Pros and Cons of Being A Stay-at-Home Mom

Motherhood is one of the most rewarding jobs you’ll ever have, however, like with any job, it can be overwhelming and downright frustrating. As I was writing how to be a productive SAHM, I made a mental list of the pros and cons of being a SAHM and felt like it deserved its own post. Some points play the role of both a pro and a con.

PROS

  1. The best thing about being a SAHM is getting to be with your kids all day, getting to witness everything that they do and learn on a daily basis.
  2. You’ll be present for all of their growing moments, first words, first steps,  and there is nothing greater than witnessing your child hit milestones for the first time.
  3. If your child falls sick, you’ll be there and not at work which may be hard to get out of.
  4. You can focus on a routine for your children and house, and get things done in an orderly manner compared to the stresses of working and coming home to tired and cranky children.
  5. You’re the sole caregiver for your child.
  6. It’s cheaper for most women to become stay-at-home moms as it is very costly for childcare and work hours are very demanding.
  7. You’re in control of how your activities and days are planned. You won’t have to worry about being called into work and having to organize a last minute babysitter.
  8. You get to teach your children and guide them in a way that you see fit and it’ll be consistent as kids can get confused with different rules.
  9. There’s no one looking over your shoulder telling you what to do or how to do it. You’re your own boss.

CONS

  1. You’re never alone. You can’t use the bathroom without an audience and sometimes you have to skip a shower and swallow your meals.
  2. You almost never get “me time” to do anything for yourself and if you’re like me, you don’t have girls night out either.
  3. Your job never ends. You’re working 24/7 and you’re exhausted most of the time.
  4. You tend to get bored and frustrated living the same routine day after day.
  5. When your social life ceases to exist after motherhood, it’s really awkward and difficult to make friends. You WILL miss engaging in social activities and having adult conversations that don’t involve kids.
  6. When they start fighting, misbehaving and talking back to you, you’ll want to rip your hair out. You’ll be stressed beyond belief.
  7. Living on one income is not an easy thing to manage and you may often feel like a failure, like your life is not reaching anywhere.
  8. It’s been almost five years since I’ve worked outside of my home and it literally feels like forever. I feel like the unemployment gap only worsens your chances of getting back out there, however I hope I’m wrong.

One suggestion that I always make in my SAHM posts is to get a hobby, whether it be joining a gym, writing, painting etc. When you have something to call your own, apart from your family life, it’s a way to cope when the going gets tough. I love to wind down by day by reading just before I sleep. It’s a relaxing way to calm your thoughts before bedtime. That’s just what works for me. If you have girlfriends, organize outings or activities that are not kid related. Even though both things are closely related, in order to be a happy mom, there needs to be a balance between caring for your family and caring for yourself.

xo Coffee Doll

How We Live On One Income

“Simple living is smart living.”

When my husband and I decided that it was better for me to become a stay-at-home mom, we were definitely aware of the pros and the cons. One of the main cons being that we were about to survive on one income. My husband is not a surgeon or anything so we had to put a lot of thinking and planning into how this was going to work. It’s been a little over four years that we’ve been living on just one income which fluctuates because of the nature of his job and it’s been a roller coaster ride. Managing finances when you don’t have a lot of extras is a challenging task. Here’s some pointers that we’ve been implementing so far:-

Budgeting. Control how you spend you money by creating a budget chart. List all of your expenses such as food shopping, clothing, bills and miscellaneous activities along with your projected savings amount. When you subtract the total from your income and have a little left, it means you’re well within your budget.

Spend money that you have. Try your best not to use too much credit, only in cases of emergencies and when you know you can pay it off.

Spend wisely. Focus on your needs and not your wants. A purse from Target works just as well as those three hundred dollar purses.

Cook at home. Of course we still eat out but we save money by eating at home more often than not. Sometimes we cook a large meal that lasts us two days as we’re not big eaters and it helps the food budget.

Sales and coupons. Always look for bargains. I rarely ever pay full price for an item. I shop sales, and whenever I get coupons in the mail or in a store, I take advantage of that.

Recycle toys and clothes. A little trick that I do is rotate toys. What this means is I put some in storage and I leave some out. When my kids get bored of the ones they play with all the time, I swap them out. Also when you have multiple kids, let them use their siblings’ hand me down clothes and toys.

Buy things in advance. When you have small children, you usually have to do a clothing haul a few times a year because they’re growing very rapidly. Instead of waiting at the last minute to dish out three or four hundred dollars, buy in small quantities whenever there’s a sale and save it up for when they need it. I even buy clearance and keep it until the next season.

Live without. You’d be surprised at the things you can give up. Unnecessary things and outtings that you don’t have to have or do. Don’t look at someone else’s life and think you need to live it. Live within your means and stick to your budget.

xo Coffee Doll

 

 

How to be a Productive Stay-At-Home Mom

One of the hardest decisions I ever had to make in my life was to become a Stay-At-Home-Mother. I think my two weeks postpartum depression had a lot to do with me just staying at home, depending on my husband emotionally and financially. It was a hard thing for me to do. It’s not that I wasn’t elated to spend time with my brand new baby and explore motherhood but I was always working and getting a college education, and I became a very career oriented person. I was conditioned by the atmosphere that I grew up in to equate success with having a career and making those dollars. I can’t tell you how often I’ve felt like a failure, I’ve felt miserable without any adult interaction, or I’ve locked myself in the bathroom crying because I am just overwhelmed.

These are not signs of incompetence. All mothers go through this, whether they’re working moms or stay at home moms. Parenting is as overwhelming as it is rewarding and some days it’s just hard to get out of bed and do what you have to do in your most motivated attitude.

Here are some tips that I use almost daily…

Sleep. Moms usually run on little to no sleep but as your babies get older they can sleep for longer periods and you should take advantage of that. I can’t do it every night as I have things to tend to even after they’re asleep but I do try to set an earlier bedtime for myself.

Create a schedule. Now I don’t mean account for every minute of the day but it’s a good thing to get yourself on a routine as well as your kids. Just an example, if your kid naps at noon…do something you can’t do when he or she is awake. Managing your time is essential if you want to get things done by a particular deadline.

Write down tasks. I don’t know how people survive without writing anything down, I literally need to write my life on paper and read it as it happens.

Do Less. Break your bigger tasks into smaller ones. Do NOT attempt to do everything in one day. Don’t clean the entire house on Saturday and overwhelm yourself. That gives me anxiety. Every day, do a little, do one room even.

Map out your week. Browse through your list, plan your meals and activities beforehand so when the day comes, you’re not second guessing anything. Meal prep if you have to.

Get up before your kids. I cherish those few minutes with my hot cup of coffee before they wake up. I can’t even begin to describe how it keeps my sanity at bay when I start my day without the shouting and chaos. By the time they’re awake, supermom is ready for action.

Set goals for yourself. Even though you’re not working at an office or doing a paid job, you can still set goals for yourself. For instance you may want to focus on your health, so get into it. Join a gym or gather some friends and work out at home. Maybe you’re a painter or musician. Set a goal of what you would like to accomplish and just do it! For me, I write, I blog 🙂

Communicate with your partner. Communication in a relationship is key. Being a stay at home mom, you may sometimes resent your partner or feel like they’re not paying attention to you. You may get into arguments about petty things and just generally annoy each other, especially when you feel like your partner should do more to help around the house and with the kids. It’s good to establish a communication channel between you and your partner.

Have your own hobby. As a wife who has no similar interests to her husband, I enjoy having my hobbies to myself. It’s my “me time.” Yes we do need alone time with our partners but as a mom, we do need alone with without another human being in our space.

Get out. Everyone needs that adult interaction. Being stuck with kids 24/7 can make you lose sense of yourself so take some time, whether it’s a date with hubby or gal pals and just let your hair down. Because I don’t have much adult interaction, I swap out for dates with my kids 🙂 It’s still fun to get out and do something.

Play with your kids. We get caught up enforcing rules, yelling to keep everyone in line and we often forget how fun it is to spend that much time with our kids. Get off your cellphones, get down and dirty with your children. You’ll be surprised to know how much they just want to spend time with you.

Last but not least, drink lots and lots of coffee 🙂

xo Coffee Doll