It is difficult to adjust to being a stay-at-home mom. The transition from working eight hours or more a day with a somewhat regimented schedule, to an up-in-the-air and unpredictable day can throw you for a loop. Your entire day is now directed by one little person (a really cute and chubby little person). There may also be a certain amount of guilt associated with being a new stay-at-home mom.
Some moms may feel like they are not technically “working” since they aren’t physically going into an office every day, but taking care of a baby and a family is work and deservers as much respect as any other job.
A good thing to remember is that motherhood is not a competition. Instead, it’s about what is best for you and your family. Below are a few tools that helped me adjust to being a stay-at-home mom.
Create a Routine
Creating a routine may seem pretty basic, but it can help you settle in to your new role. Start small, at this point it is pretty much anything you can accomplish within the baby’s nap time, or without the baby screaming. Pick one thing to accomplish, whether it’s running errands, cooking, working out, or something else. If this task still seems daunting, try making a list first. Lists really help me prioritize what needs to get done in the day (or week). Be patient with yourself, it will take some time to find your groove.
When other new moms told me to make “mom friends” I thought they were nuts. The last thing I wanted to think about was meeting new people, but it is by far the best thing I have done. Being a new stay-at-home mom can feel very isolating, but if you have another person to talk to it will ease the transition. Play dates are not only beneficial for your baby, but for you as well. Even though it may seem like the last thing a new mom wants to attempt, give it a whirl. It’s worth it to find your mama tribe.
Take advantage of Community Programs
Most community centers have mom groups, but if that isn’t quite your style, public libraries usually have mom and baby programs that will get you out of the house and interacting with other new moms. This is a great way to meet new people, because everyone is essentially in the same boat and more than happy to gush about their babies. Most moms are friendly and open to making new connections. Think of it as networking for mothers.
Some yoga studios offer mom and baby yoga classes. This is another great way to meet other new moms. Not only will you be able to get a workout in, you won’t have to worry about finding a sitter.
Walk (or jog) it out
You don’t have to walk or jog, but getting some type of physical activity in your life is vital to your mental well-being. Sometimes you just need a few minutes alone with your thoughts. It may seem difficult to carve out some “me time,” it’s worth it, and even taking the baby for a stroll can be therapeutic. Listen to some music or a podcast and zone out for a little bit. It may seem difficult to find out what works for you, but once you do you’ll feel like a new woman.