Social media can being an amazing place but it is also filled with an incredible amount of negativity. I see posts all the time of people complaining about how both them and their spouse have to work, how they could never afford to be a single income family, or even how they are angry at people on government assistance for affording more then they can. I get asked all the time how we afford to be a single income family, and about why we homeschool. Most of the time it isn't serious inquires on how we make it all work, it's a back handed insult. It's always accompanied by comments like: "Oh your a stay a home mom, what do you do all day?", "We could never afford that! We both have to work." or "what does your husband think about you staying home?" I guarantee I've heard pretty much all of it. There are several other comments typically that I hear about our choice to homeschool as well but I'll save those for another blog.
Here's the thing, even with all the negativity we are content with our decision for our family. Has there been hard time's when we struggled financially, of course there has but we made it work. We choose to budget our money and make it work because it was our goal to have it this way. When our sons were born it was always decided that I would stay home with them until they were ready for school. To be honest the decision wasn't just for personal reasons it was for financial reasons as well. Being a Canadian citizen and working through my entire first pregnancy meant that I was entitled to a full year paid maternity leave, which meant I didn't need to work for that whole first year. I got pregnant with our second son when our first son was only 6 months old. Our sons were born 16 months apart which meant that we now had 2 babies under the age of 2. At that point in our lives my husband was working for a little more then minimum wage and day care fees would have been astronomical. I was a new resident to the United States which meant I didn't qualify for government assistance and neither did my husband, because even with his low income he didn't meet the cut off for a 3 person household, even through we were actually a 4 person household. Daycare was out of the question at that time. I could have worked but what pay I got would have barely covered childcare for 2 babies under 2. We lived in a 2 bedroom apartment that had higher rent then most people mortgages. I never understood how people could say "I could never do that, we couldn't afford it." When you don't have any other options you find a way to make it work. Over the last 7 years my husband has worked extremely hard for our family and a got better paying jobs. We have owned our own house for the last 3 years now, and we are comfortable all thanks to God's blessings. As the years have gone on we have made the choice for me to stay home longer and homeschool our boys for the time being.
Bottom line is being a stay at home mom is possible if you feel like it's the right choice for your family. Sit down with your spouse and talk about it, make a budget, cut expenses if necessary. It is possible to make it work. We cut back on unnecessary purchases like my husbands weekly billiards team, eating out, and we cut down our grocery bill to $100 per week. There are positive and negative aspects to every choice you make for your family, you just have to decide whats best for your family and make it happen.
It doesn't make you lazy, despite how people will make you feel. Find some weekly play date groups and surround yourself with other supporting mothers. Make a village of people your support your family and ignore the negative opinions. The main thing is we need to stop shaming mothers for their choices. If we all supported each other instead of judging motherhood wouldn't feel like a such a lonely place. Know matter what choices you make for your family know that you are awesome and doing an amazing job. Your a rockstar!