It happened in a heartbeat.
Sweaty palms, blurred vision, vertigo, and the faint taste of a digested egg salad. A 7AM cocktail of chaos that couldn’t have come at a worst time… sitting in rush hour traffic.
One moment, I’m listening to The Steve Harvey Morning Show. The next, I’m struggling to breathe as my heart beat rapidly.
Stuck in a sea of red lights, blaring horns, and exhaust fumes, the thought of having an accident only made things worse.
Luckily, I was barely conscious enough to get my mind and body to work together to steer my car onto the side of the highway.
With the hazards clicking I sat still. In a hypnotic state. I felt drained, lifeless and lost.
Then finally… I broke down in tears.
I was 33. Pregnant. And had just experienced my very first panic attack.
Little did I know my life was about to change because of my body’s mini rebellion.
Hang on though. Let’s back up a bit so I can tell you how things got so bad.
On Wage Slavery & Corporate Disloyalty
Unlike most people, I had a job I enjoyed. Coworkers I adored. And a salary most people only dream of (low six figures).
As for the company, well that’s another story.
No, I didn’t hate the company. After all, it kept me gainfully employed and paid me quite well. Especially since I didn’t graduate college.
I know. I know. I got the same response from my girlfriends when they found out how much I made. And since you’re probably curious, I did sales and marketing for a pharmaceutical company.
So if life was so great and I had my dream job, what happened?
Well, before I started working for Big Pharma, I worked for a real estate company. However, after 8 years of busting my ass, they decided to lay me off. Other people lost their jobs too. And to no one’s surprise, upper management remained happily employed.
Needless to say, I didn’t handle the job loss well.
You see, when you invest over half a decade of your life slaving away for a company only to have them give you the boot, it messes with your mind.
There’s no steady paycheck to pay bills, put food on the table, or budget for other things. The sense of security and peace of mind you had vanishes.
To normal people, those things are basic needs. And I was stripped of them in an instant.
After being laid off, my life became stressful. I was a wreck. Depressed at times.
My mom suggested going back to school, but I told her I’d sooner fight a polar bear than become a victim of student loan debt.
Honestly, if I was single I’d probably have committed suicide or gotten addicted to something.
Thankfully though, I had a supportive partner (now husband).
So, with his help, I got my shit together. And over the course of 8 months and 11 days, I became a… Professional Job Hunter.
Here’s a quick summary of events…
I sent out 1,145 job applications. Completed 39 interviews. Got rejected 25 times. Was forgotten by 11 companies. Dodged an MLM scam. And finally chose the pharmaceutical job out of 2 offers. #Perseverance.
Yeah… calling unemployment stressful is probably a nice way of putting it.
Still with me?
Now imagine going through all that. Getting your dream job, investing another 5 years, and feeling happily secure in life. Then you find out your job might be in jeopardy again. And to top it off, you’re about to start a family.
It’s the new reality for
Corporate loyalty doesn’t exist. People are nothing but little white-collar slaves fighting for survival and the privilege to earn a living.
Keep reading to find out how this became my wake-up call!
On Deciding to Be a Stay at Home Mom
The signs were there.
In the months leading up to my panic attack, I had trouble sleeping. Thoughts of my previous unemployment haunted my mind. I was worried about going through hell again. This time… with a kid.
Stupidly, I ignored my thoughts and feelings. Bought into the lies from my boss about my job being “safe”. Continued to show up every day. And watched as employee after employee got escorted out the building… with their careers in boxes that weren’t nearly as heavy as the depression on their faces.
I tried to act normal but the anxiety inside me was slowly brewing.
Then, 5 weeks into my pregnancy… the panic attack happened.
I didn’t know it was a panic attack until my doctor told me. My blood pressure and stress levels topped the charts like a billboard single. But none of those things mattered to except for one thing she said to me…
“If you continue like this, you could have a miscarriage.”
Two and a half weeks later, I lost my job. And at that point, I no longer cared.
You see, the thought of losing my baby triggered something inside me. When I left my doctor’s office, I called my husband and told him I never wanted to work for anyone again.
I had no desire to bend over backwards, working to build someone else’s dream, and worrying about long-term job security. I decided to become a stay at home mom and start my own business.
You think I’m crazy?
It’s okay if you do. Lots of people thought so too. Some still do.
But let me tell you what crazy is…
Crazy is getting up Monday to Friday at 6AM so you can climb the corporate ladder, dealing with disloyalty and office politics for a 2% bonus, only to develop stress and anxiety in your 40s while getting hooked on pills before suffering an epic breakdown.
That’s f*cking crazy!
I made the choice to never experience that again. And I have zero regrets.
Today I own 2 businesses, have 5 rental properties, and make more money than I will ever need. I’ve been able to retire my husband. Get to work whenever I feel like. And most importantly…
I get to enjoy life’s precious moments with my two little ones.
If it sounds like I’m bragging, I’m not (although I’ve earned the right to).
This journey has been far from easy.
There are many stay-at-home moms (and dads) who are either depressed or happy to do things like go to the park, watch tv, shop, etc. I know because I’ve met them.
But I instantly stopped hanging out with them because they were blissfully content. To them they had done all they were ever going to do in life. That was their peak. It wasn’t mine.
I made a plan to build assets that would give my family financial freedom for the future.
This isn’t for everyone and it sure as hell wasn’t easy. But the thought of having a panic attack that almost killed my baby, pushed me to be successful.
So if you ask me if choosing to be stay at home parent was worth it, my answer is… HELL YES!!!
Of course there are pros and cons to making such a decision. And if you keep reading, I’ll give you my thoughts on both. Sound good?
Okay. Let’s move on.
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Advantages of Becoming a Stay at Home Parent
Based on my experience, these are the advantages of being a stay at home mom. They probably won’t be the same for you or anyone else. But at least you’ll get an idea how the decision can transform your life.
1. You’ll have time for your kid(s)
Virtually every stay at home parent will echo this benefit. And rightfully so.
How many parents do you know have missed birthdays, games, and more, all because of their job? Can you imagine missing those precious moments of childhood?
I don’t think you can put a price on those memories. But I do know that you can pay the price in the form of regret later on in life.
As far as I’m concerned, you only get one shot to prepare your kids for the future and watch them grow up.
For me that was huge because I didn’t want to be looking back one day wishing I had been there for them when they needed me the most.
2. You have control of your time
My girlfriends used to tease me about how strict I am with my time. That’s because my time matters more to me than money.
Yes, I know you think it’s easy for me to say that since I’m financially secure. I won’t debate you on it if that’s how you feel.
But the reason why time is more valuable to me is because it is finite.
Let me explain…
If I spend time watching Netflix or trash/reality tv, I cannot get those hours back – they’re gone. However, if I spend $50 at Sephora, I can make that money back in many different ways.
Once you understand this, you’ll understand why trading 5 days of your week for 2 days off makes no frigging sense.
You can either let someone else control your time or you can take it back. The beauty is, you have a choice.
3. You don’t have a morning commute
On the surface this might not seem that important to you. Yea it’s nice to skip the daily rush hour, but is that the only benefit? No.
Not having to deal with the chaos of commuting can literally save your life. Heck, it almost cost me my baby.
You see, millions of people spend about 90 minutes commuting to and from work. During that time your body is exposed to physical and mental attacks. According to a government report, lengthy commutes result in higher cortisol levels which causes stress. And over time this can lead to exhaustion, fatigue, and chronically fatal diseases. But that’s not all…
Another study concluded that pregnant women are twice as likely to produce an autistic child when exposed to high levels of air pollution.
How do you feel about rush hour traffic now?
4. You’re less likely to divorce or break up
On the surface, my life probably looked amazing to a lot of people. But only those close to me really knew about my relationship struggles.
My husband and I were workaholics. We racked up work hours like they were air miles. We barely saw each other. Any free time we got was spent either sleeping or detoxing from a hectic workweek. Sometimes we didn’t even want to be around each other after dealing with people all week. It definitely put a strain on our relationship.
Unfortunately other working couples aren’t as fortunate. In fact, there’s a 40% chance you could get divorced or break up. If you spend over 45 minutes commuting, work longer hours, and barely socialize, it can ruin your relationships.
Ultimately we’re all social animals. That’s why loneliness and isolation can affect your mental health, make you gain weight, and increase your overall risk of dying prematurely.
And if you’re a single professional working 60+ hours a week and think this is absurd, well… there’s more to life than drugs, alcohol, and Tinder hookups.
5. You don’t need to send your kids away
Is it me or does day care seem like an Ivy League school? Those prices are insane!
Obviously I’m not talking about those cheap day care providers. I’d rather eat sand than send my kids there.
No, I’m talking about the ones that make you feel confident enough to entrust your child’s life with them. Those cost an arm and a leg and then some.
Being a stay at home mom means I don’t have to worry about day care.
However, I do have a part-time nanny. She helps me around the house and allows my husband and I to have occasional time to ourselves.
Other than that, I enjoy being around my kids daily. I know most parents can’t do it, so I don’t take it for granted at all.
6. Your spending decreases and savings go up
Can you guess what my biggest work expense was?
If you said gas, you’re right.
I didn’t own a Prius, Volt, Tesla, or whatever. I drove a 2012 Ford Escape. And depending on gas prices I spent about $50 a week per fill-up. That’s around $2,400 a year on gas.
If you think that’s a lot, it’s not. According to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people spend an average of $1,909 per year on gas. So considering my lengthy commute and SUV, the $500 dollar difference puts me slightly above average. And I actually think most people will be above $2,000 anyway.
BTW that was just my expense. If I include my husband it’s probably closer to $5,000 per year combined. That’s more than twice the yearly salary for someone in Vietnam. #Firstworldproblems
Today we spend a lot less on gas. And instead of making Big Oil richer, we use the annual savings to buy shares in the oil companies so they can pay us dividends.
Don’t you just love capitalism?
7. You don’t need permission to take a vacation
Quick question… How’d you like to go to Barbados right now on a one way ticket you don’t have to pay for?
I know a part of you just got really excited.
The thought of white sandy beaches, light ocean breeze, and brilliant rays of sunshine that makes your skin glow has your imagination running wild right now.
However, before you can getaway you’ve got to complete a process:
You need to check your schedule → talk to your boss → and see if you’ve accrued enough paid vacation time.
But there’s just one problem… it’s a one way ticket and you don’t know when you’re coming back!
Unfortunately, the chances you could read this at 10AM on a Tuesday morning and be ready to leave by evening that day are slim. It sucks but it’s the reality for most people.
Now imagine your chances if you were a successful stay at home parent…
8. It humbles you and makes you smarter
American spending habits are like a perpetual nightmare of blind cheerful consumption. It’s very disturbing.
But it’s hard to see it when you’ve got a steady paycheck, plastic power in your pocket, and zero financial literacy.
Losing my job opened my eyes to just how absurd my financial situation was. I wasn’t as bad as some people but I wasn’t a saint either. My spending and saving habits were appalling…
I bought things I didn’t need with money I didn’t have to keep up with people I didn’t know (or like).
Considering how long I was in the work force and how much I made, I should have had a substantial amount of savings.
So when I was let go, it gave me a chance to examine my lifestyle.
You see… when the paycheck stops, the world around you shrinks and everything becomes visible.
But I used it as a learning opportunity and spent a lot of time educating my self on personal finance. And let me tell you, it’s one of the best investments I’ve ever made. The knowledge I acquired has allowed me to increase my net worth and avoid financial ruin forever.
Have you looked at your lifestyle and financial habits lately?
9. You can do what you love or start a business
I’m fortunate to have been able to do both. I get to be with my family and I run two businesses.
Sometimes it feels like a dream. And I know for most people it is.
But there’s only so much dreaming you can do before the nightmare of regret takes over your mind.
Obviously you shouldn’t quit your job (or get fired) to start a business. There are many ways to start making money. If you have a specific skill you can become a consultant. You can even start a blog, become a freelancer, sell stuff online, etc.
It’s never been easier to start a business than it is today. All you need to do is make a decision, choose a path and start.
There’s never going to be a perfect time, a perfect moment, or a perfect opportunity. If you want to do something meaningful with your life, I implore you to start today.
How many tomorrows do you think you have?
10. You are FREE
When was the last time you felt totally free?
If you can’t remember what freedom feels like, just listen to your body…
Think about when you get home after work, get excited for Friday, are partying it up on the weekend, or your last vacation. That’s what freedom feels like. You just never thought about it that way.
I wake up every day knowing that I won’t be bound by a monotonous schedule or shackled to a cubicle. And I savor that feeling. No, I’m not an anarchist. I do have a daily routine. However, it’s flexible…
If I want to work, I work. If I want to sleep in, I sleep in. If I want to hop in the car and take my kids on a road trip, I can.
All of those things give me the feeling of freedom I used to crave when I was stuck behind a desk working for someone else. Now I get to enjoy it because I’m the boss of my life.
So has everything just been sunshine and roses? Is being a stay at home parent that amazing?
Well, I could be like some moms and leave you thinking that being a stay at home parent is like a warm, fuzzy Disney movie. But I know that’s bullshit. So read on to learn about the…
Stay at Home Parent Disadvantages
I can’t speak for anyone else other than myself. So here’s what the dark side of being a stay at home mom was like for me.
1. Jealousy, gossip, envy
Believe it or not you will lose some people in your life – especially those you love.
They won’t agree with your decision and they’ll view you as a quitter. They’ll say horrible things about you and it’s going to crush your soul.
Because society is conditioned to think that we must adhere to the norms.
We must go to school, get a job, become a wage slave, retire old, then die. And anyone who goes against that, especially women, get all sorts of labels.
But the truth is… everyone else is just jealous and envious that some of us are living the kind of life they can only dream about.
Even today, as successful as I am, I still get looks from other women who don’t even know me. But they see my lifestyle and immediately assume I married rich. It’s crazy!
Oh, as for those “friends” who left and tried to come crawling back when they saw my success… well, I have no desire to surround myself with hypocrites.
2. Weight gain
You don’t need to be fired to enter a state of depression that leads to excessive eating. You can gain weight even if you’re happy with your decision to stay at home.
I spent so much time focused on building my business and being a mom that I neglected my health. I was busy but had become lazy. It didn’t help that my lifestyle was pretty sedentary.
It wasn’t until I started feeling tired and my clothes “shrunk” that I got serious about my health. Having an honest partner helped too. Some people can’t handle the truth and are super sensitive about weight. I’m the opposite.
I chose to get myself in shape to keep up with my kids, keep my hubby’s eyes on me, and avoid becoming a pill hoarder in my old age.
3. Boredom and loneliness
Unless your friends are also stay at home moms, you’ll feel bored and lonely.
You see, having a job allows you to be a social butterfly. You can chat with your coworkers, grab lunch together, or hang out after work.
As a stay at home parent you don’t get that sort of interaction.
In the beginning, I tried to connect with other moms like me. But I gave up because they didn’t have the same desire to do what I wanted – build assets for financial freedom.
I know those types of women are out there, I just didn’t look hard enough.
But things are better now because I helped two of my girlfriends become successful stay at home moms. So we can talk about our lives and businesses, which is awesome.
And yes, I still have my husband to connect with. But he’s more than happy to pass on our girl-talk, shopping sprees, and occasional pampering.
4. Fear and self doubt
This is probably the number one issue you’ll have to deal with.
Your biggest cheerleader is also your biggest enemy, and that person is… YOU.
If I had listened to those two enemies within me, I would never have become successful. I’d probably still be working for someone else in my third job.
But eventually, I realized that everything was just in my head. I was afraid of things that weren’t real and worrying about “what if” scenarios. None of those things existed.
And what really gave me confidence is the following quote that reminds me to stay committed:
5. Feeling unfulfilled or useless
If you want nothing more than to be a stay at home parent you’ll encounter these feelings a lot more frequently.
As Steve Jobs once said, “the only way to be truly satisfied is… to love what you do.”
It’s a great quote by a visionary man. But I decided to add my own twist to it. It goes like this…
I don’t believe in following your passions. I believe in being passionate enough about doing something that drives you and gives your life purpose.
You see, beyond taking care of your kids, a part of you will question your purpose in life. You’ll eventually start to wonder if there is more to your life than just waking up to spend the day with your little ones.
Remember, at some point they will grow up, have a life of their own, and leave home one day.
That’s why you need to find something fulfilling to do with your life.
6. Zero “me” time
Raise your hand if you sometimes just want time for yourself. *Raises Hand*
You’ll probably hear this a lot from several stay at home parents.
The same folks who were dying to spend more time with their kids, often get frustrated and overwhelmed. They soon realize that the lifestyle isn’t as glamorous as some people make it seem.
The reality is, they struggle to adopt a routine that creates pockets of time for them to just unwind and reset.
Part of this is poor preparation and another part is not engaging in other activities besides chores, shopping, or tending to their family’s needs.
I used to feel exhausted too. And it wasn’t until I made myself a priority that I was able to actually enjoy my days rather than loathe them.
I don’t feel bad about having a nanny to help me out either. She’s been a total lifesaver!
Obviously you don’t need a nanny. But if you want to avoid burnout you should find a way to create some time for yourself.
7. Relationship conflict
As I said before, my life isn’t perfect. I’m just as human as you are. And my marriage is no different. There have been good times and bad ones.
For instance, my husband didn’t think he needed to do as much around the house since I was at home all day. He used the extra time to focus on work.
At first I didn’t mind. But eventually it took a toll on me and began to affect our relationship. I’d start bitching about little things. Told him I didn’t have time to hear about his day. So he started to stay out later or avoid me around the house.
It became quite toxic. Neither of us could understand the reasons for the change.
It wasn’t until after a big fight where we both said hurtful things that we finally sat down to resolve our issues. We hashed it out, shared our feelings (I cried obviously), and solved our relationship problems together.
I believe conflict is healthy because it strengthens relationships. However, both people have to be willing to make it work.
Sadly, not every couple can survive conflict…
It takes more than love to be able to argue, resolve your issues, and stand by each other no matter what. It takes sacrifice.
How strong is your relationship?
FAQs About Becoming a Stay at Home Mom
As you can see, it wasn’t easy becoming a stay at home mom. And I wouldn’t want you to think it’s a walk in the park anyway. It’s a big decision that you should discuss with your loved ones. So make sure you have a strong support network.
If you’re still struggling to decide between being a working mom vs stay at home mom, here are three important questions you must answer:
(i) Do I have a plan to become a stay at home mom?
Your plan doesn’t have to be complex. But you should have one. It will give you a clear idea of what you’re working towards. I recommend you use some kind of journal to set your goals. (Click here to see the one I recommend)
(ii) Can I afford to be a stay at home mom?
Money isn’t everything but it’s necessary to satisfy your basic needs. You’ll need to get serious about your finances as you’ll be limited to one household income. Assess your monthly expenses and cut out anything you don’t need. You should also establish a budget and stick to it. Don’t quit your job if it will cause you financial problems. Figure things out before you make the transition.
(iii) Will I regret becoming a stay at home mom?
Be honest with yourself about your desire. I’ve given you a glimpse of what you can expect as a stay at home mother. But it’s just one story. You should read other people’s stories as well. Avoid the sensational ones though, some of those women are worse off than you think.
One Last Thing…
Just like most things in life, there are pros and cons to being a stay at home mom.
Hopefully this post has given you some much needed information about becoming a stay at home parent. If it addressed some of your concerns, then I’d consider it a huge success.
Remember, it’s a big decision. The last thing you need is to regret your choice and resent your kids, spouse or friends.
Do what you feel is best for you and don’t let anyone give you s*** for it.
There are tons of women (and men) thinking about staying at home full time. Even some of your friends might be interested too. So let’s help them out…
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