If you were to ask people for their opinions on stay-at-home moms (SAHMs) and stay-at-home dads (SAHDs), you would likely receive a range of responses.
Some individuals may suggest that these parents have an easy life or that spending all day with their children would be dull.
Others may view them as being idle or not making significant contributions to society.
On the other hand, some people argue that choosing to be a stay-at-home parent is a commendable decision and that it represents a noble, valuable sacrifice to care for their children every day.
If you are considering becoming a stay-at-home parent, the most important factor to consider is what is best for your family.
Therefore, you should first and foremost think about your personal beliefs, priorities, finances, and lifestyle.
However, there is also a considerable amount of research available on the topic that you can utilize when making your decision. The findings on life as a stay-at-home parent might be surprising.
Parents are faced with the decision of whether to work full-time outside of the home or stay at home.
Your parenting philosophy, goals, and available resources are all factors that can aid you in determining whether being a stay-at-home parent is the appropriate choice for you.
This article presents an overview of some of the facts and figures that illustrate the advantages and disadvantages of being a stay-at-home parent.
Is it beneficial to be a stay-at-home mom
Deciding to leave your job and become a stay-at-home parent is a significant choice that can be accompanied by concerns about transitioning to a one-income household.
This change can also be a substantial lifestyle shift, leading you to feel uncertain about your decision.
Not only mothers can benefit from being stay-at-home parents; in fact, any parent looking after their child at home can experience the advantages of it.
Being able to spend quality time with their little one, getting to know them better, and having a greater emotional bond are all amazing benefits that should be taken into account by both moms & dads.
- Being able to spend more time with your children:
As a stay-at-home mom, you have the opportunity to spend more quality time with your children, which can strengthen your relationship and help you understand their needs and interests.
- Having greater control over your daily schedule and routine:
You have the flexibility to create a schedule and routine that works for you and your family, allowing you to prioritize your children’s needs and activities.
- Being able to provide more personalized and attentive care to your children:
You can offer your children more personalized and attentive care, as you are available to address their needs and provide emotional support throughout the day.
- Avoiding the costs associated with childcare services:
By staying at home, you can save on the costs of daycare, babysitters, or nannies, which can be expensive for families.
- Creating a more consistent and stable home environment for your children:
By being present and maintaining a consistent routine, you can provide a stable and secure environment for your children, which can help them feel safe and comfortable.
- Having more opportunities to instill your values and beliefs in your children:
As a stay-at-home mom, you have more opportunities to impart your values and beliefs to your children, which can shape their character and worldview.
- Being able to participate in more of your children’s activities and events:
You have the flexibility to attend your children’s events and activities, such as sports, extracurriculars, and school functions, which can make a significant changes in their lives.
- Having the ability to tailor your children’s educational experiences to their needs:
You can design educational experiences and activities that cater to your children’s learning styles and interests, which can help them thrive academically and personally.
- Reducing the stress associated with juggling work and family responsibilities:
By staying at home, you can avoid the stress of juggling work and family responsibilities, allowing you to focus more on your family’s needs.
- Developing stronger bonds with your children:
Being present and involved in your children’s lives can strengthen your bond and create a lasting connection that can positively impact your relationship for years to come.
What Research Says
Despite the strides made towards gender equality, society has a lot of opinions on the topic of mothers who work. Even today, there are beliefs that the family dynamic is negatively impacted when mothers work outside the home.
A survey conducted by Pew Research in 2013 found that 51% of respondents believed that children would benefit more if their mothers stayed at home and did not hold a job. In contrast, only 34% of respondents believed that children would do just as well if their mothers worked.
A Harvard study conducted recently analyzed data from two cross-national social surveys that involved more than 100,000 men and women from 29 countries.
The study found that children of working moms are just as happy as those of stay-at-home moms, thus alleviating concerns about the effect of working moms on their children’s happiness.
Having a working mom could come with potential benefits for adult children. Some research suggests that working moms offer their children some advantages when compared to stay-at-home moms.
- Stay-at-home moms report higher levels of emotional well-being:
Studies have shown that mothers who stay at home report higher levels of emotional well-being and experience less depression and anxiety than mothers who work outside the home.
- Children of stay-at-home moms may have better outcomes:
Some research suggests that children of stay-at-home moms may have better outcomes in terms of academic achievement, social skills, and emotional well-being.
- Stay-at-home moms may face social isolation:
Staying at home with children can be a lonely experience, as it can limit social interactions and opportunities for personal growth and development. This can impact the mental health of stay-at-home moms.
- Returning to work after staying at home can be challenging:
Women who have been out of the workforce for an extended period may face challenges when re-entering the job market. This can include difficulties finding employment, earning lower salaries, and facing a loss of confidence and skills.
- Stay-at-home moms may face financial challenges:
Staying at home can be costly, as it often means sacrificing a regular income and benefits. This can impact long-term financial security and stability for both the mother and the family as a whole.
What are the statistics says about being a stay-at-home mom?
Around 36% of mothers who are married and have children between the ages of 0 and 3 do not have employment outside of their homes.
Comparatively, the percentage is slightly lower (26%) for unmarried mothers with children in the same age group. However, as their children get older, mothers are more inclined to work full-time.
The evolving situations of mothers have significant consequences for the well-being of the country’s children.
Presently, around 28% of children (equivalent to 21.1 million) in the United States are being brought up by a mother who chooses to stay at home.
This percentage has increased from 24% (17.3 million children) in 2000 among the total population of 74.2 million individuals under 18 years old.
What is so hard about being a stay-at-home mom?
Never underestimate the difficulties that stay-at-home moms face daily. Recent research indicates that many individuals consider staying home with children to be more challenging than going to work.
AVEENO Baby commissioned a survey of over 1,500 parents, which revealed that a significant percentage of respondents found being at home more arduous than going into the office.
According to the survey, 22% of respondents were never able to finish a cup of tea after becoming a parent, 33% were always eating with one hand, and 38% found it challenging to go to the bathroom in peace.
Additionally, 41% of participants believed that having a baby brought them and their partner closer, while 43% were surprised to discover that leaving the house would feel like a military operation.
Almost a third of the respondents were shocked to find that staying at home with a child is more challenging than going to work.
Furthermore, 45% of the participants stated that they relied on advice from their mother, despite having taken classes and read books on parenting.
The survey reveals that being a stay-at-home mom is incredibly challenging, and society should acknowledge and appreciate the difficulties these women face.
Reasons not to be a stay-at-home mom
Choosing to become a stay-at-home mom or wife can be an incredibly fulfilling and satisfying experience.
However, it’s not the right choice for everyone, and it may not be suitable for you. Understanding the regrets of other stay-at-home moms can help you make a more informed decision.
Here are some of the most common reasons why being a stay-at-home mom may not be the right choice:
- Loss of income:
Staying at home to care for children means giving up the income you would have earned if you continued to work outside the home. This can put a strain on your family’s finances, and you may have to make sacrifices in other areas to make ends meet.
- Limited social interaction:
Being a stay-at-home mom can be isolating, especially if you don’t have many friends or family members nearby. It can be difficult to connect with other adults when you’re home all day with young children.
- Lack of career advancement:
Taking time away from work can make it difficult to advance in your career, and it may be harder to re-enter the workforce when you’re ready to go back to work. This can be especially challenging if you’ve been out of the workforce for several years.
- Increased stress:
Staying at home with children can be stressful, and it can be challenging to balance the demands of parenting with other responsibilities. Without a break from your caregiving duties, you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed and burned out.
- Limited personal fulfillment:
While being a stay-at-home mom can be rewarding, some women may find that it doesn’t provide the same level of personal fulfillment as working outside the home. Without the intellectual and creative stimulation that work can provide, some women may feel unfulfilled or bored.
Will you regret quitting your job to be a stay-at-home mom?
The decision to become a stay-at-home mom presents a choice between two paths. One path offers moments of snuggling, reading books, singing lullabies, and going on daily adventures with your child. The other path offers career advancement, a deep sense of accomplishment, and a paycheck.
If you anticipate regret, you may worry about the challenges of returning to your career, as well as the lack of socialization or income that can come with staying at home. On the other hand, you may imagine missing important milestones and experiencing tearful daycare drop-offs.
Both choices have their pros and cons, and each option requires trade-offs. The truth is that there may be moments of utter joy, sadness, and disappointment, no matter which path you choose. Both choices will lead to a mixed bag of feelings and emotions, and there is always the possibility of regrets.
If you’re hesitant about becoming a stay-at-home mom, it’s important to recognize that neither option leads to perfect results and that all major decisions in life involve compromise and sacrifice.
Many parents feel like they can’t win in today’s society, regardless of whether they carry a diaper bag or a briefcase all day. It’s important to recognize that every decision you make as a parent involves trade-offs, and it’s time to stop feeling like you’re failing.
While research can provide valuable insights, it’s important to remember that every family is unique, and the best decision for your family may not match what strangers, neighbors, relatives, or scientists believe.
Ultimately, it’s crucial to make a choice that’s right for you and your family and to honor what works best for your circumstances.
It’s also important to recognize that circumstances can change over time, and what may be best for your family now may not be the same in the future.
So, don’t get too caught up in societal pressures or the latest research. Focus on what’s right for you and your family, and know that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to parenting.