To ask for your top SAHP tips(11 Posts)
I’ve finally taking the plunge, quit my quite stressful part time job to become a SAHM – my last day is next Friday! I am extremely excited about this new phase and really looking forward to spending more time with my two DC (2 and 5).
But I would be mad to start this new venture without asking for some MN wisdom on this new venture. I know it will be far from easy, not least because of the drop in our income, and while I didn’t enjoy work – it was still sometimes good to have break from the lovely DC.
I’d love to know what your top tips are, what you wish you’d known, what works well or what you’d do differently.
Not all toddler groups are the same - try a few before you reject them completely! I made sure I had somewhere to go every day just to get out and avoid housework
Don't actually SAH. You will struggle to do without any adult interaction. That might mean toddler groups, or sharing play dates with other local SAHPs.
The best advice I can give is
Yes you are a mother but also remember you're BB2000 aswell.
Don't forget to have "you" time. finding the balance can be hard at times but once you figure it out it becomes easier!
Don't feel guilty for sitting on your arse with a cuppa after dropping the children at school - still working on this myself.
I did the same a few years ago. For quite a long time I felt guilty if I spent any time/money doing something for me rather than the DC/family. I felt that the reason I'd given up work was to enjoy doing more of the parenting (I'd previously only really seen the DC at weekends and then ended up working some of the time, which made me unhappy)- so doing things that were just for me felt like cheating/selfishness. I've come to realise that as a SAHP you really do need to have some time for yourself (even if it's just an exercise class or coffee with a friend and no DC) to recharge and be happy.
I also found that people sort of expected that I must be between jobs and often asked what I was doing now/planning to do next. At first I described myself as doing 'nothing' or 'just looking after the DC'. My tip would be to steer clear of this mindset- you are doing something worthwhile, even if it is not paid. Now I describe myself as a full time parent which still feels a bit apologetic but I can't think of a better description without getting people's backs up.
Get out of the house every day.
Be friendly to everyone you meet at every event you go to. You may find the person you thought was deadly dull/you could never get on with becomes one of your best friends in time.
Be ready to offer childcare favours; by having some goodwill 'in the bank' you'll be able to ask if you need to. BUT ... Keep the radar on for those who will take and take and then never quite be free to give back.
Get involved in as many activities as you can. Eg help put away the toys after playgroup, offer to make coffee for a parent trapped under a child, etc. You'll feel part of the community and other people will think of you kindly.
Say 'hello' to the people you meet as you move around your area. You may encounter them again elsewhere and you'll 'know' each other. It'll also help you feel part of the community. Don't take it personally if you get no response - people can get wrapped up in stuff.
Walk as much as you can. Point out things to the DCs. This is a great time of year to collect conkers and compare them with, say, acorns. Don't worry if it takes ages to get from A to B; the journey is half the point.
Above all: enjoy being with your DCs. Never mind the state of the house or that you've eaten sandwiches 30 days running. Small children can be tedious, but they can also be a lot of fun.
Get out and about as much as you can. Don't worry about the weather. Just get coats and wellies on if it's raining.
Go to the playgroups and parks etc but also, go to places that YOU want to go to. Sometimes, I just go off with the kids to another town, a photography exhibition, a museum etc.
Have the radio on or download an audio book free from the library to listen to while you do stuff.
Have activities to do at home. There will be days that you won't go out for whatever reason.
Meal plan and do one main shop a week. I wasted so much time around food. Kids seem to need food all day long. I was always popping out to the supermarket just to get bits and bobs.
There's nothing wrong with using the tv as a babysitter.
Just checking back in . Thanks for all the suggestions and pleased to hear about being a SAHP working out for you all.
One other thing I was wondering about is how you've found/managed the change in financial independence with your DP/DH, or possible change in perceived status to other possibly less enlightened friends/family.
Also do you get all your chores done in the week so the weekends are chore free. This is what I am hoping for but probably unrealistic as I will still have a demanding 2 year old at home. And of course I want to enjoy time with them rather than just ignoring them and doing all the housework.
From observation rather than personal experience -
Make sure you and your DH are both on the same page about future plans - of course, things may change but I know a lot of couples where the SAHM thought it was a long-term arrangement and the DH assumed she'd go back to work at a certain point (e.g. both kids in primary or secondary school.)
Make sure that your DH doesn't become completely disconnected from domestic life - of course, you should be doing the lion's share of it but it seems to breed unhappiness when the DH really does absolutely nothing. Doesn't necessarily matter exactly what that is - could be cooking the Sunday roast for you all or making pizza on a Friday night, could be that there's an activity that he does with the kids once a week - but something that brings him into domestic life a bit more.
Agree re the division of housework. Get on the same page with your partner about who does what or it will cause untold resentments.
Ensure you have equal access to family money and you agree on spending priorities.
Get out every day even if it's just a walk to the shop/park every day.
Get dressed/shower every morning before your partner leaves if possible, it will give you more motivation than staying in pjs and then trying to wash/dress with kids hanging off you!
Talk to another adult for a proper conversation every day (not just partner). Even if just a phone call with a friend, it will help you feel like you and restore your sanity when they're driving you crazy.
Good luck, it's bloody hard work but totally worth it.
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