7 1/2 years ago I became a Stay at Home Mom. I’ve always known deep down that I would become a SAHM, and finally the day had come. It can be a scary idea at first — losing an entire income, not knowing what to do all day, or if I would become the mom that is always in her yoga pants with messy hair and no makeup.
At first, life was just a fog of crying, diaper changes, and feedings. Sleep. Repeat. Once I could see through the fog, I realized I would survive the struggle of having small kids by planning out my days like a 9 to 5 job. When I started to approach each week like this, I began to enjoy my days with my kids and stopped dreading the next day.
Plan your day like a work day. Make your list of things that you need to do or have planned for the week. Then break it down to your Monday thru Friday schedules the night before: mornings, meetings, lunch break, nap time, closing time. At the end of the week look at the daily schedules, look at all you did and feel accomplished! Here is a cute, easy and free weekly planner from Paige Simple to help plan out those weeks.
Set your alarm to get up and get moving – even if there isn’t anything on the schedule for the day. Wash your face, put on some clothes and open all the blinds in the house. Mom Tip: Even if you have no plans of getting out of the house, change out of your pjs. Yoga pants are acceptable work clothes for a stay at home mom. Make your coffee and breakfast just like you use to for work because your work day is about to start!
It’s important to have daily meetings. Wait! What! Meetings? Yep, meetings, also known as playdates. Schedule playdates during your work week everyday or every other day. I felt a sense of relief when I would sit down, look at the week, and see most days involved play dates or kid friendly events. Even newborns can have playdates! Playdates are important for everyone in the family: you get to socialize, your children learn to play with others, and everyone gets out of the house.
Both my daughters stopped taking naps when they were 2ish. So instead of naps, we took lunch breaks. If you think about it, you go from a nice 2-3 hour break during the day to nothing when they stop taking naps. So, lunch breaks become a must! Once your kids are old enough, make them lunch and then make your lunch. Ask if they would like anything else and then let them know you are not “working” during your lunch break. Take this time, read a book or do something you want to do for about 15 minutes or longer. The kids will be ok playing in their rooms. My oldest daughter reads, while my youngest likes playing on ABC Mouse during our lunch breaks.
So now you’ve made it to the end of the day and it’s important to clock out. Sure there may be laundry to fold or dishes to clean. But, those can wait until tomorrow. It’s more important for you to have time with your husband, kids or yourself. I usually make a short mental list of stuff I need to finish, complete it, and then I clock out. Sometimes it’s a crazy time of year and you just have to get stuff done. That’s ok! Just try not to make a habit of it.
Paid Time Off
Yes! Even you deserve Paid Time Off. Well, maybe not paid…but you do need time off! Paid time off can be anything from an hour to run to Target by yourself or getting a cup of coffee with a friend. I like a good night out with friends or a girls’ weekend away! It’s important for you to recharge and for you to be happy walking through your front door. It’s not always easy to schedule some PTO, but make time!
Some experts say, “A child needs a schedule to be a happy child.” Well, so does the Stay at Home Mom. When I finally learned to make a schedule, the days were easier to handle. I believed I could make it through the day with a schedule. At some point in mommy life you say to yourself, “I just have to make it through the day.” Hopefully with your new schedule you can too!