Stroller: Baby Jogger City Mini GT // Carrier: Chico Keyfit 30 // Blanket:gift from my sweet friend V.
Since moving from Chicago last year, my life has changed dramatically.
I went from a full-time teacher who got up at 5am and had a super full day with school, extra curricular, workouts, social and blog events. I also ran my business but never really had enough time for clients during the school year. Five hours of sleep was my average and I loved being out and about around the city.
Today, people are always asking me how I'm adjusting after leaving bustling Chicago life for Salt Lake City, and really the answer is that I'm just as busy, if not more busy, just in a different way and a different setting.
For anyone who thinks that the job of a stay-at-home mom is easy, the only way to know is to do it yourself. I have been fortunate to have had a lifetime of experience with children: My mom ran a daycare out of our house when I was a child, and later ran a school that I worked at during my teenage years. In college I even nannied for a few different families. Even after all this, and being an aunt and a teacher for 11 years, nothing truly prepares you for what it is like to have a child of your own.
The teacher in me is constantly trying to find activities to stimulate little Athena's brain and challenge her to learn and grow. Yes, I know it's a lot to ask of an infant but it's kind of the only world I know. Education, structure, and purpose are in my blood and have been part of my daily work with children for over a decade! It's hard to turn off that part of your brain. I'm constantly reading about what is best for Athena's growth and development and wanting to make sure she's learning.
Outside of that, which keeps me pretty darn busy, I've made sure that I have time for myself to do the things I love most. My top "Me" priorities are as follows...
Blow drying my hair: Seriously, this might sound ridiculous, but I think it's not worth my time to wash my hair if I can't blow it out too. I have naturally curly hair that I kind of hate when it air dries. Blowing out your hair is something that most people hate to do, but I love it. In fact, I think I'm better at blowing out my own hair than most salons that have ever given me a blowout. It makes me feel more put-together and like myself when I look in the mirror and my hair is done. I may be wearing pajamas all day or workout clothes, but with my hair done I feel a million times better and more presentable. And let's be real, I only get a chance to do this every 3-4 days so it's worth it! It's a simple thing really, but sometimes that's what you need to feel like yourself. Andrew is good at helping me get time to do this and Athena is mesmerized by the blowdryer and curling wand, so she makes an excellent audience.
Getting in a workout: I love to work out, specifically by taking classes. I'm so excited that a new pilates studio with child care opened down the street (now for me to be brave enough to actually bring Athena and possibly have to listen to her cry through the wall during my workout!) and a new cycling studio just a few minutes away.
There are also my favorites, Corepower Yoga and Bar Method, that I go to quite regularly. I've even been trying to do the 7 minute workout on the app on my phone while Athena plays on the floor. She is VERY interested in why I'm doing wall sits and jumping up and down so much.
Keeping the house clean: Not everyone is like me about cleaning, I know this. I however function best when my house is clean. I mean really clean. Like everything is put in its place, the laundry is completely done and the swiffer has touched every baseboard in the house. I'm kind of a nut! That sense of order keeps me grounded so that if life feels crazy or stressful, I have that as something to bring me peace.
Getting out of the house: Sometimes this is with Athena, and sometimes it's just me. Andrew helps me get time to just go shopping or get a pedicure just to have some "me" time. But I think it also helps me to get out of the house with Athena. Even thought she was born in the thick of winter, we have always made a point to take her outside and you can tell now by how much she loves it, that it's worth it. It's crazy how getting outside instantly makes her happy. She's our little outdoor baby.
Sleeping: Athena may go to bed around 7:30 pm but I'm not far behind her. I'm really bad at falling back asleep once I wake up with her in the middle of the night so I try to get as much sleep in during her most sound chunk of sleep, which is right after she goes down for the night.
Making healthy meals: I love to cook and make healthy meals but for anyone who has done some form of clean eating, they know it takes a lot of time to prep food! I try to make things in bulk so I have food ready to go all week. Andrew and I both love to do Whole30 but it's quite time consuming. We are in the midst of one now and we did one right after Athena was born, but neither of us made it fully to the end. Oops. It was pretty ambitious for 2 people with a newborn. Better luck this time I suppose.
Some of you may be wondering where blogging is on this list, but to tell you the truth it simply can't be a top priority anymore. I know that makes me just about the worlds worst blogger but at this point in my life, I've got this amazing opportunity to spend my whole day with my favorite little human who's growing so fast. It won't be like this forever! I am beyond happy to be completely and utterly obsessed with her right in the here and now - and I'm clearly not shy about sharing her pictures on here with all of you!
In the end, I know personally I'll be happier that I spent time with her or on one of the priorities I mentioned above, than writing a blog post. I do love that it's still here when I have time, like when Athena takes a marathon nap! I also love that even though my posts are sporadic, you guys understand and still read. That is the reason I still do this! I love all the connections I've made with people through blogging so keeping up with it even occasionally feels good enough for me.
So what are you're top priorities when it comes to getting me time? And to all you mamas out there what were your priorities that helped you to keep it together after having your babe? I wanna know!
*Picture by my blogger buddy Sandy!