Advice for a working mom transitioning to become a SAHM

Jillian - posted on 04/18/2012 ( 14 moms have responded )

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I have a 3 yr old and a 1 yr old and my hubby and I are in the process of getting our finances in order for me to come home and be a stay at home mom. I'm so excited as it is what I've always wanted to do, but I almost feel like there is some secret to it that I just don't know. Is there a guideline or way you manage your day, children, schedule, school. I'm planning on homeschooling as well. I know everyone handles their homes differently I was just hoping I could get your advice.

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[deleted account]

The 2 most important things that I can tell you are to 1) make sure you have equal access to your finances and a good financial plan, and 2) treat your position as a sahm with the same respect you treated your career.

The finances part is important because if you are constantly having to ask your husband for money or justify your purchases to him you will begin to feel belittled and controlled.
Respecting your position is also important because when not held to a certain standard by our boss, it is easy to let our standards fall. We loose track of our goals and feel like we are running around all day and accomplishing nothing. It is also easy to overlook the importance of the job we are doing.

Amber - posted on 04/22/2012

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I didn't know what life had in store for me when I became a SAHM. As I look at my days I realize that I do have a Monday-Friday schedule and the weekends are more flexible. Our schedule kind of evolved taking my son's and my needs into account. One of my needs is to get to the gym several times a week. I use this time to workout and shower. Since I pay a monthly childcare fee at the gym, sometimes I go for quiet time to pay bills, read, or make some phone calls that require my attention.
I think the big thing for me is always having a daycare provider avaialble for drop ins. I use them about once or twice a month to just have a day to myself. Being a SAHM I never really feel like I have down time and time to call my own. After two years I realized I do like to see movies in the theater, and that I do like to get a pedicure, and I do like to get a massage, and that I do like to see a project through to the end (like a DIY or simply getting packed and ready for a vacation).
Enjoy. It is such an honor to watch our children daily and see all the little discoveries.

Shaquana - posted on 04/20/2012

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Hello Jillian

I have been a stay at home mom for about 3 years now and what everyone said was right it is important to have a schedule especially if you are talking about home schooling your children. I have two children with developmental delays nothing to serious but they are in school for early intervention and I have a step daughter at home with me until my four year old gets home since hes half day. Also it is VERY VERY VERY IMPORTANT to schedule you time. After a while it does seem like the walls are closing in on you and you need a break. It was hard for me to transition because I am used to working outside of the home. It has its rewards but keep in mind that being a stay at home mom is a 24 hr 7 days a week job with no vacations, sick days, or income. Keep your support system very close and dont be afraid to let your husband or family know when youre overwhelmed or need help. Hope this helps and I didnt scare you to bad.

[deleted account]

My son is in school, so we follow a schedule, but it's pretty loose.

I have found that for ME and my family, if the schedule is too strict, we can't follow it, we fall apart or I get bored from the monotony of doing the same things in the same order all the time. This is how I manage our time:
I make a list of everything i need to accomplish that week. Then I look at the things that must be done at a certain time (meetings, dr.s appointments, school, and other activities). Then I fit the more flexible things around them to develop a loose schedule for each day.
If I fall behind, no big deal, but I have learned over the years to schedule less than I think I have time for--ESPECIALLY when J was a toddler. Everything took twice as long as I thought. If I come out ahead of schedule, I do something nice for myself.


One other thing--the busiest part of your day is going to be when your husband gets home from work. He will sit down to relax and you will be going 100 mph. He NEEDS to relax, but so do you. Make sure you take some time for yourself during the day so that you don't resent him for sitting down after work. Also, make sure he doesn't completely zone out and depend on you for everything, he may not need to share in the chores anymore, but he still needs to be an active father and interact with his kids. Have him spend some one on one time with your little ones while you cook dinner or clean up. My husband also enjoys doing J's bedtime routine with him--it happens after he's had a chance to relax and change gears, it makes him feel useful and needed, and it helps solidify their father/son bond.

Erica - posted on 04/18/2012

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Jillian Kelly said most of what I was going to say! Congrats on being a stay - at - home mom! I have never had a harder job and I've had some tough jobs in the past LOL. Make sure you get a night at least once every 2 months or so for you.

You wake up at work, eat all meals, shower, play, and sleep at work. If your walls start closing in on you let some one know! Your going to want a great support system because if you are anything like me and the other SAHMs I know one morning your going to wake up wondering what the hell you were thinking! There is no commute home to unwind no complaining to you hubby about your boss and buy some sweats LOL I got 2 - 4 days with out wearing jeans. Your kids are a little older but I reserve jeans for when I'm leaving or my night outs because right now I have an almost 3 yr old and a 9 month old and I'm covered in snot and strained veggies LOL.

Also, don't try to keep the house completely spotless or you'll never have time to watch them play! Enjoy, it's not easy but it's totally worth it!

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User - posted on 04/25/2012

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This cite has some great homeschooling stuff for you and the kids you might want to check it out-http://www.starfall.com. As far as the transition I cant help much as I am trying to figure it all out too. With my and fiance we have a joint checking acct which he puts bill money in and we pay bills, he also gives me my own money for things that our daughter and I need for the house( he is currently working away from home). Im learning how much work it is to be at home all the time and the difference from the working enviroment, I miss working and having adult time but its such a great joy to wake up to your kids and a kiss! I suggest for you and your hubby to sit down and talk about things such as money, household chores and time that is spent with hte kids. We are still women and need time to ourselves( mines being able to have 30 min for a shower alone with no kid interupting). Its good to get your kids on a schedule, like I said im new to this too and im working on that due to my daughter is 4 and will be doing school soon( i use that website to help her learn). I hope that this helps. Being a SAHM I have also learned many ways to save such as groceries, household items and even just in ways of doing activites for the kids and myself. Again hope this helps

**Jackie** - posted on 04/22/2012

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Hey Jillian! A routine is a must for me! I feel very unaccomplished if I don't know what I'm doing during the day. My 16 month old "helps" me with everything. I'm not "allowed" to put any wet clothes into the dryer without her touching them lol. When I cook, she gets spoons and bowls to play with and we have craft time and go for walks and dance throughout the day! I am a serious couponer and I went to the dollar store and got her a binder and some paper and she has fun with her things while mommy coupons and plans for a trip. When we go to the store we have a list and we count together as we put things in the cart. She is such a help and she has so much fun!

Sometimes when it is a rainy yucky day and we don't have anything planned we make a fort in the living room with chairs and blankets and I make a fruit salad in a big bowl and we munch and watch movies lol It's nice to have a day "off" every once in a while!

[deleted account]

Work out a schedule that includes your routine, and any activies that you do, inculding shopping and things, so that you know what you are doing, and it keeps the days from running into each other.

Kim - posted on 04/20/2012

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& yes! I 2nd the financial issue totally!! I didn't even think of that as I am the one in control of the finances!! I'm better at it & I do all the bill paying etc. & just keep my DH apprised of it. Also, make sure you have insurance ~ if your dh is injured on the job, you will need it, Oh & save $$ where you all can but don't be too stingy or you will eventually get bitter about it & blow your $$ ~ been there done that! So keep it as happy medium as possible! Go on bike rides etc... keep doing fun stuff but do as much as you can for free (the zoo always has 1 free day & so do most museums each year ~ sometimes several times per year! The Jenks Aquarium here in OK is free for Dad's on Father's Day etc see what will show up in your town on certain "non holiday type holiday days!!!)

Kim - posted on 04/20/2012

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DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT isolate yourself!!! Have days (or at least 1 day) each week where you get together w/other kids & Moms to just hang out & have some adult etc time... Do things outside the home, have zoo passes, museum passes, etc. Go to the park, get to know other families that are in the same boat. It also helps if you can have 1 night a week/month whatever, where you can just go out with the girls... If you have a bad day or 1 that is just plain depressing, don't beat yourself up for it, remind yourself that each day is a new day & move on. & Always remember that you are doing this for YOUR family. I promise you will get remarks by other people ~ some will applaud you, some will try to shame you (b/c they aren't "able to" b/c they ~ usually b/c you are making sacrifices, & they are not). It's a priority for you & your family. DO NOT LET ANYONE try to give you grief!!! In todays world, people seem to have the idea that the more stuff you have, the better off you are. Not really true, but there you have it. I'm so excited for you! It will be an adjustment, but you can do it!!! Look for things to help you online like, time, money & life management; household management ~ organizedhome.com, frugalvillage.com, etc Hope that helps!!!

[deleted account]

Trust your gut, be flexable, and dont give up! Have fun with it. I'm a SAHM who is going to start homeschooling this yr. If you would like to talk let me know. My kids are almost 5, 3 and 1.

Jillian - posted on 04/19/2012

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Thank you. I know that is common sense in many ways but I really want to make sure I'm setting myself with a good foundation when I come home. Thanks for the advice,

Jillian - posted on 04/18/2012

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Thanks Ladies!

Do you have a scheduled day, in general?
Like....
Breakfast @ 7
Brush teeth and dressed @ 8
Morning chores done by 9

etc?

I've been told that having a schedule for the day becomes more important on school days. I'm just curious, I do have some stay at home mom friends now, but I haven't exactly been welcomed into the fold yet... as I still work, for now.

Martha - posted on 04/18/2012

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Its important that you make some time for yourself within all the chaos but congratz on making that decision.

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