Whether you are working full-time or part-time or you’re a Stay-at-home mom (SAHM), they all can have very different challenges of their own. I know, because I have experienced all three.
Here is what I learned as a SAHM:
1) I Feel More Scattered and Less Organized:
This one baffles me. When I decided to be a SAHM I imagined being organized. I could focus on our schedules and running. My house would not only be clean but I would finally have the time to stay on top of the “deep” cleaning. I had my schedule all planned out when the kids went back to school. But I discovered that with kids and life in general, routines can go out the door quickly and sometimes you have to go with the flow! Much different from the office world where you have a pretty good idea of how your day will go.
Being a SAHM is so much busier than I ever imagined! I try to stay on top of my cleaning but when my daughter stares at me with those big doey eyes, clasps her hands together in prayer and says “please mommy, let’s just go play Barbie’s, please!” Who can resist that! And we love our playdates, and there’s cooking classes, CCD classes, then there’s dance. And we never want to miss an opportunity to go to the library. And with running to the school three times a day, our days stay busy! If you haven’t read my first article on our “Morning Routine Fiasco”, this may help explain why this seems to take a big chunk out of our day. I feel lucky sometimes to make it to the grocery store, clean the house or keep laundry caught up.
Birthday season has officially hit our family this weekend. Being this is my first birthday as a SAHM, surely I could whip up some fabulous cake from scratch, right?! Not this year, I ordered a Star Wars cake from our local grocery to help maintain my sanity with everything else.
But honestly, this is the best kind of busy I could ask for! When Paxton asks me if I can stand in front of the school and watch him walk in, I can do that now! It may seem like a small moment but to my son and me, that’s a huge moment! I don’t want to miss the kids running to me when they get out of school. Or miss seeing them playing at the library and picking their favorite books out, picnics in the park. Sure there are some battles, but there can also be battles in the work place. I would rather have these battles at home and not miss a thing!
2) It’s Easy to Forget the Day of the Week:
After the New Year I went to Barnes and got myself one of their cute day planners. I figured between that and my iPhone I would surely be able to remember what we need to do and where we need to be! So far, we realized a week too late that we forgot basketball picture night. Of course that fell on our busiest night of the week so we probably couldn’t have made it anyway, but since I am one of the coaches…maybe I should have been there. What’s funny is the other coach forgot too, so I’m not the only one out there! And, wait, its Dr. Seuss week and you were supposed to wear a special shirt?! You were supposed to bring a flashlight to school today?! Its our day to bring snacks to school for everyone?! It can be hard to keep it all straight!
I do remember the important things such as:
1) Dropping and picking up my kids at school on time;
2) Making sure they have their snacks and lunch account is full;
3) To always give kisses and hugs before sending them on their way.
I call that winning!
3) It Does Not Feel Like I’m Not Working:
“Does it feel strange not working?” I get this question a lot. At first it felt more like a long vacation. It was summer time when I first left my job and we were having so much fun outdoors, but it felt like I would eventually go back. And now in the school year, in the midst of the hustle and bustle of schedules, it does not feel like I’m not working. This is my full-time job now and it keeps me so busy!
4) To Take Time for myself:
As a SAHM there are no set lunch breaks, I can’t clock out at 5pm, the weekends are on full duty and there are no sick days! I have discovered how important it is to take time for myself to refresh and prevent “mommy burnout”. Here are a few ways:
1) Take time to meet up with friends: I love spending quality time with friends like the ones I mention in this article, “Mom takes the day off”. I come back to my daily routine refreshed and inspired to be the best I can be.
2) Read a book: I just love getting swept away in a good book!
3) Create something: If I can knit, try a new craft from Pinterest or work on a project at home, I loose all track of time and go into my happy zone.
4) Shopping…by myself…no kids! Even if it’s to the grocery store, it helps to remove yourself for a bit and be able to shop without kids tugging on you and throwing random items in your cart.
5) Wine! I will never forget a friend telling me when I first became a SAHM, “always have a bottle of wine chilling in the fridge”. I held that little tid bit of advice close to my heart. On those stressful days when shit hits the fan, tantrums set in and you are not able to do items 1 through 4 above, it’s nice to have a glass of wine waiting for you! We found an awesome cheap red wine from Aldi’s, Flirty Bird, that we love and at $3.99 a bottle, it won’t break the bank! You may have seen this if you follow me on Instagram.
5) To Do Less:
I know that sounds absurd but when I first became a SAHM I felt that I needed to prove something to myself and my family. I became supermom. By the time Brent would be home from work I would have the entire house cleaned, something in the house was reorganized, either it be the basement storage room, garage or a messy closet, the kids would have done some fun activities such as crafts, park, bike riding, playing outside, I would have laundry done and dinner started. I would be exhausted and my back would be killing me by the end of the day. What I started realizing was that nobody else noticed or cared that all these things got done and If I kept going at this rate I was going to run myself into the ground.
So now, I get done what I can. If my back hurts or I don’t feel well, I sit and take a break. It’s impossible to get it all done and that part can be hard for me sometimes, but what I found was that we were all happier once I started doing less.
6) I love Being a SAHM:
There are so many times I catch myself thanking God that I have this opportunity to witness these moments and be here with my children! Sure those moments aren’t always sunshine and rainbows…but that’s where the wines comes in!
What are some of your favorite mom hacks to keep you organized?