Choosing whether to stay at home and raise your children or return to work and shuttle them off to daycare can be challenging. Factors like guilt, money, time and energy all play a role. When my husband and I made the decision years ago that I would take care of our home and children while he worked (outside the home), we weighed the pros and cons. But it was years later before I understood what they actually are.
Having Special Bonding Time
Obviously, one of the factors that draws mothers to stay at home is bonding. We tear up at the thought of missing any of our little ones milestone moments. It is truly a blessing to have the time to build the relationships with my kids that I have.
Availability to Participate in School Activities
Being around to attend special programs, class parties, chaperoning and volunteering is a privilege for both myself and my kids. I’ve gotten to know teachers and other parents better and love interacting with all the kids in class.
Flexibility in your day for tasks like dry-cleaning, grocery shopping and bill paying can be convenient. Although doing them while toting a baby, toddler, or both can be a little more challenging.
Being a Single-Income Household
Financially, there is a lot of sacrifice… vacations, dinners out, new things. Even something as simple as grocery shopping can often require precise budgeting. Want to have a date night? Babysitting fees can add up, especially for multiple kids.
Limited Social Interaction
While working a full-time job can leave little time for much else, the opportunity to interact with adults, form friendships and socially engage exists in the workplace. Kids, while adorable, don’t always provide the same level of social exercise.
Being Exhausted…All the Time
Taking care of children all day long isn’t for the fainthearted. Having little people who rely on you for literally everything can be extremely draining both physically and mentally. If you did have the money to go do something fun, you’d probably be too tired to do it.
Depending on your situation, it’s important that you make the decision that’s right for your family.
For us, it really came down to sacrifice. We realized that living on less would be difficult, but agreed that if we chose more money, the one thing that we could never buy was time with our kids. I feel confident that by staying home and raising them, I am planting seeds that will grow into the most incredible trees you’ve ever seen.