When I quit my job nearly two years ago to become a stay-at-home mom, I was making more money than my husband was. Shocking, right?! So why did I quit? I wanted to stay home with my daughter, and I knew that nobody would take care of her like I could. It takes a ton of sacrifice and love to make a decision like that. The sacrifice part is the thing that
blows was hard.
Since we knew, before I ever got pregnant, that we were going to make that decision, we started putting more money into our savings account specifically for anything to do with the baby: medical bills, clothes, diapers, baby items, etc.
In July of 2011, we saved $200.57. The next month? Only $0.66. Ha. By the time she was born in July 2012, we had just under $5,000 saved to cover most of the things we needed at first. I count my lucky stars that we had that money saved because, without it, we would have had to make the decision that I needed to go back to work. Bills almost instantly came flying at us from the hospital, from my doctor, and from the anesthesiologist, and there is no way we could have paid them without that money.
When it came to baby stuff, we had to pick and choose what baby items we really NEEDED.
Were we lucky enough to have a video baby monitor? Are you kidding me? We didn’t even have the old school baby monitors.
Beautiful high-end swing? No way.
Cutest and safest car seat on the market? Absolutely not.
A cohesive and stunning nursery for the new babe? Not quite.
I could go down the long list of a MUST HAVE baby registry and tell you at least 15 to 20 things we just lived without. Yet here we are today with two babies who are still living and breathing, happy and healthy. 😉
Most of the baby items we had came from our baby showers and gift cards we got from those baby showers. My parents also bought us the car seat and the rocking chair (which I found in the local classifieds, and it was more than half the cost of a new one).
We were incredibly blessed to have THREE baby showers. That’s right. We’re loved. 😉 I kept track of every single gift we received, and then I put an estimated price tag on each one. Guess how much money we would have had to spend had it not been for the wonderful people who gave us gifts?
Baby showers really are that important!
So I stayed at home, and we made do. We were happy as peach pie.
And, yes, that is what I look like without makeup and right after having a baby. Just don’t go spreading it around, mm k?
If you are considering going back to work after your maternity leave is up because of a money issue, I ask you to reconsider (that is, if you really want to stay at home). By October of 2012 (after the pay from my maternity leave had run out), we were living completely on my husband’s income of right around $3,000 and making it work. We might not have had my dream nursery or been able to eat out once a week, but we had each other. I have so many wonderful memories of that time because I stayed home.
I completely realize that not everyone wants to stay at home or has the financial security they desire to be able to do that. It was a sacrifice for us when I quit my job.
What sacrifices have you made for your children?
Linked to: The Ultimate Pinterest Party, Hump Day Happenings, Thrifty Thursday, and SHINE Blog Hop
Read more about going from two incomes down to one:
Two Incomes to One: Simple Habit Changes That Will Save You Money
Two Incomes to One: Projecting Expenses for One Income
Two Incomes to One: How Much Money Does It Really Take to Be a Stay-at-Home Mom?
Chelsea @ The Contented Wife says
So glad you and your husband knew that you wanted to stay home BEFORE you had your first baby. So many times new parents don’t give it any thought until they meet their newest addition and then they can’t afford to do it. It’s so sad to me. I agree, not everyone’s financial situation will allow it, but sometimes you just have to choose what is REALLY necessary vs. what you want. We live on roughly the same amount each month and sometimes it’s hard, but it’s also so worth it to us. We don’t live extravagantly, but we are blessed!!!!
That is exactly how we grew up. We didn’t have new clothes or a fancy car, but we had food and a roof over our heads. I wish more people understood how important families are. Things are nice to have, but only when you can afford them! I appreciate your input so much, Chelsea!
I quit working when I had my first child, as well. AND long story short, the decision came that we needed to either have me go back to work or move to Kentucky to be near my husbands family so he could find a fresh start job, something I said I would never do. But staying home with the kids was so important to me that here we are, four years later still in Kentucky lol. But I have not regretted it for a single moment. Best decision we ever made. Thanks for sharing this!
That is so great, Leilani! It is a hard decision to stay home. Thank you for sharing your experience!
I wish we could have an adventure like that and move to a totally new place. I had the best memories when my husband and I moved to Cedar City, UT right after we got married.
WHOA GIRL. Clearly you are very good with money! Even down the exact amount you saved by having a baby shower. I’m not the best with cash and though I do see a very bright future wherein I am a stay at home mom, it’s not in the cards right now. Plus my employer makes it super hard for me to justify leaving when they are so damn flexible with my schedule! My favorite part about this post was that you got to live your dream and be with your baby :]
Both your babies!*** #newfollowerproblems
Pfff, new followers (eye roll) 😉
I got that special knack for money from my pops, but he keeps track of every penny! Not sure I am THAT good (nor do I want to be THAT good!). You are spot on, I AM living my dream. Never thought of it that way! Sounds like you’ve got a great job AND get to see your baby often. That is great! It’s a pleasure to have you here, Rebecca 🙂
Ana Lynn says
We didn’t have much of the MUST HAVE items either and our babies turned out just fine. We were lucky enough to get a car seat from the hospital though when our daughter was born so that was a big plus. Baby monitors? Um.. what’s that? Both babies were in the same room with us and I guess I was baby monitor! HA! We were living with one income and it was hard but I often say that those were some of the best time because we had each other and we were on our own.
Ana, thank you for sharing your experience. I am happy to hear that we aren’t the only ones who lived without monitors. So many memories we’ve had are ones where we weren’t spending a penny!
Love this! You’ll never treasure the cute baby nursery or whether you had a video monitor. You’ll always treasure being at home making memories with your little ones. Great post! #shinebloghop
Exactly! Thank you so much for reading 🙂
Made From Pinterest says
Good for you for making that sacrifice in order to do what’s best for your family! It makes me sad when I come across moms who think it would be impossible for them to stay at home. It’s always possible, just not easy! 🙂
That’s for sure! ‘Stay-at-Home Mom’ should be counted as a legitimate job cuz it’s a whole lot harder than any job I’ve ever had!
We’ve done without a lot of those fancy “must have” items as well. In the end, they are only must haves because someone created an artificial need. Quite honestly, your baby doesn’t give a rats behind about the cutest nursery, that’s for you and your visitors to admire 😉
Alex – Funky Jungle
You’re so right. The baby’s needs are all that really matter, and if circumstances allow, a cute nursery is nice to have!
Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom says
We’ve sacrificed so much to have me at home with the girls. Vacations are rare, our children wear mostly second-hand clothes, and eating out only happens on our anniversary and our birthdays.
However, all these things pale in comparison to the time and memories I have made with my girls.
Thanks for sharing (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop)!
Wishing you a lovely day.
So glad you get to stay home with your girls! In 20 years, all that’s going to matter is if you raised good citizens of the world and made memories along the way, not if you spent a pretty penny on them.
Femme Frugality says
I wasn’t working with my first around half way through my pregnancy. We were in a very similar situation. We spent probably about $500 on things we needed, most of that being a diaper stash. No rocking chair, no swing. And things turned out fine. Granted, like you the gifts we received were a huge, huge help. My family all pitched in on the crib, and one friend was amazing enough to do the whole stroller car seat combo thing. Got another car seat for when they moved up a size through my insurance. It’s doable. Initially emotionally difficult, but doable.
Definitely. That’s great you could use your insurance for another car seat. I didn’t even know you could do that. Thanks for visiting!
Femme Frugality says
Yeah, it’s a cool little bonus not a lot of people know about. A lot of insurance companies have a healthy mom program or something of the like. Go to all your appointments, take prenatals, and pick a reward. Usually something along the lines of car seat/stroller/packnplay etc.