Christine, age 26, from Pennsylvania
Children: son Devon 4-years-old; daughter Mackenzie 6-months-old
Tell us about your unique stay-at-home situation:
"My husband works as a technician for DirecTV as the sole provider for the family. His hard work and dedication is the reason I am able to stay at home with my kids but at times it can get tight. For example instead of an hourly rate or salary, he gets paid per job and per item he installs and/or repairs. Every paycheck is never the same and sometimes could be a difference of $500 or more. Because of this it can be very hard to have a set budget. In this family I make sure we are fed, warm and clothed above all else. It doesn't seem ideal to most but some companies such as electric and mortgage give a 2 week grace period where you can still pay bills after the due date and not get penalized for it. All in all it works very well for us."
How long have you stayed home with your kids?
"I’ve been a stay at home mother since my son was born in November of 2006."
What did you do before staying home?
"I worked at a hotel as a front desk clerk for 3 years."
Do you do anything on the side to supplement your income?
"As of right now I have photography as a hobby, I sell my work if anyone is interested but it is not a business or supplemented income."
What do you consider to be the "pros" and "cons" of staying home?
"The biggest "pro" for me as a stay at home mother is that I get to make sure how my children are raised. I know what they watch, how they are disciplined and what goes into their bellies. I never have to worry about how they are treated at a daycare. Plus they don’t get sick as often because they aren’t around 15+ other children every day.
The "cons" for me as a stay at home mother is that despite the joys of mother hood, it can get very boring and lonely at times especially in the winter when I can’t take them outside as often, which also makes them more antsy and irritable."
What are some creative ways you get by on one income?
"In the spring/summer we have a garden to save on veggie costs, plus I make sure I clip coupons and try to buy a lot of store brand items during grocery shopping, since that is our family’s biggest expense that we can change."
Describe your "dream" day spent with your family.
"My dream day would be taking our kids out to a place where we can have a picnic lunch, the kids can run around and I am able to fuel my favorite past time of taking pictures (both of the kids and surrounding landscape)."
Describe your "dream" day spent alone.
"In all honesty I would prefer a day spent with my husband rather than alone since he works 6 days a week and long hours. I would like to have a nice lunch or dinner together and either walk around in a park, drive around aimlessly or window shopping for the day."