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Preparing to be a Stay at Home mom

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I have 2 DD's--1yo and 3yo.  We have lately been talking about me staying home with them as life is just to hectic and it is starting to not be fun anymore--trying to cram everything into a day.

 

Anways, we have decided that next April, I will quit my job and stay home my girls until the youngest is in the first grade.  I know that seems a ways off but on just my DH's income alone, we will probably lose about $200 per month so we need some time to build up our savings and cash stores. 

 

My question is, since I have some time what can I do to prepare myself for staying home?  What kinds of things do you all wish you had done or learned about before you began staying home?  I do plan to research free and low cost activities in my area but what else? 

 

Thank you!

post #2 of 10

Join some local mommas groups and make some friends and build a tribe to lean on 

post #3 of 10
Join a mom group, or make playdates with other moms


Figure out all the free, regular activities in your area that you can go to (pool, reading hour, ect.)


Remember that you wont just be losing $200. If you go out with your kids during the day you will be spending money, and losing income.


Make sure to arrange time with friends, dates with your DH, or time for yourself with a family member, DH or other sitter so that you arent just "mommy" all the time.


Have a cocktail when the kids go to bed. Its exhausting, and you dont get off work at 5:00 smile.gif
post #4 of 10

Have a frank discussion with your DH about both of your expectations with this. If you expect him to still help with household chores make that clear. Make sure that he knows that it is a hectic job and he won't necessarily come home to a spotless house or dinner on the table. This goes for finances too, where will your priorities be on one income? These expectations certainly change as time goes on. I am discovering that some things are a lot easier than i thought and other things are a lot harder than I anticipated. So be flexible with each other, things are always in flux at our house!

 

 

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

My DH is an accountant so trust me, the financials of this move have been analyzed every which way!

 

We had spoken about actually doing a job description.  Outlining what we would expect from each other to avoid any bitterness and anger. 

 

These are all great ideas, thank you!

post #6 of 10

Clean out as much clutter as you can bear to part with and sell it or donate it all. It makes keeping up with all the crap that finds its way under your feet much easier to just toss into bins. Plus, I am socking that money away. 

post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by pearl2 View Post

Clean out as much clutter as you can bear to part with and sell it or donate it all. It makes keeping up with all the crap that finds its way under your feet much easier to just toss into bins. Plus, I am socking that money away. 



yeahthat.gif  Our kiddos are relatively similar in age, DD is 6 mo and DS will be turning 3 next week. I have been staying home with them full time now for just over 3 months. In that 3 months I have sold just about everything we own - think auction house. My savings account is like $$$$ and my new itty bitty 900 sq ft apt is completely empty floored/kids-play friendly. SO necessary when it's storming and giving them room outside just isn't an option.... especially since our budget is tight, tight, tight, and we don't do outings that cost $$$$.  

 

You may become (I have!) overwhelmed with the idea that your job DOESN'T END. DH gets home at 430, but my job doesn't stop. It gets a little easier, but doesn't stop. 24/7/365 MOM. There's no clocking out. So arrange something for yourself in advance that you CAN clock out - i.e. a daily timeframe, a weekly activity, a drink in a bath with a locked door, or whatever. I only recently started making some time for myself and I can tell you our whole family is happier for it!

 

We don't have a written job description but yes we did go over what it is that I do during the day, and what it is that I expect from him when he's  here and on weekends.... pick the thing you can't stand the most and assign it to DH cause you'll be doing almost everything else blush.gif. DH now does all of the laundry... talk about thumb.gif. And since it's his only major chore, and I'm not bitter about mine, he does it quite happily.

post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by anjsmama View Post
. pick the thing you can't stand the most and assign it to DH cause you'll be doing almost everything else blush.gif. DH now does all of the laundry... talk about thumb.gif. And since it's his only major chore, and I'm not bitter about mine, he does it quite happily.

 

Yes! My DH does about 80% of the laundry....but of course I do everything else.


Be sure you both recognize that SAHMs can't possible do EVERYTHING and not kind of go insane. At least that's been my experience. I have three kids and have SAH for 6 years. As much time as it seems you will have on your hands, that time gets eaten up very quickly with the regular needs/demands of small children and the general maintenance on the house. Trips to the playground, enriching activities - all that eats up more. It's about balancing all the requirements of a day or week, because you cannot do it all every day. On days where we head out and do something fun (like meet up with friends at the park and have a picnic, for example), I get breakfast done and dishes done and make beds and get the kids dressed and toothbrushed, but there is not much chance laundry will get turned over and the floors will get vacuumed. It's just too much to squeeze into a day (ditto that for a day I have errands to run). There is sometimes this idea that SAHMs should be able to keep a clean house, have homecooked meals made each night, provide their kids with enriching activities kids and keep the TV off at all times...and that is just not the reality. Some days are like that, but it is hard, hard, hard to keep that pace most of the time.

 

Also, some DHs are better about this than others (it seems to be a common complaint on the SAHM forum) - but be sure you both agree that parenting responsibilities fall to both parents on evenings and weekends. My DH is great about this - he puts all three to bed on his own most nights right now (I'm also 27 wks pregnant and hitting a huge wall by 7pm). But it seems like some men assume that because their wives SAH they get a free pass for the evening time (like put their feet up while their wife does dishes and then puts the kids to bed eyesroll.gif)  That kind of system only builds up resentment and exhaustion and all kinds of negative stuff. BOTH people worked all day...that is the reality. 

 

Good luck!!

 

 

 

post #9 of 10

Develop some realistic expectations about how you will spend your days....and then throw them all out the window!!!  When I became a SAHM, my daughter was just about to turn two. I had these fanciful notions about how much time I would now have, and all of the things I would get done.  And then reality set in.  You find that, in actuality, you have very little "free" time, and at the end of the day, you sit wondering just what it was you did all day.

 

I didn't have the time that you do to sit and think about it or plan, although I'm not sure how much of a difference it would have made.  Some of it you just have to find your own way with.  I do recommend things like storytime in any venue that may offer it.  We attend one every week at our local library, but I know that both the Barnes and Noble, as well as the Chick Fil A in my area offer these (free) as well.  That, more than anything else, was my salvation in making the transition to being a sahm.  We went every week, and gradually got to know and make friends with some of the other "regulars".  It was mostly beneficial to me in that it gave me a chance to meet and interact with other moms, and was a great source of not just friendships, but learning what other moms do to fill their days, and keep their little ones occupied.  From their alone, I leaned about a mom's group, which meets bi-weekly for two hours, and had childcare.  I found friends to have play dates with, as well as learning about all of the fun, cheap, or even free things to do with my toddler.  I still live in the same area I grew up in, but had no idea about even half of the stuff that was out their for little kids.  

 

Another great resource for me (lately) has been http://playathomemom3.blogspot.com.  Their are so many great ideas for things to do with little ones that my non-crafty self would never have come up with on my own.  Most of these are fairly inexpensive as well, and my daughter and I have absolutely loved them!  I honestly think water beads are the neatest thing ever, and have yet to find a kid of any age who isn't instantly obsessed with them!

 

 

 

post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by pearl2 View Post

Clean out as much clutter as you can bear to part with and sell it or donate it all. It makes keeping up with all the crap that finds its way under your feet much easier to just toss into bins. Plus, I am socking that money away. 



This. I have four kids (one is actually a high school grad - but he has a LOT of "stuff"), and I'm a packrat. DH and I have started to seriously tackle our clutter problem this year, but it's huge, and it's taking a long time, and a lot of effort and frustration. I so wish I'd cleared out junk before I had ds1, and then done regular, small bouts of decluttering...

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