If you’re planning on staying at home with bub, these are the things you need to know.
Whether you choose to be home with your kids 100-percent or are thrust into it by accident, one thing’s for sure: You have no idea what you’re getting into. Here, 21 things we wish someone (anyone!) had told us before we made being a mum our full-time job.
1. There’s a giant learning curve.
It doesn’t matter how old your kids are when you decide to take the plunge, but there’s a rather sizeable learning curve to get over once you become a full-fledged stay-at-homer. (Had a flexible schedule prior? You’re not immune to the curve. Don’t be fooled.) It’s almost as if someone wakes you up, spins you in a circle and yells GO at you every morning.
It takes a while (months, even) to get your head around your new situation and to hammer out some sort of routine. You might be shocked by how much you miss the structure and relative ease of knowing what you have to do all day at the office. At work, the machinery was in place to get things done. At home, you are the machinery and the machinery breaks down a lot.
2. Your workday never ends.
As soon as your eyes open in the morning (or the middle of the night), you are at work. Boom. Your workday has begun, pre-shower, pre-pee, pre-everything. Granted, working mums wake up to the same exact thing. The difference? Mums who work out of the home get to experience that much-needed transition time from hectic-crazy-wake-up to civilsed-start-of-the-day. There's the commute, that stop for coffee, the chat with the office mate -- all of it allows Mama to exhale and start fresh. Stay-at-homers, well, that transition is gone and you'll miss it.
3. You might be lonely at first.
The life of a stay-at-homer can be isolating, especially when you have a new baby. So sign up for a mums' group and mix and mingle with the parents at the coffee shop, the park and tumbling class. You’ll need to leap out of your comfort zone, introduce yourself to strangers and hand out your number. It's like being single without the dinner-and-movie thing. But even one mum friend can be life-changing, so start small and the rest will fall into place.
4. Kids can be boring.
Lets face it, the activities that enthrall little kids (parking Hot Wheels for hours) may be less exciting to a full-grown person. And their super-short attention span means that there are dozens of 10-minute activities to be thought up (and cleaned up) over the course of a day. It's annoying and often times, a big-time snooze-fest.
5. Your horizons will expand.
So you think you've met a lot of smart and interesting people at your 9-to-5 job, right? The thing is, you meet and befriend a lot of folks who are very much like you. Teachers have a lot of teacher friends. Lawyers have a lot of lawyer friends. That's just the way it often shakes out. But once your gig is at home, you suddenly have a lot in common with a very diverse group of people that you would have never met if you weren't trading potty training stories at the playground. Your life: Enriched and expanded.