If you’re considering being a stay at home mom, there are plenty of pros and cons you must weigh before you make your final decision. So let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of being a stay at home mom, and why you might want to be one!
Being a Stay at Home Mom: Benefits and Problems
It was almost a year ago I started thinking about becoming a work-at-home mom. I knew after D was born that I was going to want to be home full time. I was already missing Morgan tremendously, and I knew it would only get worse.
And I thought, “I can do this! Easy-Peasy!”
I prepared for it, by getting a few part time gigs, getting our finances in order, and quitting my teaching job.
But already after a month it feels like someone pulled the rug out from under me and I’m scrambling to find my balance before I fall flat on my face.
This is hard work, man.
It’s the hardest I’ve ever worked in my life. Because with 2 kids and 2 part-time positions that I’m balancing, my to-do list never ends, and the items on it hang precariously dependent on the other items and whether they get done or not. I wake up at 3:30am to teach classes and go to bed when the kids do.
It’s magical, though. Because being able to share smiles and laughs with my children all day, every day, is more than I could have ever dreamed! Singing them to sleep for their naps and finding special things that we all look forward to every day is absolutely one of the reasons I signed up for this crazy journey called motherhood.
Pros and Cons of Being a Stay At Home Mom
Here are my own pros and cons of being a stay at home mom. But ultimately, you need to weigh your own circumstances and see what works best for your family.
Cons of Being a Stay-at-Home Mom
One of the biggest reasons a woman chooses to continue working after giving birth is because of financial reasons. Unless you live in Canada or one of the other countries with extensive maternity leave and benefits for at-home moms, you’re probably dreading the loss of a second salary.
Having children is expensive! Between food, clothes, toys, education, and childcare, children cost a lot. With the new child tax credit, most families will start getting $300 per month per child under 5 years old, and $250 per month per child between 6 and 17. So at least that helps.
For my own personal financial situation, when my first son was born, daycare and gas to drive to work cost about 25% of my monthly pay from working as a teacher. But when my second came along 19 months later, I was looking at a whopping 50-60% of my salary being eaten up in childcare costs. So I decided to get a part time job working from home to make up for that 50% of my salary.
But for many women, giving up that salary would be far more detrimental to their household finances.
2. Work-Life Balance is more weighty than ever.
If you choose to work from home, finding a good balance is incredibly difficult.
You have to balance working your job (most likely from your computer) with spending time with your kids. It might mean more screen time than you were initially comfortable with. And for those very little babies, it probably means you’ll be carrying them in a baby carrier while you work.
The time that you do get to spend with you children makes staying at home worth it, but still, working takes up a lot of your time.
3. Career Identity suffers
Most of the women I are very attached to their careers. Granted, having been a teacher, a lot of my friends are also teachers, and teachers are notoriously dedicated to their jobs.
Many women can’t even fathom giving up their career identity when kids come along. And for those who do become stay at home moms, that loss of career identity causes a deep sense of grief and loss.
Pros of Being a Stay at Home Mom
1. Seeing your children’s faces whenever you want
For some women, the ultimate happiness in life is being with their children. (And if that’s not you, you’re still totally normal!) And when these women are not around their children, they spend the whole time missing them.
For me, I’d rather be exhausted or annoyed with my toddler than spend my day missing them.
2. Not driving to work every day
Mornings are stressful. Any mother or father who takes their children out of the house (ever) knows the agony of getting children into the car. Packing an infant or toddler for a full 8 hours away from home takes a lot of time and preparation.
You may have spent an hour getting ready in the morning before kids. After you have kids? Give yourself at least 2 hours, because inevitably, your child will have a blowout 2 minutes before you get out the door.
Yes, this is actually both a pro and con of being a stay at home mom.
With a child comes HUGE financial responsibility. So your costs are going to go up regardless.
For many people with 2 incomes, they can afford to easily live on one income. And for some women, their salary is not high enough to justify the cost of daycare. This is made even worse by the current statistics about working women in the US. According to Payscale, “In 2021, women make only $0.82 for every dollar a man makes.”
Not only this, but almost a million women left the workforce in 2020 due to the pandemic. This is a major problem for women all over the country.
But for us, our finances didn’t change much whether I left my job or kept working full time, so for my own situation, I was able to weigh other pros and cons to decide about whether I wanted to quit my job.
4. Time for creativity and entrepreneurship
They say that having children kills your brain cells. (From my experience, it’s absolutely true!)
But when you’re not working a full time job, you have time to be creative. Whether your passion is nature, music, art, or web design, becoming a stay at home parent allows you the chance to own your creativity and give back to your community!
I started this blog about 2 years ago when my second child was born, and it has grown exponentially, giving me a chance to bring health and wellness to women (and men) all over the web.
There are both pros and cons of being a stay at home mom.
For your own personal choice, you may know exactly where your priorities lie. If you’re not sure where to start, begin by looking at your finances and go from there. You may find that you’ll have a much more fulfilling life as a stay at home mom. Or you may realize that your heart truly belongs with your career.
It takes a village to raise children–and yet never let others guilt you into a decision! Make that decision for yourself and utilize your community to give yourself and your children the most fulfilling life you can!