Friday, August 28, 2009

Survey Site Opinion Outpost Pays Out!



I have been using a survey site called Opinion Outpost for quite awhile now. The site connects users with companies that conduct surveys for clients on a wide range of topics. At the time I had only completed surveys, but I had not actually redeemed any of my monetary rewards.

I have to say I am VERY impressed. I looked back at my account and realized I've been a member of Opinion Outpost for about 7 months. In that time I have earned $67.50. Granted, that's not a ton of money, but a couple of things should be pointed out. First, I'm not sure I'm the target audience for a lot of these surveys. I'm a 30 year old guy. There are a lot of these surveys that just don't apply to me. A typical SAHM, however, would be right in the wheelhouse for a lot of these surveys.
Also, there are times when I'm just too busy to respond to surveys. There are times when I just delete every survey I get for about a week at a time. That is a lot of opportunities passed up. If I could respond to every survey (and there are a lot of surveys) I know I could make more money.

The other thing that impressed me was the turn around time on recieiving my check. The website says to allow 4-8 weeks for delivery. No problem. It's not like I need this money to live on right this second. But surprise, surprise. My check showed up yesterday less than a week after I requested it. That is a really good response time.

So I am officially fully endorsing Opinion Outpost as a survey research panel. The surveys are easy to comprehend. The website is set up very well. And most importantly, they actually pay you for your time. So if you're interested, just click on the banner at the top of this post and sign up. It doesn't cost a dime to sign up and you could be earning money in a matter of minutes. Have fun.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Another Great Deal from Restaurant.com

Restaurant.com Weekly Promo Offer 300 x 250
I know I've had some Restaurant.com deals on here before, but this one is ridiculous. You can get a $25 gift certificate to a restaurant in your area for just $2. That's one hell of a deal. All you have to do is click on the link above and use the Promo Code "NAPKIN" when you check out. It's pretty darn simple.

Time Management for SAHMs (Part 1)

I think I've figured out the one thing that is the difference between a good day and a bad day for my wife: time management! Of course there are those wildcard variables that can wreck even the best-planned day. My son scraping his knee falling on the driveway, my daughter deciding today is the day she going to bite her brother repeatedly. But those things aside, time management can make or break a SAHM's day.

For some people time management is second nature. They have no problem setting up a schedule, planning out a day and sticking to it. I don't think my wife and I are like that. We try. We really do. I swear. But there are plenty of times it just doesn't happen.

So I started doing some research and came across a couple of websites that profess to help those of us that are time management deficient. Today we'll cover one of the websites, and we'll get to the other one tomorrow. The first website I came across was Motivated Moms. The website offes printable chore lists to help with the sometimes difficult task of deciding what needs to be done when. If you're like our family, looking at a house of chores that need to be done can be very daunting. Where do you start? What task comes next? My wife likes to tell me I have ADHD, so I typically jump from one job to the next.

According to the website, the Motivated Moms chore lists are "designed to help you complete chores and tasks throughout the year so that you don’t spend your entire day doing housework." And let's be honest, nobody wants to spend all day doing housework. The goal is to reduce stress and make it easier to maintain your home in the easiest possible manner.

The chore lists come in 8 different styles and can be easily downloaded for a measly $4 on the website. All you need is a PayPal account. Here is a sample of a Full Sized Weekly Planner.

Click here to view more details

Anybody ever used this system? Any thoughts?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Money Saving Tips for SAHMs - Promo Code Websites

I can't believe it's been over a month since I've posted on here! I bet all 5 of my regular readers are terribly disappointed in me.

I don't know about you guys, but we buy a lot of things online. We buy presents online from places like Amazon.com and target.com. We also buy a lot of picture prints and picture gifts online. Our favorite is Snapfish. We just bought my mom a new mousepad with a picture of all 3 kids on it (presents are so easy when you have kids!).

While placing our latest order on Snapfish we thought about trying to find a promotion code to save some money. Much to my surprise, there are plenty of websites dedicated to sharing these promo codes for all kinds of websites. We used a code that saved us $10 for any order over $25. Not a bad deal for a 45 second Google search.

The website we used for our Snapfish order was RetailMeNot.com. This website claims to have coupons for more than 20,000 stores. Who knows if that is true, but there certainly seem to be codes and coupons for every major store I searched for. I also like the fact that people can click a single button to share whether or not the code worked for them. There is also a success rate displayed as a percentage.

I found a few more websites dedicated to sharing promo codes and coupons like DealTaker.com, PromotionCode.org and CurrentCodes.com. Anybody use any other promo code sites that work well?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Infatutation With Penis


So it's another Fatherhood Friday over at Dad Blogs and I thought I would discuss something that is truly unique to dads while asking for a SAHM's opinion: penises. At least I think that is the plural of penis. Maybe it's peni. Regardless, I think people understand what we're talking about here.

But specifically I want to talk about my son and his recent infatuation with his little helper. I walked into the bathroom the other day to help him after he finished going to the bathroom. See, we're in the final stages of potty training. Actually, we're pretty much done. He knows when he has to go, can go by himself, etc. The only thing we've yet to master is pulling up our underwear and pants. It's not uncommon for him to waddle out of the bathroom with pants around ankles. It's actually pretty funny.

But back to the point. I head into the bathroom to help pull up his shorts and I stop dead in my tracks. He has picked up Mom's small make-up mirror and is using it to get a better look at his man parts. And it was a pretty good inspection.

As a guy I realize we are all transfixed by our junk, but I didn't know how to react. I realize it's completely natural, but it was a little crazy. I don't even remember if I said anything. I certainly didn't want to embarass him or stunt his maturation. But still, what is the right response in that situation? Just ignore it? What happens when I walk in on my little girl doing the same thing in a year or so?

Actually that answer is simple:

Monday, June 15, 2009

SAHM Tips About Preschool

My oldest starts preschool tomorrow. He's doing a two-day-a-week program during the summer. He'll do a three-day program starting in the fall. I'm very excited for him to start for a few reasons.

First, I think he'll really like the school aspect of it. He's a pretty inquisitive kid, so I think the learning side of preschool will really appeal to him. I can already envision him telling me all the cool things they did as soon as I walk in the door after work.

I'm also excited to see how he does in the program. He's a fairly advanced 3 year old (of course, all parents say that), but I'm curious how he'll do. I'm really looking forward to seeing him progressive with his gross motor skills like writing, using scissors, etc.

And for me, it's just cool to see him growing up and moving on to the next phase of life. Since he's the oldest, he gets to meet all of these milestones before his sister and brother. So everything is new to him and to us as parents. I like moving forward and seeing what lies in front of us.

But, at the same time, I have no idea what I'm doing here. Is there a certain preschool protocol that I need to know? What do you all, as SAHMS, think I need to know as my son heads to preschool? And don't worry about thinking your advice is too silly or too minimal. At this point, I need all the help I can get.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Playgroups USA

Just found a cool website dedicated to playgroups. This is perfect for stay at home moms looking to find other SAHMS in their area. You can search for playgroups by geographic area and find kids for your little ones to play with. Or, if you already have an established playgroup and would love to add new moms and kids, post your group.

Another great example of SAHMS helping SAHMS.

Anyone ever used this website to find a playgroup? There weren't any in our area, unfortunately, but there were plenty in other parts of our state. Let me know if you've ever had any experiences with Playgroups USA.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

SAHMS Getting Paid For Their Opinions

I know that a lot of stay at home moms are always on the lookout for ways to make a few extra dollars. Because let's be honest, we could all use a few extra dollars at the end of the month.

One of the most common money making ideas I see suggested for SAHMS is online surveys. They make it sound very easy: sign up, share your opinion, rake in the cash. In just a few minutes a day you can help dictate what products companies make & sell and put some cash in your wallet.

The truth is that these survey websites offer a chance to make some pocket money with a very minimal amount of effort. The surveys are delivered right to your inbox and usually take less than 15 minutes to complete. You aren't going to get rich doing this, but you can make some money. Look at it as your Starbucks fund. Or your movie night fund.

My personal favorite of these survey websites is Opinion Outpost. I've been a member for a few months now, and I've made some money for very little work. One of the reasons I like Opinion Outpost is that they actually pay cash instead of prizes. You can actually trade in your "points" for dollars instead of gift certificates, magazine subscribtions, etc.

I'll admit that I haven't actually cashed out yet, but I've done a decent amount of research and haven't come across any red flags. So if you're interested, just click on the link up top, sign up and start making money. Then go out and buy yourself something nice with that "hard" earned cash!

Monday, June 8, 2009

What Does Your Husband Do That Pisses You Off?

Part of my rationale for this blog is be a better husband to my SAHM wife. How can this blog help? Well, honestly, that's where my readers (all 3 of you!) come in.

Today I'm trying to figure out what your husbands that annoy you as a SAHM. All husbands do stupid things that drive their wives crazy, but I'm talking about SAHM-specific stuff here. It could be not appreciating the amount of work you do. Maybe they pass off all of the kid-related work to you even when they're home.

Whatever it is, I (and my fellow dads) want to know. We can only fix it if we know what we're doing wrong. So don't hold back. Come out with both barrels blasting.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

SAHMs Use Internet To Stay Connected

Sorry I haven't updated the blog in a while. It's been a busy time around our house with a 2nd birthday party and the start of summer (read: the pool finally opened!).

Regardless, I saw this article the other day and found it interesting. Not that this a shock to anyone reading this blog, but it seems as if SAHMs are using the internet to feel connected to the outside world.

I know that a lot of SAHMs have trouble connecting with people in the world outside of their house. My wife has this issue sometimes; it's hard being surrounded by toddlers and babies all day without having an adult conversation. But can blogging and Facebook really take the place of a real conversation?

Listen, I love blogging and Facebook, but there is no way conversing online can replace those personal connections. There is just no replacing personal interaction. But when those personal interactions aren't possible, I guess electronic connections will just have to do.

So do any of you use the internet as a means of connecting with the outside world while holed up in your house? Or is just something fun to do to pass the time?

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Restaurant.com Weekly Promo Offer 300 x 250
Just a quick reminder. The Restaurant.com 80% off special ends today. You can grab a $25 gift certificate for just $2. Use the promo code SPECIAL to get this great deal.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Benefits of SAHM for Dad


Today is another Fatherhood Friday over at Dad Blogs. If you haven't checked it out yet, shame on you. There are a ton of talented dads (and moms) that you should be reading.

Most of my time on here has been singing the praises of stay at home moms and talking about what husbands can do to support them. Because I think that's important. Staying at home is a difficult job and requires as much assistance as possible. And I am more than happy to do my share to make sure this lifestyle works for my family.

But today is about me. After all, this is MY blog. I do all the work around here, so why shouldn't I get to talk about myself for a while. Don't worry, we'll get back to our regularly scheduled programming shortly.

Today we're going to talk about how dads/husbands benefit from the SAHM lifestyle. I think it's pretty obvious how children benefit. And there are plenty of discussions out there about a SAHM's gains from staying at home (and some obvious minuses). But what about the dad? What does he get out of this deal? Obviously I can only speak from my experience, but here is what I see as the benefits for me so far.

1. Less chaos. Especially in the mornings. Granted our kids are not in school yet, but our mornings have gotten considerably easier. We don't have to rush around to get 5 people ready for the day and out of the house by 7:15 in the morning. Which is good because we're not really big on mornings in our house. Now we have the ability to have a more relaxed start to the day, and I think that carries over to the rest of the day.

2. More home-cooked meals. Now before someone jumps down my throat, let me say that I don't expect my dinner on the table when I walk in the dinner every night. Far from it. But staying home has allowed my wife to cook more often. Which is great because my wife is a damned good cook (whether she thinks so or not). So this isn't about me thinking a woman should be in the kitchen, this is purely about my stomach. And my stomach is happy!

3. More time with my kids. Even though my wife is the one staying home, I still get to see my kids more. We have more time in the morning. I get to see them when I go home for lunch (though I do kinda miss my lunch-time runs). We spend more timing playing in the evening as opposed to getting ready for the next day.

4. Most importantly, my wife is happy. And that means the world to me. She loved her profession, but she was ready to stay home. The stress of working and running a family (I have no illusions about who wears the pants) was a big strain on her. That has all gone out the window. She is more relaxed. She is happier. She is awesome. And that makes me happy (and awesome!).

Time Is Running Out

The Restaurant.com sale is almost over. Your chance to buy $25 gift certificates for $2 ends on Sunday. Remember to use the promo code SPECIAL.

And today is Friday (like you didn't already know) and that means you can get free chocolate at the Mars Company website.

Don't you just love great deals?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Power of the Garage Sale


Garage sale season is kicking into high gear all across the country, and SAHMS are ready to find those great deals. We buy all kinds of stuff for our kids at garage sales: cribs, toys, clothes, bedroom furniture, strollers. It amazes me the kind of deals you can find with a minimal amount of work.


So I want to hear about your amazing deals. Ever find a perfectly good crib for $25? A full set of toy cars for a quarter? Share with others your bargaining skills. Maybe we can all get some good ideas of things to look for.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

More Freebies For SAHMs


You know you like free stuff. And you know you like fabric softener. So how much are you going to like Free Fabric Softener? My guess, a lot! Check out this website, answer like 3 questions about fabric softener (your opinion on fabric softener, not a quiz!), and get a free 23 load bottle of Downy Fabric softener in your favorite scent. Doesn't get much easier than that!


Also, the Restaurant.com deal I blogged about last week has been extended until May 31! So you still have 6 more days to get your $25 gift certificates for only $2. Click on the link in the blog post, find your restaurants, use the promo code SPECIAL, and save a boatload of money.

SAHMs Love Freebies


I found a new website the other day called Twimme. This website constantly updates giveaways, contests, freebies, etc. that are currently being tweeted on Twitter. So instead of wading through 500 updates from all of your Twitter friends (I'm still trying to figure out the lingo of Twitter), this site does all of the work for you.
So sit back, watch the giveaways update and save you some money!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Treat Your SAHM To Dinner For Less

Restaurant.com Weekly Promo Offer 300 x 250
Restaurant.com is having another ridiculous sale: 80% OFF. That makes for $25 gift certificates for a mere $2. This is a superb deal that you can't pass up. Just click on the box above, search for restaurants in your area, use the promo code SPECIAL and enjoy a nice meal out on the town for a pittance.
Guys, Mother's Day may have already passed, but just think of the brownie points.

Single Moms Have It Easier!?!

As a quasi-attorney, I really like lawyer jokes. And since I vehemently object to the text of the article I'm going to talk about, I thought this little cartoon worked perfectly.

Apparently the women that read Babytalk Magazine would rather not have a partner around when it comes to parenting. They think it would just be easier to do it alone. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?! Almost 2/3 of the unmarried moms that responded to the survey said it's sometimes easier to not have a husband or boyfriend. Their reasons, you ask:
  • No arguing over how to raise the kids

  • Don't have to worry about working on their marriage

  • Free to follow their own dreams

I just loved this little gem of a quote:

"A friend of mine has two little boys and one very big one: Her husband is more
of a responsibility than a partner," says Amy King of Kissimmee, Florida. "I
would rather be single than in an unequal relationship. I don't have that cloud
hanging over me if the relationship needs work and I'm too tired to put in the
effort. And I don't have time to get lonely!"

Even some of the married moms agreed it would be easier to go it alone. A whopping 22% of the married respondents felt that way.

And here I thought I was being helpful. Apparently I'm just getting in the way and creating more work for my wife. Haven't men for years been berated for taking an active role in the lives of their children? We've told how important it is to be there, be helpful and be supportive. Then I go and read something like this. Almost makes me feel like men just can't win. Either we're not doing enough or we're in the way.

By the way, Happy Fatherhood Friday everyone!

And don't forget to visit the Mars website for your free chocolate this morning. Look here.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Great Gift Idea: Personalized Kids Books from I See Me!

I See Me! Personalized Storybooks


If you are looking for the perfect gift for a child in your life, take a look at I See Me! Books. These books can be personalized with the child's name and picture. It's a great way to give a reasonably priced gift that is incredibly personal and thoughtful.

Click on the link above to check them out.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

SAHM Writes Parenting Manual

So I saw this news story and thought I would share it. A SAHM from North Carolina co-wrote a parenting book with her best friend, a fellow mom. A sort of point-counterpoint book, one mom is a SAHM and the other is a working mom.

The whole point of the book is to show that there is no one single right answer when it comes to parenting. Must of us that check out this site have made the choice to have a parent at home all of the time. And that's a great way to do it. But it's not the only way.

It drives me crazy when parents think they have all of the answers. Or when they think their way is the ONLY way to do something. It doesn't work that way. No two families are exactly alike. What works for my family may not work for yours. That's why I've never tried to use this blog to convince people to become SAHMs. I just want to provide help to those that may want to take the leap.

Anyway, the book is called The Must Have Moms Manual, and you should be able to find it in bookstores now.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Free Chocolate Friday! Mars Real Chocolate Relief Act


The folks over at Mars (the makers of M&M's, Snickers, Twix, Milky Way, etc) are giving away free chocolate this entire summer. That's right, I said FREE CHOCOLATE!

The first 250,000 people to visit their website Mars Real Chocolate Relief Act every Friday morning through September will get a coupon for a free Mars product. The giveaway opens at 9:30 AM Eastern Time. So set your watches, put it on your calendar and get you some free chocolate!

Monday, May 18, 2009

More Thoughts on Dr. Laura's Book: "In Praise of Stay-At-Home Moms"

I've been thinking some more about some of Dr. Laura Schlessinger's comments in the interview I posted a few days ago here. Specifically, I've been fuming about her comment regarding a father's ability to stay home with a child under the age of 3.

It is absolutely ludicrous to me that this woman honestly believes that a guy cannot successfully stay home with a young child. After all of the years where men have been bashed for not taking an active role in their kids' lives, this lady comes along and actually says that men don't have the ability to stay home with young kids.

Is that condescending to anyone else? Because, honestly, I think I'm a pretty damn good father. I don't know if I'd be a great stay at home dad, but that's not the point. I could absolutely do it, and do it well, if I had to. And I know that there are plenty of great stay at home dads out there.
Having a vagina does not make you more qualified to be a stay at home parent! That's just not part of the qualifications. It's all about your ability to provide for your children and do the things that will make them well-adjusted people.
Damn you Dr. Laura. I'm done talking about you.
She does, however, say some great things about stay at home moms, so I do appreciate that. Here's another interview if you're interested.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Last Day For Restaurant.com Promotion

I realize I've mentioned this promotion 3 days in a row, but this is just such a good deal. Usually you can get $25 gift certificates for $10. That's a pretty good deal. But for the rest of today, and today only, you can get 70% off. That means a $25 gift certificate for $3!!!! All you have to do is use the promo code "TASTY" when you check out. It's that simple.
And this is no joke. I took advantage of this deal myself. I got $75 worth of gift certificates for all of $9. I'm no mathematician (hell, I'm not even sure I spelled the word right!), that is a HUGE savings.
But you have to take advantage of this deal today! So get on it!

Friday, May 15, 2009

What Should A SAHM Expect From Her Man?


First of all, Happy Fatherhood Friday. I missed last week, but I'm back on the horse this week. If you haven't checked out the blogs over at Dad Blogs, you are truly missing out. There is some great stuff over there.

OK, so a couple of weeks ago I blogged about what a guy can realistically expect from the SAHM in his life. That post sparked a lot of great comments, and I don't think I really ticked anybody off. I also got a lot of interesting stuff about the whole "nothing but an apron" thing :)

So this week I thought I would flip it around and talk about what a SAHM can realistically expect from the man in her life. Obviously I'm writing this from the guy's perspective, so I'll be interested to see what the women think about this.

First and foremost, I think it is a must that the man RESPECTS his SAHM. This one is pretty much non-negotiable. I don't care how important you think your job is. I don't care how much money you make a year. Nothing is more important than raising your kids. NOTHING! So you better show some respect to the woman that (presumably) put her career and aspirations on hold to raise your kids. It really is the least you can do.

Next, how about some flowers once in a while? Is that so hard to ask? Or maybe dinner out on the town? Check out yesterday's post to get some great deals on gift certificates to local restaurants.

On the same note, SAHMs need a little "me time." At least a couple times a week she should be able to get out of the house and away from the kids to do whatever she wants to do. Whether it's working out, taking a cake decorating class or drinking a glass of wine with a couple of girlfriends, "me time" is terribly important. Just think about how you feel after 2 hours by yourself with the kids. Now multiply that by 4 (and that's assuming you're only away from the house for 8 hours a day) and you'll start to realize how she feels at the end of the day.

And finally, it's not gonna kill you to help out around the house. Do some laundry. Take care of the dishes. Pick up after the kids. When I talked about a guy's expectations for a SAHM, I mentioned that everything has to be flexible. And that' going to require the guy to pick up some slack. Or, just let the laundry go for a couple of days. It's not really the end of the world.

So what did I forget? What else should my wife expect from me?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

SAHMs Need To Dine Out Too

I realize we're all on a budget around here, and the first thing that usually goes is dining out. Plus, it's never easy to go to a decent restaurant (and Applebee's doesn't count as a good restaurant) with kids.

But right now there is a deal going on over at Restaurant.com that is just too good to pass up. If you've never been to Restaurant.com before, here's the deal. You can buy $25 gift certificates to a number of restaurants for only $10. That's a pretty darn good deal.

There is a special going on right now, though, that makes it darn near impossible to ignore. If you use the promo code "TASTY" when you check out, you save 70% on each gift certificate you purchase. That makes a $10 purchase only $3. Which means you get a $25 gift certificate for only $3!!!!!!

I bought 3 $25 gift certificates for a total of $9! That is $75 worth of dining out for only 9 bucks! Sorry about all of the exclamation marks, but this is a hell of a deal.

The only catch is the promo code expires on May 16th. So you have 2 more days to take advantage of this deal. Get yourself over to Restaurant.com, use the promo code "TASTY," call up the babysitter and get yourself some much deserved me time at your favorite local eatery.

Free Books! Free Books! Free Books!

I'm sure everyone already knows about this, but apparently Dolly Parton has created a program called Imagination Library that provides one new age-appropriate book a month to kids under the age of 5 in participating communities.

The project started with Sevier County in Tennessee (home of Dollywood). The program was such a success that more communities around the country started to join the initiative. Today there are 556 counties in 36 states participating in the program.

The catch is your local community has to sponsor the program. To find out if your community is a part of the program, check out the Affliates page on the Imagination Library website. If your community is not involved yet, you can start the ball rolling by clicking on the Get Involved tab.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Future SAHM in the Making

I'm pretty sure I have a SAHM-in-the-making around my house. My daughter turns 2 at the end of this month, and she is already incredibly maternal. She loves to take care of her baby doll. She even tries to take care of her brothers. However, the other night she took her natural maternal nature to another level.

I should preface this story by saying we're not the most modest household in the world. We all tend to walk around in various states of undress. Our kids see us completely naked on a not too irregular basis. And I don't see anything wrong with that. After all, they're 3.5, 2 and 7 weeks old.


As an offshoot of that, my wife is not particularly shy about nursing our baby in front of the kids. They know he's eating. They don't really understand what's going on, though.


With that little bit of background, I was outside on the back patio with the 2 older kids the other night. It was a perfect evening, and we were taking complete advantage. My son was on the ground playing with his cars, my maternal 2 year old was playing with her baby in one of the patio chairs and I was sitting in another chair watching over my youngins.


All of a sudden my daughter proclaimed that her baby was hungry, lifted up her dress and put her baby doll on her chest to "eat." It only lasted about 4 seconds and, honestly, I was so shocked I didn't have time to react.


The more I thought about it, though, I'm not sure I should have reacted. After all, she's only 2 years old and is simply mimicking her mother. Yelling at her to stop would just be silly and counter-productive. But I can just see her "nursing" her baby doll at the babysitter and setting off a chain reaction with all the other little girls. Then I'm the dad with baby girl that introduced breastfeeding to a bunch of toddlers.


Oh the joys of parenthood.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Burnout Management for SAHMs

Read a great article on recognizing and counteracting burnout for SAHMs over at suite101.com's Stay At Home Parents page. Don't mind the "mums" by the way, you'll get used to it.

The author does provide some good ideas on how to deal with burnout. I particularly like the comments about reconnecting with family. I know that we have had to specifically make time for us after the kids have gone down. Who cares if the laundry needs to be folded?

There is one HUGE thing she did not mention, though. That's called "me time." I am a big proponent of my wife getting plenty of "me time." Whether it is time to go workout, take a cake decorating class (OK, so I benefit from that time too!), or taking some real time off for a girl's shopping weekend at the nearest outlet mall.

If a SAHM doesn't have any time away from the house and kids (and probably the husband too), she is never going to make it.

What do you do to stave off SAHM burnout?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Happy Mother's Day From SNL

I don't know if any of you watch Saturday Night Live, but I think it's pretty funny. This weekend they had a couple of different bits about mothers and Mother's Day. The first was a Digital Short with Andy Samburg and Justin Timberlake. It is a continuation of their D*&^ In A Box video from last year. This one is called MotherLover.

This also did a fake commercial (which is still one of the funniest things they do in my opinion) for a product called The Mom Translator. The Mom Translator helps kids understand who their mother is talking about when she butchers a celebrity's name. This is particularly funny for me because my mom is notorious for doing this.

When I was a kid I asked for the new Boyz II Men tape for Christmas. My mother called they Boise 11 Men. She also used to refer to the band The Gin Blossoms and "that Jim Blossom guy."

So maybe I need some sort of application for the Mom Translator that works on band names as well as celebrity names. Love you Mom!

What is a SAHM's Time Worth?

What is your time worth as a SAHM? How much should you get "compensated" for doing laundry? What about picking up toys? Making lunch?

They may sound like silly questions to ask, but someone does just that every year. Salary.com, a website dedicated to compensation analysis, annually tries to place a dollar figure on the work of stay-at-home moms. Cleverly released just prior to Mother's Day every year, the report determines the time SAHMs spend on the 10 most popular "Mom job functions" and tries to equate a dollar figure.

The 2009 report determined an average annual salary of $122,732, up 5% from 2008's $116,805 (but still way shy of 2007's $138,094 figure). A good chunk of the salary came from an exorbinant amount of overtime. The typical SAHM, according to the report, spends 94.4 hours performing "mom duties."

The survey designates a percentage of the salary to the Top 10 SAHM duties. For instance, housekeeper comes in at #7 on the Mom's Duties list and accounts for 7.7% of the salary. Chief Executive Officer ranks #1 on the list accounting for 19.9% of a SAHMs salary.

You can even customize your salary based on how much time you spend on certain tasks with the Mom Salary Wizard. Or print yourself a paycheck. But I don't suggest trying to cash it. Most banks really frown upon fraud.

Don't worry dads, there is a Dad Salary Wizard too. Just in case you thought they forgot about your contribution to the family.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day


Just wanted to wish all of the SAHMs out there a great Mother's Day. I hope you have something wonderful planned for YOUR day. Or better yet, I hope the people in your life have something wonderful planned.
If you do something truly great, I'd love to hear about it. I'm always looking for cool things to do for my wife.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

National Mom's Nite Out


I hope all you SAHMs are prepared to celebrate National Mom's Nite Out tomorrow night. This nationwide event is billed as "the first nationally organized celebration of motherhood."

There will be online events via Twitter, Skype and a host of other websites. There are also a number of local events around the country. There is a list of live events here.

A ton of sponsors have offered prizes for a drawing on May 7th. You can register for the raffle here.

Anyone got big plans for National Mom's Nite Out? I'd love to hear about anyone that attends one of these planned events. This is the first time for this event, so I'm sure things will only get better in the coming years.

Perfect House Wife Video

Found this video on becoming the Perfect Housewife. Thought some here might enjoy it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oi0BN6BlDiE

Friday, May 1, 2009

A Husband's Realistic Expectations For a SAHM



For this week's Fatherhood Friday post on Dad Blogs I thought I would talk about what a husband/father can realistically expect from the SAHM in his life.

Now, I write this post with a great deal of trepidation. I realize that I could say something in here that could piss a lot of SAHMs off in a hurry. And believe me, I recognize that there are very few groups of people I want to piss more less than SAHMs. More importantly, I risk infuriating the SAHM in my life. And as much as I love and respect the SAHMs of the blogosphere, my SAHM is the only one that truly scares me. After all, I would like to have sex again sometime in this calendar year.

Having said that, it was actually a comment by my SAHM that even got me thinking about expectations in the first place (so it's her fault). She gave me what she considered to be a compliment one night. And I eventually took it as a compliment. her comment was simple, "Thanks for having such low expectations for me as a stay-at-home mom."

I don't think I have low expectations, though. I think I'm just realistic. I didn't marry June Cleaver because I didn't want to marry June Cleaver (plus, I'm pretty sure Barbara Billingsley is dead).

So, all that being said, let's get to the good stuff. What can a husband realistically expect from his own SAHM. I thought I'd start with a few things to NOT expect:

  1. A home-cooked meal on the table every night when you walk in the door.
  2. A wife that is dressed to the nines with a freshly ironed dressed and pearl necklace.
  3. A spotless house.
  4. A sex fiend waiting for you at the door in nothing but an apron.

In case you've forgotten, your SAHM is home all day with at least one child. Mine is home all day with three kids. All under the age of 4. One of them is 6 weeks old. If I come home to a Stouffer's lasagna, cars and baby doll accessories strewn about the floor and a wife in sweat pants and one of my old t-shirts there is NO WAY I can be upset. That's how life works out sometimes.

So what can you expect from your SAHM? Here are some thoughts:

  1. Relatively clean, fed, well-adjusted kids. The real goal of staying home with your children is to provide them a first-class upbringing. So it makes sense to expect at least some results in the child rearing department.
  2. At least some attempt to get cleaned and dressed. My thought is this: if I have to shave everyday (and I HATE shaving), you can at least comb your hair and put on something that wouldn't double for painting clothes.
  3. An attempt to stay up on the laundry, dishes and general maintenance of the household.
  4. Finding ways to save money or make a little money on the side. Since most one-income families aren't rolling in disposable income, every little bit helps.

The thing to remember, guys, is that none of these rules are really absolute. Notice I used the word "attempt" a lot. Some days none of this is going to happen. Some days all of this and more is going to happen. You've just got to learn to roll with the punches and love your SAHM even if she hasn't showered since Tuesday and the laundry is piling up.

And by the way ladies, the whole "coming home to you in nothing but an apron" thing should happen at least once while you're a SAHM. I'm just sayin'.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Silly SAHM Times


So last night we had our first round of thunderstorms of the spring. Nothing too crazy, but some thunder, lightening and a lot of rain. The thunder really started as the kids were headed to bed and they at least acted like they were scared.

At that point I decided it was time to break out the magic. This is something I do from time to time to relieve some fear the kids are having. I make up a magic spell and make the bad stuff go away. Tonight's spell went something like this:

Abra-cabunder
Abra-cadunder (a shout-out to the top micro-cap regional paper company this side of Stamford)
Why don't you just go away
You silly thunder!

And, of course, it worked like a charm. Never heard another peep out of the kids. So what kinds of silly things do you do to entertain/assuage/calm your little ones? I know I can't be the only one that does this.

Monday, April 27, 2009

A Croc Giveaway for SAHMs

Check out this giveaway going on now at Deal Seeking Mom. They are giving away 10 vouchers for one pair of Crocs worth up to $50.

If your kids are into Crocs like our kids, this $50 voucher is better than gold. Seriously, we have to fight with our kids to wear anything other than Crocs. We have fur-lined Crocs. We have Minnie Mouse Crocs. We have Croc boots. We even have Croc flip-flops. My daughter is getting like 5 pairs of Crocs for her birthday that we bought slightly used on E-Bay. It's like an obsession in our house.

Of course, there is nothing that says you have to spend your $50 voucher on your kids. It could be one of your SAHM Confessions. I promise I won't tell anyone.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

An Online Coupon Resource for SAHMs

I found a new website resource for coupons called WeUseCoupons.com. The website claims to be "an online community full of people who use coupons and discuss when and where to use them." The goal of the forum is to "provide a platform for you to learn how to use coupons as well as post deals you find anywhere and everywhere." Sounds like a good thing to me.

There are a number of interesting features on the site. One section divides deals and coupons by grocery store. So you can search for your favorite store and see what that store is offering by way of deals. There is also a similar section for drug stores.

They have a coupon database that allows you to search for hundreds of coupons by product (as well as a number of other characteristics). The problem is, I can't figure out how to use the coupons you find. I'm sure there is an explanation somewhere, but I sure couldn't figure it out.

For those new to the coupon game, they also have "virtual classes" that are essentially how-to articles. They cover a number of topics like "Saving Without Coupons," "Double Coupons," and "Why The Value Size Isn't Really A Value." Interesting stuff.

Friday, April 24, 2009

What Do You Do All Day?


So this is my first attempt to join the Fatherhood Friday party over at Dad Blogs. I found this the other day and thought you all would like it. I new from a very early stage that this was not an acceptable question.

What Do You Do All Day?

A man came home from work and found his three children outside, still in their pajamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn all around the front yard.The door of his wife's car was open, as was the front door to the house and there was no sign of the dog.

Proceeding into the entry, he found an even bigger mess. A lamp had been knocked over, and the throw rugwas wadded against one wall.In the front room the TV was loudly blaring a Cartoon channel, and the family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing.In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the counter, the fridge door was open wide, dog food was spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door.

He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of clothes, looking for his wife. He was worried she might be ill, or that something serious had happened. He was met with a small trickle of water as it made its way out the bathroom door. As he peered inside he found wet towels, scummy soap and more toys strewn over the floor. Miles of toilet paper lay in a heap and toothpaste had been smeared over the mirror and walls.

As he rushed to the bedroom, he found his wife still curled up in the bed in her pajamas, reading a novel. She looked up at him, smiled, and asked how his day went.He looked at her bewildered and asked, 'What happened here today?'

She again smiled and answered, 'You know every day when you come home from work and you ask me what in the world do I do all day?''Yes,' was his incredulous reply.She answered, 'Well, today I didn't do it.'

Guys, if I have one piece of advice for you as you start the SAHM journey, it's this: NEVER ask what your SAHM does all day!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Blog For SAHMs Who Like To Decorate & Entertain

I thought I would share a friend's blog today. Holly is a good friend from college that is like a little Martha Stewart in training (without the insider trading, of course). She has created a blog where she discusses all kinds of things. Instead of me butchering her ideas, I'll just let you read what she has to say:
The gifted life is a lifestyle resource dedicated to sharing tips and tricks on
entertaining, gifts, dining, decorating, gardening, travel, cocktails,
beauty, and organization. All passions of mine!

She is very talented. You should check it out.
http://thegiftedlife.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

SAHM Confessions




I don't know if any of you have watched ABC's new show called "In The Motherhood," but it's fairly funny. What I find interesting about the concept is that they have a spot on their website where real moms can share their experiences as mothers. The show will then use the best ideas as story lines for the show. It's either a great concept or the brain child of lazy writers. Regardless, if you have a great story, you can submit it here.

I thought it might be interesting to see if any SAHMs that read this blog have some deep, dark secret about being a SAHM they would like to share. Every parent has something they do or have done that they may not be proud of or wouldn't ever tell someone. But this is a safe place where no one can judge you. So, what do you want to confess? Enter my confessional booth and lay it on me.

I'll even start. A couple of nights ago my wife walked by the bathroom and stopped in her tracks. I was standing at the toilet doing what guys do when they stand in front of the toilet. That, itself is nothing weird. Sure the door was open, but we're that family, so whatever.

The strange part was that I was holding my 3 week old son at the time. While peeing. With the door open. And I have to say, I'm not even the least bit ashamed. I just chalk up to another thing I can do with one hand. Alright, I confessed. Now it's your turn.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Staying Professional While Working At Home

I saw this article the other day and it got me thinking. How hard is it to be professional while working from home with your kids running around the house?

The title kinda threw me off at first, though. "Moms: Can You Really Work at Home?" is a very strange title for an article about professionalism. Still, the basis for the article is valid. How do you maintain a professional attitude while working at home? The article says you are either a segregator, meaning you completely separate your work space from your family space, or you are an integrator that does everything at the same time.

I think the segregator model is a little unrealistic for your typical SAHM. First of all, your typical SAHM cannot afford to get a babysitter just to get a little work done. The cost of daycare is one of the most common reasons for families to make the stay-at-home decision. Plus, if your kids are young, creating too many boundaries and rules just isn't going to work. I guarantee you a rule about not talking while mom is on the phone would never fly in my house.

The article did mention a couple of resources for moms that work at home. The website The Entrepreneurial Parent looks like a good source of information and ideas for parents looking to balance work and family under one roof. The article also mentioned a book that could be a good resource for SAHMs looking to start an at home business: How to Raise a Family and a Career Under One Roof: A Parent's Guide to Home Business.

Any thoughts on how to stay professional while working at home?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Blogging SAHMs

So I was wondering how many SAHMs out there have their own blogs. I figure there are plenty of blogging SAHMs, but I haven't found many yet. So let me know about your blog, I'd love to check it out. Even if you don't blog, let me know if there are other SAHM blogs out there that you like to read.

Also, for you blogging SAHMS, I have found a cool website that can be used to draw traffic to your blog. It's called AlphaInventions.com, and it allows you to read a number of different blogs as soon as they update without surfing all over the internet to find them. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I Survived My Weekend As A SAHM

OK, so it was barely more than 24 hours. And it was only 1 of 3 kids. But it was the 4 week old baby, so that's gotta count for something.

Regardless, it was my own little SAHM experience. It was just me and a baby. I changed all the diapers, made all the bottles and got up every time he got up during the night. I guess I had forgotten just how much work newborns are. It's been less than 2 years since my little girl was a baby, but it seems like decades.

If your husband ever asks what you do all day (which I have and will NEVER do), just leave them with your kid(s) for a day. Take a girl's weekend and see how well you are recieved on Sunday afternoon. I'll be honest, I can't wait for my wife to get home. I need a break.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Dr. Laura's Book on SAHMs: "In Praise of Stay-At-Home Moms"

I'll admit, as a guy, I have never listened to Dr. Laura Schlessinger's radio show. I'm not really her target audience. But she did release a new book last week that is pretty pertinent to this blog: "In Praise of Stay-At-Home Moms." The book essentially talks about how all moms should be stay at home moms. Now, that's not feasible, but she does make a good case.

Here is an interview from the Wall Street Journal with a lot of good information. She talks about actually making the decision to stay home and the decision to return to work. I do sort of take issue with this part:

WSJ: Where do stay-at-home dads fit into the picture?
Dr. Schlessinger: I
recommend that during the first three years, the mom should be at home because
all of the research shows that the person whose body you come out of and whose
breast you suck at, at that stage, really needs to be the mom -- unless she's
incompetent, irrelevant and immaterial. After that, flip a coin.
I think it's probably pretty obvious that I am also a fan of stay-at-home dads, so this comment seems to discount a man's ability to adequately care for a kid until the age of three. That's just silly. Regardless, it's a good interview and a very intriguing book. Let me know if any of you have read or plan to read. I'm interested to hear your thoughts.
I've also included a link to a thread on the Baby Center forums with a TON of responses to this book. Needless to say, there are more than a few working moms out there not exactly thrilled with Dr. Laura's message.

http://blogs.babycenter.com/celebrities/2009/04/12/dr-laura-says-all-moms-should-stay-at-home/?scid=momsbaby_20090414:2&pe=2Uvqt1h

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

SAHMs Sanity Saving Techniques


So my wife did something last night that I can only describe as a sanity-saving moment of madness. The kids were in bed, and I was picking up the random socks, toys and books strewn about the house. I also picked up a couple of things that needed to be thrown away.
After putting a few things in the kitchen trash can, I smashed down the trash to make more room in the can. A very common task with a very uncommon result. All of a sudden I heard a police car siren coming from the bottom of the trash can. But this was no ordinary siren. It was the high-pitched shrill of possibly the most annoying toy ever created by the parent-hating noisy toy industry. I mean, this thing could make dogs howl.
After finishing my trash duties, I politely asked my wife a simple question, "Did you throw away M's police car?" A tiny, non-invasive 7 word question lead to a 15 minute diatribe on how annoying the car was, how it would go off without provocation, etc. At that point I realized that the car needed to be sacrificed to save my darling SAHM's sanity.
And let's be clear, this was not a favorite toy or anything. It's one of about 47 cars we have in our house, and it's not even really one of the favorite cars. So it's not like we threw away something that will be missed. It was simply a casualty of it's own making.
This whole episode got me thinking about other sanity-saving techniques SAHMs have that they may not be totally proud to say out loud. I'm sure every SAHM has done something that just had to be done to avoid complete meltdown. And I gotta say, I think you've earned it!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

SAHMs Around The World


So this blog has gotten visitors from some crazy places around the world. For example, last week I had a visitor from the Isle of Man. I've got to be honest, I had to google Isle of Man to even figure out where it was (it is a small island between Ireland & Great Britain). I've also had visitors from the Cayman Islands, New Zealand, Ukraine and Switzerland among others.

So that got me to thinking about SAHMs around the world. Are SAHMs looked at in the same way in Europe, for instance, as they are in the US? Are moms more likely to stay home with their kids in foreign countries?

I don't really have any answers to these questions, but I thought they were at least worth asking. Maybe this is something I should do a little research on in the future. I think it would be interesting to see the attitudes toward staying home in different cultures. Or maybe I'm the only person who thinks that would be interesting.

Any thoughts from our non-US visitors on this topic? Is there a large population of stay-at-home moms in your country? How do people react when you say you are a SAHM?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter SAHMs!!!


Happy Easter to all you SAHMs out there. Hope everyone is having a fun and safe holiday.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Potential SAHM Money Making Idea: Retail Sales Marketing

So I ran across a new idea to make a little money on the side as a SAHM. Retail sales marketing/merchandising is essentially going to local businesses (think grocery store or Wal-Mart) and filling up displays. It could be anything from magazines to greeting cards to candy displays. Apparently it's a job that really lends itself to SAHMs because it can be done at off hours (like when dad comes home from work).

I even found a website that seems to list a number of these jobs: http://www.narms.com/jobbank.html. Here's a link to an application for a greeting card company:

Pays seems to usually start at about $8/hour, so you're not going to get rich doing this. But it does seem to be a way to make a few extra dollars while still staying home with the kids.

Anybody ever done anything like this? I mentioned it to my SAHM, and she was fairly excited about it.

Monday, April 6, 2009

My Own Personal SAHM Moment

So by definition I can never be a SAHM. But, just like husbands that have sympathy labor pains, I had some sympathy SAHM pains this morning.

Today is my first day back to work since my son was born on March 20th. I've been off work for more than 2 weeks and have spent a ton of time with my wife and 3 kids during that span. I've been to the park more times than I can remember, I've cuddled with my newborn son multiple times a day and I have absolutely turned my daughter into a full-fledged "Daddy's girl."

But that all came to a crashing halt today. And I'm not happy about it! It's not simply a matter of me not wanting to go back to work. Everyone has that feeling after a long "vacation." This is completely different. I not only don't want to be at work, but I REALLY want to be home with my wife and kids. I want those mornings where we all sit around watching the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

It's funny that I've never had this feeling before. At least not this intensely. I have a new and profound understanding of the emotional draw of staying at home now. Now I just need to figure out how I can stay home too.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Crafty SAHMs Should Check Out Etsy.com

If you are into crafts, you should really check out etsy.com. It seems like an Ebay for handmade crafty items. They sell all kinds of homemade products like clothes, art, purses, etc. If it's something you can make at home, they sell it.

More importantly for SAHMs looking to make a little money on the side, you can actually sell your own homemade goods on Etsy. There are 3 categories of goods that can be sold: goods handmade by you, commercial and handmade crafting supplies, and vintage items 20 years or older.

It is free to sign up for an account, but it does cost you $.20 to list an item for 4 months. When the item sells, you pay a 3.5% commission (or "transaction fee") to Etsy.

We're not really a crafty family, so this isn't something we'll be doing any time soon. But I was wondering if anyone has ever sold anything on Etsy.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

SAHMs and Facebook

How many of you are on Facebook? I think it's a great tool for staying in touch with people that you wouldn't normally talk to. Sure it has its downfalls (I have a few "friends" from high school that I don't think I ever actually talked to in high school), but it is a lot of fun.

I was curious if anyone used Facebook as a resource for SAHMs. I actually have a Facebook group for the blog that I'm hoping people will use as another place to congregate and share ideas. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Power of One Hand

So we added child #3 to our clan just over a week ago. Henry Boone is a very health, handsome baby boy. He has a great demeanor and is eating like a horse. But he is reminding me of a lot things I had forgotten about newborns.

The number one thing I had forgotten was just how many things I can do with one hand. In just 10 days I have done laundry, checked e-mail and gotten dressed with one hand. And I have to say that getting dressed with one hand is not easy.

All of this speaks to the resourcefulness of parents in general and SAHMs in particular. People in the business world always talk about multi-tasking. You know, being on a conference call while checking e-mail and signing some documents. Wow, quite impressive!
But I think SAHMs have the concept of mutli-tasking down to an art. It amazes me all of things that my wife can do at the same time. We're talking about cleaning up the toys scattered throughout the living room, while entertaining 2 toddlers, soothing a newborn and enjoying a nice cup of coffee at the same time. And that's just a week and half removed from her 3rd c-section in 3.5 years. I can't wait to see what she can accomplish when she is actually healthy.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Mom Song

Thought I would pass this along. Figured most SAHMs could relate.

The Mom Song

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Choosing the Right Preschool

The biggest stress in our life right now (other than the impending birth of baby #3, of course) is choosing the right preschool for our 3 year old. There are actually a lot of options in our town of 90,000, probably the by-product of living in a college town with a strong emphasis on education. But the number of options is actually causing us problems.

The biggest issue we have is the school's ideology. We're still trying to decide between a playschool that focuses more on the power of learning through play and a more advanced preschool with certified teachers, a strong curriculum and a focus on academics.

At this point we're not looking for a program that is too focused on academics and assessment. We're still 2 full years away from school, so it's not as important for him to be school-ready right now. Plus, we're of the belief that toddlers learn more from playing and imagination than anything else. And the literature seems to back us up (see this article from the New York Times and this research from Colorado State University).


Anybody else have this sort of preschool dilemma? What did you decide to do?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Making Money on Ebay

One of the easiest ways I know to make money at home is through the power of Ebay. Ebay is an online auction site that allows anyone to sell their stuff to willing buyers all across the country. And it's pretty simple, actually. Find something you're willing to part with, take a couple of pics, put up a simple description and a starting price, and watch the bidding war commence.

Now, I'm not saying you're going to make millions of dollars selling stuff sitting around your house, but you can definitely make some cash and get rid of things you just don't need anymore. My perfect example is old CDs. When we bought an iPod large enough to store all of our old CDs, we listed every CD we had and made a fair amount of money. Now some of them only sold for $2, but a few of them went for $10 or more. It just depends on what you have and what people want.

We have also had very good luck selling lightly used baby clothes. But don't just sell them a piece at a time. If you group them in "lots" you will get a lot more interest. So put 2 or 3 outfits together and sell them as a group. They are very easy and inexpensive to ship as long as you don't use shipping materials you have to buy at the post office. We shipped a ton of stuff wrapped up in clean paper grocery bags.

One other idea is to buy things specifically to sell on Ebay. We actually went to garage sales and picked up things for cheap and resold them on Ebay for big profits. We found our biggest profits on textbooks (of course we live in a college town). But you can turn a profit selling almost anything you can find at garage sales. Again, this isn't a get-rich-quick scheme, but if you already enjoy garage saling this might be right up your alley.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Dora Uproar

If your kids like Dora the Explorer and you've spent any time on the internet recently, then you have probably heard the uproar over Mattel and Nickelodeon's decision to "age" Dora. The new version of Dora was supposed to be marketed to 10 year olds. Unfortunately, parents that saw a silhouette of the new Dora were outraged.

They called her a tramp. And that was the nice version. Parents felt the new doll was too sexualized, an Explorer Bratz doll. A far cry from the tomboy little girl that millions of toddlers have loved over the years.

The toymaker and kid's television giant have responded in an attempt to quell the fears of parents across the country. They promise that the "updated" Dora will not look like Lindsay Lohan (she's not wearing a short dress or makeup). Just as importantly, the original Dora isn't going anywhere. This new version is really just an extension, just an addition to the Dora brand.

On a down note, Boots, Map, Backpack and the crew are not making the leap. Oh well, you can't win 'em all. You can find the story about the response to the uproar here.

I think the moral of this story is: Do Not Mess With SAHMs!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Protecting "Me" Time

It is vitally important for stay at home moms to have a little me time. I try to make sure my SAHM has some me time every day. There are times when I come home and she almost immediately heads out to return some videos, pick up that one last ingredient for dinner or return something to Target. I (almost) always offer to do these things for her, but she insists.

It took me a while to realize that she needs this time out of the house. Even if she gets out of the house with the kids during the day, she just needs a little time by herself. And it's not like she has been dying to return the movies to Blockbuster. The task itself is really immaterial. She just needs to be alone for a little bit.

After the baby comes, her me time will almost certainly be centered around trips to the gym. She really wants to get back into yoga, so it will be one of my priorities to let her get to a couple of classes every week.

After all, it's in my best interests for her to have that time to herself. If momma ain't happy, no one's happy!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Eating For $1 A Day

Has anyone seen or heard about this blog Less Is Enough? It's a blog by a 41 year old woman in Durham, NC that challenged herself to eat a diet of fresh food for only $1 a day for 30 days. A pretty impressive feat. She actually did accomplish her task and even had about $1.40 to spare.

While there are some concerns about this project (she lost about 10 pounds during the month, prompting people to say she wasn't eating enough), it still points to the fact that eating fresh foods can be done inexpensively. And that was the whole goal here. She didn't set out to change how the world eats. She just wanted to prove that you could eat a healthy, fresh diet without breaking the bank.

Take a look at her blog. It raises some interesting points and provides some good ideas for families that are concerned with offering fresh foods without spending an arm and a leg.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Work At Home Scams

A lot of stay at home moms look for ways to earn a little extra money working from home. And the internet is filled with ideas. If you search "work at home idea" on Google, you get 94 million hits. 94 million! So, is it possible to earn significant money working from home?

Of course it is, but you have to be careful. There are a lot of quick money schemes out there looking to pray on people that want to make a few dollars working at home. Like the sites that talk about making thousands of dollars a month with just a few hours of work a week. Remember what your mom always told you, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is." That saying certainly holds true in the work at home world.

Fortunately there are plenty of resources out there that help you spot and avoid work at home scams. My personal favorite is Work At Home No Scams.com. The website is updated about once a week with different scam news. They also have a search function that allows you to search for specific scams.

I also liked this article on the Top 10 Work At Home Scams. This article actually talks about specific types of work at home businesses that are, more times than not, scams. It really comes down to doing your research and being very cautious. Even a simple Google search can uncover significant concerns with work at home ideas that you see every day.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Eating Out While Eating At Home

Eating out is not really an option for most single-income families. It just costs too much and can be more of a hassle than it's worth. But I still like to eat out. It gives me a chance to try new dishes that I would have never thought about or do not have the culinary ability to create.

We've actually found ways to emulate foods that we really like at restaurants. Our kids are addicted to bean burritos right now (which for a very gassy crew by the way). So instead of hitting the Taco Bell drive thru every time they want a burrito, we have started buying Taco Bell refried beans at the grocery store and making them at home. You can also find recipes that mimic your favorite restaurant meal on the Internet (like Panera's Brocoli Cheddar Soup, Papa John's Garlic Sauce or McDonald's Southwest Chicken Salad).

There are even websites dedicated to these "copycat" recipes. Check out CDKitchen and The Recipe Link for some more ideas.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Decision to Become a Stay-At-Home Mom

For most families, the decision to become a single-income family is not easy. You get used to life with two incomes. There tends to be disposable income every month. Eating out and taking trips isn't such a big deal. Need a new pair of shoes or an upgraded plasma screen TV? Not out of the question. But a single-income family does not have that option.

There are definitely sacrifices that have to be made. For us it was all about prioritizing. What do really need and what can we do without? Sometimes it's as easy as giving up your daily Starbucks or making a dinner out a special occasion. Sometimes it is a much bigger sacrifice.

Our biggest sacrifice was a second car. We traded in 2 cars for one SUV. Now we had to upgrade size-wise with a 3rd kid on the way, but we didn't have to go down to one car. It's taken a while to get used to, but I think we've got it figured out.

Our other big sacrifice was convenience. It is much easier to hit the drive-thru than it is to cook a meal at home. But you pay for that convenience. Since we're not running around like chickens with our heads cut off all the time, we actually have more time and energy to make most of our meals at home. The money we save is amazing.

So I'm curious what other sacrifices you've made for the opportunity to stay home with your kids. Share your budget cutting decisions with others and maybe pick up a few ideas at the same time.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Please Respect Your Local SAHM

As if being a stay-at-home isn't hard enough, my wife got to interact with a first-class citizen today. She took our 2 toddlers to the public library (a wonderfully free activity for kids of all ages) this morning. Our library is pretty popular, so the main parking lot is usually pretty full.

As she was herding our 3 and 1 year olds to the car, a gentleman (and I use that term VERY loosely) pulled up behind and waited to take the parking spot she was about to vacate. He proceeded to sit and watch a 8 1/2 month pregnant woman put a 1 year old in her car seat and a double-wide stroller in the back of the car. As she started to help the 3 year old climb into the car, our kind middle-aged man asked, "Are you leaving or not?" After his obviously well-meaning question, another spot opened up a couple spots down. Here's where things get fun.

As he drove by my about-to-burst-pregnant wife he said, "Don't hurry!" SERIOUSLY?!?!? What is wrong with you? Always the diplomatic one, my wife ignored him, finished strapping our son in his car seat and got into the car. As she pulled out and started to drive off, our hero (read: jackass) slowly walks across the parking lot directly in front of the car at the slowest pace possible. He actually waited so he could slowly cross in front of her!

My wife used to be a middle school teacher. This is the type of thing her students would do. But this was a grown man. Shouldn't he be at work? Shouldn't he recognize that she is pregnant and putting 2 kids in the car. Hell, a nice guy would have parked and helped her with the stroller. This guy certainly does not heart SAHMs. Sometimes people just boggle the mind. OK, I'm done. Rant over.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Gifts for SAHMs: Bed & Breakfast Retreat

While I realize that most of the people that read this blog will be actual SAHMs, I do want to provide information and tips for the SAHM lovers out there (significant others, parents, teachers, etc) that may be looking for ways to pay back the SAHM in their life that does so much.

One of the ways I plan on doing this is to share gift ideas that are perfect for SAHMs. While I think almost every woman loves flowers (so I've been told) you can only rely on www.proflowers.com for so long. Some times you need to think outside the box (or vase).

Our first idea is a big one! Don't worry, not every idea will be this expensive. But I wanted to start with something special. Something that I like to give my wife every once in a while (OK, like every other year). Today's gift idea: a romantic get-away weekend to a bed and breakfast!

SAHMs spend so much of their time cooking, cleaning and catering to everyone else's needs, sometimes they just need to be pampered. No need to get up early and make breakfast, someone else can take care of that. Leave that towel on the floor, someone will be in later to pick it up and give you a fresh one. Spend all day in a comfy robe curled up watching old movies or reading a book, there are no kids to entertain today.

The weekend get-away obviously requires finding someone to watch the kids for a couple of days (are you listening Nana?), but once you get away it is time to relax. As opposed to a typical hotel, a bed and breakfast offers a little more of a cozy setting that is perfect for romance. Or for sleeping if you just need to catch up on your Z's.

Choosing a B&B can be a bit of a daunting task, especially if you have no idea where to look or what to look for. We'll start with the "where." There are a number of websites that can help you find a B&B near you. My favorites are http://www.bbonline.com/, http://www.bedandbreakfast.com/, and http://www.bnbfinder.com/. Each site allows you to narrow your search by state and by region within your chosen state. So if you are looking for a B&B in the Napa Valley, you don't have to search through 100 B&Bs in Southern California.

That "what" part of this equation is much more personal. B&Bs come in all shapes and sizes. You might have to try a few out before you find your niche. For instance, my wife and I prefer a bed and breakfast with a more contemporary look. We're not much into doilies and flower pattern wallpaper. And for us, a 2 person jetted tub is basically a deal breaker. If you don't have one, we're not interested. As an example, this is our favorite B&B in the world: Hermann Hill Vineyard & Inn in Hermann, MO.

So send the kids off the see Grandma this weekend and treat your SAHM to some well deserved rest and relaxtion at your favorite B&B.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Tax Credit for SAHMs

In Missouri we currently have a bill pending before the state legislature that would offer SAHMs $600 in scholarships every year in an effort to help them re-enter the workforce after their kids are grown. House Bill 498 excludes SAHMs that claim a dependent day care credit on their federal income taxes, submit claims for dependent day care through a cafeteria or flex spending program, or earn an annual income over $1,000.

As a side note, this bill also specifically excludes stay-at-home dads. As a dad, this really ticks me off, but that's a rant for another day.

While this bill has about a 0.21% chance of passing (the sponsor is INSANE and not really that fond of SAHMs), it made me wonder if any other states have similar laws on the books. Does anyone know of any state that provides some level of scholarship, tax credit, etc., specifically for SAHMs?

Tips For Saving Money on Groceries

When my wife and I decided it would be good for her stay home with our kids, we knew we were going to make sacrifices. Fewer trips to our favorite restaurants. Significantly less disposable income. We even traded in one of our cars to free up some more money.

Then my wife said something that has really stuck with me. She told me that one of her new "jobs" was to find ways to save money. That meant buying less and making our purchases have more "bang for the buck." As time has gone by, we've found a number of ways to stretch our dollars. Today we're going focus on the grocery bill.


One of our biggest expenditures every month is on food. Remember, one of those things you sacrifice as a one-income family is eating out. As a result, you spend more money on groceries (but save a ton of money in the long run). Here are a couple of ways to save money on your monthly grocery bill without spending a full day travelling all over town to buy a few items at 4 different grocery stores.

  • Consider shopping at a discount store. For us, that meant Aldi (find your local Adli at http://www.aldifoods.com/. I have to admit that I was a little skeptical at first. I mean, the whole paying a quarter to get a cart thing is a little strange. But the savings were undeniable. Our food bill was slashed when we started shopping at Aldi. There are some things you can't find at Aldi and some of the products there are way below par (the pre-packaged filet mignon tasted a lot like hot dog), you have to understand there will be a trade-off for saving that much money.

  • Coupons, coupons, coupons! You're not going to cut your bill in half by using coupons, but the minimal effort can save you a few dollars every trip. At that adds up. Look for websites that provide coupons (http://www.grocerycouponguide.com/ and http://www.couponmom.com/ for instance). There is really zero work for you. Just take a look at the sites before you head to the store (or before you plan your week's shopping list) and find coupons for things are plan to buy.

  • Speaking of coupons, we've found that Hy-Vee actually has a coupon by e-mail service (sign up here). We signed up at our local Hy-Vee and have used a number of the coupons e-mailed to us. I'm not sure if other stores do this, but I would be shocked if Hy-Vee was the only one. Ask at customer service to see your favorite grocery store has this type of service.

  • Finally, embrace the leftover! I know some people just do not like leftovers. They practically refuse to save anything from a meal to eat later. Seriously?!? As a single income family, that just isn't an option. We regularly make meals for dinner that will provide lunches for the at least one or two days during the week. The cost of making a little extra pales in comparison to the cost of making a full meal at lunch every day.

These are just a few ways to save money at the grocery store. I would love to hear other people's tricks and tips.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Inspiration For This Blog

So you might be wondering why a guy would start a blog dedicated to stay-at-home moms. I guess that's a valid question. I would probably be curious why a stay-at-home mom would start a blog dedicated to working fathers. After all, what could I learn about being a working dad (which I am) from a stay-at-home mom (which I'm definitely not!). It does seem a little counter-intuitive.

So here's the deal. Seven months ago my wife became a full-time SAHM. She quit her job as a middle school reading teacher (a job she LOVED, by the way) to stay at home with our 3 year old son Moe and 1 year old daughter Franki. We really had no idea what we were getting ourselves into, but we quickly realized we had a lot to learn. It has taken a while, but we seem to have hit our stride.

Before we get too far, let me say that I realize my wife has by far the most difficult part of this setup. It's not easy to chase 2 toddlers around all day. To make it even more difficult just shortly after we decided to change our lives dramatically, we got some BIG news: we were expecting ANOTHER baby. Baby #3 (tentatively named Henry) is due March 20th. That makes 3 in 3 1/2 years! All that being said, this was a joint decision and has definitely been a joint venture. I am definitely NOT a hands-off dad. I still do dishes, help clean the house and do my share of the laundry. So when I say "we" instead of "my wife" in certain places, I don't want anyone to get offended.

So anyway, my wife's introduction to the SAHM lifestyle has been a little rocky. But we wouldn't change a thing. It's been a tough transition, but we have turned the corner and seem to finally have things under control.

After watching my wife over the last few months, I decided it would be interesting to share a dad's perspective on the stay-at-home mom. And while I'm at it, why not share some resources, tips and ideas that make it just a little bit easier to be a SAHM. And I would love to hear what people think. About my ideas, my stories or anything else SAHM. I really want this to become a conversation that can help SAHMs succeed or convince families this is a step they can take.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Great Stuff To Come!

I will be using this blog to discuss all issues related to stay-at-home moms and the dads that love them. We'll talk about ways to save money and ways to make money. We'll share funny stories. We'll talk about things dads can do to honor their SAHMs and things SAHMs can do for dads.

If you have any ideas about things we should discuss, leave me a note in the comments section.