Do you dream of becoming a stay at home mom?
Would you like to know how to prepare to be a stay at home mom so you can enjoy the experience?
That’s what I am going to show you in this post.
Because here’s the brutal truth about becoming a full-time parent:
It isn’t all sunshine and rainbows as some would like you to believe. That’s one of the reasons why far too many stay at home moms are overwhelmed and burnt out.
There are a lot of factors involved if you want to be a successful stay at home mom.
It isn’t enough that you love your baby and can’t bear to be away from him. You also need resilience, motivation and patience if you want to thrive as a stay at home mom.
Many women think when they become full-time homemakers, they will have a lot of time to spend with their kids, and get lots of stuff done.
If only it were that easy.
For many moms, being a stay at home mom is a wonderful experience, while for some it’s stressful and depressing.
Being a full-time homemaker comes with a lot of challenges, that’s why you need to have a plan to deal with them when they arise.
I have been a stay at home mom off and on for nearly thirteen years .
I have made a lot of mistakes and learned a few things through the years which I’d like to share with you. Because I don’t want you to make the same mistakes that I did.
If you’re serious about becoming a stay at home mom, you need to be strategic with how you go about things so you can be a happy stay at home mom.
So if you’re trying to decide whether to quit your job and stay home with your kids, here are some questions for you to think about:
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HOW TO BE A STAY AT HOME MOM: 7 QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD ASK
1. WHY DO YOU WANT TO BECOME A STAY AT HOME MOM?
There are so many reasons to be a stay at home mom.
It’s important for you to know your reasons or your why since you will need it to stay motivated when the novelty of staying home with your baby wears off.
Think about the real reason why you want to be a full-time mom. Is it out of necessity (perhaps for health reasons)?
Are you doing it because it’s what is expected of you?
Do you want to stay at home to escape from a job you hate or because you think it’s an easier option?
I know many people think being a stay at home mom is easy, but nothing could be farther from the truth.
Here are some more questions for you to consider…
Do you want to be a stay at home mom because your friends or people close to you are doing it?
Are you happy with your decision? Do you have a job you love and will regret leaving?
Here is why this is important:
Staying at home day after day with little kids is hard. It can be boring,lonely and very stressful.
There will come a time when you are going to start questioning your decision. I know that probably sounds crazy right now, but it’s true.
And if you don’t have a good reason for doing what you do, you will end up feeling resentful. You will resent your spouse and your kids.
And that’s not a good way to feel.
It’s tough on everyone when mommy isn’t happy. I am not saying you are going to be happy all the time (who is?), but you should be happy with your decision.
So before you quit your job or transition to being a stay at home mom, make sure you have a compelling reason, and one that you feel good about.
Remember to write it down so you can use it as a reminder on the days when nothing seems to be going well.
2. ARE YOU PREPARED FOR THE LIFESTYLE CHANGES?
Deciding to stay home with your baby often requires some lifestyle changes.
So many moms quit their jobs to stay home with their children without thinking about all the changes and adjustments they have to make.
This isn’t a good idea since it leaves you unprepared for the challenges that lie ahead.
For example, you may need to trim some expenses off your budget since you are going to live on one income. Are you okay with not eating out as much as you used to?
This is just one example of some financial adjustments you may need to make as a stay at home mom.
Something else to consider…
If you’re used to working in a stimulating environment, are you prepared to swap that for spending most of your days with babies and toddlers?
How will you continue to stay mentally/intellectually stimulated?
What will you do to ensure you don’t lose your identity as a person?
Are you happy to trade your fancy clothes, shoes, makeup etc for yoga pants and comfy clothes?
Would staying at home require your husband to work more hours to provide for the family?
Would that affect how much time he spends at home with you and the kids?
There are so many lifestyle changes you have to make when you become a stay at home parent.
It’s a good idea to think of all the adjustments you have to make (including all the things you have to give up) before you make the decision.
There are pros and cons of being a stay at home mom. As long as the pros outweigh the cons in your situation, you should be okay.
3. CAN YOU AFFORD TO BE A STAY AT HOME MOM?
It’s very expensive to raise kids. Many families need two incomes to live an average lifestyle.
Can your family survive on one income? Can you really afford to be a stay at home mom?
Something else that’s often overlooked in the excitement to be a stay at home mom is:
Have you considered the financial price of giving up your career (things like lost wages,future earnings and career advancement)?
These are some of the questions you must think about.
Don’t forget to think about your expenses.
It’s true that you will save on some expenses like child care costs, commuting costs and other expenses that come with being a working mom.
But, some of your expenses may also increase. For example, your utility bills may go up since you’d be spending more time at home.
This may not sound like a lot, but it can add up over time.
One other factor that gets overlooked a lot is the issue of income inequality.
When you give up your job to stay at home with your kids, you will likely become financially dependent on your husband.
How do you feel about that? Are you happy to give up your financial independence and security?
It’s a very humbling experience when you start asking your husband for money to do little things like getting your hair done or buying new underwear!
Many moms choose to forgo a lot of things because they feel too embarrassed to ask their spouse for money.
One way to deal with this is to include spending money for both of you in your budget.
This way, you will have a fixed amount every month and you don’t have to ask your husband for money every time you need to buy something.
Also, when you stop working, you won’t be able to save for retirement or contribute to your family’s finances. This can take a toll on your long-term financial health.
Before you make the leap, take a good look at your finances and make sure you have a nice long chat with your husband.
If this is something you really want to do, you can figure out ways to make it work.
The key is to be open and have an honest discussion about your concerns.
Ask your husband how he feels about becoming the sole earner in the family.
I have heard of many husbands who became angry and resentful because of the financial burden. This can cause a lot of strain in the marriage.
All of this can be avoided if you make a plan before you quit your job.
Some ways you can prepare financially include: getting rid of debt, building an emergency fund, downsizing your home, moving to a cheaper area, cutting down your expenses and finding ways to earn extra money.
It’s possible to live on one income as a family. You just need to be financially savvy and be willing to make some sacrifices.
4. IS YOUR HUSBAND ON BOARD?
As a mom like you, I know the feeling of wanting to stay home with your kids. Unfortunately, it isn’t always cut and dry.
If your husband isn’t on board or has any misgivings,take the time to listen to his concerns, and if possible try to reach an agreement.
Being a stay at home mom is hard, and things would be much worse without a supportive spouse.
Make sure your husband fully supports your decision, and is happy to take on the full financial responsibility for your family.
It’s not easy to live on one income and some men may not be willing to take on the financial pressure.
You also have to consider job security and how your family would survive in the unfortunate event of a job loss.
Becoming a stay at home mom is an important decision and should not be taken without the consent/support of your spouse.
5. HOW WILL YOU STAY ORGANIZED AND PRODUCTIVE?
As a stay at home mom, I am in a constant race against time. There are so many things to do and not enough hours to do them.
It’s a challenge most moms face in their daily lives. If you don’t have a plan to stay organized, you can end up feeling frazzled and unproductive.
That’s why it’s never too early to start thinking of how you’re going to be a productive and efficient homemaker.
Time is at a premium when you are home all day with little ones, which means you’ve to maximize all the time you have available.
I know a lot of folks wonder what stay at home moms do all day. They think we just eat, binge watch Netflix and spend the day idling away.
Nothing could be further from the truth!
Between keeping the kids clean and fed, doing laundry, cooking and cleaning, you have very little down time for anything else.
One way to stay on top of things is to create routines and schedules to help you stay organized.
This is one of the best ways to stay sane and productive!
Also, figure out a way to simplify your life by getting rid of unnecessary tasks and clutter.
More stuff means more work.
If you need some help getting started, check out 7 Effective Ways to Become an Organized Stay at Home Mom.
6. HOW WILL YOU PRACTICE SELF-CARE TO AVOID BURN OUT?
Did you know that many stay at home moms report feeling very lonely and isolated?
This might be a weird thing to say, but it’s possible to feel very lonely when you stay at home all day with your kids (it’s worse when they are babies and toddlers).
The lack of adult conversation/interaction through out the day, while doing the same mundane tasks day after day can really take it’s toll on you.
If you really want to thrive as a single mom, you must find ways to take care of yourself and your needs.
You have to find ways to stay motivated and deal with stress,loneliness and isolation. It’s helpful to have a support network when you’re a stay at home mom.
You also have to be willing to ask for help when you need it.
Being a mom doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice yourself or your happiness.
You must resist the urge to be a super mom who can do it all.
Start looking for groups you can join and recreational activities you can enjoy alone or with your kids.
Don’t make the mistake of isolating yourself or staying at home all day.
Get out there, get some exercise and fresh air. Get to know other moms in your neighborhood and interact with them and other grownups.
One of the most important keys to success as a stay at home is taking care of yourself.
I am a better mom when I take care of myself.
Taking care of myself means getting enough sleep, getting some exercise and doing one or two things that I enjoy.
It’s very important to nurture your physical, emotional and mental health to avoid stay at home mom burnout.
Find a way to retain some of your identity. You can get a new hobby or stick with the old ones. There are lots of things stay at home moms can do.
It doesn’t matter what you choose to do, what’s important is that you retain something that’s important to you.
Don’t forget to pamper yourself occasionally.
Just don’t get carried away…
7. HOW LONG DO YOU PLAN TO BE A STAY AT HOME MOM?
Lots of stay at home moms go back to work when their kids start attending school, while others continue to stay at home or become work at home moms.
If you plan to return to work when your kids are older, there are a few things you should think about before deciding to become a stay at home mom.
Here are some questions for you to consider:
- Can you easily reenter the workforce?
- Can you pick up your career where you left off?
- Will you need a new career because your skills might become obsolete?
- Are you happy to give up your career goals (even if it’s for a few years)?
- How do you feel about the time and money you have invested in your education and career?
I know these are tough questions and there are no easy answers. My goal here is to help you think and make the best decision for you and your family.
But do not despair.
If you plan to return to work at a future date, there are a few things you can do that could make the process easier:
- Keep one foot in the door. You can do that by staying in touch with your colleagues at work, updating your skills or licenses (if applicable), and staying informed about changes in your industry.
- Learn a new skill so you can transition to a new career. If you don’t like your current job, this would be a good time to start working towards a career change. You can go back to school for a new degree or complete the one you previously started.
- Start networking and making connections as soon as you you start thinking of returning to work.
- Keep your resume updated with new skills,certifications or experiences.
There are a few other things you can do to help you have a smooth transition back to work (if you plan to), but the above list is a good place to start.
You can also check out the articles below for some more tips:
It’s true that being a stay at home mom isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, but it can be one of the most fulling and rewarding experience of you life.
Becoming a stay at home mom is one of the most important decisions you will ever make.
Following the tips in this post will help you make the best decision for you and your family and set you up for success.
Are you a stay at home mom or are you thinking of becoming one? What are your biggest concerns?
Let me know in the comments!