in-laws seem to be concerned about your son's education. Remind
them that the first few years of life are crucial to a child's
personality formation and intellectual development, so by staying
home you'll be getting his education off to a strong start.
your in-laws are worried about your family's finances, you might
point out that the costs of your continuing to work can be very
high. By the time you add in the cost of daycare, commuting,
business wardrobe, meals out, household help and professional
expenses, you may have very little of your paycheck left over.
We'll address ways to make money at home in answer to another
question (below). Perhaps you could take on occasional freelance
assignments or telecommute for your former employer in order
to supplement your family's income.
the decision is yours and your husband's, not theirs. In the
end, you may just have to say, "We're confident that we've made
the right decision for our family. We're sorry if you don't
agree, but our decision has been made." Good luck!
Help! I am expecting my first child in July. It is financially
feasible for me to stay home and not return to work full time,
however I am not receiving the support in this decision from
my husband or in-laws. I am starting to feel guilty about wanting
to stay at home with my child. I have gone from being very excited
about our new arrival to dreading my decision making. How should
I handle this?
Lorianne, read our answer to Amanda (above), since most of the
advice we gave her is also relevant for you.
sympathize with your dilemma. Many women think this is the toughest
decision they'll ever make. Although it can seem that way, the
decision to become an at-home mother is not as black or white
as it appears. There are any number of possibilities—taking
a few months' leave of absence, staying home for a year or two,
or staying home until all your children are in school or longer—and
these decisions can be modified at any time.
counsel women in your position that it's not possible to know
what it's like to be an at-home mom until you experience it.
For that reason, you should not make a final decision before
your baby is born. Our best advice is to give staying home a
try while you're on maternity leave. This will give you the
opportunity to spend those important first few months bonding
with your baby, and will give you a glimpse of what your days
would be like as an at-home mother.
caveat, though: the first few months can be very tough as you
adjust to your new role as a mother, cope with lack of sleep,
and start getting to know your baby. Be patient. You'll start
to feel more confident in your parenting skills after you have
more on-the-job training. And at this point, you'll be able
to make a better decision about whether or not staying home
is the right choice for you. Your husband and in-laws will also
have more information about how much work is involved in caring
for a child, and perhaps a better appreciation of what moms
do all day!
I am an attorney and have always thought I would stay home once
my husband and I decided to have children. As the time grows
closer, I have begun to doubt my decision and have been trying
to figure out how to have some sort of outlet, or on the other
hand, how to adjust to being a stay at home mom without feeling
insecure and of little value. I know staying at home is what
God would have me do. My husband is completely supportive and
has offered to try to work from home a few days a week so I
could work if I wanted to. If you have any practical suggestions
on how to adjust to the transition or how to manage working
part time and being at home to raise my child, I would love
to hear them. Thank you in advance for your help.
we thing we'd like to tell you is "Don't worry!" While on one
hand this topic is so important we devoted an entire chapter
of STAYING HOME to it, on the other hand you have to remember
that it's not the last decision you'll ever make. The choices
you make before the baby is born may be very different from
the ones you will make after you and your husband are actual
parents. You say you have already made your decision but now
have doubts. Like so many things in life, you won't know if
staying home truly satisfies you until you try it. It is hard
for you to imagine the value now because the person that will
give this new life meaning and value is not yet on the scene!
you don't sound doubtful to us—you sound cautious and practical.
There is nothing wrong with segueing from one life into another,
and keeping a foot in both worlds, as long as both continue
to give you pleasure and fulfillment.
there are several things you can do. First, take the longest
maternity leave you can. If you have a profession you enjoy,
try to arrange for part-time or consulting work—your former
employer is your natural first choice and best bet here. Barring
that, another good way to keep current in your field and maintain
valuable professional connections is to do volunteer work for
a local, state, or national professional organization.
working at home with a young child in the house, we have several
recommendations. Yes, do arrange for child care during your
work hours at home, or else the "little" interruptions will
soon eat up all your available time. It's also advisable to
get a separate phone line/answering machine/answering service
that can take messages for your business when you are otherwise
indisposed. See a good small business accountant who can give
you recommendations on how to structure your business and work
environment in order to take best advantage of home-based business
tax breaks. And finally, no matter how tempting, don't take
on a new client or freelance work during your first two months
at home with a new baby. Your biggest and most important project
then will be getting to know each other!
How do I decide whether or not staying at home is for me? What
if I can't stay home and have to work for financial needs -
How do I not feel guilty to want to be at home with child/infant?
There any way I can work from home while raising my kids?
to terms with your work/family decision, here are some important
questions for you and your husband to think about:
Can you afford to quit your job? How much
will you have to give up? Are your finances overextended now?
Do you think that being an at-home parent
can be satisfying? How much satisfaction do you get from your
current career? How much satisfaction do you expect to receive
from your new career at home?
How much do you enjoy the status and prestige
of your job? How much of your identity is tied to your current
How will you and your husband react to this change?
Can you both live on a budget? How attached are you to your
the Money Yours, Mine, or Ours?
Who has control of the
checkbook? Who will make minor financial decisions for the family?
Who will make the major financial decisions?
on the Working Spouse
How will your spouse react to being
the family’s sole financial support? Given greater financial
responsibilities, how will he find time to participate in family
Can You Divide up Household Work Fairly?: How will you achieve
an equitable distribution of chores and responsibilities? Do
you respect each other’s roles? Are either of you making unrealistic
expectations about what the other spouse will take on?
and Parental Goals
What kind of family life do you want
to have? Is your vision compatible with your spouse’s? How can
you help each other achieve those goals?
from Family and Friends
How much support can you count
on from other family members and friends? In the absence of
that support, will you and your spouse have to rely mostly on
is Best for Your Child or Children?
What kind of childhood
would you like to provide for your children? What was your own
a good idea to discuss your financial situation with your spouse
and to plan carefully before taking the plunge from the workplace
to the home. Many couples use this opportunity to make a family
budget that tracks their income, fixed expenses, and job-related
spending. By the time you calculate the annual cost of child
care, work clothes, commuting and meals, you may be surprised
to discover how much money it would take to continue your full-time
career once you're a mom. The cost of working can eat up as
much as 80% of the lower earner’s wages!
home does not have to mean that you are completely divorced
from the workforce. It is very possible to find creative ways
to continue your career at home. See our answer on Working from
Home for more advice.
How do I justify 6 years of college, and then only working 4
years before quitting to stay home?
If you think
you'd like to give at-home motherhood a try, please don't assume
that you'll be wasting your education. Full-time parenting requires
a multiplicity of talents and such professional skills as teaching,
negotiating, supervising, and communicating. Heidi Brennan,
a board member of the national association Mothers at Home,
told us that she sees motherhood as "the ultimate management
of the professional women we interviewed said they can't think
of a better use of their education than helping their children
grow, learn, and discover the world. Teaching young children
can be an intellectual challenge, as you search the depths of
your memory for the answers to your children's endless questions
about the world around them.
many people have stereotyped views of at-home mothers as dimwitted
housewives who do nothing but watch talk shows and soap operas
all day. A steady diet of these stereotypes can lead even the
most enthusiastic at-home mothers to question the wisdom of
their decision. The truth is that 42% of the women we surveyed
report that they work 14 hours or more a day caring for their
children and running their households!
can apply your hard-earned knowledge and professional skills
by volunteering in your children's schools and in your community,
or in running a home-based business. Consider taking parenting
or psychology seminars, learning a sport, joining a local association,
or researching other careers that you may eventually want to
home can be a time of tremendous intellectual and personal growth—through
continuing education, exploring new interests, and developing
new career ideas. We hope you won't let others convince you
that you're no longer a contributing member of society just
because your home has become your workplace.
My husband has always been proud of the profession I have away
from home. I am too, as I worked hard to get here. I have to
admit that I'm nervous about staying at home and still having
that self respect, gratification and interesting life I have
now. I think once my child is two or three, I may want to return
to my job, part time, at least. When is a good time to go back
to work? Are there advantages to waiting a couple/three years?
you are able to stay home for the first few years, your child
will greatly benefit from your presence, your love, and your
active involvement in his or her daily life. Parents play an
enormous role in their children's mental, physical and emotional
growth, language development, and development of social and
moral values. Research studies in "attachment theory" have shown
the importance of early bonding between infants and their mothers.
As a result of a strong attachment to a parent or caregiver,
babies and young children feel safe, secure, and free to explore
their environment. These children tend to develop a strong sense
of identity and trust that the world is a caring place. One
of the mothers we surveyed for Staying Home put it this way:
"At the beginning, what children really need is to be loved,
and no one else can do that as well as I can."
reason to stay home with young children is how much fun they
can be, and how rewarding it is to watch their accomplishments
and share their hugs. Being able to lie on the floor and play
with puzzles, run around the house playing hide-and-seek, visit
parks and playgroups, blow bubbles, read storybooks, and play
make-believe with your child can be among life's most pleasurable
said, if you do not feel that being an at-home mother will be
personally rewarding for you, then don't do it. A clinical psychologist
who participated in our survey, while adamantly believing that
it's best for children to have one primary caregiver until they
enter preschool, nonetheless feels that the decision to stay
home must be voluntary. "There are women who hate being home
and don't enjoy young infants, although they love their children,"
she explained. "If you're miserable being home and wish you
were working, you're not going to be the kind of parent you
could be." You will not be doing yourself or your child a favor
if you resent full-time parenthood but choose to stay home out
only way to know how you'll feel as a mother at home is to give
it a try. If you're dying to get out of the house and back to
your desk during your maternity leave, then investigate other
options such as working part-time, job-sharing, telecommuting,
or starting your own business.
not pregnant yet, but trying. I have a one of a kind job in
my state that I dread losing. I'm torn between wanting to stay
home with my baby (if that day ever comes) and worrying about
losing my spot in the system where I work. Somedays, I obsess
about planning how things will work out, and others I just say
"go with the flow, it will all work out somehow." Is this something
I should try to figure out *before* I get pregnant? My contract
is up for renewal in a few months. Thanks!
can plan and plan and plan, but you won't be able to fully predict
the strength and nature of your feelings until you're holding
that baby in your arms. At this point, the best plans to make
are those that keep the most options open for you! Keep your
job and get your contract renewed, so that you can take the
longest pregnancy leave possible, thereby giving yourself a
taste of life as a SAHM. And while waiting for the baby, there
are three additional things you can consider doing.
start saving money like crazy. Try to bank your entire salary
if you can. This will let you know if you can live on one income.
If you and your partner are carrying a lot of debt, instead
of banking your salary use it to pay down the debt and get your
monthly nut smaller. This will be a useful exercise to you whether
you stay home or not, since even if you still work outside the
home your family budget will have to accommodate childcare costs,
which can be considerable (see next recommendation below).
investigate childcare options in your area. Some of your future
decision-making will be driven by the reality of what's available
in your area, and what it will cost. Speaking from a strictly
financial viewpoint, you need to make as salary about 2-1/2
times your childcare costs in order to break even.
start networking for life as a SAHM, in case that's what you
decide to do. Take on some additional freelance or consulting
assignments in your field to see if there's a possibility for
future part-time or freelance work—this will lay a nice groundwork
for you. Contact your local chapter of a mothers group, such
as Mothers & More, to see what support and enrichment opportunities
they have to offer. Ultimately, both sides of your nature are
right: "Yes," you should do some planning, and "Yes," it WILL
all work out!
the transition / Life as an at-home mom
What type of activities do you recommend for staying intellectually
stimulated and connected with other adults while learning how
to transition to being a SAHM?
This is a concern that many career women share when they first
start staying at home. It's important to remember that your character,
skills and experience don't disappear with your last paycheck.
You can transfer the skills and positive self-image you earned
at work to mothering, community work, and other activities. You
might find that your at-home years are a great opportunity to
explore new ideas and interests. Finding ways to exercise your
mind through book groups, adult education classes, mothers' groups,
community work, and continuing involvement in your occupation
or professional association will make it easier to revise your
resume and reenter the workforce when you're ready.
you don't plan to return to paid work for many years, you can
participate in a variety of activities you enjoy without worrying
about how they'll look on a resume. Learning new skills while
you are at home can give you a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment—just
as it did while you were in school and in the office.
connected with other adults is also essential. When we surveyed
300 women about their experiences as at-home moms, we found that
isolation is the biggest problem they faced. You can combat isolation
by finding, joining or creating networks of like-minded women
with children. Consider joining a national organization with local
chapters that help at-home mothers find support and friendship,
such as Mothers
& More or the MOMS Club.
A full listing of the major support groups for mothers is included
in STAYING HOME and on the publisher's website, http://www.spencerandwaters.com.
These groups also offer intellectual enrichment through speakers
and book discussions. Also consider joining a neighborhood playgroup
or babysitting co-op, and signing up for mom and tot classes in
I'm not sure how exactly to word this question so here goes .
. . as a SAHM of three year old boy/girl twins I feel like all
I do is pick up toys, do laundry, and yell. Any suggestions?
First, a confession: all parents, whether they stay home or not,
feel like this sometimes! It is easy to get overwhelmed by the
drudgery aspects of childcare. Taking care of children, especially
twin toddlers, IS exhausting, and if you're yelling a lot we suspect
you're beginning to feel out of control of the situation.
are several things you can do to get the situation under control.
You didn't say how much time off from childcare you get during
a typical week—whatever amount it is, you could probably use more.
At three years old, your children could probably benefit from
a high-quality preschool program—not only to give you a break,
but because socialization with other children is very important
for twins. If a good preschool is not available, either due to
location or financial concerns, then do play day tradeoffs with
another parent so that you get some time off and your kids get
review your housekeeping standards. Our first Ground Rule is that
an at-home mother needs to know what she wants her job to be.
If you feel the housekeeper aspects are taking over the real reason
you're home, then it's definitely time to reevaluate. If your
housekeeping standards are so high you are turning yourself into
your own house slave, consider lowering them—at least temporarily
until the children go to school. Also, you must realize that your
home with young children in it is never going to look like it
did B.C. (before children).
addition, we'd like to suggest that three years old is not too
young to start introducing the concept of the children putting
away their own toys. You need to be realistic, of course—they
won't be able to put them neatly away on shelves or sort them.
But what worked reasonably well for us was having a big laundry-style
basket in each room of the house. "Pick up your toys now, please"
(often repeated several times) meant sweeping the room for toys
and throwing them into the basket. This kept the house from looking
like a total battle zone and dramatically reduced the incidence
of adults tripping over toys on their way to the bathroom in the
middle of the night. A three year old can handle a simple chore
like this, and it builds a good foundation for future shared housekeeping
finally, we can't emphasize enough that twins represent special
parenting challenges. Please check out the following excellent
organization for additional support:
National Organization of Mothers of Twins Clubs, Inc.
PO Box 438
or call 1-877-540-2200
What kinds of adjustments might I expect when I quit my job to
stay home in a couple months when my baby is due?
I'm sure you've been told that new mothers are often sleep deprived,
moody, overwhelmed, exhilarated, and depressed, in turn. As a
professional woman turned at-home mother, you'll face even more
adjustments. If you've been in the workforce for several years,
you may experience a difficult transition in giving up your title,
salary, and business accomplishments in favor of family life.
We heard the phrase "culture shock" again and again when mothers
told us how they felt about being home for the first few months.
many ways, it's like going from a large, bureaucratic corporation
to working for a freewheeling, entrepreneurial partnership. All
the rules and structures you're used to at work have changed,
and it will take time to get adjusted. You'll find that your new
career at home involves chaotic, disorganized schedules, irregular
work hours (with plenty of overtime), no clear job assignments,
no performance evaluations, mundane chores, few coworkers, and
obviously, no salary! For women who have been used to being in
control of their time and of themselves, this can be extremely
at home can also be a shock because so many career women never
thought they'd end up there. For that reason, they may feel very
unsure when it comes to running a house and raising a child. Remember
that it can take a year or two of on-the-job training before you
feel confident that you are doing a good job as a mother.
lose heart during those difficult first few months. If you can
adjust your expectations and accept that you'll have good days
and bad days as a mother (just as you had your ups and downs at
work), you'll stand a much better chance to making a smooth adjustment
to home life.
I guess I have a comment more than a question. When our son was
born last October, I stopped teaching to stay home full time with
Andrew. I hadn't planned on it until our plans for childcare fell
through. I knew a couple months before he was born and was SO
worried about the transition. I found it really helpful to hear
all of the support from people like you. I now know it was the
best decision we could have made. The big thing that I found helpful
was in pacing myself and allowing myself to work into a schedule
that fit the whole family.
treat my job as a 40 hour a week one (keeping house, laundry,
errands and chores) when at all possible. This allows us, as a
family, to enjoy the fruits of me staying home -- the evenings
and weekends reserved for family time! It doesn't always work out
that way, but I make an effort for it to and have had great results.
Do you have any helpful hints on this? Thanks for your support!
to hear that you're so happy with your decision to stay home,
Maggie. It sounds like you're doing a great job organizing and
running your household. Your instincts are good, so keep on doing
what you're doing.
remember to leave room in your schedule for spontaneous outings
and playdates. Having a structured routine can be helpful, but
it's also a good idea to be open to unexpected opportunities to
have fun with your children.
would like to mention that running every aspect of the household
should not be entirely your responsibility. Job-sharing is popular
these days—we recommend that you apply that approach at home.
Remind your husband that you need time off too, and see if he
can take on some of the recurring domestic chores to give you
The more I look around the more interesting this book is and I
can't get it out of my mind. I keep getting drawn back to ask
you questions. Do you have any good financial tips that can help
me to 'Stay Home?' I am looking forward to reading your interview!
Amanda. We're happy to hear that our book has been helpful to
you. Here are four ideas for saving money at home without depriving
YOUR TIME. Find two or three other parents whose children seem
reasonably polite and healthy and form an informal babysitting
co-op. With the price of movie tickets and teenage sitters these
days, a simple evening out with your husband can easily run $50
or more. By trading babysitting hours with another couple you
can cut the cost of a date with your spouse by one third to one
half. Even if you trade babysitting only once a month, this system
will easily save you $300 a year.
CLEAR OF DRY CLEANERS. Even if you buy wisely, the hidden cost
of maintaining your clothing may wipe out all of your savings.
When shopping, try to purchase garments you can machine or hand
wash, because dry cleaning costs really add up. In fact, our local
dry cleaners charge more to clean a silk blouse than the consignment
shop around the corner charges to buy one! Just one less dry cleaning
bill a week can save you $195 this year.
YOUR OWN. Gardening does take some effort, especially the first
year when you are making your beds. But it doesn't take special
skills to have a productive vegetable garden, and even a limited
amount of homegrown veggies can have a terrific impact on your
food budget. By growing a variety of vegetables, herbs and fruit,
Darcie has slashed about $675 from her family's food budget every
IS BEST. If allergies run in your family, try to breastfeed your
infants for at least six months. Studies show that breastfeeding
has a significant impact on reducing children's allergies and
other health problems. Breastfeeding can also save you more than
$700 on formula, bottles and liners if you nurse for six months.
ways families can save money is to take advantage of free programs
such as library story times, visit a variety of local parks and
playgrounds, take nature walks, and visit museums and zoos on
their free or half-price days. One of the best things you can
do for your children is to teach them how to have fun without
spending money. Depending on your children's ages, you can play
tag or card games; do a puzzle together; catch fireflies; sing
songs; watch a family movie, or just sit down and talk to each
other. Children thrive on this kind of sustained attention.
My husband and I are both self-employed professionals and we both
work from home. We have five children aged five and under, including
10 month old twin boys. We try very hard to split the workload
of the home so we each have time for work and kids and self. My
question/complaint is how to handle others who assume that *I*
have tons of time because I'm a woman?
example, we always book the first appointment available at the
doctor's office, which is 9:00. I generally have to wait 20 or
30 minutes, and it's frustrating not only because I have the first
appointment but also because they seem to take professionally
dressed people before me. DH also told me he NEVER waits, they
take him in as soon as he gets there. Why is it assumed that professionally-dressed
people and men have less time to wait than those of us who dress
do the same thing, they just show up an hour late, or show up
when they don't have an appointment, and say they figured it wasn't
a big deal since I work at home. Yes, I happen to be home, but
I also need to breastfeed the boys and start dinner, or take the
girls to their playgroup, and your being an hour late or a day
early really threw my schedule out of whack! My husband's clients
NEVER do that to him, and I think it's because he's a man, so
they think his time is more important than mine.
of being a bitch, do you have any ideas about how to deal with
these kinds of things? I'm really frustrated that the whole world
seems to think my time is free, when actually it's around $75/hour!
The last time I had to wait 45 minutes at the dentist, I got really
upset and gave his receptionist a bill for $50 for my time, which
detailed my appointment time, arrival time, and the patients who
were taken ahead of me. He called later, thinking it was a joke,
but I told him this is a serious problem for me, and why. Should
I just start carrying my laptop everywhere, ready to whip out
invoices? There must be a better way!
made us groan (and laugh) in sympathetic recognition, both as
at-home parents and at-home writers! Is your field sociology or
anthropology? If not, too bad, because you have the makings of
a fantastic paper here!
teasing aside, you make some very astute observations. The common
denominator is not so much that you are a mother, but that you
are dressed casually and work in an environment—the house—associated
with less formal relations than an office setting. The casual
dress and setting sends a subliminal signal that your attitude
is casual—which clearly is not the actual case.
home-based workers suffer to some extent from inconsiderate and
clueless clients and service providers. Most business people in
a business setting dress for respect. The exception being, of
course, rock stars and dot-com millionaires, who have really messed
up the whole corporate couture culture by showing up in ripped
jeans and flannel shirts for everything. Short of going to appointments
with a guitar strapped to your back or a printout of your stock
portfolio pasted to your forehead, what can you do to be proactive
and get the kind of service and consideration you want?
off the bat, if you can stand it, dress more formally for appointments.
This send an immediate visual message that you should be treated
more formally. In a pinch you can just throw a tailored jacket
over your jeans, and carry a briefcase-style bag instead of a
purse. We also like your idea of packing the laptop along (do
you have three hands?) for the same reasons.
If your own casual comfort is too important to you to give up,
then use the phone to prepare clients and service providers for
the kind of treatment you expect. Don't get all passive-aggressive
on them and wait for them to mess up—take control and make them
treat you the way you want to be treated.
example, your policy of always getting the first appointment at
the doctor's office is an excellent start, but we suggest you
go even further. Tell them you want the first 9 am appointment
because YOU have an appointment at 10. When you get to the office
and check in with the receptionist, remind them that you have
the first appointment and another one to get to after them, and
ask how soon you can expect to be seen. That puts them on notice
of your expectations and will set you up for success.
your own clients, we suggest you place reminder calls to them
the day before their appointments. Even a message left on their
home answering machine will do wonders. Remind them of the day
and time of their appointment, and sweetly suggest that they arrive
on time because you have another appointment AFTER them. Don't
go into detail—they don't need to know whether that appointment
is soccer practice or brain surgery—the important thing here is
to get them to respect YOUR schedule. It's a shame that you have
to be proactive to get the treatment you want, but it CAN be done.
they touch on such similar issues, we're handling the questions
from Laura and Norma together.
We are in a better position for my husband to stay home than for
me to stay home, since I have two degrees and he has more desire
to not work. What special considerations, in the event we can
afford it, are there for the father to stay home?
Norma: Hi Darcie & Martha, writing from South America.
Both my husband and I work full time, but he's always the most
likely to lose his job (and never recover, due to our shaky economy).
He stated that in such a case, he wants to stay at home with our
son, who now is 18 months. Here in Argentina SAHDs are (forcibly)
earning some respect. Any ideas? My husband is a very indoor-and
introspective-person. He manages quite well with cooking and the
house, and studies music. Our son is vivacious, very mobile and
well adjusted to daycare center. Thanks a lot.
sought expert advice on the pleasures and pitfalls of stay-at-home-dads
from children's author ("I Know a Rhino") Kevin Harrison, who
has been a SAHD to his two sons for 11 years.
one personality type (for example, introvert vs. extrovert) is
better suited to the job of parenting. Harrison believes that
under most circumstances father and child "will do very well."
However, he cautions that a SAHD "better have a strong ego and
be very sure of himself, and his place in the world." There will
be looks and comments and pressure from some friends, family,
acquaintances to "get a real job". (A favorite response to the
latter is "This IS the best job I've ever had!")
SAHD is, after all, bucking thousands of years of tradition, and
while he is certainly not going to be the first dad to stay home,
there's a good chance he will be the first one anybody close to
him knows. Some of the reminders that he's in a small minority
will be subtle; for example: the Park District offerings of an
"Exercise for Mom and Tot" class, the preschool program or class
trip where the teachers thank all the "Moms" for coming, the dilemma
of which washroom or locker room to go into with a daughter. On
the bright side, things ARE changing and it's better now than
it was 10 years ago, but it still seems slow. Demographics also
matter—you will find more SAHDs and SAHD-awareness in moderately-to-densely
populated urban areas, and fewer in sparsely populated rural areas.
Suburbs fall somewhere in-between.
matter where you live, one pitfall to avoid is lack of SAHD "guy
time." Harrison points out that no matter how isolated they initially
may feel, it is easier for stay at home mothers to find time with
their "sisters" than it is for stay at home fathers to find time
with their "brothers." Mothers can go out to the park or playground
or the beach or library and inevitably find other women there.
Complete strangers can bond instantly in such circumstances over
their common job as a SAHM. The SAHD will rarely find another
guy in his position, and he'll start to miss this "guy time."
a special effort should be made to find some time for male bonding.
The SAHD will need time off from his parenting job, the same as
a SAHM does. He may have to work a little harder at putting together
his male bonding group, and should consider signing up for a regular
sports program, class, or special-interest club to facilitate
his social life. Here's Harrison's strategy: "One of the things
my wife and I did was for her to give me some of her vacation
days to use for my needs. Since she could use her days in 1/2
day increments, she'd come home to the kids at noon once in a
while, and I'd go golf with the guys."
additional benefit Harrison points out is the lessening or removal
of the guilt some professional women feel for choosing a career
over full-time mothering. His wife doesn't feel it, because when
the kid is sick, she doesn't have to miss that important meeting
or deadline. She doesn't have to plan all her vacation days around
school holidays and institute days. She doesn't have to say "No,
we can't" to after-school programs or sports because she can't
get off in time to get her children there.
conclusion, choosing the SAHD option instead of the SAHM has its
unique concerns, but provides all the benefits of full-time parenting
to both the children and the adults in the family.
following questions will all be answered together, below.
Can you recommend jobs that mothers can work from home and still
pull in some income to help with family finances?
I am going to be on a leave for a few months without pay and I
was thinking about getting a job I can do at home. All the ones
I see on the Internet seem cool enough until they mention some
type of money you have to give them. We don't have a lot of money
as it is and I would prefer not to just give away what I have
worked hard to make. Can you give me some ideas for legitimate
work at home jobs.
I was a full-time professional until I was about 2 months pregnant.
At that time I began just working part-time as a nanny. As the
pregnancy nears the end I had to quit that as well. Now it is
so important to both my husband and myself that I stay home with
the baby. However, I don't want to be strapped for money for the
next five years, and deprive my child of doing certain things
because "mommy and daddy can't afford it." As a result, I have
been scouring the Internet and picking everyone's brain to think
of something I could do from home, that would not interfere with
time with my child, that would bring in some extra money and take
the strain off of my husband. Please, I know you probably get
this question a lot, but what can a new mother do that will not
take away from time with her new baby to bring in some extra money
for the family? Thank you so much.
Do you know of any reputable work-from-home opportunities? I've
found numerous companies and websites offering positions from
home, but as they say ... "when it seems to good to be true, it
usually is." Without a recommendation from a trustworthy source,
I'm too wary to even make contact.
asked about how to earn money while at home. Yes, it certainly
is possible to combine work at home with raising your children.
In fact, ten percent of all Americans are self-employed, according
to the Census Bureau. You might want to take a look at our other
book, Turn Your Talents into Profits, which was written for women
who want to run a small, flexible, home-based business.
you want to start your own business, you'll need a good idea for
earning money, a useful talent or skill, and the desire to work
for yourself. Start by considering your talents, your professional
experience and your hobbies or interests, and see if any of these
inspire a home business idea. Some examples of popular home-based
jobs are: selling your own crafts, computer consulting or web
page design, bookkeeping services, medical transcriptionist, technical
writer, market researcher, party planner, tutor, pet sitter, home
party sales, and gift baskets seller. Also, look into whether
your previous employer might give you freelance projects you could
do at home.
quite right to shy away from Internet companies that want you
to send them some money before they'll tell you about work-at-home
jobs. These are scams—stay away from them! There are plenty of
reputable websites, associations and books that can provide guidance
to you. Here are some of the best resources we've found for women
who want to work from home:
Lynie Arden, The
7th ed. (Live Oak Publications, 1999)
Barbara Brabec, Homemade
Money, 5th ed. (Betterway Publications, 1997)
Cheryl Demas, The
Work-at-Home Mom’s Guide to Home Business (Hazen Publishing
Paul and Sarah Edwards, The
Best Home Businesses for the 21st Century and Working from Home,
5th ed. (Jeremy P. Tarcher, 1999)
Liz Folger, The
Stay-at-Home Mom’s Guide to Making Money from Home (Prima
Priscilla Y. Huff, 101
Best Home-Based Businesses for Women, 2nd ed. (Prima Publishing,
Loriann Hoff Oberlin, Working
at Home While the Kids Are There, Too (Career Press, 1997)
Ellen H. Parlapiano and Patricia Cobe, Mompreneurs:
A Mother’s Practical Step-by-Step Guide to Work-at-Home Success
Lisa M. Roberts, How
to Raise a Family and a Career Under One Roof (Book Haven
Entrepreneurial Parent, P.O. Box 320722, Fairfield, CT 06432;
(203) 371-6212. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.en-parent.com.
Working Moms, P.O Box 500164, Austin, TX 78750; (512) 266-0900.
E-mail: email@example.com; www.hbwm.com.
Home Office Association of America, 133 East 58th Street, Ste.
711, New York, NY 10022; (212) 588-9097 or 800-809-4622. E-mail:
Mothers’ Home Business Network, P.O. Box 423, East Meadow, NY
11554; (516) 997-7394. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; homeworkingmom.com.
The information and advice provided by Darcie Sanders and Martha
M. Bullen are not intended as a substitute for medical, psychological,
financial, legal, or other professional advice. We expect our
readers to exercise normal, good judgment, to take reasonable
precautions and to solicit professional advice as necessary. Darcie
Sanders and Martha M. Bullen shall not be liable for any damages
resulting from the use or misuse of information contained herein.
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