The decision between staying home with your children and working isn’t an easy one. Family finances play a big role depending on who brings home a bigger paycheck — if the option is even available for one parent to be the primary caretaker while the other works.
I chose to quit my job as a dental assistant many years ago when my husband started working full-time as a delivery driver; we had a six-year-old daughter and a newborn at the time. Here are the reasons my husband and I chose to make that decision:
The idea of another person taking care of your precious little one is tough, but one that many have to make. For me, it was an innate instinct to care for my children full-time, and I was, thankfully, able to do so. Never did I want to miss out on their firsts: first words, first steps or first anything.
Work versus home
The amount of money I made as a dental assistant each month was equal to that of the cost of daycare for two children. Sure, I may have had some money left over after expenses, but when gas costs came into play, it made sense to forgo my budding job and concentrate on my budding family. It was tough at times to make ends meet with only one bread-winner, but it was a wise financial decision.
If one of my children became sick, neither me nor my husband could immediately leave work to pick them up from a caregiver. The availability of friends and family are sparse when everyone has a job and cannot retrieve your child at a whim when you are in the middle of a root canal and your husband is in another town in a delivery truck.
Illness and germs
Taking care of a sick child can be expensive, and putting a lot of children in a concentrated area seems to always lead to illness. One week it could be “Hand Foot Mouth” disease, the next it could be the flu or perhaps a stomach virus. Doctor visits and prescription medication becomes a bit overbearing, financially, especially with more than one child.
Financial burdens, time off of work, and illness with a child being in daycare brings with it so much added stress that sometimes it just isn’t worth it. It carries so much added weight when two parents are working and children are very young and in the hands of people you don’t know well.
There are drawbacks to both scenarios. Staying home seems easy and going to work seems hard; neither is true. The most important thing is to make sure that our children are happy.