5 Ways to Keep Your Sanity as a SAHP

Being a stay at home parent is a blessing in many ways; I am there to witness every milestone, I am able to teach her new things daily, we have fun outings, and I never have to put real pants on. Being a stay at home mom also means, I get to experience every melt down, I have no break, and no adult human interaction until I go through Sheryl’s line (Target cashier), or Jamari comes home from work. It’s a guilt trip every single parent goes through (and if you don’t, we can’t be friends because you are a liar). You want to stay home with your kiddos but when you actually do…you miss the freedom and identity that outside employment provides you.

Here are 5 of my sanity tips for stay at home parents.


Wake up before the baby

Being sleep deprived is miserable and I truly believe every parent is sleep deprived until their kid is out of the house. So why would you want to wake up any earlier than your human alarm clock? Because you’d be amazed how 15 minutes of waking up by yourself and getting to brush your teeth in peace will start your day. I wake up before Audrey to purposely read news headlines, read my daily Bible verse, pray, check social media, brush my teeth, and occasionally get a cup of coffee in. Although, I normally don’t get out of bed and start moving around until I hear her, it starts my day better when I have a few minutes of start-up without the abrupt shutter of a crying human.


Get out of the house

Sure, it is easy to stay in the same pajamas for 3 days and never leave your house. I would be lying if I said I never fell into the SAHM vortex and did that, but it is really unhealthy (and gross). I make a plan every day to go out once. If it means that I walk aimlessly through the aisles of Target and collect $50 worth of stuff I didn’t need, then that is the risk I am willing to take. It is essential for my mental health to see other humans. It is also good for Audrey to get out and socialize. Our standard stops are Target, Trader Joes, Starbucks, Marshalls, Gymboree, and the park. As ridiculous as it sounds it gives me something to look forward to and it also forces me to brush my hair and put real clothes on. FYI: “real clothes” are stainless and freshly’ish washed yoga pants, t-shirt, and mom bun.

Carve out couple time

I could never understand pre-Audrey how couples become so obsessed with their kid that they never leave them for alone time. I still can’t. While I adore and cherish my time with Audrey and love when we spend time together as a family, I NEED time with my husband. We have a designated “date night” every week. We are fortunate that Audrey goes to sleep at 7pm every night so we have a lot of time to spend together each night, but once a week we get to go out sans Audrey to enjoy each others company. It is crucial for us to keep dating each other and staying connected. Our marriage was strong before Audrey and we are committed to keeping it strong now. I cringe when I read posts on Moms groups that say they haven’t been out with their husband since their child is born (and their kid is 2). Our dates don’t have to be elaborate, some of our favorites are sitting in the local In and Out while chatting, but it’s a few hours of time with just him and I and that’s special.

Meet other stay at home parents

Being home all day with your child can be isolating and after suffering with postpartum depression the isolation was suffocating. It was important for me to connect with other parents. I attempted to join a “Mom’s Club” but that was horrible. So we joined Gymboree, which was a game changer for me. I am able to get out everyday, do something fun for Audrey, and chat with other adults. Gymboree was so much easier than waiting by my window with Audrey prepped in the stroller and running out the front door to introduce myself to any random woman I saw passing by with a stroller. (Don’t laugh, I did this for months)

Self care is so important

I talked about the stay at home parent vortex that sucks you into wearing yoga pants and a mom bun daily because it is so easy. I admit 90% of my wardrobe is “active wear” but that is totally in style now and that counts as a win. Something clicked when Audrey was around 3 months old (read: my meds kicked in) and I realized I needed to care for myself in order to be able to care for her and Jamari. Even though I can’t call in sick to work, I can certainly call in a sitter, and I do. I often call a sitter to come over while I go up to my bedroom, take a nap, take a bath, apply a face mask, and binge watch shows while eating snacks I don’t have to share. Some call it selfish, I call it brilliant. This little act of self love allows me some time to myself and it makes me a nicer person which is a win win for everyone. You are no good when you are worn out, stressed, and unbathed.


There are days when I search the internet endlessly for another career, and the time will come where I will re-enter the corporate world. But in this season of life, my career is being wife and mama and while it is harder than any other job I have ever had I adore this opportunity.


Flight Survival with a 1 Year Old

Fresh off the tarmac of LAX from NYC and while the chaos is still churning in my mind I felt obliged to write my five tips for flying with a toddler (one year old). This was Audrey’s 9th flight and by far the worst. Picture it, 5.5 hours of screaming, whining, up and down on my lap, snacks were thrown, water was spit, to the point that other passengers began volunteering to take turns holding, walking, and entertaining her. Today tested our patience but we survived and despite Jamari’s threats to never fly with her again (he says that every time) once the anxiety from this flight subsides we will be on to planning our next trip.


1. Board Last- When the announcement sounds for “families flying with small children” blares over the sound system restrain your desires to board the plane. Sure, it’s exhilarating to board first knowing you are Group 5 and to think of all the overhead storage options you’d have. No! Go do a final diaper change when they start boarding and organize yourself. If you are traveling with someone, they will likely allow for you to let that person on to get situated with your things but if not…no worries I have a hack for that. The last thing you want to do is board the plane and attempt to entertain your little minion for an additional 45 mins while all other passengers board. You won’t want to sit on the plane any longer than absolutely necessary so get on during final boarding call. Remember the chocolate for the flight attendants I mentioned in my previous post? They will find you room for your things, I promise.

2. Last Seat is Yours- Ideally the bulk-head seat is best when traveling with kids, but I have found that most airplanes now use that as an exit row which means no children can sit there. For this reason, there is only one other option to give you sanity on the flight, the very last seat of the plane. The one that doesn’t recline, is noisy, next to the bathroom, and is usually empty? That’s your seat! No one likes this seat and you will want to use this to your advantage. If you are flying solo, then book the aisle seat for easy access to get up and move. I no longer sit next to the window with Audrey since she disassembled a window in-flight when playing with the window shade. If you are lucky enough to be flying with someone, have them book the window and you book the aisle. I’d bet that 9 times out of 10 the middle seat will be empty, giving you some extra space. Now, why this seat? My kid is loud, SUPER loud. This seat allows for some of her noise to be muffled. Not sure about you, but I don’t like to have to wave every 3 minutes when the kid in front of me pops up to play peek-a-boo. Out of concern for other passengers sanity, Audrey can pop up as much as she wants and entertain herself with the wall behind me. The seat not reclining doesn’t phase me when I have her on my lap, I am not going to get any sleep anyway. And the bathroom traffic is free entertainment. Sure, you will have the random buffoon who doesn’t want to smile at your child, but most people will entertain her as they wait in line for the bathroom.

3. Schedules Keep you Sane- This isn’t for everyone, but Audrey is very regimented with a schedule. Consistency is key in our household. Even though we may be out and about or traveling, we attempt to maintain her schedule. When picking a flight we try our best to avoid a red eye because we know she isn’t a plane sleeper. Daytime flights are better for us and we try to keep our flights like our days at home. Eat, play, watch a show, read a story, attempt a nap, repeat. Your energy is contagious, so remain calm and hopefully your little one will be calm. Writing this section is a complete joke for the flight we just got off. NOTHING would stop her from fussing/screaming. That’s when you just take a deep breath, turn on the flight map, and repeat, “this will end” until you are in a better mental space.

4. Accept Assistance- If you know me, then you know that no where else in the entire world would I accept assistance from a stranger with Audrey. But, at 35,000 feet, on hour 4.5 of screaming, when I am at my wits end; I will accept the help. There are good people in this world and most are parents themselves. Travel is hard for anyone and it is especially hard to a one year old. So, when that passenger who you have never seen before and will never see again comes along side you and offers to hold your kid to give your arms a rest…let them. As long as they are in your eye sight, and you don’t get the creepy vibe, then go for it! Use your Mommy-sense and your child’s creep-a-meter on this one. Sometimes a different person is exactly what Audrey needs for 5 mins to distract her from her previous meltdown. I’ve had my share of stares, huffs and puffs, and comments from passengers less than thrilled to hear her on a flight. I get it, it is annoying to hear a crying baby, and I am as annoyed as the other passengers but I promise that I am trying everything I can to make it stop. Jamari has taught me that I could spend all my energy fighting the negativity I face on a plane or I can put that energy into surviving the flight. Every now and then “NJ Maureen” slips out with a response to a comment I overhear but I TRY to tell myself that those people are miserable and probably had no fun in their childhood which trickled into their adult life. The flight will end, all the crankys will get off, the nice people will tell you that, “you did great”, and everyone will continue with their day.

5. Organization is Key- Keeping yourself organized will prevent YOU from having a meltdown. I am big fan of packing cubes to keep things organized. When you are traveling alone it is a completely different experience than traveling with someone else that can help. Regardless, being organized helps either way. I use carabiner clips to connect things to the seat in front of me to avoid things from falling into the black hole (aka the floor). I wrote a post about how I keep my diaper bag packed for travel but I unpack it and put the cubes under the seat in front of me to be able to grab things easily. Her toy cube, the diaper/wipe cube, snack bag, and I attach her water bottle to the seat in front of me. It prevents rifling through the bag, pulling everything out, and stuff getting lost. Do yourself a favor and keep a small plastic bag for your trash so you can easily hand it to the flight attendant.

Another flight in our books and more trial and error. Do you have any in-flight travel tips?