How To Become A SAHM (Part1): The Biggest Question Every Mom Asks
“Can I stay home?” No, it’s not your kid asking if they can skip school, it’s your inner self, begging for a day to be home with your kids. How many of us women have had that thought? I’m going to bet quite a few. Actually, I don’t have to bet. I make it a point to ask most every woman I can the question, “If you could stay home with your kids, would you?” It doesn’t take a rocket scientist (although I have a friend who is just that, and guess what? She’s home with her boys) to figure out the answer…. YES!!
True to my typical form, I firmly (and loudly) encourage everyone to live out the life God has for you, not the one the world tells you to. I believe women instinctively want to nurture, and when their own kids are part of the equation…. it’s hard to be truly happy not being the ones nurturing them. Before I go much further though, want to know a little secret about me? I absolutely did not want to be a stay at home mom. I’m talking, all the way through the delivery, I adamantly did not want to. Hubs wanted me to, but knew if he forced it I’d be unhappy. But don’t think he didn’t secretly do a jig when I held our little girl and knew my whole idea of my future was changed forever.
The changes that came from that decision are the reason I’m so passionate about helping moms stay home with their kids, if that is what they truly want. From conversations with those working moms, I’ve heard lots of excuses. I want to debunk those excuses and share the benefits of having one parent at home, many of which are hard to quantify but are incredibly important to the happiness of your family.
#1: We can’t afford it. We have too much debt, too many monthly payments.
This seems like the strongest excuse, so I’ll debunk it first. When we decided for me to stay home, we were $30k in debt and 22 years old, with a newborn baby. We had one average income, and paid off our debt in 18 months. You have 5 monthly payments (you chose I might add) to drive the best car, live in a nice house, enjoy the weekend boat or 4 wheeler ride. You chose those payments because you felt they were important for the happiness of your family.
Now, if you choose that staying home is the most important thing for your family, the next step is getting rid of the monthly payments. Sell your car and pay cash for an older one. Sell the boat, the 4-wheeler, the camper. Anything that has a payment, get rid of it. Cut cable, get rid of monthly payments that aren’t ABSOLUTELY necessary, ie. house, electricity, cell phone (check out why you should think about Republic Wireless). Cut the things that have no true impact on the quality of life or the real purpose of your family. But you’re telling me you can’t afford staying home?
The key to affording something is seeing that it is more important than other things in your budget.
Meaning, you say yes to that and say no to all the little things you want to be selfish about. Choose to give up the bigger house, the new car every few years, huge frivolous spending budgets, and choose to afford something that truly benefits your family.
#2: I went to school for too long, I can’t NOT use my degree.
As someone with an overly active guilty conscience, I can totally relate to this. I have mom guilt, wife guilt, daughter guilt, spiritual guilt…. you name it, I have it. Probably has a lot to do with why I’m so open and honest about things (sometimes too open 🙂 ).
I was the first to graduate with a college degree in my family. So when we decided to have me stay home, I was completely racked with guilt for severely disappointing my parents. My parents never had the option for one of them to be home with us when we were growing up, so it was assumed that I would work. (Never even crossed my mind to think otherwise) How could I go to school for 4 years and not use my degree? The words were never spoken out loud, but I felt that pressure for years after.
I have multiple friends who have degrees they went the same or even longer to get. From conversation, I’ve figured out they feel that it would be a waste to not work after all that time in school. But here’s my question… can’t you go back after? Many teacher moms do that, taking time off for the younger years of their children’s lives and going back after. I’m pretty sure that they’re not the only jobs that’s allowed….or maybe I’m crazy?
If you feel like you are supposed to be home, you will forever be unhappy where you are, until you do what you are called to do. Taking a few years off of a regular job to take care of your family is so much bigger than the degree you went for. You’re impacting the lives of your children and will see bigger results from that time home than from working those extra years.
#3: My husband won’t let me.
This one makes me laugh and yet makes me sad, too. For a few reasons. First, a marriage isn’t about someone letting the other do something.
Marriage is about talking, compromising, praying for God’s will and together doing what He says.
So a husband assuming the role of a father to his wife is laughable. He is her partner, not dad. Step down off your soapbox and take a seat, dude. And talk to your PARTNER. Second, both of you need to take a step back. Discuss why this is important to you, and why it is best for your family. The change that comes from this decision is not small. It will affect so many parts of your life, but in great ways mostly. Sure your income will come down, but the quality of your family’s lives will go up.
Every time Hubs talks to other men whose wives work, the discussion at some point turns to wives at home.The men whose wives are at home stand firmly with the decision being the best thing for their family. Many whose wives work admit they’re too comfortable with two incomes and don’t want to have to sacrifice. Some worry their wives will still spend like they do now, or stress that they won’t have as much going to retirement. But there are countless benefits of staying home that can’t be quantified, making the bottom line harder to see as positive.
- Flexibility- when you’re off, so is she. For us, this is a huge deal. More us time
- Dinner started or done when you get home. This means more time to be a family.
- House clean (or cleaner. Let’s face it, you have kids.)If you pay a maid, there’s money saved. Oh, and more family time.
- Weekends spent doing things for fun, not playing catch up on the house and life. This means fun family activities and date nights.
- Grocery shopping, errands done during the day meaning dinner as a family at night.
- Being greeted with a kiss when you come in ( how can this not be good?)
- Kids being picked up and not having to struggle to find someone for after school care, sick kids don’t mean using work days to take care of them
This is not an all inclusive list. And it will look different for every family, depending on what is most important to you. These are just a few of the things Hubs likes to tell me are reasons he wouldn’t trade a second income for my being home.
Here’s the deal. You can always find excuses to not stay home, to put off your desire to be with your kids while they’re young, but if you do it for too long, it will be too late. Don’t wait. There’s only so long you can be that strong presence in your kids’ lives.