People may passionately disagree about the benefits of staying at home with the children versus working outside the home, but the decision is a personal one. As you weigh both options, you will probably realize that both choices have benefits and drawbacks. If you are able to swing it financially, and if your career outside of the home is something you can let go of, at least temporarily, without too much grief, then the positive effects of being a stay-at-home mom may be all you need to make a decision that can bring you joy and satisfaction.
Consistency and Stability
When you stay at home with your children, you create a stable and consistent environment for them. With childcare eliminated from your children’s lives, they will not experience changes in caregivers. Whether changes occur from moving from one childcare center to another or just individual differences between caregivers in the same setting, this lack of consistency can be unsettling to children. Staying home with your children to provide stable day-to-day care means that your kids don’t experience changes in discipline, routines, diet and schedules.
Quality Parenting Time
The routine of a stay-at-home mom can afford you the opportunity to spend more quality time with your children. Instead of rushing around to keep a work and childcare schedule, you can create a daily routine that fits your family’s style and needs. Relaxing on the couch with a stack of books or spending an entire afternoon creating an extensive block village can fit into your schedule, if you desire. Staying home with your kids also ensures that you don’t miss those important milestones such as first toddling steps.
Reduce Family Expenses
While you may give up an income to stay at home, you can also save money when you opt not to work outside the home. You can eliminate daycare expenses from your budget when you opt to stay home. Not working outside the home also enables you to save money on a professional wardrobe and transportation expenses.
Personal Fulfillment and Rewards
For some women, staying at home provides strong personal fulfillment. Knowing that you placed your family’s needs first to raise your children in a hands-on fashion can be exceedingly rewarding. The lifestyle that accompanies working outside the home often produces stress and anxiety for women. Staying home may help you stay more relaxed and peaceful. Making a conscious choice to stay home with your children can also lead a strong sense of value and purpose, which may enhance your feelings of personal fulfillment and happiness, states Rachel Campos-Duffy, author of “Stay Home, Stay Happy.”
- Kraig Scarbinsky/Digital Vision/Getty Images