When I became a stay at home mom it was kind of drastic life change.
I had just passed over a year of being separated from the Air Force-you know, only by personal commitment. I was still a “dependent.” That break up finally allowed my husband to get orders out of Texas to…ALASKA!! We got those orders shortly after we found out we were pregnant. While I was pregnant I was working full time/over time at USAA. Between the impending move and the growing bond with the baby in my belly, I knew I wouldn’t be going right back to work.
So in a short time I went from being child-less and working full (over) time in my home city with lots of family nearby to new mom, no “job,” and no friends or family nearby.
It was a tough transition, but it forced me to grow and learn-rapidly. I wish I had had someone to tell me all of the things I learned, but then again would it have been the same? Either way, I want to share it just in case it might be a lightbulb for any other SAHMs.
After I came out of the survival haze (the first few months where you’re just trying to keep the baby alive and not sleeping and such) I was so lost. One of the first things I googled (thank goodness for Google) was “Stay at home mom schedule.” I had had a VERY regimented schedule in the Air Force/USAA with very clear daily tasks and goals. The order, socialization and gratification/reward system was built in.
Now *I* was responsible for that. WHAT!?!?! I mean, I’m a fairly competent lady but it really didn’t occur to me how difficult being the one who sets the schedule AS WELL AS the only one who enforces the schedule would be. I am responsible for myself, great. But then again, I’m also responsible for myself.
What shocked me was that Google recognized that “SAHM schedule”as a popular search but back then there weren’t many resources for help. Maybe that’s when people had family and friends to consult and not Pinterest. Well, that didn’t help me!
I learned a lot of things about being a Stay at home Mom the hard way.
- You have to get up and get going. Prolonging the inevitable doesn’t make it go away.
- Get dressed. It’s good for your self-esteem and it’s good for productivity.
- Be productive. The inner voice that tells you to be lazy is wrong, evil actually. Laziness is a vicious cycle that will rob you of happiness-for real. You WILL be happier having accomplished something, trust me on that.
- Don’t leave that productivity to chance-be intentional. Have a list, have a schedule, have goals.
- Make time for just fun/relaxing. Once you get addicted to productivity and the whole “Hard work is it’s own reward” it might swing the other way and you’ll be too busy to enjoy your family. Schedule in that down time where you can JUST enjoy each other.
- Make your kids help. Goodness gracious we are all so busy and it seems like we are all just barely treading water. Make the kids help! This makes a huge difference in so many ways from saving you time to teaching your kids valuable life-skills.
- Don’t stay at home. I think that’s the biggest mistake I made, especially since it was hard to get out of my snowy dungeon. You-and the kids- NEED to get out of the house. You will drive yourselves INSANE if you don’t. Park, playdates, gym, store, playground…Enjoy your home, yes. But you’re not chained to it.
- Be social. This should probably be higher on the list. When we go from school or work to stay at home mommin’ we lose a large part of our social interactions. You have to be proactive and make the social game happen now. It is much harder, but now even more necessary. You need friends, your kids need friends. The reasons are endless. I remember literarlly friend shopping at a playground when we first moved to Alaska. I was walking up to new moms like, “Your baby is close to my baby’s age, do you want to be friends?” It was desperate, but we are social creatures. We need each other and life is better together. It’s worth the hassle.
With all that in mind, here is my current SAHM schedule. I am not a fan of being busy for busy’s sake. But as my friend told me with a knowing wink a few years ago…busy comes with young children whether you aim for it or not. And you might as well get out in front of it and own it!
This schedule accurately reflects my word for the year: FULL. Full of faith, family, friends, fitness & fun.