SAHMs: Is Work Outside the Home in Your Future?

recession guide


She's got three mouths to feed,

not including her and hubby!

This couldn't possibly be an easy decision to make.

Stay at home mom (SAHM), Nanlyn33, has been home with her three boys (14, 12 and 7) for eight years now. It's become a way of life for them--she's used to being there when her children walk in the door, providing them homework help and generally being available to meet the constantly changing needs of a teen, tween and elementary school kid. "I like knowing where my kids are. And I want them to be kids for as long as possible," Nanlyn says.


But the financial crisis facing her family may force a new reality on Nanlyn. Her husband lost her job a few weeks ago due to downsizing and he's had to take a lower paying one. Nanlyn realizes she has to go back to work.

This decision can be a hard one to come to for anyone. But if you are an SAHM who can't afford to stay home anymore, you might find Nanlyn's perspective inspiring. This is one mom, who, despite the changes she's about to face, is pushing on with positivity.


What made you finally say to yourself, "I really need to go to work outside of the home." I handle the finances, so I knew when he had to take a pay cut that I would need to find work. My husband still wants me to be able to stay home, but it doesn't seem likely.

What has the search been like? I haven't found work yet. I have been putting applications online and haven't had any responses. I think I will begin putting applications in face to face.  Maybe that will improve my chances of at least getting an interview.

Did you have a career prior to being a SAHM, or will you have to start fresh in terms of career direction? I was an Assistant Restaurant Manager prior to being a SAHM. I am only looking for part-time work right now. I would much rather find a job I can do from home, but those jobs are few and far between.

If you don't find work what might you lose? You know, I haven't really thought of losing anything.  We have focused all of our energy on cutting back.  We both have decided that material possessions come and go. As long as we have each other, we can overcome anything.

That's a wonderful perspective. How else do you save money around the house? I use coupons and do meal planning. I use vinegar to clean with instead of store bought chemicals. I cut my dryer sheets in half.  We have put a freeze on eating out for a while. We can buy things like pizza and chicken nuggets from the grocery store a lot cheaper than what we spend going out to eat.  I called the cable company and downgraded our service. I eliminated unnecessary bills. I wash the clothes in cold water. 

What are your hopes for the future in terms of finances and your family? I hope we are able to deal with these difficult times, learn from them, and prepare ourselves in case this ever happens again.  I have seen too many people give up hope.  We have to remember that what's important are not the big houses, fancy cars, and designer labels. As long as we have a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs, and food to eat, we should be thankful.  Everything else is just stuff.  I hope this brings my family closer together and teaches my children the important things in life.

How has the recession affected your life? Do you have any suggestions for SAHMs going back to the workplace?

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