Being a stay-at-home mom is both a reward and a sacrifice. Not everyone can imagine themselves staying at home, taking care of the kids, and managing their homes at the same time. This is even more difficult if you have gotten used to working in the corporate world beforehand. Can you make that huge adjustment for uour family? And how will this impact your home, especially financially?
When we were just starting our family, my husband and I had a deal. I would continue working, but my priority would always be our family. It was easier back then. I just had my baby, but I was managing everything efficiently. I had a very promising career and I was enjoying life, although there had been hiccups along the way, which were easily fixed. At the end of the day, I felt I was right on track. However, as our family grew, I found myself rethinking my decision whether to continue working or to embrace being a stay-at-home mom.
A lot of women these days are faced with the same situation as I was. The pandemic pushes the possibility of mothers needing to give up their job to the forefront because their children are at home and are learning virtually or through homeschooling. With that learning set-up, the parent will be the main educator, so staying at home to oversee the kids’ education is really necessary. This is really a huge decision to make and you may find yourself wondering if staying at home will have an impact on your monthly budget, since you will now be a one-income family.
Is it a go or is it a no?
The decision to be a stay-at-home mom is a family decision. It is something that should be openly discussed, not just by the couple, but the kids should also be involved. There are multiple factors to be considered, but the most important thing to discuss is, can one family, one income work for you?
In our case, we looked into our monthly budget and checked if a single income from my husband could cover not only our expenses but also our savings and emergency fund too.
It is also understandable that you think twice. Not because you do not want to take care of the family on a full-time basis. But you may want to consider the career you have built over the years and the benefits other than the salary that comes with it.
At the end of the day, your decision should be made based on more than the financial aspect. So, is being a stay-at-home mom for you?
What to expect when you become a stay-at-home mom?
Some may see that being a stay-at-home mom is easy. No morning rush, no commute, no work pressure, and no balancing between family and work, right? But looking at it from a deeper perspective, there is more than the superficial. Stay-at-home moms do no sit all day and stay at home, literally speaking. There are more expectations to fulfill, there are more things that need to be done. The reason? Because we are just at home. But what is really expected of us, when we decide to leave our career and focus on the family?
- You are expected to keep your homes flawless. From the chores to repairs to grocery shopping, you do almost everything, if not everything. No wonder, a stay-at-home mom’s schedule is so full or should I say, jampacked, that you might think that 24 hours is not even enough.
- Stay-at-home moms are the main childcarers. For all the reasons there are, children are always the main factor when deciding whether to continue working or to stay-at home. This is very true in my case. I had to give up a very promising career because of my son’s condition because he needed a full-time parent to make sure that all his needs were given appropriate attention. As childcarers, you are expected to look after your children when it comes to their physical, emotional, and other needs.
- The stay-at-home mom is the financial manager at home. When it comes to finances, you are expected to spend within your budget and to do everything that is possible to save on costs. On the positive note, you are actually setting a good example because you are teaching your children how to live frugally and this is something that you should be proud of.
What to do as a stay-at-home mom?
When you are used to being immersed in the corporate rat race, the first few months will be the hardest. Everything will finally sink in and you may find yourself either bored or overwhelmed. When I resigned from my corporate job a couple of years ago, I was more bored than overwhelmed. I found myself looking for something to do because I was so used to being busy from morning until late afternoon. When I say something to do, I am not referring to chores or anything round our house.
Do not feel bad if you will feel the same way. Adjusting to something totally new to you is normal. Take it one day at a time. You may also do the things that you enjoy the most while you are still in the period of adjusting. That way, you will be happy and you will learn to embrace the new things that are right in front of you.
When I felt boredom striking me, I did a couple of things that diverted me from the negative feeling of staying at home. This might work for you too just as it worked for me:
- I decluttered and organized not only my stuff but also my husband’s and children’s too. Who would not want a house that is squeaky clean, right?
- I kept myself busy learning how to cook. Thanks to YouTube, I was able to pull off some delicious dishes that both my husband and kids enjoyed. When I was working, I did not really have the time to cook or at least to learn how to cook, so this was something I considered it as an achievement and it really boosted my confidence.
- I spent more time doing the things my children love. I asked them every morning what they felt like doing for the day. Actually, I got to know my kids more and more each day. When I was still working, I only got to see them in the morning before going to work and in the evening, as soon as I got home.
- I did what I have always wanted to do. I did some sewing, did some reading and journaling, and did gardening. I now have the time and I enjoyed every minute of it.
Like any other things in life, the first couple of days, weeks, or even months will be the hardest. But when you give it a try and look into the brighter side, you will soon appreciate the beauty of being a stay-at-home mom.
Earning while at home
Financial issues will arise more often than not, because only one is working to cover everything for the family. Although your contribution as a stay-at-home mom is huge, you will begin to think of ways to keep up with the financial demands of your family. There are more options nowadays for stay-at-home moms compared to in the past. A lot of doors have opened, giving opportunities to women to continue being productive while staying at home. Here are some options that stay-at-home moms can consider and can eventually help with the family’s finances:
- Work as a part-timer. This is workable for those moms who have older kids. You can work for short period of time while your kids are in school. Many establishments offer this kind of working schedule and you can work for at most 4 hours a day. Not bad, right?
- Work as a freelancer. Love to write? Or have a graphic design background? Surely, working through different online job platforms such as Upwork, Fiverr, or just posting your profile on LinkedIn can help you land work-from-home jobs. Just be sure to brush up on your skills and work on your portfolio to showcase what you can offer your future clients.
- Work as a consultant. When you came from the corporate world and you did a very great job, chances are, you will be contacted by someone you know to ask what your thoughts are on different issues. Or they may even invite you to render some expertise which will be valuable in their company.
- Work as you enjoy your passion. Does anyone tell you how good your pastries are? Or how well you plan events for your family? Maybe you can consider earning from what you love to do best. You will never feel that you’re working if this is the case.
Working while at home can be stressful too. Your duties can be doubled, but this is a good way to help your partner with the monthly expenses. This could also a way for you to earn something for yourself and be financially independent without having to leave your children and your home.
Stay-at-home mom, stay-at-home wife (partner)
While your main reason for quitting your job and staying at home is your kids, there is one person that you should never forget, your husband! A lot of times, husbands are being prioritized less and this should never be the case. Your partner deserves quality time too and not just the spare time that is left after a whole day of taking care of the kids and doing the chores. He too has his needs that you should fulfill. It does not necessarily mean that you have to spend so much time with him, but at least, give him some attention too. Or, you may think about what his love language is and for sure, he will appreciate not only the mother that you are, but most importantly, he will love the wife that you are.
You might wonder, how can you spend time with your husband if time is not even enough for all the things that you need to do? Well, here are some ways to keep up with your relationship even as a full-time stay-at-home mom:
- Have a date night. When I say, have a date night, it can be somewhere around the house. You can have a movie night, or a coffee night and talk about anything and everything. But please, tuck in your kids into bed before doing this, because your date night can become a family night in an instant if you don’t.
- Send a text message once a day. Who could resist a sweet message amidst their heavy workload? Just be sure not to overdo it as he may feel a little burdened with that extra sweetness.
- Do you believe that actions speak louder than words? Sure you do! When you do things for your husband, this will make him will important and appreciated. It does not need to be a grand gesture though. A simple tap at his back when he’s tired or walking him to the door is simple but can make a huge difference for you and your husband.
When I became a stay-at-home mom, I felt that my hands are full most of the time. We are a family of 5 and sure the chores and all the things I need to do is so much that I feel exhausted at the end of the day. But you have to remember that all relationships are important and there is no exception to this.
Me time for stay-at-home moms
As a stay-at-home mom, you are expected to do almost everything for the family and your home. But you should never forget that you should be taking care of yourself too. Self-care is very important because it can address different issues such as fatigue and stay-at-home mom depression.
“Me-time” is always seen as something less important. You’d often hear someone say, ” I have no time to do stuff for myself.”. But this should not be the case. As a stay-at-home mom, you deserve a break too. Me-time can be as simple as enjoying an uninterrupted hot bath, watching your favorite TV show without having to give up the remote control for your kids, or an early morning quiet time just to clear your head before starting a new day.
Although what you do can be compared to that of a Superwoman, you can feel tired too, you can feel awful over the basics, and you may even feel like giving up. When you are in this situation, take a break, breathe deeply, and ask for help if you need to.
Often times. you hear about stories of mothers with jobs and kids who constantly deal with the feeling of being overwhelmed. But have you thought about stay-at-home moms who have to juggle everything 24/7?
When you become a stay-at-home mom, you are not just someone who stays at home doing everything that needs to be done. You become a wife, a mom, a manager, a teacher, a nurse, and all the other roles you can think of, all rolled into one.
Surely, there will be good days and bad days, but this will not define what you do and who you are because in the eyes of your kids (even your partner’s too), you will always be enough. So, enjoy this journey and savor each moment. Before you know it, the kids are all grown-up, the house will be at its neatest, and you will miss the wonderful “chaos.”