Anonymous

Transitioning from the office to SAHM

Hello! I’m looking for your experiences regarding the transition from working in the office to being a SAHM, from the beginning: notice to the boss and how that was handled, first few months at home and getting settled, issues with the family and any others that came up at home or internally with yourself, etc. I’m excited for this change, but anxious about pulling the trigger. Any advice is also welcome! Thanks!

  • Anonymous
    Jun 18

    I told my boss in advance, a few months because I wanted to train my replacement and make sure I didn’t leave them high and dry.... I think they appreciated that. Make plans! Library offers story times usually during the week, maybe try for a gymnastics or swim class as well. Maybe find a gym w childcare so you can workout and let little one burn some energy playing. I loved being at home but I did get bored doing the same thing day after day. I liked to have regular “chores” like dishes and trash every day but did one big chore every day too (bathrooms or mop or vacuum) which made me feel productive.

  • Sargie15
    Jun 18

    Ditto to almost everything said by previous poster. Getting out of the house everyday is key, even if it’s taking a walk around the block or wandering around Target. There are a lot of “mom” groups out there (MOPS, MOMs club etc). It’s nice to connect with other people who are in the same place in life as you. Maybe a random side note, but don’t stress about feeding schedules and nap schedules with a tiny newborn. That stuff will fall into place over time. I put way too much emphasis on being scheduled and I was a wreck for months just to realize that babies are human not robots and you can’t predict the minute they’ll be hungry or ready to sleep. As they get older, they become more predictable. And as soon as you think you have it figured out, it changes. I didn’t tell my employer ahead of time partially because we didn’t know for sure that I wasn’t going back and partially because they offered short term disability so I got paid for 6 weeks of my maternity leave. After I decided not to go back, I let them know my intentions and then worked with them to go into the office a few hours a day for a week to train a replacement. Good luck and congrats!!

  • Anonymous
    Jun 18

    I gave my boss 2 months notice. Requested a one on one meeting and gave them a formal letter. Sat down and talked about what they needed me to do to make the transition of my departure as easy as possible on them. The first few months for me was hard... I don’t know how old your LO is but it took me a while to get into the groove of things. And I felt that as soon as I got used to a routine, something with my son changed and I had to figure it all out again. Once he turned 1 though, I finally got into a routine and things just got easier (in a way). Like previous posters said, make plans to go out and do something. Make some parent friends. There’s an app called Peanut that can help you make mom friends but it takes a lot of effort on both ends to make a friendship work. There are also Facebook groups to join. Meetup app. Library. Get a zoo or aquarium or museum membership. Find some classes to take. Check out your community center or community college for free parent child classes. Check local library for events or programs. Chores/household stuff - I downloaded this app that helps me organize what needs to be done. I try not to stress about it and just do things when I can. It’s called Tody. Issues with the family... my husband expected too much of me. Be sure to sit down and talk to each other about expectations and budget! What was also annoying for me was that my brothers who don’t have kids thought that all of a sudden I had all this time on my hand to do whatever. So they would call a lot and ask me what the heck I do all day.. never got through their head until I asked them to babysit. Same with husband... I got sick and was hospitalized for 5 days and he had to stay home with our son during that time. I came home to a husband who was suddenly really appreciative of what I do. Internal problems... wasted education. Personally I struggled a lot with this in the past and every once in a while I still get down about it too. I went to school, a lot of money and time was put into my degree and now I’m a SAHM. I struggled with feeling useless to society and not contributing the way that I wanted to. A friend told me to think about it differently... that as a SAHM I was contributing with my every day interactions with my son and any other kids we may encounter. You lead by example and share your knowledge with them. When my son starts school, I can go back to the workforce or I can volunteer my time at his school and make a difference in a kid’s life and not just my own son. I enjoy my time home with my son but some times I just feel like I should be doing more. Time for yourself... schedule it. Have your partner look after LO on their days off. Find a babysitter for the occasional date nights or when you yourself just need some alone time. Ask around for babysitter recommendations or find one on your own. I used sittercity and found ours. Just paid for one month and found a go to sitter and a few to use as backups.

  • Cathy
    Jun 18

    I told my boss about a month after I had returned back to work. I didn’t think being a working mom was going to be so hard! She came back to me with the suggestion of working part time. Unfortunately, while I did part time, it didn’t work for my son’s schedule and I was STILL doing the job of a full time person in part time hours. It was hard. I went part time for 4 months and then had just had it. It was harder for me to do my job in half the time. You can always go back to work but you will never get this time back. I’m glad I made the decision

  • Emily
    Jun 20

    I didn't tell my boss for certain until about 2 weeks before the end of my maternity leave, but she pretty much knew that I wasn't coming back. I spent so much time before the jump planning out a schedule for us (I already had a 2 year old, but we couldn't afford daycare for two, so we decided I would stay home with both), making sure I had plenty of activities for my oldest while working in baby feedings and naps and such. It allll went out the window once that baby came. The first months are all about survival. As long as they are both fed and not screaming all day (which my baby was, she was colicky), call it a win, momma. Once they get older a routine gets easier, and I definitely agree that getting out every day is essential. There were no mom groups in my town, so I pretty much just had to take her to the library and the park and plan playdates with my mom friends when they weren't working. Also, NO SHAME if you have days that you just cannot do by yourself. I called my husband in tears I don't know how many times begging him to come home and help because the baby just wouldn't sleep or my new momma hormones were raging and I just couldn't deal. Literally just do whatever you need to get through the day. And at the end of it, remember that your kid adores you anyway. Even if all you did was color or play blocks on the floor and have a box of Kraft mac n cheese for dinner.

  • MTH Zale
    Jun 20

    I was thrust into the role of SAHM but was initially excited since I thought that’s what I always wanted to do. I can’t lie—there had been times I would rather be negotiating a multi-million dollar contract than deciding what everyone wanted to eat for dinner. A LOT OF TIMES. Lol. I felt a lot of anxiety over being highly educated and the breadwinner—to no longer utilizing a lot of my education. That has since almost entirely subsided. My husband was unrealistic expectations and it is still a struggle for us. Continue to mutually communicate expectations. Make something yours and reserve your time, energy and effort for it. For example, I continued to serve on 2 Boards and volunteer at the hospital. My husband has every reason why this is unimportant—namely—it’s all volunteer work and he has “real” work that brings in money. I still stand my ground and put it on the family calendar. Whatever it is you need for “me” time, protect it at ALL costs. It allows everyone to see you are a whole person and not just mother and wife. I have gone back to work very part time and in a completely unrelated field. I miss being a SAHM. But am glad for the time I was able to do it.

  • Anonymous
    Jul 04

    Thank you everyone for the supportive advice and your experiences! I took the first step and gave 6 weeks notice to help give some time to train my replacement and cover some vacation times others with be out that we already knew about. Everyone was very supportive including my leader which was so comforting. I shared your experiences with my husband and they were very good to consider, and some of your words we still repeat!