Making a Successful Transition from Stay at Home Mom to Working Mom

I graduated from college with a toddler. After graduation, I don't even think it was a discussion, I knew I wanted to stay at home with my kids. It was a sacrifice that we made for our family and I wouldn't trade that time at home with my family for anything. But I'm not one of those ladies who lunch either. Even when the kids were young, I was a perpetual volunteer always finding ways to keep myself busy outside of parenting and playdates. Once all three kids were in school full time, I started transitioning to working a very full part-time schedule. This wasn't an easy transition, and we made a lot of mistakes, but I'd like to share some things I learned with you in case transitioning from being a SAHM {stay at home mom} to a working mom is something on the horizon for you.


Making a Successful Transition from Stay at Home Mom to Working Mom


Set Clear Expectations for Your Family

It's easy for the SAHM to be the default parent who picks up the slack for most of your family life. You're the one who probably does all the laundry, makes the appointments, does the shopping, and most if not all, of the cooking. This will not be able to continue when you add in a job.

Set clear expectations for your family. This was absolutely the hardest part of the transition for us. Set the bar low about what you will be able to continue to accomplish and then as you ease into the transition, you can see what your family's pain points are so that you can address them.


You can't juggle all the things without quickly burning out, so make sure you take the time to delegate. Have a discussion with your family about chores and how you can start dividing them up. Look into things that can save you time. For instance, grocery pick up or hiring a cleaning service. Start thinking ahead about your evening meal situation and who can help prep or make dinner. Rope the kids in to help because that is what being a family is all about.

Meal Plan

I have a friend that told me years ago, failure to plan is planning to fail. This is so true about meal planning. I'm guilty of waiting until the last minute to try to scrounge up a dinner idea and I had the luxury of dropping into the grocery store several times a week on my way home from drop off, but once I started working, this wasn't a luxury I had anymore. 

Meal planning saved the day! I try to take stock of what I have on hand in my pantry and freezer and then I add items I need to a grocery list. I literally write out every day of the week and what we will have for dinner and as a side and I take into consideration our schedule. If we have a busy night, I'll put a crockpot meal in on that evening versus something I have to cook from scratch.

Check out this post: Meal planning mistakes that are costing you money

Get Organized

Having kids typically encourage some sense of organization as a family, but you'll need to be even more organized as you juggle another schedule in the mix. Set aside time at least once a week as a family or with your partner to discuss the various activities and appointments on the calendar and how you will fit in things like homework, dinner, and family time.

Let Some Things Go

Take a deep breath and let some things go. You will not be able to do things the way you have in the past and you are finding your new normal, so give yourself grace. Let some things go and do not for a second feel bad about it. 

sahm to working mom

Plan Ahead

Prep as much as you can the night before. Pack lunches and put them in the fridge, plan outfits, put together backpacks and items that need to come with you to the office. Make a double batch for dinner and plan for leftovers. Prep as much as you can ahead of time so that things can run more smoothly.  

Give Yourself Grace

Did I mention this already? I did. Yep. And I'm mentioning it again because it's so important. This is a new life change for not only you but your family. Give yourself grace as you ease into a new normal. Expect that you will be more tired. Expect that you will probably drop the ball on something. Expect that you will feel like you are disappointing people. And then give yourself the grace to realize you are only human and you can't do it all!

What tips would you add to this? I'd love to hear about your experience.

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1 comment

Betsy Hunter said...

I’m still a SAHM and although my kids are older (19,17) and I volunteer a lot, it’s been way too long since I’ve held an office job, I am looking into other things, but honestly this is hard!

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