While many mothers are in today's workforce, some out of necessity and others by choice, have chosen to stay at home to care for their children. There are many advantages to being available to your youngsters at all times. Mary Eberstadt, an advocate of stay-at-home parenting and author of "Home-Alone America: The Hidden Toll of Day Care, Wonder Drugs, and Other Parent Substitutes," argues that "institutional care is a bad idea for parents who do have a choice because it raises the quotient of immediate unhappiness in various forms among significant numbers of children."
Consistent Discipline and Care
Children enrolled in daycare and then later in school must become accustomed to a variety of discipline styles. Some teachers are more lenient than others. Others have very strict rules and guidelines for the children to follow. This can confuse youngsters to have to "read" their caregivers and teachers as to how they should conduct themselves. When children stay home with a parent, the parent has consistent rules and consequences. When a child is ill, the child knows who will care for him. The parent can easily make doctor and dental appointments without worrying about taking time off from work.
Familiar and Safe Surroundings
Children who have a stay-at-home parent are always surrounded by a familiar environment. They know where their toys and books are. They don't have to ask to get a drink of water or to go to the restroom. They sleep in their own beds at naptime instead of a mat on the floor. Having familiar and safe surroundings gives children comfort and security in their day-to-day lives.
No Travel Time
Children who stay at home do not have to worry about catching a daycare bus or being shuttled between childcare facilities and school. Mom may decide to take them to the zoo, shopping, or on other excursions but these are not normal, scheduled trips. This reduces the risks of accidents and becoming separated from your child. A stay-at-home mom may even reduce the number and/or expense of extra autos for the family.
Few Childcare Expenses
A stay-at-home mom will not have the heavy childcare expense that most working mothers have to deal with. Granted, the loss of one income can be monumental but if there are several children in the household, sometimes it is less expensive for one parent to stay at home to care for the children, especially if they are small. Other than the occasional social night out, there is no need for expensive childcare workers or babysitters. Mothers will not have to purchase work clothes, gasoline, bus fare, lunches or office supplies.
- Baby Center: Staying at Home -- Pros and Cons
- Mom's Healthy Market: Stay at Home Mom - You Can't Put a Price on Motherhood
- CBS News: In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms
- "Home-Alone America: The Hidden Toll of Day Care, Wonder Drugs, and Other Parent Substitutes:" Mary Eberstadt; 2005
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