I am not sure that everyone battles with this decision, but I sure as heck did. Some people just know they are destined to be a stay at home mom or they are meant to work. I did not have the luxury of knowing. I worked my butt off in college to get a B.S. in Biology and my aspirations at that immature time in my life were great…you know, I was going to cure cancer or something magnificent. I was a dreamer, I always have been a dreamer, and I will most likely always be a dreamer.
Now back to reality.
I got a job at a children’s hospital, one of the best in the nation with dreams of working with children and curing diseases, but instead I was stuck in a lab and wasn’t working with any kids. I was not very happy in my job at that time and my husband knew it. So when I became pregnant, my husband was actually the one to suggest staying at home.
Now, staying at home was kind of a weird stretch of imagination for me. Along with my dreams of curing cancer, I also saw myself making lots of money, moving to San Diego to leading a healthy life of kayaking on the bay each morning and eating a vegetarian diet. Not once had the idea of staying home occurred to me. But the more I worked at my job where I was bored to tears every day, the more I realized I didn’t want to do it anymore and it may be time for a change.
As I stated above, this was not an easy decision. I had a lot to consider…
- Do I give up all of my career and life aspirations to stay at home cooking and cleaning?
- Do I even have the patience and know how to raise a child on my own?
- Did I want to sacrifice vacations, new clothes and decorating my house because of having less money?
- Could we actually live on one income?
- Why was my husband so interested in me staying home? Did he want me to be like his mom who stayed at home?
But once my baby was born and I was able to see her and spend time with her, my decision became easier. I still had some doubts, but in the end, I decided that staying home for a little while would be a good thing and here are some of the reasons.
The Pros of Staying Home
NO GOING TO WORK! YEA!
As I said above, I hated my job, so staying at home was an obvious choice in that regard. Don’t get me wrong, being a SAHM is work, but you are doing it all for different reasons. You do it for your family, which, in my opinion, is much more rewarding than doing it for a pay check.
NO WORK STRESS
You have no deadlines to meet. You are your own boss (well, maybe your kids are your boss!). You have no commute. You have no coworkers. Obviously these things could be pros or cons to you, but they were definitely all pros to me.
NO CHILDCARE PAYMENTS
If you are not working, you do not spend the money on daycare or babysitting. There is no running around in the mornings trying to get your kids dressed and fed and in the car on time. You don’t even have to think about getting your kids somewhere in the morning because they just stay there with you! How relaxing! (possibly!)
NOBODY ELSE IS RAISING YOUR CHILD
I know this may sound like a weird PRO, but this was actually one of the biggest deciding factors for me to stay home. I did not want my child going to daycare where they are getting hit by the class bully or being taught words that I did not approve of. I wanted to be the person to teach my child the morals and values that I wanted them to learn. I wanted to hug them when they got hurt and teach them respect and compassion. I wanted to teach them their ABC’s and to 123’s. I didn’t realize this when I made the decision to stay at home, but I do now. I wanted to raise them and be a part of who they become.
TIME WITH MY KIDS
This is the number one reason I stayed home. I didn’t want to miss the first words or first steps or first smile or first funny face. And as I stayed home longer and longer I realized there were so many more firsts that I didn’t want to miss. Not just the firsts when they are babies or the first day of preschool or elementary school, but things that nobody really thinks of until they experience it. The first time they throw a ball for the dog, the first time they make a joke or laugh at one of yours, the first time they say a cuss word (Woops! Yes this did happen and I will never forget how blasé my child was when they said it!) Some are good and some are bad, but they are all what create the memories that I hold so close to my heart and will cherish forever.
I had planned on listing a bunch of CONS, but maybe that will be a different list on a day that I am not feeling so full of love. For now, I would like to leave you with the happiness that I am feeling right now. I stayed at home because I didn’t like my job, but after being home for 11 years, though there have been many ups and downs to this life, I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world!
Please comment below on your SAHM decisions!
Thanks for Reading!