I've been working part-time since my DD was born 7 months ago, while she stayed home with DH during the afternoons. It was a wonderful arrangement but unfortunately things have to change. I'll be quitting and staying home with her in a couple weeks. Logically, it is the best choice for our family, and the right thing. Emotionally, I'm just freaking out. About finances, about identity, about self worth, about quitting a great job in this economy. So, how did you start? What bumps / learning curves?
I lost my job due to a grant being cut when I was pg with DS1. So I worked a part time temp job during this time of pregnancy and did not work when they were little.
Enjoy it! I now have to work as a single mom( I was married back then) and I miss it so much! I wish I had appreciated it more. But HERE
1. take time for yourself- sounds like your dh will watch your dd so let him- go for a walk take a bath- go for coffee.
2. Meet other stay at home moms
( places to do this- mom and me, churches etc... can't remember names but there are things going on where you can meet other women, we formed a group when my kids were little where we went to the park and had a playdate one certain day of the week.
3. Join the What's for dinner thread and get cooking.... I wish I had taken more time to cook delicious meals when I had the time back then-
4. Love that baby! She will grow up so fast!
5. As for finances- go over it with your dh- see what you can cut out- sell some stuff figure out what you can do from home etc.
6. I did work part time at the YMCA in the childcre room where parents dropped off their kids while they worked out- I met a few friends this way and got a free gym membership and made some extra cash. I got to bring ds to this job.
I don't know that I have any really good advice, but I'm on this road with you. Husband and I decided that the time and circumstances were right for him to transition into a new job, as well as take on some additional work, and for me to quit working completely and stay at home with our child and any subsequent children. I wasn't instantly in love with this idea, for a number of reasons, but for all other members of the family (husband and daughter) it was the best decision, so here we are. That part I was OK with; I come from a culture and a family where the individual really exists to better the family unit. The part where I took one for the team wasn't even a blip on my radar. The rest of what's involved in that is proving more troubling. I am struggling with boredom and feeling lonely, feeling a little lost in terms of self-identity, struggling with self-worth, and so on. I feel selfish for even worrying about anything other than my responsibilities, but I am starting to realize that being a whole and happy person is, if nothing else, a good example for my daughter, so I'm trying it out.
When I stopped working, my most immediate concern was the money. I wasn't making a lot, but I was making "enough", and I was very upset to not be making it anymore. Husband pointed out that he had nearly replaced my salary with his career move and his side work. He further pointed out that if I went to work we'd spend most of my money on a second vehicle for me (to get to and from) and child care. He mentioned that what was left of my imaginary paycheck could easily be made up for by giving up some outrageous luxuries. The numbers didn't lie. I'd basically be going to work for stuff I really don't need. Can you run the numbers that way and see what it is you're really giving up to stay home? For us, the stuff I'd be working for would be things like 5,000 channels on TV, and embarrassingly unnecessary junk like that. It certainly made me feel better about the money part. Now I am working on the rest. I'm choosing to see this as an opportunity. Shortly I will sit down and write out what my vision of life in 5 years looks like. I won't be done being a "SAHM" at that point, so it should be interesting. I'm going to choose to grow during this time. I'm not sure how. And I sure hope I don't mean in the waist. We can do this!!
And on 09/23/2011, we were three; husband, daughter, and me!
I'm not a SAHM, but I'm considering it -- or at least, considering taking a huge step back in my career to spend more time with my children over the next few years. Like you, I'm worried about the what ifs and what happens later, even though it makes a lot of financial sense and mothering sense in the short-term to spend more time at home and less on childcare.
I don't know about you, but I never aspired to stay at home. I always thought I would be a working Mom, and went into teaching/grad school with that assumption intact. Becoming a mom blew my mind, and I longed to stay at home. But, I figured I needed to think about long term stuff, and have stayed on. Finally I got sick of the research and quit, but I'm still trying to figure out what the right next step is. I'd like to be at home -- it's definitely a big transition, but once you get used to it, it's fun and satisfying (I did it for one summer and it was pretty great) -- but I worry about that employment gap.
I am struggling with boredom and feeling lonely, feeling a little lost in terms of self-identity, struggling with self-worth, and so on. I feel selfish for even worrying about anything other than my responsibilities, but I am starting to realize that being a whole and happy person is, if nothing else, a good example.
Gosh. You just said what I am rarely able to put into words. I struggle daily with the question, "Is this my life?"
I was raised in a working home. Both parents didn't get home until 5 or later everyday. Staying at home is so foreign and odd to me, and I struggle with this too. It also is exhausted that my job doesn't ever end. I am not very good at asking for "me" time and even when I do get precious moments I feel so overwhelmed with "omg, cherish these moments".
Financially, it is tough for us. And perhaps another part of my own struggle. Dh & I can't afford date nights (after we paid the sitter, we can't go anywhere ).
We have considered moving back to our home town just to be near family and have a "cheaper" lifestyle.
I think if we had family near, it would be easier.
I am striving daily to be a whole and happy person too. Without whining about the choice we made as a family.
Mom31, your suggestions are all awesome. Thanks for that!
I was a teacher for 16 years and have been a SAHM for two years. I often feel like I kind of live on a different planet than I used to! I have a very few quick suggestions:
1. If you can join a LLL group, at least check it out.
2. Find out if your local public library has a kiddie story time so you can connect with other moms and get out of the house.
3. For me, the transition from being able to help a whole lot of children vs. just my one was very, very odd. I felt like something was missing. I have since begun some (minor) service work through my 12-step group and try to make a point of taking food or just visiting with an elderly neighbor on a regular basis. My identity and self-worth is kind of wrapped up in feeling like I am helping someone.
4. If you have a park & rec. near you, they may have classes you can take. I ditched one in which we were involved because the leader rather directly told me not to nurse there, but the other class is WONDERFUL and we both love it.
In short, my lifeline has been connecting with other moms and getting out of the house. Even though I am very shy, I have found that I am reliably less cranky if I go somewhere most days. My son's happier, too.
It is a HUGE adjustment to go from working to being a SAHM. Huge. No, I'm not always happy and delighted and I get baffled and crabby when people say "Oh, you're a SAHM! That must be so much fun!" I still get irritable and pissy and tired, just like when I was teaching. It's just very different. "Fun" is not the word that comes to mind for me. I love my child, I absolutely appreciate the fact that I can stay with him, I am grateful for everything, but I would not use the word "fun" to describe it all.
I got tired of my signature, but I still love my children and husband and miss my little brother.
Enjoy the time, I know it's hard to do but really enjoy the time while you can. I try to say this as a mantra when I am trying not to melt down like my 3 yr old
I have been at home for the last year and I am slowly rediscovering things I love with my kids, like training the dogs, cooking, gardening, candle making etc. I also watch a few kids in my home during the week. Very informal and we just fold them into our day to day schedule with my kids, I have 4 preschoolers in the house but it allows the kids to play and I find it more fun to do stuff with more kids. I also earn some extra "play" money for us this way.
Look for homeschooling groups, moms clubs and library activities. It's amazing the stuff you can find- almost every toy and book store I have ever been to has some sort of kid time or activity. I really was bored and lonely for awhile but I found some ways to make money and have fun with the kids. I also only fight the big arguements. This will depend on your parenting style but my kdis rarely wear shoes (I don't want to fight about it). My dd has very short hair because she refuses to let me brush it so she'll have a pixie cut until she decides she can brush it. I put healthy meals on the table and they have to sit with us for 10 min but I'm not forcing them to eat. If they want to be hungry that's up to them. Their rooms were disasters so I slowly started removing things- now they have just their treasures and they use those more than all the millions of junk toys we had. It will be an adjustment but little kids are relatively portable as long as you respect their eating and sleeping needs and they will love being involved in things you are involved in. Look at this as a great time to become involved in the things that make you happy and share it with your kiddos.
NC momma to two lil monkeys
Trying to be a gardener and a candle maker at heart
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