Why Stay At Home Moms Have It Easy

 

Why the Stay-at-Home-Mom Has it Easy | Frugal Nesting | This is why I think being a Stay-At-Home-Mom is not actually the most difficult job. There is one specific reason. Let me know what you think.

 

Stop…Call off the Mob!

 

Yes, I realize that is a CRAZY thing to say, but I knew it would get your attention!  And it worked didn’t it?  Now before you get too angry with me and go on the defensive please hear me out.

 

Some of My Best Friends are Stay-At-Home-Moms

 

My own mother was a stay-at-home-mom and I couldn’t be more thankful for having that amazing experience growing up.  I saw just how hard she worked to run our household like a well-oiled machine.  And I saw how challenging it was for her.  Yet she did it with skill and grace and made it look easy.

 

So, no… of course being a stay-at-home-mom isn’t actually EASY.  Being a parent is hard work.  And being at home with the little ragamuffins and away from regular adult interaction all day is even more difficult.

 

Then pile on taking care of everything that goes into running a household.  Including cleaning, groceries, schedules, entertaining, and on and on.  All that “mental load” stuff is exhausting.

 

So please know that I am the first to agree that being a stay-at-home-mom is worth AT LEAST the $143,102 per year that Salary.com estimates.

 

But Wait There’s More

 

Then what if you had to do ALL of that (household management) PLUS work 40 hours per week, commute, AND pay someone else to raise your children?  Who in their right mind would do that?

 

But that is exactly what many working moms are expected to do.  All while carrying the ever present mom guilt and constantly hearing how being a stay-at-home-mom is the hardest job there is.  But no kudos for the working mom.

 

So I’m standing up in an effort to rock the boat and tell you why stay-at-home-moms have it easy. Or at least maybe ‘easy-er’.

 

More than anything it boils down to one thing and that is TIME.

 

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The 10 Best Quick + Easy Cleaning Guides on Pinterest

A curation of my very favorite quick & easy cleaning guides from Pinterest. These are perfect for every scenario from a quick pickup to spring deep cleaning!

 

Cleaning is so NOT my favorite thing to do, however, I want my house to be spotless.  Clearly, those two things don’t go together.  So I figured I have two options:

1 | Hire a cleaning lady

2 | Get my lazy butt up and do it myself

And since we are trying so very hard to be frugal and stay on a budget I just couldn’t justify hiring someone to come in and clean up after me.  So left option number two: do it my darn self.

But how?  Now, of course, I know how to clean…I’ve been doing it since I was just a kid.  But what is the BEST way?

I needed something quick, efficient, and systematic with actionable steps that were not too overwhelming for my type A, OCD brain to handle.

So, as I do with everything, I turned to Pinterest to find those tried and true schedules, plans, checklists, and hacks that work for the moms out in the trenches.  And I found the mother load!

So I went through and picked out my absolute favorite cleaning guides to share with you here.  Now you too can implement these incredible tips into your own cleaning routine!

Just visit the cleaning guides that make sense for your needs and let me know how it goes!!  Happy cleaning!

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DIY Girls Room Decor Inspiration

 

I love, love, love decorating!  There’s no way to get around it!  And I also love DIY projects…so fun!  These are some incredibly creative DIY girls room ideas that I’ve come across online and fallen in love with.  Check them out for supplies, instructions + tutorials.

You know that if I ever have a daughter I will be decorating her room using all of these ideas!  And I may just try some out for myself!  Moms, surprise your tween or teenage daughter with a bedroom makeover. College students, make your dorm room like home with a few of these super cute ideas!

 

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The One Creative Thing Every Pregnant Mom Should Do

If you are a newly pregnant mom this is one of the first things you should do for yourself. It's so important to document your journey and maintain a method of self-care.

A Creative Idea for Every Pregnant Mom

Hey, Mama!  I am so excited for you…congratulations!  I am one of those crazy gals who truly loved being pregnant and I so hope it’s the same for you!

Pregnancy is such a wild time filled with excitement mixed with anxiety. Add to that a million questions about the unknown and some serious planning and you’ve got a lot on your plate as a newly pregnant mom!

One other thing that I recommend you add to the list is starting your very own personal blog right now.  And, “Why?” you might ask.  Well, I have some very good reasons for you!

Self Care Journaling

Pregnancy is such a crazy time.  It’s like a hormonal & emotional rollercoaster.  So self-care is truly vital for the well-being of every pregnant mom.

One great outlet for self-care is journaling.  And as much as we would all love to be those bullet journal people…for many of us it’s just not realistic.  However, journaling online is a much more sustainable option.

And blogging is, in many ways, like a form of online journaling.  It’s such a cathartic outlet to release your thoughts, emotions, struggles, and elation as you navigate these 40-ish weeks.  And doing so online is so simple and easy to maintain.

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10 Ways to Beat the Heat with Kids

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Summer vacation without air conditioning is no fun...particularly when you are a parent. Check out these creative ways to beat the heat with kids. 

 

It is definitely getting to be summer time around here!  We just enjoyed a lovely Memorial Day weekend exploring our beautiful Pacific Northwest!  And it got HOT!  Which got me thinking about how challenging it can be to beat the heat with kids!

 

This year will be even more of a challenge for us than previous years because all of the boys will be home this summer!  GQ won’t be at daycare anymore since MR was able to ditch his 9-to-5 thanks to the success of his Uber side hustle!

 

It’s great for the family, but I’m sure they will both miss the air conditioning!

 

Why no air conditioning you ask?  Because we live in Seattle where air conditioning is the exception, not the rule.  Crazy, I know!  Particularly since we are both Mid-West transplants who grew up with A/C!

 

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So what do we do?  Well…we get creative!  Below you will find a list of unique ways that we have found to beat the heat with kids!  So if you’re air-conditioning deprived like us I recommend giving these a try!  Or even if you just want to add some activities to your summer bucket list!

 

SPRAYGROUND

 

A sprayground (or splash pad/splash pool) is the modern version of heading to the neighborhood pool!  A sprayground is like a water playground.  They are typically creatively designed non-slip hardscapes with various types of sprinklers, sprayers, fountains, wade pools and other water nozzled features!

 

These are AWESOME on a hot & sunny day!  You don’t have to get in with your kids and there is no fear of drowning!  I feel like it’s much easier to just pick up & head to the sprayground that to pack up & plan a trip to the pool.

We only recently discovered these, but they are the best thing ever!  Here’s a  LOCAL LIST just in case you happen to live near us here Western Washington!

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Bottle Refusal Solutions for Breastfed Babies

Bottle Refusal

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Bottle Refusal: How To Get a Breastfed Baby to Take a Bottle. Tips to help you return to work from maternity leave or just go out of the house for a bit!

 

Preparing to Go Back to Work

Going back to work after maternity leave is one of the most difficult things a new mom will face.  There are so many emotions that come along with that transition.  You may feel like you are abandoning your baby.  Will their caregiver care for them properly?  What if something happens?  What if they forget you or you miss all of their milestones?  Those are just a tiny sampling of the thoughts that might race through your head.

There are so many things to think about and plan for.  But one of the things that you may not consider is how your baby will be fed in your absence.  Many moms who have been on maternity leave have been exclusively nursing and are confident in their choice to pump and continue to nurse after going back to work.  Bottle refusal is not even on their radar.

That was me.  And as my return to work date approached I was definitely dreading it. But making sure my baby was fed was not something I was particularly concerned about.  In fact, I’d never even heard of bottle refusal before.  That is until I had to go for a hair appointment about 2 weeks before returning to work.

Hello Bottle Refusal

I asked Dad to feed the little guy a bottle of pumped milk in my absence.  That should not have been a big deal because he’d had a handful of bottles over the past few months without issue.  All was right with the world until I received a panicked phone call that the baby would not drink from the bottle.  Of course, I immediately thought he was just doing it wrong and told him to console little Baby Guy for a few minutes since I was on my way home.

When I arrived home I tried to get him to take the bottle and realized that Dad wasn’t kidding.  He was straight up refusing it.  Pursed lips, shaking head, angry faced bottle refusal!  After I realized that this little one wasn’t going to budge, I popped a boob in his mouth and sat there stunned as I began to panic over what I was going to do about work.

I grabbed my phone and began to Google “what to do with a breastfed baby who won’t take a bottle” and up popped information on bottle refusal.  And I quickly realized that, although many chat groups had the question, there were very few resources out there.  So I set about doing what I do best.  And that is crazy research to cobble together some common sense solutions that we could hurry up and try.

 

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5 Tips to Get Your Breastfed Baby to Take a Bottle

Below you will find the full list of the things we tried (or wished we had) and ultimately what worked for us:

1. Early Introduction \\ If you are a super proactive mama then you may be reading this before you’ve even given birth. Or weeks/months before you are planning to go back to work.  If that is the case, I highly recommend introducing the bottle early.  Not too early, because you want to avoid nipple confusion.  But that magic window between 6-8 weeks is prime.  At that point, you have probably established a solid nursing relationship, but baby is still a newborn and not stuck in their ways yet.  This is also a good time to introduce a pacifier, which I will address in a different post, but that can help with this as well.  Make sure that the bottle you introduce them to is the type of bottle they will be using when you are at work.  And make sure to let Dad feed baby at least one bottle per week until you go back to work.  It’s also helpful to feed freshly expressed milk initially.  That is just to get baby used to this whole thing.  That way the taste and temperature will be familiar.

2. Graduated Return to Work \\ What I mean by this is don’t just jump back in full time on a Monday for a full week. I recommend going back half time starting on a Wednesday or Thursday.  Maybe work a half day on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for the next week.  Then do a full week, then ramp up to regular full time.  That will be easier on both you and baby.  I also recommend doing a trial run once or twice before you go back just to anticipate any problems.  You could go spend half a day shopping with your girlfriends but could easily get back home if there is an issue.

3. First Week Caregiver \\ My recommendation is to ask either Dad, Grandma, or another close family member to take off that first week to stay with baby in your absence.  Whoever it is should be someone that your little one knows well and someone with incredible patience and compassion.  That first day or two will be hell on everyone, so you need someone who can handle it.  And it will be easier on baby if this person is not a stranger.

4. Pace Feeding \\ A really great strategy for feeding a BF baby from a bottle is called pace feeding.  The recommendation is for a caregiver, other than Mom, to hold baby in a position other than the standard nursing position.  This is often sitting up with their back against your tummy so baby is facing away from the adult. You hold the bottle just about horizontal with a slow flow nipple.  Feed baby for a short time and then take a break to burp and then repeat on the other side.  A feeding should take a similar amount of time as a standard nursing session.  For more information on this technique please see recommended reading at the bottom of the post.  Timing is also important here.  I recommend attempting to feed right as baby is waking up, while still groggy.  Also make sure to pay close attention to hunger cues so y ou can try right when baby is getting hungry, but not starving.

5. Choosing a Bottle \\ This is actually the most difficult of the five tips because every baby is so different.  I did so much research and purchased so many bottles & sippy cups it was ridiculous.  I literally spent over $100 in one sitting just buying every single recommended type to see which one he would take to.  The SUPER expensive Mimijumi, the one that actually looks like a ta-ta, worked quite well.  However, I realized that it wasn’t sustainable for us to buy a bunch of these.  The nanny we ended up with preferred the First Years Breastflow  These were fine but had lots of parts to wash.  I’m not a fan of washing lots of little parts, but desperate times call for desperate measures!  However, in the end, we landed on the super cheap disposable Enfamil slow flow NB nipples that we just screwed onto the Medela pumping storage bottles.  Go figure!  We also tried the Minbie Newborn Feeding Kit EXTRA and the Comotomo Natural Feel Baby Bottle.  Our little guy didn’t take to either of these, but I hear that other babies have LOVED them.  So you might want to add these to your list of possibilities.

* What to do if these tips don’t work: I also prepared myself for the possibility that these options wouldn’t work. For us, that left very few options because we had chosen to delay introducing solids.  But if your baby does eat solids then it may be easier.  But if you’re like me you have to get creative.  I considered trying a nipple shield to get my guy used to the different sensation.  I figured that would be similar to the feel of a bottle in his mouth but returned it because we never got to that point. We also purchased a large soft tipped medicine dispenser as a backup.  I figured that I could just have him fed via dropper in a pinch.You could also create a contingency plan where you have baby brought to you at work to nurse.  However, that is not likely a sustainable option.  In the end, you all may just need to “suffer” through it for a day or two.  Your baby will eat when they get hungry enough, so you don’t need to worry that your baby will starve.  I promise!

How Things Played Out For Us

So, in the end, we decided that Dad would stay home that whole first week to make the transition easier.  I purchased all of those bottles & supplies and left detailed notes on what to do.  We tried giving him a bottle once a day until started work, but he never did more than chew on it.  Then the day came.

The first day started out fine until Logi got hungry.  Dad tried all of the tips & techniques and nothing worked.  Logi got more & more worked up until Dad broke down and called me in a panic to see if there was any way I could come home.  I could not and just advised to comfort him to the best of his ability & keep trying.  He did.  All day. And over the course of the day baby only ate about 1 ounce and was ravenous by the time I got home.  But we all survived to see day two.  That was similar, but a little better.  And by the end of the week, our little Baby Guy was a bottle drinking pro!  Bottle refusal conquered! At that point, it was on to the next hurdle.  The introduction to the nanny…

You Will Survive

So mama, I just want you to know that even though this will be challenging for your family it will all work out in the end.  And nobody will be any worse for wear.  I hope that this will help you anticipate what is in store and do your very best to prepare as much as you can.  But in the end, we can’t control everything.  And this is one of those things that is just going to be hard.

This battle with bottle refusal is also one of the challenges that planted the seed in my mind that I might want to be a stay at home mom after all.  Which led me to get serious about this blogging thing.  So everything happens for a reason…right?  Okay, now get back to mommy stuff and enjoy before you have to start working again!!

Additional Reading On Bottle Refusal:

How to Bottle Feed The Breastfed Baby by KellyMom (One of my favorite resources!)

One Year Blogging: Lessons Learned

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There are many lessons learned after just one year blogging. It's the period where you make the most mistakes but also learn the most. Check out my insights

 

 

One Year Blogging Anniversary

Yay!  It’s my blog’s birthday today!!  Frugal Nesting is one year old today!  No…as much as I would love to do a fun little photo shoot with a smash cake, I will settle for a celebratory cocktail and dinner out with the fam!  Here’s to one year blogging!

 

I cannot believe that I’ve made it a full year into this extraordinary journey!  One of the things that this process has taught me is how important introspection is for centering yourself & creativity.

 

So I took some time today to sit and think about this past year and reflect on everything that has happened in my life.  And the overriding theme that really stands out is LEARNING {and growth} but mainly learning.

 

I always knew that I would be a lifetime learner because I love, love, loved college {and actually work at one now}!  I become easily obsessed with new topics and am in a constant state of seeking.  Nothing ever feels quite “good enough”.

 

That helps me in some areas, but can also be a weakness.  Regardless, this past year has been FULL of learning.  And I have loved every minute of it!

 

And today I want to help you learn…from my experience that is!  Below you will find some of the wisdom I have gleaned from my first year as a blogger.  You will find some processes, some wins, some fails & grand plans for the future!  So dig in to hear how it all went during my one year blogging so far!

 

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The Baby Box: What You Need To Know

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The Baby Box Concept : What You Need To Know | Frugal Nesting

 

 

Why Is The Baby Box Concept So Popular?

Written by: Susanna Heiskanen of Tuutu Baby Box | Australia

[Note: Previously published work, published with permission from Tuutu Baby Box regarding their experience introducing the Finnish baby box concept in Australia*.]

The Finnish baby box has been around for over 75 years. Over 3 million boxes have been given to families by the Finnish government over the years. It was written into Finnish law in 1937 that expectant mothers were entitled to a baby box and in 1949 this was expanded to include all expectant mothers unrelated to their socio-economic circumstances.

 

The Baby Box Concept : What You Need To Know | Frugal Nesting

 

Why has the baby box been so popular with the Finns? One of the reasons is that the box has really everything you need as a parent. Having received the box you would not need to buy a thing if you did not want to – the box doubles as a bed and the contents are enough for the first few months and beyond.  The box also promotes equality amongst parents and kids. Everyone has the same start in life and you can tell what year children were born in based on the clothes they were wearing. There are some products in the box such as muslin wraps that have been there since the beginning.

The baby box was introduced together with the Neuvola program. Neuvola is a midwife driven ante and post-natal clinic system that everyone is entitled to. It was a condition of receiving the baby box that the mother has to attend the prenatal program that educated mothers about breastfeeding, vaccination, safe sleeping practices and many more useful topics. The Neuvola system is still going strong and it reaches nearly all expectant mothers and their children under school age.

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Convenient Cloud Accounting for Small Business | XERO

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Convenient Cloud Accounting for Small Business | Frugal Nesting

 

As a busy working mom and small business owner, convenience has become my middle name.  I simply do not have the time or patience to deal with clunky outdated processes and systems.  And as my blog has grown, I’ve begun researching all of the possibilities that are available to me to help manage, document, track, organize and categorize my business expenses and cash flow.  So I am on the lookout for convenient cloud accounting for my small business.

I am also looking toward the future for when hiring a Virtual Assistant becomes a welcome reality for my business!  So I need to be prepared for two things that will come along with hiring a VA.  One is that they will need to have easy access to my records in order to help me manage all of the moving pieces of my business. Two, I will need a convenient way to manage payroll.

And I DO NOT want to be dealing with a different software for every aspect of my business.  I need one thing that will do it all and will do it quickly & easily.  Back to that ever important convenience factor!


In my research, I recently came across an awesome company called Xero.  Xero is beautiful accounting software…online accounting software that is managed through the Cloud.  Yes, the Cloud…meaning you can access your information from anywhere, anytime and on any device you choose!  Yay, can you say convenient?!?!

Click here to learn more about Xero.

Convenient Cloud Accounting

Small business owners are using Xero for everything from managing business expenses, to handling payroll, and invoicing.  What can Xero do for you:

  • Connects to your bank account
  • Unlimited users
  • Create + reconcile expense claims
  • Calculate payroll, manage taxes + pay employees
  • Create + email custom purchase orders
  • Mobile app available
  • Connects to popular business apps including PayPal
  • Tools for POS, inventory, job tracking, CRM + more
  • No installation required, automatic backups + free upgrades
  • And SOOO much more!

Xero will connect right to your bank account where transactions quickly match up to be categorized.  You can also create and email custom purchase orders which can be copied to bills for payment.

The Convenience Factor

It’s super convenient for your accountant or bookkeeper to use or you can just convert info from QuickBooks.  In fact, you can add unlimited users so everyone in your business can handle finances from anywhere.  And Xero’s mobile app will allow you to send real-time invoices that provide an alert when opened so your clients can just pay online.  See…just another step closer to becoming a true virtual nomad or allowing employees to work from home when they have a sick kid!

Check out Xero’s special introductory offer of 30% off for the first six months with promo code XERO30NOW

With Xero, you can accept or reject those time off requests from employees.  You can also keep track of timesheets and various other payroll tasks including payment, direct deposit, and payroll status.

Xero is a brilliant way to keep track of that pesky financial side of small business ownership!  This convenient cloud accounting software is  easy to use, and saves so much time and energy.  Plus you have access to free online support 24/7!  Click HERE to start your free 30-day trial today [no credit card required – yay]!

FYI: Nonprofits get an exclusive 25% discount!

 

MomLife Style | Wardrobe Essentials To Fight The Frump

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Add heading by NTCouponGal

 

Cardigan \\  Hoodie \\ Flannel

Chambray \\ Mom Tee \\ Grey Tee

Jeans \\ Joggers \\ Pants

Blanket Scarf \\ Studs \\ Saddle Bag

Sandles \\ Tennies \\ Converse

Becoming a mom is the best thing I’ve ever been blessed enough to do.  You know that old saying that having a child is like making the choice to allow your heart to walk around outside of your body for the rest of your life.  Nothing captures the essence of motherhood more than that!  That being said, motherhood is the worst thing that ever happened to my appearance!  I say that in good humor, but you totally know what I mean!

I’ve been a mom for seven and a half years now.  I was 29 when I got pregnant with my first and had him when I was 30.   So I had all of my twenties to be skinny, sexy and well-dressed.  I’ve always been thankful for that!  But my 30’s have been spent in plain black yoga pants, gold flip flops, and a string of long & lean tank tops leftover from my first pregnancy wardrobe!  I rarely wear makeup and my up-do is less top knot than a failed attempt at a mom bun!  And I’m not even going to mention the weight gain after eight years and two pregnancies…yikes!

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