Stay-at-home moms are often perceived as not contributing financially to their families. However, the truth is, they make a significant financial contribution in a number of ways. We will get into those in just a moment. First, let me tell you a story.
In December 2021 I had my second child. I retired from my corporate job March 2022. We had considered the option of me staying at home for a while, but when I became pregnant with our third a few months later (oops!), the decision was solidified—I would retire from my job and be a stay at home mom. After all, two kids in daycare? Or, hire a nanny? Hah! It simply didn’t make financial sense, nor did I want my children raised by anyone else. We had a negative experience at daycare with our first. Having the opportunity to spend every day, all day, with my children was something I was looking forward to.
But, then something unexpected happened. The idea that I wasn’t contributing financially really began to take a toll on my mental health. When you spend 15 years bringing in the dough, then that dough just stops—its a bit of a gut-punch. Suddenly, I felt…insignificant somehow. I didn’t feel enough. Now, we know this certainly isn’t the case. After all, I’m taking care of a home, a husband, and three kids. But, that mindset that I held that I wasn’t contributing financially was nagging at me.
I had to change my mindset.
No, I wasn’t bringing home a paycheck from my 9-5 anymore, but I was contributing financially. It took me an entire year to change my mindset about what contributing financially looked like as a stay at home mom. Let me share what I have learned.
I. Saving money
Stay-at-home moms can save money by cooking meals at home, shopping for clothes and other household goods on sale, and cutting back on unnecessary expenses. This can free up money that can be used for other purposes, such as paying down debt, saving for retirement, or investing for the future.
II. Free childcare
Stay-at-home moms provide free childcare for their own children, which can save families a significant amount of money. With our first, we paid $230 per week for daycare. With three, we would pay around $3,000/month in our area.This can be especially helpful for families with multiple children or for families with young children who need a lot of care.
Stay-at-home moms do a lot of housework, which can save families money on things like cleaning services, laundry services, and yard work. I literally have a schedule of household tasks I do each day, every day. Yes, its a lot! Now, to be honest, we pay for yard-work. With two under two, I just can’t get it done! Nevertheless, these contributions can free up money that can be used for other purposes, such as saving for retirement, or investing for the future. These costs save families around $650/month.
Stay-at-home moms who homeschool their children can save families a significant amount of money on tuition, textbooks, and other school-related expenses. This can be especially helpful for families with multiple children or for families who live in areas with high tuition costs. We send our son to private school because of our personal apprehension regarding our local public schools. I will, however, be home-schooling the other two. This will save us nearly $30,000 annually on tuition costs.
V. Side hustles
Stay-at-home moms can also contribute financially by starting a side hustle. This could involve anything from selling handmade goods to providing virtual assistant services. Side hustles can be a great way to bring in extra money and supplement the family income. If you are interested in a side hustle, check this article on the topic.
So, all stay-at-home moms out there, say it loud, “I do contribute financially!” “I am enough!” Stay at home moms make a significant financial contribution to their families, even if we don't have a traditional paying job. Our work is often overlooked, but it is essential to the well-being of our families.