20 Tips to Thrive as a Stay At Home Mom

20 Tips to Thrive as a

 

If you noticed, I used the word  THRIVE as a Stay At Home Mom rather than “survive” like you so often see. Why you ask? Because I feel I am doing way more than just “surviving”! For someone who was extremely nervous about being home full time and was confident that it wouldn’t be “for me” or that I wouldn’t be happy doing it, I can honestly, genuinely say it has been one of the best decisions I have made for myself and for my family.  At this rate, I might never return to the workforce. Retired at 30…hmm has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? (Totally kidding… I think). But, in all seriousness, it has been a blessing and I feel very happy, fulfilled and LUCKY to be able to have the opportunity.

So, what does my life look like now? I get a lot of questions like this. What do I do all day? What does a normal day consist of? I thought I would put together a list of some things I have done in the last few months that I attribute to why I’m enjoying being home so much. These tips are an accumulation of advice I have received from other SAHM’s, some trial and error on my part, and some things I have read on other blog posts that have stuck with me – so hopefully I can pay it forward a little.

(more…)

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Ask IM: Preconception and Planning to Stay at Home

Ask Instinctual Mothering

 

I am humbled and honored every time a mom, mom to be, or even the occasional father contacts me for advice or information. It never occurred to me that people would actually value my opinion enough to seek out my perspective, it is a shock every time! But it is truly an honor and a privilege to be able to share my perspective and experience with you all.

I thought it may be helpful to publish the questions I receive on the blog in a series titled “Ask Instinctual Mothering”. Remember, the answers are only my perspective based off of my own experiences and what I have read or researched. I will never claim to know all there is to know about pregnancy/birth/parenting because I am still learning myself! However; helping, encouraging, empowering, and sharing information with others is why I’m here typing. It is a true passion and gives me great fulfillment and I hope I can be of service.

I promise to only share real questions from real people and always with their permission (and never their name). If you find yourself pondering something yourself, please feel free to contact me with ANYTHING – even critical feedback! You can contact me through facebook, E-mail at Tmschult@gmail.com, or through the contact form at the bottom of this page.

Okay, enough blabbing. Here is the first “Ask Instinctual Mothering” installment! This was in response to my latest post on becoming a Stay At Home Mom.

Preconception and Planning to Stay at Home

Hi Tara! I have to be honest, I’ve read almost every one of your blog posts and LOVE the website!! It’s so perfect. I am getting married this year, and within the last year or so my fiance and I have had multiple conversations about our soon to be family and our goals and dreams of what that looks like. I’ve always wanted to be a mom, since, I’m pretty sure, the day I found out I could be a mom at like, 5 years old. Not kidding. Can’t wait. It is an absolute dream of mine, and thank God, my fiance’s too, for me to be a stay at home mom, at least for the first year or two of our 1st child’s life. I am a little ahead of myself, I know. We actually are hoping/planning (if all goes according to plan) to begin trying Summer of 2017. I think I’m reaching out to you because I’ve been so moved by your writing (I’ve actually cried) that I just wanted to know if you have any sort of tips for the “year before” trying to get pregnant. We have sat down with our finances and I am working a supplemental job and my fiance is picking up any Overtime that he can. We’re doing this because we know we need to pay off credit cards and cars if at all possible so it’s less monthly payments when/if I can be a SAHM. I’m just so…scared. I’m scared we aren’t going to be able to afford it and my/our dreams are going to come crashing down. Do you have any suggestions/ideas of how to reach this goal of being a stay at home mom with time a year prior to prepare? I REALLY appreciate any and all info you have. I think about it so often and cannot wait until it’s possible. Thank you SO MUCH!!

-Ms. Hopeful SAHM

(more…)

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Homeward Bound

I want to remind my readers that my intention is not to make any other mother feel any type of guilt or shame, but only to share my own personal experience and perception openly and honestly. I’m sure many mothers can and do balance working full-time and home life easily; however, I am a neurotic, anxious, control freak and didn’t handle it well. Now on to the good stuff….

I have been home for a month now, and it has been one of the most enlightening and joyous times in my life and yet somehow slightly heartbreaking at the same time.

My first Sunday night as an official stay at home mom was spent at the grocery store. Two, leisurely, therapeutic hours where I did not feel rushed or stressed and was not chasing a toddler all over Giant. I unhastily planned our meals for the week and even had the mental clarity to organize and use coupons! A HUGE win. I felt a monumental shift occur that night. See, when I was working I never wanted to do things alone on the weekends, not even grocery shop. I probably actually needed the alone time but couldn’t bring myself to enjoy it because it felt so selfish. I didn’t see my daughter all week, I wouldn’t leave her if I didn’t have to. So where I went, she went, and this included the grocery store. Also, not to mention, when you are an exclusively breastfeeding mother like I was/am, there is a true tethering to your baby. It is hard to leave a nursing baby when you are the sole food and comfort source to them. The bulk of childcare naturally falls on your shoulders (which I was dedicated to). This also kind of led to my husband taking over the cooking role in our family life. He cooked dinner while I spent the evenings with our daughter, which meant I really had not been in the kitchen much at all. So spending this time in the grocery store and taking pride and ownership in planning and shopping for the meals I would prepare for my family was significant. I felt the tension ease in my muscles and joints, and the metaphorical weight lift off of my shoulders. There was no reason to rush. I could spend as much time as I wanted to, because I had nowhere else to be the next day but at home with my little one.

(more…)

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A Decision to Become a Stay At Home Mom

Today was a bad day.

Today I cried. Today I cried hard. I cried as I watched my daughter reach out for me in hysterics because she knew I was leaving her. I cried more as I stood outside the door of my neighbor listening to her say “mamama”, pleading for me to come back. Leaving her everyday feels all wrong. It always has. After almost a year, I can still feel the grief way down in the depths of my soul….

They say the gift and the curse of being a human being is that we can adapt to anything, and that’s what I’ve done when it comes to working full-time. I pushed the gnawing voices of going against my mother’s intuition to the back of my mind until they were nothing more than a whisper. I adopted a “out of sight, out of mind” mentality because I felt I had no choice – it was/is about survival and making it through the days. But by the end of my work week, I feel the distance. It’s almost as if our energies once intertwined become separated with absence and I spend my weekends weaving us back together again.

I do feel that the mother-child bond is strong and can withstand almost anything (within reason) and I never doubt that we will re-find each other and become reconnected again. We always do. But it is only a brief period of time until I have to repeat the cycle and the wear on my soul does not go unnoticed. And I still do have the occasional really hard day at the office- particularly the days after a weekend filled with activities that either kept me away from her or kept my focus off of her. I still cry with guilt or grief, not often… but it happens.

(more…)

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Ask IM: Preconception and Planning to Stay at Home

Ask IM: Preconception and Planning to Stay at Home

Ask Instinctual Mothering

 

I am humbled and honored every time a mom, mom to be, or even the occasional father contacts me for advice or information. It never occurred to me that people would actually value my opinion enough to seek out my perspective, it is a shock every time! But it is truly an honor and a privilege to be able to share my perspective and experience with you all.

I thought it may be helpful to publish the questions I receive on the blog in a series titled “Ask Instinctual Mothering”. Remember, the answers are only my perspective based off of my own experiences and what I have read or researched. I will never claim to know all there is to know about pregnancy/birth/parenting because I am still learning myself! However; helping, encouraging, empowering, and sharing information with others is why I’m here typing. It is a true passion and gives me great fulfillment and I hope I can be of service.

I promise to only share real questions from real people and always with their permission (and never their name). If you find yourself pondering something yourself, please feel free to contact me with ANYTHING – even critical feedback! You can contact me through facebook, E-mail at Tmschult@gmail.com, or through the contact form at the bottom of this page.

Okay, enough blabbing. Here is the first “Ask Instinctual Mothering” installment! This was in response to my latest post on becoming a Stay At Home Mom.

Preconception and Planning to Stay at Home

Hi Tara! I have to be honest, I’ve read almost every one of your blog posts and LOVE the website!! It’s so perfect. I am getting married this year, and within the last year or so my fiance and I have had multiple conversations about our soon to be family and our goals and dreams of what that looks like. I’ve always wanted to be a mom, since, I’m pretty sure, the day I found out I could be a mom at like, 5 years old. Not kidding. Can’t wait. It is an absolute dream of mine, and thank God, my fiance’s too, for me to be a stay at home mom, at least for the first year or two of our 1st child’s life. I am a little ahead of myself, I know. We actually are hoping/planning (if all goes according to plan) to begin trying Summer of 2017. I think I’m reaching out to you because I’ve been so moved by your writing (I’ve actually cried) that I just wanted to know if you have any sort of tips for the “year before” trying to get pregnant. We have sat down with our finances and I am working a supplemental job and my fiance is picking up any Overtime that he can. We’re doing this because we know we need to pay off credit cards and cars if at all possible so it’s less monthly payments when/if I can be a SAHM. I’m just so…scared. I’m scared we aren’t going to be able to afford it and my/our dreams are going to come crashing down. Do you have any suggestions/ideas of how to reach this goal of being a stay at home mom with time a year prior to prepare? I REALLY appreciate any and all info you have. I think about it so often and cannot wait until it’s possible. Thank you SO MUCH!!

-Ms. Hopeful SAHM

(more…)

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Homeward Bound

Homeward Bound

I want to remind my readers that my intention is not to make any other mother feel any type of guilt or shame, but only to share my own personal experience and perception openly and honestly. I’m sure many mothers can and do balance working full-time and home life easily; however, I am a neurotic, anxious, control freak and didn’t handle it well. Now on to the good stuff….

I have been home for a month now, and it has been one of the most enlightening and joyous times in my life and yet somehow slightly heartbreaking at the same time.

My first Sunday night as an official stay at home mom was spent at the grocery store. Two, leisurely, therapeutic hours where I did not feel rushed or stressed and was not chasing a toddler all over Giant. I unhastily planned our meals for the week and even had the mental clarity to organize and use coupons! A HUGE win. I felt a monumental shift occur that night. See, when I was working I never wanted to do things alone on the weekends, not even grocery shop. I probably actually needed the alone time but couldn’t bring myself to enjoy it because it felt so selfish. I didn’t see my daughter all week, I wouldn’t leave her if I didn’t have to. So where I went, she went, and this included the grocery store. Also, not to mention, when you are an exclusively breastfeeding mother like I was/am, there is a true tethering to your baby. It is hard to leave a nursing baby when you are the sole food and comfort source to them. The bulk of childcare naturally falls on your shoulders (which I was dedicated to). This also kind of led to my husband taking over the cooking role in our family life. He cooked dinner while I spent the evenings with our daughter, which meant I really had not been in the kitchen much at all. So spending this time in the grocery store and taking pride and ownership in planning and shopping for the meals I would prepare for my family was significant. I felt the tension ease in my muscles and joints, and the metaphorical weight lift off of my shoulders. There was no reason to rush. I could spend as much time as I wanted to, because I had nowhere else to be the next day but at home with my little one.

(more…)

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

A Decision to Become a Stay At Home Mom

A Decision to Become a Stay At Home Mom

Today was a bad day.

Today I cried. Today I cried hard. I cried as I watched my daughter reach out for me in hysterics because she knew I was leaving her. I cried more as I stood outside the door of my neighbor listening to her say “mamama”, pleading for me to come back. Leaving her everyday feels all wrong. It always has. After almost a year, I can still feel the grief way down in the depths of my soul….

They say the gift and the curse of being a human being is that we can adapt to anything, and that’s what I’ve done when it comes to working full-time. I pushed the gnawing voices of going against my mother’s intuition to the back of my mind until they were nothing more than a whisper. I adopted a “out of sight, out of mind” mentality because I felt I had no choice – it was/is about survival and making it through the days. But by the end of my work week, I feel the distance. It’s almost as if our energies once intertwined become separated with absence and I spend my weekends weaving us back together again.

I do feel that the mother-child bond is strong and can withstand almost anything (within reason) and I never doubt that we will re-find each other and become reconnected again. We always do. But it is only a brief period of time until I have to repeat the cycle and the wear on my soul does not go unnoticed. And I still do have the occasional really hard day at the office- particularly the days after a weekend filled with activities that either kept me away from her or kept my focus off of her. I still cry with guilt or grief, not often… but it happens.

(more…)

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail