stay at home mom

time management failings

Hi beautiful readers!

I hope everyone had a great Easter, despite the social distancing making a dent in a lot of people’s plans. We had a whole lot of storms over the weekend, but still managed to have a little bit of holiday fun and dressed up the Tiny Princess just because. She was so stinking adorable in her little Easter dress.

I’m not great at time management. Or prioritizing things that need to be done, come to think of it. I’ve had less than stellar health for several years and I tend to need more rest time throughout the day than someone else my age might need to. And then I’m working through some harmful perfectionist habits that make it hard to get as much done as I would like. And now I realize that there is a lot to unpack in this paragraph already, but today is not that day.

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Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

It was slightly easier to manage my time when I was working because there was less of it to deal with. The few hours in the morning and the few hours in the evening, and once you consider making food in those hours, they dwindle down even further. I think I got a fair amount of stuff done in the little bit of time I had, but it never ever felt like enough.

And then I quit my job to stay at home and suddenly I had all the hours of the day to play with. Theoretically, of course, because baby. Before she was born, I usually set timers for myself. If I cleaned in the living room for 20 minutes, I got a rest break, or I would write for 15 minutes, or whatever. Timers are no longer as effective a strategy though because there is no telling when I’ll have to drop everything and do something for her.

Now, I try to get one chore done during each of her naps. Or I fold the laundry while we play on the floor. And I’m starting to teach her about picking up toys so that the house doesn’t get overrun. It’s a different sort of challenge.

If you google time management there will be a billion things that pop up. Everyone has a different way that they organize their day and prioritize their to-do lists. And nobody’s way is wrong. My strategies look totally different right now during quarantine because The Husband is home and that changes a lot of things around. (basically, my strategies flew out the window. help.)

This lovely post from Blessed Simplicity outlines six tips for time management as a stay at home mom and I’m doing my best to implement the ideas she lays out. We’re still in the middle of setting a good schedule for the Tiny Princess so of course that takes precedence over everything else right now, but I’m looking forward to having a little more stability and order in all of our lives once that is established. The other tips in the post are also things I’ve been trying to do. Sometimes they happen, sometimes they don’t. I mentioned last week that I do try to wake up earlier so I can get a headstart (aka wake up) before she does. That’s probably the most consistent thing I do, and even that’s not all that consistent. Yesterday I got up at 6:30. Today it was 7:30. Ah well.

Maybe one of these days I’ll have more strategies that I can write about, but all I’m here to say today is that time management is HARD, especially for creative folks. And it’s okay not to be perfect with how you manage or break up your day. If you did anything at all, you’ve succeeded. And that’s that.

Maybe one of these days I’ll make some more coherent blog posts, but today is also not that day! Until that day arrives, enjoy my ramblings because I have a feeling this is what quarantine has done to my brain!


Love, light, kindness, AND happiness today and all the days!

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Posted by katharine_marie in Anxiety, Creative Writing, General, Life in 2020, Life of a Writer, Lifestyle, 0 comments

routines at home

Hey there wonderful dreamers!

Today marks four weeks – basically a month since I left my full time job to stay home with the Tiny Princess. it’s been a huge blessing and a pretty big shift in our lives. but it’s been really really good, despite everything.

There’s a lot i could talk about on this subject, and I have shared some on social media, but today I wanted to talk about some of the things I’ve been doing to help schedule out my time at home so that I can feel the most productive and take care of both Adaline AND myself in the best way possible.

Note that I said the goal was to FEEL more productive, not necessarily BE more productive. This is an important note. Mental attitude is everything. I am awful at minimizing the things I do get done in favor of stressing over all the things I didn’t. My therapist and I have talked at length about this and it’s something I have a hard time with, but it’s slowly getting better. I’m learning to see each day as it’s own unit instead of comparing it to yesterday or last week or whatever.

Sometimes, when I look at the last few weeks, it seems like it’s just been one thing after the other. First I had to decompress a little from the stress of my previous routine. Then the teething switched into overdrive meaning I could hardly set the poor girl down for very long at one time. Then one by one we all got some variation of a cold and in the middle of that, it felt like nobody slept for at least a week – in reality it was probably about four or five days where she refused to sleep anywhere that wasn’t upright on my shoulder. So that was fun. The Husband and I are kind of almost recovered now and the Princess is feeling much better too.

At first, it felt like I was still playing catch-up with the house. Just could not get to everything in one day. Now, everything actually feels more or less in order and I can do little things throughout the day to keep the place clean and tidy. That in and of itself is a huge stress reliever for me – I’m not exactly a neat person, but chaos annoys me to no end.

Anyways, most days I’m able to get up by 6:30am and I have a pretty good morning routine going on – something that I’m going to explore in more depth next week! – that I can usually get done before the kid wakes up. That 1-2 hours in the morning is my sanity right there. Maybe some moms can do it, but I just can’t handle never ever being alone. The Husband leaves before 6 and she usually doesn’t get up until at least 7:30, usually later, and that window of time is MINE.

That morning routine, though, is probably the only consistent part of the day. Her naps are a little all over the place because I think we’re in some sort of transition period, and everything else is usually all up in the air. But that’s just the way life is right now, I suppose!

How is your life going right now? Hopefully a little less chaotic-feeling than mine!


Love, light, and loads of kindness!

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Posted by katharine_marie in Anxiety, General, Life in 2020, Life of a Writer, mental health, Parenting, Setting Goals, 0 comments

a new lifestyle

Hey fellow dreamers!

Today is Friday, my second Friday since I left my full time job. Two weeks that I’ve been a stay at home mom. Sometimes it feels like it’s been forever, but it really hasn’t been.

I never thought I would be doing this. Well, truthfully I had my doubts that I would have children at all, but once that was something I wanted, I really felt called to try and pursue work options I could do while staying home with the tiny human. Particularly as someone who wants to home-school down the road, it seemed natural to start from the beginning.

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I will say it’s definitely been an adjustment and not without it’s very, VERY hard moments. The teething, which had been kind of hit or miss, depending on the day, really hit us around the middle of last week and I’ll admit I had a few times where I missed being at work, or anywhere away from the screaming really. She still doesn’t have that ridiculous little tooth, but between the on-demand nursing, extra naps and cuddles, and the magic of chamomile, we’re surviving for right now.

I’m learning how to do a whole lot in 45 minutes while she sleeps. I honestly had no idea how much one could fit into that small space of time! I still feel like my house will never be as clean as I want it to be, but it is consistently more clean than it was before, so that’s something.

Another time I’ll talk more about how my schedules and planning tendencies go with this new change – something my therapist and I are still discussing and tweaking for my optimal mental health – but I can honestly say that working full time and being a SAHM are equally hard, it’s just in different ways.

Working full time was so SO hard for me because it felt like I never got anything done at home because from the time I got off to the time she went to bed, I wanted nothing more than to enjoy those precious moments. Then, when she did go to bed, the day really hit me and I no longer had any energy for the house chores or anything else I might have wanted to do. Emotionally I struggled a lot and the lack of sleep wore me down so much.

Being at home is… a little easier for me emotionally? I say that kind of in jest because we have had several of those days where I want the Husband to be home RIGHT NOW so I can just have a moment to myself. But I don’t miss the emotional roller coaster that being away from her was for me. My days often feel incredibly long and I’m not even quite sure what day of the month it is right now – I can keep up with the day of the week only because Husband goes to work. Sometimes it feels like I’m doing stuff all. day. long. and then in the evening it’s like my day was gone with nothing to show for it. So it’s different. Easier in some ways, harder in others.

I have so much compassion for new moms now because no matter which lifestyle you have, it’s going to be hard. That’s just what having a baby is like and everyone has to decide for themselves which path is going to work (ha ha)best for them and their family. Mom guilt is such a real thing and I know we all cry in the shower, or in the car, or wherever because we’re convinced we’re doing it all wrong. There is no right way to be a mom as long as you’re loving that baby with everything you have. That’s all that matters.

I said something about it in an Instagram post earlier this week – that success can change from day to day. It’s not a static definition. Not only does that mean that my definition will look different today than it did yesterday, but it means that my definition in general will look different from yours. The comparisons that often happen between different mothers is so unrealistic because we are all such different people.


For myself, I have zero concerns about choosing to stay at home with my beautiful daughter. Is it where I imagined myself to be at this point in my life? Not at all. But it is where I need to be right now and whether or not that changes in the future doesn’t really matter to me.


Love, light, and warm hugs, especially to all the other moms out there!

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Posted by katharine_marie in Life in 2020, mental health, Parenting, 0 comments

A Closer Look – January 2020

Hi wonderful dreamers!

When I made my objectives for 2020, I mentioned a little about how I’m not doing very specific goals this year, but rather working towards certain priorities and intentions, if that makes sense. So, in light of that, I decided not to do monthly goals either. Firstly, because I’m terrible at updating them every month, and secondly, I wanted to do exactly what I’m here to do today. And that is, post an update about January – not necessarily what goals I did or didn’t do, per-se, but just… what happened, I guess?

So. January has felt very long and very short all at the same time. The Husband and I had decided that I would be staying at home with the Tiny Princess for at least a while, and last Friday, the 24th, was my last day at my full time job. So I spent most of January looking ahead to that change, and then this past week has been a lot of figuring out what that change actually looks like. But I’m loving it so far!

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Photo by Jeff Siepman on Unsplash

Here on Elemental Dreamer…

On this blog, we had a variety of content. I talked about the things I’m striving for in 2020 and I rambled about my emotions surrounding quitting my job to be a stay at home mom. I offered a few motivational journal prompts for those rougher days, and then you guys all got to meet me all over again in my updated introduction! I put out a poll asking what kind of blogging content you all prefer – it’s still open if you haven’t voted yet! – and I’m working on using those results appropriately. And then last week, I asked what you would wish for your life to look like in ten years, and offered my own dreams! And now we’re here!

In the Books…

So… surprisingly, I didn’t do half bad on the reading front. I read four books on my Kindle, and started another one that I don’t think I’ll be finishing because the writing is just grating to me.

Country Heaven, by Ava MilesActually a pretty great romance novel, only a little cheesy, and the plot was actually really good!

A Deadly Delivery: A Psychic Cafe Mystery, by April FernsbyIf you couldn’t guess, it’s a mystery story and the main character is a psychic. This one was just okay, not fabulous, but it did keep me entertained the whole way through. Honestly, the psychic aspect of the main character wasn’t that well written, even though she was great otherwise!

Cappucinos, Cupcakes, and a Corpse, by Harper LinYeah, I read several crime novels this month. This one was better than the previous one – no psychics – although parts of it did seem kind of far fetched. I’m just confused – do random civilians go around solving murders all the time, or just in books?

Casino Girl, by Leslie WolfeOkay, fair warning, this is the second book in a series, but I didn’t realize that when I downloaded it and I still very much enjoyed it! Another crime novel, but this time the main character is actually a detective, so much more believable. There were certain aspects that didn’t quite make sense, probably because I didn’t read the first one yet (I’m going to!) but regardless, I was very invested in this story from beginning to end. This is the one I highly recommend out of all the crime novels I read this month!

On the Screen…

I’m woefully behind on the new movies right now – we missed the entire holiday theater selection, but I heard there were some fantastic movies out there! What I did watch, however…

Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood was fantastic. Very, very different, though pretty much normal for a Quentin Tarantino movie, and we actually talked about it the next few days.

I’m still loving the Disney Plus content – makes it super easy to pop a movie on for the Tiny Princess if we need to, plus we got to watch the new live action Aladdin all over again!

I’m currently binge/re-watching Grace and Frankie on Netflix so I can watch the new season, Husband and I are working through How I Met Your Mother (a re-watch for me, new laughs for him) and Grey’s Anatomy is back on!

My Own Words…

I didn’t get as much written as I originally wanted to, but I’ve still made progress. I opened my current book project to start editing, and then decided two pages in that it needed a whole rewrite. So that’s what happening there. Beyond that, it’s just been blog posts for you all!

All Other Hobbies…

By the time this post goes up, I’ll have made my first trek out to the farm to ride my horse! If you didn’t already know, you can read about that under that tab up there that says horses. I’m excited to be riding again, even if its miserably cold and wet right now.

Home and Family…

The Tiny Princess CAN roll over now, she just mostly chooses not to. She learned to growl this past month, and also do that shrill scream that annoys me to no end. But besides some really rough teething moments, she’s been doing really well. We even had one incident where she slept the entire night. Hasn’t happened since then, but it gives me hope!

This past week I helped Husband with one of his video projects by providing some voice overs – new territory for me, but I kind of had fun! I even think I would do more of it for him in the future if he needs it. And I just remembered that he reads this… whoops.

Being home now also means I’ve started to really tackle some of the bigger house cleaning, and I love having a more organized space!

2020 Intentions…

The biggest step I made on my ideas for the year was applying to colleges, and even picking one in particular that I really liked! I’m still wading through paperwork, but hopefully that goes through and I can get my acceptance this next month!


Well, that went on ridiculously longer than I anticipated, but hey, it was kind of fun, right?

What did you do in January?

 

Love, light, and kindness for all,

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Posted by katharine_marie in Books & Writing, General, Life in 2020, Life of a Writer, Lifestyle, Setting Goals, 0 comments