Becoming a Stay-at-Home Mom

As you prepare for your little one’s arrival (yay!), it may begin to cross your mind that you no longer want to return to work after your due date. Of course, maternity leave can always soften the blow, but some moms find that they’d prefer to make the transition to a stay-at-home mom (SAHM, for brevity) once that leave is over. However, that can feel like a huge leap, so it’s always good to start preparing ahead of time. So how do you start to plan for your resignation and transition into a single-income home? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Preparing Financially

This is likely the biggest hurdle you’ll need to take into consideration.  Moving from a dual-income household to a single-income one can be a significant change. Take some time to sit down with your spouse and discuss your financial plan and expectations. By doing so, you’ll avoid a lot of frustration and disappointment in the long run. Start discussing a few of these key topics:

  • Saving for emergencies. Most couples can agree that saving $1,000 for emergencies is a good starting goal. However, choose a number that works best for your family — maybe you’re comfortable with a savings that’s a little lower, or maybe you feel the need to save a little more first. Regardless, make sure you have a goal in mind and take the steps to reach it before taking the plunge.
  • Pay off debt. This may be a scarier topic, but by cutting down as many costs as possible will make living on one income a lot easier to swallow. Credit card debt is a big one to pay off, as well as any auto loans. Loans like mortgages and even student loans can be a little more lenient, but will take a huge burden off your wallet if they’re gone.
  • Change your spending habits. Take a look at your bank statements.  What non-necessities are you spending on each week/month, and where can you cut back? Now might be the time to wave goodbye to daily Starbucks runs, the extra pair of shoes and high priced cable plans. Taking the time to plan and prepare meals can go along way in saving costs as well.
  • Have a Plan B. Many women looking to become SAHMs also start looking into options for supplemental income. This would be anything you can do from the comfort of your home and on your own time — freelancing, offering your services as a virtual assistant, etc.

Preparing Mentally

Mentally preparing yourself to become a SAHM is something that many women can overlook. But making sure you feel good in your decision and squash any concerns you may have early is the best way to get your new chapter started on the right foot.  

  • Read parenting blogs and articles. Get a feel for where others before you have been. How did they start preparing for and making the transition to stay-at-home mom? What does their average day as a SAHM look like? This is one of the best ways to get a clear picture of how to handle your next steps.
  • Discuss expectations with your partner. With your transition home and baby’s arrival, a lot of things will be changing for both of you. Try to get a feel for what each of you will need to comfortably settle into the new roles. It will help avoid arguments in the future when someone feels frustrated.
  • Talk to other SAHM’s. Has your friend already made the transition?  Or your sister-in-law? Reach out with any of the concerns you may be facing. Do they ever miss work? Do they love spending all the time with their little one? What are their top tips and tricks?
  • Start researching and joining mommy groups. Joining a group is the best way to stay social after leaving work. It’s a great way to make friends, stay sane when things get hard and have someone to bounce any thoughts off of.  

Preparing at the Office

This one can be the hardest bridge to cross when making your decision. Letting your managers and coworkers know that you’ll be resigning can feel stressful and confrontational…but it doesn’t need to be.

  • Give them plenty of notice. Aim for at least two weeks’ notice when submitting your resignation, but more if you’re comfortable. Giving your place of employment as much warning as possible can go a long way in easing into the transition. However, make sure that whatever notice you give, you’re willing to leave shortly after.
  • Put it in writing. Write a warm and polite letter of resignation that includes your last date of work, as well as any additional information your employer may need from you.
  • Offer your assistance during the process. Your office may need you to help hire and train a replacement, as well as help with re-assigning processes. Being willing to lend a helping hand can help keep those connections in good standing.
  • Don’t leave the whole workforce. Maintain your connections! Once your children are grown, you may find yourself wanting to rejoin an office. Keeping in contact with colleagues and old bosses can help you find that job much quicker than on your own.

With a little bit of preparation, you’ll find the the transition from working outside the home to stay-at-home mom doesn’t need to be scary. Enjoy all that extra time to snuggle.

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