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!
First of all, congrats on joining the club! You won’t regret the blessing of being a SAHM. It definitely gets a little crazy sometimes, but it’s worth it. I had/have the same issues with ‘not contributing to the finances’. My grandpa always taught me to work hard so I could take care of myself and not depend on anyone else to do it for me. Just think, now you do not have a daycare bill. That’s a financial contribution in and of itself. I also do sell advocare health products that brings in some spending money for me. (I can share more about advocare with you if you want) I also belong to a local Facebook garage sale page. I sell clothes and toys the girls have outgrown then I usually use that money to buy new clothes for the girls or whatever they might need. Or, I save it for a larger purchase or most recently for our spending money for our upcoming Disney trip! These are a few little things that I do that help a little that my husband really appreciates. I think Jeff will be fine as long as you make a conscious effort to error on the conservative side for a bit while this becomes the new normal. Most museums/zoos have reduced price or free days on the websites.
I hope you have a smooth transition, you are going to be so thankful you have this time with her. They really do grow too fast.
Most men aren’t like Jeff bc most men want a woman to take care of all of the finances! Ha! I say it all the time, I need a wife or my mom to keep me organized!
Library & little gyms have lots of classes…join mom group; i have way too many playdate invites every week that i try to limit to one or 2. (otherwise cant keep up w/ housework, cooking, & other fun:)
Thanks for the great tips on making extra money while being a SAHM, Tina. I’m def going to be checking out some options. I need to get good at seeking out those website deals and using coupons!
Not sure that’s entirely true, Shaun! Some guys like women to handle the finances, and in your case, you definitely NEED a woman to handle the finances. LOL!
Better to have too much to do than not enough, Liz! I need to look up all these classes and put together a schedule!
I love that you shared the timeline of your average day. It’s always interesting to see how other mamas are entertaining their little ones, especially since your little one is the same age as mine! Hadn’t thought of getting flashcards until I read your post – thanks for the idea. As for budget-friendly activities to fill your days, have you checked out your local library for free museum/zoo passes (or at least coupon/discount passes)? Our local library allows each family to take out one set of passes per week so we’ve been going to the children’s museums, zoos, aquarium, state parks,etc. for free each week. For us, you can often reserve them online, and some paper passes don’t even need to be returned so it’s very convenient. Also, my little guy loves to visit the pet store and local farms to see all the animals. Children’s bookstores often have little play areas set up. From a somewhat envious working mom, hope you’re enjoying every minute of this rare opportunity and best of luck with your job search. 🙂
I love being a SAHM. We do most of our shopping at Berlington Coat Factory because they have great deals. We can save a lot of money on clothes everyone loves, and they have a lot more than just coats and clothes.
Cool, thanks for the tip, Norma!