6 Tips for Transitioning from Working Mom to a Stay-at-Home Mom
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6 Tips for Transitioning from Working Mom to a Stay-at-Home Mom

It's hard to go from being a working mom to a stay-at-home mom! Here are 6 tips for transitioning from the corporate world to working at home.

Published February 7, 2017

by Quinn Kelly

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

You’ve always been the achieving type since high school. You looked forward to the day you could work and earn a living one day. And you didn’t waste any time snagging your dream job a few months post-college graduation. But now, as you hold another positive pregnancy test in hand with your 18-month-old on your hip, you can’t help but wonder if paying for two children in daycare is no longer worth the cost of being a working mom.

How to Transition From Working Mom to Stay-At-Home Mom

I am here to offer some tips for helping your transition from working mom to stay-at-home mom go as smoothly as possible!

1. Remember Your New Role as a Stay-At-Home-Mom IS a JOB

The first step in transitioning well is to validate the fact that your new role is, in fact, an important and powerful job! For some women, losing their professional identity is one of the hardest parts of transitioning to a stay-at-home mom. And while you may no longer be in a corporate setting, your job is no less important because you can now influence and lead tiny humans. So, never negate the power of your choice to take on this powerful role with not just daily but lifelong impact for generations—which is pretty darn amazing when you think about it.

2. Create a Schedule

One of the biggest shocks of going from working mom to stay-at-home mom was the lack of a pre-determined schedule. Corporate work seems to always keep an employee on schedule and on task. Staying at home is very different. While some things do HAVE to happen (like feeding and dressing the kids), other things like laundry, cleaning, and errands are variable. And while some women love this freedom, others who are used to being schedule-driven may find the freedom terrifying.

So, if you are used to a structured world, you may benefit from setting up a flexible schedule. It will help you feel more organized and productive. It may also help keep you from withdrawals as you transition into a different pace. (Mom hack: I sometimes make lists after I have finished my day and write everything I did on the list. This helps me see that even though I may feel like I didn’t do everything I wanted, I still did a lot!)

Quin, baby chick, stay-at-home mom, working mom, transitioning to being a stay-at-home-mom
Quin, baby chick, stay-at-home mom, working mom, transitioning to being a stay-at-home mom

3. Carve a Window of Time for Yourself

One of my friends recently transitioned from being an accountant to staying home full-time with her three children. She said the best piece of advice she got was to find something of her own. Whether running in the morning or walking the dogs after everyone goes to bed, find time in your day or week to do something that feeds your soul. Being a mother is a job of outpouring. So, to do it well, you must find something that pours into you. Otherwise, nothing is left.

4. Stay Social

Being a working mom kept us engaged with other adults and often adults who are similar in age. Staying at home may feel like a complete shock when you go from presenting data at conferences to conferencing over tiny tea tables with someone who can only say da-da. Therefore, connecting with other parents is a lifesaver in adjusting to staying at home. Try to connect through an organized class, chat with another parent at a park, or set up a formal playdate. Having a chance to talk with another adult about life, even for only 15 minutes, can be a sanity saver for any parent. So don’t forget to build that into your schedule. (Mom hack: Try picking up the phone and calling a family member—that’s right, I didn’t say text—for some easy adult conversation if you are stuck at home for a day with sick kids.)

5. Keep the Kids Engaged

Kids who are engaged tend to be productive and not destructive. It makes for a happier house. And by “engaged,” this doesn’t mean they need to keep a strict busy schedule. It just means that children often do better when you create space for both free play and organized play.

For example, get out playdough after breakfast and ask your children to create their favorite character. Or before running to the grocery store, stop at the park for 30 minutes and let them run around. And, of course, a fun class of some sort doesn’t hurt! My son does a 45-minute sports class every Friday that allows him to burn some energy before we run errands. A balance between fun and productivity seems to be the key to keeping the heart of the home happy and kind.

6. Enjoy the Perks that Come with the New Job

Just like your old job had some perks, this new job has some amazing perks of its own! In addition to watching your DNA grow and mold before your eyes, you can stay in your pajamas until 11 and no one will notice. Don’t get so focused on all that is going on that you forget to enjoy the blessing in front of you. Such as the long days but short years of having littles that love and adore you. When you list your greatest accomplishments one day, ahead of making all A’s or becoming a partner at your firm, their names will surely be at the top of your list.

Quin, baby chick, working mom, stay-at-home mom, transitioning to staying at home


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Quinn Kelly Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
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Quinn is a mother of four, licensed marriage and family therapist, host of the “Renew You” Podcast, and author of “Raising Boys: A Christian Parenting Book.” Throughout the last decade,… Read more

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