Stay-At-Home-Mom: Why My Wife Stays Home With Our Kids

PinExt Stay At Home Mom: Why My Wife Stays Home With Our Kids

mother daughter Stay At Home Mom: Why My Wife Stays Home With Our Kids Should I stay home with our kids?

This is a question that many moms ask and one that my wife asked me after our first daughter was born. 

Becoming a stay-at-home-mom is a tough decision.  There are a lot of important factors families have to weigh in making this decision.

Today, I thought I’d share our thought process and how it worked out for us in hopes that this might help another family make their decision.

A Couple of Things I’d Like to Address Up Front

Obviously, I’m not a mom so I acknowledge that I’m writing this from the viewpoint of a husband.  I hope you’ll be gracious with me given this. 

Also, I acknowledge that there are stay-at-home-dads out there, but I believe they are still a lot less common than their female counterparts although no less important.  Hopefully, any fathers out there trying to make this decision will be able to adjust this information for their situation.

Finally, I am writing about our experience.  I don’t really know what the research says about the pros and cons of staying at home.  I just know what I know from living it.

The Stay-At-Home-Mom Factors We Considered

My wife has a teaching degree and had full-time employment when we had our first child.  At first, she went back to work, but it wasn’t long before she started thinking about staying home.

As we began to discuss it, I think there were three primary factors that we talked about.  We asked ourselves:

1.  Would She Enjoy Staying at Home With the Kids?

Personalities differ.  I think moms have to be real honest with themselves about this question.  Some women like being stay-at-home-moms and some do not.  If you don’t, it doesn’t make you a bad mom.  Every woman has to look at their strengths and weaknesses and decide for themselves what is best for their family.

For my wife, she believed she would enjoy it.  She has always had a heart for kids.  That’s one reason she became a teacher.  In fact, not staying at home was making her unhappy.

On the other hand, my wife spent several years getting her teaching degree and it pained her to think that she would be stepping away from her career for a very extended period. 

Becoming a stay-at-home-mom is definitely a sacrifice and one that should not be entered into lightly.  A woman really has to weigh her personality, her social needs, her need for achievement and her desire to stay at home before making this decision.

2.  Would Our Daughter(s) Benefit From Her Staying at Home?

Of course, a big part of deciding to be a stay-at-home mom is that many feel it is the best thing for the kids.  This was one of the driving factors for us.  We felt then and still feel today that having one parent at home was the best option.  We think this benefits our kids as follows:

  1. They get more love.  Our kids get a lot of love every day from their mother because she is at home with them.  This helps them to feel like they matter which builds their self-worth.
  2. They have a more stable home life.  My wife has the time to create a very comfortable, stable and loving home environment for our family.  We believe kids need the sense of security this creates to really flourish in life.
  3. They get more education.  A stay-at-home-mom has more time to be involved with their kids education.  My wife has the time to ensure our kids get the best education possible.  Of course, since she is a teacher by trade, we get a double-bonus here.
  4. They get more guidance.  We feel that more parental involvement helps our kids to avoid common pitfalls.  We think this will be especially beneficial during the teen years. 
  5. They get more consistent discipline.  My wife is more in tune with our daughters because she is with them so much and she is able to intervene early when things get a little off track.  We believe this has a tremendously positive impact.

These are just a few of the more important ways that we feel our kids benefit from my wife staying at home.  Of course, a mother that works may be able to also do at least some of these things, but it is going to take a lot of extra effort.  You may be one of those people that could make it work.  However, we decided that my wife staying home would be the best thing for our family.

3.  Would We Be Able to Make It Financially?

Families often jump past the first two of these three considerations straight to wondering if they could make it financially if one spouse stayed at home.  I’d argue that you need to back up and look at the other things first. 

Once you think through the first two considerations, then you’ll have in mind the relative importance of staying at home.  This gives you a much better basis for making the needed financial decisions.

For us, we were going to take a big cut in pay for my wife to stay home.  However, we were willing to make this sacrifice because we knew it would have such a powerful long-term impact on our girls.

This is one of the reasons I feel so strongly that achieving a level of financial freedom is so incredibly important.  It gives you options.  Because we had been fairly wise with our money, we’ve gotten even better now, we were able to make this choice for the benefit of our family.  What a great feeling!

You just have to think through your priorities.  You might have to make significant adjustments to your lifestyle to pull this off or you might have to look for ways to make extra income, but trust me, it is worth it.  We did it and so can you!

Stay-At-Home-Moms Are Heroes in My Book

Moms that choose to stay home and raise their children are heroes.  They make sacrifices for the benefit of their family and my hat is off to them.  However, this choice is not for everyone.  It is important that you think it through carefully.

I’m so glad that my wife was willing to make this choice.  She has stayed home with our kids for about nine years now and it was worked out fabulously!  If you are considering this, I hope this information helps you to think through your decision more clearly.

Photo by loomingy1

PinExt Stay At Home Mom: Why My Wife Stays Home With Our Kids

10 thoughts on “Stay-At-Home-Mom: Why My Wife Stays Home With Our Kids

  1. @FFB – Great to hear from a stay at home dad! Having one parent stay home does give you so much more direct input into your child’s life especially during those early, formative years. I congratulate you for your willingness to invest so much of yourself into your kids!

    Thanks for chiming in on this important topic!

  2. I gave up a full time career that I had worked a long time to obtain. I always thought I would go back, until I held my first child in my arms 8 years ago. My husband and I made a decision to be poor, live on half and enjoy and be there for our children.
    Would She Enjoy Staying at Home With the Kids? some days no! Most days, with the right attitude I love it, what if I had missed it! I couldn’t have lived with myself!
    Would Our Daughter(s) Benefit From Her Staying at Home? Yes yes and always yes. My kids are the sweetest, most well behaved (got the right consistent disipline from mom) and loved kids! Anyone who says that your children benefit more from the social interaction of day care and preschool are just not thinking!
    Would We Be Able to Make It Financially? Well it is a sacrafice to say the least. We had to simplfy our lives, we have some debt..well alot, and we do without much that we had when we were childless and career bound. But our live is richer for it! We are more creative, appreciative and spend more time with each other, than with what money can buy! I now have a flexible part time job that I love, it fits with my life and gives me a little social interaction, creativity and cash…it is possible you just have to be willing to sacrafice. The time is short and before you know it mine will leave to school at 8:30 till 4pm and I won’t know what hit me!
    .-= Julie E.´s last blog ..Two new CityMommy sites launch today! =-.

  3. Jeff,

    This is a well-written and very timely post, as my wife and I are struggling a bit with this same choice at the moment. We have two small children, and she is a teacher. Her career offers a great balance because she is home all summer with the kids.

    However, lately she has shared feelings that maybe she’d like to stay home after this school year is over. We face the same tough decisions that you have discussed, and it is a HUGE decision. We still have time to decide, but I appreciate the perspective you have offered.

  4. As far as financial issues go, you can make it. There’s no reason why not. The only reasons you might not be able to NOW is if the family is over-extended. However, with sacrifice, it can be done.

    The first two reasons are great. However, as the husband, make sure you’re ready to support your wife. She will have bad days. The kids will fight back when she tries to discipline, not want that extra attention, love, and teaching, and other things. Please step in and let them know (in a very stern manner) that you support your wife more than you support them. That will help a great deal.
    .-= Dan Smith´s last blog ..MPW#8 Pray Against Boredom =-.

  5. I’m a stay at home dad/full time college student as well. I’m no way affected by sociological standards when it comes to being a stay at home parent, but it is a hard job. I don’t get much time for my homework and don’t often have someone to help me, but the idea that I’m the one raising my son and not sending him off to daycare makes it completely worth it. We may be poor, but at least my son will be a better person because I was personally responsible for him.

  6. Pingback: Some Great Perspectives On Being A Stay At Home Parent

  7. My wife and I made the commitment that she would stay home with our kids a little over 17 years ago. I gotta tell you, there have been years that it was tough, VERY tough. One year I only made a little over $13,000 — and was never late on my $440/month rent or my $140/month car payment. How we actually made it is beyond me, but our commitment was to our children and their nurturing and development. Today things are much better financially and we have two well behaved teenage daughters and a 10 year old son. They all know my wife and I are highly committed to them and to making sure they’re prepared for life. Another benefit is that WE get to pass on our values to our kids rather than someone else.

  8. I would love to be a stay at home mom…it’s great to see others that have this wonderful opportunity. it’s a shame we live in a society (with a government, of course) that does not make this a possibility for everyone.

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