Being a stay-at-home mom can be difficult. It’s even more difficult with no money and an unsupportive husband or partner. In this post, I’ll share 9 useful tips for stay at home moms to follow.
Did you know that more than 60% of Americans believe that children growing up in a household with a stay-at-home parent are better off?
It also seems that more and more new mothers are choosing to trade their heels for slippers.
According to a Pew Research Center study from 2014, more and more women are staying home to take care of their children, leaving the task of bringing home the bacon (at least, traditionally speaking) to their partners.
After decades of decline, stay-at-home moms are on the rise – and, if you’ve ended up on this page, you’re likely one of them.
Although staying home while your husband goes off to work every day brings the irreplaceable benefit of being able to spend a lot of precious time with your children.
However, although many would like to think so, being a full-time parent is no piece of cake: many issues may arise, especially concerning money.
This is because our society still places a higher value on traditional, paid-work and devalues the equally important task of caregiving, according to Olivia Mellan, author of “Money Shy To Money Sure: A Woman’s Road Map To Financial Well Being.”
So, if you’re struggling with feelings of insecurity and financial dependency for not being the traditional breadwinner in your household and often ask yourself how to handle spending (and gaining!) in your family, look no further.
In this list, I’ll do my best to provide you with several financial tips for financially and all-around anxious stay-at-home moms like yourself.
1. Communication is key
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: communication is key to a healthy relationship.
Perhaps you’ve had to be reminded time and time again of this every time you ran into problems with your beau or hubby…
… But the truth is that healthy communication is just as important when you’re talking about the father of your children.
If you and your partner have decided to split the roles in the household (with him going to work everyday and you staying behind with the kids), this may lead to distance between you two, which can result in rifts in your relationship or marriage.
Naturally, you want to avoid the age-old cliche of the man who comes home from work and kicks his feet up while the wife takes care of dinner. The best way to steer clear of this nightmare routine?
According to specialists like Mellan – talk!
The first step in addressing any feelings of insecurity, jealousy, or guilt stemming from you and your partner’s different routines, paychecks, or spending habits is to simply air it out.
So, either if you feel like your husband isn’t changing enough diapers, or if you feel like you’d perhaps like to have him lend you some money to buy something nice every once in a while, best to just talk it through.
2. Make a family budget and a financial plan
Switching from a two-income family into one with a single breadwinner, especially with a child or more in the mix, can be quite scary.
You might have thought to yourself: can I make this work?
You’re not alone – the thought certainly crossed the mind of many other women switching work for full-time motherhood.
But, just as I’ve said at the start of this very article, there are plenty of ways to make the transition smoother!
A family budget will keep an eye on all the financial challenges that come with having a family – from housing to food, to schooling.
The goal is to make you and your husband spend less than you’re earning so you will never fall off!
Whereas budgeting allows you to keep tabs on monthly costs, a solid financial plan will allow you and your family to place your bets on the future.
Would you like your son to go to college? Would you enjoy taking a family trip by this time next year? Then start planning – and start saving money!
3. Educate yourself on personal and family finance
Now that you’re home with the kids all day, you might have more free time (in between all the running around, picking up after toys, changing diapers, and breastfeeding, of course!).
So why not take this one of a kind opportunity to learn more about finance?
I know what you might be thinking – you’re kidding. I finally have five minutes to myself, and you want me to spend them on doing checks and balances?
You need to learn about personal and family finance not just as a mother, of course, but also as a woman.
Because of your gender, if you’re ever to go back into the workplace, you’ll have to work twice as hard for the same money.
So, next time you’re putting the children down for a nap, think twice about learning how to balance a checkbook.
If you’re totally clueless, check out Coursera – they have several online courses on family finance and family planning in general!
4. Get a side hustle
Maybe you’ve been eyeing a nice handbag; or a book you want to read for a really long time, but, since you’re not bringing in any money, you feel bad about asking your husband for it.
So why not take matters into your own hands and get that money yourself?
I know what you might be thinking: what kind of work can stay at home possibly get?
Well, luckily for you, more and more people are swapping the traditional office space for their own living room desks, as working from home becomes the norm for more and more individuals.
But what about time? You certainly can’t afford to clock in a 9-to-5 with children running around the house all day. However, fear not: there are still many ways to make $1000 per month that stay at home moms can partake in.
Either it is through a translating gig, or by completing surveys for money – or even blogging if you’re the creative type! – there are plenty of ways in which you can hustle your way into making a little money yourself.
5. Join a support group
Sometimes, being a stay at home mom doesn’t look so wholesome.
Maybe lately, instead of spending quality time with your babies and baking pies for the family, you’ve been feeling lonely, unmotivated, and sad.
Being a stay-at-home mom can be a beautiful experience – but it can also be tiring and overwhelming. It’s no wonder you’re stressed out – according to studies; you’re working as much as 2.5 full-time jobs!
Thankfully, if you’re feeling a bit on edge, there are plenty of support groups you can join or call for a vent – such as MOMS Club International, National Association of Mother’s Center, and many more.
It can be intimidating to call for help, but, once more, remember – you’re not the only one.
According to a 2012 poll, 28% of mothers staying at home with their children are much more likely to experience depressions than those who work outside.
So, if it ever becomes a bit too much, call a friend, a family member, or, even better, one of the support groups listed above – which are way more equipped to deal with your unique struggle.
Your family and yourself will thank you.
6. Set realistic goals
If you’re constantly pulling at your own hairs, either because you forgot to set the clothes to dry, you haven’t replied to that email sitting in your inbox for weeks, or fell asleep reading your children a bedtime story…
Take a deep breath and relax.
As it’s just been said on the previous point, being a stay at home mom can be overwhelming, and setting unrealistic expectations for your life as a mother, wife, and woman will not make it easier.
Wanting to be the perfect wife and mother all of the time will only set you up for failure.
Being a stay at home mom is hard enough as it is – so remember to cut yourself some slack, relax, and make sure you’re doing your best.
7. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Don’t give in to the idea that you must sacrifice everything, even your own sanity, and well-being, to become a stay-at-home mom especially if you’re looking to improve your financial situation!
Getting a part-time job or a side-hustle takes time and effort, and, even if you’re only focusing on being a mother right now, staying at home with the children can still take a lot out of you.
There is no shame in asking for a helping hand!
A nanny, a cleaning lady, a babysitter for a night out with the kids… There are some of the more traditional options.
But if you’re on a budget, there are also other ways to get creative while looking for some free time away from the children.
Getting in touch with the community can be a great place to begin – other mothers may be interested in doing babysit swaps with you!
If you live close to your family, consider reaching out – besides giving you some rest, it can also help your children get closer with their grandparents, aunts, and uncles.
Finally, if your kids are old enough for it, don’t hesitate to ask them to help with the household chores!
They may not be as good as you at swiping the floor or washing the sink – but they need to start learning these things at home.
8. Start blogging your experiences
Being a stay-at-home mom can be lonely. As much as you love to watch your children grow up close, helping them every step of the way, you may miss work break chatter with other adults.
A great way to air out your feelings and meet like-minded people is blogging! There is a reason why millions of blog posts are loaded on the internet each day – and why so many people then read them.
Besides serving as a log which you can fondly look back on when the kids are all grown up, your blog can also connect you to other stay-at-home moms, swap tips, tricks, and experiences.
And, if you’re broke, there are even more reasons to start blogging! Nowadays, setting up your own site and starting to turn a buck from it is easier than ever.
So, if you’re looking for someone to talk to, look no further than your computer screen. It can bring you free entertainment, new friends and a lot of money!
9. Make time for yourself too
It’s easy for a committed mother, especially a full-time one, to get lost in her role.
Otherwise, you may be stressing out over whether you’re making enough time for your husband or if you’re putting enough money aside for your children’s education.
If you add to this a side hustle that you’ve picked up to get some more money rolling in, it’s very normal that you may go through the day feeling like you don’t have a second to take a step back and… Breathe.
As much as you may love being a financially conscious mother and wife, it’s also important to take some time just for you – getting in touch with old hobbies and friends, or even just recharging for a bit.
So, next time you go over your family budget, consider saving up for a babysitter who can take over every once in a while.
Or else, discuss with your working husband the possibility of having him fill in for diaper duty sometimes!
All in all, if you’ve made the difficult choice of staying behind with the children while your partner goes off to work every day, you already have plenty of reason to pat yourself on the back – so you can start by doing that.
Being a stay at home mom is no easy feat, and many women struggle to find a balance between being a mother, a wife, and a woman all at once.
Not to mention that making the switch from two salaries to one can be daunting at first.
With the right set of tricks up your sleeve, though, you can find ways to save up, earn some, and, most of all, find a way to make the best out of being a stay at home mom.
It might seem impossible to believe, but someday, you will miss it!
So don’t forget to kick back, relax, and cherish those unforgettable moments.