Transitioning from Working Mom to Stay-at-Home Mom (or Dad)

Humans were created with the ability to feel emotion, so it’s entirely okay to feel all the feels when you decide to leave a career to become a stay at home mom. It’s new, it’s different, and it’s sad to leave familiarity. Read this guide for tips to help you make the transition from a working mom (or dad) to a stay-at-home mom (or dad).

Don’t underestimate your value

All changes are hard. There is an adjustment period and perhaps even somewhat of a grieving period as you face giving up something you’ve done for so long and worked so hard to attain. It is normal and expected to feel mixed emotions, so let them process. However, don’t ever give in to the notion that being a stay-at-home-mom is less important than any other job. Different doesn’t mean unequal.  Just like society depends on jobs in every sector of the market to keep things going, society needs mothers to raise the next generation into good, responsible adults. There’s a very strong argument for parenthood being one of the most important jobs you can have. After all, if we all decided there were more important things to do than having and raising children, we would be the last generation on earth, wouldn’t we?

Take care of yourself

Even though you’re leaving your job, you don’t have to leave your hobbies and the rest of your routine. If a regular yoga class was important to you, keep it. If a monthly girls night out was always on the schedule, maintain the tradition. It’s important to take care of yourself, for you are important as well, despite how demanding a baby can be. It may be hard to find a balance between juggling the responsibilities of taking care of a baby and self-care, but remember that there are others in your shoes. Create a support system of other new moms to share advice, tips, and favors as you all try to navigate this big change in your life. There are a lot of online support groups on Facebook, Instagram, etc. where you can share advice, stories, or just vent.

Consider at-home work

If you have plans to return to work in the future, perhaps you can work part-time from home or volunteer occasionally to maintain your skills and an updated resume. It may not be in the cards for a few months or even years, but there will always be work to be done and help that is needed in the world and your willingness to serve and experience as a mother will be valuable.

Show Gratitude

One way to help you adjust to the changes and overcome the feelings of grief from leaving a career is to develop an attitude of gratitude. Realize that there are many parents that must return to work shortly after baby is born out of necessity, and wish they would stay at home. Consider your routine before you came home – waking up, drinking coffee, getting to work on time, taking a scheduled lunch break, coming home in traffic, unwinding with Netflix, etc. Chances are, your new routine with your baby is a lot less predictable and, what’s more, it’s full of amazing milestones! You get to watch a human take their very first steps, speak their very first word, and literally watch them grow before your eyes. That is an incredible miracle.

Keep perspective

This will become your “new normal.” You will get into a routine, learn what to do, and become an expert at raising your child, and after a while, you will probably realize you can’t imagine doing anything else. Life is too short and childhood especially is too short to spend a single minute worrying what anyone else is doing or what anyone thinks about you. Nobody else in the entire world or history of the world is the same as you or your children, so the way you live your life should not be compared to anyone else. Trust your instincts and realize this precious time is so short. I mean, do you remember much of your childhood? Especially the early years fly by so quickly, so realize that this is just a phase of life, and give it your best shot.

Treat it like a job

Every job requires continuing education, consistent training, etc. Parenthood is no different. It doesn’t always come natural, and other people do have advice and techniques you might not know about that could help you. So read books and articles, and devote time to learning more about this job to be the best mom you can be. After all, no other job in the world was as tailor-made for you as being the mother to your own child.

 

What helped you adjust from being a working mom to a stay-at-home mom (or dad)? Share with us below!

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8 Must-have Apps for New Parents

Technology has made the job of new parents so much easier with information and tools right at their fingertips. From health information to white noise, mobile baby monitors to growth monitoring, and even apps to help vacationing with babies go a little smoother, these apps can help new parents with one of the hardest but most rewarding jobs in the world.

Cloud Baby Monitor

For only $3.99 you can use the phones you already have as a baby monitor. Simply download the app on both phones and set one of the up in the baby’s room. You can see and hear them from your room without having to buy expensive baby monitors you’ll only use for a season.

Precorder

This app is pure genius. You’ll never be too late to catch a cute sound, face, or moment because this app is designed to start recording a few seconds before you can even press play. Because babies don’t seem to perform on command and only display their tricks at unexpected times, this app will make it so you’ll never miss those moments again.

Chatbooks

Instead of letting photos take up all of your phone storage, download Chatbooks so that they’re automatically and instantly organized into small books and sent right to your doorstep. No organizing or laying out skills on your part. Simply download the app for free and sync it with your photo album or even social media account. The photos automatically fill up the pages and can even include captions if you want. Proof it before it’s sent, and for only a few bucks the books are printed and shipped to you.

BabyCenter’s Pregnancy Tracker and Baby Development

Get expert advice and information on milestones, development, and medical questions you may have at any time. With this app, you can get answers on the go without having to lug books around or call your mom or doctor. It’s free and great to have when your little one gets a rash or displays some symptoms when you’re out and about.

Baby Shusher

Baby Shusher is a sound machine right on your phone that makes a “shushing” white noise sound that emulates the sounds from the womb. Sounds can play for up to 8 continuous hours and you can choose the duration of the sound.

Eat Sleep

This app is specifically designed to track eating and sleeping patters and give you daily and weekly summaries so you can learn your baby’s habits and keep tabs on their growth and development. Knowing how long your baby naps for and at what times, how much they eat and for how long can help you get into a routine and have accurate information for caretakers.

Owlet

The Owlet app connects with the Owlet Smart Sock and shows you your baby’s heart rate and oxygen level right on your smart phone. With wireless communication, you don’t have to worry about heavy duty machines or cords to wrap around your baby. The Smart Sock uses pulse oximetry to send information to a small base station set up in your baby’s room, and that information is sent via Wi-Fi to your phone no matter where you are.

Baby Pack + Go

Babies can make trips complicated, but this app will be your best friend as you prepare for your vacation. You can load lists and create itineraries centered on your baby. Never forget the sunscreen again, and use the app’s soothing sounds to pacify your baby during flights or long road trips.

*Post edited to update BabyCenter app name from “My Baby Today,” to “Pregnancy tracker and baby development.”

What apps have you found to be useful for new parents? Share below!

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Meet the Dads That Founded Owlet

We’re introducing you to the amazing fathers who brought Owlet to life. But before we dive in, I want to share a few observations regarding these men. First of all, coordinating a photo shoot is not easy – especially ones involving children. These men (with the help of their amazing wives) owned every minute of it. I was impressed to see how genuine and sincere each interaction was with their children during the entire session. As the day went on, it became increasing clear to me that these men are fathers first. Their passion to help children and infants around the world starts in the home. As a father myself, I know how hard it is to maintain a work-life balance and these guys get it. I’m grateful to know each of them personally and can’t wait to see what they dream up next. – Evan Griffin, Brand Director – dad to Vienna 6, Rome 4 and London 2

 

Kurt Workman – CEO & Co-founder

Age: 28

Dad Tip: Be more patient. My biggest regret as a father has been that I wasn’t more patient with my first child. I realized parenting is tough and new for me but everything was new for my child. Literally he was doing everything for first time and I needed to see it as an opportunity to teach rather than an opportunity for me to be frustrated.

Kids: 2 (Ages 3 & 1)

Favorite Children’s Book: Llama Llama Red Pajama

 

 

Jordan Monroe – Co-founder

Age: 28

Dad Tip: Realize that your kids can teach you about being happy and how to be in the moment. It’s really easy to want to just get from point A to point B and get frustrated that your kid is not walking fast enough. Instead I try to enjoy whatever is slowing down my son. We might get detoured by a bird for 20 minutes or a puddle for 15 minutes but the reason my son wants to stay and see/play with it is because he is interested and is enjoying himself. I try to enjoy it with him and it makes me a more patient and happy dad.

Kids: 2 (Ages 2 & 10 months)

Favorite Disney Movie: Zootopia

 

Zach Bomsta – CTO & Co-founder

Age: 29

Dad Tip: Be sure to find time each day to truly be in the moment with your children and not just physically present. This is harder than it sounds when you have so many things competing for your attention. Email, deadlines, notifications; they can all wait.  Spend quality time with your kids.

Kids: 2 (Ages 4 & 2)

Favorite Snack Time Treat: Oreos

 

Jacob Colvin – International & Co-founder

Age: 33

Dad Tip: Give your kids your best time. It will be tempting or most convenient to give them whatever you have left at the end of the day but that isn’t fair to them. I ask myself, “How do I want my kids remember me?” The answer never is tired, exhausted and stressed with work. Find the time of the day where you can be the type of dad your kids deserve.

Kids: 3 (Ages 8, 6 & 7 months)

Favorite Playtime Activity: Science experiments, building forts and singing silly songs.

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6 Labor and Delivery Tips for Dads

While you may think mom does all of the work during delivery, dad plays a vital role in ensuring a smooth, stress-free delivery and can make all of the difference in how it goes. Here are 6 labor and delivery tips for dads to help make the big day run smoothly.

1. Educate yourself about the delivery

Don’t be caught off guard by the medical lingo you hear the doctors and nurses discuss regarding your wife and baby. Take the time during pregnancy to read books, watch videos, listen to podcasts, etc. that are educational and helpful about the process of labor. Understand the various procedures that will or could happen, and as much terminology as you can. Look up things about your doctor or the doctors who could be on call, what their experience is and what they believe. Some doctors will list articles they’ve published about natural labor, or the importance of skin-to-skin, or the avoidance of the use of forceps. Knowing what’s important to your doctor and what they’re areas of expertise are can help you in your interactions with them and the decision-making process.

2. Pack yourself a bag

Of course make sure your wife has a hospital bag packed with everything she and the baby will need, but you’re going to be spending a lot of time there, too. Don’t get stuck greeting visitors with stinky breath from not having a toothbrush, or worrying about your BO rubbing off on the baby when you hold him/her. Have your own bag packed ahead of time with all of the essentials you’ll need for at least 2 days in the hospital. Hopefully you’ll be able to get out of there on time and with no complications, but 2 days should get you through until you can leave or can ask someone else to pick up anything else you’d need.

3. Take charge of communications

On that note, you’ll want to announce the baby’s birth when he/she is born, but probably want to avoid your phone’s ringing off the hook during that precious time. Allow mom the chance to bond and recover peacefully by taking charge of all communications. Set up a phone tree where you’ll call 1 or 2 people, and then they will make calls or announcements according to your wishes. Make sure your wife is feeling up to visitors before people are allowed in the room, and basically be a buffer between the rest of the world, your wife and new baby. There is no feeling like holding your brand new baby in your arms for the first time. Savor that feeling and moment as much as you can before letting the rest of the world in.

4. Learn relaxation techniques for yourself and mom

Labor can take a while, and result in long stretches of discomfort and uneasiness. Waiting for test results or progress in the labor can be stressful, but it’s extremely important that you handle this stress constructively. Learn breathing techniques, learn how to relax your muscles, learn how to slow your heart rate, and learn how to coach your wife to relax. There are recordings you can find that can help you relax, and don’t hesitate to use them. Clear minds make rational decisions, and this a time when you need a clear mind.

5. Be strong

You may have to make some tough decisions. Sometimes emergency C-sections happen. Sometimes when the baby is born, he/she needs immediate care and is taken away right after delivery. Doctors will still be focusing on your wife and ensuring her body is taken care of, so that leaves a lot of wondering what you should do. In these situations, it’s important for you to keep your composure. Difficult decisions may need to be made, and they will likely fall on your shoulders. Keep perspective and a level head to make decisions in the best interest of your family, keeping in mind your wife’s wishes if she is unable to be a part of the decision-making process.

6. Love her unconditionally

This may seem obvious, but hear me out. Pregnancy, labor, and delivery cause huge changes in the body not only physically, but emotionally as well. Hormones necessary to help her and the baby’s body grow and develop normally can take a while to go back to normal, and can result in actions and emotions from your wife that you don’t recognize. Realize that her words and behavior are largely influenced by hormones and body chemistry, and while she may even get easily frustrated or take out her stress on you, remember to love her, “through sickness and health,” and that this is the time she needs you the most. Be strong for her. Talk calmly; don’t let yourself get caught up in the emotions. When one of you is weak, the other must be strong. Continue being kind, continue serving her, and try to meet her needs. This time will pass and things will change, but your life for each other should not.

 

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