A decision almost every parent must face: Stay at Home, Work from Home or Work Outside the Home

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Growing up, I always knew I wanted to be a mom.  It’s just something I knew, deep down, that I wanted.  I also knew I wanted a LOT of kids, although thankfully for my sanity, God gave me the number of kids I’m meant to have, and am able to handle (most of the time, anyway…).   Being the youngest of 8 kids, most of whom are at least 15 years older than I am meant that I was exposed to marriages and families at a younger age than many.  I have siblings with a parent home full time, siblings with a parent working from home full time, and siblings with a parent working out of the home full time- or both parents working out of the home full time.  It helped me to see and observe each situation and helped me to know that if we were able to swing things, I’d want to be home full time with my children.  I wanted to be a soccer mom driving a minivan.  Different combinations worked in all of their families but I knew what I wanted for my own one day.

Thankfully, when I met my husband, he wanted for me to be home with the kids when they were young as well.   We saved and saved what we could while I was pregnant with our oldest and still working.  I wanted to be a stay home mom and that was the goal.

Of course, wouldn’t you know it, I started working part time for our town, taking meeting minutes for some of the Boards and Commissions in town.  Not a ton of money, but meetings occur in the evening, often after the kids are in bed, and we wouldn’t need to pay for any kind of childcare.  Win!  Already, within 1 year of being a stay home mom, I was working again….if only part time.  I have a few other things I do part time, as well…I kind of stumbled upon the Board Clerk job, after hearing about it from a dear friend, although there are so many websites out there that offer ways to find work either in or outside of the home, much like www.workingmums.co.uk and other sites. I haven’t looked a lot but I believe there are sites to help folks like you and me to find work to do from home!

Two years ago, This Mama Loves Her Bargains was born.  This was never something I had imagined would become what it has- I have had opportunities and experiences I’d never have had otherwise, and I have been able to help others along the way.  What an amazing gift and blessing my site has become- and isn’t it funny that me, the girl who wanted to be a stay home mommy, went from working part time out of the home to working from home- with my OWN business!?  Apparently, I want to be home with my kids full time but in a working capacity.  Who knew?  Someone sure did!

I want to be clear on something- this is in no way, shape nor form saying that staying home or not is best for anyone- I don’t believe there are many black and white issues with parents working and childcare situations. I think you have to do the best you can with what you have and do what is best for your family.  I find it funny that I always thought I would be one way, and as it turns out, God had other plans for me to do something different.

How about you?  Did you always have a feeling about what you wanted to be when you “grew up”?  Have your feelngs and dreams changed?  Do you think there is one “right” answer to staying home/working out of the home?

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About the author: I’m a 30-something mom to three, brand ambassador. content creator, social media maven, blogger extraordinaire, earth lover, butcher, baker, candlestick maker (or something along those lines) – love word games, crafting, cake decorating or shooting pictures.

16 comments… add one

  • That is great that you got to observe such different family dynamics with your siblings’ families and make the decision that best fit yours. I am the second oldest of 5, so I guess my wife’s and my decision will be something my siblings can gauge the effectiveness of… another perk of being the younger ones! :) There are a lot of things to consider before making the crucial decision of whether or not one parent will stay home.

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  • I’ve always wanted to be a mom but assumed I would work outside the home and still be mom after work. That didn’t work for me at all, I cried everyday I had to leave my baby. After careful and often painful budget cutting we made it possible for me to stay home and my at home business was born as well. It can be stressful at times but I try very hard to keep my work from my “mommy time” hours. I wouldn’t trade this time with my kids for anything in the world. Love your story!

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  • I had my heart sat on being a lawyer at a young age. Then when I learned I was pregnant in highschool, naturally we married and my dreams changed. I later went to business school and even earned a degree in dental assisting. Low and behold a second marriage 13 years later and a start of a new family brought Mom to bed by 8 (soon to be Iowa-Mom) to life. After the birth of my son (6th child in my little/big family), it became apparent that I needed to be home. Cost vs time was too great and why work for 100 a week and spend 40 hours away from my children when we could make a few changes and I could be involved in everything they needed me to be? Now I am happier than I ever imagined I could be. I am still at the beginning of my writing career and full-time mom journey. Living it fully each day!

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    • set not sat…. ugh (1st cup of coffee)

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  • I’ve stayed at home, worked at home, and worked out of the home. They all have pluses and minuses. I’m enjoying working at home right now. I think that’s probably the best of both worlds for me.

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  • I have always been a Jane of all trades. I did dance in a special performing arts high school and went on to get a criminal justice associates degree and then a business bachelors degree. I got married in college and had my first baby. I instantly became a SAHM/full time student. When she was a year, I then decided doing hair would be fun so went through beauty school and got my cosmetology license. I got pregnant with our second baby while in beauty school and again became a SAHM. I had our third child and started my blog. I couldn’t be happier about finally finding something I LOVE to do. It brings in extra income for our family, is FUN and never feels like work. It’s my true passion!

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  • I would love to be a stay at home mom. I am trying REALLY hard though to get ahead in life and provide for my son. Maybe the next time around, I will be able to be a SAHM…. We will see… I realized I missed so much of my sons life because I worked so much. :'(

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  • I am struggling with this myself right now, I have 2 little ones and one teenager and I am a single mom so juggling work and my girls is hard but the hardest part is working a time where they need me the least or at least where they will not notice me gone as much. I also have to work around family schedules because I cannot afford daycare besides I don’t think daycare is right for my girls. So I have been bouncing around these last few years and right now I am unemployed and looking again, it is so hard because I look at my day and I am busy with them from morning til night and trying to find a time of day to get away to work is hard. I am just looking for part time and that seems to be harder then anything to find.
    I would love to work from home but everything I come across is phone work and I cannot be on a phone with two toddlers running wild. Selling things from home sounds good but I don’t have many friends so I don’t think I would get anywhere there. I struggle with this daily, I just can’t short change my kids so I am trying to burn the candle at both ends, or that is what my mom says anyway.
    Hopefully I can get something part time, that will allow me the option of going full time in a couple years when my girls are in school.
    My dreams growing up and my dream today would be to be home with my kids and part of every school event etc. But bills won’t pay themselves so I have to work in some capacity.
    I keep thinking of going to school from home so I can get into something good eventually but then I think I would really be over extending myself.
    Well… that went on a little longer then I anticipated but that is my experience lol

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    • I know the feeling oh too well. I know a lot of people are doing social media for local companies- facebook and twitter updates. That may be an idea?

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      • That sounds very interesting, I will look into that :) Thank you!! I knew I loved your site :)!

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        • Hey, I’m a mom too. We all need to help one another- that’s how we all get ahead in life, right? Keep me posted!

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          • Well, here is my update, I could not seem to find anything legit on craigslist etc so I gave up on the social networking. BUT I have decided to start crafting some things at home, like tutus and flower crowns etc then maybe taking them to local festivals and rent a table to see how it goes. I know I love putting my girls in tutus and so this is something I can enjoy and hopefully find some way to stay home a little longer with them.
            Some people close to me think I am nuts, cause I come up with all these ideas but at least I don’t just give up right!
            Anyway I just wanted to get back in touch and let you know how that was going… :)
            Dawn

  • I work part time online from home while being a stay at home mom. Daycare costs too much!

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    • May I be nosy and ask what you do online?

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  • Im a say at home mom and I work from home selling scentsy and I love it, I don’t have to leave my baby at all

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    • I love Scentsy. LOVE LOVE LOVE it. I actually broke a lightbulb the other day and I think my hubby threw away the plugin part of it *tears* What a great way to be able to stay home!

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