Those are some pretty big slippers to fill.
I once read a magazine article that made me feel like a rock star. It was about a mom who'd been laid off from her office job and was finding staying at home to be much more difficult. Take THAT, Hilary Rosen!
Truth is, though, that I've been a stay-at-home mom for so long (ever since, uh, I became a mom) that I don't even feel like such a martyr anymore. Maybe for the simple fact that I've never been a working mom, so I wouldn't know how it's like. I will tell you, though, that staying at home is not any easier. I think that the longer you've been doing what you're doing, the harder it'll be to transition to something else. And THAT might give you the impression that staying at home is torture compared to the routine you had before.
In reality, it's not. You're just not used to it. At first, it's odd having to depend on a little person's schedule all day in order to do the simplest things - like pee or eat. Specially in the first days, you do crave adult interaction. But like with everything in life, eventually your body - and mind - adjusts.
So here's a little handy-dandy list I've come up with to help any working mom out there who's about to take the plunge:
The Art of Waking Up
We stay-at-home moms need to be organized for their own sake, because there's no boss telling us we're late for anything. Only the kid(s) crying, and threatening to keep us from doing ANYTHING for ourselves. Here's the trick - DON'T let them. Do what you have to in the morning (pee, brush teeth); he/she will not die from crying just a minute more.
Fear Not, Nap Time Is Near
When the day gets really, really, REALLY tough, here's what it means - the baby/child needs a nap. Kids don't understand how they feel like adults do, so when they're exhausted, they just think the world sucks (actually, not so different from adults lol). So if it's been at least 3 hours since he/she woke up, and they've become impossible to deal with, put them in bed/crib and don't look back. Even if they refuse to sleep, at least YOU have the right to remain silent for awhile.
Embrace The New Phase
With every transition there is mourning, because as wonderful as it is, it's also a death of what it used to be. So don't feel bad for missing your more carefree days. At the same time, try to remember the honorable position you're in. Yes, it might feel daunting, but what new thing isn't? While you're worried about whatever image of perfect stay-at-home mom you have, you're becoming your own version of it. Every metamorphosis is uncomfortable and confusing, until all of a sudden, you start to soar.