Many working moms are probably envious to some extent of stay at home moms. As a stay at home mom, I get to spend lots of time with my kids and be here to help with school projects and do fun crafts for the holidays and the best part of all is I don’t have to worry about work. But I’m here to tell you, it’s not all butterflies and sunshine. And if you are thinking about becoming a stay at home mom here are some things to consider beforehand.
- One Income
Okay, so this is pretty obvious. If you choose to stay at home that means that your spouse is the only one bringing money into the house and there’s a lot of pressure on him/her. What happened in my situation was a lot of fighting when it came to bills because my husband couldn’t handle following a budget and seeing his whole check go towards bills every week. Maybe this was due to our young marriage and him not being prepared for everything marriage includes, i.e. “Our money”. I always had this same phrase shoved in my face, “Have fun paying for that yourself, then”, whenever there would be an argument.
Now, this left me constantly feeling like I was in deep trouble because I realized that I had no backup. No emergency funds, not a stable career I could get back into. How would I pay for daycare for three kids and still make enough to support myself and my kids?!
That was a reason I became a stay at home mom in the first place. I simply wasn’t making enough to afford daycare and it became more of a burden than anything. But now that I’ve been at home for 3 years, it seems like that’s still all I am, is a burden.
This made me more determined than ever to find a job I could ROCK at home, make a decent living, and still be here for my kids instead of dumping them at daycare all day and running myself into the ground.
The point is, even if you are surviving off of one income, it’s always best to have a backup plan if shit hits the fan or just to have a rainy day fund. It will take a lot of stress off of the family budget. And as women, I think we should always have a Plan B. We shouldn’t have to always rely on a man, especially if they will use it against you. You should never be tethered to someone that way. Hopefully, ya’ll are luckier in that department than I was.
2. Transporter and House Cleaner
this is what your new title is. Once your kids are school aged there is drop off and pick up on top of the drs appointments, grocery shopping, and any other activities or errands. Most of your day is scheduled around these things which leaves little time to get anything else in.
Kids make messes CONSTANTLY. You turn you back for a second and the whole house is upside down. When you aren’t driving, you’re probably cleaning. And nothing is left clean for long. I have a son who isn’t in school yet but gets into everything! Then my older boys come home and it’s kitchen raising time. Food and dishes everywhere!
The upside of working is that the kids aren’t home for long and you’re not stuck to clean up the mess of the day which lingers to an all day event.
3. There is no safe space
Anywhere you go, the kids WILL find you. There’s always a fight or something to tattle on. Or a crying kid. And the worst part of all? You can’t cuss at the top of your lungs to let out all of your pent up frustrations.
4. Family Will Say You Have It Easy
Seriously. I’ve had family tell me it must be nice to stay home and not do anything all day. Because if I’m not making money, I’m doing nothing important. Wow. Yep. Morons. I would trade them a few days doing what I have to do and see if they survive. I’m not watching tv all day or shopping or hanging out with homies and throwing back beer. I don’t get to sleep in or stay up super late. I wake up and have a job to do. From the time I wake up until I go to sleep, with hardly a break in between. When hubby gets home, my day isn’t over. He gets to use the “I worked all day and I’m tired” card. So have I! But because there’s no paycheck, my work is meaningless to some.
Being a stay at at home mom is one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done. I love what I do, but it’s the social backlash from society, friends and family that makes me take a step back and reevaluate my efforts. The reality is, the kids will be grown before you know it and won’t need Mom at home. What will you do with yourself then?