I was super hesitant to become a stay-at-home-mom because I had no idea how to be one. These past 7 months have been filled with so much joy and frustration and love and confusion than I ever expected, but I haven’t lost my mind, which was a major concern. If you’re in the same boat, or are gearing up to be a SAHM, here are 6 things that have kept me sane.
Finding social support
In the first few months, I often cried because the loneliness was palpable. During the week, I had no social interaction for approximately 12 hours every day; an extrovert’s worst nightmare. I found myself going to the grocery store just to I could talk to the cashier. (Seriously, Maude the cashier knows who I am and talks to me every time I’m there.) But over time, by my own effort and by kind souls reaching out to me, I’ve started to build an awesome mom tribe, and they make my life exponentially better.
Making a schedule
I used to scoff when stay-at-home-moms would say things like “Wednesday is laundry day.” I take back every snide scoff because schedules like that make my life manageable and productive. Admittedly, this is still something I wrestle with because, I mean, laundry doesn’t have to get done on Mondays, right? (But truly, if I wait until Tuesday to do all the laundry, my week feels off.) In Corporate America, I thrived off of a schedule, so I knew I’d have to do the same at home. While my Tuesday budget meetings are now replaced with Tuesday playground playdates, my schedule provides the necessary framework for my week.
Getting out of the house EVERY SINGLE DAY
Unless the baby is sick, I’m getting out of the house. Some days “getting out” means running errands, but more often than not, it means taking Jack to a music class or setting up a play date with girls from my mom tribe. I’m busting through walls like the Kool Aid Man if I’m in this house for a consecutive 24 hours.
Putting on makeup
I rarely wear pants without an elastic waistband, but most days I at least put on mascara and concealer. This has absolutely nothing to do with what the Maude cashier thinks of me, but everything to do with what I think about myself. If I feel like a slob, my day feel sloppy. My mood and outlook are drastically better on the days when I make time for those few extra minutes to get ready for the day.
Doing something outside of Momming
I mean, I’m all for ring-ring-ringing Jack’s play telephone 7,000 times a day, but come on, I need a little somethin’ more than that. Thankfully, this blog, some freelancing, and my contributor role at Best Kept Self afford me the creative outlet I need. (PSA – No one asked me to say this, but BKS is looking for new contributing writers. You can apply here)
Not “working” on the weekends
Aside from grocery shopping on Sundays (Cory and I are weird and like to do that together) all of my “work” is done during the week so Cory and I can enjoy as much family time as possible on the weekends. Obviously, this is not a perfect system, but it is the norm.
Clearly I’m still in the newbie SAHM phase, and because my training manual got lost in the mail, I’m making it up as I go along.