5 Tips for Staying Home With A New Baby

Having a baby is a MAJOR transition. MAJOR. Did I say it was MAJOR? Well, it is. MAJOR. And it comes with a lot of other transitions other than the obvious one of going from non-parent to parent. It changes your relationship with your partner, your outlook on your community, your daily priorities, and your tolerance for sticky substances. For a number of parents, it can also be a transition out of the work world and into the mysterious new world of being a stay-at-home parent. That transition can be just as major as having a baby.

I’m a fairly recent crossover from the office to the homestead and I did it with a 3-year-old, not an infant. And even with a verbal child who can be the best company on earth, it was occasionally a shockingly isolating experience. It’s just as mentally taxing as working was and more physically taxing than sitting at a desk. It’s awesome, don’t get me wrong, but it was, and is, an adjustment. Or as I like to put it on Twitter “Being a SAHM is hard, yo.” Yeah, I’m a total poet on Twitter.

Whether you’re walking out of the workplace for the long-term the moment your water breaks or after a stint of working-parenthood, here are some of my tips for transitioning from one universe to the other:

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  • Babies are Boring 1 of 5
    Babies are Boring
    OK, not really. Your baby will be the most fascinating person you have ever met in your whole life. Your interest will be all-consuming. But babies are not good conversationalists and will only engage certain parts of your brain. Your baby won't have an opinion about American Idol or the Presidential election. Don't feel bad if you need to reach out by phone or social media to find adult diversions in the midst of washing yet another load of laundry.
    Photo Credit: photo stock
  • Being at Home Can Be Lonely 2 of 5
    Being at Home Can Be Lonely
    The corollary to babies' limited areas for engagement is that you can get lonely, lonely, lonely, especially if you're used to interacting with people for 8 hours each day. Loneliness is no good because it could potentially promote discontent, baby blues or worsen PPD. Find ways each day to leave the house and interact with others, even if it's only a trip to the grocery store or library.
    Photo Credit: photo stock
  • Theres A World You Never Knew About 3 of 5
    Theres A World You Never Knew About
    When Facebook and chats with the checker at Target aren't enough to keep you going, it's time to find the Secret World of Stay At Home Parents. It's been right there under your nose but you never needed to find it before. With very little effort you can find library story time, mommy/daddy and me classes, neighborhood playgroups, breastfeeding mom groups, even daytime movie showings for parents where the lights stay up, the volume stays down and no on minds if you need to pass by them to go change a poopy diaper. Get on local websites and listservs and see what's out there!
    Photo Credit: photo stock
  • Your Partner Can Handle It 4 of 5
    Your Partner Can Handle It
    There is a tendency for the at-home parent to feel 100% responsible for childcare, even during their partners off hours. This goes double for moms who are nursing. But you can't sustain that forever. Give your partner the chance to have solo kiddo time and give yourself a break. It doesn't have to be fancy: a run to a bookstore and Starbucks by yourself will feel like a luxury after a week of non-stop baby time. And if your partner is anything like mine, they'll not only survive the experience, they'll love it!
    Photo Credit: photo stock
  • Its OK To Ask For Help 5 of 5
    Its OK To Ask For Help
    You are not a superhero. If you were, they'd make Underoos in adult sizes so you could flash your colors. Childrearing is hard and you sometimes need to bring in reinforcements. If you can afford it, hiring a sitter or mother's helper can be a lifesaver. Asking a family member to come visit and lend an extra pair of hands has been a go-to savior for parents since time began. Swapping babysitting with a friend or neighbor is a cheap way to get a breather. Sometimes you need help to get it all done so use what resources you have to get that help.
    Photo Credit: photo stock

Read more from Rebekah at Mom-in-a-Million, The DC MomsThe Broad Side
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