Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Things not to say to THIS stay-at-home-mom

Sometimes I get frustrated when people talk to me about being a stay at home mom.  I am sure the things they say aren't meant to offend but still, it happens. I normally gracefully ignore them and continue the conversation, but just in case you ever hit me on a bad day. here are some things you should never say to me.

Do you work?

While this question is innocent it poses some problems for me. You see I do work, ALOT. I am a nanny, a house keeper, a cook, a bather, a driver, and a tear wiper. I am a teacher, an entertainer, a kisser of boo boo's and a lover. I get no breaks, not even for lunch. I can not call in sick. I can not leave work early. I can not quit my job. I am on call every minute of every day. My pay comes in the form of respect and druelly kisses. It is the best and most rewarding job in the world. But instead of answering in this way I say "no". This is not what you want to know. You want to know if I have a "real job"-a job with a paycheck and an office. 

I hate this question because I feel instantly like  need to defend my choice to stay home with my kids. I usually say something like...I have a degree in teaching (true) but I couldn't find a teaching job (true). BUT this is not the truth of the situation. I could get another job. I could work outside the home. I CHOOSE not to. I CHOOSE to do this. Not because I am lazy, not because it is easy, not because we don't need the money, but because it is important to me. Period.

This generally leads to another comment that kind of drives me crazy. 

I wish I could afford to do that.

Okay this is a touchy one so let me do a disclaimer first. I understand times are hard. I understand that it is TRULY impossible for some families to get by on one income. However, I think that many people would be surprised to see how little extra money they are making when they figure in the cost of having another vehicle with insurance, child care, work clothes, work education, work expenses, etc... 

Secondly, I don't like that this comment makes it sound like we are just rich and it's easy for us to do this. It's not. We give up a lot for me to stay home with the kids, but it was just that important to us. It was a choice and we made it KNOWING that we would not be able to live like 2 income families do. We don't. Here are some examples of things we have cut in the past or plan to cut in the future in order to make this work.

We don't buy new vehicles, we don't buy new clothes, we don't buy new much of anything honestly (we do buy new underwear, socks, and some obvious exceptions). We don't eat out a lot, we don't ever go shopping just for fun, I NEVER go to the mall. I get only a few haircuts a year, I don't get manicures, I gave up my massages. We don't travel often, we don't hire babysitters ( I am blessed here as my mom and sister are close buy and help with the kids A LOT). We don't go the movies often and we never buy popcorn, and we are getting ready to get rid of cable.

I also do a lot of little jobs to help with spending money. I sell on ebay, I sell our kids clothes online. I take surveys, belong to focus groups, etc.  I make A LOT of our food from scratch because it's cheaper. We eat based on what's on sale. We use coupons-lots of coupons. We can tomatoes, tomato sauce, pizza sauce, apples, applesauce and anything else we can get our hands on free or cheap!  We only buy bread at the bread outlet. There are lots more and we are always looking for new ways to cut. Any more ideas?? Please comment below!

That must be so nice.

Okay this one seems innocent enough, but sometimes it makes me laugh. Some days it really is-most days really. I love knowing I am the first face my kids see each day and that we are learning and playing together. But let me just say when you have the flu and the kids wake up at 5 AM, and the house is a mess and there is no end in sight, and you are feeding breakfast while prepping dinner, and someone spills grape juice on the carpet, and then while you are cleaning it up, a dog poops on the floor and a toddler is crawling towards it, and another kid is screaming help because she has climbed onto the counter and spilled a whole bowl of mashed strawberries on the floor...it is not nice...no it is entirely "unnice" LOL


  1. Ok other ways to cut expenses. I am going to start making all my own cleaning supplies and laundry detergent. I realized that with the amount of laundry I do (including my other cost saver- Cloth diapering!) that I am spending $12 a month on detergent plus stain remover. I stopped buying dryer sheets because in all reality its just for fun. My in-laws bought be a bread machine so I even make my own bread now. 6 ingredients and push start. 3 hours later woolah! Invest in a pool for your backyard. It will save you money from driving to a waterpark for them to play in. I think thats all I got for now but I get the same comments and we are by no means rich! We live within our means and have a savings account with me home! We would actually be no farther ahead (ok maybe a hundred dollars more ahead) if I was working by the time you figure in my fuel cost, daycare, the amount of time you would take off when your kids are sick and STILL have to pay for daycare, and food needed to eat at work. The only thing I would gain is human interaction. Great post mama!

  2. Great ideas Heidi! I do most of those things too! I am jealous of your bread machine though!!! I agree-with me working we would probably not be so careful with our spending and be in the same or worse shape honestly!

  3. Love this Amy! And you ARE a teacher by doing exactly what you're doing!
    I'm sharing this on my FB if you don't mind!

  4. Share away Tosha-and thank you!:)