The New Stay-at-Home Mom
Forget everything you've heard about stay-at-home moms. A new generation is starting their own businesses, blogging, and working at home.
Keeping your sense of self
Just because you're at home doesn't mean your life has to be all baby, all the time. In fact, having a grown-up outlet will make you a better—and happier—mom. Here are some ways to do it:
Find an activity that works with your baby's schedule Shelley Hunter always loved team sports but found making softball practice tricky with an unpredictable infant. "I signed up for tennis lessons to learn a more flexible sport. I only need one other person, and I can play at any time of the day."
Focus on one specific, nonbaby thing each day For me, reading a novel (as opposed to yet another baby book) provided an escape and kept me sane through the early weeks and months of motherhood. At the very least, glance at the newspaper every day to keep a little perspective on the wider world.
Have a regular date night (even if you don't have cash for a sitter) "On Thursday and Sunday nights, my husband and I hang out in the family room," says Hunter. "We make popcorn, watch a show and snuggle on the couch together." Make a rule: Talk about something other than the baby for a certain amount of time. It doesn't have to be hours, 20 or 30 minutes is probably realistic.
Take mini-breaks Switching gears for even a few moments is refreshing. "When my babies napped, I would take five minutes, sit quietly and enjoy a snack," says Stephanie Vozza, author of Five Minute Mom's Club: 105 Tips to Make a Mom's Life Easier. "It was a little break, but it made a huge difference in my mind-set."