Northwest Herald | Stay-at-home parenting a phenomenon?
Recently, a local reporter interviewed me for an article she was working on about stay at home Mom's. She didn't ask me many questions, just let me talk about why I stay home, and how we came about the decision. At the end of our talk, she asked if there was anything else I would like to add. At the time I couldn't thin of anything, but of course after we hung up, I thought of so many more things I wanted to say. I didn't bother calling her back, so I'll share those thoughts with you here.
I know firsthand that having one parent stay home is not an easy decision to make, and it's quite an adjustment. So many people say they need 2 incomes to survive. I believe in many cases that's probably true. However, I also believe that more couples could do it if they were willing to make some major lifestyle changes.
When we decided that I would quit my full time job and stay home with our children, we also agreed to make many changes to our every day lives. Here are a few examples of what I mean by that.
First, I became a serious bargain hunter. I don't pay full price for anything. I cut coupons and buy on sale whenever possible. D.R. and I don't go out to dinner or shows. That's not easy since we live near Chicago and it seems every week a great musical act or show is coming to town. We tell each other "no, it's not our time, we'll do that stuff when the kid are older". Once in a while we go out to eat as a family, but it's almost always for lunch (cheaper than dinner), and we usually have a half price coupon. I know that makes us sound like a couple of cheapskates, but these are the things we have to do to make it work. We also have agreed to not make un-necessary purchases. We talk first about major purchases, and do our research before buying. We also don't go for designer label clothes. We're just as happy shopping at Target and JC Penney (with coupons of course!). We don't buy books, we use the local library. I take the kids to all the free activities in town.
I could go on and on. There are so many little things that we do every day, that all add up to a huge savings. All these things allow us to live on one income. I know I said it was a 'sacrifice', but honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way. I'd be willing to give up lots more to be able to stay home with our girls.
These are the things I would have said to the reporter if I had time to think about it. That's our story.