What are you willing to Sacrifice to Stay Home

Other than handing in my sanity at the door when I signed the new Mom contract (by the way, I believe I’ll be getting some of that back next month when we have a bona fide kindergartner in our home), I can’t think of much I’ve had to sacrifice in order to be able to stay at home with my daughter. Sure, my husband and I haven’t had a date in five years, the house is only clean when important company comes to visit and I couldn’t tell you the last time a hair dryer touched my head but I have enjoyed every minute of my time so far as a stay-at-home mom.

I am a self-proclaimed procrastinator and I can’t seem to keep the laundry from piling up, but I play a mean game of Chicken Limbo and am an expert at reading books upside down. And my daughter is always happy to come home after a play date with her friends.

A few small things that I don’t really look at as sacrifices, but changes that I have chosen to make in order to enable our household to still enjoy the things we enjoyed before:

1). Coupon shopping – it is amazing how much more shopping you can do when you utilize coupons and rebates. I avidly scour all possibilities in the realm and officially declare myself queen of this domain. I refuse to even shop at Macy’s these days without a coupon (which, by the way, we receive on a weekly basis – anyone who tells you that you can’t save money at Macy’s has never been there with me!).

2). In the summer, instead of sending our daughter to summer camp, we send her to vacation bible school. It saves us anywhere from $90.00-$150.00 per week of play and we have the knowledge that she is learning very important lessons and having fun at the same time.

3). When my husband has to go out of town on an overnight business trip and is driving, we accompany him. It gives us family time away from home, and we don’t have to pay for it.

These are just a few of the many non-sacrifices we make in order to allow us to fully enjoy being a one income family. In our home, when Mommy and Daddy kiss (which is still often, even without those date nights) our daughter says “You forgot the mistletoe!” (she IS the mistletoe) and we nuzzle together for many minutes. Arguing is a rarity, and peace and calm reign supreme.

I suppose you could say that for me, leaving home after my daughter was born would have been the sacrifice. Although I can completely understand some Mother’s needs to have a career outside of the home, and in a lot of cases I even think that a woman may be a better Mother that way, the decision to stay home should not involve the thought of sacrifice. We can have it all – we just need to learn to be a little more creative to get it. The rewards, however…when your little one goes to sleep at night, happy again that she got to spend the day with you, that feeling of complete joy knows no bounds.