Keeping your sanity
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  1. #1

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    Default Keeping your sanity

    What do other frugal SAHM's do to keep your sanity? I typically take the kids to story-time at McDs and to the play place in the mall during these cold months when they start acting caged, but those require spending...

    Any ideas that are "frugal"?

  2. #2
    Registered User forHISglory's Avatar
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    Do your children go to Sunday School? This could be a great time for them in a protective and loving environment. At the same time, you could go to a class for moms your age and enjoy some friendship, too.
    Spiritual:
    "You are fearfully and wonderfully made." Please... respect life.

    Financial:
    Debt free, hoping to stay that way!


    MY BLOG: glorybug.wordpress.com


    1. Keep on writing.
    2. Get some balance in my life.
    3. Lose weight. Hopefully 20# this year.
    4. Continue to be looking for how God wants to use me this year.


  3. #3
    Freebie Queen englishcottage1's Avatar
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    My kids are teenagers now, but I was also a sahm since they were born and having moved because of my husband's job, I do agree, it is harder when their young and it's too cold to send them outside to run around for a bit. The things I used to do that were frugal were:

    Head to the Library twice a week, one day for their story time and pick up a couple of movies, the second, to return the movies and pick out books for the week.

    Some days when the kids really needed entertainment we had picnic days, I would pack a picnic lunch (in the picnic basket and everything), we would walk around the house pretending to find the perfect picnic spot, spread a sheet and have a picnic, I would try to find a board game or some kind of game that we could play after they ate and then off to nap time.

    I also had a zoo days, initially it took some time to start this up but then once you make some animals up then the times afterward go quicker. I made some copies from the computer on white cardstock, cut out the shape of the head, colored them, and then glued them to popcicle sticks (I didn't let the kids see) then I would plant them around, like in the plants, on the chair, a head coming out of the kitchen sink, a swan in the bath tub etc and I would do this when they were down for a nap, then when I got them I would tell them I thought I heard some animals in the house (I would at the begginning put them high so the kids wouldn't grab them) then we would just walk around and name them and I would ask them what kind of noise the animals made. The next time we would play I would ask them the same as the first and then ask them like, what foods do you think they would eat and so on and so on. This would also tie into library books for the weeks we do play this game.

    We also just did some fingerpainting, coloring ( I would try to find coloring books from the dollar store or a store like that) and would get one on zoo animals if I knew we were doing the zoo thing that week, etc.

    I'm not sure what part of texas you are in, but even when it was during the cold months, any day that I saw we would be above freezing, I would bundle up the kids and head out for as much as I thought was enough for the kids and me I know with a newborn it would be more difficult. There were plenty of days that were just plain too cold too.

    I know these suggestions might seem strange, and I did try to plan my week ahead if I could, and it did seem that I had themes going on every once in a while, lol, but it entertained the kids and kept them from being bored.

    We also had camping out days, tents over the chairs and I would get a movie from the library about being outside in the woods, some thing on a kid level, although the younger the kids are the harder it is to find a movie or book that can keep different aged kids entertained.

    I think you can very frugal when it comes to entertaining your kids, I think you (the mom's) need to try to plan ahead if you can. It doesn't have to be fancy or perfect, the kids aren't going to care

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  5. #4
    Freebie Queen englishcottage1's Avatar
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    Oh, we also had circus days where I would paint their faces with leftover halloween face paint and I would have the kids, one at a time, stand of the middle of the room while the other kids watched and clapped, while I was the ringmaster, and announce some crazy name and whatever it was they were doing for their performance. My oldest son always took his fake snake from his room and was the snake wrangler, LOL. We did other theme's too.

    Now that I type all this, it's a miracle my kids turned out good, LOL
    Last edited by englishcottage1; 01-02-2009 at 01:24 PM.

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    Registered User Jayne's Avatar
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    When my girls were little(before school age), each payday I would put them in daycare for 2 hours and do my grocery shopping..It gave me a break and my shopping was much easier to do..Mind you this was 30 years ago and on an Air base that had a day care you could do this at..I don't know that daycares do this anymore...

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    Registered User Momto2Boyz's Avatar
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    We find winters really hard around here. When it gets below 32, none of us want to go outside, so we start feeling a little cabin-feverish!

    My boys are now both in school at least part time, so that has made this winter ALOT easier. Last winter, we spent alot of time doing playdates with other mom's that I met at a SAHM's group. We went at least once a week to a free story time held at Border's bookstore (I know Barnes & Nobles does it too) and we just watched the newspaper for activities going on around town.

    We pretty much just make our own fun in the winter, with inside activities. Renting movies from the library, having picnic days (much like what someone else mentioned) and playing with toys and reading books. I can never wait for spring to arrive so we can start getting outside again to ride bikes, take walks, etc.

    Good luck in finding something to day. My best advice is to try to find at least one SAHM friend to spend time with once in a while. I met a woman last year and we've become good friends. We share interests, so we try to have a "crafting" day once a month. We have our play date and the kids get to play, so I guess that is a big bonus too!

  8. #7

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    Oh goodness. I find that ever since having a second child I can't seem to find that tiny bit of sanity I had before. She seems to be hiding. I look all over the house for her, but darn it all, she is good at hiding.

    I stock up on the craft stuff and I have a BIG bag of recyclables that we can use for crafting. For me, this isn't a problem JUST in the winter, it can be a problem in the summer when the kids have such a long break from school. So, I try to have things on hand that are easy crafts. One day, we turned yogurt containers into wind chimes using boondoggle, beads and bells. I have taken a digital pic of them and printed out. Then they make frames either from popsical sticks or that foam stuff. I let them decorate the frames however they want, then I put the pic in it. In the summer we made paper mache "self portraits" where they each made their own head. LOL That took a few days for each stage to dry.
    My son loves to decorate his undershirts. I bought some fabric markers, but regular permanent sharpies work just as well (as I have found out).

    Other than crafts, my kids love the library. We will let them take out 2 books at a time. They also love to help me cook so if they are getting ansy, we will make cookies, or pizza dough, or bread.

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    Every year, when family members ask what we want for Christmas, I tell them we want a membership to a kid's museum or the aquarium. My parents are always happy to buy those for us, since they have educational value and are a much better deal than cheaply made plastic toys from China. So, that's what the kids and I do during the cooler months or on rainy days - head to the kid's museum or aquarium!

  10. #9
    Registered User lisaflex's Avatar
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    do story times at a few different libraries then stay to play for an hour. story times at different book stores.

    check out playground world if you have one near - they usually offer a one hour free playtime once a week.

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    Registered User joyofsix's Avatar
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    Truthfully, (no flames please) I bundle them up and stick them outside anyway. I figure little Swedish and Finnish kids do it all the time. 20 minutes can help a lot.

    We do library, church activities, anything free I find in the paper. Our theater has free second run movies on Saturday mornings. I have also found that the best place for crabs is water. My kids when little take long baths (mostly play). I let them paint in there, play with bubbles, whatever and it all washes away.

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    Registered User pollypurebred39's Avatar
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    When they were old enough to safely have a bath by themselves (With me peeking in and stopping to help scrub a head) I used to put them in the bath with loads of bath toys, bubbles, bottles of bubbles to blow, soap crayons. They'd come out looking like little raisins and I'd then put them in front of the TV with a table cloth laid on the floor and put out snacky foods and pop in one or more tapes (I had borrow system going with my relatives so the kids did not get bored with the same old tapes). I'd tell them it was picnic time. It kept them happily busy for a few hours.

    We did Sunday school, Rangers at church, I'd set up play dates with other parents trading homes, I took them to lots of church events around town -if you check it out you'll find each church has a list of monthly events. I'd find loads of stuff for them, They'd do movie nights, hayrides, havest parties, Christmas parties, scavenger hunts, art classes, plays, sports, etc. all for free.

    I also see nothing wrong with bundling them up good and sending them out to have a bit of fresh air. My Grandmother used to tell us kids to go air ourselves out! LOL!

    Oh, and our food stores out here have a playroom where you check them in to play while you shop. It's free. I would go "shopping" a few times a week when they were really BORED. IKEA too! And I'd been known to feed them then take them to play in the McDonalds playroom. Back then they had boxes of cookies, I'd buy 1 box and split it between them and let them go play.

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    Registered User ravenmaniac's Avatar
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    We used to do lots of crafts, making homemade play dough, and baking. Indoor forts or tents, made of blankets of course, are fun. Lots of building blocks, pots, pans, and spoons for "cooking".

    Do you have a safe area to set up a small obstacle course? Jump over the pillow, crawl under the table army style, hop like a bunny down the hall. You don't have to have them race just go one at a time and cheer each other on, time them if you want. Toss bean bags (or a small ball) into a bucket, see how far back you can get from the bucket.

    I miss my kids being little, we used to have so much fun. Enjoy your time with them. It goes by so fast.

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    As a kid growing up in MN, let me second the idea of just bundling the kids up and sending them outside. We never went outside when it was like -40 below... but we went outside pretty much anytime it was 0 or above. We loved it! Sledding, making snow men, snow angles, snow forts... it was awesome.

    Now I live in VA where yesterday the high was 50 degrees. Today is cold and snowing/sleeting... (cold being a high of 35)... but let me say I miss the snow.

    I imagne in TX you don't get much snow... but they could still go outside for a little while to burn off some energy maybe.

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