It may be for a few months beyond your allotted maternity leave, a whole year or an entire lifetime, but making the choice to take time off from work to stay home with your child(ren) ain’t no joke – especially for the 21st century mamma (or mamma-to-be). Being a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) is an unusual gig. From the outside looking in, it can be viewed as a luxury. Change the viewpoint ‘round and it can be considered the ultimate sacrifice. And it’s not for everyone, nor should it be. BUT, if you are one of those women who are seriously considering taking that leap, here are some potential realities to mull over:
An Ugly Truth, a.k.a., Save Yo’ $$!!
The road is exceptionally rough when the sole income is just enough to allow you to abandon your livelihood. For those fortunate enough to claim money’s a non-issue, God bless ya. Perhaps the suspension of income isn’t missed because you live with family or your partner’s got a generous salary – but ask yourself this: Does the person your leaning on have a generous heart? Once the euphoria of newbornism fades away and the real stressors of parenthood set in, how long will your support system stand? Prepare for even the staunchest supporter of your choice to stay home with baby to show occasional signs of resentment. After a while, he may grow a tad bitter, spending long hours at work while viewing you as freewheeling, just chillin’ with the younglings without a care in the world (on his dime no less). When you begin to feel the indignities of having to ask for cash to cover day-to-day expenses – or Heaven forbid – a personal luxury like getting your hair done, or buying shoes to replace the ones that now resemble a dog’s chew toy, you may wish you had put some money away for some measure of financial independence.
You learn WIDE variety of skills in the fast paced, 24×7 career as SAHM, but unless you’re planning on taking up a line of work in early childcare, a lapse in employment can be a serious professional setback. From the perspective of an employer, your lack of work experience may not land you on the shortlist. Likewise, the idea of work that interferes with your responsibilities as a heavily engaged mom may be difficult to adjust to. For some women, the mere thought of returning to the workforce is absolutely intimidating. The pace, culture and energy level required for most jobs is demanding in a manner much different from the challenges of being a SAHM.
Your Social Life
This is a tricky one. Once you take on the role of SAHM, pretty much everything in your life revolves around your young one(s), including your social life. As their development demands a certain amount of socialization, you’ll inevitably find yourself neck deep in daily kid-stimulating activities, surrounded by nannies, as well as other SAHM’s. Some women are lucky enough to develop a community with other full-time caregivers they can truly vibe with, however from close observation many of these relationships are nothing more than a marriage of convenience. Consider this: Women you would’ve never considered being associated with in the past could very well become an integral part of your social life…