Many people have misconceptions about me. They see me with my four children (6 years between them) and think I’m some sort of Earth Mother. In truth, I found the transition from full-time work to stay-at-home-mother (SAHM), well, basically a shock. I’ve written this list with a little jest, but honestly.
I know many women take to Motherhood gracefully and smoothly (I’m jealous). But for me, it was a struggle. Over time, I’ve settled into my role as mother, so much so, I blog about it! I’ve listed below, 6 things that helped me with the adjustment.
1. Join a mother’s group
Joining a mother’s group gives structure to your week and also affords the opportunity to talk with other adults. Even if your child is very young, it’s beneficial. Find a group near you.
2. Baby Clinic
I made use of the service many pharmacies provide for monitoring infant health. I went every two weeks for the first 6-8 weeks. This gave me reassurance and got me out of the house.
3. Walk everyday
A little walk outside does wonders. I used to walk down to the local fruit and vegetable shop most days to buy fresh produce for dinner. This got me out of the house and gave me a “mission”.
4. Start an interest
Start an interest that’s not too time consuming. I scrapbooked when my children were young.
5. Internet support/advice
There are many online support groups for mothers. It’s wonderful to chat and connect with people who are at the same stage as you.
6. Find your way
Find out what works for you and your growing family. Try not to get caught up with taking on too much advice. What works for one family may not work for another. It takes time to find your way so don’t expect too much, too soon.
After reading over the list I wasn’t surprised to find it boils down to structure and support.
Motherhood is truly a blessed job so if you are like me, find ways to make it work for you.
Zoey @ Good GoogApril 9, 2010 at 5:47 pm
It’s a rude shock, that’s for sure! Although I was surprised by how fulfilling I found life staying at home – I was also tortured by sleep deprivation, isolation and absolutely no alone time.
I actually found that because I couldn’t drive – the constant walking (mainly to the local supermarket) was a godsend. I wish I’d known about twitter when I was breastfeeding though – because I never mastered the art of reading books and breastfeeding at the same time ;o)
KirstieApril 9, 2010 at 6:04 pm
Yay for putting it out there! It all resonates with me, and after 6 months of floundering as a new mother back in 2005 I began heading down the slippery slope to depression. Now I am helping mums just like us. Loving your ethos xx
Kathryn RoddaApril 9, 2010 at 6:06 pm
So true, although as I’d always wanted to be a Mum and had 9 years of Childcare experience, I didn’t have a big transition, but I found the difference between when other people’s kids get sick and your kids get sick was huge – it breaks your heart to see your own kids unwell and sometimes, although I had dealt with health issues and accidents at work, I would forget what to do for my own child! Thankfully I have a wonderful support of family. I also get asked when I’m going back to work or if I work. I have no desire to go back to work, although the extra money would be nice, we make sacrifices for me staying at home. We know it will be a very long time, if ever, before we own our own house, but we treasure every moment with our boys. Plus, if I went to work, I would have to pay for 3 kids in daycare as they are all under 4 years – that would cost what I would earn most probably! And when would I have time to play with them, bake, do art, enjoy music and basically enjoy them. I’m exhausted most nights, so I hate to think what I’d be like after working too! It’s very tough work being a full time Mum, but I love every minute of it and wouldn’t trade it for anything
JanetApril 9, 2010 at 6:16 pm
Hi Kelly, thank you for expressing so beautifully what it is like to become a mum!
Peta WrightApril 9, 2010 at 6:28 pm
it’s so easy to feel so very alone when you are a mother. You feel like nobody appreciates you. Thank you so much for encouraging us mothers, and reassuring us that we are not alone. As my children grow and learn to communicate, I realise that they do appreciate all that I have done and all that I continue to do for them. Whilst they may not show it all the time, every day, the tender moments melt my heart and encourage me in my role as a stay at home mother. The rewards come…. eventually!
Nicole GrantApril 9, 2010 at 6:30 pm
Wow Kelly, this is so much like my own experience and so reassuring to hear from someone I admire. The transition to motherhood is a steep learning curve and a huge shock to the system. I also love being a Mummy, but never really found alternative solutions to many of the needs that working full time fulfilled. Now I am working part time and have also discovered Playgroup, online social networking forums, and a wonderful group of women that I chat to both on and offline. I now feel that I have achieved a weekly routine that meets the needs of everyone in my family, and we are all happy. The biggest breakthrough occurred when I decided to stop feeling guilty about EVERYTHING I did or did not do. I will never judge another woman for their choices, (unless to the detriment of their children’s wellbeing), and think all Mums deserve a medal!
NicoleApril 9, 2010 at 7:07 pm
What a great post. Might have to share this link.
LindaApril 9, 2010 at 7:19 pm
Thanks for your honesty. I find that I often go into fantasy land when reading and gathering info from many blogs as it all seems so perfect. even though realistically this can’t be truth, I found that my ideal was so very far from reality and the shock of caring for children 24/7 sent me on a guilt trip when the picture I saw wasn’t this wonderland I’d created in my mind.
Thanks again for the encouragement…….
DebbieApril 9, 2010 at 8:10 pm
I couldn’t agree more with what you’ve said. It’s great to read a post ‘telling it how it is’.
SquiggleMumApril 9, 2010 at 8:52 pm
Structure + support… I couldn’t agree more. xx
MichelleApril 10, 2010 at 11:04 am
Beautiful post Kelly
KatyApril 10, 2010 at 11:13 am
This is excatly how I felt too! I found the transision to motherhood very hard which was a big shock to me as being a mother was all that I had wanted to be! I also found Playgroup and talking to other mums a huge help and now like you “I love being a mother” and have made being a mother and supporting other mums the most important things in my life. Thank you so much for the shout out for our book and connect2mums.
Katy : )
MarciaApril 10, 2010 at 12:25 pm
I love this blog entry it gave me a much needed giggle 🙂
The when are you going back to work question drives me insane!
Our children are nearly 11 and 12, the older they get the more I hear it.
I bet no one asked my grandmother this question or looked at her strangely.
Peace MitchellApril 10, 2010 at 4:48 pm
A gorgeous and honest post, motherhood while amazing is certainly challenging in those early days! The transition to ‘becoming a mother’ is something seldom talked about but I believe a huge thing for anyone to adjust to, I found I had to create a new identity for myself before I was really comfortable with being a ‘stay at home mum’. The work mums do is so important to the lives of children yet its rarely valued as anything special.
Thanks so much for acknowledging playgroup, my book & C2M too.
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selinaApril 12, 2010 at 3:56 pm
I read your post and swallowed a lump in my throat and then I cried! I’m ‘normal’ after all.
amandabApril 12, 2010 at 9:21 pm
3.5 years on and I still feel like that most of the time, possibly because I went back to work for awhile, but since moving have decided to stay at home for as long as I can.
Having moved we are back in the situation of finding connections, which we are making, slowly through Kinder and the library, but most of our time is on our own. Even Dadda is away a lot, working away for 2 days before coming home, so it is pretty much me and Princess G.
It is a challenge, it is a learning experience and I wouldn’t change it for the world::)
Great post. Nice to be reminded that it’s something that a lot of us do share.
KellyApril 12, 2010 at 10:46 pm
It is. When I had my first child I had just moved and didn’t know anyone. It’s tough sometimes. Keep doing what you’re doing. We are all in this together in a way but the, it’s lonely sometimes.
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