How to Be a Stay-at-Home Mom without Being Married

6 Steps to Staying Home with the Kids without Being Married

A picture of a single stay-at-home mom
Yes, you can stay home with the kids without being married. Photo © Jon Feingersh / Getty Images

Most people think of a stay-at-home moms as a woman with a spouse who goes out to work while she stays home all day. That's not always the case, though. Divorcees, widows and moms who have never been married before are all finding ways to be single stay-at-home moms. Whether by choice or by force, use these 6 ways to thrive as a single stay-at-home mom.

While being a single stay-at-home is a challenge, you can do it with a solid plan in place:

Set a Budget

Living on a family budget is vital to your family. You will need to track every penny and spend every cent wisely to stretch your dollar.

Creating a budget puts you in control of your finances instead of letting your finances control you. Not only will you be able to pay your monthly bills, you can set a plan in motion that also helps you get out of debt.

Cut Unnecessary Expenses

You probably already know that daily lattes at the fancy coffee shop are off your To-Do list as a single stay-at-home mom. There are plenty of other ways to lower your bills you can slash as well as cut some of those unnecessary costs that are eating through your income.

From the phone bill to high grocery bills, run through the list of expenses that are practically stealing your money so you can turn that outgoing cash into dollars in your wallet. Finding great ways to save money can give your family thousands of dollars in your bank account each year.

Look for Income Opportunities

Being a single stay-at-home mom may not necessarily mean you don't find ways to make money. In fact, being a single stay-at-home mom presents you with unique opportunities to earn money while still staying home with your children.

Look for flexible opportunities that let you take charge of your family's income.

From part-time jobs perfectly suited for stay-at-home moms to work-at-home positions. There are also online opportunities that can give you the income you need to stay home and earn what your family needs to survive and thrive.

Lean on Your Support Network

Just as stay-at-home moms with a spouse need a support network, the single stay-at-home mom does too. Staying home isn't just about controlling your income and expenses. There's more to the stay-at-home life than that.

You will need to have a strong support network in place, from mom friends to family members. They will help you with everything -- moral support, girls' nights, giving you a night off so you can indulge in some me-time because you will need a regular break. Everything will fall on you most of the time so your support network is vital to not only helping you get through each day but also to getting everything you need done each day, including taking care of yourself.

Find Affordable Child Care Options

Even with a great support network in place, you will still need to explore your options for affordable child care.

There will be days when you have a doctor's appointment or maybe even a date when someone in your support network can't help you out.

Finding child care that's affordable can be a lifesaver so you're not always at the mercy of your support network's schedule. With many free or low-cost child care options available to you, it is easier than ever to find qualified people to take care of your children while you take a mini-break to get what you need done.

Have Realistic Expectations

Most single stay-at-home moms won't be living a lavish lifestyle. It will be tough. You won’t have a teammate like most married stay-at-home moms do. It's all on you 24/7. You will have days when you want to give up. Entering stay-at-home motherhood is a decision you shouldn't take lightly for any mom but especially those who want to be a single stay-at-home mom.

Take a walk in the shoes of a stay-at-home with a typical day in the life schedule. Read up on the pros and cons of being a stay-at-home mom. Find out everything you need to know to survive stay-at-home motherhood.

That way, you'll be able to go into your life as a stay-at-home mother without some preconceived notion of how life is supposed to be. You’ll have your ups and downs but you won’t have unrealistic expectations that hold you back from being the best single stay-at-home mom you can be.