Why do you do it?

Jean - posted on 11/03/2011 ( 10 moms have responded )

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Hi ladies, do you often think about why you do what you do, what motivates you? Yesterday I sat and really thought about my WHY for being a SAHM.

In October of 2007, my WHY was very different than what it is today. At that time, I was a new mom, taking time off teaching and my last 3 courses in getting my Masters in Educational Leadership and Administration. I knew I didn't want to go back to full time work and my former career goals of becoming a school principal and possibly a superintendent were no longer a desire to me. I simply wanted to be home, but still earn a paycheck. We were getting into a massive pit of debt, and with only one income saw no way out.


My WHY then: start making some money from home.



A year after that, Jaylen was diagnosed with Autism, he had therapies daily both in and out of the house, and I was pregnant with our second son.

My WHY then: make enough to stay home so Jaylen could get the care he needs, and Xavier wouldn't need to go to daycare.



As time went on my WHY evolved into getting out of debt, saving more money, setting up college funds, and the pie in the sky type stuff: a big house, new cars, a state of the art in home occupational/physical therapy room, vacations, and other "fun" items that required a big financial backing.



And that's where it stood, with a huge dream board and notebook filled with pictures of things I would love to be able to afford. But it didn't work. Those goals were too far off for me to really shoot for,.

This morning it hit me, my new WHY, something that will push me, motivate me, keep me disciplined and focused.

My brand new WHY:

To be financially set enough I only think and worry about money 5% of the day.

Currently, I think about money almost 50% of my day. Sounds extreme, but about 8 hours of my day, 30 minutes of every hour, are spent thinking about money. I can't get it out of my head. I think about our debt, when to pay, how to pay, and when each loan/card will be paid off. I think about paying for both of my sons' pricey karate classes, should we still be doing it? I think about groceries, how much should I budget for this month? I think about emergencies, what if one of the cars, TVs, furnace, or washer or dryer break down? I think about savings, retirement, and college funds, do we have enough, are we doing enough to make sure our boys are set?

And during the tight months, I think about it even more, almost 65% of the day. I obsess over paying bills on time, making sure money goes where it needs to, and what we can and can't afford to do.



The reason for all these thoughts? We are not financially free. My goal for our family is to have complete financial freedom. If I simplify and tell myself the goal is to be able to stop all these stressful money thoughts, my goal is measurable and attainable. I will sleep better, eat better, and relax.



What is your WHY?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

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Perhaps I'm selfish, but my WHY for being a sahm is because *I* am happier with this lifestyle. I was "spread too thin" as a working mom trying to balance all 3 roles of Mom, Wife, and Boss. My husband, son, and employees & clients all got shortchanged. I moved my office home and hired a full time nanny so that I could work and be with my son, but still I thought more about my son than my clients when I was working, and thought more about my clients than my family when I was not working.

We've always lived below our means, so financially speaking, it doesn't matter whether I work or not.

I put a lot of thought into no longer working. It was not a regular job that I could just quit with two weeks notice. I had 28 employees to worry about and millions invested in this little business. I had to sell it, and find a buyer with the ability to purchase and run it without sacrificing my employees' positions. I had to hire someone to do my job during the two years it took to sell, and for a while I considered keeping it and returning when J went back to school. He started school last year and I am SO glad I sold.

As a sahm, I am focused and organized and able to give him 100% of my energy when I'm with him, and give my husband 100% when I am with him. Our marriage has done a complete 180 and we are happier than we've ever been. To me, there are no down sides.

Sure, it was difficult to learn the housekeeping and such that we'd always paid others to do, but once I looked at it like a new enterprise, everything fell into place.

Rhonda - posted on 11/03/2011

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My why for being a SAHM is for my child, first and foremost. I do not want him to have to be in childcare, unless it is necessary. Money has yet to be an issue, yet. My husband is doing okay when it comes to paying the bills. I have tossed around the idea of going back to work in a few months, but then I let the thoughts disappear. I enjoy staying at home with my first child. I want to be able to hear his first words and see his first steps.

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My big ones are that I hated working. The idea of leaving my daughter for hours a day with someone else would drive me insane. For the few hours I could work without putting my daughter into care, no one will hire me for.

As for money, there wasn't really a difference when I stopped working. At the time I was only being scheduled for 5 hours a week. It really was a waste of my time.

I certainly worry about money, then I started doing a physical budget. We are still getting used to it, but we are slowly improving our spending habits, suddenly we have money that we didn't know we had. It might only be a few dollars here and there, but it adds up.

My husband has retirement from his previous job that despite the fact he can't put money in it, it is still growing. He'll start recieving retirement from his current job in January, and we don't pay anything into it.

I'm with Jenna on college. I have a little debt myself from college, but it is almost nothing.

My husband works 2 jobs, the second one is only once a month. So that is our savings that $30 goes into another bank account and grows there. Since we don't use that account regularly we don't have to worry about accidentally spending it.

Jenna - posted on 11/03/2011

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My why for being a SAHM has nothing to do with money. I think it's best for a child to have their mother ever-present during childhood. I'm specific about that too. Yes, fathers are important, but mothers are essential for the nurturing of their children. Many of my SAHM friends all say they want to work when their kids go off to school, but I think that me being home is just as important then as it is now when they're little. They will be facing challenges at school and as they grow, especially during adolescence, and if my attention is divided between my family and an outside job, then I will be less able to give them what they will need.

That's not to say money is never a concern or that my husband makes so much that money problems never arise. Not the case. But finances were not even a consideration when we decided I would stay home. From the time I married and we knew we would have a family, we both were in agreement that I would stay home when our first baby was born. I taught school the first two years of marriage and even subbed the first six months of my baby boy's life, but it wasn't working out well, even though my husband was home when I would sub and we didn't need childcare, it was very stressful and chaotic, so we went over the budget carefully, figured out where to cut costs so that I could stop subbing and be home full time.

I am the one who manages the money and often am telling my husband that he can't buy that extra donut and coke on his way to work (besides, his health doesn't need him to do that either!). We've had some really good times where it seemed like there was so much money and we've had bad times where going from paycheck to paycheck is a nightmare of waiting and wringing of hands.

But I would never change how we are doing this because I feel that my job of being the one to raise my children is so important. It's an important contribution to society too--my kids are constantly taught behavior and responsibility and they thrive in school because I'm so aware of what's going on with them.

It's not easy and it's not always fun, but it's worth it.

Would I love to have complete financial freedom? Yes. Is that more important than bringing up my children properly? Not to me. We do our best--we pay our bills, we manage our money as wisely as we can (and we've made some stupid mistakes, believe me) and we hope that things will work out for the best. We have some financial plans in place that will help us in the future, with retirement and so forth, but even that is not perfect and it has taken ten years of marriage for us to even be able to get that in order. We don't save for our kids' college, but we will help them out at that point if we can and they need it. Neither of us had help from our parents and neither of us finished college with exorbitant amounts of debt because we were able to take advantage of grants and scholarships.

Take it one day at a time and just breathe. If you can afford to put even $50 away into savings or other fund, do it now, and then gradually add to it. We have been married 10 years and only started having a savings, an IRA and another retirement fund in the last couple of years. And it has made our budget all the tighter. You just have to find places where you can sacrifice and save.

10 Comments

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Nayuribe - posted on 11/05/2011

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my WHY is $$$!!! daycare is too expensive, my bf makes more money. been a SAHM for 5 ys, the other day i cried while i scrubbing the shower and toilet. today we were having lunch (i make every meal from scracth) and when my bf was done with his, he just got up and walked away, i stared at his dirty plate, silverware and mug on the kitchen table... got so mad tears started coming down my cheeks. isn't it ironic? I CAN'T AFFORD TO WORK! most people work to make money, i went to work, it'd be more expensive than staying home.

Michelle - posted on 11/05/2011

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Because I want to build a good and strong relationship with my children in their early years. Because I wish to teach my children in their early years to give them a good start when it's time to go to school. Because I want my children to have quality time with me. When my youngest starts full time school (not for another few years) then I will go back to work but only part-time so I'm there for them when they finish. I don't have much money but there's enough for us all to eat healthily, for bills to be paid and to save for those special days out or weekends away. I have a very strict and tight budget - all set out on a spreadsheet so I know, to the penny, what is in my bank and what is available to spend. I write a shopping list and stick to it (most times - sometimes there'll be a treat added if i'm below budget). I don't go out very often, but that doesn't bother me. I'd rather have friends round for a cuppa and a chat anyway. My children don't rule my life, they are my life. They are, and always will be, the most important and precious thing to me. If they are happy and healthy, I don't really worry about anything else. I'm a single SAHM with 3 wonderful daughters - I like it that way. That's my why - it's pretty good really :-)

Sheila - posted on 11/05/2011

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my WHY...is cuz i can't find a job...and i am finally getting child support from a dead-beat dad

Karen - posted on 11/05/2011

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My WHY is my kids. My divine calling as a mother should not be put off on anyone else. Yes I worry about money, but when I'm working, I worry about my children, and the stress is worse. I promised my Heavenly Father that I would raise His children the way He would have me do, and I intend to.

Tasha - posted on 11/04/2011

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My why is because i want to spend every moment i can nurturing my son, my why is because it hurts to be away from him, my why is because i feel it is what i was meant to do. We do not struggle financially, but we are by no means well off. One thing i do thank my husband for, is i never have to worry about money/bills, my husband takes care of all the finances, i just buy groceries and things for my son, gas in my car etc...... We worry too much about money, if i didnt have any, id still have my family and we would make it work. There are many kids that have come from poor familys with no college fund, and are very sucessful, we have to give our kids love, support, respect, encouragment, and self worth, not money.

Amanda - posted on 11/03/2011

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Don't get me wrong I love being at home with my son and daughter but the big reason I am not working at the moment is because we can't afford to have 2 kids in full time daycare

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