Updated: Aug 18, 2022
Babies need more time with their parents. Too many mothers (and fathers!) are separated from their newborn babies before either party is ready. It’s heartbreaking to think about all the moms who cry every morning in the daycare parking lot. Many mothers return to work before they are even cleared by their doctor to resume normal activities. It shouldn’t be this way. Babies need their mamas.
We can’t expect drastic changes in our country overnight to give mothers the time they need with their babies. And we can’t expect all businesses to immediately take better care of their employees.
So, it’s time to take matters into our own hands. There’s a better way. If you, like so many mothers across our country, would rather be separated from your arm or leg than your newborn baby, keep reading.
Mothers everywhere are saying enough. Enough 8-5 work days away from our babies. Enough breast pumping in the car and in the bathroom. Enough tearful daycare drop offs. Enough spending too many hours on the job only to have our entire paycheck go to childcare. No more.
The Bonsie Team is continually blown away by the hard work, courage and innovation that mothers show in order to spend more time with their children. We hope these stories will inspire you to believe in yourself, your abilities, and to never underestimate the great lengths that a mother will go to to be with her child.
We interviewed a few moms who have done it all to stay home with their babies; they have worked multiple jobs, worked from home, budgeted, moved in with family and worked nights and weekends. While all that may not sound appealing, these moms have no regrets.
Katie Arbuckle began working on her real estate license right before she got pregnant; now she has a toddler, a ten-month-old baby, and a thriving career with flexible hours. She used to spend her days teaching and her evenings in class to prepare for a future with children.
“My life was changing and I knew I could not work a job that kept me away from my kids for eight hours a day. I also knew I could not live with the Sunday night dread of going to work all week while someone else spent time with my kids.”
Katie and her husband were more than prepared to go the extra mile so that she could stay home with their kids.
“We both felt that me being home to raise our babies was the most important. We would work extra jobs, long hours, and do what we needed to make that possible! Our schedules are anything but traditional, and even though it takes a lot of work and planning, it works for us and we are so happy in our careers and most importantly as a family.”
When asked to give advice to other moms who want to stay home with their kids, this is what Katie said:
“It’s scary leaving something consistent and secure. You have to be willing to put in hours early, during naps, and late at night. You need to reach out of your comfort zone. You will feel like you always have something to be doing, between work, the kids, the house, etc. But when you’re spending Wednesday morning at the park with your kids, the late nights will all be worth it. Even when it seems too tough, keep pushing."
"The time with your kids is something you won’t regret! Know you are capable of hard things and keep reflecting and focusing on your why!”
"I knew right when I became pregnant with my first baby that going back to work full-time was not going to be an option for me. For starters, the pay as a social worker would barely cover the cost of childcare. The hours I was expected to work did not fall into the traditional work week, so daycare wasn't a great option anyway. I was able to piece together a fairly decent income starting a small private therapy practice two evenings a week after my husband got home from work; he also started a side job of importing, fixing and selling vintage Toyota Land Cruisers to supplement our income for a short time. Haha! We were a little crazy, but the hustle did pay off and actually gave us some "down-time" to figure out our next move: Bonsie Skin to Skin Babywear. So far, it has all worked out and we made it to school age with our two kids without paying for full-time childcare.“
Whitney Benson, mother of three and also a former teacher, knew that daycare was not right for their family. So, she and her husband adjusted their lifestyle and picked up extra jobs so that Whitney could quit teaching and stay home with their baby.
"When I became pregnant with my firstborn, I couldn’t bear the idea of continuing to work and sending him to daycare. My husband was totally on board with me staying home, we just had to figure out a way to make it work financially. I knew if we adjusted our lifestyle it would be tough, but we could make it work.”
For many moms, it is not just a desire to nurture their children night and day, it’s a Need. (Ask us how we know!) For these moms, being separated from their babies is not healthy for them or their family. If this is where your heart is, take note of Whitney’s strategies to stay home with her children.
“A job opportunity came my way that would allow me to work from home. It didn’t come close to replacing my teacher’s salary, but would provide enough to allow me to be at home, at least through the first couple years of his life. We started a budget and tried to keep our monthly expenses to a minimum. My husband picked up an extra job cleaning a bank at night. In the meantime, I took advantage of my love of photography and started taking pictures for family and friends on the side. Every little bit of extra money helped. It’s been 16 years since I quit teaching, and we have been blessed with two more children.”
“Evaluate where you can cut corners to save money. Downsize your home, drive an older car, forego the big vacations—that can all come later. Is there a job you can work from home? Could you work nights while your husband stays with the kids? The sacrifices made when they are little are so worth it in the long run.”
In reflecting on those early days, Whitney has no regrets about her decision to stay home with her kids.
“There hasn’t been a single day that I regret staying at home with my kids. To be able to raise them, volunteer at school, pick them up when they are sick—it has been the joy of my life.”
Our world has changed since our grandmothers had children. Very few families can get by on one income. Quitting your job right now may not be manageable, but what can you do today to be one step closer to the life you want tomorrow? There are more opportunities than ever to work from home, take online classes, and earn a side income. If you can, lean on family, adjust your lifestyle and make the impossible possible. Life without daycare may seem challenging, but if anyone has the determination to make it happen, it’s you.