How to get in the hang of being a SAHM?

Amy - posted on 10/18/2011 ( 15 moms have responded )

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I was wondering what made things easier for you when you first started to stay at home?

I am feeling overwhelmed and want to know some tricks of the trade.

hopefully you have some advise for me.

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Kristyn - posted on 10/19/2011

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I think routine is HUGE. I have a schedule for my "work" i.e monday is laundry and ironing, tuesday is bathrooms and so on. I think this helps so I am not trying to accomplish everything in a day. I also am sure to get outside, if not too cold and snowy, everyday. Go for a walk, play in the grass, just do something outside. It helps my mood. I like to go for a bike ride or jog after the kids go to bed or on the treadmill during nap time. Honestly, this helps my mood SO much. p I was overwhelmed at first too. Hang in there, it will get easier =)

Valerie - posted on 10/19/2011

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I think that attitude is the best trick you can have. Being a SAHM is great because you get to control just about everything. You don't have to be at work at a certain time, shower, brush your teeth, or eat breakfast all before 7am!! Well, unless you want to. The point is though, that you now get to do whatever you want all day.
My son is only 16 months, but I have been home with him from the beginning. It was hard at first because whenever I had free time prior to not working, I would watch a movie and it seemed like my days somehow became filled with doing this. Then I realized that we could go to the park whenever, shop whenever, play games all day. Sure, I still cook and clean and do the laundry, but I don't allow myself to be consumed by these things. So what if it didn't get done today, I still have tomorrow!!
I'm a little curious what you are feeling overwhelmed by? If you are so bored with not having adults around, try to start a play group or join one instead. MOPS is a great group and most cities have them. A quick google search should help you with that. Also, most churches have groups as well. I personally am not religious, so I made a group with some of my husbands coworkers wives. We are all new to the area, so we hosted a new faculty night at our house, asked the ones with kids if they wanted to get together, and now there about 5 of us moms who get together once a week to hang out. I would say finding a friend can be one of the best things.
If this still doesn't help, try joining a class (academic, workout, hobby) whatever you can. Just because you stay home, doesn't mean this is your only job. Maybe you can be in a book club or get involved with PTA. My friend sings at her church, so she gets to be out a least 1-2x a week.
Also, check your local library. Ours does story time for just about all age groups. This is a great way to meet someone as well.
Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions!!

Stifler's - posted on 10/19/2011

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Routine probably is your best bet. Too much routine is boring but get up, feed kids, load washer and dishwasher, get dressed, keep a diary where you plan ahead to do stuff as you forgeet what day of the week it is, make up activities to do and join a mothers/playgroup.

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Angela - posted on 10/23/2011

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As far as houswork, I have a load of laundry daily..., I have a day i clean the bathrooms, kitchen , etc. this way I have my weekends free and I help myself get those chores done that I hate like cleaning the bathroom...
But trust me even if it is Bathroom cleaning day and my kid want to enjoy a nice sunny day at the park...forget the cleaning...we go

Angela - posted on 10/23/2011

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I agree Nikki the flexibility is nice but like I said some sort of schedule not a strict one....unless that is for you. I hope new moms realise I mean a routine over strict schedule. As Nikki said get out and size the moment and have fun!

Nikki - posted on 10/23/2011

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We don't really have a routine, and I think that's what I love best about being a SAHM. We have the basics such as eating, sleeping but other than that everything goes depending on our moods for the day. I do have a few rules, I have to do at least one load of washing, I have to clean the kitchen, I have to tidy up and I have to cook dinner and I try and make time for something fun each day. It was harder when my daughter was younger (she is 2) because I was tired all the time and she needed a lot more of my attention, but now she helps me with all the chores, and thinks it's the best thing in the world! Her rest time is my time, she usually sleeps for 2 hours, I use 1/2 hour of that time to tidy up then I have the rest of the time to me.

Nicole Fox - posted on 10/23/2011

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I am a new stay at home mom as well. I do teach dance in the evening a couple of nights a week, but I am only away from the house for an hour and 1/2. My son is 4 months and we don't really have a schedule because up untill now I think I have been too overwhelmed to have one. lol. However, I have done "playdates" with some of my friends who also had babies over the summer- they were for us obviously because the little ones basically slept through them, but they helped with our sanity. I am also going to take him to a baby swimming class which is free until he is 6 months. We go for walks almost everyday and I think it helped me lose the baby weight and it made me feel good being outside as well. I still feel overwhelmed a lot of the time with housework and can't seem to figure out how I got it all done before when I was working full time, getting my MBA and directing community theater- I thought that I was busy then, but having the little man is totally all consuming. I do try to get out at least once a day even if it's just to the grocery store or Target. I do create lists on Sunday for the week of what I need to get done and I also did a spread sheet with chores for the house by week and then I can do one or two things a day (or none depending on the amount of sleep I got) and then my husband doesn't have to ask me what needs to get done, nor do I have to ask him to do it, he can just look at the list and do it. This works in theory- he actually has to look at the list for it to work. lol. Anyway- good luck with everything, I think we all get the hang of it sooner or later.

Angela - posted on 10/21/2011

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I agree 100% with some sort of routine and schedule. It keeps me sane and I like my to do list and my agenda goes everywhere with me.
It always amazes me how quickly my agenda gets filled. I can see how busy I am or not and make plans with my kids etc.
I looked at community boards, papers etc to see what is going on in the neighbourhood. IE Halloween parties etc. Coffee groups, play groups. I never looked at these boards before as a working Mom did not have time for those things...
I found all kinds of fun and free to almost free things to do for my toddler. I also get to meet other adutls! Nice :)

Lisa - posted on 10/20/2011

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I say the biggest trick is learning to be flexible until you figure out what works for you and your family. I'm not a schedule/routine person and for me, having a schedule or routine and staying home would quickly make me a horrible person. We have things that happen on a schedule such as my daughter going to school in the mornings and playgroup on Fridays but otherwise I like flying by the seat of my pants based upon everyone's mood.

The biggest thing that overwhelmed me at first was filling all of those hours of the day. It helped me to have a nice supply of craft stuff, playdough, paints, markers, crayons, stamps, paper, ribbons, etc., etc., etc. And I learned to read my kids cues on what they want to do.

Jill - posted on 10/20/2011

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I second the routine. i'll do laundry on mondays, mop and scrub on tuesdays, for example. thursdays are my days to be lazy and just play with the kids and just be home.

i schedule play dates and get with friends. my daughter goes to a friend's house one day and her daughter comes to my house for a day. then another day or two, we get out and do something fun. i take my DD to the gym and that gives me 1-2 hours each time to myself. also, give yourself some "me" time. for me, it's when the kids go to bed, i read, watch tv or goof around on the computer. it gives me something to look forward to.

if you're new to the SAHM business, give yourself some time. you'll settle into a routine and new ideas. dont be stringent with your schedule, if you choose to have one. if i have something fun planned on monday, i'll do laundry on sunday and if i still dont get to it, i'll get it started on wednesday.

one more idea, something my old boss told me before i quit to stay home, is to give yourself a goal everyday. whether it be something big or small, to clean out a sock drawer before you turn on the tv, for an example, is the key to getting something done and feel good about yourself. good luck and congrats on being a stay at home mom. it'll be the best decision you ever make!!!!!

Sally - posted on 10/20/2011

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what i did as a SAHM was start some hobbies, at first i tried gardening, then went to puzzles,needlepoint,sewing ( making purses ),then started making jewlery, i just recently learned how to knit,so on top of all that i also know crocheting too,i don' t do everything all at once,i choose a differant hobby to do at differant times & days, i finish one then move to the next, but i only do these when everything is taken care of and i have nothing to do while i wait for my family to return home from school or work, it helps me relax that way when they get home i can have dinner waiting or cooking and can spend time with them before bed, but i also have days when i dont do any of my hobbies and i watch a movie or two i also have 4 dogs that keep my occupied to, so it all depends on which thing to do,but i personally would start a hobby that way while you have everything done and dont want to just sit there you will have something to do,to keep you from being bored . also try having friend or two who are SAHMs too and you both could do things together or have playdates for your younger kids, there are plenty of things you could do as a SAHM. i hope this gives you some ideas, good luck :)

Caroline - posted on 10/20/2011

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cant, i stayed at home for the 1st two years of my daughters life, just started a course and shes in playgroup all day, doing us the world of good.

Rachel - posted on 10/19/2011

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I had two people that were preggers at the same time as me and i didnt know much about being a mom so i'd call them when i had questions and that helped. Also i think knowledge is power so i read the "what to exspect the first year books" and stuff like that to make the days fun. I do keep a shedual because it helps keep your sanily and kids seem to better when they know what to exspect from day to day. I also set up alot of playdates to get outta the house.
I hope this helps some. How old is your kiddo i could give you ideas for fun things to do with him. My son is almost three and we have fun being in eachothers company, i have him help sort laundry by color and help put away the pots and pans when i'm doing dishes. stuff like that

also find some "me" time everyday. just to relax, watch your fav tv show, read, knit whatever put up your feet. i usually do it during my kids nap time. its the only time of day i have the house all to myself except sometimes i get up between 5 and 6am so i can relax and drink my coffee and watch the news in peace before the rest of the house gets up.

if you need anymore ideas let us know. hang in there! i have definatly been there!

Michelle - posted on 10/19/2011

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Make sure to get out of the house (go for a walk, take the kids to the zoo etc).

Tinker1987 - posted on 10/18/2011

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well i love being a stay at home mom. i worked fulltime since 14 so it was a nice change. but some days i get sick of the same walls,what are you overwhelmed with? if you mean housework and all that jazz try making yourself a schedule on what days u want to do what like laundry ect, or if your bored of your home try joining mom and baby groups in your area.

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