My husband and I discussed our future family for years, even while we were just dating. Our vision was always the same. I wanted to be a SAHM for as long as I could remember, and he entirely supported that decision. When that day came, I knew my job search was officially over. I had finally found fulfillment in my “career;” I was made to be a mommy. It’s a role I’d never be bored with.
I’ve always had a job, a 9 to 5, a place to collect a paycheck. But when my feet hit the floor in the morning, I always dreaded going to work. I knew it wasn’t what I was meant to do. It wasn’t my purpose. My husband has always loved his career and was passionate about his industry. Now, he owns his own business doing exactly what he has always wanted. I never had that, and I yearned for that same fulfillment. When we brought our son home from the hospital, I knew I was exactly where I needed to be.
SAHM Title Was Meant to Be
SAHM was the first job title I have ever had that’s truly fit. But now that our first son is four and our second son is two, life is beginning to look slightly different. They need me less every day, and soon they will start preschool and Mother’s Day Out programs, and my house will be silent. Some days I rejoice in this fact; others, I dread feeling bored! I have mixed emotions about letting go and knowing they need school to grow.
As I reflected on these feelings, I realized one of my bigger concerns was how I would find fulfillment (and avoid getting bored) in my days when my boys were not around. These suggestions are a work in progress, as I am still a work in progress myself. But I hope that if you also walk this path, you will find them beneficial in your journey. Here are my suggestions for finding fulfillment in your days as a stay-at-home parent when your children are in school!
Plan Out Your Day
When you had little ones at home, you most likely adhered to some form of a daily routine or schedule. Don’t toss that out as soon as the kids leave for school. Instead, adapt your existing schedule to accommodate your new child-free hours. By that same token, don’t over-schedule yourself, either. A balance between quiet time and your “to-do” list is the ultimate #momgoals! My children attend preschool and Mother’s Day Out three days a week. Here is a peek into a typical school day schedule for us.
Work It Out
Do something that gets your booty moving! A brisk walk, stretch, yoga, or a spin class with friends, whatever works for you. Not only are there health benefits, but a good workout will provide a great mental distraction for those missing their preschoolers post-drop-off.
Find A Cause
Find something bigger than you with a special meaning and join a larger cause. Joining a Bible study at your church, volunteering at your local animal shelter, or even putting in a few hours of service at your neighborhood library can all be fulfilling ways to give back to your community meaningfully.
Writing About It
Writing brings me so much joy every day. Sharing my stories, tips, and mom hacks makes me smile daily. A blog can be a great resource to avoid becoming bored and to connect with other mamas going through this season of life with littles who totally “get it.” If you’ve toyed with the idea of blogging, give it a shot. If a public post isn’t your thing, consider starting a private journal instead. I have found my voice through writing/blogging/journaling my journey through motherhood, and it’s one of the ways I can reflect and connect with amazing women worldwide.
Part-Time Passion Project
Maybe you’re craving a creative outlet? Perhaps you’d like to be the proprietor of your very own work-from-home business? Finding a passion project that brings in some extra income is a fabulous way to have a “side hustle” from your SAHM gig. Many friends have started selling skincare products, began personal training, or launched an Etsy shop all run while their kids are in school. This way, they have a small income and still get to be first in line at the carpool. Mompreneurs, girl bosses, whatever you want to call them, they love what they do, and you might, too!
Some Days, Every Once In A While, Just Do Nothing
I know what you’re thinking. How can I simply “do nothing”? My mother said this to me, and I quickly rebutted. The house is a wreck; the car needs an oil change; I have to organize XYZ for (insert your child’s extracurricular here), etc. But she explained: As stay-at-home parents, we often overextend ourselves to try to overcompensate for not having a job outside the home. I found this to be completely accurate in my own life. It’s nonsense I’m fully aware of, but I take on every home project and every school happening, and every moment of my day is dedicated to my commitment. I get stretched so thin and only have myself to blame.
This year, when my kids go back to school, sometimes I will say “no” to doing more. I will give myself the grace to just “do nothing” occasionally — even if it’s just a half-hour of silence. To read a book, take a shower without an audience, and finally, watch an episode of my favorite show. “Doing nothing” means shutting off my brain, silencing my thoughts, and taking a brief time to recharge. Give yourself permission to do this if you need to. It’s okay!
The best part of this momming thing? There is NO single right way to find your joy in it. Your way is the best way for you and your family, and if you were seeking some fresh ideas for finding fulfillment while the littles are in class, I sincerely hope this provided some additional inspiration. So deep breaths as you drop off the kids. You got this, mama!