Are you a working mom who dreams of being home with your kids all day? Are you ready to leave your job and become a stay at home mom but you aren’t sure if its something you can actually make happen? These 6 steps can help set you up for success and make your dream of being a stay ay home mom a reality!
I never EVER thought I would become a stay at home mom. When I was pregnant with my oldest, becoming a stay at home mom never even crossed my mind. But something changed in me once I had him. The career that I had worked so hard for no longer brought me the joy it used to.
When I was at work all I could think of was how much I was missing and how much I missed my baby. The long hours and days away began to weigh on me and I knew I needed to make a change. After the birth of my second son, I left my job as an Officer in the U.S Army and I can honestly say it was the best decision I’ve ever made.
The transition from working to staying at home can be difficult. But having a plan can help reduce a lot of stress and set you and your family up for success. So what are the 6 things you need to do before you leave work behind?
1. Take a hard look at your finances – The first thing you’ll need to do sit down and have an honest look at your finances. Create a budget using just your husbands income and all of the expenses you’ll have once you stop working. Can you afford to stop working and live off one income?
If not what steps do you need to take to make it a reality? Develop a plan and set a date you can stop working. You can also talk with your employer about the possibility of working part-time or working from home until you reach your financial goals.
2. Increase your emergency fund – Once you stop working and go down to one income it’s going to take some time to shift out of your normal spending habits. Which means there might be a few months where you overspend. Having a healthy emergency fund can help to act as a buffer during this time.
3. What are you going to do about retirement – If you have an employer-provided 401k you’ll need to decide where you want to move that money too. You’ll also need to decide if you are going to continue to contribute to an IRA once you stop working.
4. Talk with your spouse about expectations – What are your husbands’ expectations of you when you stop working? Does he just expect that the kids are taken care of or does he think that you’ll be taking care of the kids AND all the household chores AND running all of the errands as well as packing his lunch for work every day? This is something that can cause a lot of tension if you don’t discuss it beforehand.
Sit down and come to a shared agreement on what your responsibilities will be once you stay home. Being on the same page from the very beginning will help prevent arguments or any feelings of resentment.
5. Start to live on one income – If possible, live off your spouses’ income for a few months before you stop working. Use that time to help adjust your finical mindset to living on one income. And use your paycheck to build your emergency savings.
Living off one income while you’re still working might not be possible because of daycare, other work-related expenses, or because of debts. If that’s the case just begin to slowly rely less and less on your income until you reach a point where you feel your family would be financially secure if you left your job.
6. Have a long term plan – Do you plan on going back to work eventually or do you think that being a stay at home mom will be a permanent thing. If you do plan on going back to work when your kids are older than start looking at ways you can continue professional development while you’re not working.
Some ways you can do that are:
- Get a masters degree or masters certification
- Write for professional publications
- Start a small freelancing business
- Continue to read books in your field and keep up to date with the latest developments
- Keep current on licensing and annual education requirements
Thanks to the internet there are so many ways that you can keep up with your career field while you’re out of the workforce. Staying home while your children are young
leaving your career behind and becoming a stay at home mom can be difficult both personally and financially. But just know that this is one of the best decisions you’ll ever make and you and your family will be so happy you took the leap.
What was one thing that you wish you did before you stopped working and became a stay at home mom? Tell me about it in the comments below.