If you had asked me what I wanted to be when I was 7 it definitely wouldn’t have been a stay at home mom. (I would have said a veterinarian, which I didn’t become either.)
However, I also wouldn’t have said that I wanted to be a high school teacher( which I did for 10 years).
Both of my parent’s worked when I was growing up. So when I decided to become a SAHM my parents weren’t exactly on board with the idea.
I think my mother was a little more accepting of the idea than my father was. Even now he frequently asks me what I’m going to do and if I’ve considered doing Uber or Amazon Flex.
I’m not really sure why he’s not totally on board. My grandmother was a SAHM so maybe it’s more of a personal reason for him.
My husband was completely on board with the idea and that was really all that mattered to me.
At the time I didn’t really know any other SAHMs. The few I did know I wasn’t really close with so contacting them for advice was pretty much out of the question. After about four months of trial and error, I have learned many things.
However, I have 6 important pieces of advice that I think all SAHM’s whether they are newbies or pros should know.
1. Schedules Are Your Friend
One of the biggest things that helped me be more productive while I’m at home is developing a schedule or routine that I follow every day.
At first, I didn’t have a schedule because I thought I could manage my time well without it. (FYI: I put the PRO in Procrastinator.)
Instead, my husband would come home daily to a very frustrated wife. It seemed like I never had enough time to do anything or get anything done in the house during the day. Why? Because I wasn’t using my time wisely.
Thus a schedule was born! It took me a few tries to get it right, but once I did I became less frustrated and managed to get more thing accomplished during the day.
I still haven’t figured out how to work blogging into that schedule yet, but it’s a work in progress.
2. It’s Ok If Everything Doesn’t Get Done
Even though I do my best to stick to the schedule I have created sometimes things just don’t work out the way I planned. Life happens.
The baby is fussy, my sister in law needs a ride to the doctor, or I lose the keys and waste 20 minutes looking for them (this happens a lot, I should probably find a solution to that).
And that pile of laundry I wanted to get folded goes undone, the elaborate dinner that I wanted to make doesn’t get cooked, that blog post I wanted to work on doesn’t get started.
It’s so frustrating when your well laid out plans don’t work out. I would look at my to-do list and just shake my head in frustration and defeat.
My husband had to remind me that it was ok if I didn’t get everything done and to remember to just take a deep breath.
Eventually, the laundry will get folded and that elaborate dinner I planned will get made, just not today.
And I had to accept the fact that it was okay to not get everything done. Just breathe and try again tomorrow.
3. Keep In Contact With Your Old Coworkers/Friends
I am an introvert by nature so staying in contact with coworkers and friends can be a bit of challenge. I have managed to stay in contact with one of my former coworkers, which has been a blessing.
It gives me another adult to talk to besides my husband and it keeps me in the loop about what’s happening and changing in the educational field.
That way whenever I decided to go back, if I ever go back, I’ll at least have some idea of what I’ll be getting myself into.
They are also a good source of adult conversation. No need to talk about Doc McStuffins and Elmo with them.
4. Make SAH Friends
Don’t become a shut-in with just you and your child(ren) existing in your own tiny bubble. Your old friends aren’t gonna want to hear about how cute Charlie was when he sat on the potty this morning.
It’s important to get out and make some mom friends. Many cities have free playgroups that parents can take their kids too. This is an excellent place to meet other SAHMs or SAHDs.
Then you can have that one friend that totally gets it when you talk about how your toddler shoved a bead up his nose and you were at the emergency room all night.
They are also a great source of parenting advice and provide support for those tough days when you just don’t or can’t muster up the strength to be Super Mom.
5. Make Time For Yourself
As women, we tend to sacrifice our own health and well being for the sake of others. Being SAHM is no different.
You get so caught up in taking care of the kids, keeping the house clean, arranging playdates, etc. That you forget to take time for yourself.
It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate like going on a girls night out. Maybe splurging on a mani/pedi is your thing. Personally, a few hours of quiet time works for me.
I like to crochet or just go to the local Barnes and Noble and read through a few books. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as it’s something you enjoy.
6. Make Time For Your Spouse
For most of us, the reason we stayed home was to take care of the kids. So our focus tends to be on making sure the kids have what they need and that they are taken care of. We tend not to focus on our spouses and they get pushed to the back burner.
I have been guilty of this issue and I have to keep reminding myself that my husband works 10 hr days and overtime on the weekends to keep a roof over our heads.
The least I can do is put the kids to bed early and just make some time for us to be together without the kids.
Try to call a sitter and schedule a date night once a month. Even simple things like making his lunch for work are simple ways to show your spouse that you care.
Being a stay at home parent is a hard job and as your children get older the challenges of parenting change with it.
Hopefully, these 6 tips will help make your life a little easier
Did any tip stick out to you as the most important? Or maybe you have another one to add to the list?
Share it with me in the comments section. I’d love to hear what you think.
Until Next Time,
The Crafty Afro