So a friend of mine recently decided to become a stay at home mom after having her 3rd child. She had worked out the home for her whole adult life, and her mother had taken care of her previous 2 children. But after moving to NC, there was no one familiar that she would feel comfortable leaving her children with. This left her with a really difficult and scary decision to make. Find a daycare or stay at home....
She and her husband decided it was best to stay home.
I've been a stay at home mom for the majority of the lives of my daughters. When my eldest was near 4 years old, we moved to NC and I got a job. I worked for about a year and a half, but when I found out that I was pregnant with our second daughter, I started making arrangements to stay home at around the 6th month of my pregnancy.
I understand how comforting it is to have a second income, and during that time, I was able to get us out of debt and save for a 6 month emergency fund. I was blessed to have my pastor's wife and great friend taking care of Lia during that time. But every fiber of my being calls to me to be with my children. I honestly had no idea prior to becoming a mother that I would want to be a stay at home mom. I definitely wasn't brought up that way...
My mother was a career woman. She went back to work 3 weeks after I was born. She didn't change a single diaper and had my grandmother take care of most of the nurturing aspects of rearing an infant. But she was brilliant and strong. Independent and competent. And she reared me to be just like her. It was my husband (who had been brought up with a sahm all his life) who convinced me to stay home with Lia. I was DEAD SET on maintaining my career and earning a living. But he was right. I LOVED every minute.
So I've had experience going from sahm to work-out-the-home mom back to being a stay-at-home mom, and here's my advice to those who are considering doing this major leap of faith.
Be confident in your ability as a mother. No one can love your children better or more than you can. Remember that even if you make mistakes that the holy Spirit will be able to straighten out any wrinkles in your parenting technique. Like I always say... "You gotta fake it, till you make it!" Do your best and good things will eventually result.
There is less money. Going from one income to two requires some major self-control and discipline when it comes to your money handling. The first step to acquiring that discipline is by tithing. Tithing is the practice of giving 10% of your income to your local church, and if you don't have a local church give it to charity (then go find a church :D). It also sets a culture of generosity in your family and a realization that you are blessed and rich-AND that there are others out there that need more than you. Set a culture of obedience to God and generosity toward others. Start tithing today. (This is good advice to any and everyone in all situations actually)
Remember to be yourself. Yes, we love being mothers, but that is NOT all we are as women. I was Jillien before I was a mother and will be Jillien still once my girls are out of the house. If I lose myself, I risk being very unhappy when I can't find myself after I remember to start looking. Find hobbies, friends, routines outside of those you have for your children.
I'm sure there are so many other things I could say, but these three to me are the most important. Feel free to comment with any other words of advice you may have.