Becoming a SAHM

I'm new at this whole stay-at-home mom thing.  In fact when I had my daughter in August '08 I fully planned to go back to work.  I shouldn't say "planned" I actually did go back to work in November.  Never would I have imagined staying home with my baby.  I wanted to work, to have a career and to raise my family. My husband and I always said after the second baby I'd most likely stop working, but not after the first. 

But after being back to work for a month it just wasn't working. I was working overnights in a busy TV newsroom. I left home at 10:30 at night and got home in the morning at 8am. I'd have to sleep all day, which meant putting my daughter in daycare.  Working overnights isn't for most people, but it's certainly wasn't for me as a working mother. It just wasn't jiving with any of our lives..my daughter, my husband or mine. 

We had to come to a decision and after weighing the options...many of them...(from having an overnight nanny to begging our moms for overnight help) we decided it would be best if I left my job and stayed home. 

The biggest thing holding us back initially was the financial end of it. What would not having my income mean for us? How would we pay the mortgage? How would we buy groceries? How would we pay to fill up the cars? 

Fortunately we're on my husband's health insurance so that wasn't a factor. But we did go over our monthly expenses line by line and with a fine tooth comb. If I wasn't driving 50 miles round trip to work everyday that would save us a lot of money. I'd be filling up my tank maybe every 2-3 weeks instead of every 5 days. If I didn't have daycare I'd be saving a huge amount of money (about one out of every two paychecks for us). If I was home I could pay more attention to grocery specials and clip coupons, make dinner instead of grabbing it on the way home. That proved to be a significant savings..into the hundreds of dollars! We never realized how much money we were spending on food! We cut our bi-weekly spending money that each of used on "want" items in half.  We also changed our tax withholdings which means at least $100 more per paycheck. And even though I'm home now during the day, it doesn't mean I'm not contributing financially. I'm looking for ways to come up with income, no matter how small. I've started writing articles online, I've started selling stuff we don't use anymore (clothes that are too big, etc) on ebay and I'm considering getting into direct home sales.  Check out this article for more ways to make sure you're financially set to survive on one income.

Leaving work was a huge decision for me, as I'm sure it is for most mothers. I now have another job though, and that's taking care of my daughter and our household. I'm glad I can keep contributing even if it isn't attached to a paycheck. 

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