Stay at Home Mom Advice

Updated on September 24, 2008
S.B. asks from Kansas City, MO
56 answers

My husband and I want to have another baby, but with my current salary, child care for 2 kids would be 80 dollars less than my monthly take home, so hardly worth it. I'd like to be a stay at home mom until my kids go to school and I am unsure how to do so. we're trying to work our finances so that he can cover the 550 or so a month I contribute to our bills without giving up things that would make us miserable (cable for me, his online computer games for him). My question then becomes, how do you do it? I know it will be hard, and an adjustment, but I'm almost worried I would be shortchanging my girl who has a great day care lady. she is doing a lot of learning and things that I know I am unprepared to do. I also am pretty bad at meal planning and coming up with yummy, quick, and nutritous menues. And I'm afraid I wouldnt do well at planning both lunches and dinners for a family of 4 (or 5 if I get my way!). Do any stay at home moms have advice for me? Any is appreciated! It would probably be a year before I'd be able to SAH, since we havent even gotten pregnant yet with our second child, but I like to plan ahead.

EDIT: One thing I am good at and enjoy is sewing, but I'm not sure what kind of call there is for that sort of thing if someone wanted to work from home.

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So What Happened?

Thank you to everyone for your helpful responses and great ideas! Even though the idea of not working scares me, I have always wanted to stay at home with my kids. My husband and I have been having really good talks, and we're going to work hard the next few months to a year to make this happen. Even though I dont want to do direct sales or anything like that, I'm going to try to get something going with my sewing and/or take in a child to watch during the day to make ends meet. It might be harder, but we think it will be better in the long run.

Featured Answers

J.B.

answers from Kansas City on

You've gotten lots of responses, so someone may have already said this, but if you would be willing and able to take in mending/alterations for people, there's definitely a need. Not many people sew any more and even those who do, often don't have time or feel nervous about doing something for an important event, like hemming a bridesmaid dress for example. Put the word out, and I bet you will get quite a bit of work, especially if you are reasonably priced. Good luck!

S.M.

answers from St. Louis on

Hi Sara,
I stayed at home with my daughter when she was a baby and I made extra money by working a couple nights a week. This gave me a chance to get out of the house, gave my husband a chance to have time alone with my daughter and gave us an extra $400 a month. It took away a little family time but I thought being at home with my daughter all day and giving my husband time alone with my daughter was worth a couple nights a week.

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J.A.

answers from Kansas City on

You are VERY smart to plan ahead! Good for you... Although your kids have a good daycare worker now, what could possibly be better than being home with their mommy!?! My advise would be to practice living on just your husband's income and put yours in savings for several months. You'll never regret spending more time with your family. I just quit my high paying, high stress job yesterday to be a SAHM for a few months (will be looking for part time). I can hardly wait to get paid in hugs and kisses from my boys!!!

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S.F.

answers from Kansas City on

I just got back form our Wildtree conference in Cleveland and we are ROCKING!!! We are a new party plan in direct sales and we have been growing like crazy but still at that ground level in our buisness. We sell all natural food products and make meal planning easy and quick but taste delicious. We are always looking for people in our area to help grow and introduce our products to everyone. I do app. 8 parties a month and bring home over a $1000 a month and will be making more as the months come and go. If you would like to know more and learn what I do (which is extrememly easy) please contact me at www.stacyflynn.mywildtree.com. good luck

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A.H.

answers from St. Joseph on

We have three children (and one on the way), so I know what you mean about childcare costing more than you'd make at a job! I think if you keep a sense of humor, don't expect perfection (from your kids or yourself), and learn as you go, you'll find it's very rewarding for all of you. And you may find that TV isn't nearly as entertaining as all of the things you and your kids can find to do (as I did), and you might decide later to get rid of the cable after all.

I haven't read all of the responses, so forgive me if someone already mentioned this, but I've found the "Living on a Dime" website and books to contain lots of great money-saving (and stretching) tips!

The Hillbilly Housewife website also has tips for making simple meal plans and many inexpensive, easy recipes.

Meal planning is not difficult to learn (or to do), and there are TONS of recipes that take 30 minutes or less (and lots that take 30-60 minutes when you have some extra time), are nutritious, and taste good. If you buy fewer "convenience" foods and go out to eat less often, you will find that this saves a lot of money--plus, it's often healthier!

Do you have a slow cooker (aka "crockpot")? There are lots of meals you can just toss in it; turn it on and forget about it until dinnertime. It's not often considered a "quick" meal because it takes the food hours to cook, but it's not as though you have to be in the kitchen (or even at home) while it's cooking! The prep time is usually less than 5 minutes, and cleanup is easy, too.

As far as having a learning environment, you'd be surprised what kids (especially toddlers & preschoolers) will learn just by playing! Simple things will help, like singing the alphabet song and reading to her and the baby. Sit outside with her on nice days and let her explore. She'll learn about plants, animals, insects, weather, etc. Let her have some of your old clothes for dress-up. She'll learn creativity, she can role-play social situations and life skills, and she might even learn to button, zip, and tie things! She doesn't need to learn to read or count to 100 at this point, so as long as she's not plopped in front of the TV too often, don't stress over what is "educational."

Find yourself a social circle of a few other SAHM's if you haven't already. Not only is it great to have friends in similar situations to chat with, it's also a relief when another mom really knows what you're going through when things get stressful! Plus, other SAHM's are often willing to "exchange" babysitting. ;-)

Be prepared: most working mothers are wonderful, but a few will look down their noses at you because of your decision to stay at home. This is especially hurtful when they were good friends while you were working (this happened to me).

Also, some people will assume that you now spend all day watching TV on the couch eating bon-bons (my husband seemed to be one of these for the first 6 months, lol), and others will assume that you now have all the time in the world to handle volunteer projects and other things. If you haven't already, learn to politely but firmly say "NO" to things you don't want to do or don't have the time for!

HTH! Best of luck!
--A.

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J.R.

answers from Lafayette on

well, not only would you be saving on daycare, but gas, work clothing and eating out for you -- that all comes out to more than you might think. As for saving in other areas, maybe netflix over theater, cable has some package deals that might save some bucks if you ask about it, less name brand on the groceries, there is a section on drlaura.com i believe that has quite a few ideas on how to make it work since shes a big proponant of raising your own children. As for your daughter losing out on a good daycare person...she may be fabulous, but she cant replace mommy, you'll be GREAT!

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T.K.

answers from Kansas City on

Hello Sara! You have received a lot of great advice here. You will be so glad that you are planning ahead and will be able to stay at home with your kids. It is truly a blessing to be able to do so. I was in a similar situation as you and know my youngest is starting 1st grade this year! Time goes by so fast, you'll be glad you were able to be with them through those years! (They will be glad too!)

I believe someone mentioned all the $ you save on gas, clothing, car upkeep, going out to lunch, etc. by staying at home with your kids. When checking your car insurance, we were able to save quite a bit since I now drive under certain milage a year...I think I have to stay under 7,000 miles a year. Since I don't have to go to work and most of the events my kids and I are going to are close, this has never been a problem.

Also, you will be surprised at how much you really won't watch tv. We had basic cable for years and never felt like I missed out on things -- if the tv was on - the kids shows were generally on. Also, we just had the very basic phone service for years. Yes, at times they were both a challenge, but it was worth it for us.

I would also suggest joining a mom's club. I did this for several years and REALLY enjoyed it. I had someone else who was planning 1-2 outings a week for when I wanted to participate, I was connected to other stay-at-home moms, and got involved in playgroups for my kids. It really helped me as well.

In regards to food planning...their are SOOOO many ideas...just do some searches on line to fine what best suits your family needs. I also have a cookbook called Desperation Dinners that was one of my favorite when my kids were young. They were easy recipes that only took about 20 minutes. I still use several recipes on a regular basis, as they are some of my families favorites.

In regards to your sewing, if it's something you have a passion for, then find a way to market yourself. It may take a little time, but may be something to pursue. I also do some sewing and know that many people don't even own sewing machines anymore and look for people to do things for them.

If you enjoy sewing like I did, you may also have a "knack" for and enjoy decorating? I'm sure you'll get many emails about home based businesses in the direct selling field and it's something you may want to consider. When I started it was mostly for "ME"! It gave me some adult time and a "break" from my kids, have adult interaction, make new friends and make some GREAT money at the same time! (When you stay at home, you need to make sure you find some way to make some time for yourself.) What I love about direct sales is you can work when you want to work. So, I can schedule my home parties around my kids activities and work when it's convenient for my family.

I am excited to say that I have grown my business and will continue to work this business now that both of my kids are in school all day. They still want their mom before school, volunteering at the school, room mom, and to be home after school...and I can continue to do this!

If you decide to research the direct sales field, it's important that you ask a lot of questions and find the one that is a right fit for you. You have to believe in the product that you represent, like the product, and be able to have fun. If you are interested in finding out more, feel free to contact me through my website, no pressure, just information. I'm an executive with a company called At Home America, which is still pretty new to the Kansas City area, but is celebrating their 25th year in business! Feel free to check out my website at www.athome.com/tammiekelly !

No matter what you decide, you will not regret being at home with your kids! It is something that they will enjoy as well! Good luck to you too as you prepare for those new blessings and additions to your family!

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D.R.

answers from Joplin on

I'm glad you are thinking ahead. I was in your same shoes about 7 years ago. I wanted to come home from the Corporate America to stay at home with my kids plus make some income. Well I didn't and we are all home together and homeschooling to.

check out my websites:

www.workathomeunited.com/donnaryan
www.livetotalwellness.com/donnaryan

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A.S.

answers from Kansas City on

I won't say much because you've received a lot of advice already, but a book that I found very helpful was "Miserly Moms" by Jonni McCoy--it's about living on one income in a two income economy. She also has a web site www.miserlymoms.com. I would highly recommend this book (check it out at the library first if you aren't sure)and also her "Miserly Meals" with lots of inexpensive meal recipes and tips. I would also second the recommendation for Financial Peace University.

Another idea for your sewing skills would be to create and sell a product to others, a locally owned store, or even on-line. I've heard of moms making purses, clothes,and personalized baby blankets, etc.

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A.L.

answers from St. Louis on

I completely agree with Nichole C. Arbonne has been a blessing in my home. I am in a little different shoes than you are. I am a single mom who wanted the ability to be able to stay at home with my children and be there for all of thier events. Arbonne is making that goal a reality in my life.

Arbonne is a company that becomes a vehicle to drive you toward any goal that you want. Or a vehicle to help make your dreams a reality. How many companies can you work for that you can decide when you are ready for a raise and be the one in control of that happening.

Arbonne is about sharing! Sahring the product with those around you and sharing the opportunity with those whom you think could benifit.

This company is so giving and wonderful. With out having the marketing overhead or the office space to deal with for all of its employees. They have really passed on that profit to us as independent consultants!

Taking a look at this business plan is well worth it. Nochole is not located very far from you and I am sure has some great resources to help you gain information.

Good luck in your search!

Regards,
A. Lynch
Independant Consultant
Arbonne International

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J.S.

answers from Memphis on

I stay at home with my 3 kids and work part time a couple of evenings a week-it's the perfect situation for us. That way I get a bit of a break from my kids, plus bring in a little extra money. I also babysit part-time-fairly easy gig if you get one or two kids that are the same age as your own children. They'll play together, any activities you plan to do with your child, you can do with both. Plus, you already have all the toys/equipment. The best thing about babysitting part-time is you can charge a bit more, plus you have the other days to get out of the house with your own child to the park or whatever.
You'll find that without a full-time job, you'll have time to bargain shop, check the grocery ads Target/Walmart/Kmart for the cheapest items. You'll probably do less take out, eating out or buying premade meals-you'll actually have the time to sit down and plan a meal. You'll also save on gas, daycare, dry cleaning, etc. that's involved with working full-time.
There's lots of ways to save money-I use CraigsList and Freecycle to get most of my kids clothes and toys, plus many items for our home. Through freecycle, I've met some other moms and we have a clothes swap. Works great, I never have to pay for clothes.
If you want to stay home, almost any family can make it work. It may mean cutting out extras-we never eat out, go to the library-lots of free activities, plus books, movies, CD's for free. We don't go on vacations (unless grandma pays:))
Good luck with your decision. I figure I can always get a job later when my kids are in school, to help with bills and expenses, but I can never have this time back when my kids are little.

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A.B.

answers from Kansas City on

First, you will *never* shortchange your kids by being with them more. I'm glad you found a caring lady to watch her, but she's not mom. :)

Check out the book "1/2 Price Living" by Ellie Kay - she's got great suggestions.

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T.T.

answers from Lawrence on

hello, I work from home because i was in the same shoes you were. I have been working from home for almost a year and love it. I know that i can not afford child care for my three because the money i was making would of gone straight to the sitter so i looked into other things and found a health and wellness company i set up accounts for and get paid based on how many accounts you set up. I love doing it and being able to be home with my kids is the best things. i will never go abck to work outside the home again. i love the flexiblity and i can work from home or on the road while i am on vacation. there is no boss to answer to but yourself no comutting, and not gas out of pocket you can even work in your PJ's. how does this all sound? if interested you can go to my link through mama's source. here it is http://www.mamasource.com/business/4089113505305722881/de...

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K.M.

answers from Springfield on

Hi Sara,
You might like to join Cafe Mom. There are quite a few recipe groups to join and a lot of work at home groups to advertise, or check out something that might interest you. I recently joined and signed up for a few of the jobs and businesses through some of the groups. Here is the one I am trying because it did not require anything to start. You can be a Beautiful Diva representative, mineral makeup and skin care. It does not have any startup cost, and you are not required to purchase anything, and you get your own website. You get 20% from website sales and I think 50% from your personal sales. Check it out at
http://www.beautifuldiva.com/index.htm/?a_aid= Mineral-Makeup
There are many more listings to choose from, on a lot of different groups.
Here is the address for Cafe Mom also.
http://www.cafemom.com/

I also sew, and sell my items on Etsy. I don't make a lot but do make a few sales. I also sell items that I make on Ebay, at craft shows and on Friends for cash. Friends for cash has free auctions and store fronts for you to sell your items. I don't have anything listed on FFC right now but you can check it out if you want. Here is my profile. http://friendsforcash.com/Kathys_Lil_Creations

Good luck, and take care. I hope this helps a little, K.

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B.R.

answers from Kansas City on

I used to be a working mom that contributed about the same to our income. I chose to stay at home as well. One thing you could do is to work a part time job on the weekend. the downfall to that is that you lose family time. You could also find a stay at home friend that could watch your children for free (a friend that you would do the same favor for) and then have a part time job to recoup some of that money. Also, consider the added expense of feeding your children at home - and expense that your daycare provider currently incurrs. as far as meal planning - ask this site. they are really good at coming up with this or check out "Deceptively Delicious". That book is wonderful. It would be a HUGE adjustment, but you could do it. Also, who currently carries your insurance? We had to start paying for mine on my husbands (yet another expense). Also, consider a life insurance (term policy) on your husband if he will be the only bread winner in the family. If something happens to him, you need to be taken care of until you find employment. Just some things to think about. I am glad for the decision to stay home with my children. We don't eat out, we haven't been to the movies (except for the $1 for the kids) in forever and my wardrobe is in dire need of updating. Yet, we wouldn't send me back to work for the world. I will go back in 2 or 3 years when my oldest enters kindergarten and the youngest is about to. so, we will be well-dressed and entertained at that point ;) It is a big decision. Good luck.

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E.W.

answers from Kansas City on

Well, I know it's hard to give up, but we got rid of our cable, and got DSL. It really is just as fast. We also watch any shows that we would've watched on Cable TV, online. There aren't so many kids shows, but ours are perfectly happy playing with toys or watching some of their movies on DVD. My hubby and I save our TV time for after the kids go to bed and watch our shows online. ABC, CBS, NBC, etc. all have shows you can watch online and they work perfectly fine. Shorter commercial times, too. And, you don't have to worry about taping, DVR-ing, or TIVO-ing anything because they're already there! The video games online will still work with DSL, too. Trust me, it's not as slow as it used to be. We save about $50 a month on that. We also never go out to eat anymore. That saves a lot of money, too. We canceled our gym membership (which was REALLY hard to let go of!) and that saves us about $50 a month, as well. We go on walks with the kids, and I try to do some exercising from home. There are many sacrifices we've had to make to save some extra $, but they've all been doable and have changed the way we look at things. I'd say it's been an enlightening experience.

Things will be just fine, just have faith in yourself and your family. :)

God Bless,
Liz.

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N.C.

answers from Kansas City on

Hi Sara,

I second the advice about working with Arbonne International from home! You can bring in the $550 you need VERY quickly! I have been with the company for almost three years and am completely satisfied. I will retire with Arbonne! But, whatever you choose, make sure it is something you enjoy. I once heard that those who work with something they love are happy and content. That has been true for me. I am able to greatly contribute to my family's monthly financial needs and be there for my two little boys. Let me know if I can be of any more help!

Love,
Nichole

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C.G.

answers from Columbia on

My advice is on the activities for kids. I work in childcare mostly with the younger kids, so here are some of the things we do. I think it is important to plan "themes" around what the kids are interested in at the time. Make it child-directed.

You can use almost any thing you can find in the kitchen to put in a big tub for sensory play-
-mix corn starch and water to make a goopy mess!
-food colored water and mixing cups, funnels, and spoons for dumping and pouring

-dribble corn syrup and paint on some paper and let her smear it around. It ends up to be really shiny and pretty.
-let her stick pieces of torn construction paper onto the sticky side of contact paper.

You may notice that all of these activities are child-directed and the parent/teacher does not interfere at all with what they are making. At the center, we never alter what the child made, like make it into a craft or something "cute." Whatever they make is perfect the way it is. This helps with their creativity and sense of autonomy when they can make whatever they want.

As you probably know, kids just love to turn kid-music on loud and dance around. It's great exercise for them and is good for developing motor skills. When you're bored on a rainy day, it can be really fun for them.

Hope this helps a little. These kinds of things would be great too if you are watching several kids, like others have suggested.

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S.B.

answers from Kansas City on

Well good luck on the staying at home thing, but I could never do it. Barely made it through maternity leave, plus I just think my daughter gets more out of daycare than I ever could provide. But I know the cost of #2 is great. We had the opportunity to adopt my (adopted) daughter's 1/2 sibling, but just couldn't reconcile the daycare expense after having to pay $30+K for the adoption.

That said, I can tell you from first-hand experience that a sewing business can really make you some money. I had a PT sewing business for years, pre-marriage. I was always backed up with about 4 jobs. I mostly did house type sewing: drapes, pillows, duvet covers, bed skirts, etc. There is big money in that. Also, shortening hems can make you some $$. In the old days, I'd get about $10/hem and could do 2 an hour...you do the math! You just really have to be a professional about it. I have two sergers (black thread/white thread) and a hemming machine (which I'd be happy to sell to you!), so those things were priceless. Of course, since it was a business, the cost of my equipment was all deductible. Not sure if you want to claim your sewing income on taxes, but that way, it's all an expense. Then you really have to get your name out there. I had little biz cards made (this was pre-comptuer time) and would drop them off to whomever would take them at their sewing/fabric stores, etc. Also, if you can make connections with an interiors person, this is a great "in" for custom pillows, etc.

Wishing you best of luck on all of your decisions.

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E.O.

answers from St. Louis on

We were broadsided by the fact that I had to stay home with our preemie twins after they were born. Not what we planned!

So, here are some things to consider that you will save money on NOT working. GASOLINE (Biggie!), Lunches out, babysitter, work clothes. That's all I can think of off the top of my head.

What we had to do to make it work... I had to stop shopping so much (my favorite hobby :( ) ALso, some ideas in response to your post. GOOD LUCK! It's really worth it to stay home with your sweeties!

1-BIG ONE~ I started shopping at Aldi's for our food. I can buy food for our family of four and spend 100-130.00 **every TWO weeks** (and I like to cook some good food!) That one was huge as I used to shop at Dierbergs/Schnucks.
2-I get our meats in bulk from a butcher shop (cheaper, better quality)
3-I limit myself to 30.00 every two weeks on gasoline
4-leave the A/C off (windows open) on cool nights/days. Used to run it ALL the time.
5- Leave the A/C, Heater at more economical temps.
6-I shop at used clothing stores for my kids. (I like Once upon a Child) at their age the clothes are still nice!)
7-Free places to entertain the kiddo(s) parks, zoo, etc...
8-educational video's to learn abc's and counting. (Leapsters are great~) Im not good at teaching my kids that kind of stuff...
9-You like to sew, come up with an original product you can sell repeatedly on Ebay... Also, sew some of your kids clothes!
10-I switched from Lancome cosmetics to Walmart/Walgreen brands.
11- Wash clothes in cold, save some money there (they still get just as clean)

Ok, that's all I can think of. Just remember, it's not all about making up for your lost income, but how you can trim the extra "fat" spending.

GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

FYI, I personally tried several of the home based (Mary Kay, Avon, & BeautiControl) businesses and found that I do not have the time or left over energy (after chasing toddlers all day) to invest. IT does take a lot of time outside of the home, It can be fun but very hard to turn a profit on a minimal time input. -Plus if you look on Ebay you will see why so many fail. You can get the same products for Rock bottom $ on Ebay. Shameful but true!

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M.W.

answers from Wichita on

Hi, Sarah. If you know how to sew, and like to do so, then you should be able to take in mending, and possibly altering. These are things you can do while your children are napping, or awake. I used to take in mending, and made good money at it. Jeans are always needing patching for someone, hems need to be let down, or raised, zippers break in just about anything they are put in, so you could change them easy enough. Someone is always getting married, and needing the attendents gowns sewn, or altered. There is a whole world out there that needs to be mended, and it is a good way to be able to stay at home with your children.

Baking is another way you could make some money. There are single guys out there who would pay someone to bake for them, or make meals that they just had to "nuke", and eat. I lived in a small town, and a construction crew came to our town, and there was no cafe in the town. I made meals for them, and they ate the meals at my home, and paid me to cook for them. I fixed balanced meals, with dessert, and they paid me the same that they would have had to pay in a cafe, and I really did make money on the deal. And I was a single mom, who did work outside the home also, but didn't have to put in as many hours when feeding that crew of six. They were great guys that were tired of the cafe-scene.

Anything that you are good at, you can make money at home doing. Just make up a flier, make copies, and put them up in places like gas stations, cafes, grocery stores, or where ever, letting people know what service you are going into.

Good Luck!!!

Heather

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L.L.

answers from Kansas City on

I have been a stay at home mom for over 8 years and we do just fine! If you are working only to pay daycare costs, then you all should be able to make it without having to give up those few extras too- if daycare goes away, and your paycheck that only paid daycare, you can make it work.

Staying home is rewarding and also very hard! make sure you have a good base of friends to talk to for your sanity and get used to not getting pay raises or vacation days but know that staying home is the most rewarding when you see your baby's new step etc.
Hang in there, either way, you all can make it work!

S.L.

answers from Kansas City on

Well, how about this. If you are really only clearing 550 now, you could watch one infant child for someone else. Charge 130 per week. Charge that week flat whether or not they are there and even for the full 52 weeks per year. That would be an average of 563 per month. If they know you will only have yours and theirs, they will be glad to pay for the individual attention you can provide. If you are watching just one child and using just say half your house to do so, you'll end up with about 10-20% of deductible expenses from rent/mortgage insurance, utilities, repairs, etc. If you use all your house this would be closer to 35% deduction which with todays utility costs could amount to quite a bit of a deduction. You could deduct the cost of someone doing your taxes, wet ones, paper products, food, toys, anything that is used in the care of that child. Since many of these things are used in part by your own daughter, it's not a bad deal at all. Your tax liability would be pretty low.

The rest will come. You can learn a lot about meals just surfing the web.

Suzi

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R.C.

answers from Wichita on

HI, I don't have time to read all the previous responses, but in case no one has yet suggested it, have you thought about making cloth diapers? Look at
http://www.greenmountaindiapers.com/
many of their brands are made by sahms, and there are dozens, maybe hundreds, of similar sites. There are also numerous sahms selling diapers on ebay. Plus you could save money by using cloth dipes yourself. There's a whole community of wahms (working at home moms) and cloth diapering and probably some patterns as well at mothering.com (go to discuss)

Maybe sending you daughter to day care a couple days a week would let her keep that connection, and let you get some work done, but you'd still be with her most of the time.

good luck!

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J.G.

answers from St. Louis on

Hi Sara~
There are many great at-home businesses. I promote Shaklee (green health products - water, air, baby & skin care, Get Clean, supplements/herbs). This is a fit for me, but may not be a fit for you. But honestly, ALL at-home businesses require money for general operations & it may take a few months to grow your business.
I have a friend who works 2-3 evenings a week at Olive Garden, but stays at home with the kids during the day. No need for childcare when dad is home! Just a thought for you. :)
I really hope you are able to work this out for your family. Staying at home is wonderful & I would search every alternative to be able to!
Blessings,
J. Grimm
www.JessicaGrimm.com

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J.S.

answers from St. Louis on

When I first started staying at home 11 years ago we gave up my teacher salary. It was very tight, but you would be suprised how you can make it work. have you taken in to account what you spend on gas to and from work or work attire and lunches out. Sewing is something alot of us aren't very good at and end up paying people to hem or make curtains. I think if you put the word out you could get something going. I watched another child in my home to help off set the costs. As for meal planning there are soo many books to help with low cost easy meals. Check out your library and start the recipe gathering. When you are at home you can start meals ahead of time which does make it easier. There is a great crock pot cookbook call Fix it and forget it. Good luck! It is a leap of faith for most of us when we start to stay home, one I'm glad we took!!

J.( mother of 11 year old and 8 year old twins)

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L.B.

answers from St. Joseph on

I was intriqued by your request...and want to specifically address the sewing. I've been an ebay buyer for nearly 3 years and do a lot of trolling on there...having 2 kids very close in age I occasionally like to dress them in the same outfits so they are easier to find in bid crowds...having said that, there aren't many companies out there that do matchy match outfits (Gymboree generally only does one summer and one at X-mas). That would be an idea.

Custom made baby stuff...custom made cartoon stuff...My son is HUGE into Ben 10..there is one lady (troll Ben 10 t-shirts) on ebay, who made these shirts BEFORE everyone else and has made a killing on them! Literally...the networks are NOT keeping up with the demand...Handay Manny, Miss Spider, Calliou, etc...anything you can do to create your own niche in a market that has no supply for the demand...you are IN. It will take you a little while on research and testing your stuff on your kids but I know you will find something.

Another idea is to get into the Botique clothes...they are so darn easy to make...again go trolling on ebay...same sellers making these cookie cutter outfits that cost you a pair of jeans/bib overalls (which you can stock up on sale) and the fabric and they are selling for nearly $80 a pop!!! No kidding! Absolutely darling.... and if you get moving now, you could even whip up some home made Halloween costumes...easy to make, hard to find DOODLEBOPS...for ages through size 8-10 (my daughter is only 3 but based on some sizing she's already wearing 8s...just not in length). Another one is Stephanie & Sportacus off Lazytown...not a lot out there and easy as pie to make...I just suck at sewing but have cut enough patterns for my sister and can visualize how things will go together to make it work.

Also, I don't know where you live or how extensive your sewing ability is...but if you are close by where a Renaissance Fair is held people are ALWAYS looking for costumers...if you can do corseting with steel boning you will make a fortune!!! People think corsets suck but they've obviously never tried them...honestly, if I have a good steel boned corset it is FAR better to wear than a bra (ewww) and much more comfortable...my back doesn't hurt when I go to bed either!

Advertise locally. I would get some business cards printed up (don't chiz and do it yourself...those cards run and look cheap) and put them in the high end shops in your area...money pulls money and everyone likes to say they have their own seamstress (even if all she makes is tableclothes, runners, or curtains for them...LOL). Best of luck!!! email me if you have any other questions. L.

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V.S.

answers from St. Louis on

Try kraftfoods.com for recipes...they are quick, easy and very good. You can also sign up for a free monthly magazine that will have even more recipes. That will be a big help with menu planning.

Sewing could be a great thing for you to do on the side...provided you'll have time to do it with 2 (and possibly 3) little ones at home with you. I've gone to stay-at-home mom seamstresses for repair work on clothes and making curtains. Many people are happy to support a stay-at-home mom's side work. Before you leave your full-time job, get the word out to co-workers that you'd like to start sewing for a little extra money. Also, if you're involoved in a church or some other community organization, let them know as well. Word of mouth is the best way for that kind of thing to spread. The lady I take my things to charges $10 an hour and she was able to quit substitute teaching because she had so much sewing work coming in!

I advise you and and your husband to think long and hard about whether or not online games and cable TV are REALLY necessary for you both to be happy. With 2, and possibly 3 eventually, little ones to care for, neither of you are going to have the time you'd like for those things. They may be luxuries you find you're able to temporarily give up in order for the greater good of your family.

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S.H.

answers from St. Louis on

hi just a suggestion if your great at sewing is i have noticed people really go for items made for the american girl dolls, you can sell on ebay just look through and AG catalouge to get idea's on what the clothing looks like and make them similar. there are plently of patterns on line and at craft stores
Good luck!
P.S. I am aSAHM and to contribute to finances i do daycare part-time

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J.B.

answers from St. Louis on

I've been a SAH mom for 20 years and I love it! I also had a home daycare for 20 years and have helped many families out by watching their children. Also making money for me to contribute to the household expenses.

Currently, my daycare is still running well, and I am raising my 2 youngest children and my grand daughter comes here everyday as well.

I've had people look down on me because I don't "work"!! Oh but I do and it's an underpaid job too. I'm told to get a real job...what is more real than raising your own children but also raising other families children as well.

I would start making a recipe folder with menus in them. Also look at the school menus and see what they are serving and copy them. Look on the internet for menus and as well as activities for the kids to do during the day. You can print out alot of stuff for kids to do.

Good Luck
Jen

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L.S.

answers from Wichita on

I do think there is a demand for someone who sews, especially window treatments, pillows, ect ect. I hope this works out for you and bravo for your husband trying to figure out a way for this to work. Bravo for you too for wanting to give it a try. Hope it works out for you.

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K.B.

answers from Wichita on

HI Sara!
I had just finished my college degree when we birthed our son and I decided to stay home. It definately wasn't an easy choice but I felt that it was best for our son. SO, yes you can do it! Money is very tight and we often find ourselves wondering where/how we're going to get gas/groceries, but we are always reminded that we're doing the right thing for us when we see our happy son! Also, there's no replacement for mom/dad in the first few years of life... So, we always have that in the for front of our minds to get through the 'hard' times. As for all the other concerns like cutting things out of the budget, food, planning meals.... I have to say that you just kind of figure out what works. Deciding to be a stay at home mom is definately a journey that's always changing! I love using the "WHOLE FOODS FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY" cookbook. It has wonderful, simple, healthy, quick meals. AND great snack suggestions, healthy treats and ways to organize your food pantry accordingly. You could check it out now and start cooking from it to get used to it. I hope this helps some... good luck with the adjustment!
K.

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L.B.

answers from St. Louis on

I don't know where you live but we have Sew n Vac's in St. Louis area. I would go to places like that and leave a business card. You can have those made up pretty cheap and vistaprint.com. (no, I don't have stock! :)) Put cards up at grocery stores, walmarts etc... All kinds of folks need a seamstress now and then.

Or you could babysit yourself. Not sure if you think your organized enough for that. It pays good but is not easy. I did it for the first four years.

Good Luck,
L. B

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V.M.

answers from Wichita on

Hi Sara,

I work from home and LOVE it!!! I was faced with the delima of finding a job or drastically changing our budget due to my husband's health issues and early retirement. Our income was literally cut in half, but our debt was not! Someone told me about a business opportunity with Arbonne. I was very leary and skeptical because I've tried just about everything out there, but I did look into it and began to think....this just might work!!! I'm so grateful someone told me about it, and even more grateful that I took the time to get all the info I could so I could make a decision that was right for me.

Arbonne is a health & wellness company dealing in natural personal care products from baby care to grandparent care. I work about 10-15 hrs a week around my otherwise hectic schedule and make pretty good money. I thought, what do I have to lose and what if this really does work, so I jumped in and within a few months I was making about $500-$700 a month. My checks continue to grow without me working more hours and I love it. I'm now an Area Manager making a full time income. I've been able to pay off debt, be home so I can help with my grandkids (one has downs and I'm so grateful I can be the one who cares for her), and have more time to spend with my family while contributing to family income. I've been able to pay for vacations and remodeling on our old victorian home.

I do travel to the KC area quite a bit and would love to share more info with you, either in person or over the telephone. The company is also building it's international market and that makes for even more opportunity. I now have clients and a business builder in Australia and I met them online. I was fortunate enough to travel to OZ last summer for the company's launches...a dream I've always had and Arbonne made it a reality....and it was a tax writeoff!!!

You can check out my website, click on the links to learn more. Email me if you would like more info. I love this business opportunity and the products because they GIVE RESULTS!!! And I love sharing it with others. You say it would be about a year before you sould be able to stay at home and if you work this business along side us you would be amazed at the income you could be up to in that time frame.

What ever you decide to do, best of luck to you. Being able to stay home with your kids is truly a blessing. We have lots of ladies who have started their Arbonne business and were able to quit their full time jobs and make the same or better money on very part time hours. It doesn't hurt to at least check it out....I'm thankful I did!!!

V.
[email protected]____.com
www.vickimartinez.myarbonne.com

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A.R.

answers from Oklahoma City on

There is a great book out there- I think it is called Living on 1/2 your income or something close to that. I recommend library trips often. You can get movies, TV series, exercise videos and parenting books for you. The kiddos can pick out books and movies and play on the computer while you are there (once they are a little older). Just read on any topic you feel you'd like to make better-cooking, play ideas.
I personally think the trade off is worth it to stay home. Your kids will pick up the same skills from you if you include them in things you are doing and talk to them and read to them. I let my kids help cook and bake from the time they were 2-3 (One was ready earlier than the other). Now they can get anything out of the cupboards and fridge, crack the eggs into a separate bowl, peel carrots, and so on. They are now six and four and a big help because I have let them help me all along (even when it was more trouble than help). Also, they are learning math when they help me cook along with fine and gross motor skills. Don't worry too much about the learning. It will happen. And the bonding just can't be beat. I am also a working mom, but I am my own boss. So I can work things around their schedule. For childcare, I trade with a couple of other moms throughout the week. My sister sews for people and loves it. She makes all kinds of gifts for us and has requests from people for curtains and the like. Let me know if you want more ideas about that. I have several. God bless your efforts. :)

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C.L.

answers from Kansas City on

If your budget will be very tight, there are some programs you could look into, such as WIC if you qualify, it helps a lot with formula etc... Then as your child gets older they help out with milk, eggs, cheese, cereals, juice etc... As a single parent that helped me out a lot. They also have a nutrition program that gives you lots of healthy meal ideas. You can google lots of different recipe sites to search for easy healthy meals. As far as lunches, just keep it simple. Lunch meats, and fruits or veggies, soups etc... healthy and simple! Gerber even makes these lil dinners for toddlers you can buy and pop in the microwave for a bit to warm up for lunch! My son used to love those! When chicken, turkey, or hamburger is on sale, stock up on it and freeze it. Casseroles are easy, simple, and can be healthy too! It sounds harder then it is I suppose, but once you start in on planning your meals and cooking, you'll find it's fun! Especially as your kids get older and can help out. Good Luck and think positive!

P.S. As for your sewing, you could always make baby blankets, or other cute little trinkets and sell them on E-bay! My Gramma makes awesome baby blankets she taught me how to make, I've made a couple for friends, and they always get compliments and asked where to buy them, so I'm thinking of possibly even doing that! Not much of an extra income, but it's something to keep you busy and productive!

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B.C.

answers from Kansas City on

Hi Sara! One piece of advice I would give would be to take a Financial Peace class. My husband and I took this last fall and I taught it in the spring. We were able to really get a handle on things and he was actually able to take a new job that was a $4 cut in pay, just b/c we got on a budget, quit eating out, etc. Depending on what area of town you live in, your sewing skills might come in pretty handy. I live in Gardner and to my knowledge there is no seamstress around anymore. We used to have a little shop in town where you could get things hemmed, but it has closed. She also did embroidery (names, etc.). Meal planning - the Aldi website has a cool meal planner with recipes and it will even spit out a shopping list for you :) Also another site shared with me is hillbillyhousewife.com - budgeted shopping for meals and they plan 3 meals a day - check them out.

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C.G.

answers from St. Louis on

You also want to consider the other things you will save money on-gas, eating out for lunch, etc. I have been a SAHM for 6 1/2 years, and wouldn't have it any other way. We were in the same boat, I was only making just over enough to cover what our daycare would have been. Whatever you decide to do, you will make it work-out of necessity!

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D.V.

answers from St. Louis on

Good for you for wanting to stay at home with your children! I love being home with my kids (though there are days when I would love a break!!). My husband & I feel that it is very important for children to have their parents raise them instead of a day care. Also, you only have 5 years to be home with them until they are in school all day, so I say make the most of the time you have with them now. Once they begin school, so much of your time with them is lost to homework, dinner, and bed-times.
We took a huge dip in finances when we decided that I would be home with the kids during the day. I quit my full-time job when my maternity leave was up after my first baby (We now have a 3 1/2 yr old daughter, and our son will be 2 ina few weeks). I got a job working part time from 3-11 p.m. at a hospital in the admitting department (I provide our family health insurance as my husband is self-employed so I have to work at least part time). I am able to be home all day with my children and my husband is home in time for me to leave for work. I only bring home about $300 a month now, plus the benefits. It was an adjustment for us. Some of the things we did to cut expenses:
1) we got rid of caller id/call waiting, etc on our land line and now we only pay about $15/month. We use our cell phones for long distance calls (we kept them because my hubby can use it as a business write-off);
2) We stopped going out to eat (we will go maybe twice a month to McDonald's with the kids);
3) I shop at Once Upon a Child or other second-hand shops for clothes, and I take our clothes in to get store credit to buy more clothes. Most of the time the clothes are in very good condition, some still have tags on them. You do have to take your time when you shop. I also have asked friends if they have any clothes their kids don't fit in that we can use. I try to take good care of my kids' clothes so I can trade them in. Most of the time, I can take clothes/toys in and get enough in store credit to outfit my kids for the next season. If you can sew, you may be able to make some items for your children, though I don't know how much patterns and material cost. It may still be cheaper to shop second-hand. 4) I plan out my lunch and dinner meals every week and try to stick to them. For lunch, we have various soups, grilled cheese, peas & carrots (canned), corn, hot dogs, speghettios, pizza, ham sandwiches (which I cut with cookie cutters to make it more fun to eat), peanut butter and jelly, chicken tenders (we like the Tyson frozen ones best). For dinner, I rotate between hamburgers and tater tots with a vegetable, speghetti and meatballs, tortelini, baked chicken breasts with various coatings (shake & bake- my kids love to help shake!, fried french onions), baked pork chops, a cheesy shell lasagna, chicken casarole, scrambled eggs and pancakes, various slow cooker recipes like Italian beef & pot roast, we eat varied veggies with our meals including broccoli, carrots, peas, corn, baked beans, mashed potatoes, cauliflower, etc. Our kids eat most of what is made and very seldom do I give them something different. It does take more time to plan out my meals, but it makes my once-a-week trip to the grocery store less time-consuming. We also eat apples, oranges, bananas, grapes, granola bars, raisins, cups of peaches and mandarin oranges, fruit chewies, pretzels, teddie grahams as snacks. I buy a lot of the store brands on many items. Most of them seem to taste fine, but I do still buy Campbell's soups and the Del Monte peas & carrots.
5) We don't go out often to movies, etc. We have movie night at home with popcorn, pull the shades, etc. The kids love it!
6) We are very selective in the birthday and Christmas gifts we buy. We research the prices and I try to make sure they are a good fit for the kids, and that they will continue to grow into them.
7) We keep our credit card debt waaaaaay down. We only have one credit card and it's balance is kept very low. We also don't buy a lot (almost nothing) on credit to keep our monthly bills lower.
8) We are actually going to get rid of our satellite and only have an antennae on our TV for a while and see how it goes. I have recorded my kids' favorite shows so they can still see them if they want. They seem to want to watch the same ones over and over anyway. This is going to be a challenge for us, but I think we will use the time to play with the kids more, take them for more walks, read more, talk more, etc. I'll have to let you know how this one goes!!
I know this is very long, but I wanted to tell you what things we've done. You can email me at [email protected]____.com if you want to chat more, or want any of my meal recipes.
Good luck!

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S.P.

answers from Kansas City on

Hey S.! We were in your exact same boat when we decided to have a 2nd child. By the time we paid child care for both of them there wasn't enough left of my salary to make it worth working. Well, I tried to remain at the same company with a variety of different schedules and even tried doing my work from home. That still took too much time away from my kids and stressed me out trying to do the same amount of work in a shorter amount of time. I decided to start my own business with The Pampered CHef!! I love what I do!! This business can also help you with your meal planning, Pampered Chef offers lots of simple, CHEAP, very yummy recipes!! Plus right now is the best time to start your business...The Pampered Chef is giving new consultants a chance to be reimbursed for 1/2 of your start up cost!! This is awesome! Please contact me for more information!! I would love to tell you more about my business and also help you with your meal planning!!
Thanks,
S.
###-###-####
[email protected]____.com

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C.S.

answers from Kansas City on

I had this same fear after having an unplanned adoption drop in our lap. When the adoption opportunity presented itself we thought we had 3-6 months to prepare. After 3 weeks we were called on a Monday and they had a little girl who would need to be picked up the following Friday. We had pretty much planned on me staying home with our children when we had them but we were still trying to pay some things off before that happened. God had other plans. We picked up our daughter in September and thought I would be able to work through the end of the year but our daughter's needs over-ruled. I ended up quitting my job...all this in just a 4 week span!!! It was very scary but we knew that it was the best for our child. We shopped for the best home owners, life and car insurances to be sure that we were getting the best deal; removed all the bells and whistles from our phone, went to the most basic DSL, cell and cable. I had to really make sure that we had a good budget put in place month after month and had to get into the habit of planning meals prior to grocery shopping, sticking to just what was on the list. With gas prices we now plan our outings so that I can get everything done on the same trip...that is if its not within walking distance. I've begun walking a lot. My daughter loves the outdoors...even in this heat. We walk to the library several times per week, stop at the grocery store, & local farmers market as needed. Sometimes the stroller gets pretty heavy but I just get more exercise that day. We are now up to 5.5 miles, even in this humidity! Although she is only 20 months I work with our daughter quite a bit through an online program called bright beginnings, which used to be called the letter of the week. They have programs for babies on up to 7 or 8 years that are great. My parents as teachers educator has always been impressed with my daughter's progress as well as a reading teacher friend of ours. I get all of the books from the library and many of the other resources online so there is no charge. I also joined our local Mom's Club chapter, which provides support for SAHM's along with activities and play groups for the kids. Cable is going away after the Olympics. I didn't think I could get rid of it but now that I've been home for a while I've noticed that I mostly have time to watch the news or some of the local channels. Mostly our TV plays our daughter's educational videos, most of which came from our library. We have had to make sacrifces that were a bit scary at first but now that we have seen the pay off we are pleased. It's good that you have time to plan this out a bit. You can do it and you will be pleased that you did. So will your girls!! Good luck!

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R.L.

answers from St. Louis on

Dear Sara,
I have been a stay at home Mom for 23 years. I still have two children in high school, so I'm trying to make it a few more years so I can enjoy all their activities. It is always a struggle. Now, that they are older, it's even more expensive. You just have to prioritize. That may mean giving up a few things. But, if it's what you want to do, it will be worth it.
Good luck with whatever you decide.
R.

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J.B.

answers from Kansas City on

I can't believe you said you'd be shortchanging your daughter by having her stay home with you instead of sending her to her "great day care lady"! You are definitely underestimating the power of just being with mommy. The learning comes naturally when you spend time with your kids. As far as financial questions or concerns you should check out Dave Ramsey...

Good luck!

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C.B.

answers from Topeka on

Do you know that alot of people near where I live need people who can sew well. I live on an Arrmy base though. Alterations is a major market for guys who wear uniforms all the time. I had the same problem as you though. thats why I joined Avon. Now I stay at home with both of my kids all the time plus make enough income to make a difference. And Avon isnt like any HBB you will ever find, they are the #1 beauty business in the world and have been around for over 120 years.

Check it out: See the opportunity:
http://data.youravon.com/media/opportunitypresentation/pl...

D.H.

answers from Kansas City on

Try a home based business. You can start it while you are trying and then pregnant and then when it gets off the ground a bit you can do it full time. You can do that and stay at home with your children. Even if your business requires you to leave in the evening for a few hours, that is a great time for dad to spend some quality time with the kiddos. That way you can contribute to the bills as well as stay with your kiddos. Do the research and you'll be pleased. Good luck and God Bless.

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J.B.

answers from Wichita on

Good for you for planning ahead! We moved while I was pregnant with my second and it turned out we could afford for me to stay home, which was unexpected. My advice would be to put all of your current income into savings (or use it to pay off debts: credit cards, car payments, etc) so you are already used to living on just your husband's income. It's great practice on how to be more thrifty. I wished I'd practiced, it was harder to stop eating out and just buying stuff for our new home, I went through some savings pretty quick! I now get some spending money from my husband so I can spend money without having to always ask him. There's an adjustment there when you don't have your own money. Take advantage of your skill of sewing, I can't do it so there are others out there that can use your help! You will never regret being at home and being the one to help shape who your children will become! Definitely get involved with a mom's group, church, etc to help keep your sanity and keep in touch with other adults! Good luck with your decision!

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K.J.

answers from Wichita on

Sara, I believe it is totally achievable for you to be able to stay at home. You may consider one or more of the following: 1) Watching a couple of children in your home part time, which would provide extra income AND give your children the social interaction they will most definately need. You could even talk to your local licensing surveyor to find out how to be a registered or licensed provider, and have the freedom to take on as many or as few children as you like and possibly get paid to feed them all through state funded food programs! 2) Get on board with flexible "home show" type business like Silpada Jewelry. You can set your own schedule and do shows a few evenings a month when your husband is home with the kids. It is great for getting Mom out of the house and around other women! 3) AVON! This is a great business because you dont have to do "shows" and can work as little as much as you want and get GREAT discounts on products for your own family as well!

Checkout menusformoms.com for some great meal planning and shopping organization. It is excellent! And remember the internet is FULL of preschool activities for you to keep your little ones learning and having fun at the same time. OR find a book that contains a year's worth of activities, they usually put together small "lessons" for you!

Best of luck!

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J.N.

answers from Wichita on

Good Morning Sara,

It is great that you are planning ahead. I used to work full time as a mom of 2. My hubby changed jobs and we moved and I am able to be a SAHM now. It took me a year to adjust tho. I love it now. You either love it or you don't like it. It is a 24 hour, seven day a week job. Lots of fun! There are challenges too. You learn as you go because each child likes different things (ie one will like art and the other one may like to read). I got involved with meeting people at church, the library, and through preschool. I've heard MOPS is great too. You can also set up play dates that way your daughter learns social skills. Make sure you interact with adults to keep your sanity.

If you want to contribute you can seek out an at home business to do while you are at home with the children. I would start the business before number 2 comes around so you can get a feeling of what your income will be and also try to pay off debts if there are any. Take one day at a time. Good Luck and Best Wishes.

Jen

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B.S.

answers from Joplin on

From what you have said, I am not at all sure you really do want to stay home ? You seem to have a lot of fears about what you think you can't do. Perhaps it might be better for you to seek a promotion, a raise, or even a better job ? If you are determined to stay home, more power to you.
It's just like any other job ... you learn as you go. In order to get ahead, you ask questions, (as you are doing now) you experiment with different ideas until you find what works for you, and you treat it like a job. Make a "game" of it when you are searching for ways to cut costs. Pat yourself on the back when you find them. Don't forget that pennies add up, so just because saving a few pennies here and there doesn't seem worth the trouble, add those pennies up at the end of the month and see how they grow.
Keep a notebook of every penny you spend. After a month or so, you will see a LOT of areas where you could easily cut back, or do things a little differently.
Network with other moms for temporary childcare when needed, co-op buying, and sharing everything from clothes to toys to coupons to even big ticket items.
Don't be ashamed of hand-me-downs. To recycle perfectly good clothing, toys, furniture, etc. is just being a good steward of your resources. And most of the time, no one will know the item is a hand-me-down unless you TELL them it is. Just don't tell ! :o)
YES ! There IS a big calling for good seamstresses that work from home. If you can do even minor alterations well, and manage your time and money, you can make a very good business of it. You need to understand however, that it takes time for word-of-mouth to get around that you do this service. So don't count on the profits to help much at first.
I have worked outside the home, as well as been a stay at home, and I found that I could learn to do and enjoy either.
I wish you all the best.

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M.W.

answers from Kansas City on

I never thought I would stay at home, but was teaching part-time when I got pregnant with my second child. We'd already seen a cut in pay so making the adjustment to nothing, wasn't too difficult. Maybe you could try doing that for a year or so before quitting completely. I think the hardest was the first year. Realizing what you REALLY need and don't need, and then once you get past it, you will realize that being home is the best thing for your kids.

While you are home with your kids you could always substitute teach a little in order to make some extra money. I know in our school district it takes 60 hours of college to sub. When I started subbing a friend of mine and I would just take turns watching each others kids that way neither of us had the added expense of day care. It didn't bring in a lot of money, but enough to make it extra and also it was nice to get out of the house once in awhile!

For meals: I subscribe to kraftfoods.com and they email me recipes quite often which would help you with meal planning. Most of them are quick, simple and nutritious!

As for activites; I do a lot of the free things through our local library. Weekly they have stories, baby time, crafts, etc., and it is all free. There are many things throughout the city with similar kinds of activities and again are free.

Something we did to cut expenses was to cut out the movie channels on our satellite. It saves us at least $30 a month. I didn't think I'd like it, but I monitored just how much time we spent watching them and realized it was hardly anytime!! Also, for movies you can always check them out at your library for free! I also comparison shopped for things. Wal-mart will price match anything! It has saved us bundles!!

If you like to sew you could always do your own business adding on to clothes-boutique. I see so many things out there where people adding an embellishment here or there to clothes they bought cheap at target/walmart and make quite a profit.

Good luck with Baby #2! It takes a special person to stay home with their kids and financially anyone can do it, just many don't really want to.

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L.F.

answers from Kansas City on

I really don't have much different advice to share from what has already been given. Being a SAHM is the most rewarding job I've ever done and I'm sure you'll be blessed beyond your imagination. There are always ingenious ways to cut cost from your budget and as far as being concerned about meal planning and structured activities with your kids...that'll fall into place. My only advice is progress not perfection! And, even though you'll be home full time still make dates for yourself once in a while.

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D.L.

answers from Topeka on

I'm not sure where you are located but I do know there is a need for seamstresses in Manhattan. Between my daughter's Girl Scout patches and my husband's army patches, I spend my time trying to find someone to do them. But, back to your original question, I kept one child at home the same age as my kids so I had extra income. Possibly the age of your older one so she has someone to play with while you are busy with the baby. For menu ideas, get a copy of the local elementary school menu and do what they do for each day so you don't have to come up with any ideas for lunch.

Good luck,
D.

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K.W.

answers from Kansas City on

Have a little faith in yourself. These are your kids, you love them, and you'll do fine. It's good that you're concerned about doing fun, educational things for your kids and feeding them varied, nutritious meals. If you want to do it, you will. There are always good ideas in the FREE Mother and Child magazines that you can find around town. Also, check online and ask your friends. Join a playgroup in your neighborhood. You can get some meal ideas in the Food section of the Star, although they are sometimes hit-and-miss as far as I'm concerned.
Another savings I found when I started staying home (besides day care) was that I was spending far less on clothes and shoes. That might help justify your decision financially.
Finally, if you're good at sewing, you might check around with some local decorators. They're always looking for people who can help with re-upholstering, and making curtains and pillows. If you get a job or two a month, it could bring in a little cash. Heck, I wish I knew someone who sewed.
Good luck to you.

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J.H.

answers from Kansas City on

You may have already been advised of this, but have you considered childcare out of your home? For the amount you want to contribute you would only need to watch maybe one child full time. Not a bad idea when you consider that you will be home with your own children (which is invaluable for everyone in the family) and also that your children would have someone to play with. It's always worked well for me. On the flip side though, if you do something like that word gets around fast and you have to be able to say No otherwise you'll be getting phone calls every time you turn around from people needing you to watch their child. But it's something to think about. Good luck!

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V.F.

answers from Topeka on

My opinion is that anyone can make it work at staying home with the kids. I was always at home the first year or more with each of our three kids. I did do some bookkeeping to make a little money. Some people do day care with just 1 or 2 children. If you love to sew maybe you could make baby bedding and sell it to friends etc. The important thing is that you and your husband are in agreement. You may also want to consider an evening or weekend job just to "get out of the house" for awhile.

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T.O.

answers from Kansas City on

I decided to stay home when my kids were born. We did make some sacrafices like we rarely went out to eat and I always went to the store with a list and tried hard to stick to it. I did join a mops group, there we shared lots of recipes and acted as a social outlet for each other. I tried to find cheap or free things for the kids to do such as going to movies or craft time at the library and playing at the mall play place, mcdonalds play place, or the park. Meal planning was really hard for me as well but there are a lot of great websites to help with meal planning. At one point my husband lost his job so we sold one of our cars which was really hard but within a year we were able to get a new one. I have stayed home for nine years now and don't regret it a bit, I am thrilled that we made the decision to raise our own kids instead of sending them to a daycare for 8 or 10 hours to be raised by someone else. I am so much closer to my kids and they are much better behaved then most of my friends whose kids had to go to daycare.

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