When I became pregnant, both my husband & I knew our ultimate goal would be for me to leave my full time Monday-Friday job and become a stay at home mama. While I still plan on running my photography business, my full time job outside the home would be no longer. As this pregnancy has continued & we are just about 3 months out from meeting our sweet baby, I started becoming overwhelmed with the thoughts of my new & upcoming role as a stay at home mommy.
I reached out to my Facebook circle of friends and asked for any and all thoughts & advice they could give to making the transition easier. A lot of these women said very similar thoughts, but there were also a few surprising responses I was not expecting! I am so excited to share with you all the results of my survey and perhaps shed some light on just what being a stay at home mama means :)
1. A few women mentioned that prior to staying home, they thought SAHM's had it MADE. Of course, that's what the movies & TV shows portray, right? Yoga pants all day, coffee dates with other SAHM's, home cooked meals every night, and so on. These women soon realized that being a stay at home mom meant leaving a 40-50 hr/week job for a 24/7 a week job! You are on call all day, everyday. While most women did say their partners did help, these women explained that they felt immense pressure to do it all on their own because their partners were working outside the home. Also, a mama who is breastfeeding, it's very hard for the partner to help out as all feedings are on you.
2. Schedules? HA! Just when you think you've narrowed down a schedule, it will change. Be flexible and understand things change. Do what works for YOU and your little one. No two babies are alike and what works for Sally Jo's baby may not work for yours. Understanding that going in is key.
3. Feeling useless because you no longer bring in an income is normal. But you must understand the job you are doing now is far more important than your previous job was. Your new purpose is caring for that sweet baby & there is no job more rewarding than that.
4. You MUST find something outside your child to look forward to and focus on. You will start to miss being seen. "No one sees what I do all day, so it doesn't really matter". Find a hobby or something you enjoy doing that you can do within the home. Finding time for YOU is so, so important.
5. You WILL miss adult interaction. So meet other mom's, schedule play dates, get out as soon as you feel ready. Many mom's mentioned checking out your local library. They have all sorts of programs for mom's & children. Check out your local zoo (pack a lunch to save on money!), go for walks in the park, just.get.out.
6. YOU get to be your child's teacher. You don't have to miss all your child's firsts & that in itself is priceless. You are impacting how and what that child is learning. If that isn't worth whatever cost you're cutting from quitting your job, then I don't know what is!
7. Budgets are more important than ever. Now that you're no longer bringing in an income, it's important to focus on saving money where you can. Farmers markets, buying in bulk, season passes, and so on. Check your local grocery store ads and buy what is on sale. Meal planning is another huge life & money saver. It takes the guess work out of an already unpredictable stage of life. And no running out last minute to get an ingredient you thought you had. HUGE!
8. Resentment is real & don't think it won't happen to you. You WILL resent your husband & others that work at some point. Take it day by day. Remind yourself WHY you are home all day. Remind yourself that in the midst of the chaos, there are things you would have missed out on if you went back to work. Not everyone is able to stay at home with their children so it's important to truly cherish these moments.
I cannot thank all the amazing mamas who helped with this post! It was amazing chatting with you all and hearing your experiences. If anything, I drew closer to you all and it made me so excited to transition into my new role very, very soon! xo- B