I was speaking with a friend of mine recently retired from the NYPD late this past summer. She’s in her early 40′s and had already put in over 20 years on the force. Isn’t that great to be able to retire at 40? I asked her how things have been for her staying home, and like many new SAHM’s she said she was bored. Her daughter is in the 3rd grade so she’s away for most of the day and is involved in after school activities. That immediately planted the seed for this post which I’m hoping to help other new SAHMS make the most out of being a SAHM.
I’ve been an accidental SAHM since 2006 and can’t believe it’s been nearly six years since I’ve set foot in an office. I have made the most of out being a SAHM by working on my own non profit organization, volunteering for the Miss America Organization as the Miss Brooklyn Executive Director, which kept me extremely busy.
Here are my personal tips on being the best SAHM you can be:
1) Get your house in order
There are countless projects I’m sure you have neglected or were just too tired to do while working 40+ hours/week on top of mommy duties, right? Now is the time to clean your closet, donate unworn/old clothes, and purge your outdated shoes. (Keep the cute ones though no matter how old they are.)
2) Volunteer at your child’s school
You can be class mom (like me), help coordinate events, or serve on the PTA board or countless committees. If your child graduated from high school, you can STILL volunteer with his/her school. Did you know that?
4) Volunteer with a local cause or organization
There is a food bank here in my community that makes food baskets weekly. They also have a clothing area that needs organizing. Ask yourself, what is near and dear to your heart? My grandmother said she wanted to volunteer at a hospital to hold babies born addicted to crack or other drugs. Wow. Serve on the Board of Directors for an organization that focuses on a cause you care about. I was the Executive Director for the Miss Brooklyn Scholarship Organization. That alone kept me busy. I also started my own non profit in 2000 and have recently energized the organization now that my children are older.
4) Stay in Touch
Schedule a standing lunch appointment with former co-workers weekly or bi-monthly to stay in touch. I tried doing this but once we moved from Brooklyn to Long Island, it became increasingly difficult. Maybe you can. Schedule a Skype lunch. Be creative.
5) Join An Exercise Group
Notice that this is low on my list right now, but it should be higher. Joining a group is a good way to meet others who have the same schedule as you. Strike up a conversation, have lunch (funky and all) after a workout class, and voila! You have a new friend(s).
6) Join a Mommy Group
This was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I have surrounded myself with women just like me. I joined Mocha Moms, Inc. and am now helping to charter a new chapter here on Long Island and it has launched and strengthened friendships with women who have similar mommy issues, desires, and needs like myself. We talk about motherhood, relationships, and our semi-professional, current or former, lives. It’s simply amazing to be with these women. It also got me an invitation to the White House. Twice this year. Really, you ask? Really.
7) Help Another SAHM
There are new moms everywhere out there and they need help. Volunteer to babysit for them at least one day a week. Why would I do that, you ask? Don’t you remember saying to yourself that you wish you had someone to watch the baby just for a few hours so you could get your hair or nails done? So you could get a massage? So you could regain your sanity? Here’s your chance to give back and answer the prayer of another mother.
If you’re a SAHM or Dad, what do you do to fill your time each day?
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