My husband and I really value having one parent at home to manage the household, children, keep things tidy, etc. But, sometimes I get very bored with the kids at school and don't fill too energized.
What do other stay at home moms do with their spare time? How do you feel engaged? Energized? What are good hobbies and interests? I'm not opposed to part-time work too, but my schedule is pretty erratic.
What tips and tricks do you have?
Are you interested in learning a new language?
Or maybe you need a new novel... here's a list to get you started.. http://www.refinery29.com/national-book-award-2012
Make a plan for each day and a list of things that you need to accomplish. The list really helps me to stay focussed. Build in exercise, reading, cooking, and getting together with a friend to do something productive together.
I was fortunate to have young teens living nearby who would often come after school for a couple of hours for a few dollars. They would play with the kids indoors or outside giving me some time to catch up on laundry or whatever.
Is this still possible or are most young teens too busy texting?
I went back to university on-line and got my real estate license. Nothing like juggling 2 kids with advanced math to make you feel fullfilled. The housework did suffer a little bit though but when my little one was starting pre school, I had a new career path to embark on.
I think finding something you love to do is KEY. Having the freedom to not work is awesome and taking full advantage of it is so important! When my kids started school, I opened an Etsy store, started blogging and writing more, and loved to hit the gym during the non-busy hours! Finding your hobbies is part of staying fresh and vibrant as a SAHM. Hell, that's imperative for ANY mom!
Volunteer. My kid is still pre-preschool age so we're together 24/7 but I volunteer a wee bit of my time cooking for the Mustard Seed about once a month (shopping and cooking for 100+ people for a Friday night, takes me a couple of hours a day for a few days to get it all done). I run a free playgroup for kids and I organize a weekly mummy group for my mom-friends. I do a little bit of blogging, and I have a very erratic/part-time job designing postcards and ads. I also provide care for a little girl 4-5 days a month. Book club is great for socializing, meeting new people and getting ideas from them.
A friend suggested I provide after-school care for other kids whose parents work fulltime.
Do you have a cat or dog that's good with people? I used to take one of my dogs to a nursing home weekly for visits. She's not a therapy dog, it was just for the folks who missed their pets.
do sit-ups until something more exciting happens. i need to start getting up and doing mine every morning. also there are a few support groups in SF for moms (is everyone here from the city?) with childcare available. free counseling, socializing and fun. my mom says too pretend like i'm a tourist in my own city. that really works nicely as well. try it.
I was also at home for about twenty years...stayed indoors way too much as the weather was cold for much of the year...didn't discover how enriching going for long walks could be...until many years later...but once I started I tried to walk about 50 kms a week, about 7 or so kms daily. I had a set route. I went out before my husband went to work and the kids were still asleep. I went from about 6 to 8 am. You could go during the day when everyone is out at school/work.
Besides being a good workout, it's a great time to meditate. I liked going out early because I was embarrassed to walk in my small town, as I was quite overweight. But eventually I lost all the weight, and people were surprised when I told them I just walked it off. It took about a year. Afterwards I walked more as a social activity, one of the most enjoyable things to do with family and friends.
Hey..volunteer! Great way to meet people, pursue your passions, learn what your passions are and help build community. If your interested I run a kid-oriented not-for-profit that focuses on developing kids creative writing. Check it out..www.storystudio.ca and let me know if you are interested in being involved. We have a group of great women who volunteer and erratic schedules are welcomed.
I was home with three children under three when I was a young mom. I volunteered in our co-op and also got involved in our parents of twins club. When my two youngest were born I became really involved in knitting and joined a local knitting club. I have found it a great way to be with other adults who share the same interests and find mutual support. Volunteering is also a great way to give back to the community and find like-minded friends.
Oh dear, I worked off and on while my kids were young, but mostly I worked full time. I confess I had relatives for child minding and I worked to get away from them, get some sanity into my life and feel a sense "self"...not just someone's Momma. That said...it worked out swimmingly for our family.
When one of our girls was in Grade 8 at a Junior High and another in Grade 10 at a High School, they were both Student of the Year in the same year.....I decided that I was, therefore, Mother of the Year. We spent and do still spend a LOT of quality time with our kids and grandkids. All three kids are very well educated and have long and happy (if not, they hide it well) marriages under their belts, we (thankfully) love all of our in-law children and we have seven glorious, beautiful, delicious grandbabies under the age of 11. Yikes..my life is very, very, good!!
Haven't I seen you Round the Golden Gate Mothers' Group in San Francisco? You are a ringer for this woman who hosts a playgroup at the library which has so much just on it's own. Did you know that you can visit any San Francisco museum, pool or garden for free on a family pass? Friday we took a walk over to the Academy of Sciences. Take pride in the fact that you are a mother, enjoy it and you will not regret one moment of staying home. I know I haven ;t once looked back. I see it all the time where mothers "mourn" the loss of their babies' infancy. Not me, I did not regret a single thing. Now that it is spring here in Cali, I think a jogging stroller is just the thing. I'm going to start long walks through the park on days I'm not teaching. Life is good.