New to staying at home...help! — The Bump
Stay at Home Moms

New to staying at home...help!

My husband and I recently decided that it's best for me to stay at home.  We have a beautiful little girl, Jaelynne, who is 4 (will be 5 in Feb.) and another little girl, Ellianna, due in April.  At first I was so excited to be staying at home, but it's not all that I thought it would be!  Not that I thought it was going to be easy, I knew better than that.  But I'm having a hard time keeping up on everything.  By the time I've taken care of Jaelynne (who only goes to pre-school T, W, Th from 9a-12p)  I'm exhausted and need to sit down.  My husband never says anything negative, but sometimes I just feel like he wonders why I'm not getting more done.  Maybe I'm just being overly sensitive or maybe my expectations were too high.  Somehow I thought my house would be perfect.  At least until the new baby came.  Any advice from seasoned SAHMs?! 

Re: New to staying at home...help!

  • You are pregnant and trying to keep up with an almost 5 year old, give yourself a break! I have a 6 month old that is a fairly easy baby and by the end of most days I'm exhausted. I soon came to realize that everything I plan on doing just simply isn't going to get done all the time. I try and break up the cleaning and stuff throughout the week. For example, I'll clean the living room and dining room on Mondays, Tuesday is laundry day, Wednesday I hit the bathroom and so on and so forth. Even like that it doesnt always get done. Life goes on. Cut yourself a break.
    Andrea 7/9/08, Joaquin 4/18/11, boy coming 12/18/13 Forever missed: Gabriel 11/24/09 at 20 weeks
  • Don't be so hard on yourself, you are pregnant, and that alone is sucking all of your energy.  Maybe just set small goals for yourself, for example today we are cleaning the bathrooms and just try to get those done by the end of the day.  Then tomorrow pick another room.
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  • When I start to feel like I'm accomplishing nothing during the day, I make a "Ta Da!" list as well as a "To Do" list. Write down every single thing that you did during the day. You'll be amazed at how much you're actually accomplishing, even if it doesn't look like it from the outside.
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  • Set some realistic goals for yourself. First of all, no harm in napping/resting when she's in preschool. You need your rest for all of you.

    I usually set one "task" to do a day. By that I mean big project. It could be laundry, food shopping or going to by presents for upcoming parties (we recently had 3 weekends in a row--6 parties all together). Then I make sure I pick up after we finish something so you don't look around after 4 hours and realize what kind of mess have I gotten myself into.

    Dinners...well, they go with the mood. Last night it was pasta primavera. What's that in our house you ask? It's mini bow tie pastas with olive oil and frozen peas and carrots sprinkled in with parmesan cheese. Yup by Friday I am fried. I usually cook 3-4 times/week but we eat leftovers or simply on the other nights.

    With new baby on the way, take the time now to stock your freezer (or ask for that as gifts from friends) Take a trip to Sams or Costco to make sure you have everything you need as far as dry/frozen items go so you don't have to make trips often to the store with a newborn. If people ask you what you want...be honest. It's nice to get baby stuff but what you really need is maybe their time...to watch the baby or your preschooler while you go and get a haircut or maybe they can chip in for a cleaning service so you know the house is clean when you are 36 weeks pregnant and don't want to be doing toilets.

    It's a VERY hard adjustment. I'm not sure how I would adjust to going back to work full time now that I have been home for almost 5 years. I have all the admiration for full time working moms.

     

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  • It's hard to be pg, run after another one and keep the house spic and span. I only have one and it's exhausting. You just have to find a balance and not be so hard on yourself. At first I thought being a SAHM meant I had to be Donna Reed but it was all about survival with a nb. I am sure your dh thinks you are doing a great job. Hang in there you will find a balance eventually. Just do what you can do. You are only one person, and there are only so many hrs in a day.
    Colin Patrick-7/14/08 Lilypie Fourth Birthday tickers image image Lilypie First Birthday tickers
  • Seriously, don't be so hard on yourself. SAH is tough add on pregnancy and I am not sure how one does it! If your DH isn't saying anything don't worry. If he does say something, have him take over for an entire day/weekend/week and let him see how it really is. Enjoy your time as much as you can!
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  • image brightning:
    When I start to feel like I'm accomplishing nothing during the day, I make a "Ta Da!" list as well as a "To Do" list. Write down every single thing that you did during the day. You'll be amazed at how much you're actually accomplishing, even if it doesn't look like it from the outside.

    What a fantastic idea... a "Ta Da" list!!!  I'm going to start doing this today!  :)

    I just wanted to add that I agree with everyone else that you should cut yourself a break because you are pregnant and caring for an intelligent, active 5 year old... things will be different once your second child arrives and you get your body back!  SAH can be hard, it's so different for everyone, and I bet you'll find your groove quickly once baby #2 arrives.  If I were you, I'd be sleeping while the 5 year old was at Preschool so that I had the energy to engage with her, run errands and do chores once she came home.  Maybe you could try that?  Very best of luck and hang in there!!!

     

    eclaire 9.10.06  diggy 6.2.11

  • My dh doesn't question what I do all day, I'm lucky.  But others sometimes do - Listen - daycare workers care for babies/toddlers all day long.  They're not expected to do laundry, clean the bathroom, scrub the kitchen floor, go grocery shopping, or start dinner! It IS a full time job and if you happen to get anything else accomplished aside from caring for your children and yourself, I consider that icing on the cake.

    peas out

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  • I know this has already been said.. .but I set goals for each day. For example... one day I will do all the laundry and wash everyone's bedding. Another day I will clean the bedrooms, another day the bathrooms... etc.

    Also... DH and I make a point of straightening up whatever we got out that day before we go to bed. It makes it a lot easier on me when I go to clean because everything is picked up already so I don't have to spend 20 or 30 minutes putting things away before I can even clean.

    Finally... don't be too hard on yourself! You are pregnant and I know when I was pregnant there were times I had no motivation and I read a book all day instead of doing things around the house... and I didn't have another child to care for! I'm sure your DH understands that you're tired. I bet that you are accomplishing more than you think you are though!!

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  • I have been a SAHM for 8 years now and have 3 girls, 8, 6, and 4 and am 32 weeks pg.  I have to say that the first few years or so of SAH I didn't keep up with things as well as I would have liked.  It's only been during this pregnancy for some odd reason that I have totally gotten my house in order and keep up with it daily.  Like many said, give yourself a goal.  I am a morning person so I get my stuff done in the morning like up until lunch time.  Then in the afternoon, I can sit and relax a bit because usually by that time, I'm a bit wiped out but I feel good that I accomplished something and I'm happy with my surroundings.  Just do a bit at a time and recruit a friend if you have to.  A friend of mine who loves to clean and organize helped me go through clothes and organize closets and things, it was fun with a buddy but got done in half the time.     
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  • I think it is a "job" just like any other and you will learn the ropes and how to make it all work and somedays IT JUST WON'T.  Just like any other job there are bad, unmotivated, crazy days where you can't accomplish a thing.  There are days when you will just relax and breathe in your children and experience things as they do and your house may be messy but your heart will be full.  Every day is different and like others have said cut yourself some slack.  I am 21 months into this SAHM thing and I have learned a lot about what works for me and my family and what doesn't.  You will do the same!  Keep at it and if you think dh is wondering what you are doing ask him and explain what you are doing and how hard it is.  NOT that you should HAVE to but talk it out.  He may not even be having those thoughts. 
  • You're pregnant.  You should not expect to get everything done.  Your husband should be helping you out. 

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  • I think what you're going through is pretty normal... I felt the same way.  I started SAH when DD was around 9 mos and had the same expectations, like I'd have all the time in the world!  But that fact is, BEING home with a toddler creates extra work that wouldn't otherwise be there if she was at daycare and I was at work all day.  More messes, more meals to make and clean up, etc.  My advice to you is: (1) adjust your expectations, and (2) commit to getting as much done each day as you honestly can.  Also, I think routines help to keep you on track.  If you know certain days are laundry days, clean the floor days, 'free' fun days, etc, I think you're more likely to get that stuff done.  I also keep a running list of my to-do's, then I can actually see what I've accomplished.

    Hang in there!  I think it's a very tough adjustment.  Plus you're pregnant, so that tends to zap the energy a little, too.  Just appreciate the fact that you've got such a supportive husband (and maybe even mention it to him, so he knows you appreciate it?) and do the best you can.  It gets a lot easier! GL.

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