How do stay at home moms manage?
So you are planning to quit your job to become a SAHM, but how will you make it worthwhile?
Does becoming a SAHM mean losing yourself?
Becoming a SAHM may not be the easiest decision you have taken.
Some moms tend to feel depressed after they quit their jobs.
And then there are others, who can’t afford to quit their jobs due to financial pressure and feel guilty about not spending enough time with their children. So the decision to become a SAHM or not, doesn’t define the type of mom your are.
After all, the circumstances differ in each case.
Becoming a stay at home mom need not be a stressful affair, read on to find out how you too can make your time as a SAHM enjoyable.
A never-ending dilemma was racking my brain for one whole year. Of course, it was the dreaded question: ‘To quit or not to quit’.
If you are a career woman, and a mom, this question is sure to chase you one time or the other. One fine day, I found I had good reasons to quit. And I knew I wouldn’t be regretful because there were enough things to catch up on.
It has been seven months since I became a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) and I could certainly say that was the right decision for me.
Why do moms dread being a SAHM or Stay at Home Moms?
Our world has changed a lot. And this change has changed the lives of women as well. They are no longer confined to kitchens, and many are seen helming big companies. In short they are everywhere and doing things that once were strictly meant for men.
But things change once they become a mom. Now, some moms handle both work and motherhood, while others are unable to do so due to various factors.
Now let me tell you something that would have been lurking in the back of your mind- Somewhere we have started looking down at stay at home moms.
I think, you can chalk it to the common misconception that if you are at home, there is no work and that housework and raising kids are not considered ‘real’ jobs.
This has led to many women from being skeptical and scared about being a SAHM. Apart from the said misconception, there are a few other reasons that lead to this. They are:
- Taunts from friends and relatives– Well-meaning relatives and friends may ask you why you are ‘wasting’ your talent by quitting your job. Being a SAHM should be a decision that you and your partner takes. Don’t let other’s opinions weigh you down.
- Financial dependence – Yet another major drawback is the lack of financial independence. Some women aren’t comfortable with the idea of treating themselves with their husband’s money.
- Not being ready– Being a SAHM is not something you can decide in a day. Raising a kid/kids and handling the household is not child’s play. So if you aren’t ready, then don’t quit your job just yet.
- Fear of not having sufficient adult interaction – Many moms complain that their social life has come to a standstill after they have become a mom. SAHMs really need to make an effort to meet/make friends.
Being a SAHM need not be scary. There are many stay at home moms who are doing a great job. But if you feel that you are lost, then these tried and tested tips will help you out.
Top 11 tips for stay at home moms from my experience:
I would like to share some hands-on tips on how to make your precious SAHM time fruitful and stress-free, while keeping your gray cells active.
#1. You still deserve some help with chores.
You are going to be at home now all day. It might feel right to terminate your maid’s services and do all the chores yourself.
You are at home now to spend more time with your child, to shape the first few years of his or her life. If you live in a nuclear family, that too with a baby or a toddler who hasn’t started school, taking care of your baby in itself is a huge responsibility. It’s okay to have someone help with the chores, if that will help you spend more time with your baby.
Get help for the chores which you don’t particularly love. For example, I have a maid to help me with the cleaning chores.
However, I love cooking, especially for my child and am adamant about cooking all by myself.
#2. Plan ahead about what you will do in your SAHM days.
Just because you have resigned your job does not mean there is nothing to do apart from childcare, cooking and housekeeping. You can still use your free time (rather, you should make time) to pursue your passions and catch up on your ‘pending’ list.
I strongly suggest you start thinking about it before you quit. If you jump into your SAHM phase without prior planning, you risk being caught up in the daily mundane routine.
In my case, I had always wanted to be a writer. When I was in my notice period, I started researching my options as a freelance writer. As soon as I resigned, I started using my free time to write blogs.
#3. Get enough sleep.
Many moms, especially whose office let them work from home, have told me that they work late at night after their babies have gone to sleep. It used to be the same for me when I was working from home.
It’s natural to compromise on sleep to get more work done. But it will make you tired throughout the day and will in turn make you less productive. In fact, the lost sleep was causing havoc on my health.
Once I became a SAHM, I made an attempt to get adequate sleep. If like me, you are an unlucky mom whose baby wakes up often at night, get some extra eye shut to compensate for the disturbed sleep.
#4. Time to cross items off your to do list.
As a busy mom, you are sure to have a long list of to dos, growing at a threatening pace. At last, you may get a chance to cross some items off your list.
Make an organized list of pending items, so that you are motivated to pay attention to them, when you do have time.
That said, be warned that your list of to dos, is likely to get longer even when you stay home all day. Just that you have a better chance of finding time for them.
#5. Set time aside for ‘me time’.
If your child hasn’t started school, you might be his caretaker for the whole day. I have found that I spend his nap time eating and completing chores, and that’s not at all ‘me time’.
If you can get grandparents to babysit, or your hubby comes early from office, by all means take your ‘me time’.
You can send older kids to playschool for a few hours to get your much needed break (and theirs too).
#6. Kindle your long forgotten passions.
Juggling between work and married life, you are more than likely to have neglected your passions. Now is the time to bring them back to life.
I use this time to pursue my passion for writing, living in a sustainable way and composting. I am soon planning to start an organic garden in my balcony.
Also read: Kitchen Gardening: Pesticide-free Vegetables Throughout the Year
One of the common problems of stay at home moms is a loss of self-worth.
The judgment passed by some insensitive people doesn’t help either. By spending time on things we enjoy most, we can make our time productive and happier.
#7. Make some pocket money.
Some of us may have a financial deficit when we forsake our job. Some may miss the freedom to spend with our own pocket money.
A lot of stay at home work options are available these days. They are flexible enough to let you work for a few hours a week as you want. These jobs are designed keeping moms in mind. Some examples are online business, jewellery making, baking orders, taking tuition, hobby classes, telemarketing etc.
No prizes for guessing. I make my pocket money through writing 🙂
#8. Socialize with other moms and catch up with friends.
Our careers not just gave us a chance to showcase our skills, but were also a great place for socializing and meeting new people.
By staying at home, we are most likely to miss on the socializing aspect. This is especially true when all our neighbors are working moms.
There are some great online forums for moms to hang out and share our thoughts, and sometimes our frustrations too. Actively participate in those forums or any forums related to your interest area.
You can also take your kids to park, storytelling sessions etc where you can meet like-minded moms. It will also increase your child’s interaction with other kids. You can also join a hobby club.
Also don’t forget to keep in touch with your old friends. Apart from occasional phone calls and messages, you can also schedule pot lucks or lunch dates with them.
#9. Be your kid’s first teacher
Many moms quit their jobs so their kids can stay home with them.
If your child is not going to playschool, let their learning start right at your home. Teach him colors, alphabets, cooking, gardening- whatever you think your child should know.
#10. Spend quality time with your kid
This might seem trivial. This is the very reason you quit your job. But you will be busy with chores, getting your child to brush, eat, sleep and so on.
Dedicate quality time with your child every day. Read a book together, narrate a story or ride a cycle perhaps.
#11. Look good, and take care of yourself
Stay at home moms don’t need to look presentable since they are home most of the time. They can lounge in their PJs the whole day! – Right?
When you cease stepping out of the house, you may fall into the trap of not combing your hair, or getting into a presentable dress first thing in the morning. I am very much guilty of this and end up feeling lousy until after noon. But the simple act of making yourself presentable works like magic and gives you positive vibes for the day.
And of course, take care of your own health. Be it yoga, hitting the gym, eating healthy or pampering yourself with a massage- make some time for that too.
If you choose to be a stay at home mom, then with careful planning and some time management, you can make it worth your time (and your child’s). It takes a bit of effort and some getting used to, but it depends on you whether you want to make it a good experience or not.
Just think about all the milestones of your child’s that you will get to be a part of!
So hope you find my tips for making SAHM days happy and productive.
Are you a SAHM or planning to be one? What are your plans to make the most out of this precious time? Please share with us in the comments.