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Can I Be A Stay At Home Mom
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The decision to be a stay at home mom is an amazingly tough and complex one. There are so many aspects that come into play when making this decision from can we afford it to can I do it day after day. Then through hormones and one adorably cute baby into the mix and your molehill becomes a mountain. The cons like less money and socialization are very concrete while the pros are very gray. How and when will you know if the decision to be a stay at home mom has made any difference to little Junior?

Let's tackle the big question first, can I afford to stay at home? The answer might just surprise you. Like every talk on finances the first thing you need to do is make a list. Make a list of all your expenses and then take a cold, hard look at it. Are there items in there that you can live without, like going out to dinner once a week. You will be at home, you can cook.

Next take a look at the hidden cost of working. Many don't realize, how much working actually costs. It has been said that you have to earn $2.00 for every $1.00 that you cut out of your spending. Being a stay at home mom means that you no longer have to make that commute to work every day. You will save on gas, maintenance and consider if you really need that second car. I live in a small town and can pretty much walk everywhere or plan in advance with my husband when I will need the car. Being a stay at home mom means that you no longer have to wear or dry clean business clothes. Also add in your morning coffee stop and bought lunches. I know when I worked, even if I packed a lunch, if someone brought up lunch out, I was in.

So you have crunched some numbers and they are still not in the favor of you becoming a stay at home mom. Get creative. What can you simplify? Can you live with one car? Can you purchase a smaller home? We were in the process of buying a new home and immediately switched our focus from big to cozier. I absolutely love my home and wouldn't trade it for any McMansion out there. What can you do without? Where can you trim without missing it? And don't forget to factor out the enormous cost of day care. If you are still coming out short, could you work part-time or find a way to work from home. There are a lot of legitimate at home opportunities for stay at home moms.

Another aspect of being a stay at home mom to consider is the social aspect. When I was trying to make this decision my mother said, It's not like when I was home with you, I am afraid you will be lonely." And I was for a while. I tend to be a bit shy at first. But I researched and found a Mom's Club in my area. There are chapters of this group nationwide so I am sure that you can find one in your area and if not, start one. I made some great friends through this group. I also checked with my church and found they had a weekly play group, so I joined that. And as my kids got older, i met more parents through sports and school. There is a wonderful network of stay at home moms out there. It may take some research to find them but do not let that stop you from becoming a stay at home mom.

So we have talked about the concerns. How about the rewards? Like I said earlier, they are not quite as tangible but a millions times more wonderful. You have the security of knowing that you are taking care of your child. You do not have to worry what they are up to or how they are being treated. See, you can save on nanny cams. You never have to hear from some third party about your child's first boo-boo or smile or roll-over or step. You will have been there to witness it first-hand. You will be imparting your values and morals on your child, not somebody else's. Your children will have the security of knowing their parent is always there and the confidence that comes from that.

Should I be a stay at home mom? Tough question with no easy answers. Whether your concerns are financial, social or even intellectual (trust me you won't lapse into a baby-talking mush brain), please do some research before making your decision. I can tell you that for me, being a stay at home mom is the best decision that I have ever made. No, it hasn't always been easy or fun. There have been sacrifices, many for that matter. And there have been a lot of lessons learned. With all that said, I would not change a thing.


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