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Daycare or Stay at Home Mom?


I have heard daycare called many things. Those that don’t agree with it mainly call it “prison” and those that try to downplay the negative vibe call it “school” even though their kids aren’t even two years old. How in the world can you call that school? Since I do not have children and obviously don’t have first hand experience with this, I would love to hear all the comments – positive or negative.

First of all, let me give you my biased beliefs on the topic. I was raised in a very loving home where my mother was always present. Before reaching the age of 5 (when school really starts), my mom was home 24/7. After my school days began, my mom began working part time during school hours, and was always at home before I stepped foot off the bus. It was good for me to know that someone was always home. Because of my positive experience, I always hoped to provide for my family well enough that my wife (assuming that will happen for me) would be able to stay at home and be with her child as she wished.

As I have grown, I have seen many people put their children in daycare, and I have also seen many raise their children in the house by having one of the parents stay at home. In each case, I now see positives and negatives.

Stay-At-Home Mom (or Dad) – Pros

  1. You raise your child with the ethics and beliefs that you want instilled into them
  2. You don’t have the expense of daycare
  3. You no longer have to go to work

Stay-At-Home Mom (or Dad) – Cons

  1. Your child does not often socialize with other kids, which may hinder their communication skills
  2. You no longer earn a paycheck -which may have been more than the cost of daycare
  3. Sometimes parents need adult relationships. “Staying at home” often isolates you from your working adult friends

Daycare Pros and Cons

Basically, the pros and cons of daycare are just the opposite of the pros and cons in being a stay-at-home parent. If your kid is in daycare, the cost is high, they get taught by someone that doesn’t have your morals and beliefs, and you’re still working tirelessly at your job.

On the pro side, your child will be more accustomed to children, which will give them better social skills. You will still be earning a fat paycheck (if your kid is in daycare, I’m assuming you’re making some good money at your job), and you can be around adults more which is typically less draining.

Are you a parent? What is your take on this???



My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.


  1. I’m not sure how I feel about this but I’ll share this to my readers and followers to get them thinking. Thanks!

    • I would love to hear the thoughts of your readers Marissa! I’m sure this is one thing that I will have to decide for my future family, and it’s not an easy decision!

  2. Stay at home mom here! I was raised by a single mom who had to work. I wasn’t in a daycare center, though. I was watched by a little old Cuban lady who was nice enough, but couldn’t give me much attention with 5 other children to watch in her apartment. I actually learned how to walk in a playpen, which makes me sad.

    I agree with you on how odd it is to have daycare be called “school”.

    I know some people don’t have the luxury of staying home. If I had to work, I think I would choose to have a babysitter/nanny to watch my kids at home. I’m so grateful I don’t have to consider that option…God willing!

    • If I absolutely had to work, I would choose to have someone watch my children at my house as well, but the only problem is, even if their beliefs match perfectly with mine, there will be things taught to my child that I don’t agree with. It’s just going to happen. If I were to stay at home though, then it would be much easier to teach him/her exactly as I wished.

  3. I’m not sure that this is true: “they get taught by someone that doesn’t have your morals and beliefs.” When you have a child, you’ll see that choosing a daycare is not about what is cheapest or closest. It’s about finding a place and teachers that you trust will look out for your child’s best interests and help her grow and learn. I will also admit that, as a first time mom, whenever my son is going through a transition, it helps to have the advice of experts — his teachers — who have helped many other children go through these transitions themselves (taking a bottle, napping, walking, talking, eating, teething, potty training — you name it; your kid goes through many transitions!)
    Another pro of working is that, even if you’re not netting a lot of money after daycare costs, you are advancing your career in a way that will pay off down the line. Sheryl Sandberg discusses this in her book, Lean In.
    That’s not to say that working is always the best decision. There is no “best” decision — it’s about what works for your family at the time. But there are many more pro’s and con’s at play!

    • But even if you find someone that has your same beliefs, there will still be things that are taught to your child that you don’t agree with. It’s just going to happen. I like how you say, “There is no best decision”. It definitely depends on your certain situation and everyone’s situation is different! Thanks for the comment Rebecca! 🙂

  4. I am a stay at home mom. I worked in the IT field for 15+ years and had climbed the ladder to a great, high paying job. But, we decided to let that go so I could stay home with our first child, and then our second child. I also joined a stay at home mommy group (they are everywhere on when my first baby was 4 mos old. I’m still in that group and my girls are extremely well socialized. We have scheduled play dates, outings, fire station tours, etc. Staying at home to be a mom isn’t what it was in the 50’s. You are not isolated. My girls love me being home and I wouldn’t have it any other way. For us, this was the best decision ever. My mom was a stay at home mom and my husband was raised by a nanny and then set to run lose on his own around the age of 8.

    The con to a stay at home mom…it’s a big one. The chances your marriage are going to tank are much higher. Your husband will resent you for having all this “free time”. Your husband will resent your children for not getting enough ‘wife’ time. And then, he’ll probably have an affair. I’m clearly very biased here…but I’m pretty sure, had I stayed in the work force and not put our children first, he wouldn’t have strayed. But now, I am a stay at home mom with 2 wonderfully socialized and well raised girls, no job and a cheating husband.

    There are more cons to a sahm than we realized. It’s made more hard when a stay at home mom is also a nursing mom. I nursed on demand, not scheduled feedings. I fed them when they needed it and nursed until they were each a year old. Just more things to consider as cons.

    Even knowing now what happened with my husband, I would still have chosen the stay at home mom route. Its more important to me that my girls are raised well and right and safely. They are 2 and 4 and are my focus now and always.

    • Deanna, I’m so sorry to hear about your situation. Frankly, I don’t quite know how to respond to your comment. I feel so bad for you, but I’m sure there were many other factors at play with your husband’s cheating. Anyway, you brought up a great point with all the mommy clubs and the events. With a little effort, you can certainly turn your kids into social butterflies instead of isolating them within the four walls of your home. Hang in there Deanna. I’ll be praying for you and your situation.

    • Deanna, speaking as a father with 4 wonderful children and my wife who has stayed at home since the first 2 were born, I think your husband is being somewhat ridiculous cheating on you, or thinking you have a lot of free time.
      Having my wife be at home for our children is important to both of us, and relatively recently (say the past 4-5 years), it has also given her the ability to manage her time to help her aging parent get to doctor/hospital visits as well as be there for our children.

      Derek, as far as socialization due to being with a SAHM, our kids have plenty of social skills because they went on play dates, to the park, to an aquarium, skating, etc. There are plenty of times when socialization skills are learned and aren’t limited to when the kids are confined to a “classroom/daycare”.
      For example: I can remember having the benefit of going to the acquarium with my kids and wife one day, when a pair of children from a large group of children walked over and asked about our family. He was very well spoken for a 5 year old, and we were able to have lunch with them prior to our departure from the aquarium.

      • Thanks for the real life example Chris. Yes, I believe that kids can be social with stay at home parents, but it is more challenging. Personally, I would like my future kids to grow up at home instead of a daycare.

  5. Great article — you forgot the best of both worlds, though: The work-at-home parent!

    I’ve stayed home for the better part of the 12 years since my first child was born. It’s a privilege and a blessing to be able to do so, but I realize not everyone can or wants to work it out that way. (Sometimes I haven’t!)

    I’ve loved the Kindercare daycare and was grateful for them. Other daycares I couldn’t stand the sight of, only because I really wanted to stay home with my babies. There’s pros and cons, like you say, but I’m so glad we live in an era where I can make money from home and still be here for my family as well.

    • That’s what I hope to do someday, or at least have to option to be a stay-at-home dad. I am working to pay off my house by the end of next year and then purchase a multiplex rental property. With this income and my website income, a stay-at-home dad could definitely be a possibility. Thanks for the reminder Paula! 🙂

  6. I really appreciate the strong personality of all moms out there working from home and the spirit they have. Its nice to know someone like of all of you who were here.. Love to be here.

    I like the post and comments, really informative article,really looking forward to read more. Really Great.

    • I appreciate all the stay-at-home moms out there too! I can’t imagine being around children all day – I think it would drive me crazy! I have a lot of respect for those that can raise their kids as their sole responsibility. Frankly, I think it would be 10 times easier to throw them in daycare and work at a job.

  7. My wife and her sister worked out an arrangement where they worked half time and provided day care for the other’s kids the other half of the week. Her sister has two kids, while we only have one, so her sister kicked in some extra money each week. They did this for 7 years until all kids were in some sort of public school. It saved a lot of money, and the kids were well looked after.

    • Sounds like a pretty smart idea. Were they ever dissatisfied with the other’s quality of care? I can see this sort of thing headed toward a family feud.

      • Hi Derek, I don’t think they ever had a problem with the quality of care, or the methods of child rearing being used. The biggest problem my wife had was that our youngest niece was a momma’s girl. She, who was like 2 or 3 at the time, would sometimes start crying as soon as her mother left, and would not stop for 8 hours until her mother came back. Those days were pretty rough.

        • Yikes! I bet that WAS rough! Hope she invested in earplugs at least. 😉

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