Jo and Leisa on Stay At Home Parenting

I don’t know how Jo and Leisa do it.  They’re twin sisters, Christian teachers, and bloggers at joleisa.com.  Yes, they’re busy, but what I really don’t understand is how they can be so kind and helpful.  I hope you’ll check out their site!

They hail from the sunny, sandy shores of Jamaica and aim to show others that you can live frugally, be happy, and live fulfilled lives. They currently live in England and have three teenagers who are their world. Read on for some of their tips about being a stay at home parent!

Relationships should be 50/50.

After all, it wouldn’t be fair, would it, for one person to be responsible for the financial health of the whole family? But, then again, shouldn’t you put some value on your services as a stay at home mom (or dad)? I’m going to share with you some tips to ensure you and your partner recognize your financial value and worth in your relationship.

I read a newspaper article recently where this man was basically complaining about how he goes out to work early every day, works long hours and comes home to a house that is a mess and a stay at home wife who looks even messier. He poured out his frustrations anonymously. Who wouldn’t? His wife is a qualified lawyer who decided to stay home with the kids who were born early into the marriage. So, he says, although their youngest child is in university, she still decides to be a SAHM! To say he felt furious is an understatement.

I don’t think she has a clue how he feels, do you?

The waters aren’t clear, are they? And not just for SAHMs, either. These suggestions to maximize and share your financial worth with your other half are equally as important for SAHDs.

For the purposes of this post, however, let us assume that it is the female who stays home and looks after the family while the male works outside of the home. Neither adult should feel more pressured than the other to maintain the family. It should be 50/50… and it should be discussed. That way, both parties put their hands on the table, say how they feel, and can come up with a plan to sustain or improve things for the benefit of the family. Isn’t that better than having one person so upset and seething that the marriage is slowly dying?

But how do you prove your financial worth when you do not bring home a pay cheque? Here are my suggestions.

Please note that it is best to get legal and financial advice from a certified professional if any of these issues affect you.

  1. If you don’t work outside the home, treat the running of the home as your area of expertise. Run it well by setting your objectives. For example, set high standards and keep to them. Tell yourself that you are the boss of the home and some things are not to be done by anyone else. That way, you have a role that is uniquely yours and you are the boss and principal owner.
  2. Make fun times for the family a priority. The planning and booking of holidays, as well as keeping the family excited, is yours. What can you do in this regard? Make the bookings? Ensure you know when the school holidays are to ask your other half to take time off to suit? Get appropriate gear ready?
  3. Help your family represent a positive image in your community. Not just in terms of the physical appearance–your house, the physical appearance of your family members–but also the character and morale of your family as a whole. The teaching of values such as respect and discipline are important, and are yours to see about.
  4. Help maintain the health and well-being of your family. Plan and prepare healthy, balanced meals; ensure that scope is given for the family to enjoy lots of sunshine, rest and relaxation. Book doctor’s, dentist’s and optician’s appointments for routine check-ups, and seeing to it that these appointments are kept.
  5. Read. Keep your mind actively engaged in continuous learning. Expand your horizons.
  6. Learn about budgeting, personal finance and other money matters. These will help keep you informed and make wise decisions regarding money matters in your family. You should be able to spot deals and figure out quite quickly whether or not they are worth it. Do not participate in risky dealings that may potentially cost your family dearly in more ways than one. Find out about bank accounts and investments and which might suit your family best.
  7. Try to stay up to date with insurance, pensions and other relevant documents, just in case. It’s good to not just automatically renew policies as there are sometimes wins to be had if you search around. Check this post for ideas more ideas. 
  8. Speaking of the inevitable, make a plan for what you would do if something were to happen to the primary bread winner of the family. Redundancy, job loss, major accidental injury forcing him to stop working, and even death–no one wants this to happen, but it is smart, forward thinking to have a plan.
  9. Extend your reach into your immediate community. What about giving up an hour or two a week to do some charitable work? Apart from being helpful, that sends to your children such a strong signal of your worth, love and compassion, not just for them but for others too. See this post about being a good, frugal neighbor.
  10. Try making a part time living from home. With the wide availability of the internet, you have a number of options to ensure that you can make a living, too. Depending on your skills, you can try being a virtual assistant, blogger, medical transcriptionist, editor, freelancer, running an online shop… really, in this regard, the sky’s the limit. There are so many inspiring examples of SAHM who make a living primarily from home. You can check out our post on making the best of your personal finances.

Think of yourself as someone of worth and act that way. Your other half should be recognize and be appreciative of your financial worth in the family–you shouldn’t have to rub it in their face! There are many opportunities out there. Get up! Dress up! Step up!  Imagine if someone had to pay for all the ten things listed above! Be a blessing to your family and to humanity. Go on, you can do it.

4 Comments

  • Patty Parker June 2, 2017 at 10:13 am

    These are great ideas. I love the sentiment of seeing the running of the home as your job. It’s a gift to stay at home with the children…even once they are grown…making a home that is filled with love and joy can produce lots of dividends. Great word.

    Reply
    • JT June 2, 2017 at 1:39 pm

      Thanks Patty! My wife certainly runs our house as a job (and a tough one with 3 kids)!

      Reply
  • Sasha June 2, 2017 at 6:44 pm

    Lame. Clearly the writer doesn’t understand the true value of a SAHM. When a couple creates a child it is up to that couple to provide and care for that child. This isn’t about having a 50/50 share earning money, it’s about how when you have a child YOU are responsible for raising that child. That’s why it takes 2 to make a baby so 1 can be with that child at all times. Your only other option is to outsource your responsibility as a mother and pay someone else to do it or mooch off of a family member (like Grandma) to do it. Staying home isn’t being the “mooch” partner, it’s being a responsible parent. And being the sole income earner isn’t unfair stress, it’s taking on the equal but different role in the partnership. And nowadays couples often trade off through the years, like putting the husband through school then becoming a SAHM once his career gets going. It’s NOT unfair to be a SAHM, it’s unfair to force their partner to dump their baby in daycare instead of raising the baby because they feel it a “burden” to provide for their family. Whiny wimpy selfish! And a SAHM with little ones does NOT have time to “work from home” unless they’re ridiculously lucky with a super easy sleepy baby and/or toddler, which is not the norm.

    Reply
    • JT June 2, 2017 at 9:35 pm

      Sasha, thanks for your thoughtful reply. I especially love your point about how staying home is not “mooching” and how partners often trade off staying-at-home.

      My take from Joleisa’s post and what I hope readers take away is that SAHPs have worth. What I read in the post is a break down in communication between a couple, with the working partner viewing their work as more valuable than the other’s. What I am hoping from this post, and why I was comfortable publishing it, was equipping a SAHP to change the conversation from “I make money, you don’t, therefore I’m more important” to “we both contribute.”

      I know for my wife, when she left a thriving career to be at home with our children, it was a quite a transition. All of a sudden, she went from doing something where her achievements could be measured to something where quantifying her impact wasn’t so easy.

      I ran this guest post by her first to just to get her impression, and she understood the sentiment. She had been naturally doing a few of the tips already. The difference is, I was actually the one who suggested that she stay at home (“you can always have a job, but you won’t always have the kids at that age.”), but even then, she wasn’t always sure that I appreciated everything she did. So she read it from that perspective.

      Perhaps the sentiment I was hoping to convey would be more clear if I would’ve titled it: “What to do if your spouse doesn’t appreciate your being a SAHP.”

      Thanks again, Sasha. I welcome your opinion!

      Reply

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