Thursday, September 6, 2012

Being a SAHM is Not About Being Rich

Ahhhh mompetition. It just loves to rear its ugly head time and time again. When dealing with the age-old conversation starter of "Oh, what do you do?" I reply, "I stay home with my 2 year old daughter and run an online-based business." Time-wise I do more in terms of caring for Nia than I do with my business, but no need to start breaking down hour allocations. Anyway, there are times when I get this response from WOHMs when I tell them what I do: "Ohhhh, I'd LOVE to stay at home, but I'm not rich."

That's when I respond with this:


As one of my favorite pins says:

{Image Credit}
Staying at home with Nia has nothing to do with "being rich" and everything to do with sacrificing and prioritizing what works best for my family - not your family, but my family. Whether at home or away from home, being a parent is hard. Period. Coming from an 8-year corporate career in advertising and now being at home with Nia, when I compare the two experiences, being home with Nia is hands down the hardest of the two (if you need to understand why read this).

For any family there is a lot to be considered when/if one spouse stays home to care for the children. However, for my family it's not just about finances but there are many other variables factored into the equation including quality of care options available, time spent together as a family (vs. time in the office/commuting) and long-term career goals. 

In our family, with the cost of childcare in metro NYC and the amount of time we would not have together as a family if I was working full-time in a traditional work setting, it does not make sense for me to work outside the home at this time. Additionally, as a strong advocate of multiple profit centers I'm able to juggle various projects that I'm very passionate about while taking care of Nia.

It will not always be this way. This is a fluid choice we've made in our family and for now it works. The reality is we are on a tight budget and we no longer live in a luxury Manhattan apartment, but the good news is I get to be there for Nia now at her earliest, most-important stages of development. Additionally, we are actually saving money not only for our future through traditional methods (such as investments and Nia's college fund), but by living way below our means. We are also able to tithe at our church, which is very important to us. Living in this open-handed kind of way has taught us to tell our money where to go and to live like no one else so that later we can live like no one else (we are HUGE fans of Dave Ramsey).

This issue has also made me think deeper about societal norms and the rat race in general. 

Many of us have been sold on an ideal that we MUST go to college - and go into tremendous debt to do so - only to get a job we (often) end up hating so we can pay back the debt while attempting to maintain a standard of living we think we deserve because we've "arrived"  or to impress others who are also caught up in the same farce. {HuffPo's recent article about delayed pregnancy due to mounting debt especially due to college loans is startling}

Life should be much more than that

Going back to the response of "being rich" most of us are indeed much richer than we realize. As I've shared before The Global Rich List has a fantastic calculator that compares your standing to the rest of the world's population. 

Here's mine:

{For more tips on how to handle mompetition check out this video and to see how much being a SAHM is supposedly worth check this out.}