Many moms would agree that the joys of parenthood are indescribable.
This little bundle of sweetness you helped create and carried inside you for nine months, has finally arrived. Your whole life changes because of this beautiful child and you welcome the change with open arms.
But not all changes are easy to adapt to. Transitioning from a working mom to a stay-at-home mom can be difficult, and rightfully so.
This is an enormous adjustment in your life, and any mom can easily become overwhelmed with her new mommy duties while running on so little sleep. From the diaper changes, to laundry and housework, it's no wonder that many moms struggle with this transition.
I made the transition 10 years ago and to be perfectly honest, it was difficult. After working 21 years, I had a sneaky suspicion that it would be a challenge. I just wasn't prepared for the length of time it actually took me to adapt to being a stay-at-home mom.
I always felt like and in-between mom, like I wasn't getting this stay-at-home mom thing right. Wasn't I supposed to have time to make these nice dinners and bake these fun desserts for the family? Why was I having such a difficult time balancing it all and second guessing everything I was doing?
It seemed like all the other mothers I looked at had everything under control. This gave me even more anxiety.
In time and through trial and error, I developed my own routine and carved out what worked best for me and my family. Here are a few tips that helped me throughout the transition process:
1. Don't compare.
All too often we can easily get absorbed on what's being posted on social media, and we take someone else's highlight reel as the truth and we start comparing ourselves with others.
Or, we look at other moms at school, daycare or at the park and automatically assume they have it all figured out.
I'm here to tell you to stop. Just don't do it. Don't compare yourself to anyone else. We are all different and we all do things differently and that is perfectly fine.
Set the bar high based on your believes and what makes you happy.
2. Self-care isn't selfish.
Before we can be of any assistance to anyone, we need to ensure we are taking care of ourselves.
This means eating healthy, getting enough sleep and exercising. This also means taking some time for yourself while dad, or a sitter, takes care of the kids.
It means saying no to commitments that will drain the energy out of you. Saying no to others is actually saying yes to yourself. So, go ahead and take care of you. You deserve it.
3. Have meet-ups.
Whether it's once a week or once a month, getting together with friends and meeting in person is so important. Staying home can become a little isolating.
Strike up a conversation with the moms at the park or school and build your way up to organizing coffee dates/lunch dates with them.
4. Do something you love.
I can't stress enough how important this is.
All too often moms slip into the daily mommy duties that we put our needs/interest on the back burner. While the kids are our number one priority, there's nothing that says we can't do something we love during the day -- even if it's just for a few minutes.
Maybe it's reading a book, listening to music, writing, going to a yoga class. Whatever makes you happy, you must try to fit that into your schedule during the day.
It's just as important as anything else you give priority to. Carve out time for you and do what brings you joy.
5. Exercise and get outdoors.
Not only is exercise good for your body, it's healthy for your mind, too. Getting outdoors and taking in some fresh air can help you feel re-energized and more focused. Make it a habit to get outdoors every day, even if it's just for a short walk.
6. Delegate tasks.
I know this can be hard to do, but the more you can delegate, the better off you will be. As caretakers, we often feel the obligation and need to do everything ourselves.
You can't do it all, and why would you want to anyway? Delegating tasks means you'll have more time for yourself, getting that much-needed rest, catch up on your writing, or anything else you would like to do.
7. Your to do list.
One way to stay on track and focused throughout your day and week is to have your to-do list ready. Sundays are perfect days to plan your week ahead.
Have a small agenda with you and write down all that needs to get done for the week, making sure to evenly spread out these tasks throughout the entire week. Visually seeing what needs to get done makes the tasks clearer and keeps you on track.
8. Acknowledge your accomplishments.
It's important to look back over the week and realize just how much you have accomplished. You may not give it a second thought as you go about your day, but when you look back on your list and see all the tasks that have been completed, you should feel pretty good about yourself.
Give yourself the credit you deserve.
It's important to acknowledge this and give yourself the credit you deserve.
9. Have a “date night.”
Get out of the house and take some time with your significant other. These moments are to reconnect and slow down. We get so busy with the hustle and bustle of everyday life that we often don't tend to our partner or relationship as we would like to.
Making time for each other is just as important as taking care of yourself. Make it a priority to reconnect as a couple and to enjoy each other.
10. Be kind to yourself.
We can be our own worst critic. Don't be so hard on yourself. Don't compare yourself to anyone else. Understand that we all make mistakes and that's okay. Forgive yourself and know that you are not alone.
We are all trying to do our best and nobody is expecting any perfection from anyone. Please remember to be mindful of your thoughts too because you're listening to every word.
Don't be so hard on yourself.
As with any change in one's life, it will take some time to adjust and be comfortable with everything. Getting support when you need it is also important.
Reach out to family and friends when needed and know that in time you too will find a pace that works best for you and your family.