I have been a SAHM for 18 months now and I think I am just finally getting the hang of it (almost!). It’s a tough job with no “clock out” time, little adult interaction and no pay. Although this can be frustrating at times, it is also the most fulfilling job in the world with the added benefit of getting to see your child 24/7. Just like any job there are good days and there are bad days. I’ve found that by doing these 5 things I have a lot more of the good ones:
Have a schedule…but don’t be afraid to break it!
We all know that kiddos thrive on schedules. I have tried to have Ryan on a schedule since he was a newborn (well really he had me on one then!) Now that he’s old enough to understand the schedule a little bit it is even more important though! We try to have a plan each day and honestly just having that plan makes the day go by quicker.
Right now our schedule looks something like: wake up, play, breakfast, songs, OT or PT (with the therapists or just with us), nap, lunch, play (or outing), nap, dada’s home—thank goodness!, dinner, play, bed). Some days we have swim in the morning and OT or PT in the afternoon but that gives you a general idea of what we do each day.
Even though we have a schedule we are not afraid to break it if something else will work better or we have the opportunity to do something fun. Now I try my best not to mess with Ryan’s naps, but anything else is fair game!
Enjoy a “Mom’s Night Out” whenever possible
SAHMs are with their kiddos ALL day long. As amazing as that is, we also need a little time to ourselves. I think it is SO important to be able to get out and enjoy yourself without your kiddo sometimes. I try to plan a night out with friends at least once a month. I am able to just chat, eat without interruptions and not worry about a little one and everything he needs for a few hours. I feel so rejuvenated afterward so I think it’s just as important for Ryan as it is for me! It also gives him a little time with his dad which is also great for both of them!
Plan an outing at least once a week
I try to plan something fun (outside of the house) to do each week. Whether it’s going over to a friend’s house, going someplace cool (like the zoo), or just heading to Target and lunch (mama’s favorite!). I feel like this helps make the week go by faster because it is something we can look forward to and it also helps Ryan’s development. He loves being around other adults and other children and his curiosity is so peeked when we go someplace new!
Pick up the phone
Being home with an 18 month old and 2 dogs can get a little lonely. Don’t get me wrong, they are all near me ALL the time, but none of them are the best communicators. This makes adult conversation so necessary throughout the day! So if your friends call PICK UP THE PHONE (obviously when the toddler is occupied and you’re able to). Or if your child is asleep, call someone just to talk! I have found the days are much more bearable when I am able to talk to friends throughout the day and not just wait for my husband to get home to have adult interaction. (I think he appreciates it too because then I don’t bombard him with questions and thoughts the second he walks in the door!)
I had a very hard time with this (and still do sometimes)! I think stay at home moms think that since we are not “working” we shouldn’t need help throughout the day. But guess what, we need help too! If someone offers to help so you can run some errands (without a toddler whining) or so you can go to a doctor’s appointment SAY YES!
I also have a bad habit of thinking that since this is my “job” that I have to continue to do everything once my husband gets home. Again, this shouldn’t be the case! So if your husband gets home and offers to take the responsibility over so you can do something (or regain your sanity), SAY YES!
No matter what kind of week we have, this boy makes being a SAHM worth it! Whether you’re also a stay-at-home mom or a working mom, what have you found helps you have a better week? Let us know in the comments!