I Hate Being a Working Mom, Advice Please!

Updated on September 22, 2008
A.L. asks from Kelso, WA
82 answers

Hey ladies, I'm a full time working mom with a 1yr old son. I HATE working. Stay at home moms, how do you afford to stay at home? Or working moms, how do you manage? I feel like its affecting my job because I dont want to be there anymore. I either need a major attitude adjustment towards work or I need to find a way to afford being at home full time. Any advice would be great!

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So What Happened?

You ladies are AMAZING! I received such great advice from all of you. Here's a little more background on our situation, my husband is an Engineer and makes great money but we both have college student loans that hack off a large chunk of that. We have a house we make payments on and both our cars are paid off. I went through our finances and decided that although my salary is pretty pitiful, I still cant quit my job. I forgot that when I was on maternity leave (3 months off which only 2 weeks were paid) we barely made ends meet.We really dont have a lot of extra's so there's not a lot to take out. I've already ditched my latte's (sad day) and I carpool with my husband every day. I work at a pediatric clinic and have already worked out a schedule of four 9.5hr days a week. I've seriously considered asking my boss for one more day off per week and perhaps job sharing with another employee, but I'm afraid I'm already pushing my luck. It would be easier and probably more cost efficient for my boss to just replace me.I should feel lucky to have the job that I do but my heart is just not there. Especially since at my work, I am tortured with tons and tons of gorgeous babies and all I want to do is go home and cuddle my little one.
One of you girls mentioned counseling might help. I completely agree because my son LOVES his daycare, I'm the one with separation anxiety! I have battled with depression in the past and I know its not normal for me to wake up cranky every day I have to work.
I also really appreciated all the business prospects. Its something I will definitely look into! I must admit that I am completely challenged when it comes to crafts of ANY kind. I cant sew, can't scrapbook, hate cleaning, and definitely cant cook. I would pretty much make the worst housewife in the world but I'm still willing to try it.
To be honest, I just cant make up my mind. I think I'll try couseling first. If that doesnt work, my job is just not worth it. Thanks again!

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K.S.

answers from Seattle on

I've found working part time at my career of teaching has really made a good balance of the professional me and the mommy me. Good luck!
K.

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J.E.

answers from Portland on

I own two businesses and one I was able to work from home. Career fields I suggest (I am doing something different) that can facilitate this is a real-estate agent, massage therapy, and any crafty talent that is re-saleable to a store for retail. You can go to night classes and get completely certified for under $1000.00 for real-estate and this would only take about 2 to 8 weeks depending on the class schedule. Also, there are some data entry positions that will allow you to work from home that you can find on line. One corporation that fosters this type of work is Ebay.....they allow some departments to work from home.

Good Luck!

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S.C.

answers from Seattle on

Hi Ali, I am a work at home mom with 4 children still here, one is 23 and on her own. I started with Mia Bella Candles about 2 yrs ago. http://candlemajik.scent-team.com from there I started Candle Majik http://www.candlemajik.net I took the training from Mia Bella and started making my own candles. I am still with Mia Bellas as well as Diamond Creek Candles. It has not been easy as when I started my baby was not even here yet. Now that she is 2 I am able to really work at it. I am doing vendor shows and have a space at the px on post- basically I work weekends. It will not replace a full time job right away. If you are interested in candles, you can go to my candle majik site for more info and links to my company sites. or email me off group [email protected]____.com. While I am not an expert on home based business. I can answer questions and find answers if I do not know the info.
And, it does not have to be candles- there are so many companies out there- I will tell you I searched and searched before choosing Mia Bella. Also, Diamond Creek is offering a free 30 day trial- you get web site, and training for nothing then if you chose, it has memberships starting at 5.00 per month. Good luck in whatever you decide, S.

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A.Z.

answers from Portland on

Hi Ali,

My heart goes out to you! I was in the same boat a couple of years ago and I took a total leap of faith and started a WAHM business to be at home. There are a million ways to make money from home without falling into a scam orpyramid scheme. If you want some help brainstorming, I am happy to help share my learning experience and at least help you to avoid some of the mistakes I made along the way. Now if you do consider working from home, keep in mind that it can become quite consuming! So make sure it is something you have a passion for! If there is a hobby you are good at, perhaps we could turn it into a marketable skill.

If you are just looking at becoming a SAHM, then you need to really look at priorities and finances. Does your husband's company provide health insurance for the whole family? Look at the cost and savings of switching over. Look at how much you will save in babysitting fees, gas, wear and tear on your vehicle, insurance, etc. Then look at ways to keep your food budget down. We stopped eating out as much as we used to and I really plan my meals to avoid waste. Also look at things like phones. DO you each have a cell phone as well as a landline? Can one or more be cancelled? What about television, can you live without cable or just go to basic service? What are your entertainment habits? Can you find activities you will all enjoy that do not involve spending very much money. There are a million ways we can cut expenses that we don't look at when viewing the big picture, but if you look at every penny that goes out and think if I did buy this latte every morning, I could be a lot closer to staying home, etc.

I hope you figure out what will work for you! If you need advice, I am happy to offer some and see if we can discover a natural and easy business that you would enjoy doing. Mine was a passion for cloth, so it turned into a cloth diaper business and another business for cloth menstrual pads. It's been a lot of work but also very rewarding! The most important reward is spending every day with my daughter and getting to meet other moms and watch their children grow up with my daughter. My customers have become both my friends and my family.

A.
www.punkinbutt.com
www.fresh-moon.com

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J.B.

answers from Medford on

If your husband is working, there is still income. You will save money by staying home, too, so it will ballance out more. You don't have to pay for day care, gas to and from work, lunches, if you buy them, work clothes, you may pay less taxes and may even qualify for the earned income credit. You will gain more time with your son, that you will never get back. You can clip coupons, shop sales (I look at the weekly ads before I go shopping and stock up on non parishables when they are really cheap), check out the local freecycle.org website for free stuff, you can baby sit for a friend or neighbor to make some extra money or sell Avon or something where you can take your son. Start a home business or a craft that you can sell online or at a local Saturday market or consignment store. Ask your employer if you could work from home or part time. Walk more with your little guy in the stroller to save on gas. If you eat out much, cut back, you will save money and you will have more time to cook healthy meals if you are home. Make your own baby food, that is expensive, give him what you are eating, but put it through the blender or a baby food grinder first. Find someone with a boy just older than yours enough to get hand me downs, save alot of money on clothes. Have a naked lady party where your friends all bring clothes and trade them, of course they are not really naked. You get new clothes (new to you) for the exchange of your old ones. I hope something here is useful.
Blessings,
J.

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C.T.

answers from Seattle on

Hi Ali,

What kind of work do you do currently? Is it something you can transition to doing from home?

You have received some excellent advice already. I totally agree with weighing your pros and cons, and suggest you really look at the family budget. I highly recommend Dave Ramsey's book The Total Money Makeover (if that's a factor).

I have worked literally my entire life. I grew up in a family owned/operated business and don't know what it's like to not work. I really don't care for the notion of being "dependent" on anyone either. That is truly scary to me.

I used to manage a naturopathic office and take my daughter to work with me. After spending 15 years as a nanny I was determined to raise my own children and my boss wanted me back so she got a package deal.

I'm trained as a medical transcriptionist and coder and transcription is not a stable path right now as technology advances allows doctors to buy software to transcribe for them or they send it overseas for transcribing.

Medical coding was an option but the hours and concentration needed were just too much for me as a mom of a wee one. Plus there was the legal liability to worry about if I messed something up in a sleep deprived moment.

However when my daughter turned 9 months I just couldn't do it anymore. She was starting to be more alert and needed/deserved more of my attention. So I quit to stay home. That was a weird mental adjustment to make let me tell you.

I had started a business with a party plan company and really put my focus on that for two years. Ultimately I lost a lot of money trying to make a go of it because of the constantly changing inventory, catalogs, and the struggle to get hostesses to host parties, and get guests to spend money at them. Party plan businesses work well for some but when the economy as is bad as ours is right now it's that much harder to make money at them.

I did through my daughter's issues with eczema end up finding another business to work from home and it's been an absolute answer to prayer.

You probably know a lot of people who met their spouse when they "weren't looking". Well that's what happened with me and my current business. I wasn't looking but it landed in my lap and it didn't have ANY of the pitfalls of the MLM/party plan industry.

For 3 years now I've been working from home with our daughter and now our son next to me, on me, etc. I can work while I wipe tooshies and have worked while I was changing diapers (but fortunately we're past that stage now) lol.

Is your career something you can come back to in a few years? Is it something you can keep an hand in, in some fashion (staying current through CEU's etc.)?

I am blessed everyday in what I do that I am able to help others. I have an ad on mamasource that I invite you to check out. Many of my business partners have reviewed it.

If you're wanting to stay home but still have something to call your own and maintain that self-sufficiency I would love to share what I do with you. You may or may not be interested. Rest assured I don't use any high pressure tactics.

You can find my ad under the Local Business Reviews Section, Employment Category and Subcategory: Home Employment. My business name is: www.BeHappierAtHome.com

C.-WAHM to 4.5 y/o virtual twins
Owner: http://www.BeHappierAtHome.com

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A.E.

answers from Seattle on

Staying at home is a sacrifice. I LOVE being able to stay at home with my boys, but to be honest sometimes I envy people who can buy what they want and go out when they want even though I know I wouldn't change staying home with my boys for anything.

The first thing we had to do was make a choice about where we would live. If we opted for a house, I would have to work. If we could manage in a two-bedroom apartment, I could stay at home. We do just fine in our apartment. Kids don't need as many toys and things as we think they need . . . so we down-sized a little and we live comfortably in a small space because it's not packed with stuff.

We don't have cable anymore (we haven't for 2 1/2 years and I don't think we're missing anything!), we don't have a home phone, we only use our cell phones, we limit our dining out, we have "coffee sundays" (the ONLY day we buy coffee) . . . Anyway, it's hard, but it can be done. It all depends on what works for you. Just know that staying at home and living on one income is possible because we don't need everything we think we need.

Ultimately, the decision is yours, do what you feel is right for your family.
Good luck,
A.

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V.G.

answers from Seattle on

The advice of many of the other mom's about cutting back on costs was great, but sometimes when you already have house payments, car payments, etc. it's hard to live on one paycheck.

One solution is to start a home-based business. Either from some type of hobby or interest you already have or as a independent representative or distributor for a company. As your business grows you are able to eventually quit your job. This won't happen overnight, but with committment and a realistic 2 - 3 year plan it can be done.

For many people, the quickest and easiest way is usually to become an independent representative or distributor of an existing company, then you already have products and only need to spend your time marketing and not producing products. Most companies also will provide training and information about getting a business started.

The key is to find a company with products you like and would enjoy using yourself. Most companies will require at least a small investment to get a starter supply of products and marketing materials. Then do your research and compare the profit margin and compensation plans of each company. Watch for hidden purchase quotas and "free to join" little start-ups that may quickly go out of business or have a very low profit margin.

I am a distributor for a candle company and we have many moms who have been able to completely replace their income and quit their jobs and work from home.

If you would like more information you are welcome to visit my website:
http://www.bellamiacandle.com

I know that you can find a way to have the life you want!

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D.D.

answers from Portland on

Make a budget of "have to's" and see if you can adjust it without your income. Think of EVERYTHING you can to put on there plus a bit into savings every month. Take into account you won't have child care expenses!
Then think about things you could do from home, take in a child care child, do a party plan from home so you can determine your earning potential and schedule. That way you get your adult time too! (oh so important when you stay at home!) It doesn't even have to be a party plan, it's just that those are good for making some "mad money".
Good luck!
D.
www.partywithdesiree.com

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T.Y.

answers from Anchorage on

We cut out special items like cable, newspaper, coffees, going to dinner or movies. We unplug everything or turn off our powerstrips. That alone saved us $41 a month. RECYCLE, REDUCE and REUSE if possible. I did get unemployment for a bit. Every now and then I would babysit for extra money for someone's b-day and we're trying to open a business next fall. I did try working part time for awhile and I may try it again. My husband was watching my son at night and I facilitated groups in the evening. It's difficult being a SAHM at times. Our closest relatives are over an hour away so I don't get much of a break and that really wears on a person to not be able to rejuvinate. We're trying some new things lately. Plus, w/o my son attending a daycare he gets really excited when I take him to places like story time and other mom's say he's difficult when he's only 22 mos and can't sit through 4 books because he wants to interact. So weigh your pros and cons first. Good luck.

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P.P.

answers from Portland on

I am a stay at home part time working Mom! My husband and I have his income as our steady income, and that insurance. I have taken up many interesting other jobs that allow me to be home with my daughter during days while he works. My part time jobs usually occur on weekends, or evenings doing "odd" jobs. This eliminated the need for day-care, babysitting and other budget zappers, and it makes for great Dad and Kid time. Keep your mind open to possibilities that are out there that's my suggestion. Besides the obvious of cutting back and reigning in the budget, you can work part time successfully with a small child. When I first had my daughter, I worked from home doing contract work from my computer, this worked well till she started walking and running and gave up naps! Now, for example, check your local craigslist ads for demo work, or part time marketing, gigs, events, etc, this is what I do. I'm basically a "spokeswoman" for different companies, I've done everything from in store infomercials (weekends--about 5 hours a day, great $$$$) to running pub quizzes at local pubs, fun and good $$$$. Granted, it doesn't make up for my full time income pre-child but it certainly helps to take up the slack in our budget for things like extra curricular activities for the kid, or dinners out, medical bills, savings. So think outside the box, be frugal, and most of all enjoy that fleeting time you have with your child. The smartest thing I ever did was leave the corporate world and take on the exciting world of mothering. Lots of my friends that are working Mom's are envious of my position, I have the best of both worlds. I get to parent her full time, yet I also get some "adult time" and contribute to our income. The nice thing about my jobs is I can work as much or as little as I choose, it's all contract work, I set the hours, I choose the assignments, so we are able to work out the hours as a family. It's been a huge impact on my daughter having me around, and having alone time with Dad.
The way I got started was looking for a way to make some money...then I started tweaking my resume and replying to postings for jobs.
Good Luck!

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S.M.

answers from Seattle on

Hello Ali,
Well I am a full time working mother and this is how I manage. First my husband makes less than me so he cut back his hours and works graveyard shift so we dont have to worry about daycare. We also moved to about 1/2 mile from my work so I get to go home for lunch and I am still breastfeeding so sometimes if I dont feel like pumping I can run home really quickly. We had to make some sacrifices since we moved from Puyallup to Seattle and into a much smaller but more expensive home:). We also eat out less and but not having to pay for gas has evened out. I keep pictures at my desk and call home every two hours to see what they are up to. Since I moved closer to work my quality time with my child has increased and my tears of sadness being away from him have decreased. Dont hate being a working mom, just remember there is a lot of us out there. Good luck!

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G.D.

answers from Portland on

Have faith. When I quit there was a week when we had two dollars left in the bank but God took care of us and now my wonderful husband makes enough for every want we ever had. God made mothers to nurture their children. Show confidence in your husband and he may surprise you.

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K.K.

answers from Seattle on

Great responses! I will have to read them all to see what I can learn. I have been in the same boat in years past. I absolutely hated being away from my children!

I currently work at home, doing medical transcription - which is a job I sort of fell into. I do have good days/bad days with kids around. I have a harder time concentrating in the summer with the kids around - yet, I miss them now that they are back in school! I often work a few hours early in the morning, another few in the evening, and leave the midday open for a trip to the grocer, chores, dinner prep, playtime with my younger ones, exercise, etc. That all sounds hunkydory, but it's not always so. On my more challenging days, I remind myself that I don't have to be up at the crack of dawn every day getting dressed up in work clothes. I don't have to worry about what's for dinner when I get home, or the time my commute takes. I don't stop by the grocery on the way home any more and overspend bc I am tired and hungry and in a hurry.

I am thankful that while my husband's salary provides most of our support, I am able to contribute. My son is able to go to a private school. We were able to take a vacation this year - the first since our honeymoon! We will be able to save some, and have a padding for unexpected expenses or rainy days.

Before I worked at home, my husband was making less $ and I was working full-time. It was disheartening to know that I was earning enough to cover daycare and gas, leaving only about $200 per month to go towards bills. We were so desperately poor that it was necessary to continue in this manner (until he got a better job).

If I had to go back to work in an office, I don't think I could bear it. I would work a part-time evening shift, in an industry like retail where I have no experience...just to have the better schedule. I definitely would be motivated to find a better way to scrimp, save, and eat beans if necessary, so that I could be together with my kids. I really feel there is no substitute for mom, and your time with your kids is fleeting. They will only live in your home for a few short years...18 years flies by!

My job is not for everyone (if you want to know more, I will elaborate - send me a message!) You can also learn more by checking with your local community college; there are those that offer courses at night in medical transcription. I know there are other professions out there that work at home, I also hear medical billing can be done at home. (I personally could never make it in sales, even if I love the product, so the home-based sales businesses are not for me. I also appreciate the stability of a paycheck paid to me by someone else.)

Wishing you the best!

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K.V.

answers from Richland on

There is absolutely nothing in this world that can take the place of a loving mom being in her baby's life. Especially not money. I struggled with this alot before we got pregnant. I am a pastors wife in a very small rural church. My husband has to work a seperate job from our church to suppliment our income and I worried a TON about how we would make it, but I have learned that everyone lives within their means. Weather that means is $25,000 a year or $100,000. It works if you put your faith in God. He gave you the most important job ever when he gave you your baby. It will be a struggle to change some of the lifestyle choices that your family has probably made, but I say quit your job and don't look back. I promise that you will NOT regret it.

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J.S.

answers from Seattle on

I believe it is hard both ways, working and being away from your kids or staying home and never feeling like you accomplish anything. I have friends who work and I wwonder how they keep their house so clean and they say it is because they are never there, and they are jealous that I get to be with my child every moment. And that means every moment, you shower with them, when you are sick they are bouncing on you, and everything takes longer to get done because they are unfolding the laundry that you just folded 3 times. I am just saying that it is frusterating both ways, just be prepared to not have any "me time" if you decide to make the leap to stay home. It really is wonderful. A Home based business is a great way to replace the full-time job in half the hours. There are a lot of options out there!! Either find a product that you love or if you just really want to make the best money with the least headaches then check out Aloette Cosmetics (aloe vera based anti-aging skin care). You are in a great area that needs consultants!! You can earn your starter for FREE. There is training on-line, a lot of phone support, and live training too. If you want more info check out the website or contact me:
myaloette.biz/jenistutz
[email protected]____.com

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J.S.

answers from Seattle on

I read a few of your other responses and they are all very good.
I am a stay at home mom and my hubby works full time for the Army. We have had to sacrafice ALOT for me to stay home but it is well worth it to me. For example, we haven't been alone (not even to go out and eat dinner) since Sept of 2005 becuase we cannot afford a babysitter for three kids but on the other hand, I am with my kids all day, everyday and I know that they are safe. It only takes a second for something to happen to them, which i've had one bad thing happen and that was enough for us to give up anything extra. Now I am still a sahm and i've started my own business on the side which my kids can always come with me for the most part.

Oh and there are a ton of ways to save money. One thing I have started to do is when I go to the grocery store, I don't just fill my cart anymore lol, I actually write out our meals and exactly what I need for each one and then that's all I buy. I don't buy a bunch of junk that I don't need like chips, and cookies and whatever else.

I wish you the best of luck, it's a hard choice i know.
J.

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A.D.

answers from Portland on

Well, we live in a small house with a small mortgage, we don't own brand new cars. I try to plan meals for the week and then shop accordingly. We eat out minimally and try to regulate our shopping(clothes, electronics, fun stuff) I try to really watch the little things, like lattes, that don't seem to cost that much at the time, but add up really fast when you have them everyday. We set a budget every month and really try to adhere to it. With the kids we try to do a lot of free things, the park, library. We buy OMSI and Zoo memberships and use them ALOT. I resell as much of their old clothing as I can and utilize the same consignment/resale stores for some of their new clothes.
Some months are better than others, but hey, I get to be home with my kids, so it works out.
There are books on this, off the top of my head I know that one is called "Miserly Moms".
Good luck!

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D.J.

answers from Seattle on

Ali,

You have got to check out what I have found! A home-based business with an incredible business opportunity based on health products that change people's lives. The success of this company has been built on the products and the people which is why it is now getting international recognition as one of the top 100 best small businesses! I am not going to go into a lot of detail but if this is something that interests you then reply and I can show you more.

Best wishes,
D. J.

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F.P.

answers from Seattle on

my suggestion would be find a self-employment that works on your schedule. for example...partylite consultant. you would have to work away from home but when you choose and as often as you choose. I work full time now (my daughter just started kindergarden) but when she was born i was lucky enough to stay home till she was 5 months old and then went back to work part timr and sold partylite also. I stopped when i found a job i enjoyed that was 30+ hours a week and stayed home instead of doing parties. you can make as little or as much as you want and if you are able to stay at home you'll probably welcome adult conversation every once in a while. if you want more info let me know, i can get you the contact info of the consultant i was under, who i still hostess for.

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M.F.

answers from Spokane on

Hi Ali:
I can completely understand your situation. I am a full time working mom with a 2 and 5 yr old. I did not read all of the responses, but all of those I read were from SAHM’s. We have tried very hard to make is possible for me to stay home…read books, started businesses, set goals, but sometimes things just don’t turn out how you hope and pray for them to. After being back to work now for a year, my guilt and tears are subsiding. I am beginning to change my outlook and attitude and remind myself that in this economy, I am lucky to have a job with excellent benefits to provide for my family. I mostly work for benefits because my husband does not have them available to him. Instead of comparing myself to all of those SAHM’s, I compare myself to the many single working mom’s out there who have to do it all on their own. I find that changing my attitude and focusing on what our family has been blessed with really helps. I also find that talking to working mothers makes me feel better.

Good luck and remember how blessed you are!

M.

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S.H.

answers from Portland on

Hi Ali,

You have gotten some great advice. As you can see, there are big sacrifices if you stay home with your child. Wants go out the window and you focus on true needs. We chose a modest house with a modest mortgage, knowing that I would stay home for the kids. I pack my husband and son's lunch everyday (much cheaper than buying it). Shop the ads for groceries, stock up on the basics when they are on sale (shampoo, deoderant, soap, laundry detergents, etc.). These won't go out of date and are VERY expensive at full price. We decided we can't go down to one car and we do have cell phones (It feels too much like a safety issue). We did cancel AAA and the Oregonian. We decided a zoo membership was well worth it and tax deductible. In other words, you have to make conscious decisions on how to spend the money you have. I have been home for three years now (cutting our income in half). It was a joint decision between my husband and I and therefore a priority to us both. We have been struggling more lately with gas and grocery prices, so we have been looking for things around the house to sell on EBAY. We also ended up taking out a loan on his retirement. My biggest advice is DO NOT GET INTO CREDIT CARD DEBT! The interest will bury you. With a retirement loan, we pay ourselves the interest, not a bank. A second mortgage is another route- the interest is lower than credit cards and is tax deductible. You will probably do OK day to day if your husband makes a reasonable amount and you scrimp and save, but it is the big unexpected expenses that make it tough. We spent over a $1000 in plumbing bills in the last year and had to replace the brakes in both cars. If in your heart, you believe you need to stay home, then make it work. It doesn't have to be forever, but that we you get to raise your child! You can always go back to work, but you can't get their young years back.

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B.A.

answers from Augusta on

I stay at home with my kids and have for almost 3 years now - my husband doesn't have a college degree and we just made it above the poverty line a couple months ago (we have never been on government assistance because the paperwork would have been a nightmare due to the nature of my husband's work). We also live in a very expensive area where the median income is still over twice what we make now.

How did we do it? Well, we had to make it work because childcare would have taken my entire income.

So, first we cut every corner that we could, financially speaking. If you need ideas for saving money in creative and practical ways, I highly recommend the "Tightwad Gazette" books. You can either get the three separately or in a new edition with all three combined. We found our copies used, but it would be well worth the money to buy the combined edition if you have the money.

Second, I learned how to cook from scratch. I no longer use recipes except to get ideas. This way I can use up what we have in our pantry and we're not wasting NEARLY as much food. We also don't buy convenience foods anymore which are more expensive and less filling. We really notice a difference in how much we eat when we order a pizza compared to when we eat solid, home-cooked food from scratch.

Third, we buy in bulk. Our local grocery store has a bulk foods section and we get 10% off the regular bulk price by ordering whole 10/25/50 pound bags of dried beans, whole grains, and snack foods like pretzels. I love the book "Nourishing Traditions" by Sally Fallon for learning how to prepare whole foods in the healthiest possible way (read: easier to digest). It involves a lot of soaking (usually just over the night before so I plan a day in advance) and a little more cooking time, but you don't have to be hovering over the food for most of that time.

Fourth, we don't buy anything new. Our $900 car has served us well for over a year and a half with only a $100 tune-up to keep it running well. We will be needing a new one soon (the transmission is getting a little finicky), but $1000 divided by 18 months is just about $50 a month for a car. Not too bad.

We've also discovered that if we really need something, it will turn up at a thrift store or yard sale or on freecycle. We've even gotten great things by keeping an eye out while taking the trash to the transfer station (people throw out practically brand new sleeping bags, shelves, and everything else you can imagine!). If it doesn't turn up used, then usually we don't need it. The most notable exception to this was a digital camera.... the ones we got for free ate up batteries like there was no tomorrow so we did end up buying a new one, but were able to wait 2 years until they were more affordable :)

The most important thing that we have learned is that it's always possible to save more money if you only have more time.

You might want to also look into a book called "Un-Jobbing" which gives a formula for figuring out exactly how much your job is costing you - in terms of work clothing and commuting time/gas prices, childcare, convenience foods, and eating out more.

Oh, we also live in a very small house so we have lower rent than usual in our area. We'll be moving to a more affordable part of the country near my parents in a few months as well so we can buy some property and have a nice garden and backyard chickens to help further with saving money :)

Best wishes whichever way you choose!
~B.

ETA - We don't have a TV, but we check out free movies and TV series from the library to watch on our computer. We do have cable internet (and having basic cable makes that cheaper somehow) because my husband does some work from home online, but that's a business expense and we would absolutely have dial-up if he didn't need the fast connection for work.

Simple living is totally worth getting to stay home with my girls! I can't imagine having it any other way.

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A.D.

answers from Portland on

Ali,
Very great question. When I was pregnant with our first child, my husband and I were weighing the pros and cons of me working. We figured that by the time we paid the sitter and my fuel to get to work that there would only be $100 left over from my take home pay. Yeah, only $100. So basically I would be working to pay for those two things. My mother-in-law was against me working, so that weighed in VERY heavy. She died two months after our son was born, so out of respect for her and love for her, I stayed home.

My husband read an article that put everything into perspective. Everyone CAN afford to stay home. You just need to know where the priorties are.

I made a list of all our expenses and income; excluding my income. (I also use Microsoft Money so I could print out spreadsheets of monthly and yearly expenses and income.) What was amazing is where we were spending money; coffee, fast food, video games, DVD's, music, book clubs, etc.) By doing this, we eliminated so much waste from our budget. We also began to pay for everything using cash. (Debit card, check, cash) I would calculate how much groceries were as we walked in the aisles. If we had enough we would splurge, if not enough we would cut out what wasn't that important like band-aids. It was difficult at first, especially for my husband (coffee) but we MADE it work. We also got very new looking hand me downs from people who worked with my husband so we didn't have to buy clothes. We bought disposable diapers from Costco to save on washing costs and I nursed as long as possible to save from buying formula.

Where there's a will, there's a way.

I have been a SAHM for 8yrs now, and we have two children. We have had tough times but my husband and I have never looked back. Not even once.

I wish you well and send many prayers and blessings that you find that way for you to stay home.

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C.Z.

answers from Seattle on

Hi Ali,
Congrats! Happy Birthday to your little one! :-)
I am currently a stay-at-home, but wasn't always. I worked when our first one was born and a little when our second was born, but now have decided to take my part time at-home business and work a little harder to keep me at home. It is a very simple business, but not always easy, but so worth it when you can change lives. If you are interested in seeing what I do you can check out this website: http://presentation.lifeforce.net It may or may not be a fit for you and that is ok. This is something you can work at as your own boss while you are still working and then quit when it takes off. Hang in there! If it is your desire to stay at home, you'll find something that will work.
Blessings,
C.

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S.K.

answers from Spokane on

I hated working too! I worked very hard bringing my daughter into this world and did not want to miss a single moment or milestone. You will have the rest of your life to work but their baby years go by so fast and you can never get them back. I quit my bank job of 11 years and opened a small daycare in my home so I could bring in some income while staying home with my now three girls and I do not regret it for a minute. Good luck to you...follow your heart but there is no payceck equal to cherished memories of motherhood.

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K.M.

answers from Seattle on

I am an independent consultant w/ Arbonne International. I teach and train people who are looking for a second income stream or a way to replace their current income how to start their own business. You can go to my webpage at www.nursekerry.myarbonne.com for more information.

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M.T.

answers from Seattle on

I just met a unique working mom. Unique to me for 2 reasons.

First, she cannot afford to pay for more than the $5000+ deductible Blue Cross insurance (family plan~$300/month). She stepped on something and had to pay out of pocket for care. (She said she'd just soak her foot next time.) But I realized that I could give up the ideal of good affordable health care. With insurance paying I don't get such great treatment anyway.There are some low cost docs out there, there are community medical and community acupuncture clinics in Seattle.

Then there's her other thing. She cannot afford child care when working. So she co-parents with another family that she and her husband have known for a few years. With flexible work schedules, she works 3 days a week and her friend works 2 days a week. So when she's got kids during the day, she's got her own plus two. She says the kids learn that other family's rules may be different than that of their family of origin. She thinks that's good education for real life. Do you have to work full time or nothing???

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C.K.

answers from Seattle on

How long have you been back at work? Did you like your job before you had your baby? I think these questions will shed some light on your question. I have a 2 year old and work full-time. That works great for us; he loves his daycare (can't wait to go in the morning). I walk to work and bring my lunch, so I have basically no work expenses. When my son was 4 months old, I wanted to stay home with home forever. However, by 6 months I was ready to do something different and went back part-time when he was 9 months old. I personally think employers should let moms stay home as long as they like-I bet some would go back sooner than expected. If you didn't like your job before, once there's a baby I don't think it's possible to enjoy it. If you liked your job before and you've only recently gone back to work, then I would give it some time. Talk to other working moms-sometimes just venting helps a lot. The first day I dropped my son off at day care I cried-he had no problems. One thing to keep in mind when staying home is that added expenses. While there are many free things to do, classes, coffee shops and museums cost money. Especially in Seattle you need indoor options for winter. That may end up costing more than day care. Just weigh your options carefully. Good luck.

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M.T.

answers from Portland on

Oh my, there are so many responses for you! How great. I didn't read them all, but will share my experience. I was a career gal who didn't want that life anymore. It was very clear to me that I did not want to continue working with my daughter now in the picture. My job required extensive travel and 60-70 hr weeks. That was not aligned with my values and how I wanted to raise my children. So my husband and I worked through what it is we wanted for our family and ourselves - basically, what kind of lifestyle and what income to support it. For example, we set the goal of wanting to have dinner together as a family at least 5 nights a week. We also decided that we wanted to maintain certain quality of life, which meant that we would need to find work for my husband that would make up for my lost income (he would have to be the primary breadwinner and earn more than before). A seemingly daunting task, but the reality is that other people manage to do it right? But how could we? So, we read a couple of books to help us formulate our plan and open our eye to possibilities we may not have considered: Who Moved My Cheese (simple, fun little book) and Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Those are the two I recall and I know there were a couple others. These helped us put thing into a new perspective.

After alot of thought, we ended up in business for ourselves (my husband runs the business and I stay at home). We did this by buying a company because that was the option that made the most sense for us. Whatever solution you find, what is very helpful is really taking the time to figure out what your goals are and then thinking about all the different ways to achieve them - and to consider creative or different options; other than just working for someone else in a traditional business. Hope that helps.

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J.S.

answers from Spokane on

Have you thought about part-time? Or telecommuting? I am a SAHM, though I think I was happier when I worked part-time. We certainly have to tighten the budget. I really limit my trips to Target, Wal-Mart, etc. because you go for one thing and buy ten. We really cut back on our eating out. And it's all about shopping the sales, or places like TJ Maxx. And I had to say goodbye to my expensive hair and beauty products.

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C.H.

answers from Seattle on

Any chance you can go part-time at your job or find a different part-time job? I work out of the house two days a week while hubby takes care of the boy and I nanny two days a week, to which I can bring my son along. It's kind of perfect because this way we don't need childcare. However, even though I work near full-time hours, my husband works half time, so we do have to scrape by to make this happen, but it's been worth it.
Good luck with this - it's a hard decision either way.

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D.M.

answers from Seattle on

Ali,

I know how you feel, 3 years ago I was in the same position. I was blessed to find an opportunity that allowed me to work from home, create my own schedule, provide income to my family and still spend time with my children. Four years ago I would have never guessed this is were I would be but my family and I are extremely happy and we have the additional income that we need. I encourage you to look for opportunities that allow you to work from home a few hours a day. If you would like more information about the opportunity I recieved I would love to share it with you.
Good luck and I have faith that you will find what works for you and your family.

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A.T.

answers from Spokane on

question: are you a single mom or is there a dad/husband in the picture? i have a couple ideas but it would depend on if you have another income in the family. give me a shout...i'd love to talk about it more because i absolutely ADORE being a stay home mom!
A.

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T.F.

answers from Seattle on

I am a stay at home. I admit that our income is strapped a bit, but it is what we have chosen to do. You have to look at your finances and determine where your money goes and if you cna aford to live the way you are on one income or if you have to but your life on a diet so to speak. Sometimes, depending on your job, you can work out to change your hours with your boss. Maybe you can work form home one or two days a week. Or how about working 4 10s or job share? I have started a home based business that gives me a bit of extra spending money too. I have 3 kids, with day care I would be working 40 hours a week and still my income would not cover the whole cost of daycare. I know my kids are much happier being home and having me here. I hope this helps a bit.

T. funpartyforkids.com

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A.R.

answers from Richland on

As for me I am prety much a stay at home mom. I am a substitute teacher and when I do work it is only on the days my husband has off so he can watch our 2 year old. I only work about 3 days a month. Right now I am not working at all since I am due in 1 week with #2. How do we do it? We budget budget budget! My husband is a police officer so he does not make a big salary. We have just adjusted our priorities so I can stay home. We don't go out much to eat, he brown bags it. I don't buy clothes, shoes etc. for me except on my birthday/christmas and it is usually with money from gifts. We only rent a house right now - we hope to own in a few years, we only have one credit card, we just live cheaply. Its not always easy - but the time I have with my child is priceless. We also know that this time in our life will not last forever. When both kids are in school I will work more and then we will be able to afford more things. PS. Hand me downs are great for our son. It really cuts down on the clothing budget for him since he is growing like a weed! Hope this helps. Good Luck with whatever you decide. Its a hard decision!

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J.M.

answers from Seattle on

When my husband and I got married, we both knew that we wanted me to stay home with the kidlets if we had any. So, we decided to live ONLY on his salary. Everything (mortgage, car payments, insurance, groceries, utilities, etc.) we had to have, we HAD to be able to afford on HIS salary. We used my salary to pay off our debts and put money in savings. Even though we ended up getting pregnant three years ahead of schedule, I was still able to stay home because we were already used to living on my hubby's salary. We don't go on vacations, or spend money on things we don't need, and I darn sure clip coupons! But we do okay - and I get to stay home with our three boys and take care of them, my hubby and the house without getting stressed or exhausted.

Between day care, dry cleaning, eating out for lunch, gas and insurance for the car, etc. it can actually be more cost effective to stay home. When her daughter was about three months old, my friend figured out that she had to work for nearly six hours to break even for working outside of the home - and that didn't include the commute time. She decided to stay home. They sold their second car and moved to a smaller, cheaper house with a lower monthly mortgage. They also stopped eating out (because it was so expensive) and she lost almost 10 pounds through cooking in her kitchen! For extra money she does a little babysitting.

Good luck with whatever you decide! I'm sure you're a great mom; otherwise this issue wouldn't even be on your radar!

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A.C.

answers from Seattle on

I'm a SAHM and I miss my job. I love my kids and am grateful to be able to stay home, but miss my old job too. One of the things that we did to start was I worked part time. Does your job allow you to job share or work part time? I did that for two years and then we transitioned to one income. It was hard, but if I did work, I would be working to pay for daycare so it didn't make sense. I was a Sensaria rep for a year, but hated it, it is not my style. Now I substitute teach when I can. We've learned that no matter how many times putting it on paper says it won't work, it does. It is a different mindset and a willingness on both parites to make on income work.

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B.W.

answers from Eugene on

I know for me I was tired of being gone long hours and not having enough time with my kids. So I did alot of research and stated my own home biz that I work from my home a few hours a day,I now make more then what I made when I had a full time job, and the time I get to spend with my kids is heavenly!!! This biz has been in business for 28 years is on the top of the new york stock exchange so they are really profitable and established!!! It has changed my life!! Please email me and I'll send you the information for free.

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A.H.

answers from Portland on

We only have one car, we live in a modest home and we stay out of debt. Also, I buy things and sell them on Ebay if we need extra money. If there's a will, there's a way. Stay home and take care of your baby, it's the most important job in the world! :)

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L.O.

answers from Seattle on

It definitely sounds like your heart is telling you that you should do whatever possible to be with your son. Not everyone is cut out to be a stay at home mom, but I think if you are, you should do what you can to go for it! I agree with everyone that suggested making a budget and doing your best to cut back. The other thing we decided to do, was to have me just work 2 days a week and use family and friends in the area for free childcare. So, that way, I am making an income, but nothing is going out to childcare. If that is not possible for you, maybe you could start an in-home day care and take on some extra kiddos to help you be able to be with your son, but still make an income. I wish you the very best! Your son will not be so young and impressionable forever. What a great time to be home with him!

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R.M.

answers from Portland on

We probably can't afford for me to stay home but are willing to make the sacrifice because it's that important to our family that I do.
My husband has been great in supporting us since we had our first child, he has been in the same business for a long time now and didn't used to like his job but after a change in companies and eventually position he is content. Unfortunately with the cost of health care always rising is seems that we make as little now as we did before but we make do.
I am a seamstress and while I don't ply my trade often it's a great backup for income every once in awhile. I've taught sewing classes at JoAnn (which is basically working for yourself), I've done lots of alterations, and done custom projects for friends that know I can sew. I pick up projects every once in awhile of craigslist. Some day I intend to open a business from home... if I can find time beyond being a Mom:)

Good luck.

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C.A.

answers from Seattle on

Advice? Stay home! Be brutal on your budget. As Dave Ramsey says, "beans and rice, rice and beans". (www.daveramsey.com) It's amazing how little you actually take home when figure how much goes out in gas, car maintenance, lunches, child care, wardrobe, makeup, etc. For example: Your $15/hr turns into $5/hr!

You can do an at-home business if you need to. There are lots out there. I recently started Tupperware and I love it. It's a well-made, well-known product. I get adult contact. It can be a great money-maker (but my focus is fun, discounted and free product, adult time). Whatever you do, "do what you love and the money will follow".

I'm Christian, so I try to live by: "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." When I put Him first, everything else works out.

You can do it, Ali! You won't regret the financial sacrifices!

C.
[email protected]____.com

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A.H.

answers from Medford on

Dear Ali,
I stayed home, but it was very stressful financially. We had one working car, a tiny house, and no money. But, it was worth it. If there is any way you can manage even working part time, would give you more time with your son. When they are in school, you will be able to do more. But right now, being with your son is the best investment you will ever make. And all your instincts are telling you that.

Good luck, and best wishes.

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J.S.

answers from Boise on

Dear Ali,
It is possible to live on one income. I think that a lot of people get caught in and confused with needs and wants. We used to have a lot of "things" to pay for that we really didn't need. We cut them out and can now afford to live on one income. It is possible! When we had our son I thought I could handle working part time, but I just didn't feel good about it. I was nervous, but I went to my husband and told him that I really wanted to stay home and be a stay at home mom. We tried for 10 years to have kids and I didn't want to be away from my son when I could be with him. My husband was wonderful about it and said that if I wanted to stay at home then that was what needed to happen. We have had to make some serious sacrifices, but it is sooooooooo worth it! I would rather drive an older car and have Goodwill close than miss out on the opportunity to be with my son. I do want to say that I realize that some women want to and or need to work away from home, and I respec that, but I think it's important to be home to raise our kids. It's too important a job to let someone else do it. Hang in there!

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A.G.

answers from Seattle on

I stay at home with my four kids. My husband has a great job that allows me to do this, but we make sacrifices too. I don't know your financial situation, so I can't say what would work with you. We live a life style that we are comfortable with, but that might not be okay with other people. We don't eat out much, we don't buy anything designer. (Most of the kids clothes come from Target). I shop sales at grocery stores and don't buy some of the more expensive foods that I might enjoy eating. We don't have a lot of the new things that other people have. We don't have cell phones. We don't have premium cable channels.

I know that it isn't possible for everyone to be able to make their finances work on one income. But if you are willing to give up some things, you might be able find a way to make it work for you.

There are also opportunities to make some money from home. My sister does medical transcriptioning, and finds time to do it with 4 kids. I haven't ever done anything like this, but you might be able to get some advice from other people who have tried.

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L.O.

answers from Seattle on

Hi Ali, I'm a SAHM of 2, my BF works full time and than some so that we can make it, have you thought about finding work that you can bring your son to? I dont know what your good at, but I work part time cleaning stalls you know horses, and I work for independant people not boarding barns so they dont care if I bring my kids. I just have to make sure that they dont get under toe, you know but I usually just put them in a stroller and they just come right along with me. I mean it doesnt pay much but its something and I suppose I could find more clients if I needed them. Just a thought.

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J.T.

answers from Louisville on

Ali, I know it's tough. I work full time and own a home business that will soon be my only full time job! I have a business meeting on the 20th of Sept if you would like to attend. The speaker is a good friend of mine from Oklahoma that can tell you everything you need to know about how to make a very successful living. If you would like to join me, I live in Lacey and work at Madigan as a nurse. I don't have the exact time just yet but it is in Seattle. I have 3 other ladies going with me that are starting their own business' as well. Just let me know! You can reach me at [email protected]____.com or ###-###-####. No strings attached, just a very informative hour.

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S.C.

answers from Spokane on

Hi Ali, I am actually a SAHM and sometimes wish I worked outside the home!! Do you actually dislike your job or do you just feel that you are missing out with your son? Is is possible for you to find a good balance in maybe working part-time? I guess it would depend on whether you have a spouse that works and has benefits. It would also depend on whether you could make some cuts or sacrifices as far as finances in order to make it happen. If you worked part-time, you would still have some income and have more time at home. As far as finances go, if you stay at home.........Do you still need a cell phone, a second car, clothes (not as much anyhow), to eat out?? Eating out, buying lattes, clothes, entertainment (find things to do that don't cost money) are things we have cut back on lately. I also drive less by combining trips for things. Anyhow, I hope this helps!! S.

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T.C.

answers from Portland on

Ali,

I do not know about other SAHM and their situations. I, however, budget tremendously. We do not get any extra time out together as a couple. The boys (twins) do not have a regular babysitter; they get mom and sometimes a neighbor friend who has a toddler, too. We take turns sitting when needed (recent situation that is working out for shopping and doctor trips).

Food is simple, and leftovers are usually planned for another meal or used to create a new meal (used oven fried chicken recently to create chicken pizza!!).

I sometimes go crazy. I do go with my friend to Me, Too sometimes...about 1x a month. This allows me a break, and the boys interaction with others.

We have done this for over 2 years now (boys turned 2 @ end of June). I have no regrets for staying home.

I will say, that I did complete my MBA while here at home so that I would not go completely bonkers.
Write if you have any questions on my daily schedule...I will provide my number if you want also.

Hard decision: good luck,
T.

M.B.

answers from Seattle on

Ali,

My husband works as a supervisor part time at UPS, and also has two paper routes. I teach swim lessons twice a week at our local YMCA. It's tight, but we make it work with the four of us. My kids don't have all the newest, greatest toys, but they do have great imaginations and are loved and know it.

Melissa

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A.B.

answers from Portland on

I felt the same way! I resented my job and it was terrible because I was teaching! I couldn't stand being with other people's kids while my daughter had to be at her auntie's house while I worked.....I eventually gave it up. It was too stressful for me to continue. I have been home for almost 3 years now. Some months it is really hard to make ends meet especially lately with the cost of groceries and gas! We seem to manage with a little grocery help from family once in a while. I wouldn't change a thing right now. I am a better mom, wife and person to myself. Several of my friends just don't have a choice.....too many bills etc and have to work. I felt lucky that I was given the opportunity. My husband also received a huge raise around the time (we not just I) decided it would be emotionally best for the family to have me stay home and that was the perfect timing. I still would have done it even if he didn't get the raise. Some moms manage it just fine and enjoy working. There is nothing wrong with it. I just couldn't seem to find a comfort for myself in working. I had to give up a lot but got even more in return. Time with my daughter. I treasured it even more because I did go back to work for 9 months. I knew what I wanted and needed and was willing to sacrifice to get it and provide it for my daughter. You know what you need to do if you just hear it in your heart. Whatever you do, just listen to what you hear in heart. Good Luck!

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C.J.

answers from Eugene on

I have always been a working mom. My advice is to make the best of the time you have with your son. Children grow up and move away. Unless your husband makes a lot of money, you will have to work to provide for this child.

From what I read in your post, it sounds like you are unhappy in your job. If that is the case, try looking for another job, possibly one that allows you flex-time and/or the possibility of working from home, at least part of the time.

Something else that helps is to realize the example you are setting for your child by going to work every day. Another thing to think of is how much your son is learning from other children in daycare. My daughter loved playing with other children. She is an only child, so school and daycare were her only social networks with other children.

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J.S.

answers from Seattle on

I know tons of moms, including myself, who have husbands in the military and stay-at-home. So believe me it can be done on a tight budget. YOu need to look at what you would need to cut out of your life, financially, to stay at home. What does your son need most right now? Could you stay at your job part-time or find a similar part time job? How much of your wages go towards child care?
Most of all think what is right for you and your family. Look at the advice, but not everything fits you perfectly.

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A.F.

answers from Portland on

Dear Ali,
I have a 13 mon old and I can tell you most sahm manage by budget and it's really hard to do. I was a SAHM until she was about 8 mos old then i got a job to take a load off my fiance and im not much of a stay home person. But my problem as not having enough time with her, so I work part time, but iam also attending chemeketa in the fall so all together im gone full time but bc i no it's what's best. but 4 u i would suggest to work part time and talk to ur hubby about how to manage if you were to stay home. hope this helps ~A.

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K.D.

answers from Portland on

You are getting a ton of advice here but I will add mine because I disagree with many of the responses. Not everyone can be a stay at home mom. I am a single mom, I do not recieve child support and I have to work full time to support myself and my daughter. Maybe it has been easier on me since i don't have the option to work or stay home. The most important thing is to have your child at a daycare that you trust completely. Get to know your providers. Get the daily schedule so you know what your little one is doing all day. And then comfort yourself with the fact that your child is in a good place and receiving necessary interaction and education. And think of that as alleviating some of the stress of parenting. My daughter learns her letters, numbers, colors, etc at 'school' so when we are at home it can be more quality time. Daycare is school time and home is fun time.
Good luck whatever you decide to do.

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M.M.

answers from Portland on

Do you have pictures and know others with pictures. I joined Creative Memories and have wonderful supplies for organizing, cropping and scrapbooking, then journaling pictures and lots of friends who love the same thing. I became a Creative Memories consultant and now we scrapbook together. You can make as little or as much as you want and do it right at your home. Do you live close to Vancouver, Wa. Actually you don't have to live in the same town to become a demonstrator. Other distributors will work with you too. For the rest of this month, you can join for just $70.00 and receive over $150. in supplies to get you started. Think about it.

OR, if you like cooking, I am also a Demarle demonstrator.
Demarle is great for putting fun back into cooking and getting families back together eating good healthy foods, made to look gourmet simply. No more greasing and flouring... nothing sticks this French safe silicone with interwoven glass bakeware. It is easy to sell and you can do Rendez-vour in your home. Of course you can go to theirs too, but I usually just do them at home on a monthly basis where I have all my supplies. People like it because they don't have to clean up their houses and get ready. They work well together because I make the treats in demarle and serve... easy gourmet cooking.

Call me at ###-###-#### or email me at [email protected]____.com

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L.R.

answers from Seattle on

i am a very frugal SAHM. i shop at grocery outlet and fred meyer (they are the cheapest and give you a discount on gas). i shop at value village and goodwill (sometimes i find a name brand something or other and buy it to resell). we don't have cable tv. we do have an hdtv (the tuner is built in) and found that if we plug the cable in to the tv, we get several free channels (this is no secret and is legal). we watch certain shows on the internet. one thing we may do, but haven't yet is use credit cards that have rewards. there are many that don't have yearly fees, but give you cash back, or points to "buy" things with. we pay off our credit card every month and the "rebate" or reward can come in handy for christmas or those days when you want a "treat". if you put everything on a credit card and pay it off every month, think of all the rebate $$ you could get. it's pretty amazing. i also surf the internet for free samples. my husband hasn't purchased a new shaving razor in years (because i can find them for free online). there are a couple good sites for searching... and some even put good sale info. etc. on there. it's possible.. not always comfortable, but usually do-able. good luck!

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A.W.

answers from Seattle on

Such a tough decision to make. I struggled with it, but chose to stay home and so glad I did.
All I can say is budget. That is what you have to do. You don't go out to dinner, or the movies or those extras as much. You find things to do that cost less or are free. Try taking a couple of months before you quit, put your pay check into savings and try living on one income as best you can. It might work. It did for us. The minute we found out we were pregnant, that is what we did. It was tight because I was still working and using gas and going to lunch, etc...but we learned how to adjust. Plus it built up our savings at the same time.
Or maybe you just need to change your job. Job satisfaction is a big thing.
Take the time to figure out what it really is...do you want to stay home or do you just hate your job?
Staying at home is hard work too. Harder than it was going to my job. At least there, you get a break and lunch and can go to the bathroom! LOL....
Seriously though, good luck in your decision.

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M.B.

answers from Portland on

I am a sahm and have been for 18 years. I find that most of the time you need to make a list of your wants ( new car designer clothes) and needs and most of the time you will be able to make it on one income. We have a 4 bedroom house 2 cars and go on dates once a week and the kids have activities. Good Luck I LOVE being home and think you should also if that is what you want

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J.W.

answers from Seattle on

Separation anxiety doesn't occur just in kids, moms experience it big time!!! I worked until my kids were in middle school and high school. It was difficult in the beginning to leave them as infants. We were lucky because my husband and I worked opposite shifts so he had them all day, brought them into work and I took them home. We swapped vehicles as we worked for the same employer as technicians. Having 'Dad' at home with them made it easier, but I couldn't wait to get home to them each evening. We were always busy, and if there was a downside, they didn't participate in alot of after school activities at the grade school level because evenings were our time together. Weekends were family time for all 5 of us together. You're working to help support your family. If your job is a good one, hopefully you're able to save some money each month for those activities that come later, like sports, music, dance, vacations and college. Most families find it hard to cope on one salary unless you're fortunate enough to work at Microsoft or another large employer who pays extremely well. Relish the time you have your baby/toddler. Stay at home Moms crave the conversation of adults and want to expand their horizons as well. So both sides of the coin want what the other side has, but don't or can' quit their jobs or go to work for whatever reasons. Motherhood is a huge blessing, but like everything worth having there are costs and sacrifices. I wouldn't trade any of it for all the money in the world. I found that my kids actually needed me more as they got to middle school and high school. They needed that ear, that shoulder, the guidance and the parental peer pressure to balance out their peers' pressure to do many things. Enjoy your family, enjoy your job. Your job makes your family life possible.

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T.M.

answers from Seattle on

I hear you! I own a 'home based' business and that is how it works for my family. I have 3 girls--5,3,1, so it is difficult to go to work and pay for someone to watch them. I was a HS teacher when my first was born and a loan officer after that and it is tough to do all of that and have kids. I am not saying owning your own business is easy, but at least I can set my hours. The tax advantages alone will save money on how you live life. The business I am involved is the 26th largest online travel company that is publically traded. I have just set up some local events and I would love to invite you!! What is your schedule for the next 2 weeks. Please call me at ###-###-#### or email me at [email protected]____.com

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L.J.

answers from Portland on

It's not easy to go down to one salary. Things were so financially tight for us when I stopped working with our first son. We just cut out everything we didn't "need" from our budget and shopped carefully. We also bought a home that fit in with just the one salary. Things were still tight for a while but we just were careful with our spendings and made it work so that our kids could be home with mom. We were fortunate that we have been able to keep me at home with the kids even though staying home is actually a hard job in itself. It's not for everyone and every family has to function differently based on desires and finances. Best of luck to you and I hope you will be able to stay at home with your son if that's what you want to do!

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R.S.

answers from Seattle on

It is so hard to be at work when you want to be at home. I'm not sure how much of the "family" income comes from you, but you'd be surprised how easy it is to stay at home on one income. Our "family" salary was literally cut in HALF when I decided to stay home, and we were fine. I found that we basically spent all the money I made on stuff we really didn't need, just because we had the money to spend. I suggest two things. Try living without your income for two or three months (put it in savings instead) and see how you do. There is also a great book out there called, "You Can Afford to Stay at Home With Your Kids". It has great ideas about how to cut expenses. Good luck!

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T.S.

answers from Seattle on

I know that you will probably get a lot of these responses trying to "recruit" you, but I really love what I do to be able to be a stay at home mom. I am a Pampered Chef consultant and I love it! I have been doing it for 2 1/2 years now and I get to stay home with my little ones (4 1/2 yrs. and 22 mo.). You don't have to keep product in stock! You can replace your full time income with just leaving your house 2 - 3 times a week! With The Pampered Chef, working about 20 - 24 hours a week is full time! I make about $100 a show, at least! Then, you add in the catalog shows, where you don't heven have to leave the house, and it can make a full time income. The start up cost is only $155, but you can start as low as $115 if you host your own show and use some of the free product credit. I am not quite to that point yet, but I know tons of people who have been with the company 10+ years and are doing very well! I would love to tell you more about it! If this sounds like something that might interest you, please feel free to email me at [email protected]____.com luck with whatever you choose to do!
T.
P.S. I just wanted to add to this response that I am currently reading a book that is great! It's called "Loving Life as an At-Home Mom" by Donna Otto. You might be able to check it out at the library.

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T.B.

answers from Seattle on

How can we afford not to stay home? Our little ones grow up so fast, these few years are the only ones we have full time with them. You can make it work. We cut out all the fluff - cable, eating out, new stuff, and factored in the cost of going to work - child care, transportation, close, lunches, etc. With a few lifestyle changes you maybe closer then you think. We also garden, make food from scratch, reuse, drive and shop less. I have worked pt from home, babysitting and programmer. Good luck.

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C.A.

answers from Portland on

Hi Ali,

I've done it a few ways. I did run a Pampered Chef business for awhile and looked into scrapbook, but with babies it was unrealistic even though I made fabulous money (there are all kinds of consultants in the local business reviews should you choose something like this - Romance parties make really awesome money as well). The issue with these is having to keep product stocked and babies love getting into stuff. For me that was an issue but others have had great success with babies.

I went back to work part time so that daycare was less and I could still bring in an income but it didn't work out cause I hated not being home. I started going to college online because I read about freelancing in design so that is an option but it takes time (I've been going to school for a year and a half now and am just now building up a client base - this one takes patience and a willingness to keep at it).

My last suggestion is doing something like pre-paid legal or Ameriplan. These are also legit at home business' but if you work them they pay off faster than heading to college. I personally do Ameriplan and we're running a special right now:
http://www.DeliveringOnThePromise.com/40620926 . But I also highly recommend looking into prepaid legal. Both of these options don't require keeping stock, but do require you to work on them to build them. My upline came home within her first year and I am on my way to bringing my hubby home.

Lastly if you want to try to find a way to be home now you may want to pick a home business to invest in (Ameriplan is 25 to start right now - I believe Prepaid legeal is 95 - Pampered Chef is 155 but you can host a show and use some of your earned product value towards your start-up (this is a FULL starter kit though - correct me if I'm wrong consultants! - I'm not sure what Romance is) and BUDGET. Cut corners for the time being. Look at your food budget - are you eating out more than twice a month? Can you buy a couple of heaters and use them instead of your heat system? What is your entertainment budget like? Find what can be cut out for now and work from there.

So do your research and find something that will motivate you. Coming home right away may not be realistic but work may be bearable if you have a plan in place to come home full-time.

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D.B.

answers from Eugene on

Hi Ali,
I totally understand the whole "I hate my job", though more because you want to be home than not liking the job itself. I looked into home based businesses, initially as a second income stream, but looking ahead to having that as my sole source of income. I decided on a nutrition based company because wellness is my passion and I love it! Let me know if you would like to hear more about it. There are many women in our company who, like you, just want to be home with their families, but cannot afford to give up the paycheck. Good luck,
D.

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M.G.

answers from Seattle on

I know exactly how you feel!
While my job is just fine, I HATE going to work and leaving my 10 months old at daycare.
I do not have the option of staying at home since hubby is going back to college for the next two years and only work PT, so mine is our only FT income (not to mention the benfits). I was able to adjust my schedule to work 4 10hr days instead of 5 8hr days - this gives me a full extra day with her, which I really enjoy!
I take solace in the fact that my baby girl LOVES her daycare, she is always so happy and playing with the other kids.
Our plan is for me to stay at home and go back to school once hubby is done with his degree and has a better paying job than he is holding now. This way I get to be with her when she will enter kindergarten and I get to be involved with her school, making sure she gets a good start.

Maybe you can set a similar goal for your family if quitting right now is not an option? Can you save up for a few months or a year and then stay at home for a while? Or maybe you can cut back your hours or find PT work.

Good luck and hang in there!

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B.D.

answers from Seattle on

I'm a single mother of a 5 yr old son. It isn't easy to be a full time working mom while juggling the tipsy turvy life of a child. I don't think it's ever going to be a cakewalk. I would love to spend all my waking moments with my son...making sure he's loved and cared for with all the best only a mother can give. Unfortunately, I know that isn't the case. I've learned that the best way to deal with it is to have a routine and just keep telling yourself...you're doing this for you and your boy. :D *hug*

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S.B.

answers from Portland on

wow What a delima. I work form home so i am able to stay at home. I run a daycare from my home so i am still able to take care of my children and run my business. Of course i would love to just be with my kids Also this helps my children because it gives them someone to play with. Now i also sell this great product called advocare which helps, my friend has been dong it for 3 years now and makes over 10,000 a month part time which allows her to stay at home. here is the website www.presentation4women.com, let me know if ur interested..Have a great day
S.

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B.G.

answers from Portland on

I understand the feeling!!! I opted to take on 1-3 day care kids (teachers' kids so I could have the summer off with my teacher husband), and it worked wonderfully. My son was able to learn social skills at an early age, and absolutely LOVED having friends around. If you take on no more than 3, besides your own, then you don't have to become licensed. Let me know if you have any questions!

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D.H.

answers from Bellingham on

There is a great book out there by Larry Burkett called "Women Leaving the Workplace". It's very encouraging and gives different percpectives on the subject. You will figure this out for yourself, but truly remember that this is a desire God has put on your heart....don't ignore it - He will work out all the details if you and your husband are willing to do what it takes. It's amazing to watch Him work!

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D.M.

answers from Anchorage on

What do you do at the clinic? Is there a possibility you could do something from home with your skills? Or even be a doula?

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T.P.

answers from Portland on

I did not read all 62 reponses, but wanted to say that I understand your feelings. I am a SAHM and am able to do so because my husband makes enough to support us on his income. We have had to tighten up our budget and be more frugal about things, but we do ok. We knew when I was pregnant that my income was not worth the time/daycare/gas money/stress that it would involve. My commute was 1 hr each way every day so my daughter would have to be in daycare for 10+ hours a day. Just not worth it. To prepare we put basically all of my income into savings for about a year before we got pregnant so we have a cushion in case my husband gets laid off or has to take a job with less income. Once my daughter is in school I plan on going back to work, but doing something I enjoy much more than the boring job I left.

I have known many SAHM's who were able to make it on much less than we earn (one friends husband is a school teacher and she stays home w/ 4 kids, they are just very frugal and good at budgeting). I think it is possible if you want it bad enough, but it does take sacrifices. You just have to decide if the cost is worth it.

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K.H.

answers from Seattle on

Hi Ali -
I've been in your shoes as have many others. I was lucky enough to have a boss and a job that let me set my own schedule so I could work once their father got home. There are other opportunities as well. Is it possible for you to telecommute? Have you thought about having a home-based business that you could work into your schedule? I'm a Mary Kay consultant and love being able to work it when I have time, not when someone tells me to. I have friends in various types of home-based businesses who chose that route for the same reason. If you like scrap-booking or stamping, Close To My Heart is a good company (Call Louise Johnson, ###-###-####, she's fabulous!) Or look into Tupperware, PartyLite candles, Cookie Lee Jewelry. Don't let your job suffocate you. And like others have mentioned, there will be sacrifices.
Good luck with your decision!
K.

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J.C.

answers from Seattle on

You and your husband CAN find a way that works. Stay at home Moms ( my older daughter is one) make sacrifices - use ingenuity - work at home -- any and all of the above - you can make it work for you -- or you could find some way to make peace with working. You can, I promise - find a way to have more joy and more satisfaction- it's all in your goals, decisions, and movement- what you move toward, and what you move away from

Blessings,
J.

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M.H.

answers from Seattle on

suggestions
1) If you calculate how much money you earn, and subtract how much you pay for day care, are you still making enough money to make it worth while?
2) Is it at all possible for you to work part time? I'm lucky enough, in my job, to have the ability to work four days a week. I find having Wednesdays off to hang out with my kid makes a huge difference for me. It is worth asking your boss about.
3) Do you like your job, aside from not being at home? If you just don't like your job at all, maybe you should consider leaving, and then when you go back.... down the line... look for a job that you are enjoying more. I think its easier to be away if you also feel fulfilled by your work.
If you do love your job, and just hate being away, go back and read #2 again - it may be worth seeing if there is a compromise so that you can do both things.

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D.R.

answers from Portland on

I am a SAHM of 3,it's very important to me to say home with my kids. My Mom worked when I was a kid, I hated it.
We manage by giving up some things. I have to budget and stick to it. I make a lot from scratch, we rarly eat out or get fast food. I don't buy prepackage snacks at the grocery store, I'm quite the bargain shopper. We don't go out much either. You just need to find ways to cut back, things that you really don't need. Set your priorities, what's more important to you? Also, figure out how much you are making an hour. You need to consider, day care costs, gas, lunches, cloths for work etc. Then decide if it's really worth your time to work. You can do it if you are willing to make changes.
Good Luck :-)
D.

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T.S.

answers from Yakima on

Ali~
You have already gotten a lot of responses on this, but I thought I'd put my two cents in.
Being a SAHM is not easy, but so rewarding. Budget is tight, we hardly do anything as a couple, unless you count going to friends houses for dinner...and that happens about once a month, or they come to our house.
What we did was we figured out everything to see where we'd be financailly if I quit working and stayed home. We found that in all actuallity we'd be slowly putting ourselves further and further behind because of daycare costs. So I stayed home and my husband picked up an extra coaching job. During this time off, I've finished my Bachelors degree and started on my MBA. Plus spent a wonderful 3 years with our DD. She is ready to go to pre-school...so we are thinking about me going back to work. We'll see......depends on if we are expecting another soon!!!:)
It's not easy staying home, budgets are tight, you get frustrated being home all the time. There are days when you feel like you don't have enough time to do it all, there are days when you feel like there is nothing to do.
HTH,
T. S.

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W.F.

answers from Seattle on

Hi Ali,
I work from home and love every minute of it! My company is called Isagenix. We are a wellness company offering all-natural cleansing products that help people live healthy lives with a side benefit of weight loss. The company is amazing and the compensation plan is fabulous. After my second child (now 3 and I have a 4.5 y.o.) I tried the cleanse and lost 6 pounds and 12 inches. I've gone on to lose 22 inches and 4 pant sizes from a 12 to a 6. Plus I have more energy and feel great. My website is www.wendyfitzgerald.isagenix.com. Check it out and give me a call so we can chat more about it. Now is the time to be involved with the wellness industry - it is growing by leaps and bounds! Hope to talk with you soon!

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N.R.

answers from Portland on

I worked full time until my son was 14 months old, for the same reason...I missed him terribly and had trouble giving 100% to my job. SO, I quit for one year to be with him full time. After that, I worked two days a week in the same type of business I had been in previously, while he was in a wonderful pre-school near the office where I worked. By the time he started half day kindergarten, I had sought out another part-time job near our school. When first grade started, I worked even more hours. My husband and I are good at setting a budget and living with it. Living with less is great trade off for always being home for our son. I hope you can work something out. It's worth it.

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