Survival Tips for New Stay-at-Home Moms

Being a stay-at-home mom can be so rewarding. But it can also be the most challenging job of your life. A group of moms share their struggles, how they’ve pushed through and how you can thrive – not just survive – in your new role as a stay-at-home mom.

View Episode Transcript

Featured Expert

Episode Transcript

Natalie Gross 0:02
Being a stay-at-home-mom can be so rewarding, but it can also be the most challenging job of your life. And I know I'm not the first person to tell you that. Today I'm talking with a group of mamas about their struggles, how they push through and how you can thrive not just survive in your new role as a stay at home mom. This is Newbies.

Natalie Gross 0:23
Welcome to Newbies. Newbies is your online on the go support group guiding new moms through their baby's first year. I'm Natalie gross mom to a four year old boy and a baby girl. And we've got a great show today. Talking about surviving stay at home mom life with babies. This is a topic that is very close to my heart. And I'm excited to chat more about it. If you haven't already, be sure to visit our website, that's new mommy And subscribe to our weekly newsletter that'll keep you updated on all of the episodes that we release each week across all of our podcasts. And another great way to stay updated is to hit that subscribe button and your podcast app. If you're looking for a way to get even more involved with our show, you can check out our membership club called Mighty moms. It's totally free to join. And that's where we chat more about the topics discussed here on our show. And it's an easy way to learn about our recordings in advance so that maybe you can join us live to share your own motherhood experiences. I'd like to introduce our panel of guests today we have Melissa Davidson, founder of perceptive parents as our featured guest. And we also have mamas Noelle Boyer and Kayla Pearson here to share their perspectives as well. So thank you so much for being here, everyone. As we get started, please tell us a little bit about you and your family and your experience as a stay at home. Mom, Melissa, do you want to kick us off?

Melissa Davidson 2:07
I'd love to Natalie. Thanks. And thank you so much for inviting me to Newbies. So I'm a married mom of two, I have a nine and a half year old son and an almost five year old daughter. I was a stay at home mom exclusively until my son was four. And then we decided to put him into preschool five days a week in prep for kindergarten experience at age five. At that point, I returned to work part time, I have to tell you, I had a lot of guilt about not giving my daughter the same experience of having my attention as a stay at home mom as I did for my son. But I also realized that I was and I still am able to bring a different energy to my family. Because of that focus time I spend doing something I'm calling it something for myself. I have loads of flexibility with my work. I only work about 15 hours a week. And even with this job, I'm still the primary childcare provider and I take on most of the tasks in managing our household.

Natalie Gross 2:59
I hear you there. Great. Thanks so much, Melissa. Noelle, what about you?

Noelle Boyer 3:04
Hey, everyone. So I am a mom of three boys. My oldest is six, my middle is turning four. So by the time you hear this, I'll be four. And then my youngest just turned two. So I've been a mom for now, almost seven years. I've stayed home mom now, too. And I've been a stay at home moms since my oldest was born. And I flirt with the idea of going back to work. But honestly, I doubt that'll ever happen. Because I I really feel passionate and happy where I'm at. But we'll talk more about that later. But yeah, I was saying Oh mom, and I love it.

Natalie Gross 3:48
Oh, good. Good. Thanks for being here. And Kayla.

Kayla Pearson 3:52
Yes, Hi, Natalie. Thanks so much for having me on tonight. My name is Kayla Pearson. I am a stay at home mom and part time employee. I have two boys. Anthony true who is four and James who is two and a half and very much in the twos. Terrific twos I like to call them. They both keep me very much on my toes. And I was you know, a full time career girl I did political event planning which had be on the road all the time prior to kids. And then I worked in tech for a little bit too. So, you know, it was just kind of a calling that I had I knew that when I had kids, I just kind of wanted to put the brakes a little bit on my career. And so when I was in my third trimester of my first son's pregnancy, I, you know, put put paws on and I've been a stay at home mom ever since until just recently. I did go back part time. It's only 20 hours a week. And so really right now I feel like at the best of both worlds. Both of my boys are in the same preschool together which is really sweet. And they're just there until either one or 3pm and then I get to pick them up and we You get to have the better part of the afternoon and evening together. So it's been a really nice transition for us.

Natalie Gross 5:05
That's so great. So it sounds like everyone wanted to be a stay at home mom, right? Because I was going to ask if it was, you know, more of a practical or financial decision, or if it's really something that you always wanted to do.

Melissa Davidson 5:16
Um, I'd love to jump in, I have to say that when we first got married, the plan was actually for both of us to work full time. And to use childcare full time, I had a job that I really loved. And I was in the childcare world. So I just assumed I was going to bring my baby to one of the childcare centers that I oversaw, fast forward to us trying to start a family and we had some really significant trouble conceiving. And it got to the point where I realized that if we were going to put so much effort into bringing a baby into the world, I wanted to spend as much time as possible with that person. So I would say, for me, it was a, it wasn't a was always my dream, it was something that kind of came up as a decision based on my heart. And we were able to swing it financially because my husband's so smart. When we bought our first home, he said, Hey, we should probably be able to afford this mortgage on just one salary, just in case. So that's how we were actually able to make it work. And I have no regrets about becoming a stay at home mom. Absolutely. Awesome, awesome, awesome experience.

Noelle Boyer 6:22
And for me, this Noelle, my husband is in the military. So I'm a military spouse. And when we first got married, my background is in journalism. And I did a lot of freelancing, and then just picked up a lot of odd jobs here and there. Because as a new military spouse, I really struggled with finding places that wanted to hire me when they knew that I was moving in less than two years. So that that was part of when we started having a family. I was already not, I had like side gigs, but it didn't have an actual job. And so I was able to be fully in the idea of being a stay at home mom, because there wasn't anything else pulling me away at that time. And for me, because I had so many struggles with finding actual work that you know, was paying me more than five cents an hour, which Natalie you might be able to, or not five cents an hour, sorry, five cents a word. And all that work you have to do with transcribing things. And anyways, the struggle with finding something that was fulfilling at the time, and then when we moved across the country. And then we started having we got pregnant with our first child, it just made sense. And when we were living in California, the idea of finding childcare and me finding a job when I hadn't found one and so long at that point, it was like two and a half years of finding like an actual job that I was excited about. I did struggle with feeling like I wasn't contributing enough. And I remember and I like again, would take up all these random odd jobs, editing jobs, I dabbled in fitness coaching for a while. And that sustained my Oh, here, I'm going to put in a couple dollars into the family. But then once my second was born, I realized I had to stop dabbling, and be fully focused, which I'll talk more about later. But so it was something that I was ready for when we decided to have a family, it made the most sense with my husband's job being away a lot for me to be as present and fully there as possible when he was deployed. But as now my kids are getting older, the idea, I'm still trying to figure out and establish what it really means to be a stay at home parent without the guilt that comes with it.

Natalie Gross 8:38
That's so good. And yes, I can relate. Journalism background here, too. I get that. Think back to when you first became a stay at home mom, when your kid was a baby? Does the reality match those expectations you had in the beginning? Or is it different from what you imagined it would be for better or for worse?

Kayla Pearson 8:57
I'd love to jump in here. So my, my, you know perspective of what being a stay at home mom was I was so you know, sweetly naive, I just thought, Oh, I'm gonna have this baby. And I'm just hack him up. And we'll just go about our daily routine, we'll go to yoga. Life is not going to change that much. It'll be great. I two I was living in California and Monterey, California at the time, and I just had this really beautiful, wonderful life and pregnancy was so great out there. It's just easy. And then you know, I have this baby who had colic. And oh my gosh, it was just such a different experience than what I had, you know what my perceptions were? And my expectation, so I really had to realign them. So it was an awakening for me. Absolutely. But I think the beauty in that is that you really just learn how to pivot and you learn how to grow and there's so much growth and new motherhood. And then when you're staying at home with your baby, it's just the two of you. You know all day and I think COVID change that a little bit. There's more dual say working from home parent And that is, you know, the primary full time stay at home parent, you know, it just it kind of rocks your world. And it's so important to build your tribe up and have a strong foundation of other moms and a network of support network to talk to. But for me, it was definitely different than what I was expecting. And I really have, you know, grown into it.

Natalie Gross 10:21
Anybody else?

Melissa Davidson 10:22
I would say ditto to so much of what Kayla was just sharing. I mean, it is hard. And I think especially when you're a brand new parent, and your baby needs you constantly, that's I don't think that's something you can really train for, or something you can adequately be prepared for. And I think, like Kayla was talking about, there's so much isolation when you're home, and it's just you and the baby. And it's there's a grind, there's really a grind to keeping up with what does that new human need from you, because they need everything. There's nothing they can do for themselves. It was definitely different. But I have to say, I'm kind of a, I'm a silver lining. Like I tried to look for the silver lining. And I think it's important that even though we talk about how hard it is, and how much work it is, there are a lot of really beautiful and amazing moments that you get to be part of, because as the stay at home parent, you're there. So there are parts that feel really isolating and rather thankless. Because it's a brand new gig because you're making it up as you go along. But there are things that you get to be part of that you I don't think ever, like you can't, you can't appreciate the enormity of some of that joy that you get until you're actually in it. And the last thing I wanted to say is I found the same importance in finding my tribe that Kayla was talking about, I think if I didn't have that, that group of moms, who I was close with and seeing, probably twice a week for three years, I'm not sure what my experience would have looked like. But those women are still important to me and my life. They're still a trusted, valued group to me. And I'm really grateful that I took the time to find that tribe.

Noelle Boyer 12:05
Yeah, I'll, I'll jump off of what Melissa said there. Because when I was a new mom and stay at home mom for the first time, I remember feeling like you're saying so isolated, because a lot of my friends at the time weren't having kids yet. And I was the first of a lot of my friend groups to have a child. And you know, when you're catching up with old friends, and they just don't understand your struggles, it can feel so lonely. And like what Melissa was saying, finding people who are in it with you, where you can just go to a playground and you know, watch your kids, push your kids on a swing together and just be in community that that saved me in that time. And that's something that I it was every move that we made, because I moved after all my kids were born. And I had to keep finding new people but because I learned that first go around, I can't be go at this alone. It was a mandatory thing to do every time we moved.

Natalie Gross 13:04
I resonate with so much of this. So thank you so much for sharing. We're going to take a quick break, and then I'll be chatting one on one with Melissa a little bit for some of her best tips for new stay at home moms. We'll be right back.

Natalie Gross 13:25
Today on newbies we're talking about stay at home motherhood and you've already met our featured guest Melissa Davidson. She's the founder of perceptive parents, a coaching practice for families helping parents develop stronger connections with her children. Melissa has degrees in early childhood education in psychology and is also a certified professional coach. And one cool thing on her resume is that Melissa used to run the childcare center for the US House of Representatives. So Melissa, I'm so glad you're here today and look forward to continuing our discussion.

Melissa Davidson 13:53
Thank you. Thanks.

Natalie Gross 13:56
So you're not only a mom, but you work with moms. So what are the most common struggles you hear from stay at home moms specifically?

Melissa Davidson 14:03
Well, I think we just started to identify them in that first segment. You know, we were talking about the feelings of isolation and exhaustion. There's this fact that when your job right you're a stay at home parents, so this is your job, your job is caring for your children, so you never quote unquote leave the office you're on call 24/7. And most stay at home parents are also responsible for managing their households. That's a lot of logistics to balance. And it's again, it's a real grind, it can feel very thankless. I think the other thing I hear a lot about is how easy it is to get lost in the shuffle. You forget to take care of your own needs because you're constantly doing something for someone else that can just it's a real shift before you had a child. Your focus probably you were able to focus more on yourself and and if you have a partner or spouse you were able to focus more on that person as well. Like I said before, I don't want to paint a gloom and doom picture We aren't always just hearing about struggles. There are those really lovely moments, the first smiles, the first giggles. I mean, those moments are precious. They're irreplaceable. And I think it's a real privilege that we have in being stay at home, parents had to witness so many of those firsts.

Natalie Gross 15:21
When I left my full time job to stay home with my son, I guess almost four years ago now, my parents made me a cake. And they wrote on it like happy promotion, or Congratulations on your promotion. And I just it like made me cry. But that's exactly what it was, you know? Yeah. And so I get what you're saying. There's like, we're talking about the struggles because we're helping new moms out there just to maybe like, think through what they like know what to expect. But yes, like, we cannot say enough how much good comes out of it also. So thanks for harping on that a little bit. On your website, you talk about how you help parents identify the issue behind what feels challenging, and then address it that way. So I want to do a little bit of exercise here. So say there's a stay at home mom out there listening who's struggling with one particular aspect of mom life, maybe it's mealtime. For me, I'll give a personal example. It's getting out the freaking door to go somewhere that gives me so much anxiety for some reason. So how do you help moms work through this?

Melissa Davidson 16:18
Well, there's part of me that's tempted to do a mini coaching session with you right now. But I don't want to put you on the spot. But you know, in those coaching sessions, we really do peel back layers on, for example, what is in that anxiety and getting out the door. And I love that you raised that because it's super common, it's such a relatable issue. What I want to do is share a few principles that I share with all of my coaching clients. And then I'd love to share a story from one of my clients about how we worked through the guilt that moms can associate with self care, because I feel like that's also a very relatable struggle that that stay at home moms have, especially with babies. Sure. So a few principles that I think are really important to keep in mind that my number one is that you can only control yourself. That's your thoughts, your actions, your behavior, your reactions, with everyone else in your life, your children, your actions influence them. But no matter how hard you try, you can't control them. I mean, I'm really thinking about that getting the kids out the door, right? All you want it to, you're just trying to get them out. And you just want control over that situation. They are individuals, they have their own motivation. And they're not always going to comply. So you know, remembering reminding yourself, you can only control yourself, and you influence others. Another concept that I like to share with my clients is that when you're having a struggle, we need to think about beginning with the end in mind, meaning, how do you actually want to show up in those struggle situations, because once we know how you want to show up, we can figure out how to get there, or how to adjust your expectations. We really learn a lot when we're trying to pinpoint how we want to show up to situations and why we aren't showing up that way, I find that there's a lot of button pushing going on. And that creates the frustration, the anxiety, the anger, the resentment, buttons end up being pushed when our values are challenged or violated. And it's really not always obvious how we can connect the dots between it's really frustrating that I can't get these kids out the door. And I relate to that specifically in this concept of it feels like I'm not being respected. So I really value respect. And when I can't get my kids out the door, I feel like there's some aspect of disrespect. And the truth is a two year old, a four year old, they're not intending to be disrespectful, right? They just have their own agenda. Yes.

Natalie Gross 18:47
Oh, I need to park my Paw Patrol trucks first.

Melissa Davidson 18:51
Exactly. And it's like, no, you don't. That's not how this is gonna work. So we tell ourselves these stories that are based on our, our, our values and our expectations. And that's what I mean by trying to get to the issue beneath the issue, because that's where the real work is, is done to kind of get past the struggle. So if it's okay, I'd love to share the story about this client who wanted to take a shower. I felt too guilty to do it with the baby. So she was worried that if she took the time to take a shower when she was home alone with the baby, that the baby might start crying, and what was she going to do? She wouldn't even hear the baby crying. And so I asked her, you know, why would that make you feel guilty? And she started by sharing, you know, one night a mom who wants to have her child cry it out. So I did like a little bit of education because for me cry it out really is about like setting a sleep schedule. Not necessarily just allowing your child to cry for a short period of time while you take care of something. So we then dug a little bit deeper and I asked her what is the worst thing that could happen if that baby cried while you were showering? Because if you've left your baby in a safe and secure place slike in their crib, and an extra saucer in a bouncy seat, and they're kind of strapped in, they should be safe for a short period of time. So what's the worst thing that could happen? What worries you about the baby crying. Ultimately, as we went through this process, she revealed to me that she felt like she'd been neglecting her baby if the baby was crying, and she didn't sue them right away. And for her neglect meant that she wasn't loving her baby the right way, or loving him enough. So when I peel that back, what I see is that her underlying value is love. And she is feeling like she's not honoring that value. And that was what was really pushing her buttons. We also talked a little bit about whose expectations she was trying to meet, like, who's out there judging how much she loves her baby, whether she loves him enough, right? There isn't a right on this. So so once we got to that point, I could really help her adjust her frame of mind and expectations for herself. So in this process, what we ended up working on was, this mom being able to tell herself a different story about taking that shower. Like when I shower, I feel refreshed. When I feel refreshed, I'm able to bring a happier mom back to my baby, and my baby is safe and my babies Okay, well, I take that shower. So our goal there is to kind of override that original story you're telling. Then we figure out how you are honoring your values, so you can show up the way you want to when a strict situation feels stressful.

Natalie Gross 21:25
That's good. Yeah, that's shower, when to shower. That's such a relatable struggle, goodness. Well, I've heard some good advice on the importance of having routines as a stay at home mom, or making sure you get out of the house every once in a while to make sure you don't go crazy. So what would you say are your top five pieces of advice for new stay at home moms?

Melissa Davidson 21:45
Okay, I'm going to try really hard to limit it to five, because I just feel like there's so much we could tell new moms to help them. My number one piece of advice is there is no single right way to be a stay at home mom, there's a style that's right for you and for your family. And it's just going to take some time to figure that out, you'll get tons of that kind of like Been there done that advice from meaning well meaning people in your life, and your social media feed is going to be filled with lists of do's and don'ts for raising your kids, what you're going to find is some of that fits for you and some of it just doesn't fit. So take what you like and leave the rest. But lacco have this idea that there's a right way to do it, and you've got it, get it done perfectly. My second piece of advice is to know that we're all making it up as we go along, especially at the beginning. So give yourself that grace to learn on the job and to know you're going to make mistakes. Nobody sends you home with a manual on how to take care of your baby. And you're learning this role of being a new mom. So finding that comfortable parenting style is a process. It's an ongoing work in progress. I mean, I have to say my oldest is almost 10. And we've been at this for nearly 10 years, and we're still winging it a lot of the time, especially with my oldest. So we just have to find grace for ourselves and know that we're making it up as we go along. My next piece of advice is not to compare yourself to other moms, especially the people who look like they have it all together. You know, you can picture that mom, especially if you're somebody who's joined a mom group or you're out there at the playground, there's the mom who like seems to have that perfectly supplied diaper bag, her baby is very clean in some really cute outfit, or, you know, like she just looks really put together. And I have to say I am not judging that mom, I think more power to that mom for her skills and organization and time management. But we have to remember that whether whether other people look like it or not, we're all having our own challenges, and we're all dealing with our own insecurities. Some people can just cover it up a little bit better. But just be yourself and have confidence in the fact that you are going to find your way. My next piece of advice is to say yes to helpful help. And I call it helpful help because clearly, not everybody who wants to lend a hand is going to be helpful. But I think there's this common misconception that just because your job is being the at home parent, and that caring for your baby and managing your household means that you should be able to do it all alone and get it all done by yourself. And I think there just needs to be a reminder put out there that there's no prize awarded for doing it all on your own. Nobody's coming to you at the end of the day with the metal saying, hey, Natalie, congratulations, you single handedly kept all four burners going on your stove at the same time. Congratulations. I think there's also a lot of pressure on like, how do we make the day good and special? How do we make every day wonderful. And I think it's important for for stay at home moms, especially with babies to know that your top priority is caring for your baby and sometimes do you call a day a success just because everybody in the house is still breathing and their their basic needs have been met?

Natalie Gross 25:08
Isn't that the truth?

Melissa Davidson 25:10
That's a really important, that's an important one. And I just, you know, we've already touched on the importance of finding your tribe. And I don't believe that humans were ever meant to parent in isolation. So finding that group of moms who are at home, and can join in that solidarity, who you can just kind of let it all hang out with. That's really important. And the final thing I would say is, make time for yourself. And if you have a partner or a spouse, find some time as a couple, you know, that's your recharge time. That's when you're taking time to fill your tank. And when you've refilled your tank, you're able to show up with more positive energy for those people who you love.

Natalie Gross 25:48
Those are so good, Melissa, thank you so much for sharing. We're gonna take another quick break, and then continue our conversation with Noelle and Kayla. So stay tuned, everyone.

Natalie Gross 26:06
All right. Welcome back, Noelle and, Kayla. Any thoughts on what we've just heard from Melissa, did any of that resonate with you?

Kayla Pearson 26:12
Well, I've decided that my new baby shower gift for everyone will be a counseling session with Melissa, right? Because we all need it. And that was just amazing advice. So I'm just grateful to be here to glean all of this the wealth of knowledge that she has. So thank you.

Noelle Boyer 26:31
Yeah, and so against I agree with everything Kayla just said, Because Melissa is just a wealth of knowledge. I was just I wish I was taking note, but I'll go back and listen. But so I love what Melissa was saying about how we're all just making it up as we go. Because that is so true. who I was, as a first time mom is completely different than who I am as a third time mom. And I joke with a lot of my friends saying like, you can't pay me any money to be a first time mom again, because so true. But it was a beautiful experience, obviously. But what I've gleaned now from that, from that whole all those years is, I feel like such a more relaxed person.

Natalie Gross 27:17
Well, what was something that was always part of your routine, think back to those baby days as a new stay at home mom that helped make your day is better?

Kayla Pearson 27:25
For me, it was really having a schedule. But I do want to tap into that a little bit more. Because you know, everyone's different. I was very type a person. So I really wanted to schedule everything out. In hindsight, though, now that I have a son who was about to start kindergarten, you know, I really realized the beauty of not being so scheduled out of just kind of letting your kids be kids to run around and make a mess and just live in the moment. But I do think that's definitely something that we are doing now as millennial parents kind of, you know, really scheduling our kids out and scheduling our day.

Noelle Boyer 28:04
And for me, looking back at what I used to do as a stay at home mom, for the first time that I still do now is I make sure that we get out of the house at least two to three times a week, because it's so easy to just get stuck in cleaning and you know, just stay in pajamas all day. But for me if I get outside, not necessarily outside, but go to the library, Jordan, a mom group like I'm in a running group, having something that gets me out the door besides a school drop off. That helps me feel more, more or less not stir crazy as I can get when I'm at home all the time, because home is work home is play home is sleep.

Natalie Gross 28:46
Hmm, yeah. 100%. Melissa, any thoughts there?

Melissa Davidson 28:50
I think it's, you know, when you have second child, third child, isn't it so beautiful to be able to build on your own experience to be able to look back. And I think it doesn't matter that those children are growing up. Now, you're still going to take that knowledge and you're still going to bring that knowledge to who you've become as a parent today. So I love hearing Noelle and Kayla, like have the opportunity to reflect back. And I just say, you know, I encourage, celebrate the wins, know that you've really evolved in your parenting and use that use that going forward to remind you, you know where you've been, and what do you want your family to continue to look like?

Natalie Gross 29:33
Let's talk burnout. I mean, it's not uncommon to hear people say they're burnt out from their jobs like they're going to the office jobs, right. But it's taboo to say you're burnt out by your own kids. But is that something that you've experienced? And if so, how have you worked through that? Have you learned to like delegate certain responsibilities to your spouse or how has that played out in your lives?

Noelle Boyer 29:54
I'll jump in. So when when I had my first child my husband had I had a very hectic work schedule. So it's very much me doing all doing mornings, you know, all the meals bedtime. But at the time I was able it, I was able to manage it. But now that I had three kids, he still has a pretty hectic work schedule, but it's a little bit better. And I remember after my third was born, I kind of hit a wall because I'm making homemade meals or you know, a Trader Joe's meal or something. And every single night, I would get so tired and frustrated. And my husband just wouldn't understand like, well, what's different? Like, this is what you do all of this all the time. Like, why is it different now. And so he and I ended up having a really productive conversation when, and we essentially made a schedule for me when it comes to the week, where I make three meals a week, and he's in charge of one meal, and then we eat out another meal, and then it's leftover. So that's, I'm not doing the math, right, but I make three meals to the it becomes leftovers for two days. And then he's in charge of one day, and then we eat out. And that's that has given me so much freedom and a break from the burden that cooking used to fill me with because, you know cooking for three children when they complain about what you're making, or you know, you're sitting at lunch and you're like, Who wants another peanut butter jelly sandwich this this nutritious, right? It's, it's whole grain bread. Or, you know, when the baby's throwing the food on the floor. And you're just like, I worked so hard on this, it's feels so frustrating. So cooking is a burden cooking for me burns me out and making that food schedule has been such a stress reliever.

Natalie Gross 31:45
That's a great idea that I think I'm gonna go implement right after this conversation.

Noelle Boyer 31:51
Honestly, and my husband looks forward to the days when he's in charge of meals, because he can you know, he'll eat something, he'll make something that he's really excited to eat that I like a meatloaf. I'm not a meatloaf person. But he's like, it's meatloaf night. And he gets all excited to eat that.

Kayla Pearson 32:05
For me, I think the burnout really hit when my younger son probably hit like, a year and a half maybe. So we have our boys are 25 months apart. And we had two of them to become these wonderful playmates. Again, totally naive, not thinking about just having two kids so close together, they just fight over everything. The toys the time, you know, mom, dad, so that really has been a struggle for me, for both my husband and I and what we found to be the most successful sometimes is to kind of separate them for part of the day. And we each take one and then we alternate. So they're each getting that alone solo mommy daddy time. And they're getting to do a fun activity. And then they're just, you know, not arguing over, you know, what toy they're gonna play with. So that's been really successful for us.

Melissa Davidson 32:59
Yeah, well, I wanted to share that. I went through something similar to what Noelle was talking about, where I just got to a point where I felt like the at home schedule was not working for me. And I called it the difficult conversation. I mean, I've got a great relationship with my husband. We've always been very open and honest with one another. I wanted to ask for him to change his schedule at work, which felt really selfish, because again, I'm not contributing to the bottom line, I'm contributing to our household management. But I approached him and said, Hey, listen, do you think you could change your work hours at all, so that I could have some more time in the afternoon and evening, he was working from, I think, like 10 to six or something. And getting home at six o'clock, and it was dinner bed, and we were done. And my husband actually was super willing to go to his work and say, Could I change my hours? We had this conversation on a Thursday, and the following Monday, he had he was able to implement a new schedule, which I think is kind of challenging for him. He works 630 In the morning till 330 in the afternoon. I mean, I just think he's a saint for that. But I'm saying I'm sharing it because I needed to challenge my assumption, you know, and I needed to advocate for myself I needed to know my limits. I needed to find a new way and I loved again hearing Noel and Kayla share their struggles. But then what did they do? You know, you're identifying it, you're coming up with some alternate solutions, you're trying some different things out. We just have to keep finding a new way. And so I highly recommend to people if you feel like something is a real struggle. Let's figure out a way to come up with some different solution. Try something different because Kayla, I love you describing separating the two kids and be having it be one on one time so that everybody gets the everybody gets that. That individual attention that little All kids, we all really crave it, but that little kids really love to have from their parents. And while I think it's awesome, your husband has this time to do cooking that he really enjoys too. I think that's great. Yeah,

Natalie Gross 35:13
These are all such great ideas. I really appreciate it. So Kayla and Noel, I want to get your advice. We heard Melissa's earlier, what's some advice that you wish you could go back and give yourself as a new stay at home? Mom, you know, we've talked about growth as moms throughout this process. So what would you go back and say to your old self, or something, maybe you wish you would have known that you want to share with our new mama listeners.

Noelle Boyer 35:32
So something I want to share is something that worked really great when I was a first time mom that I didn't realize at the time would be really great. And I'm so thankful for my, when I found my group of mom, friends who had kids around the same age as my first we, we did something called like Co Op babysitting. So when, when one of us wanted to go out on a date with our worth our partners, the other friend would come and watch her kid. And what and what I mean by watching the kid was, you know, when you have a baby, and they're sleeping, like, it was so frustrating to have to pay for a babysitter, you know, when you're like, my baby's just sleeping, and I'm just gonna be gone for an hour. So my friends that I would swap night, so one night, I would come over to their house and watch Netflix while she and her husband would go on a date, and then we'd swap back and forth. And that gave me so much peace, because I had a friend that I trusted, who was also a parent. So you know, I knew if that anything happened, they would be able to help and, you know, take care of my kid, my kid knew them. And I didn't have to do the whole home gotta find a babysitter that I trust because it was a friend that I trusted. And so that was something that my friend that I just for accidentally did and it gave me so much peace and it helped, you know, replenish that relationship that was with my husband that you know was lackluster when you have a baby. So that was something that I'm I really encourage new parents to do if you find some a friend that you trust, who also have the baby, like do Co Op babysitting. But there's one other thing. Melissa touched on this earlier about not comparing yourself to other parents, and something that one of my good friends, she's a first time mom, she works part time, but at home most of the time. And she she was reading something in a blog, and a parenting blog that talked about spoons and how everyone has a certain set of spoons, quote unquote, that they use throughout their day. And those spoons represent you know, cleaning, cooking, eating whatever you have to do to get your day done. And for me, I'm one of those people that when you see me out, I look I have makeup on I look good because I'm I'm out not my sweatpants. Like that's something I really value doing is being put together. But I do not clean my baseboards. I don't know the last time I dusted that if dusting and cleaning my baseboards is like seven spoons, but me getting ready in the morning is like one spoon. And so she and I were discussing the things that we that are on our priority list every day. And she it's it's wild how different we are. And so we kind of joke back and forth. And we'll be like, Well, the fact that no while bakes with her three year old, that's three spoons. But if I did that, that's six spoons, and I don't have six spoons to give to bake and clean that up. And so that that idea really helped me realize like, I only have so many spoons I can use in a day. And what if what if I'm making my priorities list? What are the things that are going to take up the least amount of spoons, you know, and it just really made me realize, like, we're all like lists, we're saying we're all such unique parents, and we're all doing it, figuring it out as we go. And, you know, don't compare your spoons, you know? Yeah, that's so

Kayla Pearson 39:01
Great. And then so, again, Melissa had touched on, you know, try not to compare. And I think especially for the first time mom that resonated so much with me, because I was in the comparison game in every aspect of life, and especially with all of the milestones, right? The your first baby hitting those milestones like and that I think, as a parent, a lot of us take that onto ourselves. If something's not going, right, you're like, oh, what can I be doing better? But in reality, it doesn't have anything to do with you. And what I found is, you know, social media plays a huge role in that. And if you're following an account that's not really serving you just, you know, stop, stop following it. And so really surround yourself on social media, in life with things that are really filling your cup and building you up as a mom. And then we also had touched on you know, finding your tribe and something that I found I found to be really important, and that is finding other moms who are really in the same, you know, stage as me of motherhood that I can, you know, share all of my stories with. And, you know, boy, I think boy, motherhood is really different from girl motherhood in these younger years. And so it's been helpful for me to kind of share my stories with other dual boy moms, because there is just so much energy. And for a long time, it was like, Why aren't my boys sitting down and coloring what's going on? You know, but they're just so different. So, you know, just really going back to that, you know, finding, you know, making those friends to support you.

Natalie Gross 40:39
Yeah, those are such great tips. Melissa, any last thoughts as we close here?

Melissa Davidson 40:45
Again, I mean, Kayla and Noelle have shared such incredible things. I have a million things to say. I think what I love that I just heard was about knowing your priorities, knowing your limits, filling your cup, and finding people who can sympathize with where you are, you are not alone. I think that's just so huge to remember. It can feel so isolating, but you are not alone. And it just takes an opportunity to reach out and some creativity sometimes and how you reach out so you can feel like you can cope with all of these these challenges that are going to come up.

Natalie Gross 41:19
Great. Well, thank you so much to all of you, Melissa Noel, Kayla for joining me today listeners you can find out more about Melissa's work at perceptive Also check out new mommy where we have all of our podcasts episodes, plus videos and more.

Natalie Gross 41:44
That wraps up our show for today. We appreciate you listening to Newbies. Don't forget to check out our sister shows Preggie Pals for expecting parents, Parent Savers for moms and dads with toddlers, the Boob Group for moms who give breast milk to their babies and Twin Talks for parents of multiples. Thanks for listening to newbies your go to source for new moms and new babies.

Disclaimer 42:08
This has been a New Mommy Media production information and material contained in this episode I presented for educational purposes early statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts will such information and materials are believed to be accurate. It is not intended to replace or substitute for professional medical advice or care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating healthcare problem or disease or prescribing any medication. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health, or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider.

Love our shows? Join our community and continue the conversation! Mighty Moms is our online support group, with parenting resources and helpful new mom stories you won’t find anywhere else! You’ll also have a chance to be featured on our shows.

Become a Mighty Mom!