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I'm the mom of a toddler (21 months) and am expecting our second baby in June.  My partner works at a local non-profit and I am lucky enough to stay at home with our son.  Before our son was born I also worked; I had a director level position at a national non-profit and was pretty career oriented.  I actually never imagined I'd be a stay-at-home-mom, but an ill-timed layoff turned out to be a blessing in disguise.  Now my days are filled with playgrounds, snacktimes, and crafts - and I'm not looking back.  

I take my responsibilities as a stay-at-home-parent very seriously, and try to approach the role as though it were a traditional job.  I set goals for myself each week, look back over the day and evaluate my performance, and try to maintain some accountability for myself.  That's not to say that I don't take advantage of the flexibility and freedom of being at home and setting my own schedule - and there are days when I skate by with the bare minimum (keep the kid fed/dry/alive and don't let the house burn down), but I try to make those days the exception, not the rule.  

In order to assess my days and set goals I've come up with a list of components for a successful day in our household.  Here are the main goals for my days as a stay-at-home-mom:

1.  Prepare and serve healthy and nutritious meals.  Ideally hitting all the colors of the fruit/veggie rainbow throughout the day.
2.  Make the house a little better than it was.  This is beyond basic upkeep (dishes, sweeping, laundry) and should include something like a home improvement project or tackling a long overdue organization task.
3.  Get out of the house.  Go to the playground, grocery store, library, thrift shop, zoo - anywhere.  Just get out.
4.  Do something enriching with my toddler and give him my undivided attention for a span of time.  This can be as simple as singing songs, going over colors, reading books - or can be an outing to the museum.
5.  Don't lose my temper.  This one I struggle with, especially when I'm burning through the other items on the list - but I don't want my kids to grow up in a household where yelling is the norm.
6.  Focus on my relationship.  Have a conversation with my partner without the toddler hogging my attention, make one of her favorite meals, or cuddle on the couch while we watch a program we enjoy after our toddler is in bed.  
7.  Do something for myself.  Work on my blog/writing, email an old friend, paint my nails, or do some yoga.  

RARELY do I hit all these goals in a single day, but I try to make sure I've covered the list over a week and the more items I can check off in one day, the more successful I consider that day.  If I have a day that misses the mark - or all the marks - I try and do better the next day.  The first trimester seemed like one long string of days that missed the mark - but that was alright, too.  One of the perks of this job is that my team of co-workers always have my back and are understanding on the days when I can't "juggle it all."

by on Mar. 6, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Replies (21-30):
by on Mar. 7, 2012 at 4:48 PM

your goals are good ones :)

by on Mar. 7, 2012 at 6:12 PM

Staying at home is a NEVER ending job. Just as much work is put into it as any other career.

by on Mar. 7, 2012 at 7:42 PM
WOW....that is some list. I know I could not do all that in one day.
by on Mar. 7, 2012 at 10:37 PM
Setting goals is a great idea! I want to try it.
by on Mar. 8, 2012 at 7:01 AM

I need to try some of these goals and set some for myself. 

by Ruby Member on Mar. 8, 2012 at 8:48 AM

 Great goals! I am going to try to set some and give them a try. You have some on your list that would be  on mine that's for sure.

by on Mar. 8, 2012 at 9:02 AM

Goals are a great way to stay on top of things, no matter what your living situation is!

by on Mar. 8, 2012 at 9:51 AM

Great goals, mine are very similiar. I think being a SAHM is the best job anyone could ever have.

by on Mar. 8, 2012 at 11:44 AM

 I've been there. I was a SAHM for several years before I became a WAHM. #3 and #7 were the hardest ones for me to do, but I found that when I did those things, I was much happier, and so were my kids.

by on Mar. 8, 2012 at 1:12 PM

 I should do this too.

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