We never ran out of toothpaste when I was a SAHM

List 1 –

Yesterday I thought it was grilled cheese day at school, and I sent my 7-year-old to school without a lunch.

Last night I went to brush my teeth, and we were out of adult toothpaste (kid’s toothpaste is awful).

Yesterday I skipped my workout, so I could enjoy a haircut in the middle of the day.

Last night I went to sleep with the dishwasher clean and full AND dirty glasses in the sink.

You ask – what is the purpose of this list?  I am just taking inventory of my life after trading in full-time domestic goddess status to chase my mompreneurial dreams.  When I was a SAHM, we NEVER ran out of toothpaste and I never got confused over the lunch schedule.  My house ran like clockwork.  I loved the feeling of everything operating on schedule; there was a sense of comfort in the routine of it all.  NOW, do not misunderstand, there is nothing wrong with being a full-time mom, in fact, when my boys were little there was no other choice for me.  With a husband who travelled weekly and my social work salary, the amount of childcare we needed placed us in the red.  PLUS, the most important consideration, I adored being home with my babies.

Actually, I became so comfortable in the routine of being a SAHM that I was fearful to break out of the routine.  As I explored my relaunch choices, I grew petrified of how I would make it all work.  Then, I reminded myself that I was a scheduling queen, and I would just expand the spreadsheet in my head and make time for my plan.  I had business ideas that I could not let go of, and now was as good a time as any…..because there was never going to be a RIGHT time.

I am happy with the results except when there are times that I forget to send my little guy to school with a lunch (I can suffer through brushing my teeth with kid’s paste).  Yet, there seems to even be a growing-up lesson in this for my son.  At 7 years old, he was able to tell the lunch lady that I forgot to pack him a lunch (she thinks I am a BAD mom), and he found himself enjoying a PB&J sandwich, veggies & dip, and a drink.  So, while I am learning to accept not everything running like a well-oiled machine, my son is also learning to assert himself.  It is a win-win.

List 2 –

Yesterday I firmed up plans for the next step in my prototype design process, and I discovered several material choices.

Yesterday I inspired other women entrepreneurs with my blog on StartupNation.

Last night I made a meatloaf for the family, and then I took the boys for a Rita’s Ice.

Last night I worked on my website business plan after the boys went to bed.

How about this list?  This is the list of everything that I accomplished yesterday!  Exciting – right? After making a list of everything that I was proud of yesterday, the lunch and toothpaste escapade seemed minor.  My house is still somewhat running AND I am materializing my mompreneurial dreams.  Not to mention, we (the boys and I) are all growing along the way.

The main point of this is not to say that being a SAHM is better than a WAHM or mompreneur or career mom, but rather to illustrate that at different points in our lives, as women, we can create new rules for ourselves.  The trick is to breathe and accept our choices, and not to look backwards but only forward.

HEALTHY MOM TIP  –> If you are experiencing what feels like a BAD MOM day, make 2 lists – one of all your so-called mess-ups and another of your accomplishments, this will help you gain perspective.

If all else fails, Do Not forget that tomorrow is a whole new day!

{ 14 comments… add one }

  • Hollee Temple April 7, 2011, 2:54 PM

    I love your lists! Your transition seems to be going very smoothly. But I can’t believe your school allows peanut butter:)

    • Rachel Blaufeld April 7, 2011, 8:21 PM

      Hollee – your book is definitely helping in the transition!
      Funny about the peanut butter – our preschool did not allow it but the grade school does…..RB

  • Janice Schwarz April 7, 2011, 3:45 PM

    Good tips. Another thing I’ve been doing: if something slides, I look for ways to get more help so it doesn’t happen again. And my husband and I have begun having weekly family meetings and using Googledocs to organize ourselves. It’s really helping.

    • Rachel Blaufeld April 7, 2011, 8:23 PM

      Janice – love the idea of the family meetings! We are not quite there age-wise, but getting close. Good to have that in the back of mind. Rachel

      • Janice Schwarz April 9, 2011, 10:26 AM

        Well, age-wise our kids are too young for family meetings (16 months) but it works for my husband and I just to get everything done. Since we run a business, and I work out of the house too, and we’ve got infant twins, we have a lot to juggle.

        • Rachel Blaufeld April 9, 2011, 1:42 PM

          Janice – you need to come and teach ME to be organized — I cannot believe all that you do with twin infants! I am envious….
          As for the meetings, need to get my hubby better at that – the google docs may help! Rachel

  • Donna Amos April 7, 2011, 4:48 PM

    Rachel, My sons are young men now with the youngest a junior in college turning 21 on Sunday. I can’t tell you how many times I lost the mother of the year award. The best lesson is not to beat yourself up and know that our children survive and as you demonstrated even thrive despite us. Great list and example.

    • Rachel Blaufeld April 7, 2011, 8:25 PM

      Donna – always great to hear from other moms that have survived! It is hard not to beat yourself up, but it helps to look at the good side – Rachel

  • Carol Fishman Cohen April 7, 2011, 11:39 PM

    This is a great post and so true. In Back on the Career Track we say one of the first things to do when readying yourself to return to work after time at home is LOWER YOUR STANDARDS! “My house is messier and I don’t care” is the typical refrain. We have a great story of one mom who has “Sonoma night” once a week where the dinner consists of cold cuts, hard boiled eggs, cheeses, and fruit. Another mom talked about “those pictures that have been leaning against the wall for the last two years, waiting for someone to hang them.”

    However, moms have also reported that their kids have been more resourceful as a result: one mom has her 7th grader in charge of dinner on sunday nights. He has to determine the menu in time to get the ingredients on the week’s shopping list. She said he used to balk at first, but now his “dinner night” is a matter of pride for him. Another mom had a family meeting with her two tweens and said each person in the family owed the household 30 minutes a day in contribution time – mainly chores they all had to pitch in and do now that mom was back at work. Also, kids being responsible and organized for the school day: “My kids now lay out all their stuff for school the night before because they know mom is not going to be able to run their clarinet over to school if they forget it.”

    Your list idea is a great one! Thanks for sharing this. I can relate!

  • Haralee April 8, 2011, 1:04 PM

    Setting example of a working Mom will dazzle your boys in the future!
    Lists are helpful. At the end of the day, you have to just look at the big picture when being pulled in different ways. You didn’t drop off the kids at school on a Saturday and you still had kid’s toothpaste to use, You get what I mean.

  • Sarah Stickland April 9, 2011, 8:20 AM

    That you for this! I will definitely start making 2 lists in my head instead of one.

  • Fiona Stolze April 10, 2011, 8:28 AM

    Loved reading this Rachel and it’s always great to get things into perspective as you say. I like to take the time to see both sides and there is nothing at all that is inherently negative. Just thinking of your son’s opportunity to speak up for himself and reap the benefits. There’s always a silver lining. And tomorrow’s another day. Start afresh no matter what.

    Fiona Stolze
    Inspired Art and Living

  • Denisse Marie April 16, 2011, 2:02 AM

    I will have to start making these two lists since I feel myself ending the day with guilt over not spending as much time with my girls. Its so true that we have to accept our choices. My house also ran like clockwork and was extremely organized when I was a sahm. I just recently started learning how to let go and my house is now not so nice. Laundry stays in piles around the house, dishes in the sink at night and because I let go my poor husband has to fend for himself. Oh well -I have dreams I want to accomplish and I know it will be inspiring for my daughters in the future!

  • Cam - Bibs and Baubles September 22, 2011, 4:17 PM

    love this! as a working mom who is also working at building a business this was very much needed.
    Cam – Bibs and Baubles recently posted..Meet My Inner FashionistaMy Profile


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