Article with advice for sahm’s...
Feel Proud of What You Do
When someone asks me what I do, I tell them I stay home with my children and I'm not in the least ashamed or embarrassed. I have learned that most people who don't think much of stay-at-home moms (SAHM) don't know what's involved and how much a family benefits and appreciates what we do. My children are only young once; I can get a career later. --Parent Souper Jackie I tell people that I am a SAHM, and I do get some odd responses to that! "Oh, so you have no education?" (I have a masters degree and a year into a Ph.D.), or "No skills, huh?" (I used to write million-dollar grants and teach grad school). I am comfortable with my answers, but a lot of other people are not. They think my education is going to waste. I answer those people with "I'm raising my children, and teaching them. What better use of my skills?" --Parent Souper Barb Stay-at-home motherhood has changed me in so many ways. I find the biggest challenge is setting the "right" example and being the perfect role model. I love my children dearly and I want them to see that mommy has a life too. --Parent Souper Jeanne 2. Keep in Touch with Friends Having girlfriends is a huge support in being a SAHM, especially if they are SAHMs too. You have a friendly outlet for yourself and playtime for the kids at the same time. --Parent Souper Jackie I don't get nearly as much girl talk as I used to, but I know, as my children get older and more independent, there will be more time for me. As for keeping working girlfriends close -- live your life, care for your family, and if these old friends want to keep in touch they will. You can offer a meeting, but don't be surprised when you see less and less of most working friends. Just remember that the true friendships will last. --Parent Souper Barb 3. Get Organized Having a routine and making lists keeps me sane! I have three calendars -- a basic one (for doctor/dentist appointments, etc.), a school one (PTA meetings, school days off, etc.) and a perpetual birthday/anniversary one. Don't over-schedule the kids. Remember that children need time to just play. --Parent Souper Barb First and foremost, the key is to get rid of stuff! My motto is: If we don't eat it, need it, wear it, or use it, it goes (with sentimental exceptions!). I use the plastic drawer storage to organize smaller-sized toys that would wind up at the bottom of the toy box. (My toddlers even know which toys go in which drawers.) I also use decorative baskets for mail, my makeup, keys and other small household items. --Parent Souper Jackie I have a routine and stick to it. Monday is my "pick-up from the weekend" day (e.g. cleaning bathrooms, sweeping and laundry), Tuesday and Wednesday are our "busy" days (doing things out of the house). Thursday is laundry day and Friday is dust, mop, clean bathrooms -- "getting ready for the weekend" day. Get a calendar and write things down so you can see what you have to do. I have a purse calendar that I take with me. If anyone asks me if we can do something on a certain day, I can look right then and see if we are free to go. --Parent Souper Cindy 4. Get in Touch with Your Creative Side Finding time for you is so important. Whether you make crafts, or are involved in the PTA, you have to have activities besides housework and children. --Parent Souper Jackie I have become a "Fix-It-SAHM." I do repairs, painting, hanging closet doors, putting new hardware on furniture, etc. I am constantly on the look out for projects to do for Christmas gifts. I would go crazy if I didn't find projects to occupy my time and mind. --Parent Souper Jackie I am working on a book. It is a kid-friendly book about stay-at-home motherhood from a child's perspective. --Parent Souper Jeanne Be creative in trying to save money. Make up financial challenges: Save for larger items or make up grocery challenges (challenge yourself!). My best money-saving tips are "live simply." Bake from scratch, make simple meals, use coupons, set a budget and stick to it. Forget the silly little perks you had working (lattés out, dinner out, etc.) and enjoy your children. Your love and attention is what they need -- not toys and the latest gadgets. --Parent Souper Barb