I’ve been a stay home mom for almost a year and a half now, and thinking back, I am so happy to be able to do this. I love getting to spend all this time with my daughter. My mom stayed home with me, and my husband’s mom stayed home with him. We both agreed that if it was financially feasible, I should be a stay home mom for our children.
When it came time to make that decision, I was working in a dead end job that was just ok, and paid me less than I believe my time and talents are worth. My husband had a great career. We did the math, and we would barely be making any extra per year if I went back to work and we put our daughter in daycare. The decision was practically made for us.
There were a lot of adjustments at first.
I spent a lot of my early time as a stay home mom with my own mom. I would visit with her during the week so I could have a change of scene. I also would go out walking with my daughter (sometimes with additional company) in a stroller or body carrier any time the weather was nice.
Soon, my good friend had her baby, and we would regularly get together for coffee or just spend time at one of our homes. After a few months, she went back to work, I moved across town, and the weather started to get cooler. This meant less walks to get me out of the house, and I needed to find new ways to occupy my time as a stay home mom.
Enter my lifesaver: MeetUp
I searched on MeetUp.com, and very quickly found a moms’ group in my area. Coincidentally, a former coworker of mine ran the group! To me that was a sort of sign that I should try out the group. I started attending the group’s weekly coffee playdate at a local “Play Café” – they sell coffee and have a limited menu, and have several areas where kids of different ages can play. After several meetups, I was getting along great with the other moms, and was feeling much happier, less trapped (like one can feel in the dead of winter!).
The group started having more meetups – walks, playdates at peoples’ houses, music classes, children’s museum, etc – and although I couldn’t attend all of them, they inspired me to try some of these things on my own, and gave me ideas of things I could do with my daughter and our friends and family outside of the home.
I’ve also reconnected with some old friends. Through the magic of Facebook and the internet, I learned of other women I knew from high school who have children around the same age as my daughter. Their work schedules include some weekdays off, and so we get together for lunch, coffee, or park play dates.
My “Me” Time is critical. In addition to being a full time mom, I have been writing regularly for Strong is Our Sexy, and earlier this year I became a consultant for a direct sales company, whose products I love. I like having these two things in my life partly for a little extra cash, but also to connect with others and exercise my brain in different ways than I do with day-to-day mommying.
Top Tips for New Stay-at-Home Moms
There is definitely a learning curve to being a stay home mom, and it took motivation and initiative to establish how I successfully spend my and my daughter’s time.
Create a schedule with certain things you do every week. I take my daughter to music class every Monday, and usually go to a mommy and me fitness class on Fridays. The rest of the week is usually open and we build in other activities as they come up, or just stay around the house. Having a regular schedule helps keep me on track, but also helps me enjoy the days we stay home a little more.
2. Keep lists
Sometimes I have serious mommy brain and can easily forget simple things that I want to accomplish on a specific day. I keep a “Nap Time To-Do List” of things I want to make sure to accomplish when my daughter is napping, or calmly playing and not requiring my full attention. By keeping this list, I don’t have to waste any time wondering what I was going to do, but can just dive right in and start checking things off my list.
3. Find other moms
Playdates and play groups are great for the little ones, but also fantastic for moms. Motherhood is a special community, so make sure to be a part of it! I absolutely love being around other moms with children around my daughter’s age; we instantly have a lot in common, and can learn so much from each other, as well as support each other.
4. Find activities outside the home
The activities you do will change over time, just like your growing baby. You’ll have to adjust to cranky days, new mobility, and changing nap schedules, and will have to adapt your schedule and which activities you attend. Right now my daughter won’t sit still for coffee dates, but loves when we take walks in the park.There are plenty of things out there for you, and other moms who will share this time with you and support you.
Every once in a while I wonder what it would be like if I had gone back to work. If I had had a better job, it might have been more of a decision, but becoming a stay home mom has been a much better fit for me.
Lisa is a wife and mom of a baby girl. She enjoys trying out new forms of exercise and fitness, but her favorites are pole dance fitness, aerial silks, and yoga. She also volunteers some of her spare time to a local cat rescue. Since discovering her sexy strength a couple years ago, she is the happiest she has been her whole life, and is happy to share it with you. Got a question for Lisa? Write to email@example.com