I’ve just completed one week of my brand new stay-at-home-mom status and I have to say; it’s definitely an adjustment. There have been ups and downs this week and I’m still not sure how I feel about the life change, but I will clearly need more than 5 days to come to a well-informed opinion. This is going to make me sound really stupes, but I sort of had this impression that staying home was super awesome; no need for alarm clocks, lounging around the house in yoga pants, internetting all day, going out to lunch with your toddler, shopping at H&M, hitting up the gym, etc. And to some degree, it is like this. But it’s not as H&M-ish as I thought it would be, and of course there’s no need for alarm clocks – toddlers don’t sleep passed 7am!
I’ll start with the more challenging aspects so far, and then end with the good stuff…
One of the hardest parts is the lack of a routine. When you go from having a set routine every day that includes getting dressed up, going into the office, socializing, commuting, etc.; it’s a little boring to not have a single set event on your daily schedule. I realize that I need to create a routine for Annabelle and me so that life stays active, but it’s hard to know where to start in week one. I’m just trying to get the lay of the land here, figure out how the days go with naps, housekeeping, and dog walking.
So far, my day looks like this:
6:45 – Annabelle wakes up
8:30 – After lounging around watching The Today Show while AB plays, we get ready for the day
9:15 – Breakfast
9:45 – Flash cards, play time, internetting (AB is getting really good at her shapes and colors!)
11:00 – Outdoor playtime or stroller walk with the dog
12:00 – Nap time, mommy’s lunch and blog time!
2:00 – AB wakes, eats late lunch, might turn on movie if she’s a crank monster post-nap
2:30 – Laundry or some chore to keep my husband happy (Ha!)
3:30 – Head to the gym (child care for AB, ahhhh!)
5:30 – Head home, dinner, books, play, teeth brushing
8:00 – AB goes to bed
I need to meet up with some other moms in a play group or something because this can be a bit isolating. All I talk to is an 18 month old and a dog. So I call my mom about 18 times a day. I want to start getting regular play dates on my calendar ASAP to avoid forgetting how to have an adult conversation.
And I can forget trips to H&M and lunch at Chili’s, because when you’re not working you’re not making money, honey. My husband is being a bit of a nervous nelly about me spending money right now because he’s all scared about not having a set budget created. I’ve never really lived on a budget before, so this isn’t going to be easy, but I’m going to create one to make him happy. This has been the hardest part for me this week, the lack of financial independence. I’m used to making my own money, getting my nails done, going to the movies, etc. – no questions asked. Now Jeff asks how much I spent each day! ANNOYING! Are all husbands like this? I’m really curious to know how other SAHMs have managed to spend money on themselves, like grooming, entertainment, or shopping, without giving your husband an early stroke.
Despite the things that have been an adjustment for me this week, by far the best thing is getting to spend so much quality time with my daughter. On Thursday, we went to the zoo and had a blast. We’ve been working with Annabelle on her zoo and farm animals, so she was beyond ecstatic to see the monkeys, wild birds, and tigers. And it was so nice to go to the zoo mid-week without the lines! Afterward, we came home and made Valentine’s Day cupcakes. I haven’t made cupcakes since before AB was born because I never have the energy. Now I have the time to do things like that.
The other great thing that’s happening is I’m shedding the mommy guilt! When I was working, I felt like I needed to spend as much time as possible with AB on the weekends because that was my main time with her. I felt guilty wanting to get my nails done, going to the gym, or going on a date with my husband. Not anymore! I get tons of time with her now, so I shouldn’t feel bad about that 3 hour bike ride on Saturday morning!
I can say that in one week I really do feel a deeper bond growing between me and Annabelle, which literally gives me a physical feeling of a swelling heart! The quality time with your little one is invaluable, which is why I wanted to try out being a SAHM. I eagerly look forward to the time when I figure all this routine, isolation, and financial stuff out so I can become a kick-A SAHM!
I’d love any suggestions you have on creative ways to spend our days, or fun things to do on a budget. Help a new SAHM out! Please leave a comment if you have suggestions, thanks!