About to Become a SAHM

Updated on March 12, 2008
A.D. asks from West River, MD
27 answers

Hi all!
I am new to the board (thanks Angie!), and am about to become a SAHM to our 9 month old daughter as of April 1! (Just put my notice in yesterday!) We will be moving out of state over the summer, as my husband is in the Army, and I needed some time to get ready for the move. I plan to continue as a SAHM when we reach our new destination since it will likely only be a year before we have to move again. After my daughter was born, I went back to work just a couple days a week, which was good, but I think we're making the right decision for our family for now. I am looking forward to spending my days focusing on being a wife and mother, but at the same time, I am worried about an "identity crisis" when I leave my job and transition into my new role. Any advice for a new SAHM-to-be? Thanks!

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So What Happened?

Thank you all again! Today was my last day of work, and so now, I have officially joined the ranks of the "stay-at-home-moms"!! It hasn't really sunk in yet, as I am very busy packing up the house, but I already know that this will be a new adventure!
Thanks again for all your advice!

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S.C.

answers from Norfolk on

find other SAHM to spend time with. you might look for a MOPS(mothers of preschoolers) group to be a part of. They have classes for children birth -school age and offer a chance to meet other SAHMs

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L.L.

answers from Dover on

Join a moms group!! The Internation MOMs club is a great one... you can go onto their website and find a local chapter: http://www.momsclub.org/links.html.
We go on field trips, have playdates, do service projects and have monthly meetings. You'll probably make some new friends, also.

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C.S.

answers from Washington DC on

I was worried about all the same things as you when I became a SAHM. (I had just moved to a new state as well.) Worried I would not make friends without a job to facilitate those relationships, I found a mom's group to join and made it my JOB to get interaction for my daughter and me. 7 months into being a SAHM, I can happily say I feel I have established a life for me and have met a great group of women.
Best of luck to you!

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M.P.

answers from Washington DC on

A. - First I want to humble myself to you and your family and Thank you for your dedication to the protection of our loved ones!
Next I want to say.. WELCOME!!! to SAHM!! I think that one thing I advise and I always try and keep in mind is that time goes by so fast. Be glad that you can spend this time with your daughter! I have always said to moms as they embark on this journey of life… You really only have 5 years to spend with them, mold them, learn them, encourage them and play with them before they go to school. Try and make the most of those years. I am so thankful that I did this when my kids were young and I KNOW what it is like instead of never having the opportunity, or having the opportunity later in life and wanting those 5 years back!
I think that some people adapt very quickly, but others can take years to "adapt". I still am trying to find a "routine" and I have been at home for 7+ years now. Each child brings a new challenge as each day brings a new challenge. I remember when I first started staying at home, I got so frustrated that I could not “do everything”. I put a lot of pressure on myself that did not need to be there. I also remember reorganizing closets, and drawers and cabinets, etc. Take on some projects that you did not get the chance to while you were working.
You really are making a difference in your daughter’s life by being at home with her! Take on this SAHM as a NEW job. Because you will learn SO MANY occupations as a mother and as a mother that stay home as well!
Remember to try and take time for yourself each day and try and find other moms to help support you as well on those days when YOU JUST NEED ALONE MAMA TIME!!! The best and most frustrating thing about being a SAHM is that your JOB never stops! I think other moms and adults can help make it a bit more stable.
HTH..
Feel free to send me a pm if you would like to exchange personal information for some support off site!
Jenn
Mama to Bryce~9 Austin~7 Taylor~2

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C.C.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi A.

As a SAHM for the last ten years (I stayed home when my kids were teens) I can honestly say that at first I truly loved doing everything for everyone. Then I began to loose my self identity. This was really hard since I had worked up until those last ten years and had been totally independent.
I had a long talk with my husband about responsibilities in the home, that I still wanted for him to participate, have the kids continue with their chores and to find an outlet for me to meet women like me. I joined a new neighbors group (they have many names for these such as Welcome Wagon, New Neighbors League) and then joined a volunteer organization. There also Moms and Tots groups that you can join. Since my kids were teens, I was more up to me to find groups. I also went back to university to get a BA in something I truly loved. I went part-time because I had that luxury of having a husband that supported me in this.
Another really important aspect of being a SAHM is to take time to go out once a week as a couple. That means trying to find a good babysitter early on so that you can have some time for yourself and your husband. Women are great givers but forget to take care of themselves.
I hope that you found this useful. Good luck on your new path and good luck with your move.

C. C.
Life Coach

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B.B.

answers from Washington DC on

I am also a SAHM. My son is now 4 and I left my job as a special ed teacher just before his birth. My husband is in the Army Natl Guard, so he works a full-time job and then his "part-time" military job and has deployed for 9-12 months 3 times so far (we're up for another one).
When I first left my job I had a hard time adjusting. Being a teacher, I was used to focusing on kids, so I tended to put myself last. The most important thing I learned was to make time for me. Make sure you have some time to do something you enjoy or at least do something without your kids. You can manage anything when you know you'll get a break, but it can be hard to keep yourself together when you feel like you're stuck at home all the time or just stuck in the same routine.
I also started a playgroup by putting an ad in our community paper. We still get together and I now have some wonderful friends! It really helped to share our concerns, joys, frustrations, and everything. Now that the kids are older, they enjoy playing together as well.
My husband was deployed for a year when my son was 2 and I really appreciated all the help and support I got from my family and playgroup friends. I learned to follow my instincts with regards to my son and myself. If you're feeling antsy around the house-get out, if you need a break-take it. Your child will be fine, even if they cry, and you will be appreciate them even more.
One thing I started recently is scrapbooking. I don't get around to it very much, but it helps me focus on the wonderful things about my family (even when they're driving my nuts).
We all love our families, but the day to day routine can be monotonous and isolating. When you're used to a stimulating work environment it can be hard to make the switch to SAHM where you constantly do laundry, dishes, feed little people, repeat the same stories, etc... It's not the most stimulating thing for adults, but it is wonderful to be there for your kids, to watch them grow and change. Sometimes you have to remind yourself of the big picture while you're doing that 3rd load of dishes!

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T.E.

answers from Richmond on

Being a SAHM can be very rewarding because you are there for your child's up bringing. You will beable to teach her to walk, talk, and number of other things. I just want you to remember that you are a person and you will need time to yourself sometimes. A nice hot bath, a hour of window shopping, go hang out with your female friends for an hour or two but whatever you choice you will need to do it without your loving baby. The only way the baby will stay happy, is if mommy is happy, and if mommy is happy everybody is happy.

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R.D.

answers from Richmond on

A.,
I honestly think SAHM is also a full time job. It is a great challange but at the same time it is a gift. A Gift for you to bond with your child and enjoy every moment of it as these kids nowadays grow way too fast.

On top of it all, if your household income is stable enough to have one of you to stay home - take that opportunity. It is better for you to take care of your own child rather than having someone else cos they can never love and take care of your child like you would.

I was a SAHM for a short time and was breastfeeding too.
But right when our daughter was 7mths old, I told my husband that he just got a promotion and he's staying home with our daughter. He was so happy and as a matter of fact enjoyed himself being a SAHD! He was good at everything - feeding, napping, playtime, bath, etc. We're both dogs/cats lover and have 2 dogs and an indoor cat - so really, his hands are full.

The next thing we know, it's time for us to put our daughter at the daycare. We took her in when she was 1 1/2yrs old. We both felt that she's due to "mingle" and hangout with little people like her.

The only thing I can suggest is that just embrace those moment with your baby and enjoy yourself. Do not forget your 4-legged friends, get them invole in your daily activities too - walk, park, ride in the car, etc.

Today, our one and only daughter is 4yrs old, in preschool full time. So, again, kudos to you if you can handle being a SAHM.

Good luck & take care!
- R. D.

About me: Sales/Recruiting Manager for a local IT consulting company, husband works in IT industry too. Our daughter is 4yrs old in preschool full time. Life is Good!

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C.E.

answers from Norfolk on

Hi A.!
Once you get settled, get out & start looking for other moms to connect with. You will need friends & activities to keep you & baby going strong! I recommend finding a great group like MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) in your area. It is a wonderful resource to connect with moms in a similar season of life. www.mops.org They won't be having regular meetings in the summer, but may have social activities where you can get plugged in. Also, check out the local library, toddler story time is a great place to meet other moms & kids!

Beyond that, I have found great joy in my direct sales business, as I have found a interest that I am passionate about--family traditions & strong family ties, and a opportunity to share it with amazing women. It is fun, rewarding, good $$$ & easy to work around the family schedule. It is such a blessing on so many levels! There are so many different companies out there, you can find one that is a great match for you, so that you have something just for you!

Good luck! I'd be happy to share more about what I do, if you are interested.

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A.L.

answers from Washington DC on

You and I are nearly in the same boat. I'm a 32 y/o first-time SAHM to a ten month old girl with an Air Force husband. I am a musician and taught middle school band before moving out to CA to be with my hubby in his tech school (and got pregnant right away). I had a lot of the same issues - I really loved my job and my students and felt that it really defined me and who I am. I didn't just want to be 'just another' military wife and mother but the truth of it is, I love being able to be there for every new moment that my daughter has. Whether it's a new expression or a new discovery, there is no job in the world that is or has been more important to me. Get some good friends that you can relate to (we had a walking group in CA that I still miss), find fun and varied activities to do with your daughter, and keep busy throughout the day. It sounds like you have a lot going for you right now and I'm sure you'll have plenty to do. Not only that, but you won't have the added stress of a job and can really bask in raising your little girl (and taking care of your husband - which I feel is equally important). I feel that I have really been able to enjoy every moment of my child growing up and will have no regrets. I'm sure you will too. Good luck with everything!

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N.B.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi, A., Congratulations! I hope you love being a SAHM! Have you considered a home-based business? That way, you have the best of both worlds! I have some terrific information on how to evaluate a home-based business. Please let me know if you want me to pass it along. (No company names mentioned, just features to look for & what to avoid - very enlightening!)
N. B.
###-###-####

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N.B.

answers from Washington DC on

You are making a great decision! When all is said and done, what will matter most to us at the end of this life is how our children turn out. Staying home is a great investment. There's a lot to be said for just BEING THERE. It was a little hard making the transition from working to staying at home, but the more I remember why I decided to do it, the more sure I am that I made the right decision. This is a quote from Neal A. Maxwell that helps me a lot.:

"You rock a sobbing child without wondering if today’s world is passing you by, because you know you hold tomorrow tightly in your arms...
When the real history of mankind is fully disclosed, will it feature the echoes of gunfire or the shaping sound of lullabies?...Will what happened in cradles and kitchens prove to be more controlling than what happened in congresses?...
No wonder the men of God support and sustain you sisters in your unique roles, for the act of deserting home in order to shape society is like thoughtlessly removing crucial fingers from an imperiled dike in order to teach people to swim. "

Being a mother is not a brainless job. It is more demanding and more important than any other. No matter what other people say, be proud to be a SAHM. Good luck!

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S.F.

answers from Washington DC on

I am new to the group but do have some thoughts about your becoming a SAHM. How luck you are to be able to have had the best of both worlds. Have fun trying this new world and never worry about how it might feel-just let it happen and take each day for the joy it brings you.
S. F

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A.J.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi, A.. I hope you are doing well with your impending move. I, too, am a military spouse (Air Force) and can understand what you are going through! I am a SAHM to two girls under 3.

In answer to your question about 'SAHM identity crisis', everyone and every family is so different I don't think any one right answer is available. For me, when I had just my first daughter I didn't really feel a need for 'me' time like so many other mothers I knew - but that all changed when baby #2 came along (less than 17 months later)! It helps me to get out now and then by myself or even just do something that I enjoy when my girls are sleeping. I try to keep in mind that this time when my kids are so small and ultra-needy is SO SHORT, even though it seems eternal some days! Keeping things in perspective is easier said than done, but it certainly helps me keep my focus. Also, it may be helpful to talk with your husband and see what he would enjoy doing with your daughter. I am sure his job is very demanding and takes him away a lot, but when he is home it may be beneficial for him to have a special 'daddy time' with her to give you a little break. For my husband, it really helped him to talk things out and have hands-on practice while I was there when our first daughter was very young so he could get his confidence and get into his own groove of how he did things with her. Like I said, every family is different - you know your husband and what appeals to him and what would work in your situation. Just be grateful for whatever he does, even if it's not the same as you would do it. ;)

I find that myself and my kids do better when we have a routine during the day. It's easy to get into a rut when you stay at home, but having a flexible routine really helps bring structure and peace to my household (for example, outside time, snack time, nap time, story time, etc). Sure, there are days when things are crazy but at least the next day we can start fresh and do our 'thing'. And not only for your daughter, but for yourself as well. Even though your little girl is too young to play with other babies very well, you may consider doing a baby and me playgroup to network at your new location. Hopefully something like that will help you make friends quickly and give you a sense of belonging at your new post!

I hope you enjoy your new venture as a SAHM, and hope your family will benefit from it. Remeber you're not 'just' staying at home - this is a JOB and a very important one! Good luck!

A.

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E.B.

answers from Washington DC on

That's great! You'll find that your days are super busy now that you'll be entertaining your daughter all by yourself! Ha! My suggestion is to enjoy a few weeks transitioning but then try to get yourself socialized with other moms so that you feel like you belong to something (whereas you used to belong to your work-family.) I went a little stir crazy after we moved with my 1 year old because all of a sudden I was home alone with a toddler and no friends to call! Try finding a story time at the library, or a community playgroup that is affordable and you'll start to feel like you belong to "something." Cooking dinner and getting "chores" done during the week will be nice so that your weekends are free with the family.

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C.W.

answers from Norfolk on

I am an SAHM as well and a Navy wife too! It was easy for me at first to stay at home but after a few months I started to feel that identy crisis too. Best thing to do is DON't STAY AT HOME!!! Get out there, explore your new surrounding, get involved in your squadron's wives club, or get involved with other moms from your church. Make friends, go out and take your daughter with you. It is easier to make friends with women who have kids. They are a lot more understanding AND they'll jump in and help when you need it. Also, get a babysitter and go out with your husband! Explain to him that you are going to need some major "adult" time b/c you'll be home with a little one during the day. Especially when you all first move b/c you won't know anyone. Hopefully he'll have time after work/duty to take her off your hands where you can go out to a movie or get your hair cut. Trust me being a SAHM is just as an important job as a CEO of a company. Acutally probably harder and don't let anyone tell you differently. You're taking time to raise your child the way you feel she should be raised and that is a VERY IMPORTANT THING. Congrats!! And thank YOU for your service to our country!!

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S.O.

answers from Washington DC on

I wish I had more time to respond! But in short, make time for yourself. You and your hubby will have to still switch off baby-duty when he's home, just like you probably do now. Be sure to communicate that to your hubby. I had to explain it to mine like this: the house is my office, and I am never truly off the clock if I'm still in the house, so I need time away from the house to recharge my batteries.

I also found a great local mom's group online that helped with making new friends, SAHMs like me. We schedule playdates and mom's night out events, etc. I found my group on http://www.meetup.com/ where you can find a group for just about anything in many cities.

Good luck and if you have any questions, email me!

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B.S.

answers from Dover on

Hi A.,

I think you are making a great decision to be at home with your little one. Like a lot of other ladies you struggle with staying who are besides "mom" and "wife".

My answer was starting my own business. I do in home parties for woman. So once a week (or whatever I feel like) I get out of the house for a couple of hours, get grown up conversation and get to meet some really awesome ladies that I would of never met otherwise. And I make some money on top of it.

GOOD LUCK!

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L.G.

answers from Washington DC on

As soon as you're comfortable, get connected with other local SAHMs in your new area and participate in fun activities with them. Also, be sure to set aside some time for yourself to 'recharge' while Daddy or a friend watches the munchkin... get a pedicure, read a magazine, anything you wish! Congrats on your decision... even though I miss my previous work, I absolutely LOVE being a SAHM. : )

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A.P.

answers from Richmond on

Hi A.,
I'm not the same Angie, but Welcome to Mamasource. Have you considered working part time from home? I'm a step-mom and retired teacher without children of my own, but I imagine you'll find housework plus the baby take up more than enough of your time. But, if you wanted to try using your computer and some of the knowledge you have from your previous job, I can refer you to a wonderful company that offers tons of training and support, friendships and satisfaction that the work you do truly helps others. Give me a call at ###-###-#### and I'll give you two web sites to look at and won't try to pressure you into anything.

Congratulations on deciding to be at home for your daughter. The most important job you will EVER have is to train up your child in the way s(he) should go. God will bless your family for this decision.

Have a blessed day,
Angie P.

PS - I spent a lot of time on the web checking out "Work from home" jobs, and most of them are so hyped on "Get Rich Quick!" advertising that you can,t even find out what the product or business is about. I nearly gave up looking until I found this company founded on the idea that we can be blessed by blessing others.

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J.H.

answers from Washington DC on

Join a moms club! It is the best. You will find other SAHM and it gives you the socialization that YOU need as well as other kids for your child. I belong to a great one and have made friends there. IT's a lot more fun to go to the park when you have someone else to talk to!

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B.C.

answers from Norfolk on

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K.R.

answers from Washington DC on

No matter where you live check out your local MOMS Club (Moms Offering Moms Support) www.momsclub.com. It is a club for SAHMs. If nothing else, it will help you meet people in your area. I am a SAHM of 3 1/2 yrs, and would of gone crazy without it.

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J.S.

answers from Colorado Springs on

I know what you mean. We're military also. I was a teacher and then my son was born and I hated being away from him. When we moved to VA, I just didn't look for another teaching job that I'd just have to quit in a year or 2. So, I decided to find something I could do from home. I work at home now and LOVE it b/c I can work around my son and his nap schedule and still get the adult conversation with the other ladies on the team! It's a lot of fun. I would suggest that you still find ways to interact with other adults. Other moms. Join playgroups and things like that. You'll go crazy and feel pretty lonely if you don't. And hey...if you ever want to join our wah team-we're fun! and you could make an income from home. :)

J.

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T.H.

answers from Norfolk on

keep busy join a mommy group here if you think you will have tim then again when you move. get into one that has get togethers often so you can chat with other moms in the ame "boat" as you and watch the kids play at the same time. we usually go to malls playgrounds and other peoples houses. i like yahoogroups.com and that's where i found my mommy group. then during the day moms email the group and its like a live chat thoughout the day so that you have some adult conversation going on not just baby talk all day. enjy it though...i love being a SAHM.

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V.M.

answers from Norfolk on

Hi A.! I am a new SAHM as of January. I worked for 15 years full time in the same job (career), my son is 18 months old and we are due with our second in July (another boy). Before my son I really did not get the whole staying at home thing but I now understand that it is the most important sacrifice you can make. The way I see it, it really is only for a few years before they go to school. Before I quit I worked full time, would not see my son in the morning, would get home around 3 and put him to bed at 7. Now looking back I only was spending a fraction of his day with him I was very worried about an identity crisis but it has not happened. It is great being at home, taking care of my son, fixing dinner, etc. It really is one of the coolest things to do. Consider yourself very fortunate to be able to do this. Upon my resignation, I tried to make sure that I had a game plan, programs for my son to attend and kinda a schedule so I did not get lazy so you may want to formulate some kind of schedule and look into some actiivties that you and the kids would like to get involved in.
Best wishes
Vickie

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J.B.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi A.~

I'm also a SAHM, and a military wife/mom, and a professional taking a leave of absence from my work. My boys are 3 1/2 and 1. They are so much fun, but I sometimes do miss my work. My husband and I agreed that it is best for me to stay home with the boys until they start school, at least. I am thankful we can afford it, and that he agrees with me. The most important job you can have is to raise your children in a loving environment. Many people want to go back to work and that works for them. If you have decided to stay home and devote the majority of your time to them, though, you owe it to yourself and your family to decide also to be happy. Your job will be there when you choose to go back, but your children will only be this small once. You will find soon enough that they really do grow up fast, if you haven't felt that already. Enjoy each stage, even the frustrating ones, if that's possible! ;) Be gentle with yourself and know that you have made an important decision.

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