The Benefits of a Being a Stay at Home Mom

This is part 2 of an email I sent to my sister when she was contemplating becoming a stay-at-home mom. If you are weighing your options, be sure to also check out the Costs of Becoming a Stay-at-Home Mom.

Here are the benefits from my personal experience:

Benefits for Mom
>>You may have time to develop hobbies. Maybe you always wanted to make towel animals. Well, now you may have the time to figure it out. It's a little like retirement, but with little ones along for the ride.

>>You don't have to dress up for work. You can wear whatever you want, whenever you want.

>>You get to make your own schedule. You can be as organized or disorganized as you want. It's your show! And you are running it.

>>You don't have to worry about what your child is learning or seeing at daycare. You don't have to worry about the daycare changing your child's schedule (e.g. they let the baby nap all day long so he's up all night with you!) You don't have to worry about someone harming or neglecting your child during the day.

>>You have complete control over what your children see, eat, and experience (at least for a few years.)

>>You will have more time to focus on household duties

>>You can find time for exercise (yes you can!!)

>>You may be less stressed? You may be able to juggle all the household jobs that all moms have (whether working or not) a little easier since you won't have deadlines, a boss breathing down your neck, or untold hours stuck in an office.

>>If you have a rough night with one of your children (e.g. baby crying all night, child up vomiting all night) you can adjust your schedule the next day to recuperate a bit.

>>You get to watch your babies grow and experience every milestone with them. You are their primary teacher and you set the stage for what they can achieve.

>>You will not have to juggle and struggle to find childcare or other help when someone is home sick from school, or your daycare provider is ill, or school is canceled for weather.

>>You should have enough time to make dinner without a frazzled, hurried rush.

>>You may never need to drive in rush hour traffic.

>>You will not have a boss or coworker issues to deal with.

>>You may not have any huge, all-consuming projects to work on that will take your focus and attention, so you can be present with your kids.

>>You can have all your energy focused toward home so you are less apt to be short with your family and less likely to be stressed out.

Benefits for the husband
>>Imagine never having to cook, clean, do laundry, go grocery shopping, fight with the insurance company, worry if your mom's birthday card was sent..... Yep, that's my husband's life (with the full financial burden part and harried SAHM in need of adult conversation added.)

It's probably like having a personal assistant....that lives at your house. How annoying is it when your dishwasher breaks down and you have to take time off work to meet with the repairman? Have a stay-at-home mom? Then consider it covered. Insurance company refusing to pay for your child's check-up? Stay-at-home mom to the rescue! Socks magically back where you found them yesterday? You guessed it, Stay-at-home mom.

>>You may be there to continuously cheer him on and focus entirely on his career aspirations. Like a career advisor and recruiter all wrapped up into one!

>>He may feel really good about his capabilities as sole provider for the family.

>>He can go to work and only think about work. He does not have to worry about childcare or what happens if someone gets sick (or school closes etc.) {I'm pretty sure this isn't the same for working moms, something inside me says they get to worry whether they're working or not.}

>>Most household things and most small annoying details are taken care of so he can focus on hobbies, work, and himself.

>>The house is most likely cleaner than if both parents were working (without having to pay for it.)

Benefits for the Children
>>They may get a better education at home. The ratio is certainly better (usually, lol.) And a mom generally cares a lot about what and how their children are learning.

>> They can have regular playdates with friends they like.

>>They can have a lot of unscheduled free time.

>>Their lives don't have to be as structured and scheduled. They most likely don't have to be rushed out of bed and out the door to beat the traffic.

>>They get a lot of time to spend with mom.

>>They get a chance to deal with boredom. Let's face it, life can be boring. And I think it's a good thing for kids to get a chance to learn how to deal with it.

>>You have ample time to instill your family values.

>>Mom is always available to help, teach, play, etc.

>>Mom most likely cares for them and shows them love like noone else can.

Benefits for the world
>>Mom and kids can help clean up the neighborhood and focus on recycling.

>>Mom and kids can spend time lobbying others to get involved in all sorts of worthwhile causes.

>>Mom may drive around less, causing less pollution and use of resources.

Benefits for the community
>>Mom is around as an extra set of eyes to see neighborhood behavior.

>>Mom may have time to encourage (or relentlessly call) city officials, senators, other people to act appropriately.

>>Moms at home are almost always available to help a child in need or thwart bad behavior.

>>You can provide a safe home for children whose parents aren't home when they get off the bus or if an emergency comes up during the day.

>>Mom and kids may be available to volunteer.

>>Mom has more opportunity to build strong ties with neighbors and other moms to have a network of freinds for safety and support.

Benefits for the family
>>There is more time available for quality time with mom and children.

>>Mom is more available to be involoved in children's activities and interests.

>>Mom can focus more on the home, making things easier for everyone else in the family.

>>Mom may have more time & interest in making healthy meals.

>>Mom can most likely be counted on to remember all birthdays, anniversaries, etc

Financial Benefits
>>Take a look at The Two Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Mothers and Fathers Are Going Broke. According to this book, having one parent at home is like having a spare worker on the sidelines.

If something were to happen, mom is at home ready to work. I completely agree. When you are living on one income, you always have an ace up your sleeve with mom able to enter the workforce if needed. This book had some great info. It's a good read for single and dual income families. It will give you a sense of what's currently wrong in our society right now (economically speaking) and what to do about it to protect your family.

>>Mom may be able to make money on the side without compromising her stay-at-home status.

>>You may save a bunch on buying and drycleaning work clothes, commuting costs (gas, tolls, parking, car wear & tear, and eating out) and other work related expenses.

>>Mom may have more time to shop for deals and cood from scratch... possibly saving money.

>>No or little child care costs (daycare, after school care, nannies)

>>No office Christmas parties or gift contributions on mom's end.

>>Possible tax savings if your incomes combined bump you into a new tax bracket or make you ineligible for certain deductions and credits.

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HeartsMakeFamilies said...

Wow what a great article. Although I think you should cover the downfalls as well. Like for instance, the kids never go away if they don't go to daycare. You are begging for an adult to talk to by the end of the day.

Thankfully Thrifty said...

This is great! Thanks for covering this! I'm with ya!

Shawna said...

Great post! I am a SAHM as well and gave up 50k a year to raise my children myself. My husband is the bread winner for our family but he still thought we would really miss My income. We haven't! This was the best move for our family and indeed I am the CEO of our household. I could easily spend all of my "9-5" time taking care of my 2 children, clean, organize, shop for necessities, cook, plan meals, drop off/pick up at pre-school, and a million other things. I do spend time on myself, in between naps and when I swap childcare with a friend. I am an active member and on the board for my MOMS Club® and take full advantage of our awesome community center. The kids have PLENTY of interaction with other children and minimal sickness since they are not at daycare 5 days a week. Read this recommended book if you are struggling to see how this can work for you and your family. It's invaluable time spent!!

Anonymous said...

Angela, thanks for this and the other article about this topic. I wish I could be a SAHM or at least a WAHM. Unfortunately I am the main breadwinner in my family and without my income, our finances would crumble. I'm still hoping one day...

Andrea @ Bringing Basics Back said...

Thank you for posting this more positive side of being a full-time mommy! I find myself focusing more on the "costs" of being home with the kids and I need to focus more on the GOOD aspects!! Although, right now they are ages 1 and 2 1/2, so I'm am kind of in that stage where they both need me at once! ; )
Thank you for reminding me of the good points!

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