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 a sweet relief when my husand 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.

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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 definitely be 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 actually get stuff done. I really, really 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 old 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.

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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 literally 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 I, and that’s worth being tired for.

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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 home or go back to work? will you co-sleep? The list could go on and on. Making these kinds of decisions can be really 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 THRE 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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Instagram post 18074272528164523 @debiandbebi wrote these words when she was a new mom and struggled with #postpartumdepression. She hopes to remind everyone that it is okay to struggle with being a new mom and that does not mean you don't love your baby. ❤️⁠
(quote by @debiandbebi)⁠
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#postpartum #mentalhealth #ppd #motherhood #selfcare #kindnessmatters #postpartumprogress #postpartumlife #newmom #newmotherhood #mommychick #babychick #depression #mentalhealthmatters
Instagram post 17863413055589017 When they wake up in the morning and give you that big grin . . . 😍 There is nothing sweeter.⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #goodmorning #happybaby #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #mommychick #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Instagram post 17848203934772065 Her comes Amazon, here comes Amazon, right down my driveway! 🎶📦🤣⁠
📷: @cmon.mama⁠
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Instagram post 17862171103601373 All of these things make me happy. What would you add to your self care toolbox?⁠
I'm seriously needing some of these things tonight to start a new week. Hoping you mamas get some self care time too! 💕⁠
📷: @hallmark⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #selfcare #selfcaretoolbox #mumlife #mommylife #metime #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Instagram post 17974795027288980 Was he dreaming he was riding a bike last night escaping from wild animals?! OUCH! 🤕🚲⁠
📷: @themommyconfessions⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Instagram post 18081610903134401 Praying that your toddler let's you get to sleep this weekend. 🙏💤⁠
📷: unknown⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
Instagram post 17866776847554303 Above all else, let us teach them to be kind. 💗⁠
(quote: @mommywinetime)⁠
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Instagram post 17853200368708392 SURPRISE! A little shocked, a little tired, and a LOT BLESSED. Congrats, @sarah_lit! ❤️⁠
📷: @sarah_lit⁠
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#babyannouncement #pregnancyannouncement #pregnancy #pregnant #momtobe #pregnancylife #mamatobe #babybump #pregnancyjourney #bumpie #preggo #maternity #motherhood #momlife #expecting #mumlife #mommytobe #pregnantlife #babyontheway #inspirepregnancy #mommychick #babychick #babyonboard #mumtobe
Instagram post 17864808397574241 Pregnant and hungry all the time? Here are some great ideas to keep in the fridge when the hunger pains kick in! 🤰👍⁠
📷: @juna.moms⁠
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Instagram post 18073051357163780 When it comes to clamping the cord, our mottos is "what's the rush?" The blood volume in the placenta and cord at the time of birth is BABY'S blood. It's simply mid-circulation in the placenta at the time of birth. It just makes sense to leave it be and let it finish its job.⁠
No, the blood won't drain out of baby and go backwards into the placenta.⁠
No, your baby is not more likely to get sick from jaundice.⁠
Yes, your baby will still be getting oxygen while they figure out breathing, especially important if they need resuscitation.⁠
Yes, your baby will have better iron levels for the first year of their life.⁠
Look at how thick and engorged this cord still is at 4 and 18 minutes after baby was born. Just imagine how much blood baby would have lost if the cord had been clamped immediately, or at 60 seconds, 90 seconds, or 3 minutes! The placenta was expelled immediately before the 18 minute photo was taken. The pulse in the cord could still be felt even AFTER THE PLACENTA HAD BEEN DELIVERED! The cord was finally clamped and cut more than an hour after birth at 73 minutes. ❤️⁠
📷: @lawrenrosephotography⁠
Informative post and words by @bundleborn⁠
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#placenta #lotusbirth #homebirth #midwife #midwifery #phsiologicThirdStage #delayedcordclamping #optimalcordclamping #waitforwhite #whatstherush #postpartum #birth #laboranddelivery #babychick #mommychick
Instagram post 17866964371538725 Stacks on stacks . . . of diapers. 😂 Can you relate?⁠
📷: @krayons.n.tequila⁠
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Instagram post 17852665306696124 With the holiday season upon us and moms trying to make everything magical for their families, remember to stop and take a moment to take care of you. ❤️ Have a hot cup of coffee, a long warm shower and some alone time. Communicate this with your partner not as a wish but as a necessity. We must take the time to take care of ourselves to better take care of them. 💕⁠
📷: @hallmark⁠
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Instagram post 18095239591099259 After holiday feasting . . . this baby gets me.⁠ 🤣
📷: unknown (DM for credit)
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Instagram post 17844162355818683 I think I had a little too much turkey . . . and pie. 😬🍗🥧 #leggingsforlife⁠
📷: @hallmarkbaby⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
Instagram post 17990835490280335 I totally felt this way when I was pregnant. And kinda feel this way after all that turkey. 🤣🦃 Happy turkey day to all you expecting mamas!!⁠
📷: @madiford2 via Twitter⁠
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#pregnancy #pregnant #funnypregnancy #momtobe #pregnancylife #thanksgiving #mamatobe #turkeymama #babybump #pregnancyjourney #bumpie #thirdtrimester #preggo #pregnancyhelp #maternity #motherhood #momlife #expecting #mumlife #mommytobe #pregnantlife #babyontheway #inspirepregnancy #mommychick #babychick
Instagram post 18094211479105476 I spy with my little eye the cutest turkey ever. 😍 Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! Hope it's filled with love, laughter, and cuteness like this. ❤️⁠
📷: @emilyshapaka⁠
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#thanksgiving #happythanksgiving #family #grateful #thankful #babychick⁣ #mommychick #blessed #gratitude #happy #thankyou #happiness #givethanks #turkey #holiday #love #turkeyday #holidays #baby #babyturkey
Instagram post 17852562805720320 Loneliness is a real thing in new motherhood and I want to be sure we talk about this. It's okay to say, "I feel lonely." We normalize one another's experiences when we share the reality of our journey. It can be so isolating when we bring our small human home and our lives revolve around his/her care. We feel detached from the outside world. The monotony of new motherhood can be heavy.⁠
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Here are some tips to combat isolation:⁠
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1️⃣ Get outside when possible.⁠
2️⃣ Video chat with friends/family.⁠
3️⃣ Join a virtual group.⁠
4️⃣ Invite someone to come over.⁠
5️⃣ Find a local mom's group.⁠
6️⃣ Listen to the radio or a podcast (it's interesting how this can make us feel connected with others)⁠
7️⃣ Run an errand--even grabbing a coffee via drive-thru can feel good.⁠
8️⃣ Get to know your neighbors.⁠
What would you add to the list?⁠
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Repost: words and 📷 by @psychedmommy⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #newmom #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
Instagram post 17862516742586656 Pass the rolls. Baby rolls, bread rolls, all the rolls.⁠ 😍🍞👶 #thanksgivingjokes 😜⁠
📷: @divasunrisekiss⁠
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Instagram post 17867282176536875 ⁠For the week of Thanksgiving (and longer if you can!) let's focus on what we DO have instead of what we lack. The more we express gratitude and appreciate our blessings the more we recognize all of our blessings and everything we should be thankful for. 💕⁠
📷: @hallmark⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #gratitude #thankful #mumlife #mommylife #mommychick #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #thanksgiving #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Instagram post 17855722339639264 ✈️ Tips to Survive a Plane Ride with Kids ✈️⁠
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Flying on a plane with your little one for the first time can be terrifying. Are they going to cry the whole time? How will they handle the airport, the turbulence and the landing? Well we have some tips that will help prepare you for your flight with your kids. Here's what to do to have a more enjoyable experience 😊 {Link in bio!}⁠
📷: unknown⁠
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#flyingwithkids #travelwithkids #familytravel #travelingwithkids #kidsonplanes #travelpic #airplane #familyholiday #parenting #parenthood #firstflight #babytravels #motherhood #momlife #mumlife #mommychick #babychick #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣
Instagram post 17895768721417819 Who you gonna call?⁠ 🤣🤣🤣
📷: Martiza Elizabeth on FB
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