So you’ve decided to become a stay-at-home mom (or are thinking about it anyway). If so, one question will repeatedly pop up in your head, “Will I regret quitting my job to be a stay-at-home mom?”
The truth is, only YOU can answer that question. But to help you navigate your answer, I’ll give you the pros and cons of staying home with your kids. I’ll also highlight some real experiences of moms who chose to stay at home with their children. So let’s dive in!
Why It’s Good to Become a Stay-At-Home Mom
If you quit your job to become a stay-at-home mom, here is everything you’ll be able to enjoy:
- Quality time with your children
- Greater control of your children’s upbringing
- Less stress
- Social support activities
- Lower daycare expenses
Quality time with your children
One of the main reasons a working mom wants to stay home is so she can spend quality time with her children. In America today, at least 24% of mothers quit their jobs to stay home with their children.
You will feel a sense of satisfaction if you spend more time with your children, whether they are toddlers, pre-teens, or even teens. What’s more, if you’re at home, you have more hands-on time with them. You will be there for each milestone, whether it’s saying their first word, hearing their first laugh, watching their first step, and much more.
As you spend your days taking care of your children, you will also grow a strong bond and great relationship that you might not get if you’re always out working. A mom from Reddit wrote this:
“It’s the best thing in the world! I love seeing all the moments I would have missed at work.”
“Will I regret quitting my job to be a stay-at-home mom?” If your number one priority is to spend time with your children, then no, you won’t regret it.
Greater control of your children’s upbringing
Pew Research Center’s Social and Demographic Trends did a survey that showed that 60% of children are better off with one stay-at-home parent. Another study revealed that 17% of children who spend most of their time in daycare have behavior problems.
Of course, you want to make sure that your child grows up to be a good and kind person. And sometimes that could mean making the hard decision to quit the workforce and be a stay at home mom.
If you raise them yourself, you’ll be the one to teach them everything they need to know before they go out into the world. You can make sure that they learn good behavior. Plus, you’ll be the one to influence them on wrong and right.
Another mom from Quora gave her take on this:
“Years 2 and 3 have been a lot more fun and satisfying, as his personality and the lessons I teach him are starting to come through.”
If you juggle motherhood and career, you’ll have a lot of stress in your life. What’s more, you’ll be getting less sleep and personal time. After giving your time to work, you’ll have to go home and give your time to your kids.
If you’re a SAHM (stay-at-home mom), you can greatly reduce your stress as you’ll only focus on one thing, caring for your children. I mean, that’s already a full-time job in itself. You don’t want to have 2 full-time jobs. Besides, you can find time for yourself during nap time. Or, once your child is asleep for the night, you can hit the hay yourself without worrying about what you need to do for work the next day.
So, is it better to be a working mom or stay at home mom? If we’re talking about sleep, less stress, and more personal time, then you won’t regret quitting your job.
Social support activities
Many stay-at-home moms say that they feel isolated when home alone. However, the good news is that you have more time to join social support activities. This will not only allow you to socialize with other work-from-home parents but also take part in parenting classes. So if you have no idea what you’re doing, these social support activities will be a great help.
A father from Quora says this:
“Many local communities have parent groups that offer support and resources for stay-at-home parents. These groups can provide a sense of community and can be a great way to connect with others who are facing similar challenges.”
You don’t have to isolate yourself if you make a decision to stay home with the kids. If you don’t have time, there are online groups that you can reach out to.
Read More: 20 Best Stay-at-Home Mom Income Ideas
Lower daycare expenses
In one survey, it was discovered that 59% of parents plan to spend $18,000 per child for child care. More than that, the same survey showed that 27% of household income goes to child care.
When you consider the stay-at-home mom vs working mom pros and cons, one BIG pro to staying home is that you significantly reduce daycare expenses. As you’re the one taking care of your child, there’s no need to hire a nanny or babysitter. There’s no need to put your child in a daycare, too. It will lift this big burden off your shoulders.
One honest mom tells her reason for quitting her job. “For me, it was not being able to afford child care anymore.”
Why You Might Regret Becoming a Stay at Home Mom
Let’s move on to the cons. You might regret the decision to become a stay-at-home mom for these reasons:
- Struggling to return to work
- Loss of income
- Loss of identity
- Feeling bored or guilty
- Feeling isolated
Struggling to return to the workforce
Let’s say your children are already all settled at school. What do you do then? At this point in your life, you might want to start working again, whether full-time work, part-time work, or work from home. However, you find it hard to pursue your career goals because of the employment gap or lack of motivation.
Someone in Quora said this about her mom who made the decision to be a stay-at-home mother:
“Now that we are gone and living our own lives, she still feels helpless and stuck. She has a masters degree but can’t return to the workforce. She does not believe she can contribute to society anymore in a meaningful way. She no longer knows her passions, and does not have kids to keep her busy.”
Loss of income
Here’s the hard reality: Parents who stay home with their kids won’t receive any income. That can put a lot of stress on the working parent. It may also mean you’ll have to give up some luxuries to save more for the bills. Even if you know you made the right choice to raise your children, you’ll still have moments where you’ll miss your paychecks.
Here’s what someone had to say about this matter on Reddit:
“I personally don’t like not having my own income- despite my finances’ paycheck being our money I still feel bad even though I know what I’m doing is just as important as making money.”
Another person gave her own experience:
“On the downside, my husband’s income was just not enough. We lived very frugally and while we managed, I would say it was one disadvantage.”
Read More: What To Do When You’re Broke And Unemployed.
Loss of identity
Yes, moments with your kids are super precious. However, you might find yourself in a constant state of changing nappies, cleaning, cooking, washing, changing nappies, cleaning, cooking, washing… Pretty soon, that’s all you’ll ever know. As you focus on your children and being a better mom, you might start to lose your identity. Many of today’s parents who stay home think that their entire life should revolve around their children.
“Stay-at-home mom was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I didn’t feel like I had my own space or my own identity outside of being “Isabel’s mom”. I also felt less able to connect with other people/friends in the working world.”
Feeling bored or guilty
If you can say, “I love my job!”, then you might feel bored being a caregiver and doing the housework. You’ll spend your time changing nappies and completing chores instead of advancing in your career. Here’s what one mom said on Reddit:
“I am just not a homebody and was concerned I would feel bored or unfulfilled, I’ve been working since I was 16 and I didn’t know how it would feel not to.”
Guilt is another feeling that might spring out of staying home with the kids. If you can’t do all the chores even if you spend your time at home, you might feel guilty. If you don’t help your partner earn income, you might feel guilty. Yes, even though being a full-time mom is just as important as any work, you might still feel that pang of guilt, for whatever reason.
If you’re extroverted and love socialization, it’s going to be very hard to be sitting at home and caring for the children. You’ll start to feel isolated as if it’s you against the world. Remember, a stay-at-home mom’s depression is real.
Here’s one mom’s take on depression:
“Even so I went through a depression where I felt like I no longer had a purpose. For me, it was hard to go from doing a job I liked and felt rewarded, to being a SAHM and it took time to refocus my purpose to raising my son, and then homeschool.”
Will I Regret Quitting My Job to Be a Stay-At-Home Mom?
When choosing stay at home mom or career, you have to go through the pros and cons carefully. It’s better if you talk about it with your partner.
If you feel like the pros outweigh the cons, then you wouldn’t trade anything for that special experience. But if you think that the cons will get to you greatly, then you might regret leaving your job. Again, only YOU can truly answer the question, “Will I regret quitting my job to be a stay-at-home mom?”