I always knew I wanted to be a stay at home mom, but finances sometimes get in the way of the dreams we have. After the birth of our first child, we decided to work opposite shifts to keep our child out of daycare and keep money flowing into the home. When baby number two came along, things were exponentially harder, but we managed to find jobs that worked with us on the start and end times so we could care for our children – again on opposite shifts. By the time our twins were born several years later, we needed to seriously look at the cost/value between working and staying at home. For us, the value was soon realized and when we finally made the jump to one stay at home parent, our finances actually improved. What should you consider when choosing between working and staying at home?
Finances: Of course, finances are at the top of the list when it comes to choosing whether or not to stay at home with your new baby. For use, the balance was not achieved until our third and fourth children were born. Before then, it was more beneficial for us to work opposite shifts than stay at home.
Family Structure: We did not have a strong family structure. My parents were unable to help watch our children and his parents lived nowhere close. We were all on our own, which played a very important part in the final decision to have one parent stay at home.
Advancement Opportunity: My career was not in the same place as my husband’s career. He was primed for advancement and I was still just a worker, so the decision on who was going to stay home was easy. Couples need to look at potential advancement of both careers before choosing the parent who should stay home. More and more dads are staying home today than ever before because their family worth is best measured at home.
In the end, the stay at home debate for use was simple. With four children, including a set of newborn twins, we needed one parent at home. After a short debate, I offered to be the stay at home parent, which lasted until the twins started school. Then, I started a business of my own and eventually my husband came home to join me. It’s funny how things work out!