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As my SAHM days draw to a close, I can’t help but reflect on what I wish I knew 3 years ago, when I first became a stay-at-home mom.

If you are a new SAHM or considering becoming one, then this post is for you.

Being a SAHM is Hard (and a 24-7 job)!

Society is quick to portray SAHMs as lazy. You’ve probably heard the example of the mother who sits on the couch watching talk shows and eating junk food all day.

The truth is, you will probably be so busy you can’t think straight. Especially if you are the mother of young children. For over a year, I was the mother of 2 Under 2 and that was without question the busiest period of my life. Countless diaper changes, breastfeeding, bottle feeding, keeping the house somewhat clean and organized, and tending to the constant needs of young children completely consumed me.

But eventually, you will leave survival mode, and when that happens, it’s helpful to reflect on what it means to be a SAHM, and how you plan to make the most of SAHM life.

SAHM Tips 1. Get Out of the House!

Leaving the house with a baby can be intimidating. Remembering to pack that diaper bag with all the essentials you could possibly need can feel overwhelming. Then, there is that constant worry that your child will start crying or screaming (or that your toddler will have a meltdown) in public.

I understand the hesitation, but at the same time, staying inside all the time is a recipe for isolation and depression. So get outside! Take a walk around the block with your kids. Stop at the grocery store for a few must-have items. Go to a neighborhood park. Whatever you can do to get out of the house, do it.

2. Take Your Kids to Activities

As a SAHM, one of your most important roles is to support your child’s social, mental, and physical development. Taking your child to age-appropriate activities such as story time at the library, community center playgroups, park playgrounds, or church nursery school will help your child discover the world around him, as well as provide an excellent opportunity to engage with other kids his age.

3. Make Mom Friends

Another benefit of taking your child to kid-friendly activities, is the chance to meet and connect with other moms. SAHM life can be lonely, and that’s why it’s so important to find your group of mom friends. Take a moment to introduce yourself to other moms (or nannies) you see at activities. It’s easy to start a conversation simply by asking about each other’s kids.

Even though I’m a complete introvert, I’ve found my mom tribe. It’s wonderful to have a group of women to share parenting trials and triumphs with. We help keep each other “in the know” about local toddler-friendly activities and invite each other to outings. We even have the occasional Girl’s Night Out, which is a much-needed opportunity to relax and have fun, kid-free.

4. Make Time for Self-Care

I hate the term “self-care.” It seems crazy that mothers need to be reminded to care for their own needs, but the truth is, mothers neglect themselves all the time. They don’t get enough sleep, they don’t take showers for days, they don’t eat when they’re hungry, they don’t buy new clothes, they don’t get regular exercise, and the list goes on.

Mothers in today’s society are expected to be selfless martyrs, and taking time for yourself is often viewed as selfish. But you can’t survive and thrive as a SAHM if you don’t take breaks and refuel. When you find yourself feeling burnt out, it’s time to stop and address your own needs.

One of my favorite ways to recharge as a SAHM is to have my husband take over all parenting duties for a few hours on the weekend, so that I can take a much-needed nap, or lay in bed and read. Going to the gym a few mornings a week (and putting the kids in gym daycare) is also a way I make time for self-care.

Every woman’s definition of self-care is different. But as long as you are taking time to do something you enjoy, the end result is the same: you will feel better about yourself and your role as a SAHM.

5. Don’t Lose Your Identity to “Motherhood”

Finally, I would caution all SAHMs to not lose their identities to motherhood. It’s easy to become “so-and-so’s Mom” and to forget all about your own dreams or aspirations.

Maybe you plan to be a SAHM until all your kids are out of the house. Or maybe your role as a SAHM is only temporary, for a few years, or until your kids start school. Someday though, your kids will grow up and leave the house, and your days will no longer revolve around taking care of them.

Take a moment to remember who you were before becoming a mother. What were some of your hobbies and passions? A common misconception is that you have to give everything up once you become a mom. That’s not true. Sure, it may be harder to find the time to do what you love, but you can’t give it up. If you are a musician, keep making music. If you are a writer, keep writing. Whatever your hobby is, keep with it. You don’t want to wake up one day filled with regret because you gave up on your dreams.

Final Thoughts

Being a SAHM is the hardest job you will ever love.

If you decide that you want to become a SAHM, you have to embrace it fully. Make the most of your SAHM years. Take your kids to as many activities as possible. Seek out friendships with other SAHMs. They will become your biggest supporters. Take some time out for self-care and don’t feel guilty for putting your needs first (for once). You deserve it! Finally, indulge your passions, whatever they may be.

Readers

What do you wish you knew before becoming a SAHM?

The post What I Wish I Knew Before Becoming a SAHM appeared first on Reluctant Stay at Home Mom.

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Making the Choice

Recently, I decided to return to the workforce after nearly 3 years of SAHM life.

Every family’s situation is different, and what works for one family may not work for the next.

For me personally, I realized that in order to be a better mom, I needed a break from my children. I also missed the sense of fulfillment and accomplishment that working outside of the home brings.

Returning to Work after a “Work Gap”

Returning to work after life as a SAHM can be intimidating. Updating your resume and explaining any work gaps to potential employers can be challenging. Oftentimes potential employers will see that “work gap” and immediately dismiss you as a potential hire, even if you are fully qualified for the position applied for.

If this happens, don’t be discouraged. Keep persevering, and think of setbacks as an opportunity.

When One Door Closes, Another Door Opens

If returning to the workforce is a struggle, perhaps consider a career change or returning to school to obtain that degree you always wanted.

My Career Change

Instead of returning to the workforce as a Document Control Specialist, I’ve decided to become a teacher. I applied for a teacher training program to help fill the shortage of elementary education teachers in my city, and was accepted.

Teaching is a career I’ve always considered, but never fully embraced until now. If you think about it, SAHM life prepares you for teaching. SAHM’s devote their lives to their kids, and teach their kids daily.

One of my favorite past jobs was working as a tutor at a local community college’s Writing Center. Helping students achieve their academic goals is incredibly rewarding, and something I hope to continue as an elementary teacher.

Whirlwind of Changes

My life has become a whirlwind of changes. Over the past month and a half since I was accepted into the teacher training program, I have been busy completing online coursework, attending job fairs and Principal Meet and Greets, touring schools, and interviewing for teaching positions for Fall 2019.

I was recently offered the position of 4th grade English Language Arts teacher, which means I will be teaching 9 and 10 year old’s next year. I’m really excited that I get to specialize in my strongest subject, and I look forward to sharing my passion for reading and writing with my students.

Any SAHM returning to the workforce will likely feel inundated with change. The routine that previously worked for your family now requires adjustments. There are childcare considerations and added career responsibilities. Schedules need to be reworked to account for earlier wake up times to ensure you have time to drop the kids off at daycare or school before heading into work. Household chores and responsibilities need to be divided up more equally, since there is less time to complete them when you work outside the home.

Dealing with the SAHM Guilt

As excited as I am about my career change and becoming an elementary education teacher, there is still a degree of guilt involved. Most SAHM’s would probably wait until their kids are school-aged to return to work. My youngest daughter still has two years to go before she is old enough for Pre-K.

When the guilt hits, it is helpful to think about the big picture, and long-term goals. Ultimately, the decision to go back to work is a positive, both for myself and for my family.

Final Days as a SAHM

As my SAHM days draw to a close, I try to make a special effort to appreciate and enjoy those “everyday moments.” Watching the kids play in the yard, racing their scooters up and down the driveway, or jumping on the trampoline, or blowing bubbles for the dog to chase.

I want to be the mom that says “yes.” Yes to impromptu trips to the park, or to the zoo, or for an ice cream cone.

My kids may not remember that I stayed home with them for the first few years, but I will, and the memories of my time as a SAHM will always hold a special place in my heart.

Final Thoughts

Making the decision to return to work after life as a SAHM is never easy. You may feel overwhelmed by a whirlwind of changes, but as long as you relax and take each step as it comes, you will get through it.

Readers

Have you returned to the workforce after taking time off to be a SAHM? What are some tips you can share on easing the transition from SAHM to working mom?

The post When the SAHM Decides to Return to Work appeared first on Reluctant Stay at Home Mom.

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*Education.com provided me with a free printable worksheet in exchange for a blog post.

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, here is a list of 4 easy St. Patrick’s Day activities for kids.

1. I Spy “Green” Game

Play the traditional “I Spy” game with your kids, but in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, search for green items only.

For younger kids, you could ask them to find something green in the room and either tell you what it is or bring it to you. It’s a good way to help kids learn about different shades of green.

2. Green Scavenger Hunt

Create a scavenger hunt where the check points are green items around the house. Make the final check point similar to a “pot of gold.” You could easily do this by hiding a dollar bill or dollar coin in a little pot.

3. St. Patrick’s Day Crossword Puzzle

Practice your spelling words with this fun St. Patrick’s Day crossword puzzle. At Education.com, the learning can continue with more learning practices just like this.

Click on the links below to print your own St. Patrick’s Day crossword puzzle!

St. Patrick’s Day Crossword Puzzle

St. Patrick’s Day Crossword Puzzle Answers

4. St. Patrick’s Day Treats

If your family has a sweet tooth like mine, the perfect end to a day of St. Patrick’s Day activities is to make some sweet treats.

With some shamrock-shaped cookie cutters, you and the kids can easily make shamrock sugar cookies. Simply decorate them with green icing and sprinkles.

For more yummy St. Patrick’s Day Desserts, check out this blog post from Kids Activities Blog.

Readers

What are some of your favorite St. Patrick’s Day activities?

The post St. Patrick’s Day Activities for Kids appeared first on Reluctant Stay at Home Mom.

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*This post contains affiliate links. For more information, visit the Disclosure page.

Full Disclaimer: My son was a late potty trainer. If you are looking for a blog post claiming to show you “how to fully potty train your child in 2 days!”, then this is not the post for you. But if you understand that the “potty training struggle is real” and need some encouragement, then this is the perfect place for you.

What is essential for successful potty-training? 1. A Child that is Willing and Ready

The truth is: you can’t force your child to potty train.

As a parent, this can be a tough pill to swallow. No matter how many times you attempt the potty training process, until your child is on board, and actually wants to move out of diapers and into “big boy underwear”, you are likely doomed to failure.

Don’t take it personally. If your child is 3+ years old and is not potty trained, that does not mean you are failing as a mom. It just means your child is stubborn.

2. Consistency and Patience

When your child finally decides he’s ready to potty train, it’s your job as the parent to remain as consistent and patient as possible. For those first few weeks, it’s a lot of constant reminders and taking your child to the bathroom every 30 minutes or so.

There will be accidents, and when they happen, it’s important to remain patient. As much as you might want to yell at your child for pooping in his underwear, instead you need to remain calm and remind your child to poop in the potty next time.

3. Underwear/Panties

Taking your child to the store and letting him pick out his own “big boy underwear” can help motivate a child to potty train. Regardless, you will need to buy plenty of extra pairs of underwear for the inevitable accidents.

It’s also a smart idea to pack a full change of clothes for your potty training child whenever you leave the house, as well as a plastic sack to put any soiled clothes in until you can wash them.

4. Step Stool

A step stool makes it easy for your child to go potty at home. My family has the pair of step stools shown below, and they are the perfect size to put in front of the toilet, or in front of the sink for hand washing and tooth brushing.

5. Potty Training Seat

The perfect complement to your step stool is the potty training seat that sits on top of your toilet. This helps your child comfortably sit on the toilet instead of feeling like he is going to “fall in.” My son is a big fan of Paw Patrol, so the potty seat below is perfect for him.

What You Don’t Need for Potty-Training Pull-Ups/Training Pants

Pull-Ups are essentially diapers, and if your child is truly ready to potty train, you might as well skip the Pull-Ups stage and move straight into underwear.

My son never cared for Pull-Ups, and if I put one on him, he would treat it like any other diaper instead of trying to use the potty.

Potty Chair

A miniature potty is cute but unnecessary. Your kid will be using a normal-sized toilet when you leave the house, so you might as well skip this purchase and instead buy a potty seat to make sitting on the big toilet more comfortable for your child.

Final Thoughts

Potty training is often stressful for both the child and the parent.

As much as you might want to force your child to potty train at exactly 2-years old, it’s best to wait until your child is fully ready for potty training. My son wasn’t committed to potty training until he was 3 years and 3 months old, and that’s perfectly fine.

When your child does show a readiness to potty train, make sure and stock up on potty training essentials, such as underwear, a step stool, and potty seat. Don’t waste your money on non-essential items, such as Pull-Ups or miniature toilets.

Readers

Do you have any potty training tips to share? How old was your child when he or she potty trained?

The post Potty Training Essentials From the Mother of a Late Potty Trainer appeared first on Reluctant Stay at Home Mom.

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Coming to terms with the loss of a much-loved family pet is hard. When you have kids, it is worse. You have to explain that Rover is sick and is not going to get better, or that Socks ran away and might never come back.

Recently, my family said goodbye to one of our cats. Losing our cat, Noah, to FIP was heartbreaking. The whole household loved Noah, but my stepdaughter and I took his loss the hardest.

As much as you might want to protect your kid from pain and sadness, it is important to be truthful to your child about pet loss. This allows your child the chance to say goodbye to the family pet properly, and to grieve on his own terms.

Tips for Helping Kids Accept the Loss of a Pet Quality Time

Encourage your child to spend as much quality time as possible with your sick or dying pet.

My stepdaughter and I would sneak off and spend quiet moments with our sick cat. That quality time allowed us the opportunity to show love and affection to our family pet, and to make memories with him in his final days.

Noah Cat Special Treats

If your child is old enough, let him feed your pet special treats.

Our kitty did not have much of an appetite in his final days, but he did enjoy tuna fish. So, I happily allowed my stepdaughter to spoil him with as much tuna fish as he would eat.

Pictures

Pictures are a great way to remember a family pet. Take pictures of the pet alone, but also make sure and have someone take pictures of you and your child with your pet.

My stepdaughter took several pictures of Noah in his final days, and I had my husband snap the group picture below.

My stepdaughter, Noah cat, and I Memorial/Remembrance

Memorial stones are a nice way to honor a family pet. My family will place one in our backyard in remembrance of our Noah cat.

Another way to remember a pet that has passed away is to make a personalized Christmas ornament. Simply place your pet’s photo inside a clear ball photo ornament, and you are guaranteed to reminisce about your pet every holiday season.

Final Thoughts

Losing a family pet is never easy, and it can be especially tough on children. If possible, let your child spend lots of quality time with the sick pet, feeding him special treats and taking pictures together. A memorial stone and personalized ornament are easy ways to help your child remember the family pet, long after Rover or Socks is gone.

Readers

Do you have any tips to help kids accept the loss of a family pet?

The post Helping Kids Come to Terms with the Loss of a Family Pet appeared first on Reluctant Stay at Home Mom.

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Burnout

We’ve all been there. At some point or other, you will experience burnout. According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, burnout is defined as: “exhaustion of physical or emotional strength or motivation usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration.”

Not long ago, I was completely burnout on life as a stay-at-home mom. I was done with the daily frustrations of toddler motherhood. Refereeing the fights between my 2-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son. Busting my butt to keep the house clean and organized, only to turn around and see that my toddlers had destroyed my hard work by dumping their toys out all over the floor again. Done with the endless diaper changes and potty-training struggles. Done with ungrateful kids and the lack of any privacy or time to myself. On the worst days, home felt more like a prison than a sanctuary.

Overcoming Burnout

How did I overcome burnout? How can you do the same?

My circumstances did not change, but my perspective did.

I realized that the problem wasn’t with the kids, it was with me. If you consider SAHM life as endless drudgery, then that’s what it will be. But it you consider yourself as someone serving a higher purpose, and realize that what you do matters, eventually those feelings of burnout will fade.

A New Perspective

Now when I wake up, it is with a sense of gratitude. Being a SAHM to two toddlers and a preteen stepdaughter is a blessing instead of a curse.

I know that each day will hold it’s own struggles and challenges, but with God’s grace, I can overcome them. Instead of losing my cool and yelling at my toddlers when they act up, I take a moment to breathe and ask God for the strength to respond in a more positive manner.

Seek Out The Joyful Moments

Children are full of joy. If you take the time to be fully present with your kids, you will discover that their joy is contagious.

Instead of focusing on the negatives, focus on the positives of each day.

The smiles and laughter. The look on my son’s face as he puts that final puzzle piece into his “firetruck puzzle.” The shrieks of excitement as I chase my son and daughter around the house in an improvised game of Tag.

You Don’t Have To Be A “Supermommy”

Don’t buy into the “Supermommy lie” that you have to do it all. You don’t and you can’t.

Once I accepted this fact, I began to find peace in my role as a SAHM. I may never become an amazing cook or a crafty/DIY mom but that’s ok. My mothering strengths lie elsewhere.

Final Thoughts

Burnout happens to the best of us. It’s ok to experience burnout, but staying in that mindset is not healthy, for you or your kids.

Take some time to revise your perspective, focusing on gratitude and joy instead of frustration and aggravation.

Realize that being a SAHM is a “real job” and what you do matters. You have a higher purpose. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Find peace within yourself and accept that you don’t have to be a “Supermommy.” You just have to be you.

Readers

Have you experienced burnout? What are some tips that helped you overcome it?

The post SAHM Burnout-How to Reignite Your Passion and Purpose appeared first on Reluctant Stay at Home Mom.

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Today, we are featuring another guest post from Ashley Taylor of Disabledparents.org.

Brand New Parents: Self-Care Advice for the First Three Months

The first three months of parenthood are some of the craziest, most exciting, but also quite terrifying times of your life. You are suddenly in charge of the total care of this tiny, precious thing — who also screams a lot and doesn’t really know what a “sleep schedule” is yet. Needless to say, these early weeks can be kind of chaotic. However, as important as it is to see to your baby’s needs, it’s equally important that you see to your own needs with proper self-care. After all, a happy and healthy parent means a happy and healthy baby.

Ask for Help

People love babies. You’d be surprised at what people will do for you just for the chance to take a peek at yours. If you play your cards right, you can find yourself sitting back with your feet up while family and friends do household chores in exchange for games of peek-a-boo.

Okay — maybe don’t do that.

All jokes aside, when people offer their help with things like meals or housework, take them up on it. Believe it or not, many of them have been where you are now and know the kind of chaos you’re about to embark upon. However, even if you aren’t plugged into a community or you don’t have family nearby, get help with things when you need it. If there’s any time in your life where you should bite the bullet and hire a cleaning service so you can get an hour to yourself, it’s now. It’s not free, but your average housekeeping service should be budgetable with a few cutbacks. In Tulsa, the average home maid service costs between $106 and $207. Or, if you need help with things like meals, consider subscribing to a meal kit delivery service that makes plans for you while reducing the preparation time on your end.

Find Time for Exercise

Okay, so maybe the idea of hitting the gym with a newborn at home seems pretty ridiculous — but we’re not saying you need to get on an exercise regimen in the hopes of regaining the elusive “pre-baby body.” No, what we are talking about here is gentle, low-impact exercise that helps support your body’s recovery as well as your mental health. Exercise naturally boosts your body’s levels of dopamine, serotonin, GABA, and endorphins, which can help with the all-too-common baby blues. A great way to incorporate more exercise into your routine is by starting the day packing up the stroller and taking a walk outside. Being in the fresh air and sunshine is good for both you and the baby — even newborns. Going on a walk together allows you to start the day on a tranquil, productive, and positive way as a family.

More fitness tips for brand new parents include the following:

  • If you are postpartum, be gentle with your body. You just produced and expelled a life; it’s perfectly normal for your body to work differently after that.
  • Exercise can be a great excuse for much-needed alone time. Switch off baby watching and workout times every other day to make it work with your busy schedules.
  • Feeling too exhausted to work out? The right workout can give you an energy boost so you’re positive and present when it comes to caring for your baby. Pump some weights in front of the TV or do a 10-minute HIIT workout to get the blood flowing.
    1. Final Thoughts

      If you’re going to get through the first three months of caring for a newborn, you have to make time for self-care. Your baby will be much better off being raised by a parent who tends to their mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Don’t be too proud to accept help when it’s offered and to pay for it if you need it. Furthermore, while new moms shouldn’t feel the need to chase after the myth of getting their “pre-baby body” back, it is important to incorporate exercise into your routine. Exercise doesn’t just support your physical health and postpartum recovery, it’s also imperative for managing stress and mental well-being.

      Readers

      Do you have any advice for new parents?

      The post Brand New Parents: Self-Care Advice for the First Three Months appeared first on Reluctant Stay at Home Mom.

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      Last year I wrote out my 5 SAHM Resolutions and if I’m being honest, I tried and failed at most of them.

      Grace and Presence

      This year, instead of writing out a long list of resolutions, I want to focus on two words: Grace and Presence.

      Grace

      I don’t know what 2019 holds for my family, but what I do know is that I need God’s grace to help me through each day. It’s easy to fall back into old habits, being the angry mom who quickly yells and loses patience with her kids. It’s harder to step back and relinquish control.

      With 2 toddlers and a preteen, the house will almost always be messy. There will always be chores that need done. There will be tantrums and sibling fights to break up. I may not be able to control each day’s course of events, but I can control my reactions. Instead of losing my cool, I can remember that with God’s grace, I can handle anything that comes my way.

      Presence

      You can be around your kids all the time, and still not give them the attention they deserve.

      That’s where “presence” comes in. As much as possible, I resolve to be fully present with my family in the new year. When my kids need me, I will stop whatever I’m doing and give them my undivided attention. I want them to know that they matter more-more than the smartphone in my hand, or the computer at my desk, or the pile of laundry at my feet.

      When I try to do everything at once, the end result is often stress, anxiety, and burn out. So this year, I want to keep it simple.

      Fighting Burn Out

      Perhaps every stay-at-home-mom experiences burn out at some point or another. Over the last few months of 2018, I have felt completely burnt out. Being home with two toddlers 24-7 is so much harder than an 8-5 office job. I couldn’t tell you how many times I have checked job boards and thought about updating my resume and applying for jobs outside the home. 2019 may well be the year I stop being a SAHM and re-enter the workforce. I’m just waiting for the right opportunity.

      It goes without saying that the sense of burn out has carried over into this blog. Finding the time to blog has always been a struggle. It’s a constant battle between doing something I enjoy and being present for my kids. And right now my kids must take precedence. I’m not giving up blogging by any means, but I will not be tied to any set posting schedule.

      Concluding Thoughts

      Grace and Presence. I know, as a reluctant SAHM, that I need God’s grace to be a better mother. Grace will help me show love and peace towards my family instead of letting my emotions get the better of me.

      My 3-year-old son just walked up to me and gave me a hug as I sit here at my desk, writing. I stopped what I was doing and gave him another hug and got him some breakfast.

      At the end of the day, life is about those little moments. I don’t want to miss out on those moments because I was too busy to be fully present with my kids.

      Readers

      Do you have any resolutions for the new year?

      The post Asking for Grace in the New Year appeared first on Reluctant Stay at Home Mom.

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      *The following post is a sponsored post for Diamond Bloggers.

      Choosing a home loan can be a daunting process. My family has three home loans (1 residential, 2 rental properties) and as a result, we have learned a lot about home loans.

      3 Tips for Choosing the Right Home Loan 1. Determine the Type of Loan You Need

      There are several different types of home loans. Before you start applying for a home loan, you need to decide which loan type fits your needs best. Some examples are the 30-year fixed, 15-year fixed, or an ARM (Adjustable-rate mortgage).

      Having bad credit does not disqualify you from receiving a home loan. It just means that you should consider nonconventional home loan options. For example, someone needing bad credit loans in Tampa should contact the Associates Home Loan of Florida, Inc. to discuss alternate loan options.

      2. Compare Interest Rates

      One of the easiest ways to compare home loan providers is to compare interest rates. The ultimate goal is to receive a loan with the lowest interest rate. Several factors influence your mortgage interest rate. For example, your credit score, down payment amount, and loan term play major factors in your overall interest rate.

      Also, you should expect a higher interest rate for investment properties as opposed to a typical residential home. My family owns a few duplexes, and the interest rate for those investment properties is a whole percentage point higher than our residential home interest rate.

      Whenever you start applying for a home loan, it’s a good idea to shop around. See which mortgage company can offer you the lowest rate. A difference as small as -0.25% could save you thousands of dollars over the course of your home loan.

      3. Consider the Loan Company’s Reputation/Responsiveness

      Oftentimes, your real estate agent will recommend a specific loan officer to help you through the pre-qualification and home loan acquisition process. While this can be helpful, you should also use your best judgment. If you believe your quoted interest rate is too high, get a second opinion from another home loan company.

      Purchasing a home is one of the biggest investments you will make in your life, so it’s a good idea to make sure you are comfortable with the home loan company you choose. Make sure the loan company has a stellar reputation and good reviews.

      Another think to take into account is how the mortgage company treats you as a customer. Are they responsive to your questions and concerns? Do they tell you up front which documents you will need to apply for a home loan? Do they take forever to process your paperwork, which means your closing date keeps getting pushed back and you risk losing out on your dream home?

      My family ended up choosing a different mortgage loan company for our residential home loan after one company we met with (in person) took weeks to get back to us regarding our pre-qualification. We were ready to make an offer on our dream home ASAP and could not wait weeks for that company to consider us worth their time. By the time that home loan company got back to us, our offer had already been accepted and we were deep into the closing process.

      Final Thoughts

      Purchasing a home is a nerve-wracking process. But if you know what to expect, and what to look for in a home loan company, it can make the process much easier. Keep that end goal in mind. When you find yourself stressed or anxious, simply picture yourself holding the keys to your dream home.

      Readers

      Have you recently gone through the home loan process? What are some tips you can share with others going through this process?

      The post Tips for Choosing the Right Home Loan appeared first on Reluctant Stay at Home Mom.

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      Today we are featuring a guest post from Ashely Taylor of disabledparents.org. Ashley and her husband both have disabilities, but that did not stop them from becoming the parents of two amazing kids.

      5 Tips for Expecting Parents with Disabilities

      The internet is full of advice for new parents. If you want to learn about the most eco-friendly diapers or get in-depth advice on latching, you can find information online. But for parents with disabilities, there aren’t a lot of resources out there to offer advice. While they won’t answer all your questions about parenthood, these five tips will help you navigate common challenges faced by parents with disabilities.

      Find a Pediatrician you’re comfortable with

      Your child’s pediatrician should make you feel empowered as a parent, not judged. Parents with disabilities should search for pediatricians who are not just qualified, but who also treat them with respect. Every parent should be able to talk to their child’s doctor and ask questions without experiencing prejudice. Writing for Huffington Post, disability advocate Christine Rudd recommends interviewing pediatricians before your child needs care so you can choose a doctor based on your best judgment, not a pressing health issue.

      Read reviews before you buy anything

      Online product descriptions can be scant on details. But when you have a disability, it’s important to know exactly how your baby products function. If you buy a car seat, stroller, crib, or other expensive item only to discover you can’t use it due to your disability, you could be out a lot of money. Even if you can return items, shipping products back to online stores isn’t cheap. Thankfully, there are online reviews to give you the detailed scoop on baby products so you save time, money, and stress.

      Borrow friends’ baby supplies

      When possible, test out babycare products in person. If you have friends with kids, ask to borrow their old baby supplies and practice using them. You can help a friend out with their real baby to test different products or practice with a weighted doll to simulate a real child. You can buy a weighted doll or make your own inexpensive version following instructions from Babywearing International. Hands-on experience with different baby gear is the best way to discover the most accessible products for you.

      Figure out your transportation

      If you’ll be your child’s primary caregiver, it’s important you have access to transportation when you need it. Riding a bus with an infant is challenging at best and bus schedules can be limiting. If public transit has been your primary mode of transportation until now, it’s time to come up with a Plan B. Ridesharing through Uber or Lyft is one option, but if you use a wheelchair or need to travel long distances with your child, consider investing in an accessible vehicle for your family. Depending on where you live, you may qualify for financial assistance.

      Rethink home organization

      Taking care of a newborn is exhausting. And for many people, living with a disability is tiring in its own right. Organize your home so that all your baby and personal care necessities are accessible within a small radius. Create a central command station with everything you need to change diapers, feed your baby, and keep yourself comfortable. If you use a wheeled cart for your command center, you can even roll it from room to room with you. Depending on your home’s layout, you may also choose to temporarily move your bedroom to the main story for the convenience of single-level living.

      As a first-time parent with a disability, it can feel like you’re navigating this journey all alone. But the truth is, there are tons of people with all kinds of disabilities who are raising healthy, happy children. If you can’t find the information you’re looking for online, reach out to a local disability support group or Meetup community or talk to an occupational therapist to find the right parenting answers for you.

      The post 5 Tips for Expecting Parents with Disabilities appeared first on Reluctant Stay at Home Mom.

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