Guest Post by Tina of Mamas Like Me
Before kids, I never imagined myself as a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM). I had a plan. I would go into teaching right after graduating with my masters degree. Three years later, I would join an admin program and shortly after become a Principal. Kids were included in that plan, but as more of an accessory to my successful life.
Fast-forward to my first year of teaching and I was delivering my first baby. The moment I saw him, I knew that I couldn’t leave him. Unfortunately, I also knew that we had a mortgage, two car payments, and a dual-income lifestyle. So, what do you do when you really want to stay home – but it seems hopeless?
Here’s what I did. It wasn’t easy, and it certainly wasn’t an immediate fix:
- PRAY – For two years, I prayed longer and harder than I ever had before. I prayed for God to open doors and create opportunities. I cried and prayed for patience and for God to change my husband’s heart, which brings me to #2…
- Make Sure Your Spouse Is On-Board – My husband was not against me staying home, he was terrified of what would happen with only one income. How could we make it financially? Would we lose our house? What sacrifices would we need to make? It took a lot of prayer and a lot of gentle conversations for him to agree to try this new way of life. It also took me doing some research and, most importantly, STOPPING THE NAGGING!!
- Budget – You have to know exactly how much money you need each month and how much money you can reasonably hope to bring in. If you have no idea where to begin with this, visit Dave Ramsey.
- Use Your Talents – If you’re lucky, after you make a budget, you’ll find that you have more money than you need. If you’re like me, you may need to find another way to bring in some money. I was very fortunate that I was able to start an in-home daycare and have been successful with it. I get to stay home AND make money! I love my daycare kids and it keeps me accountable to my own children. We have a schedule, planned activities and lessons, and I get to be the one home with them. For me, it’s the best of both worlds.
- PLAN, PLAN, PLAN – and not just your finances. Make sure you have a support network of other SAHMs. Join a Moms Club. Have a proposed schedule for your day and weekly goals. It seems like you’ll have all the time in the world when you stay home, but trust me, it’s a full-time job that requires schedules, planning, and organization.
I’ve been home now for 3½ years. We’ve paid off several bills and added 2½ kids to the mix. There have definitely been sacrifices, but we wouldn’t trade our life now for anything that an extra income could buy.
Tina is a former Elementary School teacher turned SAHM to three active boys (with one more on the way)! She blogs at Mamas Like Me where she shares kids activities, recipes, tips on frugal living, and reflections on life as ‘Mommy’.