Friday, July 1, 2011

How do you do it?

I know that most of the mommy blogging community are SAHM's. I love that and encourage Mom's who can afford to do it. If I could afford to stay at home with my little one, I would. I would love to be the one to teach my child, to play and be with her all the time. If it were up to me, I would home school her until she would be in middle or high school.

The reason I don't blog as much as other mommy blogs is because I work full time. Then, I come home and try to get in as much mother daughter time as I can. All while taking care of a household, running errands, leading a big Church Life Group, trying to find time to catch up with family and friends and hoping to squeeze in a little hubby and me time. Trying to that in  the 5 hours between getting home and bed time is exhausting! I felt like it was all a little easier when I was on maternity leave. When I spend 40 hours of that time I would be doing all of those things stuck in an office, it leaves me very pressed for time and a little frazzled. Lately, I have been feeling overworked and over tired. I definitely have not found the time to blog very much (sad!). 

I feel blessed to have a job that pays us well enough to rent a nice place and to hire my sister as our babysitter. I love Chloe, but I know my limits and I know I need a break every now and then. As much as I miss her, I know going to work is good for me to get away and have adult conversations and be surrounded by other adults. I like being able to actually concentrate on one thing only verses concentrating on trying to do something and entertain Chloe at the same time. However, I definitely would trade being at work for being at sahm in a heartbeat. 

The reason I am writing about this is not to throw a pity party, but rather to ask HOW DO YOU DO IT?
That question is for both stay at home moms and working mothers.
If you work, how do you manage your time? What helpful tips can you give me to use my time at home more wisely? What can I do to find this very hectic lifestyle just a little less stressful? what things can I do with Chloe that will give me that mommy bonding time that I feel I am lacking with her? How do you handle being away from your baby for so long?

And if you are a sahm, how do you handle being with your children 24/7? What are some tips to get daily necessity things done while child or two or three?  Also, how do you live with just 1 source of income? It seems as though many of you still live a life of typical spending. I know that if we were living off of 1 source of income, life would be bare bones around here. James and I would like for me to be a sahm and hope that we can within the next 5 years. I would like some advice on what to expect, what can/should we prepare for (emotional and monetary wise)? I am sure there are things out there that we probably wouldn't think of. Any other advice on how to make my dream a reality would be very much appreciated.

And I want to give a big, "YOUR AWESOME" to ALL moms out there, working or not. We all bust our butts to make our homes a loving and good place to raise a family and I commend you on all your hard work!


Amadeus said...

Wow. You're amazing for juggling so much.
god bless. xo

Haley Galloway said...

You are awesome, mama! And you have your priorities straight. Blogging comes last, always! Sometimes I go a week without writing a new one. And I am a SAHM.

I also watch my niece and nephew part time (about 5 hours a day). I basically said I'd live out of a box in order to stay home if I had to. Brice and I are living off a very, very small income for 3 people right now. But somehow we make it work. We have to cut out a lot.

No cable. Just internet and rabbit ear antenna for basic television. Which honestly...not missing much by not having cable! We only have one car that we share. I do photography part time on weekends which is a little extra income. And we qualify for WIC. Which I am totally not ashamed about, we use it because we need it. They provide formula, baby food, and rice cereal. And if you are nursing they provide nutritional food for yourself.

Often times I am stretched to my limit. By the end of the day I am so burnt out. I have often times wished I could go to work just to escape the everyday challenges of staying home. A lot of people think that SAHM's have it made. But in all reality a lot is on your shoulders and you don't see a penny for all the work you put in all day.

I pray that you get to be a SAHM soon and your heart's desire is fufilled. It must be a relief that your little one is with your sister! That's the only way I think I could go about it. Either side of the fence has it's challenges and draw backs. But they both have their positives too!

Kelley, Brendan and Baby Brix said...

I'm a new sahm..before I was a nanny, so I got in 12 years of not go crazy I schedule little outings for us, even just an hour to go to the farmer's market or the coffee shop. My husband travels A LOT and I am literally all alone for days on end. I also schedule just one household thing a day to try and get done, such at dusting, cleaning kitchen, etc. Then it's not all so overwhelming.

As far as the money thing...we moved away from San Diego..a real heartbreaker, but it's so hard to get ahead there...we were living in Normal Heights and didn't want to live with the ghetto birds overhead every night, graffiti on our house and weird people around all the we moved away..of course, now we live in the Chicago area..and yes, it's so much cheaper,'s no San Diego (I'd move back in a heartbeat if we could afford it!)

Callie Nicole said...

Thankfully I'm able to just work part-time, so I feel a little bit like it's the best of both worlds for me right now. I still really miss Wyatt on the days I work though - I don't know how YOU do it, Michelle! I love cuddling Wyatt while I'm feeding him on the days I work in the evenings, so that's when I work in my mom/baby bonding time on those days. I would LOVE to be a full-time sahm someday too, but it would be bare bones financially to do that right now for us too (if we could even do it at all- I just don't think we can afford it). So I'm with ya, Girl! I'm interested to see what others say on this post.

Keri-Anne said...

i am on maternity leave so get 9 months off. i am due back in december BUT i onlydo two days a week and that is solely to pay for a few bills my husband cannot manage. I hate going to work. I used to cry most mornings leaving Elle and sit at work and talk about her all day and bascially be miserable.
To me, my ideal job would be a full sahm. i want to spend every second with them. Elle still goes to nursery two days a week as she adores it and its helping her developement skills. It also gives me two days a week to spend just with Mia so she has my time too. I count down the minuets until i can pick her up again.

Carly Anne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carly Anne said...

My husband and I are slated to TTC in late September of this year. And, the SAHM vs. me continuing to work thing has been a seriously hot topic for us.

I am adamant about wanting to stay home with my babies, but there's no denying that we would be barely scrapping by if I leave my job (I bring in almost half of our income). Some days I feel like I wouldn't mind being absolutely poor in order to give my children the all-important, constant attention of mama, and other days I worry that I will find out that I actually don't like staying home, or that I will get resentful about our financial situation if I stay home.

It's such a tough topic if you're not made of money.

Sometimes I think that we ought to wait a few years, until we're in a safer spot financially, for me to stay home. But then I think that, there's no telling how much important, developmental baby time I will have missed by then. : (


Olivia Grace said...

Such a hard topic, I struggle with this daily. I work three days a week, but those days are 12 hour shifts. I don't get home until 8 pm and I have missed a whole day of my girls' lives, it's heartbreaking to me. I am currently looking for another job because being away for that long is just too much for me.
As far as how to keep it all together: I have just tried to stay organized, make lists to keep me going, and give myself a break. My house is not perfect, sometimes we eat cereal for supper,etc. I just try to do my best and give as much love as I can, because that's all these sweet babies really need: love. I used to spend my days off running around, cleaning, cooking, trying to get it all done. But i realized that I was not doing them any kind of service by focusing on being a domestic goddess. So now I just do what I can in between spending good, quality time with them. Kids and husband first, housework and other stuff later.
You are not alone, rest assured! It's a constant struggle to maintain the balance, we just have to be patient and remember what is most important to us~

Rachel said...

You are Wonder Woman in the flesh, I swear. I have no idea what Jon and I are going to do when God decides to send a little one our way. Currently, I am unemployed except for the blogging (which is starting to bring in a small income on its own). When it comes time, I know it'll take prayer and wisdom. KUDOS to you, though, for doing the hard things. <3

deanna@delirious-rhapsody said...

you know how i do it.....hah.

no, actually i do it with a lot of deep breathes and prayer. here is my schedule:

6:00- i usually wake up on my own and come downstairs and start the coffee and get online until owsley wakes up.
6:45- owsley is awake and i feed him and play with him until everyone else wakes up
7:45- peppy and gage usually wake up around now and i start cooking breakfast.
8:15-we all eat breakfast together and peppy leaves for work.
9:00-owsley goes down for his nap and gage plays by himself while i clean the kitchen and shower.
9:45-one on one time with gage until owsley wakes up. we usually do whatever he wants.
11- owsley wakes up and eats. gage eats his lunch and watches something on tv.
12- either go outside or upstairs and play.
2-nap time. hopefully i can get them both to sleep for at least two hours. i'll do whatever cleaning i need to do, and then just relax.
4-the kids wake up. they will both eat something.
5-we go upstairs and play.
5:30- we go for a walk/bike ride.
6:30-owsley has a bath and gets fed.
7:15 owsley's bedtime. gage plays by himself while i straighten up.8
8:00-gage's bath
8:30-gage watches scooby doo. i get online.
9:00- we read books and hopefully gage is in bed by 9:30

rinse and repeat daily. yeah, it can get tedious, especially if we have a week where we don't have any official plans or anything to look forward to. we usually go to my mom's on wednesday, so that gets us out a bit. and a friend and her son usually come over every friday.

like i said, i do pray. a lot. i prayer for patience and for guidance.

Dana said...

I'm a working mama too. I just try not to owrry about the little things so much. I mean...those dishes can wait unti later....

I do most of my blogging late in the evening after Aydan has gone to bed. I also will do a few post and just schedule their post date so it frees up some evenings.

I also have a wonderful husband who helps a lot and tells me often to go have some me time...bubble bath, nap in the middle of the day on sunday!

Anonymous said...

thank you so much for writing this, because I have been wondering the same exact thing!

Jessica said...

I can TOTALLY relate to this post. I am a working mom as well. Not by choice but I gotta do what I gotta do to help with the bills and what not. It's hard to be away from my son for so long and I often find myself envious of all my friends who are SAHMs. As a working mom, it is so hard to juggle work, kids, husband, dinner, baths, and then try to get some exercise or a good nights sleep or even some alone time in but somehow I find a way. I figure it's all Gods plan whether I am a sahm or working mom. I am blessed to have a job so close to my grandmas house (who watches my son) and I couldn't ask for a better person to watch him.

She Said... said...

Thank you all for your sweet comments and great advice! You're totally right, sometimes the house is just gonna be messy and I have to embrace it! Since James and I are hoping to move to oregon in the next 5 years (and hopefully I will get to be a stay at home mom by then) I will have some time to prepare and adjust for living off one income. I know most of you do it and to see how it IS possible has helped me think about what I can do to prepare.

You are all SUPER MOMS!
Love to you all,

Julie S. said...

Some days, the house is just a mess because some days, Brayden needs me more than the housework does. It was hard for me to live like that at first, but getting my priorities in line helped my bout with anxiety. As a SAHM, I do have a lot more opportunity to do things but I usually have a toddler right on my feet to help! I try to do the picking up/dishes/laundry in the mornings while he is up so that I can have some free time while he naps.

We have to have a pretty tight budget most of the time in order for Brayden and I to stay home. We do Kindermusik once a week and play dates with friends (cheap ones!) and just try to manage as best we can! It can be done! :)

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