Whether you are trying to decide if you want to be a SAHM or if you are a seasoned SAHM that needs a little help, we've got 4 tips every SAHM needs! Read on to find out what this SAHM gig is all about…
What is a SAHM?
SAHM stands for a stay-at-home mom. Pretty cool, huh? But let's dive a little deeper into what it means to be a SAHM:
- You are Mom 24/7.
- You are responsible for raising your children (for the most part).
- Your home is your domain, and you must keep up with it.
- You will spend countless hours at home.
- You will never miss a moment while your children are growing!
Being a SAHM is a considerable responsibility. It can be difficult to transition if you come from corporate America. The amount of time you used to talk with co-workers will seem like a figment of your imagination while you listen to your kids talk about Pokemon or Bluey. Finding time for yourself will be challenging but not impossible. However, you will see your children grow up and know that you will be there to instill the values you want. Being a SAHM is the hardest, yet most rewarding, job I've ever had.
I'm not going to sugar-coat this – being a SAHM means your top priority is your family and home. You are the scheduler, the nurse, the cook, the chauffeur, the house cleaner, and the organizer. Transitioning to a SAHM does not mean all you do is play dates, yoga, and the library. It is so much more than that!
My opinion is that if you are a SAHM, your home should be in order. YOU are responsible for the laundry and dishes. YOU are responsible for the groceries and meals. While I also believe that your partner should be willing to step up when needed, you can't expect them to come home from work to a constantly messy house all the time and be OK with it. (Note – this is not pointed at you if you are a SAHM to a newborn or toddler! You do you, momma!)
My advice? Before the play dates and the yoga, get your home in shape! It will streamline your mornings, help with your marriage, and overall let you feel accomplished. I know many SAHMs dealing with depression or a feeling of worthlessness. This can happen when you are overwhelmed with housework and, therefore, can no longer keep up. It doesn't have to be that way!
Tip #1 – Your Home is Your Domain
Your home comes first! My husband and I think of it as he takes care of foreign affairs, and I handle the domestic ones. I check the mail, order supplies, do the laundry, organize the house, tend to the children, cook the food, etc., etc. He works his booty off to provide for our family and still comes home and spends quality time with our boys. If I ask my husband to help, he does (I'm one of the lucky ones), but that is because he can see the amount of effort I put forth to keep up with the home. If I need him to fold a load of laundry, he's all for it! So – put your home first. (Side note – if you need help approaching your partner for some help, check out my Finding the Workload Balance post.)
Tip #2 – Do Not Overschedule
Being a SAHM can seem like you have time to do anything! That is not the case. If your home is not in order, you shouldn't be out galavanting around town. Now, if your child needs to go and burn energy or if you already have a play date scheduled, that's fine. But, if you are reading this, and your home is filled with clutter, laundry is piled up, and you can barely close the door on your hall closet – maybe you should reschedule.
Over the years, as I meet other moms, I am always so shocked by how packed their schedules are! It's not that my boys and I lay around every day, or they are put in front of the TV so I can go OCD on the house. Instead, I know my home is my responsibility, so I plan accordingly. When the kids are in school, I always have one day a week and do not schedule anything. This is my time to be home, get caught up on any tasks that need to be done, and unwind. While it may be tempting to go all the time – I don't advise it.
Tip #3 – Declutter the Entire House
The term declutter is probably something you are familiar with. However, if you haven't decluttered because you don't think you have the time, I suggest you read my post about What is Decluttering. This is a simple process to remove the unnecessary items from your home. While I feel everyone should declutter (mainly because clutter gives me anxiety), I am a huge advocate that SAHMs NEED to declutter. Why?
I'm glad you asked. One of my favorite things about being a SAHM is having the time to prep for the day. You can read my post about revamping your morning routine or how to find the workload balance as a SAHM if you struggle with being prepared for the day. But I know I am more productive when my day is streamlined because I've put the work in upfront to declutter my home and organize my spaces!
If you're unsure where to start your decluttering journey, I recommend taking the Declutter Boot Camp course. This course is step 1 of 3 in our Whole Home Organization Boot Camp series! I will walk you through how to tackle those commonly cluttered areas of your home. I'll even help you maintain it! Declutter your house and see how much easier your life can be!
Tip #4 – Take Time to Play
This article may seem a little harsh and to the point regarding the responsibilities of being a SAHM. While I stand by that, I also have to note that your children should also be a priority. Take the big jobs to get your home in shape and break them down into smaller, more manageable tasks. My favorite is to block out a timeframe to tackle the areas of the house that need work. I work, work, work during that time frame to get a quick and efficient result. Then – I ultimately have more time to focus on my kids because I was able to finish the job with fewer interruptions than trying to fix the problem over weeks because I only have 15 minutes without kids.
Put the work in to get the job done. Then stop, breathe, and play with your kids. Build the pillow fort. Play with Legos. Even watch that 900th episode of Blippie with them. Whatever it is – you must nurture your children. However, this doesn't excuse you from your day job!
Becoming a SAHM and succeeding as a SAHM are both demanding tasks. It will be a significant change if you leave your career to become a SAHM. No more gossip by the water cooler! But it is possible and the most rewarding job you will ever have. That said, you need to ensure that your mind is in the right place.
SAHMs need to realize that their home is their responsibility. While it may seem like a good idea to constantly socialize your kids, you should scale back until your home is under control. The first step in getting your home in shape is to declutter. You can check out the Declutter Boot Camp if you need some guidance. But, ultimately, let's tackle the housework head-on so we still have time to play. Making memories with your kids is the most rewarding part of the job! Knock out all the other work, so you have time to relish it!