Stay at Home Mom. Yep. It's what I do, and happily so. When other women find out that I stay at home with my kiddos, they generally have one of three responses.
1. I am wasting my intellect and skills.
2. Sweet, so am I! Let's meetup for a playdate.
3. I wish I could stay home with my kids, but there is no way we could live off one income.
I think it's completely a woman's choice to choose to work inside or outside of the home. I am not going to argue that one is superior to the other or that one solution works for every family. Google SAHM and I am sure you can find some very strong opinions for either side.
When the third response comes up, it always makes me a little sad for that mom. I ran into a friend tonight at Target (big surprise) and her eyes sparkled as she pointed out to her husband that I was a stay at home mom and wouldn't it be great if she could stay home with her infant son. She is happy with the care arrangement they have while she works and is happy with her job, but she still yearns to be with her baby. Her husband agreed it would be great for her to be home but financially they just couldn't swing it. They want to buy a house and pay off some bills and there would just be no way to have it all. I challenged them to really look at how they spend their money and what the true costs of working are. Gas, dry cleaning, day care, eating out... it really adds up! Plus, the more you earn the more taxes you pay in higher income brackets.
We are not wealthy. My husband does not make oodles of cash allowing me to stay home. We live comfortably, but not extravagantly. We are considered "low income" by the government. We have made a choice to live frugally and that has certainly enabled me to stay home. I don't feel that we have sacrificed living well though.
We drive older cars that we paid cash for. Yes, they are less cool and yes, sometimes they need to be repaired. But they are paid for, we have no monthly car payment and lower insurance rates. Our insurance company also gives us a sizable discount for me being a stay at home mom and having inspected car seats.
We live in an older and smaller home. What it lacks in size, modern amenities, and bathrooms it makes up for with lots of charm and a low mortgage payment.
Hush. Keep this one on the DL. My kids rarely have new clothes. I love garage sales and have gotten them some sweet clothes for .25 a piece. We are blessed to have many friends who are done adding to their families and bring hand me down clothes over by the car load. They are thrilled to get it out of their houses and I am thrilled to take it. I do buy them clothes, just stuff I really love that they really need.
We don't eat out too often. Although, we got really bad during my pregnancy and ate out way more than we usually would. The flip side is, now we are too chicken to go out to eat with 2 kids at any place that doesn't have a slide in it. I don't really like to cook very much either, so when I do I double or triple the recipe and freeze the extras.
So, I guess we have made sacrifices for me to be home with the kids, but they don't feel like sacrifices.
What do you think?