Considering Becoming a Stay-at-home

Updated on May 02, 2007
L.B. asks from Downingtown, PA
44 answers

I am almost 12 weeks pregnant with my first child. My fiancee and I are very excited and cannot wait for the baby's arrival. I am considering not returning to work full time after my maternity leave and I was wondering how other stay at home moms make it work fiancially. That's my biggest concern. But I really want to be there for my children. I would appreciate any input! Thank You!

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K.Z.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Hi L.-
I decided to stay-at-home when my daughter was 8 months old(she's now 5 1/2). It was a huge adjustment financially as well as emotionally. We went to 1 car, clipped coupons, signed up for WIC, didn't take vacations- but it is SOOOO worth it.
When my daughter was about 2 1/2 we decided I needed to go back to work both for financial reasons as well as emotional- I felt I needed to be K. again not just Hanna's mom or Joe's wife. I dreaded the thought of day care and /or working opposite of my husband. I made the decision to become a consultant for Cookie Lee Jewelry. I set my own schedule doing home shows, fundraisers, vendor shows. I make 50% profit!! I don't worry about taking a day off when the kids (I also have a 2 year old) are sick. And I get to be me again! Please contact me so I can give you more information about what I do.
~K.
[email protected]____.com
www.cookielee.biz/kellyzaletski
www.cookielee.com

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J.C.

answers from Pittsburgh on

I have experienced both. Working full time when I had my daughter and when I became pregnant with my son, I decided to be a SAHM. If I had to do it all over again, I would have been a SAHM with my daughter, as well. When my son was 4 months old, my husband took a 45% pay cut. It was a hard transition. My husband and I decided to cut back. It was hard at first. But it is worth it. Daycare and Nanny services are expensive. And personally, I feel bad that I missed out on my daughter's first 2 1/2 years. I hope this helps.

1 mom found this helpful
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A.D.

answers from Washington DC on

L. - do you have any hobbies, special interests or gifts for anything that you can do from home? For example, I am a childbirth educator. I can teach classes in the evenings when my husband is home. I also will be watching a friend's two children over the summer and make a few hundred dollars a week.

Look into anything that may be an option for you. For example, wedding planners usually can do evening appointments and weddings almost always take place on the weekends. An event coordinator might also be something that can be done mostly over the phone or the internet.

Financially, it just works out. After you take that initial scary first step of deciding to stay home, you find ways to make it work! And, really, you can always go back to work if it doesn't work out!

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J.W.

answers from York on

L.,

You've gotten some great advice from a bunch of people, but I wanted to put in my two cents for what it's worth. Being a SAHM is worth every "sacrifice" in your current lifestyle. It isn't always easy, but you will figure it out. My son is 12 months old now and the last year has actually been easier financially than I thought. I used to make more money than my husband, so I thought it would be really difficult. We don't eat out as often or buy as many gifts, but we're doing well. There are lots of ways to work from home, or on weekends. You will want to be there for all the little moments. My son was sitting next to me yesterday and discovered that when he bends his hand, the lines in his palm fold too. He sat there staring at his hand, opening and closing it, touching the one hand with his other pointer finger, trying to understand how it works for 15 or 20 minutes. THen he wanted my hand to see if it worked the same way. I wouldn't want it to be anyone else's hand that he asked for (except my husband's obviously). Moments like that, for me, are too precious to be with a paid person.

The short answer...If you want to make it work, you will find a way, whatever that may be. COngratulations and good luck with the many decisions that are ahead.

J.

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A.M.

answers from Philadelphia on

Hey there,

I am a WAHM. I have an 11 week old son Grayson. I work with The Mom Team for a comapny that is wellness based. There are no parties to host, no deliveries, no inventory and no risk. You would basically be starting your own business. But understanmding that this is a BUSINESS there is a small start up fee. If you want to know a little more please contact me at www.mommyshome4good.com and I can call you to chat. Good Luck with whatever happens,

A.

1 mom found this helpful
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C.C.

answers from Philadelphia on

I have done both I stayed home with my son when he was first born but we lived in a one bedroom apt and could afford it with getting rid of a car and not neccesities then we moved and were doing good and i had another child when she turned 2 i decided to go back to work but most of my paycheck was going to the child care so when i got pregnant with my third when i went on maternity leave we cut are bills got rid of a car and went back to have the neccesities....And i am much happier and i think we actually have more money because i am not spending money on gas, insurance, etc and i don't spend as much at the food store because i can make all the food i don't need to by alot of premade easy food.....

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S.P.

answers from Reading on

Choosing to stay-home is both a financial and personal decision. Financially you will need to live "within in your means". Pay off as many bills as you can right now. That includes car payments. Even if you can't completely pay them off before having the baby, pay as much of them as you can. If you have a large mortgage consider down-sizing. Clip coupons and shop at discount stores. I even used to go online to see what was on sale at the grocery store before I went. For clothing for the baby consider buying used (yard sales, consignment shops, ebay). Also you can look for "end of the season sales" for next year clothing. Walmart often has kids clothes ranging from $3-$7 on clearance. To decide if you can really cut back you need to determine if you and your fiancee are materialistic. If you are ask yourself would you be happy cutting back. You also need to ask yourself if you need to emotionally work. Do you get a strong sense of satisfaction and self worth? I personally feel a great sense of satisfaction when my children learn or do something new but for some women this isn't enough. I had a career in IT (computers) and the first year of me not working was a huge adjustment both financially and personally. A friend of mine found that she couldn't financially become a full-time stay at home mom so she now works part-time. Working part-time is also another option for many. Good luck w/ your decision and congratulations!

S.

1 mom found this helpful
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M.R.

answers from Scranton on

I became a stay at home mom (SAHM) when my husband deployed to Iraq 2 years ago. And it was great because I always worked 3rd shift with our children sleeping. So it was an interesting transformation for me. But the money aspect was killing me. Deployed soldiers don't make that much money. Unless they are really high ranking or in a long time and my husband only signed up after 9/11. So I had all kinds of guilt of not pulling my weight financially. I was barely able to make ends meet, let alone when something would come up. So I started doing some research and I call it homework. About ways to work at home that were legit. And I was really shocked that there are so many companies that are anything but Legit. I now work from home basically from my computer! I am an Independent Representative/consultant for several great companies. I also started my own website for WAHM/Mompack ideas. With legit companies that offer low to no start up fees, they offer a free website that is part of the consultant program so you are able to work from home. Most of my companies offer a low cost kit to do home parties too.
I run
www.Mollysshoppingsecrets.bravehost.com
If your interested please don't hesitate to ask any questions. Remember ask quesitons! If your not comfortable don't rush into anything! Don't be afraid to ask for references! The great thing is I do online parties I have a chat room on my website I use or sometimes I will do a vendor fair online (really cheap to do a half out slot is usually $2.00) I also do home parties to work around everyone's schedules! I email out my specials and company specials to family and friends and invite them to share with friends! Now granted I'm not making a million dollars myself but it's a comfortable living. It was slow starting but it's been a great experience! And I get to be home with the children. Never have to worry about scheduling with doctors/dentists appointments, if the kids are home sick from school no worries about finding them a sitter to go to work!
If you are interested in looking into working from home these are some low to no cost start up companies that I Rep for myself and it's a wonderful experience!
All Mixed Up Gourmet -offers free website, no start ups, kits are really cheap but not required!
http://allmixedupgourmet.com/store/affiliate.asp?aff=19

Country Charm Scents - Free to Join, free website, $15 a quarter to stay an active member (either personal buys or sales)
http://www.countrycharmscents.com/store/affiliate.asp?aff...

Lavender Love -$25 to join, free website, monthly sale or purchase required but no minimums! A personal purchase could be samples!
http://www.lavender-love.com/affiliates/id/1199

Appleberry Market - free start ups, free website!
http://appleberrymarket.com/store/affiliate.asp?aff=703

Critter Snackz - Free sign up, free website
http://www.crittersnackz.com/store/Go.asp?aff=184

Old Fashioned Dreams - free sign up, free website with active use
http://oldfashiondreams.com/store/aGo.asp?aff=68

Wrap It Right - free website, free start up
http://www.wrapitright.com/store/affiliate.asp?aff=573

Lavishing Lotions and Potions - $5.00 to join, free website
http://lavishinglotionspotions.com/store/affiliate.asp?af...

Gift Can Builder - Free to Join, Free website
http://gift-can-builder.com/store/affiliate.asp?aff=356

Mineral Girlz - Free website, free to join!
http://www.mineralgirlz.com/members/M.

Bedroom Secretz Inc - Either pay a $15 activation fee or purchase a kit (starting at $25) free website!
http://www.bedroomsecretz.com/affiliates/jrox.php?id=90_1...

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C.L.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Hello fellow mom. I have 2 boys of my own (5 & 7 months) I work for a great company with excellant pay. Check out my website (also provided for me when I signed up free of charge I might add) chrissycarter.pureromance.com if you are interested please feel free to contact me. I would love to send you out a packet of information concerning our program and compensation. [email protected]____.com

Best of luck in what ever you do.

and congrats on the expected little joy.

Chrissy Carter
Mom & Pure Romance Consultant

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H.F.

answers from Pittsburgh on

When considering being a stay-at-home mom there are several things you want to look at to see if you can make it work. Look at your current spending to see what you can cut back on. Also, look into places like Cosco and Sam's Club for some of your staples but go for a day as a guest to check out the prices to see if using them will actually be worth the money for the membership. We've found that between the photo processing costs we have, the diapers, wipes, and (if you use it) the formula (especially if you use their brand diapers and formula -- if you choose to formula feed... breastfeeding is definitely cheaper still), the cost of the membership is well worth it. My 2-1/2 year old son is a little cheese-aholic, also, which makes it worth it. The next thing to look at is stay-at-home expenses versus work-outside-the-home expenses. If you continue to work outside the home, add up the cost of your wardrobe, commuting, daycare, lunches out (if you tend to eat out), and any other expenses you would incur from working outside the home. Subtract those expenses from your salary after taxes. This will give you an idea of what you will actually be bringing home when working. I (and my friend, also) both found that working outside the home, I would be bringing so little home after the expenses that it wasn't worth it.

Since being at home, I've found a few ways to work and volunteer outside the home that still allow me to keep my work skills honed and give me experience that is pertinent to my resume. I found a part-time job that I can do from home (I design webpages for 2 different non-profit groups, a newsletter for another, and do some occasional administrative tasks as needed).

As for ways to help save money. Look at what you can cut out. Look at what you would be saving by staying home (wardrobe, commuting and daycare are big ones). Then do things like watch sales and check which grocery stores offer you the best deals. Look into warehouse clubs but only join if you will save more in the year than the cost of the membership (which is usually about $40). Another thing we do, we buy the our meat at the warehouse club and then separate it into freezer baggies by how much we would use in a single meal. It saves us a lot of money on the meat.

Watch for clothing sales for you and the baby. Usually, you can catch some really good clothing sales at the end of the season. So at the end of summer by the size of summer clothes you think your child will be in for the following summer. Also, a lot of first time moms and dads don't want to hear this, but look at second hand clothing stores. There is a wonderful chain in the Pittsburgh area called Once Upon a Child. They are very picky about the clothing and toys they take. The thing about baby clothes is that they outgrow them so fast that they are usually very gently worn. It is worth checking out a few of the second hand stores because you can find beautiful clothes in very good (sometimes new or pristine condition) for a fraction of the cost. Also, if you have a friend with an older child, you could ask about borrowing their baby clothes and returning them when you are done.

Know that no matter what you decide, it will be difficult. Being a stay-at-home mom has meant for us that sometimes (especially when my husband was laid off after 9/11) the budget gets really tight. But being home with my kids has been worth it. Also, it hasn't been much tighter than it would have been with me working full-time and paying for daycare and a work wardrobe.

Congratulations on your impending little one and good luck with whatever you decide. One final thought, whichever you decide, look into different Moms groups in your area. Having other moms who are going through or have gone through some of the things you are about to experience can help immensely. Especially if you decide to stay-at-home where adult conversation can sometimes be scarce. =)

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S.R.

answers from Washington DC on

L.,

When my son was born we had planned for me to go back to work due to finances. I tried it for 6mo and it was terrible! We had problems with our work scheduals and pick up, then sick days were always a juggle, not to mention that daycare took half of the take home pay! It was a very hard decision but I went independant about a year and a half ago. It definatly was the best thing for me and my son. Money is tight most of the time but I've learned to budget better.(Check out www.grocerygame.com )

All in all it has been the best thing. Hope this helps.
Good luck:)

S. R

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T.P.

answers from Dover on

L.,
I became a full-time stay at home mom about 6 months ago. My husband and I kept a detailed record of our spending for a couple months, to figure out where it was going. We had to make a few minor sacrifices such as less eating out and less impulse buying but it works. We also refied our house to roll some of our debt into it, eliminating over $800 a month in payments. Things are a little tighter than they used to be but we haven't regretted it once.

A couple things to consider, a GOOD sitter will cost you around $600/month for a newborn. Add that together with the stuff you don't need and you can probably make it work. Also, You've got a long ways to go in the pregnancy... you may be able to hit some of your debt hard to eliminate it (and its monthly payment) before the baby ever gets here. I would also consider exclusive breastfeeding... negating the need for formula or lots of bottles, which I imagine gets quite expensive.

Good luck!

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J.P.

answers from Dover on

hi my name is J. and i am only 18teen and i am a stay at home mom and my son is 16months old at first i did not no what to do becxouse i did not want to leave him so. i mea t this lady her name was collen and she is a mom with 4 kids and works from home. if u would like some information about working from home just copy and paste it is a group of all moms helping moms

http://www.stayinhomeandlovinit.com/cgi-bin/team.cgi?id=J...

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K.B.

answers from Pittsburgh on

I am a stay at home mom of two kids. 4 and 1/2 and 3. My husbnad works two jobs so i can stay home. He lost his job last may and I offered to work becuase I needed to honestly get out of the house and be me. Not a mom for awhile. I worked until January and he stayed home with the kids while I was at work and vice verus. But in january I was hating my job and was so happy when he said he couldnt stand being home anymore. I quit and he is now working two jobs again. For us it works. My husband is the type of man that cant stand being home if he cant work he is happy. We have cut down on alot of spending. We dont have cable ebcuase no one has time to watch it. We do have internet access becuase we need it for school. We both are in school part time. That makes things harder becuase we are also paying for college tution/ I have until the 2008 and I will graduate with my associate degree and he will graduate also with his degree. So hopefully then things will be easier. Its a struggle but having to pay for daycare for two kids would put us into even more fincial need then waht we already are.

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A.L.

answers from Philadelphia on

Congratulations! My daughter will be two on Sunday and I've been home with her ever since she was born. I'm due with baby number two June 28th so we'll see how staying home works then! As for what we did to make it work with just one income, it required some sacrifice.

We do not have cable TV, just an antenna on our TV. We get the channels we mainly watch anyway. We still have dial up for our internet connection. We buy store brand groceries whenever possible...unless we really don't like the store brand. I didn't skimp on diapers, though. I only buy Pampers and bought Gerber as far as baby food. We stopped eatting out and rarely ever went anywhere that involved spending money.

I know it sounds pretty boring and I didn't think I could deal with it after my previous money spending habits, but it doesn't even phase me now and we've actually had a lot of fun without all that stuff. My hubby and I play video games or board games together in place of a lot of stuff we used to do that cost money. Of course, our parents are in the area so they spoil my daughter with clothes and such. Here are some other great money saving tips, though.

www.freecycle.org ~ sign up for your local Freecycle group. It's a great way to get clothes and other random stuff for free. Definitely a great site.

www.angelfoodministries.com ~ Find a local church that participates in this great program. For $25, you get a huge box of food...hope you like chicken, though. That's what the majority of the meat is. They have additional add on packages, too. It's once a month and you don't have to participate every month. It's up to you.

That's all I can think of right now. Hope it helps you out some. Best of luck with your new addition!

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B.T.

answers from York on

My husband and I decided that I could stay at home when I was pregnant with my son. I was at a job I really didn't like so I didn't feel bad not coming back. Yes there is the financial thing to keep in mind and I think you have gotten some great advice so far. Just a couple more things to think about to save you money:

-Breastfeeding (Hey it's FREE and it is always with you wherever you go!)
-Making your own Baby food. This is way cheaper that buying the jarred and boxed stuff. You can make a ton at once and freeze it in ice cube trays for up to 2 months. I actually loved making my sons food and that was a great time for some me time. There are some baby/toodler cookbooks out there that can help you. Look them up on ebay.

Well, I hope this helps! Good luck with your decision and congrats on the baby.

B.

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L.B.

answers from Philadelphia on

If you really, truly want to be home with your children then start planning now. You have plenty of time between now and his or her birth to save a lot of money. Start cutting corners now! You'll be amazed how it piles up with some serious dedication! Just keep the end goal in focus at all times!

Good luck.

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M.M.

answers from Philadelphia on

I am a single stay at home mom to three children ages 7, 3 1/2, and 11 1/2 months. I run a daycare out of my home and deliver the news journal. I always wanted a career where I was able to help children (intially I was leaning towards a speech therapist) however this changed when I became pregnant with my now 7 year old daughter. I have been home since she was born and I have loved every minute of it. Even now that my oldest is in the 1st grade. I am here to get her on and off the bus, help with homework, give her snack, etc. I love being a stay at home mom and would not have it any other way.

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B.M.

answers from Philadelphia on

i knew the day i found out i was pregnant with my now 2 yr old daughter that i wanted to be home with her for many reasons, daycare was expensive and kids get sick more often there, and i wanted to know she was getting as much attention as possible and learning the things i felt were right for her, also as a 1st time mom i was a little over protective (lol) since she was 6 months old i have waitressed 2 nights a week for extra cash and over the past year i have been watching 2 other children part time, also for extra (tax free) cash. we are now expecting a son in september so the waitressing will stop but the 2 kids i watch will remain. Wic is a great program, and we just budget ourselves carefully, the kids come first. i havent been out alone with my husband in over a year but it's worth it to be with your kids who need a parent more then a babysitter. good luck

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A.K.

answers from Pittsburgh on

I remember struggling over that decision too! I opted to stay home. We first cut back on what we could; dry cleaning, cable (down graded) cut coupons, no more eating out no more movies, no more vacations etc. That helped so much. It was a financial struggle and for me that was the hardest part. I felt being a mom for the first time and then feeling the stress of low funds was really hard. Know what you can handle and be happy with. If you get stressed over low funds, then consider working part time or something. I stayed home for a year, I then became antsy, wanted to do something more than be home all day with my son. Plus I didn't like the financial worries, I don't do well under those conditions. The classic, the grass is greener on the other side case. I interviewed for part time jobs and found nothing that was flexible. So I searched for ways to stay home with my son. Looking on the internet or in the paper can be scary. There are legitimate work at home jobs with the BBB where you can make awesome money. It seems too good to be true, but its true, I am proof. The truth is, if you want to work at home and make money, you will need to start your own at home business and choosing the right one for you can be daunting. That's what I did and have been doing for over 3 years, I starting working at home. I am not going to tell you all about. If you want more information, send me an email. You have your pregnancy to get through. But start planning now financially, cutting corners now, it will help. Congratulations!

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J.H.

answers from Washington DC on

Hey L.,
I became a stay at home mom almost 2 years ago. I wouldn't change it for the world. Don't get me wrong, I liked to work and felt challenged and valued but the value at home is even greater. I think in today's society our children need us home more than ever, just my opinion:) I did however take on a work from home job to get in some much needed adult time once a week. There are tons to choose from that are really simple and that you can work around your own schedule.

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E.B.

answers from Washington DC on

I decided to stay home during my maternity leave. I only returned to work for 1 month to train my replacement. It is difficult & I am a coupon cutter/sale watcher. I am starting to do transcription for a company that I found out about through another stay at home mom. It's not a ton of extra money at first but, every little bit helps & there is potential for increase in pay in the future. I love staying home & although I loved my "job" and sometimes miss the work & the paycheck, I would not trade being with my boys. I have the honor and pleasure of being there for every first and every hug, smile & giggle. It is awesome!!

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E.B.

answers from Harrisburg on

Hey L., I've been a stay at home Mom for a li'l over three years. I wont lie.. at times money is tight. Especially when unexpected expenses pop up, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. I have tried a few things and enjoy both. I used to watch a little boy my son's age for $20 a day. It was usually about $80-$100 a week, but it's still a little extra money. Also, I got a part-time job opposite my husband. I usually work about 16-20 hours a week in the evenings. It cuts down time with my husband, but it gives him time to bond with our son while I'm at work. Plus, it gives me some adult interaction, so that I don't go completely crazy. I bring home more money working part time than babysitting. (I only ever watched the one boy though.) It's all about what works for you. Good luck and I hope you find a way to stay home!

Smiles,
E. B.

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E.J.

answers from York on

Congrats on the baby! I am also staying at home. My son is 7 months and I couldn't imagine being anywhere else. I used to teach first grade. Anyway, we tried to live for a month only on my husband salary before Jackson came to see how we could make it work or not. We also tried to be very frugal for that month so it wasn't a shock with the new baby at home too. I also saved as much as possible while pregnant and worked a few afterschool programs while I was pregnant although I was so tired. You'll be amazed what you can do without if it means staying home. I hope this gives you a little insight or help. Good luck!

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K.P.

answers from Washington DC on

I am a WAHM who has her own business...literally...my website is www.secretauditors.com I am a mystery shopper. I am owner and CEO of Secret Auditors. I decided to be a stay at home mom when my husband deployed to Iraq last year. It was the most wonderful decision I have made ever. My family and I are going to eat at Chili's tonight and it's free!! My husband and I get dates together that are paid for. One of the coolest things I have every done as a mystery shopper is last month my family and I rented a Audi Quattro corvette (mystery shop), drove it to DC, parked in a garage (mystery shop) and went to the Barnum and Bailey Circus ALL FOR FREE, the souvenirs were free, food and gas was all free. I started my business to help other people become as successful as I am. I love what I do and so do my kids and hubby.

Want more info....check out www.secretauditors.com

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E.S.

answers from York on

Hi L., congrats on your baby and wedding! My husband lost his job before I gave birth to our twin sons in October of 2005. We were really stressed and then decided that everything happened for a reason. We looked at ways we could cut back. We went to 1 car because where would he be going by himself during the day with twins?!?! We cut down on our phone, cable, etc. I clip coupons and look for good deals all of the time. Not only do we not go out to dinner and things like that because of the money, it's also hard with kids. Now that the boys are older (17 months), but still younger than 2, a lot of places with salad bars and stuff will let them eat for free (and trust me they lose money when we go out because my 2 monkeys can really eat!). There are a lot of consignment shops and dollar stores that you can get decent clothes from for cheap, even maternity clothes because it doesn't hurt to start saving now. Why waste money on expensive stuff when they grow out of it so fast! Another thing we do is we asked for a picture printer for Christmas the one year and we go to picture people to get pictures done and instead of spending hundreds of dollars on the pictures, we just spend $60 to get hte negatives and take them to a speciality camera store to get them put on a cd for another $20 and then we can print whatever size we want at home. Plus picture people normally run specials for free pictures or 10% off specials. Just look for deals like that when you do pictures and definitely clip coupons because you can save a bundle!
Good luck with everything, I hope things work out for you. It's so great when you can stay at home and raise your kids yourself. I love having my husband home, he does such a great job with them!

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P.F.

answers from Lancaster on

HI! L., I would love to share with you an opportunity that will help you with both your concerns. You can be home with you children as much as you want and still earn an income. If you love candles and enjoy having fun, then will want to hear about this. If this has got you curious and you would like more info I would love to give you a call and tell you more about this fabulous opportunity! Let me know! Thanks, Pam
Independent Consultant
Making Your Dreams Come True!!

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M.A.

answers from Allentown on

Hi L.,
Congrats on baby and on getting married.

I am a SAHM and have been for 3 years. You will be surprised at what you can figure out financially. I don't know how, but you just do.

Good luck with everything!

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H.G.

answers from Washington DC on

Dear L. B,
I had to make the decision when we got pregnant to stay home full time and raise our daughter AND we both worried about how the heck we could afford it BUT ...... IT'S THE BEST DECISION OF MY LIFE SO FAR! Very very rewarding and worth the sacrafices financially. They grow up so fast and everyday is something new and if you blink you miss it. You will always find a way to make it work. Have Faith and it will somehow work out even when the bills are flowing in and their doesn't seem to be enough money, IT DOES WORK OUT and seeing how your child flurishes and grows and learns is all worth it!!! Everyone we talked to who has done it too, strongly encourages it especially now. Best wishes to you!! HeidiG

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K.M.

answers from Philadelphia on

I was lucky enough to choose a part-time schedule when I came back from maternity leave. It definitely was hard at first because I was the bread winner for the family. We created a budget and have stuck to it and it seems to be working pretty well. We've had to cut out a vacation here and there and skimp on our social budget, but it's hard to get away or go out anyway so we don't feel like we're missing anything.

My mother in law watches my son one day a week, my mom watches him for a few hours one afternoon so I can work & he is in daycare for one day. I think the balance is perfect for him. He really seems well-rounded already and I attribute that me being at home. The short-term financial sacrifice is definitely worth it. Plus, my son has only been to the doctor's 3 times in 17 1/2 months for sickness which is great considering children who are in daycare full time.

Good luck!

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A.C.

answers from Lancaster on

I have been a stay at home mom for 2 years now, we manage to make it work financially by my husband ending up working later or overtime to cover our bills. I however recently got a part time job to help out but am still able to help and raise my children myself.. It all depends on your situation and if you can make it work for you financially to be able to stay home with your baby. Some of the things i do to help is to cut coupons, get diapers and some baby stuff at either dollar stores, or walmart or k-mart. I always go to Walmart to get there pictures taken because they always have cheap packages and there are more then enough pictures to go around. I would look into WIC as it is a wonderful source to help both pregnant moms and new babies. We also don't do alot of things like go out to eat or to the movies or anything like that very often as with having kids these things are not as easy as they once were. I hope this has been helpful to you and best wishes on your new baby and your wedding.

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D.L.

answers from Washington DC on

I am currently pregnant as well. I have been looking into some options for stay at home moms. I haven't found anything but if I do I will let you know. Congrats on the wedding and baby. June 13, 2008 is my wedding date.

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M.M.

answers from Washington DC on

Well the thing you really have to think about is how much is childcare going to cost you... Is it really helping your income all that much if you go back to work? It really depends on the kind and where your childcare provider is and also what you do as a profession.

Me personally... I say if you want to stay home with your child you will be able to make it happen!! Obviously there are certain circumstances where there's not a choice, you have to work. I don't want to step on anyone's toes here... I understand that completely!!

I stay at home with my two young children and probably will until they're both in school full time. That's another 5 years!! Yeah we've struggled at times, but its all worth it!! Being able to say I haven't missed any of the milestones or knowing that I've always been there for my kids when they needed me. There's no guilt from me being at work, thats a big plus too!!

In the end its all up to you and what works best for your family. Theres no right or wrong.

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K.H.

answers from Philadelphia on

L.,
I have a 5 month old son. I went to work at a daycare 6weeks post birth...I just quit Friday to stay at home. The money is an issue, but the fact that he kept getting sick from daycare, not to mention the cost was rediculis. Even with me working there I paid 400 a month. I know at the center I worked at it was normally over 800 a month full time infant. If you have any more questions, or just wanna chat, IM me if you got AIM..Aydenzmoma~K.

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K.C.

answers from Reading on

Congratulations on your new baby. I to am a stay at home mom and I must say, that I agree with the women that said breastfeeding was the best way to save money. Believe it or not, it is actually easier too I think. At first it might seem like more effort, but it is well worth it in the end. There is nothing to buy, no bottles to prepare or wash and it is very nutrtious for your baby. I have found that between breastfeeding and buying diapers in bulk (at b.j.'s or a similar place) having a baby really doesn't add as much of a finiacial responsibility as you would think. At least I do not think so. It seemed to cost a lost less than people use to say. But than again, everyone I knew formula feed which does seem to add up from what I hear. Plus, depending on the job you have it might not even be worth working with the price of day care. Whatever you decide I am sure it will work out. IF it is any conselation, I have two children, I am a stay at home mom and we still eat out a couple of times a week so it really isn't that bad. Good luck!!

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L.T.

answers from Philadelphia on

L.,
Congratulations on your baby. This was a tough decision for me and my husband. But the reality is we just couldn't see having our baby in daycare at such a young age so it made our decision simple. We also weighed the financial aspect of daycare for a newborn which was more than half of my monthly income if you are looking at places like Goddard. My husband and I just decided that if I was to stay home that we would have to make sacrifices. We laid out all of our bills on excel and see what we could eliminate, limited our shopping habits and put ourselves on a budget. It's not easy but the point is we worked together and made it work. My son is now 2 and I have loved every minute of being home with him and I'm glad I made my decision because those years you can't reverse and I was the first to see his baby steps, first words, and so much more. You may also consider going part time or consulting. I know some mothers do that and that could be another option for you. It could be the best of both worlds.
Well good luck on whatever your decision.
L.

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J.I.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi L., I recently went trough that same dilemma, I have a 7 month old and decided to stay home and take care of my baby when I was a few months pregnant. My husband and I where concerned about the money but to get good day care is expensive and I would be working to pay the day care so we didn't think it was worth missing out on all the amazing things you can experience and being every single day with you kids. Of course you cut back on expenses and unecessary things which cannot replace how much your kids need you on a day to day basis. It is not easy at all but it's worth it.

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M.P.

answers from Washington DC on

L.,
First I would like to say congratulations on your upcoming marriage. Then, congratulations on your pregnancy.
Now, here is what I like to advise when my younger friends ask me about being a SAHM. First, I did not do it with my first son. I did not think it was going to be a issue for me. I loved my job, loved the income my hubby and I were making together, loved the trips ad vacations with his boys, and really enjoyed the freedom. Then, I gave birth and HOLY COW did my world and the way that I looked at it change. I went back to work when my son was 4 weeks. What a mistake. When my son was 6 weeks he was hit by his day care provider which caused a black eye, broken nose and broken sinus cavity. This is also someone I interviewed 5 times and felt comfortable with. I knew I did not want him in a Day care Center because it was not one on one attention, more expensive, more strict sick rules and children that go there ALWAYS get sick with everything! My heart sank when I returned to work and each day I found myself longing to take care of him.

Now, I will not tell you that being a SAHM is always glorious. Because there were times where I thought I was going to pull my hair out. Especially when my husband would work extra jobs to help pay some bills and I would be with the kids all day and night long. It is a struggle financially. But, there are a lot of resources out there you can rely on. There are a ton of things you can do to save money! I think everyone's advice would pretty much be the same as mine. One thing I will say is to VERY CLOSELY watch out for the scams out there for SAHM! I had such a strong determination to help bring income into the home that I am rather embarrassed to say I wasted a lot of money on scams. READ into everything! Sit back and take caution and whatever you do decide... make sure to take a day or even week to make a decision. If someone is telling you to make a decision that day, then it is not a company to go with! I myself LOVE Melaleuca products, but am VERY disappointed with "The MOM Team" their teachings, their advise and their attitude! I a sure you will find out from your own experience.
So.. al in all of making a long story short.... this is what I tell my friends who ask. I am glad that I made the decision to be a SAHM and tried it for at least 5 years. I would rather look back on life and say Yes, I was a SAHM and loved it then to sit back and say, WOW I really wish I would have taken that opportunity to be a SAHM. You can NEVER regain that time back once they are in school! Even if you do not like it the first year... give it 2 - 3 year try and if it is still not for you.. then you can cross that path.
I can tell you that my boys LOVE that I am home for them, their school stuff and all that goes with it. They tell their friends and others how much they Love mama being home for them.
Hope that Helps
Good Luck in your decision.
Jenn
Mama to Bryce~9 Austin~6 Taylor~14 mnths
Step Mama to Nich~15 Christian~14

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L.B.

answers from Philadelphia on

Hi L.,
I was in a similar position to you about a year ago. I thought I was going to return to work after I had my son. Then after I had him I decided to stay at home. It is not an easy decision to make especially financially. We have made some sacrifices but it has been worth it. I just started an at home business to suplement our income. It is with a company called Arbonne which is skincare and wellness products. You can check out my website for more information. www.lisaborek.myarbonne.com

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F.C.

answers from Allentown on

Hi L.,

My name is F.. I was reading your request about being a WAHM and I would like to tell you a little bit about myself. I moved here 3 years ago and really didn't know anyone. Daycare's are so expensive and it was better for us if I stayed home and took care of my kids myself. My husband works in NJ and I take care of my 2 children Michele 7 and William 5. I signed up 2 years ago to make some extra cash and I'm now an Advanced Unit Leader with AVON. I love what I do and I make my own hours and the great thing about it is that it only costs $10 to start-up. I would love to stop by and give you some information about AVON at your convenience. My # is 1-###-###-#### and my AVON website is www.youravon.com/fcaban

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J.S.

answers from York on

Being a stay at home mom you learn not to buy what ya don't really need and how to cut costs. I'm a single stay at home mom on disability and I make it just fine. Kids really don't need as much cloths as some have and there's usually a lot of sales and clearence stuff. Ya learn that even though you want the best for your child... the best doesn't always have to be the most expensive. Weis cereal is just as good as kelloggs. WIC helps a lot if you can get that. You can get WIC while you're pregnant. Walmart and Kmart cloths is just as good and as cute as Old Navy and all that. It's all on learning how to budget your money. Oh and hand me downs are ok! You don't have to buy everything new!

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C.A.

answers from Philadelphia on

Hi L.,

My husband and I decided that I would be a stay at home mom. We figured that it would be a strain financially but that it would be worth it in the long run since I would be raising our son(not some stranger). Our son is now 10 weeks old and while I am happy that I have been able to see him grow day in and day out I am feeling the financial (and other) pressure. We are lucky enough that we have savings to tap into but sooner or later that is going to run out.

All in all the baby is not that expensive. Yes there is the need for diapers and formula (if you aren't breast feeding) but other than that your expenses aren't too much.

The one thing that I want to tell you, that I hope you don't take offensively, is that my experience being home with the baby has made me realize that I am not cut out to do this 24 hours a day 7 days a week. My husband and I both have our Juris Doctorate degrees and I feel like I should be doing something more productive (like practicing law)than tending to an infant. I know that sounds bad but that is how I feel.

So before you make your decision, keep in mind that yes, financially it will be a struggle but it can be done. And always think about how you are going to feel not working and not ever having a break from the baby. My husband wants to help as much as he can but after working a 12 hour day about the last thing he wants to do is take care of the baby. Therefore you will be supermommy.

I wish you well.
Feel free to email me if you want to talk.

C. Archer
[email protected]____.com

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A.E.

answers from Harrisburg on

I became a stay at home mom after our second child was born. We were also moving, to another state, so that helped us. We made a decision to purchase a house we could afford on one salary and went from there.
Money was/and is still tight at times.
Just watch your costs and try not to spend when you don't need to. Another thing you could think about is going back to work part time. If that is an option it can be great. After our first child was born I went back to my job at 30 hours on a flexible schedule and it was nice to still have the income but not have to be at the office as much.

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E.L.

answers from Philadelphia on

Hi L.~
Congrats on the pregnancy and best of luck!
I also struggled with the decision whether or not to return to my job. I actually had made the decision not to return a few weeks after his birth. Up until then I was sure that I would return to my position. After holding him in my arms I couldn't imagine passing my sweet little baby off to someone else to care for.
It wasn't a big hit on us financially because with the high cost of child care my income would have almost all gone towards day care. My husband and I just sat down and wrote down what money had to go out each month and compared that to how much he brought in. We then lived a month on just his income to see how it was. As long as your not cutting it too close it might be worth giving it a try.
Good Luck...it's a tough decision.

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