Even though staying at home with your young children is a career all on it’s own, I have been faced with many disapproving looks and up-turned noses when I tell people that is what I do. As if I am at home in sweats eating Oreos and watching Dr. Phil all day. Or as if I wasn’t smart enough to get a good job. I don’t understand why there is such a stigma about staying home to raise children instead of pursuing a career. I hope one day this will end and we mothers at home will be considered as prestigious as a CEO.
As much as I love it, some moms just aren’t cut out for it. Here ‘s a few pros and cons about staying at home:
Expense. Nannies and daycare can be expensive, especially if you have more than one child. You need to do the math and make sure your job is going to pay you enough to afford daycare and still bring home a decent paycheck. Also, there is what is called “the two-income trap” where once both parents are working, you tend to spend more money on eating out, vacations and more. So if your only reason to go back to work is to increase income, reconsider.
You are the one raising your kids. Although it seems meaningless being at home to watch over your children, it really does make a huge difference in their lives. I love that whenever my kids say something funny or learn something new, it was because of what I have been teaching them.
You don’t miss a thing. My husband is jealous of me constantly, because I get to be there when my children take their first step or say their first word. It is priceless to me witnessing the always growing and expanding bodies and brains. I love being the one who kisses their booboos, feeds them, gives them high fives, watches them run around all day. It’s like being there at a live concert as compared to watching the highlights on TV. It just doesn’t compare.
Expense. I had to put this in both, because I know some of you are already used to having two incomes and have built a life on it. Perhaps you have a mortgage that was acquired with both incomes, so paying on one income would be extremely difficult. If you have built up a life on two incomes and can see absolutely no way to reduce expenses, it might be impossible to stay at home with your child.
You tend to not have much of a “life” outside the home. Being at home all day with kids can make you feel excluded from the world. You don’t have a group of co-workers to go out after work with and unwind. It is hard to find time to do “grown-up” things. I have struggled with this my entire career as an At-Home Parent. I find myself daydreaming often of having a job to go to that doesn’t involve crying, messy, loud, crazy and stinky kids. You have to make sure you are ready to dedicate most of your time to your kids. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a night out with friends now and then, but it’s harder to steal an hour here and there to go shopping for clothes or whatever before picking them up at the babysitter’s.
You might have more personal pros and cons to figure out. I know that for me, staying at home with my children is exactly what I am supposed to do at this time in my life. Careers and grown-up life will still be there when my kids have grown, but kids aren’t kids for very long.