In Motherhood

A few things to consider before becoming a stay-at-home mom.

Most of my readers know that I have been a stay-at-home mom for the past 7 years. I shared my story in one of my previous blog posts. This time around, I thought I’d share a bit more; and perhaps help other moms who are thinking about making the same decision. I wish someone had given me a picture of what this would be like, so I was better prepared – which is why I’m doing it for you, here.

Before leaving your job, I think it’s important to have a full picture of the life you want, after your children have left the home. A lot of moms make the decision to stay home for their kids but do not fully consider that the kids are there for 18 years and start needing less hands-on care much earlier than that. What kind of lifestyle do you want when you are in your late 40’s and 50’s? What does your retirement look like? Are you at home, cleaning? Are you volunteering in your community or church? Can you afford the lifestyle you imagine with one salary? Can you afford to take your kids to university? These are very important considerations and I think we should be both optimistic and practical about them.

Another important factor is lifestyle. What kind of lifestyle are you accustomed to? I grew up with a fairly comfortable life and it was quite difficult for me to make some of the adjustments I have had to make in order to pursue my dreams and be around for my kids. This kind of pressure can be detrimental to couples and very often leads to divorce. How are you under financial pressure? Before we got married, my husband and I romanticised ‘being broke and in love’ but we’ve now come to realise that the quest for survival can turn even the most loving couples against each other.

What is your relationship with money like? Do you measure your worth on your financial contribution or do you feel like an equal partner even without contributing financially? Are you married to a man who has a healthy view of money ? Will he respect the job of being a mother and wife who is more present in the home? Whilst I may not always have a healthy view of money, I have been blessed with a husband who respects my contribution in our home and who esteems my position. 

What happens if you get divorced? This is the one consideration a lot of women don’t want to make, yet it’s the one thing we should have carefully considered even before getting married. After spending years at home, without formal employment and helping your husband get ahead, in the case of divorce, will you benefit from his success? What kind of marriage contract do you have? Whilst waiting for your divorce to be finalised, where will you go? Do you have parents who would be willing to let you live with them whilst you get back on your feet? This is largely dependant on the kind of family you come from. Perhaps your parents would not be able to afford to take you in. Think about this before deciding to quit your job.

Can you live without your spouse? When we get married, nobody imagines they’re just doing it for five years but these things happen. They say half of marriages end in divorce and some spouses die. Would you be able to make ends meet? Do you have any qualifications or work experience? A lot of people get their jobs through good connections. Do you have strong networks that can help you find employment if your marriage ends abruptly or if your spouse falls terminally ill?

I know this isn’t exactly what we want to hear when all we want to do is snuggle with our babies and have dinner ready when our husbands get home, but I would be a bad ‘sister’ if I didn’t challenge you in this way. Can you think of anything else I may have forgotten? I’m going to do a follow up on how to prepare for being a stay-at-home mom. Remember to subscribe if you don’t want to miss it!

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3 Comments

  1. MakaIyana
    2 months ago

    Eye opening article, I think even working mothers should think about issues raised in here.

    Reply
    1. Phumza Marumo
      1 month ago

      Hello! I hadn’t actually considered that until you pointed it out. It’s essentially a blog on financial security and that is relevant to all of us! Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply
  2. Phumza Marumo
    1 month ago

    […] to be at home, full-time with the child(ren). You can find the first two posts here and right over here. Today, however, I have compiled a short guideline on how you can prepare for a life as a […]

    Reply

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