5 things I've learnt
It’s funny how much you have to learn - and quickly - when you become a stay at home parent. I’ve realised how hard a transition it can actually be. Especially as a male.
Having a newborn baby throws regular routine out the window completely. Having two of them makes things even more crazy, throw in a 20 month old toddler and by now most people would be running for the hills!
So even though the first three to four months as an at home parent were pretty blurry, here are my top 5 things I learnt during that time:
- Having a clean house keeps you sane
- There is no set time to take a shower, it’s whenever you can fit it in, if you can even fit one in
- You must be good at planning, then open to changing those plans completely
- Finding support is important, whether it be family, friends or a coffee group
- Always have the baby bag packed and ready to go
Having a clean house keeps you sane
What I mean by this is that if you want to keep some of your sanity, make sure you keep you house as clean as time will allow. I mean clean, but not necessarily tidy. Having young kids is something akin to living in a war zone. There are toys strewn everywhere, food and drink spills, vomit and toilet accidents. Unless you have a nanny, keeping everything tidy all of the time is nigh on impossible. But you can do little things to keep it clean. For me, that means making sure the carpet is vacuumed, the bed is made and the bathroom is clean. As long as those three things are done, it doesn’t matter how much mess the kids make, I feel like I’m winning.
There is no set time to take a shower, it’s whenever you can fit it in, if you can even fit one in
Every time I mention this one to a mum, I get a knowing nod. My routine has been roughly the same for the last 12 years, get up sometime after 6am and have a shower. Now, as soon as I wake up, I’m getting one kid dressed, her bag ready and breakfast into her tummy. It’s off to kindy for her and back home to feed and change the twins. But you’re tired and routine isn’t completely established. So as gross as it seems, some days, personal grooming is at the bottom of the to do list.
You must be good at planning, then open to changing those plans completely
It may be a dinner party, a coffee group, a birthday or a walk to the shops. When you have kids you need to be good at planning or else you’ll never leave the house! But as good as your plans are, be ready to drop or change them completely. Kids get sick or tired or grumpy or they hurt themselves or you realise you forgot to pack nappies…the list goes on. If you can’t learn to accept that, you’ll live a life of eternal frustration.
Finding support is important, whether it be family, friends or a coffee group
I’ve heard people say “I don’t need support, I’m pretty independent and can do it on my own.” Well if I’d try to it on my own all the time, I’d have burnt out by now. I’m lucky, I’ve had family support and a twins coffee group and that I’ve been able to make friends with the mums there. (That’s a post for another day!) But whether it’s family, friends or others, having people to talk to or help out keeps you sane. Especially in the first few months. (You miss the adult interaction.)
Always have the baby bag packed and ready to go
I discovered early on that leaving the house for an extended period of time with all three kids required no less than an hours preparation. Making sure I had bottles, formula, changes of clothing for accidents, changes of clothing for weather, toys, nappy supplies, food for kids, food for me, wallet, keys, phone, water bottle, special things you need to take to your destination, blankets, books or ipad…you get the idea. If you have the baby bag packed and ready to go, you cut down the prep time, and cut down the worry that you’ve forgotten something. Note: I usually still always forget something.