Louise Lavery is a content writer and the online content manager for Families Magazine & Families Online – a resource for parents with children aged 0-13. Families Magazine is the Clever Resource for Thinking Parents.
What nobody tells you about being a stay at home mum.
The first few months of being a stay at home one can be equal parts amazing and overwhelming. Here are some great tips and tricks that no one tells you!
Welcome to your new life.
That ride in the car home from the hospital was when it all starting hitting you. They’re actually letting us leave the hospital with a baby! We’re responsible! We’re parents!
When you’re all at home it doesn’t quite seem real. Not just yet. Visitors (some welcome, some not), adjusting to a very different sleep cycle, breathing in this wonderful new person and getting to know each other.
Soon the dust settles, your partner returns to work and then it’s just you. And baby. And a whole new way of existing that you’re struggling to get your head around.
This is a time when a lot of women struggle with post-natal depression or anxiety. A great time to check in with your doctor or maternal health nurse and be honest about how you’re feeling. It’s completely natural to feel all at sea – this is a whole new life.
Parenting hacks for the brand-new stay at home mum
Keep this list close. And maybe laminated. Things can get messy when you’re a SAHM.
- Outsource whenever and however you can. Whether that means hiring help, asking for help or unloading your feelings. You are not an island and being a stay at home mum is an incredibly demanding job.
- Prioritise. Make decisions about things that are important and that are deserving of your time. Sometimes that means a nap on the couch instead of folding laundry. You’re not going to win a prize for ‘most underpants folded’ so slow down!
- Have fun when you can. If your focus is, for example, losing some baby weight then that’s ok. All stay at home mums walk out this journey differently. Rather than punish yourself at the gym, though, dance around the house. Go for a run while you push the pram. Looking for ways to embrace joy and movement can make long hours seem a lot shorter.
- Share. You’re most likely going to feel quite isolated. Join a mother’s group, go to Babygym, go to Rhyme Time. Get somewhere where people are. Look up, smile, shrug your shoulders about how crazy your life is now and make some new connections. I’ve made some amazing new friends since being a mother – now could be a great time to grow your tribe.
Being a stay at home mum is…
It wasn’t what I thought it was going to be when I was pregnant. It was longer, harder, more demanding but also a hell of a lot more fun. I was and continue to be completely inspired by my son and I am so grateful that I was lucky enough to stay at home for him for a year after he was born. So much so that I rearranged my career to be able to work from home.
Good luck on your stay at home mum journey and use your voice to ask for help if you need it!