10 Myths About the Stay-at-Home-Mom

10 Myths About the Stay-at-Home-Mom
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Photo by Travis Grossen on Unsplash

If you don’t stay at home with your kids, you probably have your own assumptions about the gig. Some look down on stay-at-home moms while some admire SAHMs. Let’s clear a few things up!

According to Forbes, staying home is popular among millenials for a variety of reasons. The gist of it is that mothers are looking to swap working away from home with work at home opportunities or “pinching pennies.”

In the article, “How Much Does Child Care Cost?”, Care.com states that 32% of families spend over 20% of their annual household income on child care. According to this source, the cost of child care deeply impacts families ranging from parents changing careers to parents not being able to afford it.

I’ve been a Stay-at-Home-Mom now for over 6 years. In that time, I’ve worked very hard at preparing our kids for preschool and maintaining the household. All while needing to defend myself. As if moms already need to be judged any more for the way we raise our families! Popular beliefs or myths are pretty much the only thing separating what others think goes on, and what it’s really like!

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Photo by Hannah Olinger on Unsplash

10 Myths About Stay-at-Home Moms

10. It’s easy

It’s true that SAHMs don’t have to rush to the babysitter to drop their little ones off for work, spend a majority of the day away from their families, and rush home to get dinner started. However, the challenges of keeping a bunch of kiddos entertained all day, cleaning the house while it gets wrecked, and still getting dinner on the table is no easy feat!

9. SAHMs don’t have degrees or a higher education

Even degree-holding moms have to make an important decision. Follow career or press the pause button. Higher education doesn’t always equal higher pay in the career field. Sometimes the logistics of staying home are for personal reasons, and sometimes it’s a matter of cost-effectiveness.

8. No dreams and aspirations

Very much like #9, moms who stay home have long term plans. We know our families won’t always need us in the same way. We look forward to our futures and checkmarking items off of career goals or bucket lists.

7. SAHMs are wealthy

The occupation is manageable with an average family. As long as the one income can meet the needs of the family, staying home is sustainable. In the long run, there are sacrifices of luxury in order to focus solely on the needs of the household. SAHMs budget, budget, budget!

6. SAHMs are lazy

Assumptions are made that SAHMs aren’t busy and that they sit around all day. But truth be told, trying to keep a bunch of kids out of trouble, fed, bathed, entertained, and off to bed is hard, busy work. Isn’t is true for any mom that once you sit down your kids need something?

5. Mom does all the parenting

Some people believe mom does (or should do all the housework) and child care because she’s not making an income (even when dad’s home). In all fairness, moms are built to nurture their families. But moms are built to be a team with dad including sharing chores, handling bills, and both parents being equally involved are all important.

4. Always home

One of the main things SAHMs do is drive their families around. Doctor appointments, errands, to and from school, someone to show up at school events, to and from extra cirriculars like sports, play dates, visiting grandma, the library, birthday parties, etc… similar to the working mom.

3. Don’t contribute financially

The VeryWellFamily.com says stay-at-home moms would be paid 143,000 per year if paid for all of their services. If the budget is still tight after all those savings, Moms have more opportunities to work out of home. Some legit jobs include writing, photography, coding, transcribing, sales, and more. Currently one trend is to sell essential oils or teeth whiteners, all while staying home with the kids.

2. Not stressful

We may be flexible when it comes to time management. However, one of our biggest stressors is budgeting everything well and coming up with alternatives (for projects, activities, and meals). Sometimes a project or trip will have to wait if it can’t fit in the budget. Staying at home can also be tough on a mom’s social and emotional needs.

1. Always love our job

If you can happily do anything while sleep deprived, then go you! But for most parents, we’re tired, our job never ends, and we’re also really good at judging ourselves. Sometimes that gets in the way of enjoying the job.

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Photo by Liana Mikah on Unsplash

Who works harder?

Not all jobs are equal. And not all families are equal.

In the end, we’re all the same. Working moms and Stay-at-Home-Moms face similar challenges. We’re facing issues with our kids listening to us, cleaning up after themselves, and having them finish homework. We’re tired, we’ve repeated ourselves one too many times, and we we all just wish life was a little easier.

Working mom or Stay-at-Home Mom, we love our families more than anything. We’re all really just doing what we deem best. Over all, our families depend on us, whichever path we choose.

 

 

 

My Realization About Babysitters

My Realization About Babysitters

Why we never hired a babysitter

As a stay-at-home mom of 6 years, I made it my job to find ways to guide our family in the frugal lifestyle. Because you know, if you’re not making an income (alongside your spouse), the best you can do is save it and stretch it.

 

In 6 years time we haven’t gone on any fancy family vacations, we hardly dine out, and we even get picky with our monthly bills and groceries. I don’t get my hair or nails done. Not even a hired babysitter.

It was a challenge living on one income, but we made it work. We had everything we needed.

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Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

So, what happened when my husband took a job that paid less? Well, I promised I’d do whatever it took to make the difference up, if not more. So, I applied to a weekend job near home. Because of my husband (Steven)’s job and military obligations, I’m not able to work much (when it comes to making sure one of us is home with the kids).

When I took this part-time job, I realized that it was actually freeing as a (mostly) stay-at-home mom. I began to have a purpose outside of home and more importantly, I started getting more adult socialization. And on top of that, it’s comforting to have a little extra income.

Then, this weekend happened. I was scheduled to work when my husband was on orders. And the grandparents were all busy with their weekend plans, living their own lives as they should. And I had never hired a babysitter before. I panicked.

How do you even find a babysitter?

I can’t even afford the babysitters on care.com and I wasn’t about to ask just anyone. So my in-laws suggested a friend to help me search. She asked around at Youth Group at our church and soon enough, someone was interested.

Leading up to work, I had been slightly nervous, wondering:

  • How will our new babysitter and my boys feel about each other?
  • Will it be weird to leave them with someone I don’t know much about?
  • Will the boys behave?
  • Will they be busy and have fun?
  • Will I get an emergency call at work?
  • And will she enjoy it enough to come back?

Then, this nice girl shows up at our house and I introduced myself and the kids to her. I show her around, show her the list of phone numbers, rules, and things to keep busy.

And I was certain there would be one kid clinging to me as I ran out of the door. Our youngest had just woken up and wanted me to hold him. Weirdly enough, without a cue, he ran over to her, hands upward, to be picked up. Such a good feeling!

I called Steven on my quick little drive to tell him that I officially left the house! It was exciting! It was freeing!

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Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

When I came home I discovered that the kids were busy THE ENTIRE TIME! They had so much fun with the new babysitter that they were begging me to have her over again! They also went to bed easy that night and slept in later than usual the next morning.

My husband and I got thinking we should’ve had a babysitter all along, because now we can:

  • Go on dates when grandparents can’t babysit
  • Have someone watch the kids so I can run errands (if Steven’s on orders)
  • Make appointments at the bank, car dealerships, and other financial institutions
  • Go Christmas shopping alone
  • Both potentially work the same day

The biggest realization of hiring a babysitter is WOW! WHAT A DIFFERENCE! For our whole family! I’ve been living under a rock for 6 years!

Babysitters are a blessing to families because while they care for our kids, they have energy to play with our kids that we sometimes don’t, and they make great role-models.

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Photo by Jenn Evelyn-Ann on Unsplash

Regardless of your situation, it’s definitely worth finding someone to hire at least every once in a while! Just think of what you could do with the extra help! Back in my babysitting days, I was hired for regular date nights, a day for mom to tend the garden, and once a week so the parents could take dance lessons.

On our Facebook page, Mommas Group, one topic Moms struggle with is babysitters. After some research, care.com is useful, but not all moms feel comfortable using the site. Not to mention, the cost calculator. Moms in our region don’t typically pay $15 or $20 an hour for care.

To join this conversation, please comment below how you found your babysitter, your region, and what you pay. If you don’t have a babysitter yet, what are your questions and concerns?

Frugal Living

Frugal Living

“Frugal” can be explained as stingy, penny-pinching, and tight. But for those with the conservative lifestyle, the word has an entirely different ring to it; thrifty, economical, and resourceful.

It could explain the type of person who likes freebies, when in fact nothing is actually free. Everything costs someone; labor, shipping, ideas, and just solid goods in general.

But for most, “frugal” is a mentality of prioritizing, saving, and getting extra creative when you can’t have everything.

My family has learned the art of being frugal over a span of 6 years. In 2012 my husband and I were expecting our first baby, near the time of his second deployment. So I made the easy decision then, to quit work. As our family expanded, I continued to stay home. We always made it work, despite the occasional challenges. I feel strongly in being a part of our kids’ early childhood development and learning. And my husband’s been even more on-board after finding out what child care costs!

As a stay-at-home mom, I always felt like I wanted to contribute more. Finally 3 kids later, I’ve been able to take a couple of gigs that still allow me to be home 6-7 days a week. However, one of the best ways to contribute as a stay-at-home mom is to save a little cash. I wish I had stumbled upon an informative blog post then about frugal living.

I’m not a financial adviser, but here are some creative ways to help you save:

Tips for saving:

Monthly bills: Understand needs from wants

Needs: housing, electricity, propane, water, car(s), insurance, gas, phone(s), nutritional food, and medical services…

Don’t need: phone upgrades, apps, music, cable, fast food, alcohol, brand clothes…

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Photo Credit: (Pixabay User) Nikolay Frolochkin

 

  • Think about switching your phone service to something month-to-month
  • If you owe a medical bill, ask if you can combine or make lower payments
  • If you feel you can’t go without cable or internet, try the lowest packages
  • Hold off on stores that you get lost in (Wal-mart or Target, which pains me to say)
  • Save going out to eat for special occasions or only a few times a year
  • Don’t make any quick financial decisions; always take the time to research alternatives, think on it, & save
  • Always ask for deals! (My marketing professor taught this and it’s worked)
  • You can even get managers to mark down prices by offering cash today (This is one of Dave Ramsey’s fun little hacks which saved us $100 on our couch doing this)

 

At the grocery store: Understand marketing and don’t give in

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Photo Credit: (Pixabay User) Davies_Designs
  • Meal plan, and stick to your list when grocery shopping. Stores are designed to get you to buy more (like candy being kept low at checkout aisles for kids to see)
  • Look for simple recipes– extra seasonings/condiments can rack up the grocery bill
  • Go to the store once a week to avoid temptations during extra stops
  • Shop the same store every time so you don’t get lost and buy more
  • Aldi isn’t just for poor people and elders, you get the best price without coupons
  • Bring a calculator and cash only to help you stick to your budget
  • Avoid buying junk food and freezer meals, which tend to cost more
  • Bread, rice, noodles, and potatoes are affordable fillers for meals
  • Eggs and peanut butter are affordable protein alternatives
  • Buy healthy snacks apples, bananas, oranges, carrots, and other veggies. What would be more filling a $3-5 bag of chips or a $3-5 bag of apples?
  • When meat at the grocery store goes on sale (and is worth the cost) stock up or buy meat in bulk from your local meat market

In the kitchen: Know how to make recipes from scratch

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Photo Credit: (Pixabay User) fancycrave1
  • Know how to make bread from scratch- Always have yeast and flour on hand
  • Also, know how to make pizza dough, pancakes, and other similar recipes
  • Keep tomato paste on hand for pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce, and tomato-based sauces/dips, sloppy joes…
  • Know how to make other sauces- Alfredo sauce is so easy!
  • Freeze juices of beef/pork roast, slow cooker chicken, or ham… (use in soup later)
  • Boil the bones from your chicken, turkey, ham, etc. with water to make stock
  • Refrigerate bacon grease drippings to substitute butter in savory dishes
  • Divide those packs of chicken and freeze individually (use 1 breast per meal)
  • Same for hamburger (I divide this into 1/2 lbs for when it’s just me and the kids)
  • Meat is expensive, divide other roasts as well
  • Grind up crusty bread to substitute panko or add to meatballs
  • Freshen up leftovers by combining them to make a new dish
  • Use browned fruits in smoothies, cooked oatmeal, or make a bread from it

 

Other areas to be frugal: How to get some help/support

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Photo Credit: (Pixabay User) PublicDomainPictures
  • Gladly take hand-me down clothes, furniture, or appliances from a close friend or family member who doesn’t need them any more! My sister gives us all of the clothes my nephew’s grown out of. Thanks Sis! 😉
  • Give your items that aren’t being used a new home. Or make some cash selling them for a low price online, or selling them at a second-hand shop.
  • Instead of buying new books or movies, borrow from your local library
  • Grow a garden in Spring (& share abundance with friends and family)
  • Know about the free/low cost events/attractions near you including neat parks
  • Know what other resources/benefits are available to you

 

That’s all for now!

There’s no shame in being resourceful or even asking for help from the right people. Just remember, that is their sacrifice to you. It’s a wonderful ability to reach out among humankind. I believe we were all made to lean on each other sooner or later.

Part of raising a family is sometimes needing to sacrifice. It’s hard because we can’t do it all. And even if we can afford it, we don’t have time for all of it.

Frugal living is just sacrificing for now. You’re just investing in yourself and your family.

 

 

 

For ideas of free summer activities see the bottom portion of 80+ Fun Summer Activities for the Family.

(Featured image from Pixabay user: Tumisu)

 

 

10 Stages of a Stay-at-Home-Mom

10 Stages of a Stay-at-Home-Mom

Here are the 10 Stages of a Stay-at-Home-Mom (with 3 kids).

People are always telling me, “Wow, 3 boys! They must be a handful!”

So this is pretty much a normal day unless I opt to play with the kids more on that day.

 

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I’ve found that when we do guided activities, they tend to focus and be less crazy. But, some days you have to just get stuff done. And on the plus side, the kids learn to play together.

Some days I feel like I’m just failing. But then when my hubby gets home, he reminds me that the house doesn’t have to be perfect and tells me how good of a mommy I am.

Why do we pressure ourselves so much?

 

Top 10 Reasons to be a Stay-at-Home Mom

Top 10 Reasons to be a Stay-at-Home Mom

Are you Thinking of staying home?
After 5 and a 1/2 years of being a Stay-At-Home Mom, I’ve seen firsthand how enjoyable it can be to hang out with your kiddos all day in your pajamas. Sometimes we throw on a fresh outfit and do grocery shopping or play at the park. Most days, we clean together, do a little artwork, work on an educational activity, run around in the backyard, or build blocks or train tracks inside.

Sometimes, I struggle to be heard, I get mad that toys are scattered like confetti all over the house, and I have an overwhelming amount of housework to do. But, over all, we have made many memories together and I have been able to prepare my kiddos for preschool because of this decision.

Being a Stay-at-Home Mom isn’t as rare as I thought it was originally. Through a group that I started on Facebook, “Mommas Group”, I have found that many, many more moms are coming out about this. Although, it might be an old fashioned style of doing things, it makes a lot of sense for many, many families. And here’s why-

 

Here are my Top 10 Reasons for being a Stay-at-Home Mom!

10) Medical/Health Purposes
Think of this as a chance to become your child’s health aid, or just to nurse longer.  Is maternity leave really even long enough?

9) Allows you to be more flexible with your spouse’s schedule
Some spouses are away on business trips, training, conferences, deployments, and many more. They might work 12-14 hour days and some are always on call. Being a stay-at-home parent, allows you to be flexible with a chaotic schedule and anchors your family when one of you can’t be there often enough.

Then on top of that, this gives you and your spouse that much needed time together since he or she is so busy.

8) Allows you to be more flexible with everyone else

When you’re a Stay-at-Home Mom, you can schedule doctors appointments (or other appointments) whenever is convenient for you. You can plan play dates with the only worry as to when nap is. And you can visit family and friends when they are available. This has helped us many, many ways.

7) Allows you to experience more of your child’s development and growth
I’ve heard from several mothers over the course of the years that they just feel as if they are missing out on their children growing up. One mother once said to me “I went to pick up my daughter after work and the babysitter told me that she had taken her first steps.”

6) Promotes early learning
This kind of goes with development, but more on the side of being your child’s teacher. Prepping your kids for school can include arts and crafts, reading, preschool activity books, nature walks, intellectual conversations, sports and physical activity…. You could teach you child yoga and they would advance in some way!

5) Decrease in over-scheduling
Some days I love this. And some days I HATE this. You can stay in your pajamas all day. You don’t have to worry about buckling and unbuckling kids all day. And
that whole trying to get your family ready to be on time is for the most part, out the window. You get to be the boss of your own schedule!

4) You can be more engaged
Who wouldn’t love to just have their little one on their lap for 10 minutes longer in a day? Maybe nap with them on the couch? Or to watch their expression as they experience something new every day?

3) Allows you to utilize spare time
When my kiddos go down for nap or bed I am able to tackle some dishes, laundry, or cleaning up. Sometimes, I skip those and take a mental break. It gives me a chance to take a shower, collect my thoughts, and sometimes just to pray.

2) Teaches you to be frugal
I swear, people think you have to be rich to be a Stay-at-Home Mom! Nope. Budget, Budget, Budget! It may take some practice, but you will eventually start asking yourself if the family needs new clothes when you can’t even keep up with laundry! Do you really need to eat out with the family a couple times a week?

Frugal is just appreciating that your needs are met and not seeking what you don’t have. Which is probably a lot of stuff.

1) Childcare is FREE!
It’s one of the biggest reasons I think so many families do this. You don’t get paid. But you also don’t have to watch your paycheck get divided up into time someone else spent with your kids.

 

Now Here are 5 reasons why it may not be for you.

5) If you have a risk of Depression
According to the American Psychological Association, Moms who Stay-at-Home have an increased risk for depression.

Here is the link (http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2011/12/working-moms.aspx).

4) If you can’t leave your career
If it took you years of school or you need to keep current to maintain a license. Or any other career purposes…

3) If your children are in school
This is the decision I made early on because I feel I won’t be needed at home when my kids are in school. My mission as a Stay-at-Home Mom is to help my children to be ready for preschool. So once our youngest is off to school, it will be “mission complete!”

2) If you can’t afford it financially
I get that! Some people struggle to keep their heads above water. No shame in needing to fulfill your family in that way. I actually really admire working moms for the fact that they have to come home from work and then catch up with cooking, cleaning, and everyone in their lives.

1) If you can’t see yourself being happy while doing it.
If you envision losing yourself completely as an adult, you still have your little angels to come home to after work!

 

This is solely based on my experience, mixed with some of what I have heard from other Moms. I am not a expert or professional on this subject. But I sincerely think that
it is okay to take time away from your job to focus on your family (if applicable).

You don’t need anyone’s permission to do so (expect out of respect for your spouse). And
if you are thinking of being a Stay-at-Home Mom, I hope you can make an informed decision now!