Is Being a Stay-at-Home Mom a Good Idea?
Ladies, have you ever wondered if being a stay at home mom a good idea? This is a question that has forever plagued the minds of young moms. The answer isn’t rocket science. Here is my answer, it depends on your situation and your desire. It is a decision you need to make along with your spouse based upon your circumstances. You need to “consider your personal beliefs, priorities, finances, and lifestyle” to decided if this is the best decision for you and your family.
My Personal Story About Being a Stay-At-Home Mom
I have been a stay-at-home mom from the time my little girl was born and she is now 11 years old. Prior to her birth, my husband and I decided that it would be best for me to be a stay-at-home mother. And I was OK with that because it was what I desired. Prior to having children, I taught for a few years then went back to studying for another 4 years. I finished my M.A in teaching after I had our second daughter; she was 8 months old the semester I started required student-teaching to complete my degree. The choice to continue to be a stay-at-home mom after earning my degree was the right choice for us. We weren’t stretched for money and we didn’t feel like it was necessary to go out above staying home to raise the kids. This choice felt fulfilling. I enjoyed taking the kids out on walks, parks, play-dates, feeding and dressing them around the clock, being there when they were sick and needed their parents and all the things a Stay-At-Home mom has a little bit more freedom to do.
How Long Should You Be a Stay-At-Home Mom?
There is no time limit for a mom to stay-at-home. But the amount of time a mom may choose to stay at home will depend on a few variables.
- Increase of Cost of Living – Staying at home was ok for a period of time but now with the cost of living becoming higher and higher, one income is not enough.
- More Bills to Pay – Her family has acquired more bills and has the responsibility to pay things off
- More Free Time – The kids are all in school now and she feels the need to go out to work
- Moved out – The kids have moved out of the home and she want’s to branch out; after all, she has stayed home all these years to nurture them
- Health – Health related issues on the working partner’s part may put a pause on him working for while
How Much Should You Have Saved to Be a Stay-At-Home Mom?
Here is a video of a mom trying to decided between her career and staying at home with her son. What the video to see the conversation between Dave Ramsey and her and what she decided at the end.
Are Stay-At-Home Moms Happier?
It all depends on what they expect to make them happy. I was a very happy stay-at-home mom for years when the kids were much younger. It was a joy to me. Our kids are all 2 years apart so by the time our eldest was 4, I had also had a 2 year old and a baby. My hands were full at home and working outside the home was not on my agenda. I simply loved what I did at home to take care of the kids.
However, the past year or so have been rather different. We have moved, our kids are all homeschooled at the moment, and things have just being different. I seemed to have lost some of that joy I had staying at home when the kids were much younger. What changed? Moving. Moving took it’s toll on me and things became tough. We have struggled to adjust to new areas. We have struggled with finding community, things to do and play-dates for the children. If you have a community of friends you do life with, this can drastically impact your choice to continue to say home. There is power in community. Not all your friends may be stay-at-home moms but they are still your supporters and the people you do life with.
One study as reported in the American Psychology Association showed that part time work is favored over no work at all or full time jobs for moms. “Mothers employed part time reported better overall health and fewer symptoms of depression than stay-at-home moms, while there were no reported differences in general health or depressive symptoms between moms employed part time and those who worked full time,” See apa.org
In all cases with significant differences in maternal well-being, such as conflict between work and family or parenting, the comparison favored part-time work over full-time or not working,”. apa.org
Are Stay-At-Home Moms Successful?
What do you measure success by? If you are measuring success by how well one does in the career world, then no, a stay-at-home mom would not be successful. But if you are measuring a stay-at-home mom’s success by how well she does at home in taking care of family, then YES she will have the biggest success by staying at home. Her success may not come in the form of money but remember, she is raising the futures of tomorrow. What her kids are learning at home, what she is teaching them, and who they are becoming will impact society in the future.
Think about it – What if that son she stayed home to raise becomes your children’s teacher? Or that bank you put all your trust in, CEO? Or what if he or she becomes the next President or leader of the people? So don’t doubt the success of a stay-at-home mom. What she does is just a success as that mom who goes out to work.
I’m going to throw it some Scriptures because I think above all, it is worth the read how successful a woman at home can be. Let that speak for itself.
The Virtuous Wife – Bible Gateway
10 Who[a] can find a [b]virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies.11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain. 12 She does him good and not evil All the days of her life. 13 She seeks wool and flax, And willingly works with her hands.14 She is like the merchant ships, She brings her food from afar. 15 She also rises while it is yet night, And provides food for her household, And a portion for her maidservants. 16 She considers a field and buys it; From [c]her profits she plants a vineyard.
17 She girds herself with strength, And strengthens her arms. 18 She perceives that her merchandise is good, And her lamp does not go out by night. 19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff, And her hand holds the spindle. 20 She extends her hand to the poor, Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy. 21 She is not afraid of snow for her household, For all her household is clothed with scarlet. 22 She makes tapestry for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple. 23 Her husband is known in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land. 24 She makes linen garments and sells them, And supplies sashes for the merchants. 25 Strength and honor are her clothing; She shall rejoice in time to come. 26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness. 27 She watches over the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness. 28 Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her: 29 “Many daughters have done well, But you excel them all.” 30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. 31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, And let her own works praise her in the gates.
Are Children of Stay-At-Home Moms Smarter?
Here is what studies have to say on the matter, yes and then no. Read on to see why.
The ‘Yes” They Are Report
One study, as reported in the Daily Mail, seem to suggest that Children whose mothers return to work during their first year of life have less success than those whose moms stay home.
Children of mothers who resume work during their first year of life end up faring worse in formal exams and show signs of being more disruptive.
The child’s success was particularly affected if the mother’s work was full-time, the study spanning five decades found.
The report also based results according to the class of families (wealthier, two-parent, single parent, etc). It concluded that kids of single-parent or low-income families moms help them by returning to work to gain additional income and less stress. Whereas, kids of two-parent families whose moms returned to work during their first three years of life, did worse than those looked after at home.
On the other hand, based upon measures of achievement, Middle-class and upper-class children experience setbacks if their mothers return to work within their first three years. Daily Mail “This is because in wealthier families, the benefits of a mother working ‘may not outweigh the negative effects of decreased maternal attention and supervision and risk of poor-quality childcare arrangements”. See the Daily Mail report on this here.
The “No” They’re Not Report
However, in other reports, “The analysis of 69 separate studies carried out worldwide since 1960 concluded that overall, across all social classes, a mother returning to work within the first three years did not lead to reduced achievement at school or behavioural problems.”
Although different studies show different results, the daily concluded that “maternal employment early in a child’s life is not commonly associated with decreases in later achievement or increases in behaviour problem”. However, the general consensus is that the timing of when a mom returns to work is the major factor. It might be more beneficial to a child if their mom stays home within the first couple years of their upbringing.
When It May Be a Good Idea for You to Be a Stay-At-Home Mom
- Your spouse makes more than enough and it is not an obligation for you to work if you choose not too
- Your child-care expenses outweigh what you bring home (daycare, afterschool care, babysitting)
- You believe staying at home is best for your family based upon your circumstances and life choices
- You desire to homeschool your children
When It May Not Be a Good Idea for You to Be a Stay-At-Home Mom
- You are really struggling to make ends meet with one person’s income
- You feel lonely at home, anxiety and depressed (maybe your kids are all in school now or have moved out of the home or maybe you have kids at home during the day but you still experience these feelings)
- You desire to work outside of the home
So Is Being a Stay-at-Home Mom a Good Idea?
To recap, the question “Is Being a Stay-At-Home Mom a Good Idea?” This will depend on your situation & desire & “considering your personal beliefs, priorities, finances, and lifestyle”, to decided if this is the best decision for you and your family. And remember moms, you birthed those children. Don’t feel pressure to go out to work because everyone else is doing it.
Resources Used in this Article
Verywellfamily.com – On What Research Says about Being a Stay at Home Mom
Momjunction.com – On the benefits and drawbacks of being a stay-at-home mom
Today.com – Do Moms Who Stay Home Have Smarter Kids
Dailymail.co.uk – Children’s Education and Stay-At-Home Moms
apa.org (American Psychological Society – Working Moms Feel Better than Stay at Home Moms
She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness (Proverbs 31:27).