SmartParents reader Natra Liana, 37, shares about what she's learnt so far as a SAHM (stay-at-home mum)...

MUM SAYS what I learnt as a SAHM

When you want to be an SAHM (stay-at-home mum), you will need to consider the following:

1. It's a total change of lifestyle

It's all about the kids now and adult interactions diminish drastically. Some women who have been working all their lives may not be able to adapt to this. Go slow and remember that while you love yor kids, you must love yourself, too. Make sure you have a weekly "me" time with yourself or your friends or with your spouse. My husband and I set my "me" time be Thursday or Friday. If he is not working on those days, he takes care of the kids; if he is working, then we send the girls to one of our mums'. Sometimes, we go for our weekly date on those days (but not the whole day).

I negotiated this deal with my hubby before actually becoming a Sahm. Always discuss expectations prior to making the decision, and make sure both you and hubby understand why it needs to be done.

2. Financial adjustments

I was a big spender, and my salary as a manager enabled me to spend without thinking twice. Before starting my Sahm journey, I told my hubby we would have to work on the finances together; I didn't want him be a casualty of my spendthrift nature. Sometimes, we still do bicker about finances, though.

I also took a freelance job that allows me to work from home as a subtitling officer earning at least $300 per week. I used that to satisfy my wants sometimes, but still I try to limit those times.

3.Time management

This was an issue in the first two months as I kept feeling totally knackered and every day seemed like a workout. I was a mess. Eventually, I got used to guessing what was necessary for a day, a week. I planned what chores to do in the day/week and when, meal plans for the week, when to go marketing, when to breathe etc. I used to be so OCD, but I learnt to chill a bit and let the floors be messy or the toy room be a wreck on occasion. Of course I still have to set a good example to my kids and not let them think it's okay to always be messy.

Again, a supportive hubby helps. He always vacuums and mops on his days off and sometimes does the laundry. He plays with the kids when I am working from home, giving me some space to complete my work. And it helps that he is not fussy about his meals.

Natra is mum to Nadine Auni, 2, and Mishalle Afraa, 1.