How to become a good stay at home mom?

Cara - posted on 06/17/2012 ( 6 moms have responded )

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I have been a working Mom for almost 9 years now, but now that I have two young boys at home we have decided that I should stay home until they start school, but I have no idea how to manage time, it seems as though I get nothing done everyday. To go with it I have post partum Depression and have a lack of umph. Please help?

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I treated it the same way I treated my career.
I wrote down goals that I wanted to accomplish, then compartmentalized those goals. Then I put together action plans to achieve them and set to action.

For me, the sahm gig was split 3 ways: 1) Chores/housekeeping, 2)Parenting (educating, occupying, caring for the child), and 3) Personal maintenance (making sure I didn't go insane).

Number 1 was most difficult for me because I'd never kept house before. If you've always kept a maid, keep her on for a few weeks to teach you the ropes. Once I learned how to clean efficiently, I needed a plan to keep track of what needed to be done and when. One of the first things I learned was that schedules must be VERY LOOSE to accommodate little ones, and certain things must be done way more often than others. So I made a list of things I MUST do every single day--the bare minimum--kitchen, one bathroom, vacuum (we have a dog), and bedroom. Then every morning, I check my calendar for scheduled events that must be done at a certain time (Like appointments, classes, etc), and I note them. Next, I take a look at the house and note the rooms that need a little extra attention (I will spend 10-15 minutes in each one speed cleaning until my timer dings, then I won't touch it again that day--if it gets trashed, I'll fix it tomorrow). Then I note the laundry. I fit the chores in around the scheduled events.

Number 2 came quite easily for me once I had Number 1 under control, but be warned, if Number 1 falls out, you become a stressed out ball of irritation, which makes Number 2 virtually impossible. So, every month or so, I google free kids events in our area and note them on the calendar. We do NOT go to all of them, but I like to have them all available for when free time pops up. We have a storytime at some location or another EVERY SINGLE WEEKDAY here! And I live in a fairly small town! I also set aside time each day to play--I have a hard time with this but it is SO beneficial for J, so i set my timer for 20 minutes and I'm all his, the whole time. No interruptions. I even turn my phone off.

Number 3 is ESSENTIAL!!!!!! Cannot stress this enough--you MUST do something for yourself, that you enjoy, to relax and retain a sense of who you are apart from your role as mom AT LEAST once a week. I volunteer a lot during the school year with our homeless, I am also a member of a book club (sounds boring, but actually a lot of fun--think fun reading, wine, and venting about your week with your girlfriends), I run everyday in the winter, summer is difficult because J is out of school, but I still make time for myself to keep in shape and think. One little word of advice, if you choose a hobby that you do at home, either choose something that does not make a big mess you have to clean up (because you'll never feel like getting everything out, and making time to clean it up, just for a few minutes of fun) or have a dedicated space in the house where you can leave your supplies out and set up all the time.

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I have been a SAHM for 3 years my oldest will be 4 in August. I dont know where you live but we live in a 2 bedroom apt with 5 people......there is NO ROOM but right now we can't go anyway just yet. I want to get into crafts so bad & I have some different supplies and nowhere to put them. They are piled in bags wherever I can find room. I try to be organized and try to have a schedule but it never works out. I try to get things done when they are eating lunch or dinner because they are too busy to eating to bother me.

You definitely need to get into a routine. As soon as I get up I jump in the shower and get dressed while hubby watches the kids then hubby will most likely go to bed and I will start my day with breakfast (girls will be dressed already) and then from there if its nice I will walk to the park til whenever the kids want to go back home. I try to do crafts with the girls but they really don't listen so why torture myself when they won't listen.

You need time to yourself. The only time I get to myself is in the shower & then after they go to bed. My youngest 8 1/2 month old naps but the older 2 haven't in awhlile.
Good Luck!!

Stifler's - posted on 06/18/2012

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I've always been a SAHM and I sometimes feel like i get nothing done some days haha my kids are really young though and just follow me and whinge.

I agree with the others having goals for the day/keeping a diary, organising things to do like play dates or trips to the library, having a hobby for yourself, maintaining the clean rather than waiting until the place needs Hoaders to come in. If you have PND having a diary and even writing down how you feel every day really helps to get things out (my psych says anyway). Also getting dressed and washing your face and putting on makeup, buying one item a week of clothing for yourself since you don't have work uniforms anymore you need more get around the house clothes, they don't have to be daggy ever day to get ready for the day even if you're not going anywhere.

Michelle - posted on 06/18/2012

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The first thing is not to expect to get everything done. Some days I can do everything and others it looks like I haven't done a thing. The best thing we can do each day is make sure the children are looked after. The housework can wait.

Take one step at a time, maybe just have 1 thing that you would like to do each day to start off with. Once you are in that routine add another thing. Before you know it these will become automatic and you can step back and enjoy your achievements.

We are always here if you need to chat or just vent about your day.

Sharlene - posted on 06/17/2012

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Motherhood would just come naturally to you once you have organization in household and it would get better,does your husband help you.and theres a community for mums with depression on here. hes the link.

moms with depression . good luck

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