I have recently decided to be a SAHM.
First, take a deep breath and relax. You won't do any damage to your kids simply because you're now home. There will be an adjustment period, not just for you but your kids will go through an adjustment as well. A schedule will evolve over time as you all adjust. It might help if you keep the general schedule that your kids had at dc. Not by the clock but the general rhythm of it: breakfast, preschool activities (play dough, board games, crafts, coloring, you can do some morning chores like clean up the kitchen, start laundry at this time), snack, outside time in the morning (go to a park, walk around the block, play in the yard, run errands); lunch; quiet play/read books, nap, snack, more outside time. Then dinner and the usual evening routine. If the kids had particular friends at dc, befriend those moms and arrange play dates outside of dc. Explore the local parks. They will be your best friend when you and the kids get on each other nerves. And you all will. Being a sahm doesn't mean that you have to stay home or that your activities need to always revolve around your kids. Is there anything, like a hobby or a class, that you wished that you had the time to pursue? Now is the time to start that. If there is anything that you don't like to do now but think that a sahm should do, I warn you that you still won't like doing it as a sahm. If you don't like cooking, you won't turn into a gourmet chef. Beside you probably still won't have the time. That's all I can think of off the top of my head.
The truth may be out there but lies are in your head. Terry Pratchett
That is all great advice.
You can't screw up your kids just by changing your work status. They were perfectly happy with the mother they had before and they don't expect you to become a different person just because you aren't working for pay.
This sounds like a cliche, but you have to be true to yourself. If you don't like crafts or playing board games, don't play them. It would be a lot weirder--and your kids would notice--if you started trying on new "mommy habits" all of a sudden. So do whatever you did with them in your free time before you quit working.
And please don't make the mistake of trying to entertain them constantly. They'll be healthier and happier if you give them a safe place to play and expect them to entertain themselves. Spend time with them, certainly, but you do not have to play with them if that's not your style. It's enough for them that you take an interest in them and that you are available.
If you do like to play, then go for it. I was never much into board games, but we always had one wall in the house where the kids were allowed to write, paint or draw. And let me tell you, I thought it was a blast painting and writing graffiti on the wall with my kids.
Since you mentioned the library I checked our local one and they have a story hour each week that I could take DD to!
I do enjoy playing with the kids, just when I worked I never had the time like I will now.
I am not so much afraid that my changing my work status will screw them up, but more afraid that I won't raise them right.
It doesn't necessarily have to be outdoors, but even just getting out of the house does wonders. The grocery store, the mall, play dates at friends' houses, anyplace that isn't home, they should go someplace (anyplace) every day even if it's only to get out of the house for an hour.
As for doing things indoors at home, I am a huge fan of the magical properties of cardboard boxes, couch cushions, pop-up hampers and old bedsheets. Let them use their imaginations to entertain themselves. Give them a bunch of building materials and let them tell YOU where they are going to "go" today.
<< I am afraid I will do something wrong, or that I will not raise my children right.
What you do during the winter depends on you. I have great memories of playing in the igloo that my dad built; sledding; making snow angels; throwing snow balls; making snow men; licking icicles. My mom tells another story of spending all day either getting someone dressed to go outside or undressed to go to the bathroom. We lived in Iowa and there were 3 of us.
Here in San Diego, we have the opposite problem with the weather. It can be too hot to go outside. And in October the air can be unbreathable because of the fires. The girls had Teddy Bear picnics in the living room; watched way too much TV; made forts in the living room; played with play dough; strung macaroni pasta, beads, and buttons on string for necklaces and bracelets; sewed buttons onto felt; colored; built with Legos.
Your local library can become your best friend. Check out books on crafts and activities for children. They could have notices of local events of interest. Check out your local city recreation dept.
Being a parent to 2-3 children is nothing like being a daycare provider to 6 +/- children. You know your own children way better than their provider does. A lot of a provider's job during the day is crowd control. And she only has all those great and wonderful activities and crafts for the kids because she's been doing the same ones for years. She found them in the same places that you can--the library, google (bookmark it), educational supply stores and websites, magazines, family and friends. Speaking of which, was your mom a sahm? Ask her what she did with you and your siblings all day long. And if you turn out not to be creative, don't sweat it. Your kids won't know the difference and by the time that they do, they won't care.