How to every-day-carry when you're a stay at home mom!

How to build a consistent habit of Concealed Carry at home, and why you’d want to.

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Don't let a busy day get in the way of protecting your family

You’ve probably heard catch phrases such as "you’re your own first line of defense", or "Better to have a gun and not need it, than to need one and not have it". They are true, but when you’re home most of the time, it’s easy to let your guard down and forget that there’s a big bad world out there! How often do you find yourself thinking that your house is a safe place and that bad things could never happen there? Our days are caught up in the daily routine of cooking, cleaning, entertaining and corralling children, running errands and just trying to keep up. Our homes SHOULD be our safe places, but break-ins and assaults inside the home happen every day and we should be prepared for them.

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A gun on the body is better than five in the gun safe.

Maybe you’re even pretty good at remembering to carry your gun when you’re out of the house, but take it off as soon as you get home? What would you do if someone were to break in while you’re in the basement doing laundry and the children are playing or napping upstairs? Not fun to think about, but there are sound reasons to get into the habit of carrying every day, even or maybe especially, when at home.

You’re a mom, and you’re BUSY! Between caring for the little ones, the house, the husband, yourself, and sometimes even an outside (or inside) job or volunteer work, adding one more thing you need to do to the long list of daily chores/tasks is probably the last thing on your mind.

As a mother myself, I know that not a day goes by when I don’t worry about, and try to ensure the safety of my family. For me, that includes carrying a gun every day. But it didn’t always come easily or naturally, and it wasn’t until I got intentional about building a habit of daily concealed carry that it became normal for me.

I’ve often started a new ‘habit’ - like eating healthier or exercising or journaling etc., but given up after a few days or weeks. It comes down to priorities, and what is truly important to you, as well as having the tools to succeed. Let me start by telling you a little about myself and my own concealed carry journey.

My husband was in the Marine Corps when we met, and he was the one to introduce me to firearms. I took to them easily and enjoyed shooting. I got my CC license and even made myself a concealed carry holster, since none of the ones I had bought were comfortable for me. But I tended to leave my gun in the safe, knowing that when we were out and about, he always had his gun with him, so why would I need mine? Even when he deployed and I was home alone I didn’t think much about it, although I always kept my gun by my bed at night, and out of the safe during the day.

That started to change when my husband called from work one day to tell me to lock all the windows and doors, because there had been reports of armed intruders in our neighborhood, who were breaking into occupied homes and robbing people at gunpoint. I wore my gun faithfully...for about a week. Years passed and I got a bit better about carrying my gun, but not regularly, and it was always more of an afterthought.

Then we had our little boy. Suddenly I had another life to protect besides my own. I was up in his nursery late one night, and had a sudden ‘what if’ thought; what if someone were to break in right then? My husband was out of town, and I was stuck up here with a crying baby, and my gun was downstairs next to my bed. It was a turning point for me.

For you to adopt a new habit, that truly turns into a daily occurence, it has to matter to you! I vowed to start carrying my gun on me daily, no matter what was on the schedule. It took some time, and I still had the day here and there where I would get distracted early in the morning and just never get around to putting the holster on, but over time it’s become much more a normal part of my day. I tweaked my holster designs to be more practical and comfortable for all day, every day carry, and I kept my holster and gun by my bed. I started putting it on first thing in the morning, and leaving it on until I went to bed at night. I left it on when I took naps, nursed my baby, took walks, ran errands, went to church, and worked in the garden. Is it always comfortable? No...weeding while carrying concealed is not comfortable, wrestling a toddler while carrying concealed is not comfortable, doing laundry while carrying concealed is not comfortable. But it’s worth it!

It’s worth it to know that if someone were to break into our house, I can get my hands on my gun in seconds, rather than panic because it’s in the next room, or in a locked safe, or even in my purse across the room. Now the only times I don’t carry concealed is when I’m going to the doctor, chiropractor, or to the pool. If I can’t carry the gun in my holster, I carry it in my purse. A pistol lock box for the car is another option, but there will be another post

on that.

The decision to carry a gun is a very personal and individual one, and some of you may think it through and decide that it’s not for you, and that’s ok. But for those of you who know you want or need to get into the habit of every day carry, keep reading.

Now, for some of you, starting a new habit may be as simple as deciding to do it, and you're disciplined enough to stick with it until it becomes routine. For others of us, some help is appreciated and sometimes necessary. So here are a few tips to help you get started!

Find the right gun Even if you already have a gun, if it’s too big for you to carry comfortably, you won’t do it! You may want to seriously consider buying a smaller firearm for the express purpose of

concealed carry. There will be another post soon on how to choose the right gun for you.

Find the right holster Now it’s time to find a good holster that is both safe and functional for you. There are a lot of options out there these days when it comes to women's holsters. If you have a local gun shop, it's worth your time to check out their holster selection. Some stores even have samples to try on. Online holster sellers usually have a decent return policy if you try a holster and don't care for it.

Perhaps you’ve gotten discouraged in your hunt for a holster, and have a drawer full of ones you’ve tried and hated. Or maybe you’re brand new to Concealed Carry and are overwhelmed by all the options out there. There is no one holster that is perfect for everyone. Holsters aren’t one size fits all, but there is the perfect holster out there for you, you may just need to hunt around a bit till you find it!

Now, for some of you, starting a new habit may be as simple as deciding to do it, and you're disciplined enough to stick with it until it becomes routine. For others of us, some help is appreciated and sometimes necessary. So here are a few tips to help you get started!

Decide what your concealed carry goals are Do you want to carry primarily to defend yourself? Your children? Feel safer while running errands or out at the park with the kids? Do you teach in a school that allows concealed carry for teachers, or volunteer at Sunday school? Why is it important to you to carry your gun every day? Write it down and post it somewhere to remind yourself.

Set a reminder For some of you, setting a daily reminder on your phone or a post it note on the bathroom door may be useful at first. You can also ask your spouse to remind you if they are a good accountability partner for you. If it’s never been a part of your daily routine it can take time to have it become something you think of as automatic, and a reminder can help get you there quicker

Put your holster somewhere noticeable My holster is always on my nightstand or dresser. Somewhere I’m going to see it soon after getting up. It serves as a physical reminder to practice every day carry. If you keep your holster in the closet or in a drawer it’s much easier to forget to put it on.

Practice ‘what if’s’ This also takes some getting used to, but just carrying the gun isn’t enough. You should also think through the kinds of scenarios where you may have to use it! More on that in another post

Find a secure place to store your gun when it’s not ON you. For me, this is the little pistol lock box on my nightstand. When I’m not wearing my gun, it’s in the box, safe from little curious hands.

All new habits take time to form, and most require a certain level of discomfort or change of mindset at the start. Stick with it! If you know another mom who has similar goals, agree to check in and remind and encourage one another. A buddy makes it easier!

What have been some of your experiences with Every Day Carry, or concealed carry in general? Was it an easy habit to form, or did it take some trial and error? What kinds of tips can you recommend to other women to help them work on their Concealed Carry habits?

Join the discussion on our Forum page to share your concealed carry story, offer advice or cautions, and encourage other women!

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