Here are a few tips that I have learned during the last year as a Stay-At-Home wife. Feel free to read and to leave your own thoughts in the comments box.:-)
1) Get used to living on one income as soon as possible. This is good to do as soon as you get married or before you quit your job. Avoid going into debt and start to pay off any debt that you already have as soon as possible!
2)Get up at a decent time each morning. Shower and get dressed right away just as though you are going to work. This will help to motivate you for your day's tasks!
3)Discipline yourself to stay busy and get your work done. Fight the urge to watch TV, read or sit at the computer all morning. Occasional breaks are fine, of course!:-)
4) Make a house keeping schedule. Now that you are home and out from under an employer's schedule, the week looks very long. There is so much time to get everything done so why schedule it? This is what I thought at first before realizing that days and weeks were passing without a whole lot of productive activity in my home!:-( I was doing things I enjoyed, like cooking and baking, but not a lot of cleaning.LOL!! I have had to use a lot of discipline to get the rest of my home in order! After one year, I have finally come up with a schedule that is working for me. I think we are all entitled to a lazy day occasionally and we all have tired and PMS days when we just don't get that much done. I'm not talking about that but rather slumping around week after week accomplishing nothing! (You know what stage of life you are in right now and what is feasible for you to accomplish in a day. Each person is different in that regard.)
5) Make a list of your priorities and keep them in their rightful places. I like Linda Dillow's list of priorities in her book Creative Counterpart. Mine are 1) God; 2) husband; 3) my home; 4) time for me; and 5) other (for me that means my child care business and my children's church leadership commitments. If I had children, they would be in slot #3 and my home would be moved to #4 and so on. Do I always keep my priorities in the right order? NO!! But when I return to them, my life is so much more balanced and peaceful.
6) Resist the urge to fill up your time with every volunteer opportunity and do everything. Just because you are home doesn't mean that you are lazy(I'm still trying to convince myself of that!) or have nothing to do with your time. It also doesn't mean that you should feel obligated to take on every project and volunteer opportunity that is pushed your way since "all you do is stay home." Know your boundaries and kindly, yet firmly stick to them. Again, you know yourself and how much outside activities you can take on while still able to keep up with your home-making activities.
7) Learn new skills and have fun doing it! This is the time of your life to learn new skills especially if you have no children yet. Make a list of skills you want to hone and research them on the internet, check out books from the library, take a class or learn from a friend. Cooking, baking, sewing, gardening, flower arranging, home decorating, card and gift making,etc. are all fun things to learn and also can be useful in your home. These skills will also save you lots of money in the long run!
8) Cultivate a contented and thankful spirit. Ask God to help you to be resourceful with what you already have or can get on your budget. Pray a lot!!! God is very interested in the little things, too!
9) Make your quiet time with God a priority each day. This should be the first tip!!! It is definitely the most important.:-)
10) Make time for your husband and children.Plan special activities for holidays and ordinary days. It is so much fun to start and carry on traditions that your family loves. Doing this will let your family know that they are the most important people in your life and that they are special to you.