One of the hard parts about being a stay at home mom is that you aren’t making money on your own. You rely on what your husband brings home. Sure, you say the money belongs to both of you, but there’s often that feeling on both sides that it isn’t quite true.
How do you cope?
1. Talk over your feelings.
Communication is important in any marriage. If you’re feeling as though you’re less important because the things you do raising your family at home doesn’t bring in money it can build resentment.
It can be a help to realize that you do make a financial contribution. You’re saving money on child care by being home with your kids. You’re probably shopping for bargains more. You’re probably cooking more meals at home and thereby saving on your family’s food bill.
It’s important that the partnership that is a good marriage recognizes both earning money and helping to keep the family’s spending under control are both important contributions. It can be hard to do that if your husband acts in any way as though you’re using “his” money, and if that’s the case his feelings need to be discussed also.
2. Decide if you want to earn money from home.
Stay at home moms today are lucky in that they have so many ways to earn money from home, some of which are extremely flexible. It’s not just the traditional jobs such as running a daycare or joining a direct sales opportunity. There are customer service work at home jobs, online home businesses and much more.
There are a lot of risks to getting started working from home, and generally laws to be aware of. Make sure you learn about the common scams and don’t fall for hype when you’re picking an opportunity. Too good to be true usually is.
3. Be yourself and enjoy what you have.
Just because you’re suddenly such-and-so’s mom and you’re home all day doesn’t mean you lose your identity. Make time to be yourself.
Keep up your hobbies. You might even be able to get one or more of your kids interested in it. But don’t drop the hobby just because you don’t think you have the time or shouldn’t spend the money. Unless it’s really expensive or your budget is that tight you can probably find a way to enjoy your hobby while being with your kids.
Also read the kinds of books you enjoy. The Cat in the Hat is a great book, but reading any children’s book over and over will get to you eventually. Read something you enjoy. Let your kids see it. It’s a part of encouraging them to love reading too.
And remember that even when staying at home with the kids makes for a tight budget you’re lucky to have what you do. Many parents would love to do what you’re doing but just can’t afford to. It’s one of those jobs that even on a bad day, it’s pretty good when you think about it.
Finally, remember that being married, especially with children, does a lot to your finances no matter whether you work outside the home or stay at home. You most likely won’t have the freedom you once did no matter what you do. The needs of your family come first in most cases.