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Should You Be a Stay at Home Mom or a Working Mom?

What is the right choice for you?

By
Cherylyn Feierabend,
September 26, 2009
Episode #132

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Hey there! You’re listening to the Mighty Mommy with some Quick and Dirty Tips for Practical Parenting.

In this episode I’m going to talk about a parent’s choice to work outside the home versus staying at home to care for your child.

Should You Be a Stay at Home Mom or a Working Mom?

When I found out I was pregnant with my first child I’d been working at the same company for about 10 years. I’d been on the same career path in the same field of work for over 14 years. I was the primary breadwinner of our household. When my daughter was 11 months old, I quit my job to be a stay-at-home mom. That was one of the scariest and most challenging decisions I’d ever made. For me, this was the right choice, but how do you determine what is the right choice for you?

There are more than a few factors to take into consideration when making the decision between being a stay at home mom or a working mom who works outside the home. Of course, there are other options as well. For example, when I originally started staying home I was no longer contributing to our family’s income, but now I’ve been blessed to find a job where I can work from home. That wasn’t an immediate option for me and it probably isn’t for most people. Here are some of the things to take into consideration when making your decision. Keep in mind that these are in no particular order of importance because what is important to you might rate completely different on someone else’s scale of importance.

1.     Affordability – The number of children you have at home can influence your choice when looking at affordability. One child in daycare costs considerably less money than two children in daycare and so on. If you find that you are working simply to pay your daycare provider, then financially, you aren’t doing yourself any favors. You may also consider your other childcare options. Do you have family or friends who are willing to help or trade childcare so you can save money? If you decide to leave your job, will that have a negative impact on the overall income of the household, and will you be able to cut back as needed so that you can maintain a comfortable level of living?
2.     Mental Health and Happiness – If your work brings you joy and you are doing something you enjoy then it might be worth it to you to have your paycheck just cover the cost of childcare. Some people are simply happier if they are working. If this is you, then this is a factor to consider. There are people who simply aren’t stay-at-home personalities. If your job is rewarding and you’d be unhappy without it, you might be better off sticking with it, especially if you feel that you would resent your children if you had to give it up.

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