Becoming a stay at home mom (+ a few tips I've learned so far)

I've had many different roles in my career, and my most recent transition to being a stay at home mom has been the most challenging and rewarding yet. I've wanted to be a mama for as long as I can remember and had always hoped for the opportunity to stay home with my babies. I knew being a stay at home mom wouldn't be easy but wow did I underestimate it. Instead of the home cooked meals and projects I had envisioned, I'm lucky if I get to shower. Instead of daily exercising and trying out creative activities, it's more like figuring out how many times you can re-dry a load of clothes to avoid folding them (mamas, I know you feel me on this...). I can't tell you how many times I've grocery shopped only to realize I forgot to get the main things or how often I count down until bedtime and then spend my evening looking at photos of the baby. How's that for reality? While the transition has been a big one, there is absolutely nothing else I would rather do and I am forever grateful to have this precious time with Mills and for a husband who values and appreciates all that I do.

I have girlfriends that are stay at home moms, some that are full time or part time working moms and it's amazing how "mom guilt" finds it's way in either way. The reality is that there's no one way to be a mom and that no matter what, it is a hard but beautiful job. Here are a few tips to the whole SAHM gig that I've learned so far...

clean up as you go :: it's easy for the day to feel like an endless cycle of cleaning up messes so for me, it helps so much to clean as I go so that it doesn't pile up and take over. Little things like cleaning the dishes as you prepare lunch or taking a few minutes to tidy up the toys at the end of playtime can help so much to keep you from spending every free moment cleaning up yet another mess.

have a plan for the day :: this one is so critical for me because it seems like every time I turn around it's time for a bottle or food or a nap. If you have a plan, then you can take advantage of that time between naps to get out and about to run an errand, head to the park, or meet a friend. If you aren't intentional about your day it can fly by without getting anything accomplished which can be frustrating. Just like for a job outside of the home, scheduling your day and having a plan for what you need to get done can help keep you on track and maximize your time. For us, with Max's schedule changing so often and me being home, we live and die by our shared calendar. Scheduling even everyday activities, like grocery shopping or time for ourselves or with friends, really helps us make sure that we're on the same page.

be present :: sometimes the best plan is to have no plan and just be present. It's so easy to get wrapped up in the to do list or your phone that you forget how special the little moments happening right in front of you truly are. Being a stay at home mom means that you are there for the simple in-between moments, the extra snuggles and the new discoveries and that is the most wonderful thing so be sure to soak it up because it flies by. One day you will miss the mess, the noise, and the baby who wants nothing more than to be held.

give yourself grace and credit :: being a stay at home mom is not easy. When asked "what do you do" I often find myself overcompensating -"I am a stay at home mom... for now at least while he's little... and then we'll see... I might do design part time..". Why do I do that!? Why do I feel like I need to explain myself and my decision to stay home with my son? Being a stay at home mom has been the most wonderful and fulfilling thing I have ever done. Sure, it can also be lonely and exhausting at times but it is so worth it. It's okay to love it, it's okay not to love it - what matters is you're doing what is best for yourself, your baby and your family and that is incredible.

Sometimes simply knowing you're not alone in your feelings and experiences surrounding motherhood can make all the difference. Motherly is one of my favorite resources for mamas and their "this is motherhood" video series is so beautiful and inspiring (queue the waterworks!).

On my radar // Anthropologie Home Spring 2019

The new Anthropologie Spring Home Journal came this week and oh my they have outdone themselves. This season, "A lived-in home - one that exudes charm and personality - is at the heart of the new collection" and while that charm and personality is what Anthro is known for, I am excited to also see a focus on more neutral styles and even a collaboration with Joanna Gaines! This Spring collection does a beautiful job of showcasing the many styles of Anthropologie Home from bold and whimsical, to neutral and layered and all of the quirky collected looks in between.

As a Home Stylist for Anthropologie, I loved helping clients achieve the beloved "Anthro look" while blending with their own personal style and I think this season's collection offers more than ever before to make that possible. These are a few of the gorgeous and quirky pieces on my radar (now, if only I still had that employee discount...)

Daniella Buffet | Rara Pendant | Tufted Anjulie Rug | Lucienne Inlay Cabinet

Did you know Anthropologie offers complimentary home styling services? It is truly an incredible service and a great way to discover all that Anthro has to offer. Learn more or find a design center location near you here.

// images all property of Anthropologie // 

Edgewood Cottage Update // How to Mix and Match Dining Chairs

It's been a while since I've shared our progress on our Edgewood Cottage and you may remember this post with my inspiration for our mix and match dining chairs. I have to admit I was a bit worried it was going to turn out to be a total hodgepodge but I am so happy with the final look! We still have a long way to go for this dining space... the rug is too narrow, the chandelier is outdated and too high, the tiny white console has got to go and I would love a large scale buffet and mirror or artwork above... but I want to take my time to find the perfect pieces that I truly love. Once we have everything else in place I think it will be the eclectic, collected look I've been dreaming of. Until then, we're loving our mix and match chairs and even added a highchair for baby Mills which we are so happy blends in with the rest of our home. Achieving the mix and match look without it feeling random can be tricky, so here are a few tips for how to get the look:Keep the scale consistent :: go for chairs that are similar in scale and have relatively the same seat and back height. The consistency of scale will help tie together the variety of shapes and finishes.
Go for sets of three :: having three of the same chair, spaced diagonally from one another, will help it from feeling too random. For example, since we need 8 total chairs I chose to do 3 natural wood, 3 dark walnut, and 2 black - this way I can space them out "randomly" but still have visual balance (we swapped out one of the natural wood chairs for the natural wood high chair but you get the idea).

Consider the style, era and material :: while I love an eclectic look, grouping chairs of all different colors materials or styles can feel overwhelming and disjointed. Using chairs with a thread of similarity will help it feel intentional.

And just like any home or decorating project, just give it a try and see how it feels. You may have to tweak or change it up but that's what makes it fun! Stay tuned for more progress - because I have the spring cleaning / home refresh bug something serious.



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