Wednesday, October 8, 2014

SAHM survival guide

So the news is finally out - I am officially a SAHM!! I decided not to return to work after having our sweet Avery. 3 kids is definitely a good reason to stay home! I have been longing to be home with my kids ever since my son was born 4 years ago, but it just wasn't in the cards at the time.  We have had amazing help with my Mom and MIL which I am forever grateful for, but still, I knew I wanted to be the one home with my kids, raising them, spending as much time with them as possible, as I know the time when they are small is the most precious.

I am also extremely grateful that my hubby was 100% on board with my decision to stay home.  I didn't make a million dollars a year or anything crazy like that, but still, taking away an entire income when we really didn't pay for daycare is a hard to pill to swallow.  I am just so happy he supports this decision, it makes it that much easier and exciting!

While I am SO dang excited to stay home, I know this will not come without any sacrifices. Goodbye Target runs, goodbye coffee runs, goodbye buying all the "extras" I bought before.  It's time to bunker down and really live on a "budget" - please all, wish me luck! 

I decided to make a SAHM survival guide to possibly help others like myself who are transitioning from a working Mom to SAHM.

1. Wake up at least 1 hour before kids get up.
this is crucial.  When I was working, I absolutely loved getting to the office, going downstairs to the cafeteria and getting coffee with my work friends. It was the best start of my day.  Now that I will no longer have that luxury, I need to be up well before the kids if I want to enjoy a cup of coffee. Not only will this get me my caffiene fix needed to tackle the day, it will leave me happier knowing I got some "me" time in.

2. Use a cleaning schedule
Ok, so here's the deal.  When I was working full time I still managed to clean my house more than I do now that I am home.  How in the heck is that possible you ask? My honest answer = I really do not know. I don't, it completely baffles me as well! So to get myself on track, I need a cleaning schedule to keep me accountable otherwise, we may as well adopt of Pigpen because he would fit right in...  Here is a great cleaning schedule to follow - (bonus, it's a free printable!)

3. Meal Plan
While working, I really tried to meal plan but it didn't always work out.  Now that we are a 1 income family, it is imperative that I meal plan.  Long gone are the days where I show up at the grocery store and buy whatever I want. I typically go grocery shopping once a week, early Sat or Sun mornings - I'm talking like 6am early. It's the best time because you're one of the only crazy people there. The night before I'm going shopping, I will sit down and go through recipes while also looking at the weekly ads.  I put together our dinners for the week and first check our pantry/fridge for any items we might already have. For breakfasts and lunches, we pretty much rotate the same things so those are always staples on my list.  

4. Make a daily to do list
While working, every day I had a checklist if you will, of things I had to get done.  I actually got a little giddy when completing a task and being able to mentally check something off.  Now that I'm at home, my days are starting to kind of mesh together since they are on the chaotic side.  There have been plenty of days that I have gotten 0 accomplished, and while that is ok, I would really like to start achieving some small goals.  I am starting to write a daily to do list at the end of each night for things I want to accomplish the next day.  Just small things like, call the insurance company, clean out the fridge, organize the pantry, etc.  You get the point. This will help keep me accountable and make me feel a little more on top of things.

5. Don't expect too much.
Now just hear me out. See, before I actually stayed home, I had dreamed about what it would be like. Weekly trips to the library, to the zoo, to play groups, you know, always having something "fun" planned for me and the kids.  Since being home, I find that most of our "fun" outings are actually just trips to the grocery store.  While I have gone out with the kids on a play group once and to the library once, it just doesn't happen regularly like I had thought it would. Coming from the corporate world where my everyday was pretty scheduled and routine, I thought it would be an easy transition to keep a routine at home.  I know I am very new to this SAHM life and things will only get easier which will allow us to do more "fun" stuff, but for now, it's just not happening.  I want other Moms who are transitioning to know that this is OK!! I am a person who likes to hype things up in my head and more times than not expect way too much out of things and I am learning to just go with the flow.

Above all of these tips, the most important thing is to just have fun and enjoy this experience! For my case, I chose to stay home. No one put a gun to my head and told me to quit my job.  I am choosing to embrace our everyday, good or bad and really just soak these days/years up with my kids who I love more than life itself.  I am beyond excited for my journey as a SAHM!

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