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WestPhillyMama
Staying Home IS My Job
March 6, 2012 at 12:00 AM

I'm the mom of a toddler (21 months) and am expecting our second baby in June.  My partner works at a local non-profit and I am lucky enough to stay at home with our son.  Before our son was born I also worked; I had a director level position at a national non-profit and was pretty career oriented.  I actually never imagined I'd be a stay-at-home-mom, but an ill-timed layoff turned out to be a blessing in disguise.  Now my days are filled with playgrounds, snacktimes, and crafts - and I'm not looking back.  

I take my responsibilities as a stay-at-home-parent very seriously, and try to approach the role as though it were a traditional job.  I set goals for myself each week, look back over the day and evaluate my performance, and try to maintain some accountability for myself.  That's not to say that I don't take advantage of the flexibility and freedom of being at home and setting my own schedule - and there are days when I skate by with the bare minimum (keep the kid fed/dry/alive and don't let the house burn down), but I try to make those days the exception, not the rule.  

In order to assess my days and set goals I've come up with a list of components for a successful day in our household.  Here are the main goals for my days as a stay-at-home-mom:

1.  Prepare and serve healthy and nutritious meals.  Ideally hitting all the colors of the fruit/veggie rainbow throughout the day.
2.  Make the house a little better than it was.  This is beyond basic upkeep (dishes, sweeping, laundry) and should include something like a home improvement project or tackling a long overdue organization task.
3.  Get out of the house.  Go to the playground, grocery store, library, thrift shop, zoo - anywhere.  Just get out.
4.  Do something enriching with my toddler and give him my undivided attention for a span of time.  This can be as simple as singing songs, going over colors, reading books - or can be an outing to the museum.
5.  Don't lose my temper.  This one I struggle with, especially when I'm burning through the other items on the list - but I don't want my kids to grow up in a household where yelling is the norm.
6.  Focus on my relationship.  Have a conversation with my partner without the toddler hogging my attention, make one of her favorite meals, or cuddle on the couch while we watch a program we enjoy after our toddler is in bed.  
7.  Do something for myself.  Work on my blog/writing, email an old friend, paint my nails, or do some yoga.  

RARELY do I hit all these goals in a single day, but I try to make sure I've covered the list over a week and the more items I can check off in one day, the more successful I consider that day.  If I have a day that misses the mark - or all the marks - I try and do better the next day.  The first trimester seemed like one long string of days that missed the mark - but that was alright, too.  One of the perks of this job is that my team of co-workers always have my back and are understanding on the days when I can't "juggle it all."

Replies

  • slw123
    by slw123
    March 12, 2012 at 11:40 AM

     The best thing I ever did was decide to stay home with my kids.  I thought I needed to be perfect in the beginning, but I realize now that I don't need to be.

  • Samanthamommy
    March 12, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    Cool.

  • elasmimi
    March 19, 2012 at 11:37 PM

    These are excellent goals. I need to strive for them myself.

  • Janet
    by Janet
    March 28, 2012 at 4:36 PM

     Those are great goals!

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