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The decision to become a stay-at-home mom is not an easy one.
One-in-five moms and dads are stay-at-home parents, and the benefits are clear.
But what about the drawbacks?
Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of being a stay at home mom.
Which will you choose?
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Pros and Cons of Being a Stay at Home Mom
1. What About the Isolation?
Maybe being an introvert helps when you consider the realities of being-a-stay mom.
It’s true… Not every parent enjoys the stay-at-home lifestyle.
Still, there’s something to be said for getting up in the morning, having your cup of coffee and immediately jumping into your routine.
So, here are the Pros and Cons.
There’s no running around, dealing with traffic, hearing about all the chaos that’s been happening in the lives of your coworkers.
For young kids, you’ve got the opportunity to stick with the schedule and routine that works best for you and them.
For older kids, you can manage their homeschooling schedule or get them off to school with time to manage the household and your work-at-home schedule if needed.
Being a stay-at-home mom can be isolating.
If you thrive on social interaction, it’s just you and your kids all day long.
There’s no talk about what the state of the world, upcoming events, or what you had for dinner last night.
Being at home might be great for the kids, but the isolation can lead to emotional distance and loneliness.
According to a Gallup Poll, some 28% of the women surveyed reported feeling depression, anger, and sadness.
The transition can be difficult.
Listen to your feelings.
Get the help you need to cope with the changes in your life.
2. Stress and Academics! The Smarter Decision?
It’s a stressful time to be alive, and that pressure is affecting both kids and parents.
A survey from the National Education Association found that 70% of kids reported anxiety and depression as a major concern.
Signs of headaches and difficulty sleeping show that stress may affect your kids more than you think.
Approximately 2.2 million kids are being homeschooled by stay-at-home moms, and the results are staggering.
Not only do the kids experience lower stress levels, but they also perform better by 15-30% compared with students from private or public schools.
Being a stay-at-home is one way to raise emotionally healthy children.
Be there, present and available for them (and for yourself).
Stress isn’t always a bad thing.
You might remember stressful and difficult times when you were in school.
It’s not always easy, but you survived.
Those challenges may have even been part of what has influenced you and shaped you into the person you are today.
It can be the same for your children.
Consider the level of stress you and your family are currently experiencing.
Will being at home add to your stress or relieve it?
3. What About the Finances?
You may be concerned about how your finances will survive a change to stay-at-home status.
There’s the full-time (or even part-time) paycheck to consider, and other perks that having two working adults will mean.
Think: retirement, paying the bills, vacations, extracurricular activities, etc.
So, here are the Pros and Cons.
Being a stay at home offers benefits to your budget too.
You won’t have to pay for a daycare or childcare provider.
Your budget for gas, transportation, and maintenance on your car will probably be lower.
Plus, you can oversee the management of your home through thrifty money-saving strategies.
You may find that you just can’t (or don’t want to) survive on a single salary.
Depending on the solo-income of your significant other, it’s difficult to consider the stay-at-home lifestyle.
It’s a sacrifice, and it’s difficult.
Beyond the paycheck, you may have to consider your insurance and other benefits.
Consider your financial situation.
It’s how you live.
You need to consider how you’ll pay the mortgage (or rent).
You need to buy groceries. If it’s possible at all, with sacrifices, what’s the decision will you make?
Related Article: How to Afford Being a Stay-at-Home Mom
4. What About Relationships?
Relationships are not always easy.
When you throw in all the external factors of work, childcare, and other responsibilities, it may feel impossible.
So, the stay-at-home mom change could be the perfect solution.
It’s more time to spend with your kids, and there could be more time to spend with your significant other.
As a stay-at-home mom, you can:
- Go to lunch with your significant other.
- Take your kids to the museum for a full day of education and fun.
- Spend time in the park.
- Plan play dates with other stay-at-home moms.
Being a stay-at-home mom allows you to build real relationships.
Being a stay-at-home mom can give you more time.
It also means more responsibilities with an ever-growing list of tasks to stuff into your day.
If you feel “stuck,” it can also leave you feeling unappreciated and unloved.
It could leave you feeling even more frustrated with your relationship.
Being a stay-at-home mom isn’t likely to save your relationship if it’s already in trouble.
It might be a way for you to grow closer, if you’re focusing on the joint goal as a family unit.
5. Is it Worth the Sacrifice? Priceless?
For all the costs of living, there are some moments that you won’t ever get back.
So, take a few moments and consider them.
When you look back at your life five or ten years from now, will you regret not working more?
Or will you regret the moments you missed spending time with your kids?
There’s nothing quite like slobbery kisses, the smears of sticky fingers, and the sleepy grin of your little one as he wakes up from a nap.
They grow up so fast, and it may feel like you miss so much in the mad dash of home-and-work imbalance.
What do you want for your life and for your future?
If you could decide, without thinking about the cost, what would it be?
What would you decide?
Priceless is a hard thing to compete with.
You may miss out on the irreplaceable moments and experiences.
The con would be that, as a stay-at-home mom, you’re missing out on career opportunities, advancement, and fulfilling goals you’ve dreamed about your whole life.
You want the priceless experience.
You don’t miss out on those precious moments, but the sacrifices are hard.
What Do you Need to Consider, Really?
You’ll get lots of advice about what you should do.
If you become a stay-at-home mom, some of your friends and coworkers might think you’re lazy, taking the easy way out, or that you just don’t want to work.
If you go to work, there are those who will say that you’re not making the decision that’s in the best interest of your children and your family.
With so many conflicting voices, how do you decide?
It’s great to have friends and family you rely on.
It’s important to listen to their advice, particularly in times of great stress.
Ultimately, consider what is best for you and your family.
Being and becoming a stay-at-home mom is not a decision that everyone will agree with.
So, take a moment, with your family, and consider the life that you want.