5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Becoming a Stay-at-Home Mom

5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Becoming a Stay-at-Home Mom | Baby Chick

5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Becoming a Stay-at-Home Mom

From the moment you see those two pink lines pop up you will have a bunch of people giving you a ton of advice whether you want it or not. Most of the time, all this unsolicited information is well-meaning, but it can still be annoying and overwhelming. For me, most of what I wanted to learn as a new mom I could find by reading books, researching, or talking to friends who already had kids and talking to my doctor or midwife. But, looking back now, there were just a handful of things that never really got discussed and I kinda wish someone had shared them with me.

Of course, all of my experience in being a mom is as a stay-at-home mom, so for you working mamas out there, your experiences may be different, and I’d LOVE to hear what things you wish someone had shared with you. But, for me, these five things are what came as a surprise to me as a SAHM:

1. You will feel bored and lonely.

This one was a bit of a shocker for me. I am an introvert. A big one. There’s not much more I enjoy than spending a lot of quality time with myself. So I thought that this part of being a SAHM would be awesome! What? I get to hang out at home all day and “just” take care of a tiny baby? Sign me up! Turns out, being home alone with an itty-bitty baby all day is not nearly as awesome as I thought it would be. There are only so many episodes of Ellen you can watch while nursing (every two hours) before you want to chunk the remote through the T.V. I also quickly realized that I didn’t have the time I thought I would have (more on this one later) to do all the things I thought I would do because I was too busy just going from one mundane task to the next, day in and day out, just so that the baby and I stayed alive that day. The days became long and monotonous and, dare I admit it, BORING.

More than that, I was so, so lonely. Being an introvert, I honestly didn’t think I could get lonely since I’d always thrived on being alone. But this was different because in all my years of loving my alone time, I’d always been able to choose between it and hanging out with friends. This time, I had no choice. I was stuck in my house with my baby all day. I didn’t have any other mommy friends whom I could call and chat with or with whom I could hang out. All of my friends were still childless and went to work every day. It was sweet relief when my husband came home in the evenings so that I could have at least one adult conversation per day. For me, becoming a SAHM was a very isolating experience and I didn’t know how to handle it. I truly believe that the isolation I felt contributed in a big way to my Postpartum Depression.

It’s no wonder that SAHMs report more depression, sadness, and anger than their working counterparts. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. Yes, you will go through a period of adjustment in those first few months. Yes, you will experience periods of boredom and loneliness that you didn’t expect. But if you arm yourself with some tools now, such as setting a daily schedule for yourself and your baby, implementing “me time,” and finding your tribe (which I discuss below) you will be able to get through these periods much easier than I did.

2. You will have very little time to do anything productive.

Logically, I knew that I would be staying home, alone, with my new baby and it would e a change. What I didn’t realize is that, despite my fantasies of using that time at home to excel in the art of being a domestic goddess, I would have very little time or energy to do any of the things I thought I would do, like keep a clean house or work on all my various craft and home projects. The reality of the situation was that I was getting very little sleep due to the little bundle who refused to sleep anywhere other than ON me, and during the day my darling child did very little besides scream her head off (hello, colic!). I was just struggling to survive those first few months. After she got a little older and we got more of a routine down, she still napped for very short spurts (20 minutes max) so that even if I started to do something productive, I’d never get to finish it. I felt like I was in a perpetual paradox of having too little time to accomplish anything and too much time sitting around nursing or trying to get my baby to sleep where I couldn’t do anything. It was very frustrating, to say the least!

Granted, I know there are moms out there who are blessed with really easy babies. Babies who pretty much eat, sleep, and poop on a schedule from day one. Babies who will sleep soundly, leaving mom to her own devices to get stuff done. I hope you have one of these easy babies. I did not. So I had to resign myself to the fact that, for a season, I would not be able to get as much done in a day as I had hoped. I had to lower my expectations of myself, for the sake of my sanity. If you are like me and have to give up on doing ALL.THE.THINGS with the time you thought you’d have, give yourself some grace and realize that it won’t always be this way. Babies will learn to sleep better (most of the time). They’ll eventually be happy playing on their own for at least a few minutes a day. You will, eventually and gradually, gain more time to do all those things. So be patient and give yourself a break!

3. Finding your tribe is essential.

This one, I believe, applies to SAHMs and working moms alike. I’ve written on this topic many times because it is vital. You know the adage, “It takes a village to raise a child”? It’s so, so true. So true. It’s also true that it takes a tribe to grow a mom. When I had my first baby, I felt very isolated and alone, as I mentioned before. I had no one within my immediate circle of friends who had babies and I wasn’t very good at making friends on my own (and I certainly had no idea how to find new mommy friends). After crying in my wineglass to my doula several weeks after the birth of my daughter, it finally dawned on me that I wanted, no, I needed friends. Friends who could relate to all the things I was going through as a new mom. Friends whom I could call in the middle of the day so I didn’t lose my mind. Friends who would join me at a park with the kids so we could escape our prison-like home.

My doula, God bless her, knew how to help me find those friends, introduced me via social media, and I soon went to my first playdate. It saved my life. Those girls welcomed me with open arms and made me feel like I was no longer alone. We met weekly for playdates (even though my child was only three months old, I still went and they still loved me) and we chatted daily on our private Facebook page. It was a turning point for me in my journey as a new mom. Those precious women are still my friends, to this day, despite living in different cities. If there was only one piece of advice I could give all moms, it would be to find your tribe!

4. Carve out some time for your husband, even if you don’t feel like it.

This one also applies to both SAHMs and working mamas. Okay, so I’m going to get a little personal here and admit that even when my husband and I were given the go-ahead by my midwife to start having sex again after baby, it was the last thing I wanted to do.  Not only was I utterly exhausted from lack of sleep, taking care of a screaming infant 24/7, and trying to keep the house from being a complete dump, I was also fighting a lot of body image issues after having a baby only months earlier. The thought of trying to get sexy with my husband was about as exciting to me as going to get a bikini wax.

But, I knew that sex was important to my husband. Not just because he’s a man and he’s wired to want it more, but also, like most men, he tends to express emotion and intimacy through sex. So while I had little to no desire to get back in the swing of things in that area of our life, I knew it was important to him, and therefore, important to our marriage for me to, at the very least, make a concentrated effort to have sexy time again.

It may take a while for you guys to find what works for you as a couple again. Remember, your body has changed, your lives have changed, and it’s not going to be as easy as it once was to concentrate on each other. Try to be sensitive to his needs, but don’t be afraid to tell him your needs as well. It may take some time for you to truly want to be intimate again, but I have found that making an effort, even when I’m so tired I can barely stand up, often leads to some very precious and tender moments between my husband and me, and that’s worth being tired for.

5. Learn to trust your instincts and let it go.

Again, this is a universal truth that all moms can benefit from. There are pretty much three things I can guarantee about parenting decisions: (1) It will never be easy, (2) You will never be “right,” and (3) It will all be okay.

From the moment you find out that you’re expecting, you are bombarded with a ton of really important decisions: will you breastfeed? will you circumcise? will you vaccinate? will you have a home or hospital birth? will you stay at home or go back to work? will you co-sleep? The list could go on and on. Making these kinds of decisions can be stressful because none of them are easy questions. You could read books and articles and websites and blogs and everything you can get your hands on about the pros and cons of each decision you are trying to make and end up making yourself even more conflicted and confused!

Listen, I want you to realize something right now: making parenting decisions will never be easy. Decisions like these often take a lot of thought, research, prayer, and discussion. Further, no matter how thoroughly you research and discuss and pray and ponder, your decision will never be the “right” one because THERE ARE NO RIGHT ANSWERS. Let that sink in for a minute. All you can ever do when you have to make a hard parenting choice is do your research, make the decision that is right for you and your family, trust your instincts, and then roll with it. You will always come across someone who made a different choice or a mom who is being Miss Judgy-pants about your decision (believe me, I’ve been judged for a lot of my choices). Ignore them. It’s YOUR choice for YOUR child and you have to stop worrying once you’ve made your decision. Trust yourself, mama.

Finally, and maybe most importantly, I want you to just take a breath and repeat this to yourself, “It will all be okay.” This mothering thing is hard and there are a lot of really challenging parts of it. But it’s also amazing and like nothing else in life. It may seem pretty overwhelming at times, especially in the beginning, but I promise you, mama, it really will all be okay. You’ve got this!

About the Author /

Cheyenne is an attorney, writer, speaker and blogger with a slight obsession for home decor, red wine, and good coffee. Cheyenne’s blog, Sense & Serendipity, focuses on inspiring others to create a home well loved and a life well lived. Cheyenne lives in San Marcos, Texas with her two children, Aislin and Hawkins.

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I've been asked so many questions by men about fatherhood. So I figured I'd drop some knowledge on my fellow Dads and soon-to-be-Dads. Here's what it looks like for the first few weeks or months after your child is born. Yup. If mom breastfeeds they pretty much are tucked like this and at times you'll wonder "what is there for me to do?" Here are my top 5 tips for any Dad after your child is born.⁠
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If someone needs this info tag them ❤️⁠
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1️⃣ Look for signs of readiness:⁠
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- Make sure you have plenty of spare clothes.⁠
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4️⃣ Let's get toilet trained:⁠
- Get your child to choose a pair of underwear and put them on.⁠
- Talk to them about using the toilet and communicating when they need to pee or poo. You can sit them on the toilet at this point if you wish.⁠
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“You are my reason.⁠ ⁠ You are the reason I “You are my reason.⁠
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You are the reason I get up each morning.⁠
Even though my eyelids are as heavy as a five-ton truck.⁠
Even though all I want is to sleep in, a coffee and breakfast in bed.⁠
You are more important.⁠
You need me.⁠
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You are my reason." ❤️ Words by @hangingwiththeheaphys 💕⁠
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Pretty sure my mouth and nose are covered too. 😑😂⁠
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I am a big advocate for breastfeeding. There are s I am a big advocate for breastfeeding. There are so many AMAZING benefits for the mother and child. But you know what I am an even bigger advocate for? A mother's well-being -- her physical, emotional, and mental health!!⁠
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Sometimes we make plans and God laughs. Some of us plan to breastfeed our babies for 3 months, 6 months, a year, 2 years. Some of us meet our goals and some of us don't. (🙋‍♀️ My goal was to reach a year and made it 7 months.) Breastfeeding can be a lot more challenging than many of us expect. There can be complications along the way, the baby could have allergies, and sometimes breastfeeding or pumping can take an immense toll on a mother's mental health.⁠
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It is my firm belief that we must care for and support the new mother just as much as we care for and support the new child. 💕 While I feel there is so much value in breast milk, in my opinion, if it compromises the health of the mother, it is not worth it. As long as the baby is being fed, cared for, and loved, that is all that matters. And for the mother to grow and thrive in her new role as a parent to continue caring for her child, she needs to do what she feels is best for herself and her family. Sometimes that is not breastfeeding or pumping.⁠
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No matter your feeding experience or preference, you are a good mother. Whether your choice was made by you or made for you, you must do what is right for you and your baby. Your health (mentally, physically, emotionally) matters. ❤️
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Being a full-time, stay-at-home mom of small children is a lot like being the CEO of a corporation. But without anyone working under you and without receiving payment for your efforts. Kinda crazy when you think of it like that, huh?⁠
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I smile as I write this, but that feeling was sometimes true for me. Of course, there are different ways to frame our choices as mothers. Such as looking at stay-at-home-motherhood through the lens of sheer fulfillment that comes from spending quality time with your kids and teaching them the ways of life. For me, what I eventually realized after my second child was born was that I needed to create a lifestyle that filled in the gaps where I felt something was missing. Specifically, I needed someone to help me manage my kids and my household. And I needed to be earning some money myself.⁠ {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading this mom's story!⁠}⁠
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Article by: @kristen_vhmiddleton⁠
📷: @thegoddessher⁠
CC: @herholisticpath
Pretty much what summer is going to be like. 🤦‍♀️😑⁠
📷: @realamericandadass
Chick Picks: Best Baby Swings and Baby Bouncers⁠ Chick Picks: Best Baby Swings and Baby Bouncers⁠ 👶⁠
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In the womb, babies love when you move and walk around because it rocks them to sleep. 🤰💤 When they are born into a cold and bright world, all of that change is a shock to the system! 😱 This is why babies love being cuddled and rocked by you. Your warmth, your scent, and that motion calms them and makes them feel right at home. However, it's unrealistic to think that any parent can constantly rock and bounce their baby. Your arms, shoulders, and upper back will ache! 😫 This is why baby swings and baby bouncers are a thing and why many parents swear by them. 👍 But what are the best baby swings and baby bouncers on the market? 🤔 We are sharing our favorites -- also known as our Chick Picks! -- so that you can look at the best ones and determine which is the right one for your baby. 😍 {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!⁠}⁠
📷: @_aalina
Wishing that your day looked a little like this. 💙⁠ Someday soon we will all be united. 🙏
Dad giving a bottle to his baby, and a bottle to his baby, and a bottle to his baby. 🍼😂 We love dads!!⁠
📷: @nicolemacklephoto
Cheers to the good fathers. Today is your day. We Cheers to the good fathers. Today is your day. We don't thank you enough for everything you do every day for your family. You are appreciated more than you know by your partners and children. We hope today you feel that love and gratitude.⁠
Happy Father's Day! 💙
Happy Father's Day 💙 Sending love to anyone who Happy Father's Day 💙 Sending love to anyone who needs it today. ⁠💕⁠
📷: @gmf.designs
From the moment I knew of you, I loved you.⁠ Fro From the moment I knew of you, I loved you.⁠
From the moment I met you, I would die for you.⁠
Being your father is the greatest joy yet heaviest duty.⁠
From your first breath to my last, may you always know my unending devotion and love for you. ❤️⁠
📷: @monetnicolebirths
"I have a hero. I call him Dad."⁠ Dads. They are "I have a hero. I call him Dad."⁠
Dads. They are our superheroes. ❤️ How are you going to celebrate the Dads in your life that you love and appreciate this weekend?⁠
📸: @masseya
If that ain't the truth. 💙 Shout out to all the If that ain't the truth. 💙 Shout out to all the great dads out there! Your time, attention, and love is creating a better world. 🌎💕⁠ We hope you have a wonderful Father's Day weekend!⁠
📷: @hallmarkbaby
I know that we have been quarantined with our fami I know that we have been quarantined with our families for a long time. But remember . . . this time with our kids is temporary. These moments right now that we are creating with our kids will be what they remember as their childhood. Plan a picnic in the backyard. Have a family talent show. Make snow cones. Go "camping" and count the stars at night in the back of your truck. But most of all, savor these moments. 💕
16 Playful Accessories to Add to Your Mom Wardrobe 16 Playful Accessories to Add to Your Mom Wardrobe⁠
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As moms, we don't always have the time to put together a cute outfit before leaving the house. And if you're like me, you're wearing a lot of athleisure looks. 😂 There's no shame in that! 😉 But if you're wanting to step up your style a bit more, I recommend leaving out your outfit the night before. This will cut down on wasted time in the mornings. If that doesn't sound like something that will work for you, another easy way to add some fun to your look is by wearing some playful accessories. A cute bag, sunglasses, bracelets, or a hat can really elevate and make your whole ensemble. Here are 16 playful accessories that we think should be added to your "mom wardrobe." {Click 🔗 in bio to see all of the items!⁠ 😍}⁠