Posted in Family, Lifestyle

6 Pieces of Advice for Stay At Home Moms

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

Posted in Family

What Do I Call You?

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Ok, so the other day my husband asked me something really weird. He asked me what I wanted to be called. We’ve been married for 11 years you would think by now he would have this figured out.(Ummm honey, baby, love of my life any of those names are fine.)

I guess he could tell by my puzzled expression that I had no idea what he was talking about. I needed a little clarification.  So he proceeded to explain himself.

What do you want me to tell people you do? Before I could tell people you were a high school science teacher. Now, what do I tell them? What do you want me to call you? A stay at home mom?

I didn’t know if I should have been offended, but I got what he meant. He had always been proud of the fact that I was a teacher and he didn’t have an issue with me staying at home with the kids.  A lot of people just don’t understand why a woman with a stable career would choose to stay home.

When you tell people you’re a stay at home mom (SAHM) you usually get the,” Oh I could never do that.” or “Oh, really? Good for you.” response. Even from family and friends. It’s always awkward and insincere. Sometimes it’s even accompanied by a look of superiority. Like you are somehow intellectually inferior because you don’t work.

If I’ve ever done that to SAHM when I worked I sincerely apologize. Being a SAHM is no easy task and deserves a level of respect that so often they are not given. Especially by other women.

We work just as hard as any other woman out there. We may not sit behind a fancy desk or broker million-dollar transactions, but taking care of little human beings all day(and keeping them alive) is no easy feat.

Have you ever tried to keep track of two toddlers and an infant in a public place on your own? Believe me, your sanity will be tested.

So what should my husband call me? How about a Child Survival Expert or a Household Management Engineer? (Try putting that on a resume, lol) In the end, I just told him to call me a stay at home mom. I’m not ashamed of my new vocation because I know that it’s one of the toughest jobs out there and not everyone can be a Professional Child Wrangler!

If you could create a job title for being a SAHM what would you call yourself? Leave your suggestions in the comments section.

Until next time,

The Crafty Afro

 

Posted in Finances

The Smart Way to Transition to One Income

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Roughly 75 years ago it was normal for a family to live on one income. Mom stayed at home and took care of the kids and dad went off to work. Sounds so simple right? Well, I wasn’t part of that generation.

I grew up in a dual income household. There were only a few times in my life that I could ever remember us living on one income and it wasn’t intentional. And they weren’t exactly the best of times.

So when I decided 6 months ago that I was going to become a stay at home mom I didn’t have any real life experience to draw from. Good thing we have the internet. Granted the good people on the web would have you believe that you can magically become a single income household and pay off $10,000 all at the same time.

But wait aren’t you getting paid when I click on one of these lovely blue affiliate links or ads? So are you really living on a single income? Or what about this side hustle business that is so prevalent in our modern gig economy?

So maybe they should be telling us how to live on a reduced household income and not a single household income…single income sounds better…but I digress (FYI I just started blogging so I’m not getting paid for anything you click on around here. I just like to share information).

It is possible for a dual income household to become a single income household. It just takes a little effort and planning on you and your spouses part. I am going to share with you three things my husband and I did to ease our transition to living on one income.

Follow the Money Trail

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Where does it all go? That’s the question I often found myself wondering every year we filed our taxes. Our annual income was roughly $91,000 before I decided to leave my job. Now our family of six would be forced to live on an annual income of $50,000.

It wasn’t until I sat down and tried to figure out where it was all going that I realized how much money we spent on the essentials and how much we wasted on unnecessary things. For example, we spent $1500 in childcare each month (all of our kids are under the age of 8) and is easily one of the biggest expenses for any family with kids.  

In any case, you will want to track your expenses for at least 1-2 months.

Continue reading “The Smart Way to Transition to One Income”