So here you are, you love your job, and yet you have a little one or little ones at home. When you are at work your mind is constantly on your family, and when you are with your family your mind is constantly on work. How do you decide whether working away from home or being a stay at home mom (STAHM) is what is right for you? This is exactly the decision my husband and I had to make for our family when our third child was born, and it wasn’t easy.
There are lots of things that go into making this type of life change, and let me begin by saying that although many would like to stay at home, this type of change is not right for everyone. While the idea of staying at home seems easy, perhaps relaxing, and overall fantastic, there are days when I find my floor covered in syrup, my clothes covered in paint, sidewalk chalk, and whatever food my children have been eating so far that day, and it might only be 9 a.m.
When our son was born four years ago, I was currently employed as a second grade teacher. We already had two kiddos at home, a (at the time) 4 year old and 2 year old, and luckily we had wonderful sitters that took care of their needs during the day. But with three, things were going to change. These are the things we had to consider before making this very important decision for our family.
♥ An Added Childcare Expense ~ With three kiddos there was going to be an added childcare expense, not to mention that we would be asking our sitters to take on yet another child during the day (and this includes transportation to and from preschool for our oldest) on top of them managing the needs of their own children. When making your decision ask yourself, “How will this change financially impact our family?”
♥ Balancing Work and Home ~ As a teacher, your job does not start at eight and end at five each day. In fact, for many teachers a more normal schedule includes working pretty much around the clock. The second major thing we had to consider was how our evenings were going to look with needing to pick up and care for the kiddos in addition to completing the work that I would bring home daily. If you are considering staying home full-time, be sure to discuss what that balance might look like for you.
♥ Financial ~ We decided to take a look and see if me staying at home was even a possibility. That meant taking a good look at our finances. Years prior my husband and I were blessed by my parents through a gift they gave us when we first got married. They introduced us to Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey. We had read the books, watched the videos, and started on a financial journey at that time that changed our lives. Because of this the financial part of the decision for us was easy. We determined it would cost more money for me to work and put the children in childcare than it would for me to stay home. Luckily from completing the first two baby steps, we are debt free and that made the decision much easier.
♥ Leaving the New Baby While You Work ~ Finally there was just how hard it was to leave my first two little ones at just 8 weeks old to go back to work, and quite honestly I just didn’t want to do that again.
In the end we determined that staying home was a great fit for our family. And best of all, I then wouldn’t have to worry about returning to work with such a little one at home. While it hasn’t always been what I thought it would be, it was well worth it. I am still able to teach, my audience has just changed from a classroom of students to my three kiddos. There are days that are tough…your own children don’t quite listen to you the way that all of those students did, and there are days that are just awesome. I wouldn’t trade this time for the world! Overall, this decision was the best one my husband and I could have made for our family, and I wish you all the best as you work towards making yours.