Day 19: How to become a stay at home mom on one income – going from two incomes to one

When I was pregnant with our first son, I was teaching at a school that I loved. I was enjoying working and loved the children and staff that I worked with every day. With all of that said, I knew that I wanted to be a stay at home Mom. I was going to have to learn how to become a stay at home mom on one income.

Over the years, our family has grown and we now have four children (ages 6, 4, 2 and a baby). I love being a stay at home Mom. I work about 4 hours a week and it is just enough to get out and keep my “foot in the door”, as I am a play therapist, so I can still work with children.  My friend, Lauren, used to call it “preschool money” when she worked a few hours a week (money for preschool tuition).

stay at home mom one income


Being a stay at home Mom can be challenging, as far as going from two incomes to one is concerned, but I have made it work with just a few easy tips that I will share with you….

This post is just a tiny snippet from my book, You Can be a Stay At Home Mom on One Income {money saving tips}, where I talk about making money from home, learning how to get 1/2 off on memberships, grocery-shopping tips, saving money on your smartphone (1/2 the cost), going on vacation for free (every time), paying your house off sooner, dealing with credit cards, buying a car for a GREAT price & so much more:
(click on the book to be taken to the book)

You can buy the full book for $9.99  by clicking on this picture:

You can be a stay at home mom on one income
BEFORE I START, I want to say that you if you are looking for true FINANCES (“Can I stay home?  How do I begin to transfer my finances from two to one?   Exactly how much do I need?  What about our mortgage, car payments, etc…) – all of that is included in my book for $9.99.

Now onto my tips for living on one income:

– Don’t go shopping for things that you don’t need! If I go to the store, I will be buying things. Of course, I love to shop, but shopping with young kids is a challenge in itself, so that is enough of a reason for me to stay home or do something a little more kid-friendly (and free!)

Save money Grocery shopping:
How to become a stay at home mom on one income
If you are thinking about grocery shopping and saving money, you will want to refer to this post that I made earlier:  saving money on groceries- 10 steps to save you a LOT of money at the grocery store, without coupons.
I do use coupons when our local grocery stores offer triple coupons (they triple the coupon amount) or super doubles (where the store will double your coupon up to $1 now, so if you have a $1.00 coupon for toothpaste, they will double it to $2.00, making thetoothpaste free.) I get most of our toiletries completely free using coupons. I also get baby wipes for free, snack foods, cereals and many times juice and other food items for free and a lot of other items, too (make up, medicines…) I follow a few couponing websites and they just lay it out for me ( like this one- southern savers).
I get my coupons on Sunday (usually from my Mom and my husband’s parents) and I file them by date in a little file-folder box. I wait for the great sales and I start clipping them.  I didn’t want to go into how I coupon, because this post would be WAY too long, but I do explain it in my e-book.



My next tip, (One that you probably already know) Shop only on sale!

I NEVER would pay full retail for anything.
Getting a great deal on your car– If you are not afraid of a base model, you can get a great deal. My husband loves cars, but we have to be practical. We can not spend a ton of money on a car that will depreciate the moment it leaves the lot, while we have four growing children at home that are getting MORE expensive as they get older. We normally buy either a (well-kept, low-miles) used car or the new car that they were trying to get rid of because it is a manual instead of the automatic. Getting a stick-shift will save you thousands on a car purchase, if you can drive one (trust me, it is easier than people think!).

host a clothing swap
Clothing and shoes? I stack clearance items with a coupon. (Kohls has so many sales of 80% off on their clearance sections. Match that with the 30% coupon that comes in the mail and you’ve got a great deal!) Our kids all got new tennis shoes for $22 total (They were about $7-$10 each on sale and over $60 each at full price, so we saved over $150). They had their tennis shoes on clearance at our Local Kohls, so we just went in and found them and added our 30% off. Our kids shoes DO NOT last long in this house- they love to play outside and run around, so getting a good deal is a must when they only last a few months (not to mention how quickly little feet grow!)  Also, try having a clothing swap with your friends!


EATING OUT: Three Products
Save when you are Eating out- We rarely eat out, but when we do, we use is my personal affiliate link).  Again, we don’t eat out much and this is partly because eating out with four kids can be more of a chore than a reward (Do we have: toys, paper, diapers, wipes, sippy cups… Oh- and “Can we have the booth in the very back of the restaurant, away from everyone?”, so we only eat out once a month or so. We will order out occasionally. If we do eat out, we use our coupon to save!
This is really a great way to eat out without spending much- and you can buy the gift certificates from there and just save them for up to a year.  If they ever expire, they have switched them to newer ones for me (I buy them for gifts, too).  Most of my friends and our whole family (brother & his family, my parents, my Aunt/Uncle…) all use them, too.
Here is how they work:  To get started, you can search by zip code, state, or popular city nationwide. Once you’ve found a restaurant you like, you can choose to purchase a $10, $25, or higher value dining certificate and get them at a discount!  Keep in mind that these “gift certificates” are really coupons that have a minimum purchase requirement and other stipulations.  There is a minimum purchase, so for full rules & regulations and to learn more…

I also take advantage of the KIDS EAT FREE restaurants.  There are a TON in our area!  If you are looking just search: “Kids eat free restaurants in YOUR-CITY-HERE”.


how to become a stay at  home mom  on one income- your money saving tips

Fun and Free Kids activities: 

The local libraries offer PLENTY of great activities for kids! Our library has Mommy & Me classes, as well as “drop off your child for an hour class”.   They are all geared towards learning and socialization.
Along with libraries, if you look around, you will find a lot of great, free places to take your child. Look up online “Free kid activities in YOUR-CITY-HERE”. I’m sure you will be amazed by the amount of free things that you can do every week in you area.


how to host a toy swap

Have your friends bring over their “not played with anymore” kid toys & you all just swap them out for each others toys. (This is best to do when the kids are not around to say “WHAT?! You are giving away the Barney toy that I have not touched or looked at in three years? That is my favorite toy in the whole world! You can’t give it away!”
See more on Hosting a Swap Here.


average age to start preschool
Have your own “Preschool” with friends:
The above activities (find more activities here) , paired with a few play dates and lessons from you at home can easily replace preschool, in my opinion.  I think preschool is great, but if you want to save financially or just want to home-school, teach your kids at home.  Or you could find a free Mothers Morning Out program- I was in one years ago where we just all had our kids at a local church (8-10 kids at a time). Once every six weeks, I would be the “teacher” of the kids. During the other five weeks, I did not have to be there. You could easily arrange this with a few friends. Find a local church or swap houses each week.
That being said, I sent our kids to preschool when they turn four, but that is not to say that I did not heavily debate keeping them home to teach them during the preschool years.  In the end, I decided to send them.  I wanted them to be fully prepared for school (not academics, but socially & in the aspect of how to listen to their teacher, etc…) Sunday School is great for this, too.
PS- here is an older post that I did on the average age to send your child to preschool.



FREE Date night:
date night at home
When we have date night, it is normally at home. If we have to go out, my parents will watch our kids for us, but we have our kids in bed by 7:00 on most nights, so we normally don’t have to go out anywhere because we have plenty of time to ourselves in the evenings. This eliminates the need for ‘date night’ since we can have a ‘date’ at home every night- we play board games or card games some nights. We rent movies at Redbox (sign up on their website & they will send you codes for free movies). On special occasions, my husband will run out after the kids are asleep and pick up Chinese food (you can have it delivered) for dinner and I will feed the kids earlier – here are some easy meals. (If you want to find out how important eating dinner as a family is, check out this post on “dinner as a family“. )



How to become a stay at home mom

We do not use credit cards, unless we are sure that we can pay off the full amount when the bill comes. We have a few that we can pay off over several months, during one of the “12 months free financing (pay no interest for 12 months) This means that we can buy something (example: material to build a porch at Lowes) and have it paid off before we get any interest- we pay it off at least two months before the interest rates kick in. Most stores do this. To name a few: Best Buy, Lowes, Home Depot, Ashley Furniture. JUST MAKE SURE THAT YOU CAN PAY IT OFF IN FULL A FEW MONTHS BEFORE IT IS DUE… BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY. They will charge you interest on the entire purchase price if it is not paid off in full first.
Credit cards make it too easy to say YES when you should say NO. I have family member that will pay everything on their credit cards to get the points, which is a great way to go if you are disciplined enough to keep track of all of your spending. You need to pay it off in full when that bill comes in. Raising a large family without stress would be hard to do with the weight of debt on your shoulders!

Buy used! Do you know how quickly kids go through things these days? I love to shop at our local consignment sales or to buy things from friends in my Mommy Groups. It is a great way to help other moms and help myself. In the end, we have both had a financial gain: I save 75% on that toy & they gain 25% back of what they paid for it originally.


Diapers are a huge expense, so I potty trained our kids early!  I trained my kids early, at one year old (around 20 months).  I wrote a book about how to train them in three days (over a weekend).   It has so much information in there, so I know that anyone can have their kids trained in a weekend.  If you would like to read it, you can find more information on it here:

I actually had my Dad write a full book on this!  This car-buying book is $2.99 and worth so much more.    This book has such great info.  (My dad is a scientist that has worked on car safety for over 20 years.  He knows so much about getting the best price for the best car!)   Remember- it is the OUT THE DOOR price that counts, not how much you will pay every month!

 Make Money: 
You can make money on all sorts of  ‘online’ places!  You can be a ghost writer and earn an income writing anonymously, rent your things out (house/cars/boats), sell used toys, sell furniture that you buy cheap or get for free and fix up-  I do all of this on online groups.   If you have a talent, use it!   Tutoring?  Sewing?  Writing?  Crafting?  Check out my 5 ways to make money from home video post here.

For more money saving tips, You can purchase this ebook for $9.99: You can be a stay at home Mom

You can be a stay at home mom on one income





earn money from home - 15 ways



  1. Leslie says

    All fantastic tips, thanks for sharing!

    Thanks for sharing your favorite post at Raising Imperfection! We feature our favorites on Friday, make sure to come back and check.

  2. says

    Great information! Love the blog and how informative it is. We too are a single income family. It’s always great to see how others make it work.

  3. says

    I think this post on helping women who want to stay home do so, is so beneficial. Often we get stuck in our ruts and have a hard time thinking outside of the box. I recently started a Thursday link-up party (yes, today:), and I would really love to see this post and/or any others you would like to include. I am at Hope to see you there!!

  4. says

    Hey! I found your link at Six Sisters’ Stuff! Unfortunately I don’t have any tips on how to be a stay at home mom because I don’t have any kids yet. However, I appreciate your advice a lot because I want to be a stay at home mom as well! Thanks so much for your tips and I’ll keep them in mind when I start a family! Please come by my blog Home | Styled and follow me if you see something you like!

  5. says

    Great advice! We have an Amex credit card that we pay in full every month, and I use it for everything. It’s a free cash back card, so when we want to make a purchase that we didn’t budget for, we can apply the cash back toward it without messing up the budget. It takes discipline, but it works!

  6. says

    Wonderful tips! We followed many of these while raising our daughters. One of the best things we ever did was start an emergency fund with the little bit of money that we could tuck away when I was pregnant with our first. It gave us a lot of peace to know that we had money set aside for when the inevitable, like the car or washer breaking, happened. Thanks for sharing your tips!

  7. Meghan says

    Hi! I was just wondering how you got a job as a “play therapist”? I am a stay-at-home mom who used to be a Speech Therapist. Ever since I’ve had my kids, I have realized that I do not want to be a Speech Therapist. The job is too stressful, too intense, and too demanding; however, I would like to contribute financially to our family, and feel good about myself. I feel like my speech therapy degrees have been a waste b/c it seems as though it has been all or none for me- be a Speech Therapist or my degrees cannot get me any other job. Just wondering if you have any suggestions for me. Thank you!! :)

    • says

      Our son used to get play therapy (w/ OT, PT & speech) as an infant & when he was one, I decided to work towards it. I contacted the company that worked with him (Amazing group of people!) and I was able to use my degree in elementary education to get started. I now have my play therapy certification. If I were you, I would just start calling a few places (easter seals is a good one, but there are a lot of smaller ones, like ours). Just call your located Early Intervention office (ours is the Child Developmental Services Agency) and ask them for some referrals for companies that provide Play Therapy. I would write them down & just start calling to find out which ones are hiring & what you need to work there.
      It is the best job! I love it. The kids are always great and I make my own hours. I feel so blessed to have found it!
      I hope that helped!

  8. Kim says

    I do a lot of these same things with our brood. Great tips and great advice for all of us to stay out of debt.

    One thing I have tried and was not in love with was I felt like there were not great restaurant choices and the stipulation of spending a certain amount caused me to spend more at a restaurant than I would have normally so that I can get to the coupon amount. Sometimes these deals are not worth it. However, we have bought many groupons for restaurants and we find that to be a much better deal for us. Once you buy it there is no further cost necessary unless you decide to spend more than the groupon amount.

    Also, I have 4 very active kids (3 of which are dirty, rough and tumble boys), and I have found that if I spend a little more on their tennis shoes they last much longer. We only buy nikes. I have tried EVERY brand out there with my 11-year-old and nikes are the only ones that hold up. What we do is go to a place like shoe carnival that is constantly doing a buy one get one half off sale and buy the kids their shoes. Here they are cheaper than a department store to begin with and then with the other sale on top I can get a great deal on great shoes. I only buy them new tennis shoes before school and then again in the spring. I actually save money by buying less cheap shoes through the year. Once my kids get a new pair of shoes their old pair becomes their outside run around pair and the new pair is for school/around town. I totally agree that you should shop on sale and not pay full price, but sometimes a deal is not a deal if you are replacing a lower cost item more often.

    • says

      I agree w/ you on the shoes. (We like real crocs b/c they last so much longer than the knock-offs.)

      OH- and… we like a pizza place (local), Tonys, and it is usually on there, so we love using it for going there. We can all (extended family included) get a GIANT pizza using this & its enough for everyone. :)

      Thanks for the great tips!!

  9. allison m says

    One thing we did before i officially quit my job was live off of one income 2-3 months before my last day. Any money I made we put into savings. After I quit we had money in savings and realized during that time that we would survive living on one income.

  10. Sarah says

    Great tips and put most of them to use already…trying to figure out if it’s possible to live off of one TEACHER’S salary :/ Not sure it’s humanly possible, but I’d sure like to try.

    • says

      Sarah- You can do it for sure. I’m sure you’ll find a way. Try to do something part-time, at home (transcriptionist or something,maybe) I have a few friends that live off of one (teacher’s) salary. :)

    • says

      It is possible! My husband is a teacher for a charter school, meaning he makes even less than public school teachers, but we make it work. The biggest thing is financial priorities and knowing what’s important and what isn’t. We don’t have cable and just make do with our antenna. Any shows we can’t see we watch online. We just barely got Netflix last month because it’s only $8. Right now we have only one car, which can be difficult, but is possible. We do plan on getting another, but it really has saved us a lot because I can’t go anywhere to spend money! We live in a modest home that fits our needs. We work hard to save on groceries and try to only shop twice a month (we take our budgeted grocery money out of the bank so we stick with it…once its gone, it’s gone). This also makes us plan our meals more accordingly to what is in our pantry. We try not to spend money unless necessary. I do day care out of our home but we put all of that money in a savings account. It can be tight but I promise it can be done!

  11. says

    Great tips, I am not a stay at home mom but a wanna be stay at home grandmom! Great tips. I am having a problem with eating out. Well I work but if I was a stay at home I would have more time. But I have worked for many yrs and cooked for many. I am a semi-retired cook now. Visiting from Aloha hop
    Living F.A.B.ulously on Purpose

  12. Becca says

    I know a lot of you will be mad at me but oh well, this is my opinion. I don’t think it’s fair if you’re working to just stay at home with your kids not bringing in any income. I’m a big believer in marriage being a partnership, and unless your spouse is rolling in dough, I don’t think it’s right to leave all of that stress and responsibility on him. You should do your part to help the income of the household. This isn’t the 50s girls, c’mon now. No matter what anyone says I’m going back to work full time after I have children, because that is what my mom did and she still had time with us after school and at night. I love working and I know I would go crazy being at home, busy or not. Sorry if I made any of you mad but then again, this is MY opinion. I wished others shared it

    • Renae says

      You certainly have a right to YOUR opinion as I do to mine. Im sure no one is mad. I think it is MY job to stay home and raise OUR children, not daycares or a babysitters, and my husband loves that Im home with the kids. I love being the one that takes care of my family and our house full time. I dont think a job is nearly as important IF I GET TO CHOOSE and I know sometimes we do NOT get to choose if we work or not, I have definitely had to work. Fortunately, we cut back a little here and a little there and I get to stay home, we would not have it any other way.

    • says

      In response to previous poster… Emphasis on the “when I have kids” part….You’ve got it all figured out before you have kids, do you??
      Please understand that your opinion on family dynamic extends only to your own family, which as you pointed out does not yet exist. To project your opinion on how others live their lives’ is called judgement.

    • Dee says

      I just love how women who have no children have an opinion about working moms or sahm … How about you reserve your opinion until you actually have children because you haven’t a clue …. smh , From a working mom …

    • Lj says

      In response to the previous commenter: In our family it wasn’t that I had to be the stay at home because I’m the woman. We were both unemployed and it came down to whoever got a job first would be the working parent and the other would be the stay at home. Contributing to the family doesn’t always have to be monetarily and in our case (2 special needs kids) one of us HAS to be the stay at home. You may think that being a stay at home is backwards but it’s not. In some cases it’s a neccessity. One question for you though … Since you don’t have kids yet … what facts are your opinion based on anyway.

    • Angel says

      daycare/dayhomes are very expensive, unless both you and your spouses jobs are well paying one of you will be working just to pay the babysitter. Hey, do what suits your family. moreover, if you know that you are not cut out to stay at home, don’t. but a partnership does not mean exact separation of exactly the same duities. We are partners whoever works and whoever wipes more bums. The work does not care who does it but I think it sounds like you have a chip on your shoulder about ‘woman’s work’

  13. says

    In reply to the last post: Well it may not be the 50’s but, I quit my full time job where I had my own office, to raise our children when my son was three months old. I know many people don’t have this option and for us at the time, it was a big risk, but it was my hearts desire. I did not want my child’s first smiles, crawling, walking wasted on other people. I wanted to witness those things. I couldn’t in my right mind leave my child to be raised by other people and only spend three or four hours a day with them. My oldest is now four, and I wouldn’t change a thing. I love being home with my kids, its where I know I should be. When my kids are school aged, I will return to work, but I’m not gonna be the mom that misses practice for a meeting. And you know what, what the hell was wrong with the 50’s anyway? How about that for some food for thought? By the way, I support my husband by taking care of the needs of our home and children.

  14. says

    Hi! Visiting from A Bowl Full of Lemons (Link up)! I am so glad I found your page. You are definitely an inspiration. I am a SAHM, too. Mother of 1. I’ve never knew about I’ll have to check that out! Thank you for sharing!! New follower here. :-)

  15. Jennifer Ballance says

    Can you tell me the web address for the children’s educational resources. I am unable to click on the link. I loved reading this. Thank you, Jennifer

  16. Stephanie says

    To the person who posted this is not the 50’s, staying at home is actually making a BIG contribution to the family. I am currently working and we have one child. Recently I found out I am expecting and the first one to mention that one of us should stay home was my husband. It almost doesn’t make sense financially for both of us to work. We spend so much by both working (daycare, gas, food) and we never have time. I wanted to stay home since my first was born but I was always telling myself I just need to give it a try. By the time the second one arrives, hopefully I’ll have gotten the courage to quit my job.

  17. Christina at I Gotta Create! says

    Great tips!

    Thank you for partying with the Wildly Original Crowd.
    <3 Christina at I Gotta Create!

  18. Rebekah says

    southern Savers is an awesome site but she only covers the south. I’ve found bargins to bounty does a great job in the north, they are as easily laid out like Jenny but it gets the job done, especially for meijer shoppers. :)

  19. says

    It must be the week for frugality! I just wrote a similar post on living on a single income (we also have four children). However, you’ve included some ideas that I didn’t think to include, such as using, etc. Great tips! :) I’m visiting from pin-it Tuesdays.

  20. says

    Hi new follower…I’ve been a stay at home mom now for 3 years I have 2 kids and I know the feeling I only shop if I have to and I use a lot of coupons and I bargain shop funny I remember when I had one child and was working I never really worried of much about money and barging shopping but now with 2 kids and only one income and living in one of the most expensive state to live in I now do all the things you do

  21. Shauna says

    What great tips… Hubby & I have separate accounts and a joint one… so every month he gives me a set amount that goes in my account… I can use as I wish without feeling like he is looking over my shoulder… then if I do need more money, he can transfer it into the joint acct… it works for us

    • says

      Good idea. We just keep ours together, but I handle all of the finances (bills, shopping, etc… ) and the funny thing is that he is a finance manager & was a finance/economics major in college. 😉

  22. Katherine says

    WOW Tons of great tips in here! We did many of these when we went from 2 to 1 and it makes such a huge difference.

  23. says

    Wow! So much information. I wish I had had all these resources when I was raising my kids, but there is still a lot that is helpful. I’m going to pass your link on to others. :)

    Visiting from the UBC.

  24. says

    These are some fabulous tips. Thank you so much for sharing…..I do a lot of the things that you suggested, but there are always things you know, but don’t practice. Thank you

  25. says

    Super, super tips. I know alot of Military Spouses that would love your blog! I’ll be sharing this post. Thanks for taking the time to write it!

  26. says

    We’ve do a lot of cooking from scratch plus a huge vegetable garden for at least 14 years. I also accept any and all hand me downs from friends and relatives just in case. My boys go through sweat pants very quickly, and my one girl can be especially picky. My teenager didn’t care so much before about his clothes; now he does.

  27. says

    Hello there! Would you mind if I share your blog
    with my facebook group? There’s a lot of folks that I think would really enjoy your content. Please let me know. Thanks

  28. says

    I am a stay at home Mom too and liked how you have compiled so many tips in your blog. I also like to get some services on Barter system which helps saving good amount of money. I am glad I found your post on Mom mixer.

  29. says

    Great tips! We enjoyed many activities at the library when the kids were little. In fact, a couple of the librarians got to know us by name, lol!

    We DO have a credit card but we pay it off every month. We use it to build up rewards. We used to pay cash for everything in order to easily stay within our budget. Now we just pay with our credit cards, but you have to be careful to stay on target or you will easily go over your budget!

  30. says

    This is an awesome site and a great post! I made sure I pinned this one to our Mommy Monday Hop for sure. I am happy to say that I’ve been doing so much of this stuff already! My son is 16 months and we are prepping him to potty train within the next month too using the 3 day weekend method. So glad we connected. I’ll be coming back to your site to get more tips! Thanks so much for linking up with us! :) Following you now on social media

  31. Kristina J. says

    I don’t think that Moms should ever stay home. Don’t you think that you are teaching your children to not work? Don’t you think that teaches laziness? I am pregnant with our first child and I will only be taking 6 weeks off before returning to work. I will be able to provide more if I am working, teaching our child that working is important. What does staying home teach them?

    • says

      In response to last comment: What a horrifying attitude. Children need their mothers at home with them. There is no appropriate replacement for a mother. Children will see you work IN YOUR HOME. Just because I don’t dump my kids off somewhere for 8 – 10 hours a day everyday, so that I can go work for someone else, doesn’t mean I don’t work. My job consists of washing clothes, and dishes, and cleaning, and caring for my precious babies, and even if I didn’t run an at home online business (which I do), I would still be perfectly able to say that I WORK. I work HARD. Don’t look down on stay at home mom’s as if they were lazy people who sat around all day doing nothing. We are doing the single most important job in the universe; raising our children!

    • Katryn says

      In response to last comment: Learning how to run a household is work. Once upon a time it was even valued. Valued so much, in fact, that the rich paid people to do it. Oh wait, they still do. From keeping a budget, to cleaning, to cooking, to possibly homeschooling, being a taxi driver, a nurse, a therapist, well…the list is endless actually. I think that teaches our children a lot.

      My circumstances do not allow me to be a stay at home mom. So, I am teaching my girls (ages 15 and 17) that moms contribute in anyway needed which includes working outside the home if need be. While they were younger I was able to stay home with them and I am very grateful for the time I had. I don’t want other people teaching my kids things that I should as a parent.

      Just my own humble opinion though.

    • Kristi D says

      In response to last comment: Wow. This is a pretty broad assumption. I personally left my career as an educator to stay at home to be with my three children, ages respectively 4, 2, and 5 months. I LOVED my job. I still miss it some days. I miss making an impact on their lives. I miss being their ‘favorite teacher.’ I miss hearing the words, ‘Hi, Mrs. D!’ But once you become a mother, and I’d stretch to believe that you will see what I mean once your heart starts existing outside of your body in the form of your own child, that you will long for them throughout the day. You will want to hold them, touch them, smell his/her little head, kiss their cheeks ALL DAY long. I know, because I went back to work after my having my firstborn. But you know what – SOMEONE is teaching your child. Someone will be teaching them to use manners, sing their alphabet, pick up their toys, stack blocks, wave ‘hello’. Someone will do those things while you are working, and that is a full-time job. Motherhood (the right way – meaning you’re NOT being lazy or neglectful) is challenging. I am exhausted – far more than I ever was while ‘working.’ Mothering requires alertness, stamina, patience, knowledge, compassion, wisdom, and more. I rarely sit down before 9 pm; there are no restroom or lunch breaks. I have to be their counselor, their driver, cook, maid, TEACHER, life guard, soccer coach, librarian, crossing guard, potty-trainer, safety net, and guide. Every single thing that I do and every word that comes out of my mouth is teaching them something – and growing or damaging their character at the same time. Every single moment is a teachable one, which is why my 4 year old knows nearly every animal, how to write her name, count to 20, knows her address, can fold clothes, knows how to measure, and can point out a ‘waxing gibbous moon’. My two year old has dressed herself since she was about 18 months, is potty trained, speaks in fully developed, intelligent sentences, and can even pour herself a glass of water. If you think that you child will just pick up on these things naturally, there’s a pretty good chance you will be mistaken. Your child will learn what you teach them. We talk with our children often about jobs and what the people around them do for a living and why it is important. Our girls can probably explain, in detail, what their dad does for a living and that Mommy’s job is to take care of them, and take care of them well. I don’t want the world teaching my kids what they should be learning at home. Sadly, the time my husband gets to spend with them after a day’s work is so little, that all he wants to is enjoy them – snuggling, wrestling, talking about their day… Not much time there to teach a whole lot, if you are talking formally. I could go on, but I won’t even get into speech development, phonics, word recognition, social cues, life skills, fine and gross motor development… The list is long, so just hang on before you go jumping to such a negative opinion of what it is that is done in the home. You are that child’s everything. Blessings…

  32. Hana says

    Hello so many great tips, but I am sorry one negative comment form me….right when I opened your page the feeding bottle was looking at me. The best tip I can give to all moms is breasfeeding :O). Can you change is into a lovely breast :O). THanks and keep up the good work. Hana

  33. Danielle Riley says

    I found your blog because a friend of mine pinned it, and now I’m following you on Pinterest and will on facebook too! I am currently expecting my second (due in January) and my first will be 4 in February. I am VERY tempted to buy your book to see if our family could live on one income. Neither of us are good at finances (that’s why we pay everything on auto-draft), but my husband has wanted to be a stay at home dad since the beginnning. I would love for him to do it as well. As much as I love my family, I get enjoyment out of working and having something that is for myself, and I still get plenty of time with my family. But he really wants to, and I would love to find a way for him to do it. I make less than he does, and we’ve crunched the numbers before and it was just not possible. But I’ve been thinking lately that I should revist this idea to see. I feel like we already cut back everywhere, but truthfully I know there are more places we can cut and it would really be up to us to make a few sacrifices and MAYBE it could work. We make very little money [less than most teachers I know ;)]

    • Danielle Riley says

      Also, forgot to add that I have a few friends who were/are sahms and they used cloth diapers and claimed they saved a TON of money! That was never an option for us with the first because he was in daycare and they wouldn’t give us the option, but I would’ve tried it if they would’ve let us.

      • says

        I never tried that either – we always just bought disposable ones (lugs). I trained our kids early (18-23 months for our three boys), so I felt like training them early saved a lot of money. :)

  34. Katie says

    Sahms are so very important! A tip from me- try seeing if any of your friends need child care, even for a couple days a week. I watch 2 other kids for 3 days of the week in our home (as well as our own baby) and it’s a win win. The kids get to play with each other, and my friend knows her children are being well cared for. And we get extra money in the bank! It’s a great way to still get to contribute financially, but also get to be at home with your children.

  35. Jewel says

    Great tips for an expecting mom, who although will probably go back to work full time, is planning on a long maternity leave.

    With that being said, incase I would ever decide to stay home, do you have any tips on saving for retirement and/or college on one salary? I worry about those two things so much!

  36. says

    Almost forgot to leave a comment you have so many interesting links and I found myself with 4 different of your other blog posts open in the browser as well. Such great information! I would love to be able to stay home with my new little guy! Thanks for sharing!

  37. says

    I’m not a mother yet, but when I am I want to stay home and this has some great tips. My husband and I are trying to budget right now to prepare ourselves for hardships in the future, and there are some great tips in this. Thank you so much for sharing!

  38. says

    Lots of great tips here-thank you so much for sharing them! I love the idea of a clothes swap.

    If you have a minute to spare I’d be thrilled if you could link up your post to my weekly Say G’Day Saturday party. It has just started and this would be a great addition.

    Best wishes,
    Natasha in Oz

  39. says

    I absolutely love these tips, and it is so great that you are teaching people how to make their dream of staying at home with their kids a reality! I had never thought about doing a toy swap or! Great ideas!!!


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