Almost six years ago, I became a full-time parent at home. It was a difficult decision because I loved my job. I found a lot of fulfillment in my job as well as a community outside of our home. My husband did not pressure me into the decision, and the choice for me to be the stay at home parent was practical. He made a higher income, and nursing a new baby was easier without running off to a job.
Choosing to be a stay-at-home mom in a feminist culture is often frowned upon. Instead, I love that I live in a culture where I can choose to work or not. Personally, my husband and I have experienced the benefits of having a full-time stay-at-home parent. Here are some of the benefits:
Because I do not have a work schedule, I handle all dentist and doctors appointments. My husband has only taken our kids to doctor’s visits when they have occurred over the weekend. He has never had to miss work or feel the pressure to miss work for a sick child. He has only occasionally had to be home to help with the kids when I am sick.
Less to Juggle
With our first child, we experienced some of the pressure of two working parents. I continued to work on a limited basis and the opposite schedule of my husband when I did work. During the two years that we both worked paying jobs, there were times that he could not make it home to allow me to leave for work. Occasionally, sickness of our child or sitters forced us to choose who would stay home for the other to meet work obligations. There was a lot of pressure as neither one of us wanted to face the consequences of missed work.
It is rare that we have to find help for afterschool help, holidays, sick days and summer vacation. Life is certainly simpler with one parent at home.
Personally, my husband and I find that we spend less with only one of us working. We do not have a second income to fall on forcing us to stick to a budget. In addition, because I am home and do the majority of household shopping, I am able to pay more attention to what and how we spend our funds.
When we both worked, we found that we ate out more at restaurants which is more expensive than eating at home. We did not have time to hunt for deals or price compare. In addition, we often bought things in haste that we did not need.
Because my husband and I are not both spread thin between homes and jobs, we are able to focus more on the tasks at hand. My husband’s work goes through periods of long work hours throughout the year, with little to no time for any home chores. He can maintain focus on his work, and I have the ability to maintain things at home to reduce worry.
To read other struggles I have experienced over the years as a stay-at-home mom read here.