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Should You Be a Stay at Home Mom?

be a stay at home momMy fiance and I will say, “I do” exactly 41 days from today. There’s no doubt that we’re perfect for one another and we simply can’t wait to continue our journey together in marriage. In fact, we’re often thinking about the months and years beyond the wedding:

  • What should we do with our savings? Should we invest in rental properties?
  • Do we want children? How many? What will their names be?
  • If we have kids, should Liz be a stay at home mom? Is that even possible these days?
  • Where would our kids go to school? Can we afford private education for them?

There are so many questions that come up in life, and you can probably multiply that number by 10 if you and your spouse decide to have children. One of the main questions that circle around the topic of kids is daycare vs. the option to be a stay at home mom.

The Natural Urge to Be a Stay at Home Mom

According to a survey that was reported on by DailyMail:

“Women still prefer to marry a man who earns more money than they do and would stay at home with their children if they could afford it.”

All the women surveyed agreed that they wouldn’t want a man that makes less money than they do, and if money were not an issue, 69% of them said they would rather stay at home to look after their children. Personally, I love this. Yes, many women are intelligent, well-spoken, and can do amazing things at the office, but women also have an amazing ability to care for and to love their children. It’s built into them. Whenever I hear that a woman is leaving the office to be a stay at home mom, I get a big smile on my face and congratulate them. It certainly isn’t an easy job, but it’s an important one and I always applaud a mom’s efforts when this is her decision.

Daycare or Be a Stay at Home Mom? The Pros and Cons

Put quite simply, if you have a strong desire to be a stay at home mom, then you should be. Sure, money might be tight and people might think you’re crazy because you aren’t pursuing a career with your degree, but who cares? You decided to bring a child into this world and if you feel that it’s more important to raise them to be the best adult possible, then go for it. There are definite pros and cons to this decision, and they can sometimes be very confusing, so I outlined a few of the biggies below.

be a stay at home mom

Mainly, moms want to be at home with their kids to love on them, care for them, and experience everything that there is to experience. But, there are some definite negatives to saying at home. Money is the biggie. If you’re currently earning $50,000 or more in your job and want to stay at home with your child, that’s a huge reduction of income for the household! With the average childcare cost of $12,000 per year, you’d be forgoing about $25,000 per year (after taxes) to be a stay at home mom. That’s a pretty hefty chunk of change!

What if you have two or three children in childcare? Well then the calculations get a little more interesting. There is a little bit of a break in daycare costs with multiple children, but the costs could still total to nearly $30,000 per year if you’re dropping off three kids each day. In that circumstance, it probably makes more financial sense to stay at home, clip some coupons, and call it good!

Hybrid Decisions

stay at home momThe main question is often whether you should put your child in daycare or be a stay at home mom, but why not get a little more creative? There are definite benefits to staying at home each day, but then there are also benefits of putting your kid in daycare (like improving their social skills, giving you time to earn extra cash, or maybe just giving you some time alone to yourself), so why not do both?

In this continuously changing world, there are so many options available to us that we often don’t have to choose one thing or the other. Instead, you can use your brain a little and come up with a hybrid solution! If you don’t want to be a full-time mom or a full-time employee, what could you do instead? In some corporate settings, work is becoming much more flexible. Instead of working five 8-hour days, perhaps you and your spouse could work four 10-hour days and each have a different day off (for example, her free day could be Monday and your could be Friday). This way, both of your incomes are still in tact, but now your child only has to go to daycare three days a week instead of five. BOOM!

Related article: 12 Legit Ways to Make Money From Home

For another scenario, perhaps your wife doesn’t enjoy her job and she would much rather be at home, spending time with the children. Sure, she might lose her income by doing this, but maybe she could earn a decent wage from home by managing a few of the family-owned rental properties, or by crafting items to sell online. There are so many possibilities that I can’t even begin to list them. Just realize that it’s typically not a simple cut and dry decision to be a stay at home mom or to shell out loads of cash for daycare. There are other options available – you just have to brainstorm and study your budget for what works for you and your family!

Are you a stay at home mom? Why or why not?

Money

AUTHOR Derek

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.

10 Comments

  1. This is absolutely the right time to consider this. If I were to do my life all over again, I would have spent the first year of my marriage working very hard on building a side business, so that I wouldn’t lose all the income benefits of working, nor would I be limiting future career options. However, I would also get to stay home, which is what I really want.

    It’s tough as crap to get a side business going when you work full time and you’re a mom. I admire every single woman who I see doing this.

    • Great point Hannah! Planning should definitely start before the baby arrives, and if some side income can be produced before time, then we’d be in an awesome place once we actually had a baby.

  2. I am a work at home who developed my self employed career when I left my full time job to care for my 8 month old son, who had been in day care up to that point. One important consideration not noted here that I would not have known to consider before leaving my full time job are long term financial goals, particularly home buying and mortgage refinance. Regardless of how successful a side gig you’re able to build as a stay at home, for example, it’s tough to get approved for a home loan/refinance without proof of steady self employment for at least three years–regardless of your credit scores or savings account balance. If the couple needs the income of both spouses to qualify for a loan, it’s exponentially more challenging than when you work full time for someone else.

    • Thanks for the comment, Stephanie. That is a good point of consideration. However, I have always made the point to get a mortgage that can be paid for by just one of us, should myself or my spouse lose our job. It’s always been a stress-free way to go, and it’s what I advise many others to do as well. Congrats to you for being a stay at home mom by the way!

  3. My husband and I had this conversation before we got married as well. We’ll see how it evolves when we actually have kids. But right now, our plan is for us both to have flexible jobs, so we both can split time in daycare and time with the kids. Our own opinions continue to change over time as we change as well.

    • I think that’s a pretty decent option, Jenna. With two flexible jobs, your child probably won’t have to spend a full 5 days in day care each week – maybe only three or fewer. Just keep banking up money in the meantime though! 🙂

  4. I had a stay-at-home mom when I was a kid, but I would never follow her career path, because I can honestly say that not everyone is cut out for this. Having a child around (even YOUR child) 24/7/365 can really start to wear on your patience, especially when it comes to trying to get things done without his help, if he wants your attention, and/or if he has attitude problems. Being a stay-at-home mom is a 100+ hour a week position that you don’t get away from when you come home at the end of the night. I love my son more than any other human being on this planet, but even with the paid professionals watching him at daycare for 50 hours a week, he can still drive me INSANE sometimes.

    • Hahaha, good point Holly. Going from no kids to having one and being with him constantly would be a HUGE change. I guess that’s truly something to consider. If we don’t do an official daycare setup, perhaps we could look into a shared babysitting program among friends? Like every Friday night, one of four couples takes all the kids, which leaves 3 out of 4 Fridays open to everyone. I’m sure there are other options – it’s definitely good to think about now, and to perhaps get the opinions of others as well! Thanks!

  5. Something else to consider is that you don’t have to choose the extremes like working full time versus a full time stay-at-home mom. I managed to work part time with my first but when our second child arrives this fall I’ll be leaving that job. Networking also helps. Without really applying, I landed a job teaching a 4-hour nutrition class twice a month and it pays over $50/hour! I’m definitely continuing that job after baby #2 arrives!

    • Very cool, Jessica. Thanks for the added info! I love how many stay-at-home moms claw their way into income. It’s fantastic!


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