More and more young women are choosing to leave the workplace and make a home for their husbands and children. While it may look like an easy move, it does have its challenges.
Transitioning from the workplace to staying at home with a child can sometimes be stressful and frustrating. You aren’t alone in your struggle if you are learning how to manage your days and fill your hours productively at home. Here is a letter from a young mom who had lots of questions about her new role as full-time stay at home mom.
“I am a new sahm after seven years of teaching. I want to continue being at home. I want for my home to be clean and comfortable, to have an idea of what I am doing each day, to build relationships with God, my husband, my new baby,and others, and to take care of myself. I never knew that being a sahm would be so overwhelming. Before I quit teaching I used to get up a certain time of day, know what I was doing that day , had a time period to complete my tasks, was around other adults, enjoyed coming home to relax and went to bed around the same time. Now I feel overwhelmed. I do not know what expectations I should have for myself every day. What things should I be cleaning daily? What things should I only do occasionally? During the time that I am not cleaning what should I be doing? I have a 5 month old daughter. I do not want to be so devoted to cleaning my house that I miss time with her. I also need time with other adults. Any suggestions?”
Transitioning from workplace to sahm is challenging. Just like moving from one job to another in the regular workplace is challenging. New jobs always bring new challenges. And I think that is how you could look at the situation, as moving from one job to another job. It’s easy to think of your stay at home situation as less than a job. But if you will look at it as your new vocation, you might be able to manage better.
Try managing your days like you would if you were on a new job. Set a getting up time that suits you and then get up at that time every day. Develop what I call a Morning Routine where you brush your hair, put on your clothes, wash your face or shower and prepare for the day. You can arrange your getting up times and meal times around your daughter’s schedule if you need to. If you schedule your day like you did when you were working outside the home, you might feel more in control and feel like you were accomplishing more, as well as spending as much time as you like with your baby.
Now that you are your own boss, you will have to discipline yourself and create the rules that you work by. Using your own list of what you want to accomplish in a day and the needs of your family, you can create a more structured day for yourself. And it might help you to do so since you are coming from a structured kind of day. The biggest difference is that now you are having to manage yourself and keep yourself motivated to do a good job at home.
Try making a list of things that absolutely, positively must be done every day. Your list might look something like this:
Devotional and time with God
Wash at least 2 loads of laundry
All dishes clean and put away
Living room picked up by 4 pm
Supper started by 4:30 pm
Your list can grow as you get a better handle on managing your day. At first though, just add to your list those things that you feel must be done to bring some order to your home. Take into consideration what things your husband might want to see done every day, like supper! Then as you get more comfortable with your new schedule, add other jobs or chores that you would like to get done in the house.
If you wouldn’t normally stress over doing things in your home when you were working as a teacher, like washing windows for example, don’t stress over them now. If you find that your windows need washing and you can fit it into your schedule, do so. Treat those extra chores and household work like you did when you were teaching. Fit them in when you can.
If it helps you to give yourself a certain time period to complete your cleaning tasks, if you work better like that, then try setting a timer when you begin your work. Give yourself, for instance, 15 minutes to clean the bathroom, 20 minutes to wash the dishes. Or simply require yourself to have your household chores done by a certain time each day.
When you aren’t cleaning, you can choose what to do with your time. Many sahms take up hobbies or ministry work. Some sahms start up a home-business and others simply rest and enjoy the peace because when baby #2 arrives, things pep up considerably!