Passionate About the Community
and the Moms Who Live Here

How to be a Stay-at-Home Mom

I am so very blessed to be a stay-at-home mom for my three kiddos.  And although I loved my job before having kiddos and completely respect those hard working moms who work outside of the home….I wouldn’t trade my life now for anything.  I have a couple of friends who are, for the first time, now able to stay at home with their kids too, and so I thought I’d give a few tips on how to gracefully make the transition.My husband’s advice: stock up on BonBons and soap operas.  He jokes around about me sitting on my butt all day, but he knows perfectly well how hard of a job it is to be a stay-at-home mom.  And I love to remind him of it on the weekends, by leaving him with all three kids for a couple of hours!

I recently ran across this article on Babble about how being a stay-at-home mom is actually a luxury for your spouse.  I saved it because I find that it’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling like you aren’t doing enough.  As a working mom, you stayed busy with non-household related tasks for 8-10 hours a day before coming home to your family…and now, your primary job is family and household.  And now, in the days of Facebook, Pinterest, oversharing and helicopter parenting…it’s easy to see others’  posts and feel guilty about not having a pristine house, themed lunches, and crafty playdates.  Not to mention, a healthy homemade dinner on the table every night.  Sorry, but that’s just not realistic! You may be a Super Mom, but you are still human and dealing with some very unstable little people who will throw a kink in any plans you make.  So underestimate the amount of “stuff” you’ll get done in a day, and you won’t disappoint yourself.Talk to your spouse about your changing roles in the household.  Establish what “jobs” you will take over, and what he’ll be in charge of.  Dave and I have kind of figured it out by trial and error, but I really wish we had done this.  A specific sit-down chat to determine each other’s expectations of the other will put everything on the table, and hopefully prevent misunderstandings and resentment in the future.

Next, establish a {loose} daily/weekly routine.  If you don’t create some sort of organization to your time, you’ll go crazy.  Start simple, day by day.  Personally, I do one major chore a day.  Monday is laundry day, Tuesday is vacuuming, Wednesday is grocery shopping, Thursday is decluttering, and Friday is bathrooms.  So, if I am able to get everybody up, dressed, and fed, and do that one chore….I feel like my day has been a success!

My schedule often loosely looks something like this:

5:00 – shower and get dressed {even if it is just yoga pants!}
5:30 – get Jayna (6) ready for school
6:30 – put Jayna on the bus, check email
7:30 – get Millie (4) ready for school
8:30 – take Millie to school, run any errands in town
11:00 feed Lincoln (1)  lunch
11:30 put Lincoln down for a nap, eat lunch
12:00 clean up kitchen and do daily chore (laundry, etc.)
1:00 blog/edit pictures
1:30 get Lincoln up, pick up Millie from school
2:15 get Millie unpacked, snack and quiet time
2:45 get Jayna off the bus, unpacked and doing homework
3:00 play with Lincoln and Millie
3:30 while kids play together, straighten up house
4:30 start prepping dinner, check email
5:30 dinner on the table

It’s funny, as I write this, it seems like there is so much time in the day.  Up until now, I’ve never written down my “schedule.”  In fact, it took me quite a while to think about what I actually do on a daily basis.  So when I wrote down the bare minimum things in my day, there seems like so many gaps.  But then fill those gaps with potty breaks, tantrums, tying shoes, tears, hugs, time-outs, fussiness, tea parties, lap sitting, boo boos, reading books, etc.  No wonder I don’t get more done!One of the ways I keep organized is by planning out my meals ahead of time.  I do this in a variety of ways, from preparing freezer meals ahead of time, to participating in the eMeals program {and letting them do all the meal planning for me!}.  Either way, I use a Weekly Meal Planner worksheet to get a visual of what I’ve planned for the week, which also helps Dave on the nights that I need him to start dinner for me.Another important thing to remember is that although it’s important {and your job now!} to spend more time with your kids, don’t feel like it all has to be structured.  As a former teacher and a mommy-blogger, it’s second nature to me to want to have a project, craft, or game ready for the kids at all times.  But you have to remember that by having structured activities or even excursions {like the zoo, children’s museum,etc.} all the time will create expectations and dependency from your kids.  It’s good for them to play alone or with each other.  It’s beneficial for them {and you!} to learn to leave you alone sometimes.  And it’s a valuable skill that you may need to teach them, since they will be SO EXCITED to have you at home with them.  All. of. the. time.  I try to balance structured activities {from simple painting to complex slime recipes and scavenger hunts} with free play, and adding the occasional “field trip” excursion a few times a month.  {And the grocery store counts as an excursion, right?!?!}And my final thought is, don’t feel guilty about taking some “you” time.  Whether it’s in the evenings or weekends, when your spouse can take over for a bit, or during nap time…make sure it happens.  Even if it’s just wandering Target alone for an hour or two!  It’s easy to get so wrapped up in daily duties and childcare that you forget to take care of yourself.  And if you are stressed, tired, or burned out, you can’t be a good mom or wife.  So don’t feel guilty about that hour on Facebook or Pinterest…I guarantee you your working friends and spouses spend at least an hour during the day surfing the internet!

And last but not least, enjoy!  Your kids will grow up.  That temper tantrum will only last about three {or twenty!} minutes.  That snuggle on the couch will be fleeting.  Soak these kiddie moments up, because there will always be dishes!

Palmettos and Pigtails Signature

 

, , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.