In just a few months (2.5 to be exact!), I'll be making a huge transition to stay at home wife and mother. I've wanted this for a very long time and we truly believe it is the best thing for our family, not just our children but the entire family, but that doesn't mean I'm not nervous about certain aspects of it! I've only ever worked in both my adult life and my married life, so my role has developed on that path even though I hoped that this would be my ultimate vocation. It will be very different not being on a schedule I'm used to, not having a paycheck to show for my work, and not being around people all day every day. It'll be weird not having to put on business casual clothing each day, and it will certainly be new to spend so much time at home. These are things that both excite me (casual wear- woot! and I <3 home!) and scare me (I like my work people and I like money). Anyway, I've been thinking a lot, and talking with people, about what things have helped them as they transition to similar roles. My own mother stayed home with us and I know one thing that really helped her, and still helps, is to have a routine. She cleans on Mondays, groceries on Wednesdays, and many other chores fit into certain days. One of my friends shared that getting dressed in socially acceptable clothing at a minimum of 4 days a week really helped... so no lounging in pj's/yoga pants all day every day. And still another said that she gets out of the house every single day, even if it's just a quick trip to the library or grocery store. It's been really interesting to think how I'll adapt these things to my own life.
Of course I can't know until the time is here, but I imagine a few things when I think about myself staying at home. I do thrive on a schedule but, with Steven's schedule, I've had to adapt and become a lot more flexible than I'm used to. That will continue when the baby comes because Steven's schedule will continue to vary and I can't imagine wanting to, for example, clean the house on a day where he is off and home. I'll just want to hang out with him and baby (besides the usual things like dishes and laundry). What I'm thinking is that each time he gets a schedule, I'll make my schedule for the week from that. Because I definitely do better with goals and lists, so I need something to keep me accountable. Then I can check off each day and see my accomplishments. And if something doesn't get done, I can assign it to another day. I kind of do this now on days off, though the list is more mental, and it works well for motivating me.
I like the whole getting dressed thing because though I'm more comfortable in pj's (who isn't?), I also feel better about myself when I wear even something really casual, like jeans, a tshirt, a little powder, and mascara. I'm lucky to have a husband who loves seeing me in tshirts best, but I'll probably switch between that and 'real' tops because I feel better in those. Maybe I'll give myself two days a week in loungey clothes because that's what I do now if I have nothing going on during the weekend. I've read on Moxie Wife about having a stay at home "uniform" and I like that concept. I'll just have to see how my uniform develops.
I don't think I'll leave the house every single day, but probably 4 or so days a week. I'm a home body, so being home doesn't bother me much, but I do get a little cabin feverish after two or more days in a row. Luckily, I've got some friends in the area who stay home, plus there are things like babywearing meetups, breastfeeding groups, and I can totally kill time at Target and the library and love it! I'm also hoarding Starbucks gift cards that I earn on a survey site so I can hit up the drive through if I just need to get out for a free treat! I don't think I'll be wanting for places to go, but I'll have to be mindful of gas usage. At the very least, the grocery store I prefer is about 20 minutes away and is right near my (soon to be old!) office so I'll be going there every week or every other week.
I've also been working on a (forthcoming) list of projects to work on after baby... way after baby. There are lots of little things around the house I just don't get to now because life seems so busy between both our work schedules, church commitments, and getting ready for baby. So any day where I'm about to climb the walls, especially if I don't have money to go somewhere, I'll at least have a list of projects to work from. Not that I love projects, but I do feel super awesome when I accomplish them, so I know that will help boost my morale.
For my SAHM readers, what are some things that you found helped you as you transitioned to staying at home?