This post includes affiliate links.
It’s been awhile since I blogged last because I’ve been busy with one cute little girl (that also is a bit of a handful) and, honestly rediscovering what life looks like now that I’m a mom. Our family now has grown by one, but that definitely doesn’t mean that we were less of a family before, which I wrote a bit about several years ago. I decided in advance of having my daughter that I wanted to be a stay at home mom, and while I still do want to be one, some days it is so hard.
Beyond some days that seem to stretch on forever, it has definitely contributed to the identity crisis I feel as a currently. Now that I am a mom, it feels like that is the most important aspect of me is just that, that I am a mom. But what of the other parts of me, like the wife, writer, creator, reader, baker etc.? I’m far from having it all figured out, but in the last year and a half I have found some things that work as far as surviving the days as a sahm. These are all suggestions related to filling the hours spent with toddler and preschool aged kiddos. Many of the products linked to are developed and made by moms running their own small businesses.
Stay-at-home mom survival: Themed Activities
I am definitely not an Instagram account worthy stay-at-home mom, but I quickly found that tapping into my education background and planning some activities every month was something that was helping me feel less bored and more excited with the potential of playing with my daughter. Now every month I have a shelf with four or so activities related to the “theme of the month,” along with a sensory bin, and art activities. Currently a lot of these are fine motor, gross motor, and sensory related activities because of my daughters age and interests. Here are a few examples of activities that we’ve done. My favorite places to look for supplies are the Target dollar section, the dollar store, and Michaels.
Stay-at-home mom survival: Activities Out and About
I struggled to get out of the house even for doctor’s appointments for the first six months of my daughter’s life due to postpartum anxiety and OCD. However, once my mental health improved staying inside for the entire day actually began to be more stressful then going out. We started with going to the library for storytime. Then we added outdoor activities such as the Zoo and arts activities such as an art class at our local indoor playspace. Memberships to some of our favorite locations have saved us a lot of money, especially since sometimes a trip may only last an hour or so. Here are some locations that we’ve been to that you can check out in your own local area:
- Children’s museum
- Art museum family programming
- Art, music, movement classes
- Storytimes at book stores, libraries etc.
- Parent child class at local preschool
- Orchard, farm, arboretum, or gardens
- Outdoor festivals
- Historic homes and living history museums
- National or state parks
- Indoor playspace
- Parent child stroller fitness or Yoga classes
Stay-at-Home Mom Survival: Educational Toys for Toddlers
There are definitely days that I simply don’t have the energy to come up with new activities. Or perhaps it is one of the days that we are stuck at home due to illness or weather. I dread those days because it seems like they stretch out forever until bedtime. So, I am totally one of those mom that hides things. Toddlers especially will be reengaged with a toy if it magically disappears for a few weeks. And there are certain toys that are so versatile that they allow for a lot of creative, open-ended play day after day. Here are a few of our favorites that we either already have or are on our wish list:
Stay-at-Home Mom Survival: Subscription Boxes for Toddlers and Preschoolers
Subscription boxes are a great way to be continually refreshing your activities with themed content if you would prefer to not do it yourself or are simply looking for the occasional break. Here are some of the subscription boxes for the toddler and preschool age group that are great for both fun and learning.
Everything you need for a sensory box from the base material to tools and themed items included every month. The first month includes the sensory box. Mama May I has a variety of beautiful wooden toys that are perfect for DIY sensory bins as well.
I have gotten several of these for my daughter and the materials are such high quality that we are still using the drum and shakers from the first box that arrived 9 months ago! I will also be ordering one of the older ages crates for my nephew for his birthday. You can get 30% off your first crate below.
We haven’t tried this one yet, but I’m in love just looking at the photos, especially since my daughter loves music.
This box has six different themed activities for either toddlers or preschoolers developed by a former teacher. I got my daughter a box before they were split into age groups and the activities were really too old for her, so I’ll be interested to order again and see if they are more age appropriate for her now.