This post is written by contributing writer, Stacy from Stacy Makes Cents.
My husband has been giving people financial counseling for years and one thing that repeatedly comes up is the topic of stay-at-home-moms.
“I would love to stay at home with my kids all day, but it just wouldn’t work out. We have too much debt. We can’t pay the bills if I don’t go to work.”
It’s a sad reality that too many mothers face.
I am very blessed to be able to stay at home with our children. I am also very blessed to be married to a man who knows the value of a stay-at-home-mom. We believe that the Bible has given us the mandate that we, as parents, are in charge of raising our children.
“And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”
Now, does that mean that I condemn another woman who does not stay at home? Absolutely not. That is for every individual family to determine and this is what we feel called to in OUR FAMILY. However, I do know this – a good number of women DO want to stay at home with their babies. And there are a good number of women who want to stay home, but feel as though they cannot because of money problems.
Barry has counseled several women and helped them create a budget so that they could work toward the goal of staying home. It IS possible for you to be a stay-at-home-mom, you just need to make it a priority and work at it with all your might.
Let’s look at some considerations and ideas that will help you work toward this goal – the goal of being a full-time mommy.
Have You Budgeted?
This is VERY important when considering staying at home. Do you know where your money is going? Are there non-essentials that you could cut out and have extra money? Maybe you could do without cable? Or perhaps if you stayed at home to cook then your “eat out” budget could be drastically reduced. Most women don’t realize how much money they could save since they’ve never written it down on paper.
I have learned very quickly that there are things I can do without in order to stay at home. I don’t need a fancy car…I don’t need expensive clothing…I can do without a weekly trip to the movie theatre. But I cannot do without seeing my baby girl grow up – some things in life are really worth the sacrifice.
How Much are you Spending on Daycare?
I have talked to many women who are able to cover the cost of daycare for their children and then just have a bit left over after that. Have you ever calculated that cost out? How much do you make and how much is shelled out to Day Care R-Us? If you’ve only got a small amount left over after you pay that childcare bill, is that little bit really worth it?
This goes back to the budget again – if you can cut out childcare billing and also cut out the cable bill, would that give you the room to quit? You also need to calculate the cost of the clothing for yourself – if you wear fancy clothing to work, you wouldn’t need those same items while mixing up a cake and wiping noses. 🙂
Can you Work at Home?
Very few women just stay at home watching Days of Our Lives and eating bonbons. It’s just not reality. You work MORE staying at home than you do when you go into the workforce.
Does working at home save you money? Can you cook from scratch or make clothing to save buying things at the store? Staying at home would afford you the extra time for these things.
For me, staying at home gives me the ability to be like the Proverbs 31 Woman…using my skills to make money for my family. I blog, I cook, I shop yard sales – I “make money” this way.
Do you have a great talent? Consider selling your wares on Etsy to make extra cash. Set up a craft booth at your local festival. There is SOMETHING you do that someone else wants…market that.
Give it a Trial Run
If you think you MIGHT be able to make the money work, give it a try. Take one or two months (using a budget of course) and only use the income from your husband. Bank all your money as though it were not needed. Did you make it? What needed tweaking?
Of course if you’re paying child care, you’ll need to pay that bill. 😉 But, without that bill, were you still able to make it work? A trial will give you much more confidence about taking the plunge.
And always remember, pray. The Lord knows your heart. He knows your desire to stay at home with your family – ask Him to bless your efforts. And then go forth and make a budget, Mommy!