When I was pregnant with my first child, I very much looked forward to becoming a stay at home mom. I worked in health care, and while it was a great career, I knew it wasn’t for me. My husband and I both agreed the best thing for our family was for me to become a stay at home mom.
I had all these visions for what it would be like to stay at home: I would do yoga every morning, I would meet up with friends every day, I would have all this free time to get so much cool stuff done.
It was nothing like that.
What it was though, was being constantly in mom mode, tending to my baby, and always worrying if I was doing anything right. It was sleep deprived exhaustion, feeling overwhelmed by small things, and trying to juggle a fussy baby in the ring sling while doing laundry or cooking dinner.
While I appreciated being able to stay home with my baby, it didn’t feel like an easy transition. There were many struggles and challenges along the way, and everything felt unfamiliar.
It took some time, but I gradually began to feel like I was finding my groove in this stay-at-home world.
Maybe you've recently made the decision to stay at home as well? Here are my six tips for transitioning to a stay at home mom:
1. You don’t have to do it all.
Maybe you always took care of certain aspects of housework/finances/pet care before you had a baby, and feel like they are still up to you. Except now you’re taking care of a baby who requires your attention during every waking minute… so why should you be able to do it all? Talk to your partner if you’re feeling overwhelmed, and work out how to redistribute the household workload.
2. When people offer help, take it. And don’t be afraid to ask for help either.
Even if you’re out of the “I just had a baby” phase. A friend wants to bring you dinner? Offers to come watch the baby while you shower? Please let them. Even if you have a 10 month old… you might still not be sleeping through the night, you might still be exhausted, you might still not feel like cooking dinner.
3. Don’t over-schedule.
I was constantly on the move in my professional life, always busy. But when I tried to be so “on the move” with a baby, I just felt exhausted and burnt out. Having rest days where the only outing you do is a stroller walk around the block can be so refreshing, if you let them!
4. Try to stay organized.
You’re going to want a day planner for this. Check out my post here for all the reasons why you need a day planner, even as a stay at home mom. I’m a big list-maker. Often I start my day with a quick list in my day planner of what I’d like to accomplish that day. I note what’s actually important and what can wait for another day if need be. If my baby was napping and I had some time, I could reference my list to keep me organized. That way when baby woke, I wasn’t trying to multitask as much and I could totally focus on having fun and interacting with him, without feeling the constant pull of things that weren’t actually important enough for my attention.
5. Embrace the slow times.
Everyone will tell you this, and it’s so true: they grow up fast. Really fast. Soon enough your baby will be a toddler running non stop all over your house, who wriggles away from your attempt at a cuddle on the couch. So take the time to appreciate those moments while you’re in them.
6. Take time for yourself.
Even if it’s just carving out time after the baby is in bed to curl up with a book and some tea, make sure you do something for yourself EVERY DAY. Even better, get out of the house alone. Go grocery shopping, spend some time browsing a book store, or take an hour and go through the racks at a thrift store. Do anything that brings some peace and quiet to your mind.
Need some inspiration to make your mornings go a bit smoother? Check out my post here.