Either you’re pregnant, or you already have little ones that you feel need Mommy or Daddy. You are looking into becoming a stay at home parent, but want to make sure you won’t put your family in a bad spot. 7 years ago, I was faced with this same dilemma. I was making GREAT money, on a great path to furthering my career, then I found out I was pregnant. I knew that I had to sit down and make the right choices for my family, and do a little planning. After much thought, a lot of late night talks and some serious tightening of our belts, I became a stay at home mom.
Where to get started?
We all know that the biggest factor of staying home with your children, is to ensure they are raised the way YOU want them raised. It’s also to give them the stability. Now, don’t get me wrong. Being a stay at home parent, isn’t right for everyone. And this is where you begin. Sit down with your partner and make a list of the pros and the cons of staying home. Think about every aspect of your possible new career, as a “stay at home.” Is this something you can handle? Like I said, it’s not for everyone.
Second, look at your finances. You know that cutting out an income will effect your lifestyle, BUT by how much? Will you be able to still pay all of your bills? Put food on the table, and a roof over your head? Where can you tighten your belt? Make sure that your finances will still be stable.
Will you be able to stick to the plan? Think long term. It’s easy to look at a stay at home parent and think that they have it made, but do you really know what goes into it? Can you hold up your end of the bargain?
When I became a stay at home mom, THAT became my new job. I kept the house, taught my girls and handled everything in between. It’s not a piece of cake. It does take work. I’m ok with that, and I knew I could handle carrying the responsibility. Everyday, I follow my routine, just as I would at an “out of the house” job. I am structured, because I believe structure is what helps kids thrive. It is my job! I know some of you may think that I’m some strict, drill sergeant, but I’m not. I play with my girls, we take trips to explore, I teach them, and most of all, I have fun with them, BUT they know each day, schooling is from 8-11. Lunch is at 12. Dinner is at 5, and bed is at 8. There is no break time for a stay at home parent.
Staying home with your child is one of the most rewarding things you can do, if you truly want it. If given a second chance to decide, I would do it all over again.
This can be a life altering choice. Make sure to go into in informed. Ask a few stay at home parents that you admire, what their daytime schedule looks like. Get some tips. The key is not to rush.
Now, you’ve made a choice that works for you and your family. Be proud of yourself, no matter what path you chose, because YOU know it was what was best for YOUR family.
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