Making the decision to stay at home with your baby or child is huge. How will your finances deal with the loss of your income? How will you stay sane? Read on for ideas on how to make it work.
Ditch your work clothes
Deciding to give up your job is no easy task — or maybe it was, once you welcomed your baby home. Here are some terrific ideas on how to make staying at home with your children work out.
Living on one income
Learning to live on one income can be the biggest roadblock to becoming a SAHM. A lot of moms we spoke with brainstormed and came up with ways they could earn some income without sacrificing their time at home with their kids. “We definitely can't afford to live on one income, so I had to find creative ways to make up the difference,” shared Leah, mom of one. “I didn't really want to sacrifice the way I was accustomed to living, so I started finding things to sell on eBay. I'd take the baby thrifting in the wrap, find good stuff and list on eBay while she napped.”
Other moms tightened up their budgets so a lost income wouldn’t be an issue, and made it work. “Had I not been laid off, I probably would have said that we would never be able to make it work financially,” reported Heather from California. “It's amazing how things always manage to work out.”
A lot of stay-at-home mothers report that one of the challenges to their arrangement is not getting enough adult interaction. “The most stressful thing about being a SAHM is the loss of adult conversation,” shared Lindsay, mother of two. “Most days the only adults I talk to are my fiance and neighbors.”
Amanda, mom of four, had similar issues. “I sometimes feel stretched thin, so I make it a point to get out and go somewhere every couple of days, even if I don’t have any errands to run,” she said. Amy from Wisconsin felt the same. “We go on play dates and join mom groups for fun activities,” she shared.
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Stay-at-home moms can feel overwhelmed at times and have to implement strategies to keep their homes running smoothly. Organization and simplicity are two ideas many mom use. “I make simple lunches, use my crock pot for dinners and make lists of things,” explained Ashley, mom of three. “I spot clean all week, keeping up on dishes and I do a load of laundry a day. Then on Sundays I deep clean my whole house and take care of remaining laundry. I always make time every now and then for my husband and I to go on a date or a friend and I to hang out.”
Erika, mother of one, agreed. “Creating a schedule to maximize my mothering time meant giving up my personal time in the evenings, but it is a small sacrifice,” she said. “I had years of putting me first and thinking only of what I wanted. Making my son the center of my world is its own kind of decadence.”
The rewards SAHMs report are immeasurable. “I never miss a single milestone,” explained Lindsay. “I get to spend my days helping my children learn and grow up. I see every smile and every tear. I wouldn't change it for the world.”
Erika completely agreed. “The best thing about being home with my son is savoring every minute of his amazing being," she shared. "I never feel like he is growing too fast, nor do I mourn for his younger days. I love watching him unfurl. My greatest gift is the ringside seat I have for this incredible miracle. I am blessed beyond measure.”
Heather may have summed it up best: “I never miss anything, and they never miss me.”
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