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Top Ten Pros and Cons To Being A Stay Home Mom

Updated on March 21, 2013
Myself - Currently A Stay Home Mom
Myself - Currently A Stay Home Mom

Are you thinking about becoming a stay at home Mom (better known these days as a SAHM)? While being a SAHM is not for some, for others, it is truly a calling. There are definitely pros and cons to both sides, so if you are undecided, read this article to see if it will help you find some clarity.

Cons

  1. Tighter Budget: While you are definitely saving money on day care expenses when you decide to stay home, you are also now missing an entire salary for your family. If you made good money while working, you may notice the absence of it, and it could mean making some big changes in your family's budget.
  2. You Are Bored: If you loved the challenge of working outside the home, and prided yourself on never missing a deadline, you might find yourself bored with the hum-drum of life staying home with your children. It can definitely be fast paced, but singing nursery rhymes and reading "Goodnight Moon" will certainly not stretch your intellectual abilities.
  3. Your Self Esteem Can Suffer: Some women feel lowered self esteem and/or symptoms of depression when they decide to stay home. A lot of women miss having a need to dress up and look nice for work. Women who were complimented/praised often for their work may also feel a decreased sense of happiness when becoming a SAHM.
  4. Your Child Lacking Socialization: A large concern I had when I decided to make the leap to stay home with my family, was how the transition would affect my children's social skills. There is a definite advantage of daycare; how it exposes your child to other kids, how it helps condition your little one to being away from you, and how it can allow them to have new/different experiences.
  5. No Sick/Personal Days Offered: Jobs outside the home often offer sick and/or personal days. Back when I was a "working" Mom, I remember calling in sick to work a time or two, having Daddy drop the kids off at daycare, and getting a chance to sleep and/or rest myself for the day so I could feel better. Now that I am a SAHM, I am forced to tough it out when feeling ill. There is definitely no calling in sick (or tired, or crabby, or menstrual!!). I have had the stomach flu and been forced to vomit with my youngest child locked in the bathroom with me (disgusting I know, but better than risking him getting hurt left unattended!!) I have gone to swimming lessons with a migraine, played princesses feeling like death warmed over, and told bedtimes stories through a sore and scratchy throat. Life never stops, so neither can a SAHM!!
  6. No Breaks: Along with no sick/vacation days, there is also little break time for SAHMs. You are followed to the bathroom, hung on when making meals, and climbed all over the second you (try) to sit down. If you are lucky enough to have a child (or children) who nap, you may get a short break, but more often than not, that is used for showering or other necessities, rather than any relaxation.
  7. Responsible For More Than Just Kids: Most SAHMs are not just responsible for taking care of the children. Housework is a lot of the time part of the deal; cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc.... If that is not your bag, then you may want to reconsider your decision.
  8. You Miss Adult Interaction: You can feel very isolated being a SAHM. If you come recently from the work place, you can very much feel a void for adult interaction and conversation.
  9. Worry For Your Future: Whether you are planning to stay home for one year, or for ten, many Moms have the worry about how they will get back into the work force once it is time. Fear of losing your "smarts," lacking new skills, or being considered "washed up," are all natural feelings for SAHMs.
  10. YOU Are Raising Your Child: At the end of the day, the burden of child raising falls on your shoulders. This can be stressful, as you may put unnecessary pressure on yourself for your children to turn out a certain way. It can cause anxiety if your child does have behavior problems and you start blaming yourself.

Pros

  1. Less Worry: For me, one of the largest draws for wanting to stay home was less worry about my children. Quality day cares can be hard to find, and there are always those horror stories you hear from family, friends, and the media.
  2. No Missing Out On Any "Firsts": So many parents dream of seeing their child take their first step, say their first word, or lift their mouth in that first adorable smile. A huge advantage of being a SAHM is that you are, more than likely, there for all of those important first moments!
  3. Saving On Daycare Expenses: Truth of the matter... daycare is EXPENSIVE. When I was working full time, my family was paying near $27,000/year for both my kids to be cared for. For a lot of Moms, it is not even worth it to work once you have a certain number of kids needing care and/or, you are just working to pay for the day care expense.
  4. Meet New Friends: Another advantage to being a SAHM is the ability to meet new friends. There a lots of "Mommy" networks and/or local groups you can join for support. It is nice to have a group of friends that understand your life, and you can make some great lifelong relationships.
  5. No Dress Code: While some might miss dressing up and looking nice each day, there are definite advantages of being able to stay in your pjs all day long! When it's cold, dark, and rainy, it's a great feeling to be able to just stay snuggled up at home.
  6. Healthier Kids: Day care can expose your children to new experiences, it's true, however, they can also expose them to many more germs. If your children are home with you, chances are, they will stay much healthier.
  7. More Time For Home Maintenance: For some, household chores are an added nuisance of the SAHM job. Others, myself included, appreciate having a bit of extra time for things around the house. When I was a working Mom, things like laundry and grocery shopping were done on the weekend. Now that I am home, it is great that I can get them done during the week, so we can save Saturdays and Sundays for fun. I also appreciate having more time to cook/prepare meals for my family.
  8. Well Adjusted/Attached Child: While a concern for a child with a SAHM developing separation anxiety and/or not being socialized is natural, there are many ways to avoid this. You can join play groups, enroll your children in extracurricular activities, and attend free local events to both give your child exposure to kids their own age, and time away from you. There are studies that show that children who have SAHMs can be just as well adjusted as kids in daycare, and often times benefit from a great attachment with their Moms.
  9. No Set Schedule: One of the wonderful benefits of being a SAHM is not having a set schedule. While you may have general guidelines (attending play group on Mondays, grocery shopping on Wednesdays, etc...), it is nice to have the option to head to the zoo when it's nice out, or have a picnic in the park, just because you want to.
  10. YOU Are Raising Your Child: Just as much as you may feel some negative pressure of your kids development resting on your shoulders, you can also think of that in a very positive light. Any time your child learns a new skill, acts selflessly, or speaks kindly, you can smile and think that it might just be because of you!

The fact of the matter is that there is likely no perfect way to parent... there are just many different options. Each family needs to evaluate their own situation; finances, needs, and desires, and decide what will work best for them.

Is it better to be a Stay-Home-Mom or a Working Mother?

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    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Great stuff with the many pros and cons of being a stay at home mom, it is challenging and always something to take care of.

    • dearmommy profile image
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      dearmommy 4 years ago

      Thanks DDE... there are definite ups and downs with it, for sure. :)

    • vandynegl profile image

      vandynegl 4 years ago from Ohio Valley

      Thanks for writing this! It's get you thinking about your choices! I have to say that $27,000 is a crap load of money for daycare! I have YET to make that much in one year!! Ha ha! I know that a big stressor for me when I was working was when my kids had snow days or THEY were sick. It was hard to re-arrange my work schedule, and I never had a Plan B since everyone else around me worked. Another thought too, housework is part of the stay at home deal. If you work, who does it? Mine never got done when I worked and I felt even more chaotic from this! You also mentioned some people worrying about their skills lacking when they decide to return to work later on. I always suggest utilizing their non-mom skills, such as writing, gardening, painting, or even making homemade products. This also helps in the self-esteem area!

      Thanks again!

    • dearmommy profile image
      Author

      dearmommy 4 years ago

      Thank you for the great feedback vandynegl!!! Yes, daycare is so expensive... I don't think some even realize how expensive. And you have to make that AFTER taxes, not before, for it to be worth it!!! I had a lot of issues with needing time off when I worked too; kids sick, daycare closed, etc.... Thankfully my job and daycare were both flexible, but it still wears on you. Great suggestion for utilizing working skills... I guess that I why I became a hubber. :) Thanks again for reading!!!

    • Careermommy profile image

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      dearmommy, this is a great, informative hub. I don't think I've read such a detailed pros and cons list regarding SAHM's before and this was very thorough.

    • dearmommy profile image
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      dearmommy 4 years ago

      Careermommy - thank you so much for that wonderful feedback. I appreciate you reading, and your comments!! :)

    • Careermommy profile image

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      You're welcome dearmommy, it really was an awesome hub!

    • Lizam1 profile image

      Lizam1 4 years ago from Victoria BC

      I truly believe that children and families are so much better off if the children are able to be at home with one parent at least until theage of three. Whilst it may be financially challenging, the bond and sense of importance created in the child or children of a stay home parent, even a part time stay home parent is really beneficial as they grow and develop. As a single mother I chose to have an in home daycare so that I was at home until my youngest was able to enter full time kindergarten. This were and are treasured memories. It is a shame on governments and communities and employers that the role of parents staying at home to care for their young is not valued.

    • dearmommy profile image
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      dearmommy 4 years ago

      Great opinion Lizam1... and HUGE props to you for being a single Mom and going through all those challenges!! Thanks for the post!!

    • KoraleeP profile image

      Koralee Phillips 4 years ago from Vernon British Columbia Canada

      Your article is very conclusive and I'm sure you've covered everything. My children are 11 years apart, but born on the same day. While they were growing up I was a part-time stay at home mom. So I suppose I got to experience the pros to a certain extent, except I did miss a few firsts :(.

    • dearmommy profile image
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      dearmommy 4 years ago

      Thanks KoraleeP!!! That is so fun to have the same birthday... must make birthday parties easy. :) Thanks for reading!!

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      This is a great article and you have covered so many pros and cons. If I had it to do all over again, I would definitely have stayed home until our daughter was in kindergarten, or at least a 4 year old program. So many families get so busy with their lives that they overlook what is really the most important. Our children develop their personalities and so many skills in the first few years. I think it is important for at least one of the parents to be the ones teaching their children. I know it is not always possible, especially in this economy. Great hub, very well done! Vote up and interesting! :)

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I was a stay at home most of my child's life and do not regret the sacrifices made. I think the list of pros far outweights the cons. Great post and very inspiring for those who desire to be at home with children.

    • dearmommy profile image
      Author

      dearmommy 4 years ago

      Thanks sgbrown and teaches. While I listed the cons, I am obviously an advocate for the pros. I would not trade the time I have with my kids for anything in the world. We have had to make some family sacrifices and budget cuts, but I feel so blessed it was even an option for me to be home. Thanks to you both for reading!!!!

    • april holland profile image

      April Savage 4 years ago from Florida

      Great article!!

    • dearmommy profile image
      Author

      dearmommy 4 years ago

      Thanks April!! Glad you enjoyed and thanks for reading. :)

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 4 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      I chose to stay at home with my kids when they were young and I don't regret it! And now that they are adults they both told me that they appreciated that I was at home until they were full time at school.

      But I can totally understand that for some women they need to work outside the home not especially for the money but because they feel more balanced that way.

      I think each person has to find the best solution to live with.

      I like your list of pros and cons! Great hub!

    • BOGOBabies profile image

      Emily 4 years ago from Florida

      Everything you wrote here is so true! I have been a stay-at-home mom with my twins for 8 months now, because I can't figure out how I would manage to work and raise them. I definitely feel the humdrum blues and antsy to be around other adults. But I love being with them all day. And I love knowing they are safe. And I would not trade seeing every single new development as it happens. So well written!

    • dearmommy profile image
      Author

      dearmommy 4 years ago

      Thanks kidcrafts... it's a decision I think some feel are easy, but it can be a struggle. I think I fight with this daily, myself. While I adore being home, and stand by the fact that it was the best decision for me and my family, I do have worries about what the future will hold and if I will be able to get back into the very tough job market when I need to, with the skills I once had, but haven't used!! :) Thanks for the thoughts!!!

    • dearmommy profile image
      Author

      dearmommy 4 years ago

      Thanks BOGOBabies. Love your name (lol) and BLESS YOU for having twins and staying sane. I look forward to checking out your hubs, and nice to meet another stay home Mama. We will have to keep in touch!!! :) Thanks for reading!!

    • profile image

      SuzWrites 4 years ago

      I am a stay at home mum and totally agree with the reference to making new friends through your child. Some of my closest friends are ones I made at playgroup and the early days of primary school. Being a stay at home mum is also valuable in the teenage years. Being home when they need help with the homework or just need to talk about their school day is valuable. I now run my own business from home, allowing me to be available for my teenager. She appreciates it!

    • dearmommy profile image
      Author

      dearmommy 4 years ago

      Thanks SuzWrites!! Interesting thoughts on being around for the teenage years. I always think of the value in the younger years, but that is great perspective. Glad you are reading!! :)

    • profile image

      Maghen Warren 3 years ago

      What is your first and last name? I am trying to site your article for a research paper on childcare! :)

    • Jennifer Mugrage profile image

      Jennifer Mugrage 22 months ago from Columbus, Ohio

      Thank you for this. It is a well-balanced article. I am a SAHM and so was my Mom. She had a degree, worked until I was born, then renewed her degree & went back to work after her kids were grown.

      I think disadvantage #5 is toughest. I have been lucky to have pretty good health so far, but if my health ever took a turn for the worse, my kids would suffer from a much-diminished Mom.

      About finances, you have been on both sides of this and I haven't. I recently read a book called The Two-Income Trap, which said that when a family has committed both their incomes to ongoing expenses (such as mortgage), they are much more vulnerable financially than a one-income family. The odds of someone losing their job are higher, and at the same time, they don't have a non-working member they can throw into the workforce in an emergency. Counterintuitive, but I do recommend the book.

      I do think the inclusion of the poll slightly undermines the balanced tone of the article. First you tell us (rightly) that each choice has pros & cons, and that each family has to make their own decision, and then you ask us to declare which way is the better way. (Maybe you mean "better for you personally.") I didn't vote in the poll or even look at its results. But it is a good Hub.

    • kiddiecreations profile image

      N Kiddie 2 months ago

      Great hub! I've worked and brought my child with me (as a nanny). It was different because while I was making an income, I was also able to stay with my child, which was a great blessing. However, since having my second son, I have been able to stay at home with both of them and not work, and that's been very nice, too. Now I do have to watch my spending though, which can be tough when you're at home all day with the kids and want to go and do things... which usually equals spending money! I'm trying to be good about saving by just taking them to the park, bible study (they have childcare there), beach, etc... things that don't cost anything. Or sometimes we just stay home and work on crafts or color with chalk, or play in the water table in the backyard. It's great to be able to stay with them, but definitely gets mundane at times, so I try to switch it up with different activities, as much as possible!

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