Posted: Oct 28, 2012 1:00 AM
 
Even if staying at home with your baby or child is a dream come true, you may crave adult interaction, outside time or other ways to keep from getting into a rut at home. We'll give you a few ways to keep your mind sharp while having fun with your little one.

If your days have turned into Making Baby Happy or Toddler's Play Time, you may feel as if your old self is draining away. While staying at home and raising a child may be something you've dreamed of doing for many years, you might want to keep your skills up, start a new hobby or enforce some me time to keep your brain sharp while nurturing your children.

Keep up your skills

If you were employed before you had your kids or working in your field of choice through freelance work at home, there's a chance you may desire to return to work in the future. It's not a bad idea to keep tabs on your career field while staying at home or taking on a few freelance projects on the side. If you don't feel like doing any work at all (after all, staying at home doesn't mean working at home), then use some free time to practice skills you had in your "former" life, such as writing, painting or even accounting work. Continue networking with former colleagues through Facebook or Twitter — it can help you work in some adult conversation too.

Start a new hobby

New motherhood may not be the time to start a new hobby, but you can start before his arrival or even within the first few months. Scrapbooking, sewing, crocheting, woodworking, painting, gardening and writing are all good hobbies to start while you're still cooking your wee babe. And when things have settled down after his birth, you can steal a few minutes here and there. Dedicate an area of your home to your hobby if you can — you'll want an easy way to pick up or shut off at a moment's notice.

Enforce me time

As your baby grows, you'll be able to spend a little time away from her. Take advantage of short outings when you can. Connect with girlfriends, go for a leisurely shopping trip alone, join a gym or visit the library and just read. Let your home stew a little instead of cleaning it when your kids are busy or napping and take care of you.

As you immerse yourself in your daily routine of love, nurturing and cleaning, you can work in a little time to keep your brain fresh and sharp. It will benefit your whole family, so don't be afraid to take care of you.

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Christina Holt May 09, 2012
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I never realized how important it was to take me time AND keep up a skill until I was years into staying home and basically going crazy!
Nichole Beaudry May 09, 2012
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I never thought that shopping alone could be so relaxing until I had kids. Oh, how I look forward to the solo trip to the grocery store. Me time, no matter how you get it, is so incredibly important.