For many, being a stay-at-home mom is a dream come true. Being a stay-at-home mom automatically pushes you to be a present parent and form strong bonds with your kids…all while keeping them on track. But figuring out how to be a stay-at-home mom can be difficult for many.
How To Be A Stay At Home Mom
Making the jump to being a full-time stay-at-home mom can be scary. It’s a major decision that will drastically change your life in many senses. Not only is it a major lifestyle change, but a large financial adjustment as well.
Below are tons of tips for both major changes. First, how to save your sanity and enjoy life as a stay-at-home mom. Then, how to financially achieve the freedom to be one.
Life as a Stay-at-Home Mom
At first, it may seem like stay-at-home moms have it easy. But that’s really far from the case.
It’s a full-time job that requires much more commitment than a regular working job could ever ask for. You need to do so much more than survive as a stay-at-home mom. You also need to enjoy it too!
1) Ease into the transition
Most people rush into the decision to be a stay-at-home mom. They think of all the benefits without really considering the drawbacks and changes about to happen.
It’s going to be a big lifestyle change as well as a mental change. Staying at home with kids means that you’ll have to put in much more work to not feel isolated and keep up relationships outside the house.
Your identity going forward will primarily entail being a mother so you’ll need to make sure you work hard to also keep up with other things important to you.
Ask yourself why you want to be a stay-at-home mom. If it’s for a financial reason, make sure you’re getting fulfillment elsewhere so that you’re not just giving up your career and losing the enjoyment from it.
Also, ask if you’re willing to give up certain luxuries switching to one income. From not being able to eat out as much to resist buying the cute sweater in the window, sacrifices big and small will have to be made on a daily basis.
2) Make a stay-at-home mom routine
A routine is essential as a stay-at-home mom. It doesn’t have to be by the hour, but a general sense of what the day has in store benefits both mother and kids. It ensures that you get everything done you wanted in a day and that your child also has their needs and expectations met.
The schedule should include:
- Regular wake-up and bedtimes
- Daily activities
Check out this sample schedule and tips for creating a stay-at-home mom schedule!
As kids get older, it gets harder. Suddenly you have to coordinate picking up one kid from music lessons and another from football practice all while ensuring they get their math homework done on time.
At this point, making a physical schedule that everyone in the family can see helps keep everyone organized.
3) Write a daily task list
At the start of the day, write a list of everything you want to get done. And we mean everything!
Jot down everything from grocery shopping and making dinner to going on a walk and having a shower. As a stay-at-home mom, it’s easy to feel scatterbrained sometimes and this ensures you remember everything you wanted to get done that day.
The older the kids get, the more chaotic it can be so it’s a good idea to start this routine every day.
Even if every day feels like it’s the same, you need to write a task list. In fact, this is especially why it’s important.
When you do the same thing every day, it sometimes doesn’t feel like you’re accomplishing anything. Suddenly, you feel wiped after a long day but have no idea why. Then, your partner comes home and you can’t even put to words what you did that day.
Maintaining a sense of accomplishment ensures that you continue to feel proud of yourself as a stay-at-home mom.
4) Take time for yourself
Stay-at-home moms quickly turn their whole life into being a mom. While the kids should always come first, you also need to remember that you are also a human being with needs and feelings too.
Devoting every second to your kids will quickly lead to burnout. Worse, you’ll find that you’ve lost your identity outside of being a mother.
Every day, you should devote a little time to yourself. It’s a good idea to work this into your routine.
Before the kids wake up, ease into the morning with some coffee, reading, a shower, or however you like to start your day. You’ll also need a break from the kids at a midpoint during the day. Typically, this would be during nap time or self-play.
Once the kids have gone to bed, it’s really time to unwind and spend quality time with your partner.
Besides the typical day, consider how you can have a full day to yourself to get things done that might be difficult to do with kids in the house. Making an agreement with another stay-at-home mom to watch each other’s kids on a weekly basis can help immensely. Or perhaps a family member is willing to help!
Once a week or every other week, you should also leave the kids at home with a babysitter. Use this time for date night or do something outside the house on your own that you love. Many times, stay-at-home moms lose those hobbies they once loved because they put them on the back burner and never brought it back.
How to Afford to be a Stay at Home Mom
If you’re ready for the lifestyle jump of being a stay home mom, it’s time to face the financial reality. In most cases, you’re going to jump from a dual income to a single income. Talk about a drastic decrease!
But, with the right care, it’s definitely manageable for most families.
1) Do a trial run
If you haven’t made the full jump yet, consider waiting a couple of months before you up and quit your job. While you’re still working and on a dual income, adjust your budget and spending habits ahead of time.
The goal is to see what it would be like without actually having that second income. Live off of just the one income for a few months so you can see the realities and if it’s doable for your family. If you really want it, you’ll make it work!
2) Create a budget
This is an absolute must. Without a budget on a single income, life can quickly go from living paycheck to paycheck. Especially as parents with a new baby, there is a whole new world of expenses you may not have even considered.
A realistic single income budget may mean you stop eating out, don’t get that new car after all, buy second-hand clothes at times, and even downsize. Find as many ways as possible to save money. But also, make sure you leave room for some fun expenses too like entertainment and clothes.
You’ll also want to include monthly spending for life insurance, retirement savings, and a school savings plan as a parent. Also, include budgeting for things coming up like Christmas and vacations so one month doesn’t take the brunt of it all.
Creating a budget doesn’t mean you’ll be living a moneyless and no-fun life. Instead, it’s about being strategic about money and ensuring every dollar spent is a careful decision.
You’ll also see in real-time the progress made towards your financial goals.
3) Find additional income
As you adjust to a budget and life as a stay-at-home mom, you may find time in your schedule to increase your income. It can be as simple as selling unused items around the house, generating income from a hobby, or even something like pet-sitting.
Stay-at-home mays may also consider getting a part-time remote job. Thanks to the push online, there are many jobs that can be done from home. Some ideas include being:
- A virtual assistant
- Writing services
Either partner in the relationship can find supplemental or side income. Just ensure that no one gets burnout from working too much and that the kids get enough time with each parent.
4) Save for emergencies
Every family should have a sizable emergency ready to cover 6 months of expenses. This covers expenses should the worse happen like loss of income or sudden illness.
Ideally, you will want to have this saved before becoming a stay-at-home mom. The unused income generated during a trial run is a great place to start building this fund if you don’t already have one.
As long as you become a stay-at-home mom fully aware of the major changes coming up, you’ll manage just fine! Your kids, yourself, and your partner will all benefit from having one parent stay at home full-time.
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