Before anything I want to go ahead and say that I do not think stay at home moms are in any way better than working moms or vice versa!
I’ve been a working mom, it was hard! Now I’m at home, and it’s still hard. Being a mom is hard enough as it is, there is no need to make it harder on ourselves with mom wars.
So, yes when my first child was born, who is now 6 years old, I went back to work probably like a month after she was born. It’s not something I was looking forward to, but it was also something that was kind of expected, just “normal” to go back to work. It wasn’t the best job, I was just a server, Thursday through Sunday, real easy money. Then, I went back to school to get certified as a phlebotomist. (The people that draw your blood out at the doctor’s office.) My mom and sister would take care of little Arielle. Life was good, life was “normal.” Until I got pregnant with my second baby, Natalie. (They are a year and about nine months apart.) I couldn’t find a job as a phlebotomist anywhere, I needed at least a year of experience, how was I supposed to get the experience? I still have no idea! I just wanted a normal 8-3 job, I already felt horrible (mom guilt is real) leaving my oldest to go to work, now I was pregnant and I was missing out on so much time with her. It got to the point where my oldest one called me by my name and would actually call my mom “mama!”
Then there was the daycare problem, if i worked 8-3 my mom and sister weren’t able to watch them at that time.
The thought of daycare really worried me. Maybe I’m just paranoid, but I know I’m not the only one. We see and hear of so many accidents in daycares, daycare workers are overworked and underpaid and we can do all kinds of background checks on them, but at the end of the day, they are still complete strangers that I was just supposed to trust my children with?
Very scary if you ask me, and I’m not even one of those helicopter moms!
Not to mention the average monthly cost of daycare in the United States varies from $855 to $2982. That is just crazy!! We were also probably going to be doing take-out more often, instead of home cooked meals, and that was definitely going to be an extra expense. I would basically be working just to afford to send my girls to daycare and have just a little bit of money left over.
Studies show that children in their first five years will form the fundamental building blocks of their future health, happiness, growth, development and learning achievement in school. Kids learn vital information about the world through relationships,
It’s a fact that children’s brains develop connections faster in the first five years than at any other time in their lives!.. And I was missing out on that relationship with my sweet Arielle.
So, it hit me, it was a no brainer really!….
When my second baby came I was just going to stay home with my girls. I mean why not?
So we did it! We had to budget our money a little bit better, managed to do without a few “extras” I stayed home with my girls, popped out 2 more kids and I’m currently homeschooling my first grader and my pre-k-er. Life is crazy for sure, but I love it!
If you are thinking about becoming a stay at home mom, I know the first thing for many to worry about is the income! Of course it is! We have little ones who depend on us, tons of bills, of course the new expenses that come with a baby; diapers, formula, bottles, clothes that they outgrow oh so fast, among many other never ending expenses.
If you’ve done the math and there is just no way you could be a SAHM, it’s okay! Don’t beat yourself up for it, nothing wrong with that. You are doing the best that you could possibly do for your child. The time that you do spend with your children, please make it count! Be there for them, put the phone down, forget about work and give them 100% of your attention.
Now if you really want to stay home, but you’re not sure if you’ll be able to, here are some of the things that helped us out, maybe they can help someone else out there.
First things first, my husband and I know many people who are just working because both the husband and the wife have brand new cars, that they are paying off. So that’s 2 car payments and 2 car insurance bills to pay. Is it really necessary? We know as parents we are going to make sacrifices for our children. Are luxury cars really worth missing out on our kids?
Something else to think about if you have multiple children, take care of your child’s clothes so the little ones can have some hand-me-downs. It works perfect for us since my oldest 2 are girls, and the littlest 2 are boys. If you can’t do hand-me-downs then thrift shop. Nothing wrong with that, everyone does it, and they will outgrow everything so, so fast anyway! Another big expense is formula! I’ve breastfed all four of mine, give it a try ladies, give it all you got, be determined. And if you’ve done all you possibly can and you and the baby just can’t seem to breastfeed, then don’t worry fed is best!
Move on to the next thing, the next biggest expense… yup, you guessed it! DIAPERS!! The average cost of diapers for the first year is roughly $1000! Maybe you can give cloth diapers and wipes a chance. Way more economic, and earth friendly too!
Just narrow down your budget, to start with, for about a month write down everything you buy, I mean everything even a pack of gum at the gas station. You will be surprised at how much “little things” like an iced coffee, add up to in a week, a month… a year!
So for soon to be stay at home moms, I’m not saying quit society, and everything you love, go be a hippie and live off of the land! No, no no, just enjoy it, go easy on yourself, yes there will be hard days, then there will be even harder days, and in every one of those days you will find beautifully perfect moments where you will literally feel your heart melt!
That is when you will realize everything is absolutely worth it, I promise!
If you ever want to chat with me I’ll be more than happy to!
Leave a reply here or say hi on my Instagram: @hey_its_carmen