, I care for the girls and make sure we’re all feed and safe lol. My husband is a great cook and has lots of patience so when I’m tired and short tempered, he steps in, cooks and cares for the girls while I rest. It’s a HUGE blessing to have a spouse who is helpful and selfless with a kind heart. I love you Eddie Willis III and I thank God for you!!!!!

As moms we go through different seasons in life, sometimes we work inside the home and sometimes we work outside the home; there isn’t a right or a wrong regarding this in my opinion. Being a SAHM is not for everyone and I would never say that all women should stay home with their children. Being at home full time requires a certain amount of grace and patience that I believe only God can give and it’s not for everyone! I have my Masters in Counseling and I know that my career days are not over. I love counseling others, helping them overcome obstacles and reach their goals. Let me just say that I loved my job. I was a Social Worker for nine years and I believed in the work that we did to help our community. The last year that I was working, I felt that the time was drawing near for me to close that chapter of my life for a period and start a new one. Now instead of heading to meetings and conducting sessions with families, I’m watching the clock to keep my girls on their schedule, helping them grow, learn and conducting playdates and I LOVE IT!

I’m finding that I have more time and energy for my husband which is awesome. On his off days, we spend time together with our children and without them. As I mentioned earlier, my hubby is a hands on husband and dad and he makes sure he helps around the house and with the girls. (He’s always fixing something to save us money. It pays to have a husband whose good with his hands!) He also pushes me to go out and take some “me time” or hang out with my girlfriends often. As you can imagine with me not having to deal with the stress and politics that come with working outside the home and him helping around the house, things have been pretty hott in the bedroom!!! That’s evident by our current bun in the oven! We’re a young happily married couple and we make time to enjoy one another! We’re determined not to get caught up in work and children and never take time to talk, laugh or love on one another. I desire him and he desires me. Team Willis all the way baby!!

I love photography and this past December I started my own business called J. Victoria Photography. I’ve worked with some amazing people and children and I’m having lots of fun! I’m still developing my skill and learning the business but I’m enjoying the process! I created a studio inside my home so I get to work from home doing a few sessions a week and it’s something I love doing so that’s really cool! I want my clients to have a great experience and receive good quality pictures at an affordable price. I’d love for my readers to “like” my J. Victoria Photography Facebook page and if you’re in Michigan, message me about our promotions and packages, please visit https://www.facebook.com/Jvictoriaphotography

If you’re a stay at home mom please be encouraged. I know some days you may not feel appreciated, hubby may not say thank you and the children may behave like wild animals, but tomorrow will be better. We must continue to seek our Heavenly Father and thank Him for providing us the chance to be home for this season and ask Him to continue to equipt us with everything we need while we are in it. Remember, you ARE a great mom and you ARE doing an awesome job!!!

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Salute To All The Modern Day Homemakers

Shout out to the modern-day homemakers who are holding it down. We may not make all of our dishes from scratch, make our own clothes and then wash them by hand BUT we are modern-day career women, wives and mothers and were doing an awesome job. Keep up the great work ladies (single, married and all the mothers) Be encouraged and know that your efforts are not going unnoticed! You all do all of these things listed below and so much more! I pray joy, peace, energy, wisdom, love and prosperity for each of you!

Shout out to all the moms who:   

*make sure their children eat healthy meals.  

 *take an active role in their children’s education.   

 *who keep their children on a schedule/routine in order to provide them with   structure.    

*play trucks and Barbies with their children even when their tired.     

  *provide their children with opportunities to get exercise.      

  *teach their children about God and keep them involved in children’s church and youth group activities.       

 *who role model for their children how to be godly ladies and gentlemen.        

 *utilize self-care and take time for themselves, hobbies and gifts/talents.      

Shout out to all the wives who: 

  *hold down the majority of the grocery shopping and cooking. 

 *keep their house clean whether they work inside or outside of the home.  

 *serve their husbands with a cheerful heart and good attitude.    

*make time for recreational companionship.     

*respect their husbands and work hard to walk out 1 Peter 3 and Proverbs 31.      

*meet their husbands sexual needs even when their tired or busy because they understand the importance of coming together as husband and wife.     

*love sex and are unashamed and uninhibited in the bedroom.       

*those that take time for themselves and their hobbies and gifts/talents and utilize self-care.

Shout out to all the single women who: 

 *are holy, fashionable and fabulous.   

  *keep steady jobs and are working towards meeting their career goals.  

 *who keep their house clean and organized.        

 *know how to cook or are learning to cook delicious meals.     

*are preparing themselves spiritually, emotionally and financially for their future husband.      

 *are serving at their churches and working hard to be the best at what God has called them to be.      

 *are confident and love themselves regardless as to whether they have a man or not.       

 *celebrate their singleness and know how to have good clean fun!       

 *utilize self-care and take time for themselves, hobbies and gifts/talents.      

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Superwoman: Tips On Multitasking the Right Way

As women, we do a lot! We often have to jungle the kids, cooking, cleaning, talking on the phone and doing the laundry, all at the same time. I have mastered the art of multitasking! I am all about time management! On Saturday mornings, I soak my dishes in the sink, sort the dirty clothes, start the laundry, wash the dishes while the load is washing, talk to my mom or BFF on the phone and have the breakfast cooking on the stove. Oh and I have the bathrooms prepped with Ajax and cleanser so that the bathrooms will be ready to be cleaned when the time comes. This may sound like a lot but it makes me happy to get it all done in a reasonable amount of time. If my honey’s home he’ll help me out but often he works on Saturdays.

I believe that women are better multitaskers than men. As women, we have to move fast and be productive at home with our time because we have lots to do. Thank God for supportive husbands but we still need our multitasking skills! I don’t think men’s brains allow them to do more than 1-2 things at a time. Women do the dishes and clean the kitchen while they cook, men often times don’t clean while they cook. A woman could fold clothes, play with her baby, watch TV and talk on the phone at the same time, many husbands couldn’t do that. Women move fast around the house when company’s on their way, men spend time deep cleaning one room! Often times men need to focus and get things done one at a time. There’s nothing wrong with that, I’m just pointing out the differences.

All the articles that I read on multitasking spoke about the importance of slowing down and doing each task effectively one at a time. These tips can help with work at home or the office. Women, let’s utilize are husbands and other support in our lives more often so that we aren’t burnt out and overwhelmed. Just because we can do everything doesn’t mean we should.

Seymour’s Inside Career Report

Multitasking the Right Way
Tips for juggling multiple tasks effectively

Find your balance.
 
Switching your attention rapidly among projects and people, when done wisely, is stimulating. It adds variety to your day and can help keep you engaged and even increase productivity. However, when the juggling gets out of hand, multitasking can trigger obsessive extremes that become overwhelming and make you inefficient. Strike a balance and find your own comfort zone regarding your duties and obligations. Use your strengths, but also know your limits.

Know when it’s appropriate.

It’s vital to recognize when a certain task requires your undivided attention. When your full attention should be on a single urgent or important task, multitasking is not appropriate and will likely affect the quality of your work on the urgent task. Save multitasking for non-urgent tasks. 

Organize in advance. 

Being organized is essential to effective multitasking. Before leaving work at the end of the day, list all the tasks to be accomplished the next day so you can hit the ground running in the morning. Prioritize your list and check off each task as you complete it.

Manage your time. 

Use a desk organizer to keep track of appointments and deadlines. Make use of a speaker phone or headset to free your hands to do other things while you talk. Stop multitasking and concentrate on a single task for at least 20 minutes throughout the day to allow time to re-energize. Don’t automatically shift your attention to the most recent ‘nanotask’ that crosses your desk.

Get unplugged.

Disruptions are inevitable throughout the day, but don’t let cell phones or pagers waste your time. Bundle non-urgent tasks, such as checking e-mails or returning phone calls, and do them at certain times of the day. When you’re in a meeting, unplug to avoid distractions.

Delegate. 

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking “I can do it quicker and better.” Learn to delegate, giving specific instructions and setting realistic deadlines. No matter how proficient you are at multitasking, anyone can be a victim of burnout, and it’s also easier to make mistakes when your brain is on constant overload.

With greater workloads, fewer personnel and longer workweeks, the tendency to cram too many tasks into the workday is hard to resist. But do so at your own risk. Unless multitasking is done effectively and when appropriate, over the long term it can create excessive stress, reduce productivity, and take the fun out of work.

http://www.spherion.com/careers/Seymour_%20Multitasking-June07.jsp

Superwoman:How to Balance Being a Wife and a Mother

I woke up this morning to the news that two more of my friends were expecting babies. We now know of 14 couples planning to expand their families this year. God is good and I’m so excited for them!! As I sat and thought about all of the joys of motherhood, I started to think about the extra responsibilities that motherhood/parenthood brings and how wives find the time to balance it all. This is not to take away from the husbands because they work hard also. In this post, I’m  speaking of some of the things wives typically take care of and how they come to balance it all.

In the last two years, I have discovered that being a wife is so much fun and also a lot of work. To be blessed to wake up next to the love of my life, my best friend, whom I love and trust everyday, is an awesome thing. Thank you Lord!! The reality is, as a wife, there are many added responsibilities that I did not have when I was single and living at home with my parents. (cooking everyday, cleaning an entire house, doing laundry for more than myself, sharing my time, money, body, ministry, career and dreams with my wonderful husband) My husband does help with the cooking and cleaning but it is my responsiblity to make sure they get done if he is unable to help. By no means am I complaining about being a wife, I absolutely love it and wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. I am simply stating the facts for those that think marriage is only about loving making and having fun with your spouse.

Now to think about adding a little one to the equation, in the future, presents me with a little anxiety. How does one balance it all? My mom worked full-time, took great care of my younger brother and I, along with the help of my father. My father also worked full-time and was a hands on parent. My parents also served in many different ministries at my childhood church. My parents also took in my cousin and raised her for a few years. My mom has always been a gracious Proverbs 31 woman. She has always supported my dad in his business ventures, pushed my brother and I to do well in school and she found time to take care of herself and enjoy her life also.  She’s currently in school to get her Masters. I am so proud of my mom and I am forever grateful for the sacrifices that she and my dad made to raise us.

Things I observed about being a wife and mother from watching my mom growing up:

1) Have good time management

2) Keep groceries in the house and cook healthy meals for your family

3) Spend time teaching your children about God and the bible. Put in your children, your values and beliefs. Don’t let the media teach your children. Also lead my example; live by what you preach.

4) Get a babysitter and go out on dates with your husband often

5) Give time to the ministry, serve in a department you love

6) Keep yourself up, always look nice for your husband and yourself

7) Let your husband be the head of your household

8 Remain a team when it comes to parenting the children

9) Stay firm and consistent with your discipline

10) Go on family trips together. Spend more time with your family then hanging out with your friends.

11) Invest in your children’s education.

 I googled “balance between being a wife and a mother,” and a short article by Dawn Hawkins popped up. The tips she mentioned are simple, but I found them to be helpful.

How to Balance Being a Wife and a Mother

By Dawn Hawkins

Parenting is a difficult job at times. Being a parent means that you have to put some things off in order to do what the children need from you. There are some things that shouldn’t be put off though. Being a wife is one of them. A woman needs to learn how to be a good wife and good mother at the same time. The two roles are completely different but sometimes we let our parenting role overshadow our married role.

Here are some ways to balance parenting with being a wife:

After Kids Are In Bed

After the kids go to bed, spend some time with your husband. Change from your old raggedy robe into a sexy nighty. Cuddle with your man and let him know that you are still very interested in him. It might be hard to do that sometimes. Being a mother can wear you out. Women have a habit of letting themselves go a little when they have children. Don’t let this happen. Keep yourself well groomed. Put some make-up on and be flirty with your husband, even if you don’t always feel like it.

Find a Sitter

One of the best ways to balance being a wife and being a parent is to have “dates” with your husband. Find a sitter and go out with your husband. Go to dinner and the movies or go to a party. It doesn’t matter where you go, just go with your husband and without your children. Every couple needs time away from their children to spend time alone together. Don’t talk about the kids while you are out either. This is a night to spend with your husband.

Be Respectful

Be respectful of your husband at all times. Your nerves can be really wound up if the kids have been going crazy. Don’t let this disturb your relationship with your husband. In other words, don’t take out your bad day on him. Give your husband respect and love even if your head is about to explode. Many couples’s problems start because they let the pressures of everyday life get to them. Don’t be a statistic.

Don’t Fight Over the Kids

One of the main rules for balancing parenting with a marriage is to never fight over the children. Sit down and talk about the children. Come to an agreement about what should happen when one of them gets out of line. Work together, not against each other.

It can be difficult, but you can do it. Learning how to balance being a parent and being a wife is one of the best lessons you will ever learn. It can save your marriage. Don’t let children come between what you have. You had children to enhance your life together, not to tear it apart.

http://www.helium.com/items/1713451-how-to-balance-between-parenting-and-being-a-wife

***QUESTION: Was anything on Dawn’s list helpful to you? If you are a wife and a mother, what tips do you have for wives that are pregnant or considering motherhood regarding balancing it all***