How do I get into the swing of being a stay @ home mom?

Felicia - posted on 05/22/2011 ( 4 moms have responded )




Im a mom of 2 boys (6yrs & 10mos) with a BA degree in Psychology (10+ yrs of Cust. Service plus 3yrs Social Service) I love working with people in person! Now I find myself a stay @ home mom! My husband & I also just moved to Atlanta, Ga. Im new to being in the house & want to make the best of this time with my boys. Don't get me wrong I LOVE my family, I just never thought I'd be a S@HM guys!


Louise - posted on 05/22/2011




I think you need to balance your time at home with joining mums and tots groups to keep you stimulated. Staying at home can be mind numbing at times and getting the balance right is very difficult for some people. If you are not happy being at home then work part time and get the best from both worlds.


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Katherine - posted on 05/22/2011




A woman just beginning life as a stay-home mom will likely experience more changes than just those to the checkbook. For many moms, the transition from work to home brings an unfamiliar and often unexpected emotion: loneliness. That she's no longer spending her days with co-workers at the office or joining chums for a late dinner and movie can be a shock to the system. "My loneliest time was when Danny was first born," says Mary Ellen Flanagan, a stay-home mom in Middletown, Rhode Island. "Slowly, I discovered Gymboree and the MOMS group at church where I met some great friends."

Avoiding isolation is critical. Sherri Brothers, coordinator for Living with Baby class in Everett, Washington, says loneliness is common in new moms. Sometimes women even find they are "jealous or resentful that hubby gets to go off to work," says Brothers. She recommends finding a source of support outside the house. "Join a mommy/baby group or mommy/baby exercise class, contact moms from your childbirth classes, find a church group, start a playgroup…"

Outlets such as those Brothers mentions are wonderful places for making friends and finding playmates for children. "[These places] give moms somewhere to go every week. There's comfort in knowing almost everyone in the room is sharing your experience and provides an atmosphere where it's okay to talk about your baby as much as you want, in fact you're encouraged to do so," says Brothers, who has seen many long-term friendships develop in her classes.

An Altered Self View

Stay-home moms may experience temporary drops in self-esteem. "I doubted everything," says Christine Thomas, mother of two in Indian Springs, Ohio. "In the workplace I was constantly reinforced, and success was measured in very tangible ways. And now here I was in sweatpants and a t-shirt and mopping the floor. It's a very different kind of reward and reinforcement for your work."

Additional factors affecting a new mom's self-view are postpartum depression or blues and unhappiness with a postpartum physique. "[A new mother] may not be happy with her body and is anxious to lose weight or tone up," says Brothers. If a mom is feeling frumpy and blue, Brothers recommends buying some transitional clothes. "They're worth their weight in gold!"

Making the Adjustments

New Roles and Changes in Your Marriage

In addition to the physical and emotional changes most women experience with new motherhood, women who stay home often take on more housekeeping and baby care.

Thomas had difficulty adjusting to the role changes in her household. "My lifestyle changed, and the demands on me were different. You function differently in the workplace than you do at home," she says. "My husband and I both had different expectations about working inside the home versus outside. My home responsibilities increased greatly and my husband's decreased because he was the sole income winner. I took on more housework, yardwork, or things my husband would have normally taken care of when we had two incomes."

Many women experience feelings of guilt when they stop bringing an income home, even when this decision is taken jointly. A woman accustomed to earning her own salary may find it difficult to ask her husband for money.

Brothers says it helps to recognize these changes and address them with your spouse, particularly if you're feeling overwhelmed. "If you want or need something, ask… without whining or crying. He would be glad to help if he knew what you needed."

Brothers also encourages couples not to neglect their marriages. "Plan a date at least once a month," she says. "…nurture your relationship and communicate with your partner." And remember that you are not the only one experiencing change. While your husband may have relinquished certain household duties, he may feel increased pressure as sole breadwinner and new father. Take time to discuss how you feel with your mate and listen to his concerns too.

Time for Yourself

It's crucial moms find time to nurture themselves. "Find a babysitter before baby arrives and plan time for yourself at least once a week," says Brothers. "Any time mom gets away by herself, even if it's just to the grocery store, feels good. Those who make time for themselves to exercise, maybe scrapbook with a friend, attend a book club, go bowling etc. feel most satisfied and have renewed spirit as a mom and partner." Even if you can't get out, Brothers encourages moms to grab moments of quiet time. "Sit down with a magazine, a cup of tea, have a chocolate truffle! Just take time for yourself, time to renew."

Thomas says as a mother, her needs became mixed in with the needs of her family. "If the kids are happy I'm happy; if my husband's doing ok, I'm doing ok. After a while I was able to refocus on my independence and my sense of self." Once her kids were no longer infants, Thomas fulfilled a long-term goal of becoming an aerobics instructor. "I allowed myself the time to pursue this goal. I'm able to get out and meet people more. I also started volunteering for more things in MOMS club and did some volunteering at church."

Committment and Rewards

Being a stay-home mom presents its own share of struggles, but it can offer incredible rewards for the parents and kids. Find strength in meeting the challenges of being a stay-home mom and allow yourself to experience joy in the day-to-day aspects of stay-home mothering. Enjoy the special time you have with your children and have confidence that you are doing what is right for your family; it is a decision you are not likely to regret.

"Danny is a constant reminder that [being home with him] is all worth it, " says Flanagan. "I also know that it is our job to raise him to be a responsible, loving adult. This is the best way I can do that … it works for me and I'm seeing the results already in the way he behaves."

For more on being a stay-home mom, read Stay at Home Successfully: Ten tips to keep your home and life in order.

Also has a variety of mommy groups.

Christy - posted on 05/22/2011




Felicia, Welcome to the club! I have similar career interests as you, and I've been a stay at home mom for 13 years. The difficult part about being a stay at home mom is feeling like you're contributing to the world. Of course your contribution to your sweet boys will be amazing for them! With your psychology background, you know you've got to take care of yourself in order to benefit others. So, find a new hobby! I love to craft. I've gone through several crafty hobbies and my current hobbies are making jewelry, reading, and exercising. Also, you might enjoy being involved in your son's school class! You could join or create some social groups, such as play groups, book clubs, or ladies' lunch group. It may take some experimentation to figure out what you will enjoy, but it will be worth it! Good luck!

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 05/22/2011




I was new to this a year ago, I was use to working and then…here I am a SHAM

It does take some getting use to, but really you just have to find your routine of things, there is not one set way of telling you how to get in the grove of things you just do. But as far as having things to do…now that is where it can get a tad frustrating when your sitting in the house that has been cleaned five times with in the past few hours…LOL

Its like um…now what?? O_o

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