August 2021 Moms

Any SAHMs? Come In!

Hi everyone- I mentioned in a thread a long while ago that I wanted to get a discussion going with other SAHMs/planning-to-be SAHMs, and I think that time has come! I'm a FTM who is planning to stay at home and would love any advice, insight, or wisdom current SAHMs have to offer... I'm very excited and very nervous about the transition. I guess I'll kick us off with some questions:

-When and why did you decide to become a SAHM?
-Any advice for telling your employer you aren't returning after the baby?
-Did you have any regrets/second thoughts about leaving the workforce after the baby came?
-What do you wish you'd known about being a SAHM when you first started?
-What are your tips for structuring your days and generally staying sane with limited adult contact?
surrenderdorothy

Re: Any SAHMs? Come In!

  • I don't know if I quite fit this category because my situation is pretty unique. I work from home. I teach college classes so it's not a 9-5 I'm supposed to be doing things all day while I'm at home kind of job, I kind of just do things randomly throughout the week when I want to/have time. So baby is due Aug 12 and the fall semester starts shortly after that. So I'm going to be doing the SAHM/Working Mom thing at the same time.

    Also I can't answer any of your questions yet since I'm also a FTM but I'm interested to read people's answers!
    the_most_happyalexa_94claireloSC
  • @dancingnarwhal do you typically work full time hours (like 40+ a week), just not on a 9-5 schedule? That's nice to have the ability to straddle both worlds (though I'm sure it'll have its own challenges too)!
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  • @the_most_happy - I adjunct so it's a part time position. It fluctuates each week how much I'm working. Midterms and finals are heavier and busier but then there are super chill weeks in the middle of the semester where I don't do much beyond answering some emails or maybe doing one virtual office hour with a student. 

    I was looking for a full-time position (more in admin than teaching) but then we decided to have a kid and realized we could avoid day care costs if I keep adjuncting for a few more years but also keep some additional income coming in. If I was full-time it probably wouldn't work to try to do both. 
  • Oh nice, that makes sense! That’s really cool that you have the option, if my job had the ability to be WFH part time I’d definitely be tempted to keep going with it.
    dancingnarwhal
  • When and why did you decide to become a SAHM?
    I became SAHM when we moved away from my in-laws/babysitter and the commute to work no long made sense. I was a teacher- I moved 45 minutes away from our old house and ended up being 1.5 hours away from my school. 

    -Any advice for telling your employer you aren't returning after the baby?
    I just stopped/quit at the end of the school year. It was hard for me to leave my work home but worth it. 

    -Did you have any regrets/second thoughts about leaving the workforce after the baby came?
    I didn’t really. It took me a while for me to get a system in place. I’m a teacher at heart so I needed to create a schedule (very loose/flexible) that had specific things that needed to get done each day. 

    -What do you wish you'd known about being a SAHM when you first started?
    Create a schedule but don’t feel bad if/when nothing gets done. Get dressed most days. 

    -What are your tips for structuring your days and generally staying sane with limited adult contact?
    I do ok with the limited adult contact - more so when we could go places precovid. I made sure to plan lunches out with friends without my kid to have adult conversations. To structure my days I have certain things that are scheduled on the same days every week- I try and have little to nothing to do on weekends so we can spend the time doing whatever we want as a family. 
    dancingnarwhalclaireloSCthe_most_happy
  • -When and why did you decide to become a SAHM? I've always wanted to be a sahm. 
    -Any advice for telling your employer you aren't returning after the baby? Sorry, no advice as we moved when I was pregnant and I was so sick my entire pregnancy I never got another job. 
    -Did you have any regrets/second thoughts about leaving the workforce after the baby came? Every now and again I feel like I'm not contributing to the family like I should be, but I wouldn't change it for the world.
    -What do you wish you'd known about being a SAHM when you first started? I knew this already, but some days are especially tough. Learn to give yourself grace and hopefully you have an understanding spouse.
    -What are your tips for structuring your days and generally staying sane with limited adult contact? I try to follow a routine. Both ds and I do better on a routine, but be flexible. Ex: we get up, read some books, have breakfast, get dressed, try to play outside, have lunch, take nap, have snack, ect. Normally I do okay, but it helps to be able to get out and I didn't learn this until he was almost two, but give yourself a break from the kids without feeling guilty. Leave the house or drop the baby off with a sitter or friend for an hour or two a week. 

    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
    Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickersLilypie Angel and Memorial tickersLilypie - YeTq
    alexa_94claireloSCthe_most_happy
  • When and why did you decide to become a SAHM?
    I left my year round teaching position in July due to my decision to homeschool my 6 yo son. I knew he would not thrive in a remote learning environment and I could not balance homeschooling him, taking care of my 3 yo, and teaching from home. 

    -Any advice for telling your employer you aren't returning after the baby?
    This isn't applicable to me since I was not pregnant at the time. 

    -Did you have any regrets/second thoughts about leaving the workforce after the baby came? Not exactly applicable, but I have 0 regrets about quitting my job to help my son with school. Working from home with two little kids was so tough. My mental health has improved greatly since leaving. 

    -What do you wish you'd known about being a SAHM when you first started?
    How it would change the dynamic of having financial discussions with my husband. And how much it would hurt to lose my awesome healthcare. 

    -What are your tips for structuring your days and generally staying sane with limited adult contact?

    We always do a walk or bike ride after breakfast. It helps us set the tone for the day and puts all of us in a good mood. Even waving hello to our neighbors makes me feel less isolated as well. 

    My older kids have outgrown their naps, but we have quiet time for an hour every afternoon. I've given up any feeling of guilt about getting housework done during this time. Quiet time (nap time with a baby) is my time to recharge. 

    We have been very careful with COVID but we have one set of friends who we meet up with for an outdoor playdate. I also meet up with their mom separately for a child free evening walk once a week. This social interaction has helped so much. 

    There are definitely parts of being a SAHM (during a pandemic no less) that I'm still adjusting to, primarily how I nurture an identity outside of "mom." 

    the_most_happy
  • @mrspants0809 “get dressed most days” is definitely advice I could stand to take a little more often even now! Haha.

    @Kenneylynn3 love the advice about making a little time to drop the baby with someone else for a couple hours- is that something you have built into your weekly schedule (like “baby with sitter 1-3 p.m. every Wednesday), or just do randomly as needed?

    @coastalmomma3 I was wondering if we’d have anyone who started staying come because of the pandemic! Do you plan to keep staying home once your DS can go back to in-person school?
    mrspants0809
  • -When and why did you decide to become a SAHM? I was forced into it by covid. I work from home now with my 4 year old full time. 


    -What do you wish you'd known about being a SAHM when you first started? Have a routine and stick to it if you can! The first few months if being home were a shit show. It's way better now, she knows what to expect. 

    -What are your tips for structuring your days and generally staying sane with limited adult contact? We have a pretty set schedule now, she has breakfast, free play, table time, a little bit of tv etc 

    I'm sure it will be different in the fall but I'm really hoping to be able to attend some baby and me programs as I'll be off for 12-18 months before I go back to work 🤞🏻

    Definitely take it a day at a time. There is always something that won't get done. Sometimes dishes will wait, laundry will pile up and you won't have the energy to make dinner. 
    At the beginning I felt like I had to do it all but I gave that up and I'm so much happier. 
    coastalmomma3the_most_happyclaireloSC
  • @the_most_happy I have my fingers crossed that he can go back to school this August. But, I am going to need a pretty significant adjustment period after this baby is born. I've also been evaluating a slight career change, and if that were to happen, I've got at least one college class to take and a few exams. I'm thinking that I will probably take about a two year break from work. 
    the_most_happy
  • @the_most_happy we joined a gym with free childcare. Wednesdays I go to a 1 hour class, so he always goes for that and I try to go at least once more during the week. I don't have a friend nearby and have yet put in effort to find a sitter. But would 100% recommend to not follow my lead. 

    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
    Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickersLilypie Angel and Memorial tickersLilypie - YeTq
    the_most_happycoastalmomma3
  • -When and why did you decide to become a SAHM? I’ve been a SAHM since I had my first child in 2014. At the time, I was teaching second grade and she was born at the beginning of the school year (August 2014). Initially, my plan was to
    return to teach in October after my maternity leave. During my leave, I started getting upset at the idea of leaving my daughter in someone else’s care. Also, on a teacher’s salary, I felt like child care would cost so much that I didn’t think it was worth it to go back to work and put so much of my chèque towards paying someone else to look after her. 
    -Any advice for telling your employer you aren't returning after the baby? I made my decision around week 7 of my 12 week maternity leave. I wrote an email to the principal with my intentions and luckily she was supportive and my position was easy to fill. 
    -Did you have any regrets/second thoughts about leaving the workforce after the baby came? No, I am grateful for my time with my children. Some days, especially right now with COVID still making things weird, i am sad that I can’t do all the fun things that I’d like to with my 4 year old and 21 month old who are home with me. We don’t get to see friends often and a lot of our regular activities are not taking place at the moment. I miss interacting with adults, but I didn’t really get much of that as a teacher because I was surrounded by 7/8 year olds all day. 🤪
    -What do you wish you'd known about being a SAHM when you first started? 🤷🏻‍♀️
    -What are your tips for structuring your days and generally staying sane with limited adult contact? Just be flexible and go with the flow. If possible (though it’s hard right now with covid), make time to do things with adults. Up until last year, I had a lot of social groups that I would participate in: a book study, a monthly bunco group with neighbours, a monthly social group with women from my Church... 

    DD: 8/20/14; DS: 11/13/16; DD: 5/3/19; DD: 8/31/21; Baby #5 (team green) due 3/24/24



    the_most_happy
  • Have any of your all experienced judgment (or just fear of judgment) about your decisions to stay home? I realized recently that part of what I'm most nervous about is the social stigma aspect... among my friend group, being a SAHM is not common at all and people have definitely been taken aback when I share that that's my plan. I know I shouldn't care about what others think, but it's hard not to feel a little self-conscious!
  • -When and why did you decide to become a SAHM?
    I'm not 100 SAH. DH and I both initially worked 1.0 with a nanny, but it was more work (and money) than it was worth. We decided it was totally worth it to cut back to 0.8 and take care of our own kids. For our schedule each of us work 7 days on/ 7 days off, with some stretches where i have 2 weeks off and he works a bit more.

    -Any advice for telling your employer you aren't returning after the baby?
    I didn't get any criticism for cutting back. I did feel very guilty, tho. 

    -Did you have any regrets/second thoughts about leaving the workforce after the baby came?
    N/a, but no regrets on cutting back!

    -What do you wish you'd known about being a SAHM when you first started?
    staying at home is harder than being at work for me (most days). We moved into a new very old house a few years ago and have had project after project to work on, so any "down time" is spent on painting, trim, etc. That on top of constant cooking and cleaning- its exhausting. 

    -What are your tips for structuring your days and generally staying sane with limited adult contact?
    life was easier pre covid. we went to the gym every weekday for about an hour, same time each day. they got worn out and i got a workout and kid free shower. we went out to the store or plant store. we hung out at the park and met up with family. the past year has been hard. the only structure we have is mealtimes and nap/ quiet time. its super lonely and honestly my mental health suffered. it was a longer MN winter than usual. hoping for a better 2021 and will be reading tips from others!
    jarethinafrockthe_most_happyclaireloSC
  • -When and why did you decide to become a SAHM? I became a SAHM in 2018 before DD2 was born. It was more cost effective for my family if I stayed home.
    -Any advice for telling your employer you aren't returning after the baby? I was honest and explained that once baby came I wouldn’t be coming back. But then I had a car accident a couple months before DD2s due date. That put me out of work for a little while and my job was 20 miles from home (no vehicle). Plus we did in home health occasionally so there was no way for me to get to work and travel for work. We bought a new car before DD2 came but I just didn’t go back, I put in my immediate resignation due to unforeseen circumstances. It wasn’t my way of wanting to leave but life happened.
    -Did you have any regrets/second thoughts about leaving the workforce after the baby came? Every now and again I feel like I'm not contributing to the family, but I really am by staying home. I do want to go back to school eventually to finish my career path once the kids are all in school.
    -What do you wish you'd known about being a SAHM when you first started? That it can still be stressful and demanding. 
    -What are your tips for structuring your days and generally staying sane with limited adult contact? 
    I just go with the flow, not the best advice to give🤷🏻‍♀️ I had a group of friends in Georgia and we would meet up for play dates with the kids or us ladies would get coffee. Covid made it difficult and I kept to myself and girls. Then we moved and now I need to work on finding new friends, but again with Covid it’s not easy. I’m not comfortable putting myself out there quite yet. 
    the_most_happy
  • @the_most_happy, I'm the only SAHM in my friend group and among my family. Judgement was something I was concerned about at first as well, but I haven't experienced any. In fact, many wish they could be SAHMs as well. That said, it can be lonely at times because all of them are at work/working from home. 

    I would like to think that people are becoming a little less judgmental about life choices due to COVID. We have all had to be flexible and make changes. 


    claireloSCthe_most_happy
  • @coastalmomma3 that's really reassuring to hear! I actually just had a good convo with some couple-friends who were asking why I wanted to stay home, and I think my answers actually got the guy in the couple thinking about how when they have kids he might like to be a SAHD! So you're right, people are probably going to be less judgmental than I think they'll be. The decision to stay home occupies such a weird space, because there are some people who would rather do anything else and some people who would love to do it but are unable to- it's a weird type of privilege.
    claireloSCcoastalmomma3alexa_94
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