How We Unwind After A Busy Week

Trying to balance everything during the week can be hectic and stressful. We like to spend one day a week relaxing, spending time together and not worrying about the endless ‘list of things’ we have to do..

On a Sunday we like to start the morning off slow. We have breakfast & coffee, and chill out together before getting ready for the day. We try to relax (as much as we can with a toddler).

We usually plan activities that will keep us entertained but aren’t too strenuous. It usually involves going for Sunday Lunch and a trip to the park for some fresh air. The restaurant we go to has a kids section which keeps Darragh entertained. (It’s almost like a date, if we ignore the fact that he is climbing on top of the playhouse!!)  Sometimes we do some family baking, this week we made rice Krispie buns…let’s just say i’m still trying to get them off the floor!!!! Why does no one tell you how fast they harden???? Oh, and our entire house has little chocolate hand prints all over it, I wonder who that was…

In the evening we watch a movie and have lots of cuddles and treats = The movie doesn’t really get watched and our toddler eats all the treats!

After a busy day, we all have a bath early. When the little one is tucked up, we get organised for the rest of the week.

Overall, its seen that you really can’t have too much of a relaxing day with a toddle but it’s worth a try!

Sleep Training, Yay or Nay?

The main aspect of your life that changes when becoming a new parent is sleep or lack of sleep!!!!!!!!!! It can be hard to adjust to, but a good bedtime routine can encourage babies and toddlers to sleep right through. During the first few months of Darraghs life he suffered with reflux , this meant that sleeping at night was very rare for us as he would cry from 12pm to 5am every night. Although this changed when he turned 6 months and we started to wean him. (It does get easier!) We then introduced a solid bedtime routine to encourage him to sleep all night. We began sleep training when he was 8 months old as he refused to settle himself on his own (wakening constantly all night) We adopted the Gina Ford method, of crying it out for 5 minutes. Although it was unbearable at the beginning after two days he was soothing himself to sleep and sleeping all night. (It was a miracle!!)

What worked for us? 

One hour before bedtime we encourage ‘wind down’ play. We read stories and listening to baby bedtime music, this helped Darragh to relax. After a while they will begin to associate ‘wind down’ play with bedtime.  We usually begin this at half 6.

Bath time is a main aspect of our bedtime routine. We bath Darragh every night, using the Johnston’s bedtime bubble bath. Brushing his teeth in the bath is his favorite part. We try to give him a quick massage but now that he is older, it’s a rare occasion when he will sit still.

Sleepy feet oil by MummyLovesOrganic, has worked wonders for us. This now features in our bedtime routine every night.

After Darragh has been dressed and placed in his sleeping bag, we give our cuddles and kisses and tuck him up in his cot with some warm milk. He usually goes to sleep at 7.30pm every night and sleeps until 7.30am.

Sleep really does exist!!!!!!

How to Achieve the Student/Mom Life Balance

When I first became I new mom and started back at university, I was flustered, stressed and suffered major separation anxiety about leaving my baby. I didn’t know how I was going to manage with the baby, the house, my studies and my partner? There just isn’t enough time in the day. I was drowning in all the tasks I had to complete. Fast forward 15 months and we have now found what works for us.

The beginning can be a tough time, who takes on extra chores? who is cooking dinner tonight? Below are 7 tips for achieving a good balance.

  1. Planning in advance can be a lifesaver. On the days I am at university I like to have a home cooked  meal in the fridge, so all that has to be done is re-heated This allows more free time to spend playing and talking about our day.
  2. Relax. Being stressed about getting tasks done never works. When I feel under pressure I take 10 minutes out of my day to have a cup of coffee, and reassure myself that I can do this. After doing this I can approach the situation better and preform better.
  3. Get enough sleep. When I am tired I can’t concentrate or focus on my studying. Getting 8 hours sleep a night improves my concentration and also my mood. (nobody wants a grumpy mom)
  4. Don’t forget to take time off . Everyone deserves an evening off to chill out and have some “me” time.
  5. Organisation is key. Packing the bags the night before allows the morning to run as smoothly as possible (life with kids is never smooth). I also like to lay out what we’re wearing that day.
  6. Get up early. I always find setting my alarm 20 minutes before my toddler wakes up, gives me the chance to get ready and enjoy my first cup of coffee of the day. Doing this improves my mood as I don’t have to rush or stress.
  7. Don’t be afraid to invest in childcare. I struggled with putting Darragh in nursery for a long time. I managed to avoid doing so for the first year. But I wasn’t able to keep up with university work. Doing this has gave me more free time during the day for completing assignments meaning when we are at home I can be completely ‘mom’. I send Darragh to nursery two days per week. I still feel mom guilt but it will be worth it in the end,

Be positive. This chapter wont last forever, we have to enjoy every moment as it is just a stepping stone to where we want to be.