8 Reasons Why I Quit My Dream Job to Be a Stay At Home Mom

stay at home mom baby bookI did it. My mother did it. Her mother did it. Many of my friends did it, and I know countless other women who did it. Reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that 40% of mothers with children under age 6 are currently doing it.

Maybe you’re considering being a stay at home mom, too.

A year ago, I was faced with the dilemma of what to do with my life after I had my baby. Like many soon-to-be parents, I was approaching a crossroads and needed to decide the role I would play as the mother of my child.

Would I be a working mom who would continue to provide for my family and further advance my career, or would I stay at home as the full-time care provider? I was a successful industrial engineer who had graduated summa cum laude. Would I really just “throw it all away”?

Being a stay at home parent can be a very worthwhile experience for you and your child. You will, however, end up facing many important unforeseen possibilities. Life is unpredictable, but once you become a parent, you don’t get to be selfish anymore. You can’t bury your head in the sand about the consequences of major decisions.

Both paths were scary for me. Ultimately, I followed my heart and chose to stay home with my son. To make this difficult decision, I was forced to think long and hard about the benefits and the consequences of my choice.

You’ll make your own choice, and in that process, consider some of these pros, cons, and questions to ask. I wish I had all of this information to help me through the decision-making process so that I could listen to everyone’s stories and take in all of the advice available.

Pros: 8 Benefits of Staying at Home

1. I Commute No More
I live in the suburbs of Atlanta, but I worked close to the city limits. The commute was intense, so I tried to leave my house before the traffic started to build up and return home after the traffic died down. That increased the length of my work day, and my commute was still at least 45 minutes each way.

As much as I tried to maximize my commute time by making phone calls and listening to books on CD, it was still an hour and a half of unproductive time. By staying at home, I got an hour and a half a day back in my life. Especially with a baby, that’s a huge chunk of time!

2. We’re Spending Less Money
I was surprised how much money I spent just to get through the daily routine of having a job. Though my office’s standard attire was business causal, I did have to look presentable and wear professional clothing and makeup. We had fancy lunch meetings and various parties that required wedding and baby gifts. I even spent time and money on pot luck dinner preparation on a regular basis. On top of it all, I was filling up my car with a tank of gas every week, despite efforts to cut the cost of commuting to work.

If I went back to work, I’d have to hire someone for childcare, which is another significant expense. Instead, the only things I spend more money on as a stay at home mom are utilities, since I’m in the house more. One way that I’ve been able to cushion that blow is by taking advantage of various ways to make money on the side.

3. I Have More Time with Those I Care About
I was gone from my home from about 6:30 am to about 6:30 pm everyday when I was working. When I got home, I had to make dinner and take care of the house. It really didn’t leave me much time for myself or my friends and family.

Now that I’m staying at home, however, I meet my husband for lunch several times a week. Although I’m busy all day long, my schedule allows me to spend more time with my friends and family. Even though I don’t go to a workplace environment each day, I still get plenty of time to spend with adults as long as I make the effort.

4. My Baby Is Only a Baby Once
When I left my job, I was only six months away from being fully vested in the company’s pension plan. As much as I wanted to reach that goal, I did not want to work just for that. It would mean I would miss out on the first months of my child’s life, and I would never be able to get that back. Perhaps I will be fully vested and be able to receive pension one day if I decide to re-enter the workforce. But even if not, I still don’t regret my decision.

5. I’m Exploring New Career Possibilities
In college, I worked really hard to get my B.S. in industrial engineering. After graduating with highest honors, I was on track to have a great career. But after reflecting on my time as a stay at home parent, I learned that I also have other interests. I’ve enjoyed being an engineer, but there are plenty of other careers I would like to try out.

Pro Tip: Regardless of what you do, if you decide to re-enter the work force, be prepared for the prospect of having to once again start at the bottom of the totem pole. To keep from falling too far behind, stay active in business groups. You’ll have something current to put on your resume, and you’ll establish and maintain your career connections.

6. I Don’t Have to Split My Time
I enjoy not having to do it all. I feel that many women are often pressured into feeling that they must be both a mother and a career woman to be successful. This is certainly not true. I have cherished this time in my life when I don’t have to split my time, and I don’t have to be everything society tells me I need to be to be considered a successful woman.

7. I Savor the Pleasures of a Humble Lifestyle
I made a good living as an engineer. My husband and I had quite a bit of discretionary income, and we were able to buy pretty much whatever we wanted. Now our income is half of what it was, and we’ve had to make many adjustments to our spending habits.

It is humbling for me that I don’t bring home a big paycheck anymore, and it is humbling to not be able to spend money because we are on a strict household budget. However, I truly believe that humility is good for the soul, and I am becoming a better person because of it. I am learning the difference between needs and wants on a daily basis, as well as how to deal with income inequality in marriage.

8. I Appreciate the Unpredictability Factor
While it is great to live by a schedule, there is something about waking up and not knowing what is going to happen in your day. In fact, I look ahead at my life, and I don’t know what is going to happen in the upcoming months or years. As scary as that is, it’s also exhilarating. I am currently out of the rat race known as the workforce, and it is anything but monotonous.

mom child computer at home

Cons: 2 Important Questions to Ask Yourself

Those advantages are the pleasures, upsides, and silver linings of staying at home with a newborn or young child. Of course, there are some negatives to consider as well. Since you’ll face some serious financial and practical consequences, ask yourself these two general questions and consider the results.

1. Can You Afford It?
You might think it’s a simple and obvious question, but it’s actually a loaded and complicated one. Not only do you need to figure out if you can afford it on a monthly basis without your income, but you need to consider what it will cost you ultimately. Consider the more obscure financial losses of being a stay at home mom:

  • You’ll be financially vulnerable. Having two incomes provides a safety net should you or your spouse lose your job. With just one income you are risking financial disaster. That’s why it’s imperative that you have an emergency fund.
  • Your retirement fund stops growing. If you aren’t employed, then you’re not contributing to a company retirement plan, and nothing’s going toward your social security or pension plan. Sure, your spouse may be contributing to a plan, but even with a company matching program, you may not be saving enough to keep you afloat when the time comes.
  • Your employability quotient declines. For every day that you are not working outside the home, you are losing your appeal to potential employers. Your work skills become dated, and in this fast-paced technological world, you may become obsolete. Even though you’re working your butt off to provide for your family at home, employers don’t always find that particular type of work very appealing.

2. Are You Prepared Should the Unthinkable Happen?
This is a tough one for most of us to even think about, and it’s something many of us won’t face. The unthinkable is just that, unthinkable. But what if:

  • Your spouse becomes ill or disabled or dies. No matter how much we wish it weren’t so, life is not eternal and we are constantly susceptible to the fragility of our human bodies. You have to be financially prepared should any one of these happen. Finances might not be the first thing on your mind if you’re facing a sudden illness or death in the family, but when you face the practical issues, it’s a major financial problem.
  • Your spouse leaves you. While I don’t believe you should ever plan for a divorce since you should never marry someone if you believe that it’s even a possibility, unfortunately, many marriages do end in divorce. If your partner is the sole breadwinner of your household, he or she may just take all that bread with them. If divorce is impending, you may be stuck with nothing until it’s settled, leaving you with nothing. Spouses, both men and women, skip out on spousal and child support all the time. If this is a concern for you, consider having a financial plan should the unthinkable happen.
  • You leave your spouse. If you aren’t working then you have no income, but your living expenses and needs are immediate. It takes a second to walk out the door, but it could take months to find a job. This all being said, keep in mind that if you do work outside the home instead of staying home with the kids, there are added pressures involved in a two-income family lifestyle and less time available to spend as a family. This will only add tension to a strained relationship whereas staying at home may help alleviate those tensions and prevent a divorce.

Final Word

The “what-ifs” of being a stay at home mom are hard to face and equally as hard to talk about. Leaving your job to stay at home is a big decision that you shouldn’t make lightly. Life is hard and unexpected, but it can also be great, as long as you take the time to consider your options and protect yourself and those you love.

Ultimately, being a stay at home parent is what you make of it. You can even make it into something profitable with side business ideas even if you are not receiving a paycheck? I have, and there is not a day that I ever regret the wonderful decision I made.

Are you a stay at home parent? How did you prepare for your new role and what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced?

  • http://www.retireby40.org Joe

    I would love to be a stay at home dad, but our finance doesn’t permit it at this time. :(
    My wife will take a 12 weeks unpaid maternity leave and I’ll overlap that with my 12 weeks sabbatical. At least we’ll have a bit of baby time. I wish the maternity leave in the US is more generous.
    It’s great to hear about your successful transition!

    • Casey Slide

      Yes, I wish the US was more generous. 12 weeks is just not enough. Good luck to you and your family!

  • http://www.debt-tips.com/blog/item/what-are-the-best-forums-for-credit--debt-help Kris

    Great decision! If only all of us could at least work from home. I was a stay at home dad for a few years (while trying to build a home business) and while the business didn’t work out, i still have great memories spending time with my oldest kid.

    • Casey Slide

      That’s great that you got to be with your oldest kid. I orginally wanted to work part-time or work from home, but it just didn’t pan out for me. I do think it would be very difficult to work at home while taking care of a baby so in a way, I am glad it did not.

  • Olivia

    I left freelancing when our firstborn was about a year old. It wasn’t a voluntary decision, he was a needy child, so it took some getting used to. But looking back, I realize all the things I was able to do that would have been impossible if I worked. Building a tree fort for the boys, making costumes, learning to quilt, can, and garden.

    • Casey Slide

      Awesome! It sounds like it worked out well for you anyways.

  • beth

    “reasons why” is redundant. You can tell us the reasons you quit or you can tell us why you quit. It is repetitive to tell us the reasons why you quit. Maybe cuz you weren’t that great a writer… just kidding, lol!

  • Christine

    Casey, I’m very happy for you and I agree that this is a move you absolutely will never regret. The sacrifices you’ve made will be so worth it! My son is now twenty one and the best time of my life was when he was growing up, the years seem to have gone by so fast and I’m glad I had so much time with him. Never mind this talk about “as long as it’s quality time”, baloney! Time is time and you will be able to be spontaneous rather than regimented, kids need that, they need to just be kids and be nurtured to thrive. Thank you for what you’re doing, there’s nothing else more important.

    • Casey Slide

      Thank you for your comment, Christine! You are so right about kids needing both quantity and quality time. I feel so blessed that I am able to provide that for my son.

  • http://www.momof2athome.com Angela

    Great post! I’ve wanted to be a stay at home mom for 7 years. My job was eliminated a week ago so I’m going to give it a go with my new business. I could not be happier!!!!!

    • Casey Slide

      Awesome! Good luck to you, Angela!

  • http://www.uhnw.com.au Jim Smith

    Good on you for making that step. It is something my family is currently struggling with (but its me who would stay at home to be house husband).

  • http://www.ramonaiftode.com Ramona

    The only thing I’d have a problem with is the 6 months time to be eligible for pension. This would have helped with YOUR FUTURE tremendously. I would have made that final sacrifice to make it to that “deadline”. You’ve already worked a lot and put a lot of effort. Just 6 months and it would have paid off pretty nicely. Not to mention the kid, at that age, is sleeping almost all day long. You cannot say you’re missing everything, since the baby is awake for very few hours and then goes to sleep. This would have been an excellent time to make that pension work.

    The moment I’d have it secured, I’d leave work and focus on my family. I’d have time for my kid and would have secured some of my future too. YOU NEVER KNOW. A pension, even if smaller, is still some form of a security.

    • Casey

      I respect your opinion, but for me, it was the right decision to sacrifice the pension. My baby did NOT sleep very much during the day. I was lucky if I could get him to take a nap. Many babies sleep, but many do not. By staying home, I was also able to nurse my son 100% which is an incredible bonding experience. There is no amount of money or security that could have given me. Additionally, it has been studied that children who have been carried for by their mothers until the age of 3 have a higher level of independance and self-esteem. To me, that is more important then a pension.

      I do have an IRA and my husband does have a 401k so we are preparing for our future.

      • annie

        Your pension adds to your retirement security which means you won’t need your children to financially help you out when you’re older. How many people do you know have parents that they help financially? 6 months to go to get a pension? Your kid will not have poor self esteem because you were not there 100% of the time for 6 months! This sounds more like guilt than anything else. Most mothers feel guilty for not being 100% present. People here think its all about the kids but when you really think about it, its really about the parents personal/ psychological issues.

        • Casey Slide

          I’m sorry you feel that way, but I don’t regret my decision. How much would my pension have been anyways? $10 a month? To get a good pension, I would have had to work a lot longer than 6 more months. A child is only young once, and I didn’t want to miss a moment of my son’s. I would do it again in a heartbeat. Besides, my husband and I max out our other retirement plans so that we will be in good shape for retirement.

    • Rashad

      Very good article!!!

      Ramona, you make great points, and we are actually going through this right now. My wife and I had our 2nd baby, a daughter, in March. We also have a 5 year old boy. The reduced income for those few months really hurt.

      Now, our baby is 7 months old and always getting sick at daycare. We have to pay $225 a week for her to go to daycare and for my son to get picked up and held.

      I am a middle school assistant principal and my wife is a special education teacher. Up until the day before school started, we were wrestling with this idea of keeping her home. She stayed home for a year with our son, but we both had just graduated and she was making $10k a year as a teacher’s assistant. So the decision was very easy. This time, it isn’t, because she makes 5 times that amount. When we were deciding whether or not to keep her home, we said “When we look back at the end of the school year, we don’t want to have made a dumb, emotional decision”. So we reluctantly decided to let her work. She HATES her job, and it doesn’t help when our daughter is always getting sick. She is actually at the doctor right now with her AGAIN. She already has used 5 of her 10 sick days, and I have used 3.

      I would be totally fine with making the decision to keep my wife home. However, at the end of this year, she will have all of her federal student loans wiped out (5 years special ed at a title one school). In addition, she will be fully vested in the Texas TRS. So, there was absolutely no way we could let her walk away from all of that.

      My mom is considering moving here from Atlanta and we would pay her all of the money we are paying the daycare now. That would make a ton more sense in OUR situation than keeping my wife home.

      • Mrs. P

        Rashad: you need to get a clue, and let your wife come home to be a mother to her children! Your daughter is suffering, your wife is suffering and you are worried about letting your mother come and move there from Atlanta to step in and fill your wife’s role? Are you clueless? Don’t you know what a disaster that would be for your family, especially your wife? You don’t even know that deep down, your wife secretly despises you because you make her work! BE THE MAN, let her come home, work the numbers and make it work, even if you have to sell the BMW and get a station wagon and make sandwiches to take to work!

        • Rashad

          Your post is kind of judgmental and sad, to say the least.

          I drive a $2500 junker, so what in the hell are you talking about.

          We made a mutual decision to send her to work last year. We are now pregnant with our 3rd child and we made a mutual decision to keep her home for good after this school year.

          I love when people judge the health of others’ relationships. UNREAL!

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/FAUU7QQ2MISFHCPTPGWSHWVBZI Kim

          Yeah your retarded mrs pee urine, way not be sympathetic to the multiple factors in someone else’s situation, using gender stereotypes to back up your asinine criticisms. You should get a life and stop bothering everyone

  • http://sustainablepersonalfinance.com/ Sustainable PF

    We too are concerned about the work life balance and the costs / benefits of having one of us stay home when we have a child. We will surely discuss the topic in our blog as this decision a sustainable one for certain. You raise some great points and I am going to email this URL to Mrs. Sustainable PF. Thanks.

    • Casey

      Good luck to you and Mrs. Sustainable PF!

  • http://littlehousesouthernprairie.wordpress.com Emily

    Thanks for this great piece! We have a lot in common. My daughter is one and I don’t regret it for a minute.

    • Casey Slide

      It’s good to know that I am not alone! :)

  • B Savoy

    What a great article. I to decided to leave a job as an Engineer to stay at home and be with my child and it was the best decision for us also. I love the memories I have and will continue making with my daughter. We also do not have to worry about rushing to pick her up from daycare which cost $250.00 per week We did not have to worry about her catching illnesses more prominent in a daycare facility. I also knew I would not be able to give my company 110% when I was always worried about my daughter.

    • Casey Slide

      Yes, I don’t know how I would be able to be fully focused on work if I was wondering what was going on with my son. I’m so glad to hear that staying at home worked out for you! Thank you for sharing your story!

  • http://sportsonadime.com/ Paul

    When we were about to have our second child, it was a pretty easy financial decision to have my wife quit her nursing job and stay home. Besides all of the money saving reasons you mentioned, we also realized her earnings were being taxed at a higher rate (ie once she quit, our effective tax rate declined)

  • Casey

    Great point, Paul! We came across the same thing with our taxes.

  • http://freefrombroke.com Craig

    I left my corporate job of many years to become a stay at home dad to watch our newborn and toddler (we have an older child too in school).

    We have less money but SO much more time together. Overall our quality of life has improved. I’m doing more work than ever but it’s so much more fulfilling than what my 9-5 was.

  • http://www.savings.com/blog/blog.html Amy Saves

    I commend you on being a SAHM, but I could never do it. I’m an independent person and hate having to lean on someone for finances. As you said, your spouse could leave you and then you’d have to get back to work and start at the bottom possibly.

    • Daniela

      I’m a SAHM (42 with a 4 year old) -I worked for 15 years in a very professional capacity after college…while I understand your concerns, I know that I can work again if the need should arise. There is no need to live life worrying about things like this -none of us know if tomorrow is guaranteed! In my situation, I have savings and have worked for many, many years. Perhaps someone who does not have this background would have a harder time…I’m not sure. Either way, life is a gamble…

  • MrsRefney

    Study after study has shown that more women and children end up in poverty. I chose to ensure that, should something happen to my marriage, my husband, that I could provide for my child. This meant going back to school, securing a degree, and entering the workforce at a level that I could solely provide for my child should I have to. If you have a backup plan, like fully funded retirement, inheritance, excellent life insurance, it may not be so hard. I’ve seen so many SAHM’s reduced to moving themselves and their children back to their parents home, or even worse, left homeless due to death or divorce by spouse. Left working minimum wage jobs because those years spent at home meant no further education, no industry contacts. I spent my child’s first 3 years at home. While I cherish that time, I came to realize the absolute best thing I could do for her was to ensure she would be taken care of. What the parent ultimately wants may not be what is ultimately best for your children. It’s a decision every woman must make, and not make lightly or blindly.

  • http://www.niterainbow.com

    Admire your desicion. Hopefully the child will understand it too, as it is looking for successfull mom.

  • http://deliverawaydebt.com Jeff

    Ok I’m not a SAHM but I am married to one. It wasn’t an easy choice for my wife but moving overseas helped with the decision. After returning we factored in the cost of day care with the amount of money she would have brought in. The grand total would have been about $500 per month extra. Not enough to have her return to the work place. We are both much happier with her at home, although still paying on her student loans stings a bit :-)

    The rest of the post was a downer. If you alway have a back up plan (i.e. if a divorce happens) then that’s what will happen. Having either spouse be a stay at home parent is very tough on them. The working spouse must understand this and be extremely supportive.

    If someone thinks divorce is in the future, then get one and move on. If my wife divorced me she’d get everything anyway :-)

  • Karen C.

    SAHM and Financial Protection – a few things we did to make it work
    1. Married young, had children late (in our 30?s) to build up savings and work experience. We planned and committed to years in advance the decision to have a parent at home with children.
    2. Did part time work in my profession once last child in kindergarten that allowed me to drop my children (and others!) off at school, volunteer and pick them up at the end of the school day. Work also allowed me to keep a hand in my profession and enjoy that role.
    3. Lived within our means but had options/savings set up during our DINK (dual income/no kids) years to cash in on during the more lean paycheck years allowing us to take great vacations, send kids to camps, etc.
    4. Made decisions based upon our financial abilities and priorities – only two children; spaced at least four years apart to minimize tuition impact; bought smaller house in good neighborhood and slowly improved the house while paying it off early to insure sending children to college would not negatively impact our lifestyle for others living at home.
    5. First gift my dear future husband ever gave me was a piggy bank. We have a natural inclination to be frugal, financially prudent and fiscally sound.
    6. SAH/work full or part time – whatever decision you make it is a privilege to have the freedom to make choices and not be consigned to predetermined roles!

  • Olivia

    Our decision was sort of made for us. Our first born has developmental delays and needed extra care, and we moved to a rural area with lean job prospects in my field. I don’t regret the decision though, all said and done my working would not have made a financial dent, (a long commute to a “big city”, second car, daycare…). For those with less obvious choices a useful exercise is described in The Tightwad Gazette. Calculate all the hidden and not so hidden costs of working before taking the leap. Clothes, tools, union dues, commuting, daycare, classes, certification, are pretty obvious, but then there’re quick prep foods for home, expected gift exchanges, donations to charities, eating lunch out with coworkers, morning coffee. Staying at home may have other financial benefits. Putting in a garden, canning, mending clothes, shopping yard sales are difficult after a 40 hour work week. But they really make a difference. Everything adds up.

  • http://firstgenamerican.com First Gen American

    I work with a lot of men with SAHM spouses. Actually most of them have spouses that don’t work due to the nature of their own jobs. I think it’s super critical to set expectations with your spouse on how long you will be out of the workforce. As the working spouse, you also have to be okay with the other spouse NEVER going back despite what they tell you.

    I’ve run into quite a few folks who’s spouse left a lucrative career to “stay home with the kids for a few years” and that few years turns into forever. I understand that the workload doesn’t actually decrease when kids get to school. However some of the working spouses who agreed to a short term reduction in household income feel a little jipped when the situation becomes permanent because that’s not what they signed up for. A couple of guys have confided in me that their early retirement plans relied on the spouse going back to work at some point and they are really disappointed that their spouse doesn’t want to work ever again. Plus it’s very stressful to have to carry all that financial burden on your own. I don’t see this phenomena so much when the spouse left a mediocre paying job (because it really doesn’t save that much by going back to work with daycare costs, etc), but I do see it pretty often when the spouses were more evenly matched pay-wise.

    As with a lot of relationship stuff, I think communication is key. As long as you lay all your cards out on the table, I think any setup can end up working out.

  • Gust

    I have the same question as well. Should I leave my job? I was a foreign doctor and I gave up my dream to get practive lincense in USA when I have kids. I studied engineering degree while I was pregnant. My kids are difficult baby, it takes too much time to feed them even though they are school age( 5 and 7). My husband makes less money than me, therefore, 1 income can’t enough for living expense. I am almost exhaust with engineering works, kids, and housework. My husband is traditional Asian man, he won’t stay home or take care kids. I am so depressed. Any solution?

    • Casey Slide

      Gust, I am so sorry to hear about your situation. Leaving your job would need to be up to you and your husband because no one other than yourselves can completely understand your situation. Consider discussing your options as well as ways to make an income part-time so that you can be home part-time but still earn a living. Good luck to you!

  • Stacey L.

    First, Casey, I must say that you are such an excellent writer! I very much enjoyed how well your thoughts flowed & appreciated the way in which you delicately handled sensitive topics. It was a pleasure to read such a well-thought-out & carefully pieced-together article!

    I appreciate the advice, as I am today resigning my position as a Respiratory Therapist at a hospital 30 minutes from my home in order to stay home and care for my 3 children and my sister’s newborn baby. Although I feel a definite sense of sadness, I wholeheartedly believe that when God closes one door, He opens another! My heart is without a doubt completely fulfilled caring for my children and managing our household. It is the hardest job to do…with unending hours, sometimes very little appreciation & multi-tasking galore! My husband works very long hours & is away from home a lot. My kids all have ADHD. As a result, I know my family is happier & healthier having me around to take care of them. The time together is priceless. I loved your points 4, 6, 7 & 8 under “Pros”! I am much less stressed when I do not have to split my time between work & family. My kids will only be kids for a short time…when they are older, I will have the rest of my life to work, but I can never get back their childhood! Thanks for putting into words what so many of us feel.

    • Casey Slide

      Stacey – Thank you for your feedback! I am glad you enjoyed the article, and I really appreciate your kind words. You won’t regret your decision to stay home, and I wish the best of the luck to you and your family!

      Also, I really like what you said about having the rest of your life to work. That is so true, and I have often forgotten that point. In my moments of missing the workplace (which occasionally happen), I’ll have to remember that. Thanks!

  • Jnewell78

    Casey Thank You! Thank you for writing this!
    I’m somewhere in the middle of where most of the people that have commented are… I make a pretty decent wage, and my family’s health care is paid for by my employer. But… I do not have ANY education or degrees. I was actually very lucky to get this job and keep it for over 11 years now. I have 5 children total, 2 from a prior relationship, and 3 with my current husband. The 2 youngest are twins, and I was hoping to stay home after their birth but my husband is an Electrician and it was right as the economy was crumbling…so he lost his job. I was forced to go back to work just because I had a job. So my husband stayed home with our 8 week old twins and our other son. The older two were aliment about giving life at Dad’s house a go…. my oldest is back, but the other is Daddy’s favorite and I don’t see him giving that up any time soon! LOL but we make the best of it. Anyway, my husband has since found a great job with a great company and we are completely secure in the fact that he will be with them for a very long time, if not until retirement! But he is only 31! Anyway, we have been discussing the possibilities of me staying home for about the last 10 months, and although we would LOVE to be able to save and plan and pay off some debts first…. It’s just not going to happen. We have been through many struggles and have always made it through; I guess you could say we work best under pressure. We make a great team. Anyway, like many of the other people that have commented I have desired this for a long time, and I am excited by the challenges of the transition! I to garden and have tried to can the last few years but have never seem to have the time! Now I will! I make my own laundry soap and have a prospective position on a couponing team! I love to find ways to make life cheaper and better for my family and I know that although I will have more than enough household and family responsibilities I will be able to make more time to save us money! I am super nervous about giving my notice. I am a receptionist and honestly I don’t feel like I will be that hard to replace ;) at least not the kind or quality of work I do. I don’t have that many other responsibilities other than answering the phones, and they are things that just about anyone could do…and some will probably do better lol but I have relationships here, security and I am comfortable. My husband and I are still trying to figure out what we can do as far as health insurance goes. It is really that only concern for us.
    Another factor for us deciding this was the right path for us was that we seemed to be having some major issues with our childcare provider, and we trying to work things out and just make it until the end of the year but she flipped out on us after we tried to address a safety concern, and I refuse to take my children to anyone who conducts themselves that way. And that was last night! So looks like we are going to try and wing it for a couple of 3 weeks…. I am working on my letter of resignation today.

    • Casey Slide

      Good for you, Jnewell! You are going to love being home with your kids. As far as health insurance is concerned, you might want to consider short-term insurance until you figure out what you want to do. Short-term insurance covers emergencies and sick visits only, but it is very affordable. You just wouldn’t be able to do any preventative care for the time being. Good luck to you and your family!

  • Fuzzy

    I am expecting and also considering to be SAHM.

    • Casey Slide

      Congratulations, Fuzzy! Is there anything holding you back from definitely deciding to be a SAHM?

  • Daphnee

    I just love this!!!

    • Casey Slide

      Thanks, Daphnee!

  • Nohabahgat

    Thanks, i love that, i was kinda reluctant about my decision, your article helped.

    • Casey Slide

      Good luck to you, Nohabahgat!

    • Casey Slide

      Good luck to you, Nohabahgat!

  • Evelyn

    I am a SAHM to two lovely girls ages 1 and 4. Before having kids, my husband and I were living on his income and saving mine, so when I decided to become a SAHM (when my eldest was a year old), we took our savings and paid off the mortgage. Thinking back, I am so happy that we saved our money for me to stay home and take care of our kids. You are right, my kids are only babies once. I sometimes do feel bad that I am not currently in the workforce, but thinking back of all the hassles that we went through by having our child in daycare. My husband’s work schedule requires him to work late at night and he has to travel frequently for business trips. We have no relatives or anyone nearby,we can trust to babysit our kids. I remember that it was a heart attack for us when the daycare called us to pick my daughter up due to sickness and the both of us couldn’t leave work. The daycare was calling almost once a week to pick her up and that really jeopardized our jobs. Not to mention that we had no time to cook and we ate food from restaurants almost everyday. We decided that I stay home, at first, we were afraid of our finances because we never had only one person working to support our household. It turned out for the better, no daycare cost, no eating out cost, no working expenses for me, and even better, we are in a lower tax bracket and no mortgage. We even save more money than when the both of us were working because there was always an urge to get the latest clothes or handbags or go traveling due to work stress. Pretty much, it was a rat race.
    Now, I am really grateful that I have this opportunity to do this for my family and I. I am grateful that we did not buy a McMansion that my former coworkers were enticing me to do because according to them “I can afford it”. As with the “ifs” I really think that is when life and disability insurances come into play and IRA for the non-working spouse. Also when you do go back into the workforce, why not volunteer a couple weeks or months working in your field for an easier transition.

    • Casey Slide

      I love your story, Evelyn, so thank you for sharing your experience! It’s great to hear from someone who made the switch from working to staying at home and how that affected life and finances. Those are some great tips about insurance and having an IRA that will certainly take some worry away from being a one income family. I have also found that it is almost as if we have more money because I am not driving an hour to work and back each day.

  • La_teacher_guy

    “If your partner is the soul breadwinner of your household… ”

    The “soul” breadwinner?

    You mean in a religious sense.. as in providing the otherworldly
    or metaphysical needs of the household… or “winning the bread”
    that provides spiritual nourishment for your loved ones?

    • Casey Slide

      Sorry, that should be “sole” breadwinner.

  • Mikismom17

    Great stories…It’s been a month since I quit my job to be a SAHM. I am a mother of 3 children under 10. The children were miserable staying long extended days at school, I was miserable at my job because I was worried all day about them and when we got home we were all sooo exhausted it was pizza every other nite. I did not have the energy to cook a hot meal.
    However, each night my Grandfather’s words of wisdom would ring in my ear “when children are young they do not care how much MONEY we have they need our TIME and when they are teenagers they do not care how much TIME we have they they want to know how much MONEY we have” So I decided to give them my time now and by the time they are teenagers go back into the rat race and be ready to provide for them financially at that point. For now be there for their nurturing and continue to save as much as we can for their futures.

    • Casey Slide

      Sounds like you have a very wise grandfather! Good luck to you!

  • Mrs. P

    I used to work for a daycare center years ago, and I can remember how the little ones would cry sometimes the ENTIRE time their mothers were gone, until they had returned 7 hours later!! I am a stay at home mom, because it is so important to my children for me to be fully available to them. My own mother worked, and I really feel that us kids would have been so much closer to our mother had she just stayed at home. We were latch key kids, so we basically walked home from elementary school about 1/2 mile from home with the house key around our necks so we wouldn’t lose it. We came home to a cold, empty house, waiting for Mom to get home from work about 2 or 3 hours later. I think our lives would probably have been better if Mom would have stayed home. I remember her days off, and on Saturdays she would sew all day and cook, and the house would be clean..listening to that sewing machine would somehow comfort me. I wish she would have stayed home.

    • Casey Slide

      It’s good you can use your childhood experiences as a way of knowing you are doing the right thing for you and your family. Good luck to you!

  • HeartbrokenMommy

    Hi Casey,
    I have a much different problem to deal with. There is no doubt in my mind about leaving my job to be a SAHM for my 3 month old daughter. My problem is my fiancé…he won’t let me. He is a small business owner (works from home), however I am the bread winner between the two of us. I alone make 100k/annually and he thinks I’m crazy for wanting to give that up. I’ve tried everything to convince him but he won’t have it. We’ve almost ended our mostly solid 5 year relationship over it! Time with my baby is more important than any dollar amount. My daughter deserves to have a happy family and I’m so afraid that when I have to go back to work in 4 weeks, I’ll end up resenting him over time and be even more upset and angry then I am now. To make it worse, ALL of my best friends are SAHM. Their husbands have all stepped up and sacrificed so their wives could stay home with their kids. I love my fiancé very much, but I love my daughter more. He’s giving me an ultimatum…quit your job and our relationship is over. I have $$ in savings with zero debt and my parents said I can move home and be a SAHM there.
    What should I do!? Become a SAHM means breaking up my family which isn’t fair to my daughter. OR Go back to work but resent my fiancé and be MISERABLE while we pay $ 1,400 a month for a nanny!!? Please help. :(

    • Casey Slide

      I am so sorry to hear that you are in this situation. First of all, no one make a decision on what to do except for you, so I’m not going to tell you what to do. However, considering that you are not married to the father of your child yet, you don’t have an obligation to stay with him. Really think about if you want to marry someone who is unwilling to help you live your dream of being home with your daughter. Is he willing to compromise in someway, such as you going to part-time? If he is unwilling to compromise, that would be a red flag for me. I know you have a lot of emotion tied into the situation that I do not so take some time to really think about what your future may be like if you are not able to have some input into the relationship. As the years go by, it may only get more difficult, which may makes things worse for your daughter.

      So anyways, think about those things, talk with your fiance, and talk to your parents. Until you are married, you need to do what is best for yourself and for your daughter. Maybe it’s marriage and maybe it’s not. Only you can decide.

      On a side note – I know lots of working moms, and the vast majority of them wish they were home with their children. And of these women, I don’t know even one who does not have a supportive husband who desires them to stay home as well. It’s just not possible considering their situation. But the key here is that the husbands would choose for their wives to stay home if they could.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Pepper-Spraying-Blackfridayshopper/100003166017759 Pepper Spraying Blackfridaysho

      the dude said either keep working or I am leaving you? and you are still with him? and sleep with him? you are stupid to stay with him.

  • tornmama!

    Thank you for your article. I have been debating about quitting my current job for some time. Despite having a Master’s Degree in Social Work, I don’t make a lot and I only work part-time. Everything I make goes straight into savings and we live off of what my husband makes. My job is less than 2 miles from my house and I have many times even walked to work. I have brought my son to work with me on many occasions. We even get to set our own hours. It really is an ideal set-up. The main reason for me staying home is that my son has Autism. He is 4 and still doesn’t speak, not potty trained and has a hard time interacting with other children. He loves the sitter he goes to; between mine and my husbands schedule he’s only there about 10-15 hours a week max. I know my son will require more of us financially than most children as he ages. I am torn as to whether help out financially or to be there for my son to really dive in to trying to provide him with tools to succeed in life. Any suggestions?

    • Casey Slide

      No one can tell you what to do, but the fact that you are questioning whether or not you should be going to this job makes me think that your heart tells you to quit. Picture yourself continuing in your job, and then picture yourself leaving your job. Which one makes you feel more at peace?

    • Lulu

      Work! Don’t give up your job! You need money for the child’s future and to afford for quality schools and professionals to work with your child. I work with disabled children including children with autism. Taking care of children with Autism is extremely emotionally and mentally taxing. You will be a better parent when you live a fuller life.

  • struggling to decide!

    Thank you for the article. I am a Biomedical Engineer graduated in 2007 as Summa Cum Laude and am struggling today with quitting my job to stay at home with my 3 young children or not. I make over half of our income and my husband works a lot (80+ hrs/week) due to his job and the training he is currently in. He would prefer that I quit to make things easier on him (and our kids!). I have already written the resignation letter, but it has been a struggle to decide whether or not to hand it in!!! I work from home while my kids go to daycare. My oldest is in kindergarten and my youngest is 7 months old. The words in your article have spoken straight to me. My heart is with my kids. It hurts to drop them off in the morning, and I feel if I got a nanny I would not be happy to disappear into my home office while my kids are spending their entire day with someone else who gets to do all the things that i want to do with them. i want to be there for all of their big milestones, and I want to be there to teach them life lessons instead of relying on someone else. My struggle comes from the fact that I feel i have the “ideal” job and I don’t believe I could walk right back to it whenever I want to. It would require retraining and starting from the bottom. But I also know, that my kids will NEVER be this small again. I get 1 shot at their childhood. With a job, I can retrain and get a new job, but staying at home with my young children is a 1 time deal and there is no retraining or “starting from the bottom” that can ever get that back.

    • Casey Slide

      I’m sorry you are going through this because it sounds like you have a tough decision to make. But like I said to the mom who commented below, the fact that you are questioning whether or not to leave your job means that your heart has already left because it is with your kids. I think that your reasoning in your comment is perfect: you can start over with your career but not with your kids. The other thing that hit me with your comment is that your husband works so much. If you are working a lot too, it will put a strain on your relationship with him, and that’s not good for anyone in the family. On the flip side, the field of biomedical engineering will be advancing quite a bit in the years to come so if you do leave, try to stay up-to-date with the latest happenings. Once you decide to go back, it will benefit you to go to a conference to get a little bit of retraining. I’d also recommend getting a biomedical engineering magazine so you will always know what is going on in the field and be able to reenter at a moments notice. To make your decision, consider making a pros and cons list. I think that will help you sort out your feelings. Good luck to you!

  • Queenfrostine555

    Hmmm your article is very informative, you make so many good points…however if I were you I would have gone the extra time that lousy half a year, if I were the kid I would have wanted you to do that so you could give me more quality opportunities later with the extra income, however it sounds like you and your husband are in decent financial situation so who really cares in the grand scheme of things in that case

  • Pooja

    Casey, it was good to read you article. To put it down correctly, it was MOTIVATING. I decided to be a SAHM when my daughter was 5 months old. Its been 4 months not since I quit my job. But sometime I do feel sad about the fact that I had to leave my career behind which I had built after 6 years of hard work. I dont know if I will start working again or not but I really loved the independence that I had,Sometimes I feel so lonely and depressed by the fact that I dont get to meet new people any more

    • Casey Slide

      It can be very isolating to be a SAHM sometimes. There are days that go by without seeing another soul other than my son and husband. But staying at home really is what you make of it. If you feel isolated, search the Internet for some local playgroups. Join a class. Meet your neighbors. Get involved. Or just head out to the mall or playground and start talking with other moms. I have found that as long as I live actively within my community, I am not so isolated.

      • Pooja

        Yeah. I agree. Maybe I will be OK in a few months. Its just that I was used to working for 6 yrs and then suddenly I find myself with no job.

        • Casey Slide

          I hear you. It’s a big change. I’ve been home for 2 years and 3 months now, and I’m definitely used to it, but it took at least a year for me to get used to that type of lifestyle. Give it some more time, and hopefully things will turn around. Good luck!

  • Ythldrss

    I have been ‘playing’ with the idea since my daughter was born last year. At the time of her birth, it was with great reluctance that I went back to the workforce when she was just four months old. Lucky for me I was assisted by a very good daymom. Unfortunately the beginning of the year, I had to change daymoms as the previous one was no longer available.

    Today I am sitting with so much regret in not just taking the plunge. The unthinkable happened: my daughter got hurt (burnt with boiling water) while in the care of the new daymom. So once again I am standing at the crossroads. Not sure who I am going to get to look after my precious but not being willing to trust someone else the care of my daughter. As well the guilt of my daughter being badly hurt seems to be ‘pushing’ me to take the plunge.

    Please could someone help? I really have no idea what I am to do. Being part of a necessary dual income home, it’s not easy to just say: I am giving it up to look after my baby. I am SO confused and feel so lost in all of this.

    • Casey Slide

      Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that your daughter got hurt! I hope she is doing better.

      I would suggest discussing the issue of you staying home with your daughter with your spouse. Perhaps make a list of pros and cons. That often makes the decision very clear. Only you can make a decision and know what is best for your family. It sounds like your heart is telling you to be with your daughter though.

  • Ravikumar

    Hi Casey,

    It is a very nice article… very elaborate (though I could not understand somewhere). I am Ravikumar (aged 31) from India. In india, as you may know, husband has to earn and wife has to take care of the family with what the husband brings. It is mostly followed throughout india(except major cities and 4 metropolitan cities).

    What I have observed with the housewives who takes care of their children as well as family when comparing with somebody who is working and taking care of children is that,
    1. They try to reduce the unwanted expenses to match their income and they are happy. The family that has double earning (husband and wife), though they earn huge, they still think that money is not enough.. my perception is that it is up to one’s mind to go for extra income or settle with what you have.
    2. Family bonding makes children with right thinking and vision because they are not depressed, etc.. No one can take care of your child as mother takes care.
    3. Possibly we can do some freelancing works, gardening, or plant some vegetables, learn some art, so many options are available for housewives..

    My final point is that family is very much important over saving MONEY FOR FUTURE.
    we can control the expenses and keep always.

    • Casey Slide

      Ravikumar – Thank you for telling us about your observations. I believe they back up what has been written in the article and what so many other people have commented about. Great thoughts! Thanks!

  • Lulu

    I’m very impressed with your decision! Kudos for you that you discovered what you really want in life. I’m just amazed at the sacrifices made by parents for their children. I hope those kids grow up appreciative and not entitled. Can you imagine, all the sacrifices and they just put you in a nursing home? I grew up with both parents working. They never had much time for me. I spent most times with nannies but I love them dearly. Now that I’m older, I realized that I appreciate them more. I admired them. They are productive members of society. They made a difference in the world. I did not become spoiled and entitled. I know I have to work hard and be independent. I learned to be more charitable because life was never just all about ME. I think now I appreciate more that I have a mother who had a career. I had someone to look up to. Despite their lack of time for me growing up, they will never stay in a nursing home when they are old. I think its more important for a child to have a positive role model, a mother they can be proud of. A woman with a purpose in life other than taking care of children . It makes the child less entitled and demanding of time and attention from others when they become adults. This is just my opinion. What matters most is that a woman should make her decision because it makes her happy and not out of guilt or pressures dictated by society.

    • Casey Slide

      Well I sure hope my child can still be proud of me! A stay-at-home mom works VERY hard, and if you haven’t done it, then you don’t know how hard it is. It is a job to be admired! I work much harder taking care of my son than I ever did as a career woman, and I have become a much better role model. As far as spoiling goes, I see it very differently than you. Because I am home and because we have less income, I have the time to teach him not to be spoiled, and I lack the resources to give him everything that he wants. If I was working, I wouldn’t be able to take the time to do that, and I would probably buy him more things to make up for the fact I wasn’t there for him. It’s a complicated matter to teach these things to your child, and having someone else watch them is not how they will learn. Also, I have no data to back this up, but I would think that a parent who did go to work and sent their kids to a daycare or babysitter would be more likely to dump their parents in a nursing home when the parents get older…an eye for an eye.

  • Ckelly42

    I am actually making this decision on Monday. I have 3 kids under 6. Its something i wanted to do, but scared to do since they were born. What if… what if… what if… would drown my thoughts and fear took over and held me back.

    I was asked to relocate for my Senior Manager position at a publicly held company and I was not inclined to do that. They asked me what I wanted to do instead (write your own ticket for your job description) and 4 days later the only thing I can think about is… I don’t want another opportunity. i’ve poured my blood sweat, tears and time away from my family into that role and if I am going to do that again, I want it to be the blood, sweat, and tears to be for my kids. They deserve it more. My efforts would mean something long term. Instead of building my own family, I was empire building for my corporate job. I felt it was worth it and i learned a lot, but its run its course. I’m scared to jump into the SAHM role. I’ve seen so many unhappy SAHM’s and I don’t want to be one. I have to figure out how to do that role and have balance.

    I will probably need something ‘outside’ for a break now and again, but I am putting fear aside and jumping head first into SAHM. We’ll see what happens. Wish me luck.

    • Casey Slide

      Being a SAHM is what you make of it so have fun with it. The moms who are unhappy are the ones who stay stuck inside their homes, never see people, and do not have a life outside of being a mother. Make the most out of being a SAHM, and you’ll love it and so will your kids. Good luck!

  • Bill Ledford

    Casey, Go Gators! I am also a UF grad. I am not a mom, but rather a man who is making the decision about whether to quit an unfulfilling engineering job to teach at a community college. I stumbled on your site googling “am i crazy to quit my engineering job”. Even though I am not debating about whether to stay at home with kids (I don’t have any yet), my advantages and disadvantages are almost identical to the ones you listed. Upon wrestling with this decision, I just went back and forth in agony because there were always pros that the other lacked. I am tempted to follow my heart, quit my software engineering job, and teach, but it is really scary giving up a title I’ve worked my whole life for and a big salary. Instead, I will be taking a 40% pay cut but with 300% the free time. What you wrote reminded me that even the right decision for us will be scary. Thank you for the helpful article. Go Gators!

    • Casey Slide

      Go Gators! Change is always scary. Personally, a 40% pay cut for 300% more free time sounds like a bargain. You could even use the free time to earn money on the side, perhaps contract work or even tutoring. Good luck to you!

      • Bill Ledford

        Thanks for your perspective! You made a very courageous and selfless decision to stay home with your son– a decision I have deep respect for. Best wishes to you!

        • Casey Slide

          Thanks, Bill!

  • Mirs. Fifty

    I am a stay home mom since I was forty cause I have a newborn and a child aged 6 at that time. I was a financial controller and it was very difficult as well as stressful to be a career woman and to be a mother. We used to leave our two boys at daycare early in the morning and get the children late in the afternoon. I was not even able to take the whole maternity leave because of the sensitivity of my position. In the end, I chose to quit my job and stayed home with my boys. After three years of staying at home, I gave birth to another boy and so my whole time was really spent on raising and rearing them. Ten years later, my boys have grown, and I don’t have any complaints except when other thoughts comes to my mind. My time is my own, I was able to travel, learn new things,learned to be creative,do the things i want to do etc. Sometimes, however, I wonder if I have stayed in my job, still got a good position, attending board meetings and will i still be able to raise my children well? My mother is a working mother so I feel that she was not comfortable with the decisions I made.

    • Casey Slide

      Thanks for sharing your experience!

  • Jess

    I have made the decision to become a SAHM as well. I have worked as an Education Manager in a Head Start program for years. I have a MS and in some ways scared of not feeling successful. I would love to connect with some of you ladies to talk about our transitions and the strategies that you are using to adjust financially and emotionally. We should start a private FB group. Email me if you are interested [email protected]

  • flo

    I’m so happy i came across this site. I’m also leaving my job soon to take care of my family. I have a 4month old and a three yr old. I’m also married to a medical doctor who is currently specializing and recently opened business with some friends. I myself am a secondary (high school) teacher. My life has been such a world wind since i had my first daughter. My have a two hr commute to work each day and it takes about an hour return. I always wanted to be a teacher but i didn’t realize how high stress of a job it was. I also didn’t know that my husband wanted to be a surgeon (at the time neither did he…….his reason being that surgeons have not free time…go figure). he has very little spare time and i’m like a one man show most times. And i just can not keep up any more.. My daughter lives with her Grandmother since she began preschool and it is breaking my heart to pieces, because i just don’t have the time :( she recently told me that she doesn’t like me and she only likes her grandmother! (BTW this is my mom-in-law she referring to 0_0 )
    This is not the life i want for my family. I thankful to God that we own a home and vehicles etc….but at the end of the day, my quality of life is more important. I know it’s a set back in terms of us just having one income now, but it has now become a necessary step. i love taking care of my family and i can barely wait to be home again.
    I just wish i could stop constantly trying to justify my actions in my head, for fear of what society may think. I don’t wanna be a ‘career woman’!!!ahhhhh. lol

    • Casey Slide

      Sounds like it was a tough decision, but a good one, Flo. I’m sure it’s one you won’t regret. Good luck and enjoy!

  • Rachel

    God bless you, We consolidated our debt, that right gave us the oppurtunity to budget, to save, and just all around be happy. I cant keep up with this corporate lifestyle and come to pick up my son and see him for two hours every night. These past few days, have been very emotional, I’m going back and forth. We had little debt, but my husband went to school, and he’s supervisor mechanic for a major airline. We’re only 25 & 26. We just bought our first home. I work in the morning, he works at night. I’m a bankruptcy adjuster, I dont like it, I don’t like office environment,it’s great pay, I dont like lawyers, I’m still friends with them, I just dont like working for them. Then I started painting, not canvas, a wall, lol. and i mastered the trim with no painters tape. Then I started designs on the wall, and it looks amazing. People walk into my house and are like, you did this??? My creativity came out, and its very therapeutic for me, to go into a room and design it. My husband and me decided I should be at home, with my son, and do on the side odd jobs. When my two year old actually starts school, I’ll go back to college.Right now I need to be at home.

    • Casey Slide

      Good for you for discovering your passion and pursuing it! Thanks for sharing your story!

  • Faith

    Thank you so much for your article! I regretfully left my new job which I had for only 8 months and needed some confirmation that I made the right decision. I was working 12 hour days and some weekends and hardly saw my newborn for the first few months, so putting my career on hold was the best decision for our family right now. Currently, I’m frightened that it will be a lot harder for me to find a job once I’m ready to go back due to time spent away from my career and the bad economy, so your tip on being involved in business networking groups was extremely helpful!

    • Casey Slide

      Enjoy your time with your child! Also, enjoy business networking! Good luck!

  • Myza_dot

    Hi Casey. Thank you for your article. I am in dilemma also whether or not to quit my job or not. I have 8 months old son and my husband now further study in phD. Current situation is every morning, my husband will send me to work and after that will send my son to my mother in law house to babysit him. Then after that only, my husband will go to school to do his studying. Our journey to my office would take about 1 hours with traffic jam and half-hours to my mother in law house. My husband journey to his school would take 1 hours with traffic jam also. :(

    So it is so stressful for him that his time to study will be gone at road by sending and fetching me and my son. And would be tiring for him also. We will spend our day like 8am until 7pm a day. He needs more time to do his research and writing. My husband and I do not trust a day care or nursery that’s why we send our son to my mother in law house. My husband job is a lecturer in a local university and me is an IT specialist. Im afraid if I quit my job, that I will not have enough money to live, cant go shopping, travelling, cant buying toys/things for my son, im afraid I dont have friends and etc. My friends all very successful and i feel like a loser. Should I quit my job and be a full time SAHM or find a government job that is near my house or doing side job? :(

    Thank you so much for your time Casey. Appreciate your advise.

  • gell

    Hello every body,I just want to let you all know that having a broken heart is not an easy thing, but no matter how bad your situation may be, I want to let you all know that there is a way to get your ex chasing you around again,wanting to be with you, because this is exactly what I did when my boyfriend left me for someone else and I am happy today cause he is back. [email protected] was were I got the chance to get my boyfriend back and I will also want you all to give it a try. I am so pleased with this help.

  • Farah

    Hi Casey. Thank you for this article. It really resonated with me as I’m in the same situation. I always feel the pressure from society to be a superwoman who is juggling many tasks. And though this is a very personal decision you can’t help but feel judged or misunderstood sometimes. Women today are expected to do everything or else they are at a risk of being labeled as unsuccessful. I also always think of the possibility of the “unthinkables”. It is a relief to see that I’m not alone in this. Thanks again.




  • lost

    I absolutely think all moms should be with their children… but what do you do when you can’t pay all of your bills on one income? that is my dilemma. I’ve looked into receiving government assistance, but you only qualify based off of your previous year’s income, which was a combined 100k.

  • Bella

    I am wondering, is it realisitc to try to be a part time engineer?
    I wouldn’t want to be a stay at home mom but I wouldn’t want to work full time either. I am strongly considering a STEM field, problably engineering and I am wondering if it is realistic to expect to have decent part time work with that kind of degree

    • aqh

      I was working part time in the engineering field and my job was very lenient with me on flex time and working from home when I had to. When the economy slowed a few years ago- I dropped down to part time and my employer told me I could come back to full time when I was ready. I do have to go on trips outside of the state from time to time for work, but I usually get notice at least 2-3 weeks ahead. I believe the best thing to do is communicate your feelings to your employer (if they are understanding) or talk to HR about options that can help you to be a liable employee at work and a mother with a clear conscience.

  • Mano

    I resigned my job when my son was 3 months old, because I just could not leave him and go. Now he is 1yr and I am getting wonderful oppurtunities. I am an HR specialisedin Talent Management. Am still in the same feel, I just cant leave him and go. Such a little baby depending wholly on us for everything, tears run down my cheekswhen I even just have to think of putting him I a day care. Single income, and it is very bad to even think that we are not able to have his first bithday party due to financial crisis, very tough to see my husband Struggling alone. Want to help him, want to be with my son. Helpless. :(

  • ehisnoni

    My Name is James I never believed in Spells or Magics until I met this special spell caster called Dr.ehizojlespiritual.The woman i wanted to marry left me 2 months to our weeding ceremony and my life was upside down.she was with me for 9 years and i really love her so much..she left me for another man with no reasons..when i called her she never picked up my calls and she don’t want to see me around her…so,when i told the man what happened.he helped me to do some readings,and after the readings he made me to realize that the other man has done some spells over my wife and that is the reason why she left me..he told me he will help me to cast a spell to bring her back.At first i was skeptical but i just gave it a try…In 3 days,she called me herself and came to me apologizing..I cant believe she can ever come back to me again but now i am happy she’s back and we are married now and we live as a happy family..Am posting this to the forum if anyone needs the mans help.Can contact him through this email: [email protected]

  • Tricia

    Thank you so much for this article, this is an incredibly relevant subject and it’s important for us to share our experiences trying to balance work and family. I returned to FT work after 10 months off with our first child, it was incredibly difficult but we got through it. Now, I’ve been off for over 1 year with our 2nd and just 1 week in I am having serious doubts. With astronomical daycare expenses this year, there’s little financial incentive to work however I was concerned about career prospects and thought this was a great opportunity. I am considering quitting and staying home with our children for the next few years, exploring PT work or freelance instead.

    • jennymaree5

      Definitely stay home, if you ask me :) You will not regret it when you look back in 30 years. What you DO hear moms say is “it goes by so fast, I wish I would have been there more”. You have the chance to BE THERE, it might be challenging at times, but when you look back you will be so glad you chose your kids.

      • charmbomb1000

        What about the women who HAVE to work to make ends meet? What about the ones already living in that trailer park situation you described in another comment? They cannot afford to cut the household income and half. Well-off SAHMs tend to forget that not everyone has a husband with great income. Those working moms feel absolutely guilty for working and would rather be home with their children. You sound a bit pretentious, as though you are better than working moms because you are home all day. Good for you!

        • Kim Ferrie

          None of us feel that we are better than anyone. But the babies are better off with their mommy. We are NOT well off, we sacrifice quite a bit so that I can raise our children; and not pay someone else to do it.

  • Yasmin

    Thanks for sharing your experience.

  • EC

    Hi Thanks for your words of experienced SAHM my husband wants me to quit my job to be with my baby girl that we been praying for 10 years. He doesn’t want anybody else to take care of her but the only thing that worries me is that I have some payday loans that aren’t going to be paid in full if I quit. My husband gets paid well and he can pay for the rent and utilities , etc but it’s just the loans that have me worried but I want to stay home with my little girl. Any advice?

    • jennymaree5

      Stay home. You won’t regret it. There are lots of ways to make money from home. Mary Kay, Norwex, Essential Oils, just to name a few. You can also babysit or house cleaning and most families will let you bring your little one and you can make $15-20 tax free. If your hubby gets paid well, the best thing to do is get yourselves on a strict budget and follow it. Limit eating out, pay attention to time of use when using gas/electric to keep bills down or set therm to reasonable temps so bills are low. Shop at bargain outlets and meal plan and eat leftovers. If you pay for cable and smart phones or have a new car consider downsizing, getting rid of TV, and maybe get the Walmart mo-mo cell phone plan for $50 for 2 lines. Also consider going back to work when your child is in school. Hopefully some of these tips help you and encourage you to be a stay at home mom. You won’t regret it.

  • jennymaree5

    Well said. I have been a SAHM since a month before my daughter was born (nearly 2 years now!) and have not regretted it for a second! I have my degree and would have described the job I quit as my “dream job” because it was exactly what I wanted to do and what I spent all 5 years in college plus a year internship for. But once my daughter was born it seemed like a no brainier to stay home to raise my child. I had an hour commute each day and I didn’t want someone else raising my kid for 10 hours a day just so I could bring home an extra paycheck and hang out with her for an hour before bed. Yes, my husband makes great money, we max out his retirement account each year, fully fund our IRA’s, put away for our daughters college, can afford to live In our dream home, drive new cars and use smart phones. BUT I would give it all up in a second to stay home with my little gir. Yes, I would sell our house and live in a tiny apt or trailer park if it meant I got to stay home and wake up my beautiful little girl each morning and have time to sing with her, read her story after story with her sitting on my lap, making her a healthy breakfast and lunch and have dinner ready for when daddy comes home. I would sell our cars and get rid of our smart phones if that meant getting to walk outside with my girl and look at the sky and hear the birds and talk about the airplane that just flew over. I would do whatever it took to make sure that I was the one who got to raise my kid, not because I don’t trust my mom or MIL, but because I made a decision to have a baby, and with that comes the responsibility and privilege that I want to have, not give away to a child care provider for 50 hours a week. No, I have not once regretted my decision to be a stay at home mom. And I am proud of the little girl my daughter is becoming. And to think I got to be a part of that, well, there is no greater joy, than to see your child happy, healthy and thriving.

    • Sonal Dhond

      i am going to print out your comments and paste it on a wall in my bedroom becoz your words are very encouraging. I have resigned yesterday from my work to take care of my 19 months old son. I have been in tears all day as it was a very difficult situation and a hard decision to make. but your comments has given me strength

      • Michelle

        Hello! How is it going? Any regrets?

    • Michelle

      This was very inspiring! Thanks for sharing.

  • srtesting

    I am also thinking about leaving the engineering career I have been working for over 15 years. My son is now 7. Even though I am so excited about this decision but the other part is that I am not sure whether how much value I can bring to my son who is already in school.
    Is this the right decision to make for this kid age?

    • kbrown5

      My last child is entering kindergarten and I kind of feel like this is the perfect time to walk away and focus on my family. We haven’t had the opportunity financially for me to stay at home, until now. I am having some anxiety because most people do this the opposite way… staying home with small children, returning to work once they are in school. The job I had for 13 years when my children were babies was extremely flexible and very easy to manage their schedules and mine. I changed jobs last year and my flexibility has ended, taking me away from home more often than not. I think knowing what my children need from me at this stage in their lives, if I can commit to them for the small time they have left at home, then that is a reward for all of us.

  • Jessica Ann Toledo

    I am also planning to leave my job as a nurse and decide to be a full time care provider for my son. Im still thinking if it’s the best decision to make? My parents arent asking financial support from me, but they want me to stay inclined with my profession. Maybe because this is what they wanted me to be. Especially I got married right after I got my license. What to do? I love taking care of my 1 year old son really, but it also scares me to decrease my employability quotient sooner or later :(

    • Kim Ferrie

      Raise your baby. They come out of your body, and they need you. If your baby could chose, would s/he choose mommy’s arms, or daycare?

  • chummybum

    I’ve heard some women describe pressure to work and be a mother as “having it all”. Well, perhaps it’s a regional thing, because I’ve come across the exact opposite. It seems that many opinions are that you’re only a good mother if you become a SAHM with a husband that makes good money (1950s attitude, anyone?). It’s idealogies like these that make women feel pressured and conflicted no matter what choices they ultimately make. I respect SAHMs as much as I respect working mothers. I think that also there are times when as women we don’t take enough time to support each other’s choices. “How can you let someone ELSE RAISE your child?” is not something to say about a working mother. “I wish I got to stay at home and DO NOTHING all day” is not something to say to a SAHM. Those are just a couple of silly comments that float around and never seem to go away. Support each other! We need it!

  • lepetitbidou

    Hi there, your post just made my day. I was stay home mom for 9 months with my little angle, and we think its time for me back to work and bring some money to support the liftstyle that we have been living with. So… today is the 3rd day of her infant care and I feel so bad, I keep crying since 1st day till now, yes of course, she also cried a lot too. Me and my baby like only 2 of us, which I feel its so emotional, she keep looking at me, smile at me even I dont do anything. I feel so heart broken when I saw her, see her from the 1st day cry till tired and sleep, and 2nd day, she even dont smile with me anymore, I dont know what happen, just I feel she might be very upset with me, as I left her alone. How? I dont know what to do, I feel so bad. everytime thinking about that, i kepp crying. So I have asked mmy husband to send her to school instead. But still, im struggling whether I can be freemind at work or still, I keep worry and crying whenever pick her from school? What can I do? What should I do? She is my everything./

  • Kim Ferrie

    I’m sure it’s “frustrating” for babies to spend more time with nannies/hired help than with their mommy.

  • Nisa

    Hi Tina, yes I agree with you. I have a child 3 years old, the first 2 years I have been with him (with a 1 month break that he was in Spain with my parents for me to be able to find a job in the UK). I am spanish, I moved to the uk with my partner and 4 months later I got pregnant, by the time he started a new good job. I speak 5 languages and was working as Marketing manager and event organizer before going to the UK. I leaved my job because my partner has a son in the UK and he wanted to be closer to him. So once in the UK, the first 4 months we were living next to his parents house in a really boring place (I come from Barcelona, so for me some areas from the UK are a bit boring as there is not much to do. I guess if you grown up there and have your family is another story…but for me was difficult). 4 months after, my partner gets a job and we move to the London. I start working as waitress for a lebanese Restaurant (found that job 2 days after having arrived there) as we needed cash flow immediately. They treated me like familiy. 2 months after I found out about my pregnancy. Told my boss, he was very comprehensive and provided me with any necessary facilities I needed to be able to work in peace and helped me with the paperwork to get the maternity allowance (which you can get only after having worked at least 6 months). When I was 5 months pregnant, I leaved my job. My boss said to me he was there for me for anything I need. So I feel a really good support from him. Since there, we have been financialy struggling and our relationship has been suffering for that. We have moved 4 times home and we have survived to the mold big problems present in all houses from the UK. (almost all). My son was born, pure altruist love and pure dedication to him until he was 2 years old. After struggling too much in the UK, I decided to move to Spain (we decided it was best option, as in the UK I had absolutely NOBODY, no friends and no family and Spain nurseries are more affordable than the ones in the UK). I returned to Spain with my child, my partner stayed there a few more months, until he found a job in Spain. The first 2 months me and my son were living in another city than the city I was looking to work from. Everybody said, Spain was in crisis and I was not going to make it … find a good job quick. But, I did it. Every week I was travelling to Barcelona from my parents house in blablacar, staying 4 days a week in Barcelona going from agency to agency, doing group interviews until finally, 2 months after I found a job. And not any job, a really good job. I was working for a high-tech cosmetics brand as marketing and operations assistant. Good job and very well paid. So crisis is not everywhere…if you work hard looking for a job, a good job will soon or late come.

    The first 2 months working here, I was living in a room, sharing flat with students. Why? Well, my parents are not rich, my man has 2 other childs with different moms (they are with me every sommer and xsmas since 4 years now), his finances are bad even if he gets paid well, and … my 1 month contract … didn’t allowed me to rent a flat. But, like to find a job you have to work hard, to find a flat also. I was working 8 hours a day and in my lunch breack visiting flats hoping that a good person will consider my situation and allow me to rent a flat with my temporary contract. And so was that. After 2 months living with students in a sharing flat and visiting my son every weekend, I met a real state agency who gave me the opportunity to rent a flat with my temporary contract. First thing I did, was to bring my child here and put him in a nursery, 10 hours a day during 2 months. Imagine the nightmare it was for him and for me…no comments. Then, my contract ended, my partner came, found a job here and we were living together all family. I was 1 month not working, put my son in a nursery next to our house and instead 10 hours a day, he was going from 9am to 12pm. We enjoyed a lot that time together. Our emotional bonds where stronger. He was going to that nursery until sommer. I was voluntering for non profit organizations and we were having a good time. After sommer he started school, and in October I went back to work. Again, good job and good salary, 8 hours a day. Really difficult decision to take…But as we still struggling, I had to do it. We are still paying lawyers related to my partner and his ex-wife. Hi sends 300 € to the other wife, and makes expensive presents to his 15 years old son twice a year. I don’t blame him for that, as they don’t see each other I can understand. He only pays pension to the other child not to both of them. So it can be understandable. But we still struggling.

    When I was voluntering, I felt in heaven! Was enjoying time with my son, working the hours I wanted to, and enjoying my life. But my partner was day after day complaining about the fact that I am giving my skills for free, that I should get paid for anything I do, that I should earn more then 2000 € a month to be able to live with dignity, etc. Every morning I was happy getting ready to go to my voluntering job, untill he started criticizing me for not getting paid. So … I had to leave it and look for a job where I could get paid.

    Now that I have the job that pays me, he complaints because I don’t spend much time with my son, he says that is detrimental for his emotional stability and so on. He says that I should have a job where, instead of finishing at 18:00, finishing at 15:00. (hahaha that makes me laugh…if now with me working 8 hours a day we still struggling, imagine if I would work less hours = less salary!). Well, can be that men are always insitisfied with everything? I don’t know…But this doesn’t make things smooth for a mom who is emotionally struggling for being at work even the days her son is shouting in the phone because wants to be with her due to an ear infection.) Believe me, not easy at all you fill like a bad mom, irresponsable and insensible. But hey! I if stay at home, the one who will shout me laud instead of my son will be the agency complaining we haven’t paid the rent….So, to women like Jenny who have the chance to be a SAHM, urray!!! Congrats for you! But please understand that not everybody has the favourable situation to do that. Selling our smartphones maybe will help us to be able to pay the rent in full for 1 month, but what about the rest of the months? To live in a less expensive flat would be a good solution, we pay now 700 € for our flat, maybe we could get something for 500 € but then this means to move to a more distant area where maybe is not as secure as where we live now…not sure if I want to risk our lives for 200 € a month less sorry.

    I have a babysitter, who is 25 years old and theater teacher, who pics up my son 3 days a week in the school and plays 2 hours with him. The rest of the days my mom picks him up. But, she is 70 years old and starts having strong low back pain. So, will probably need that the babysitter picks him up everyday. My parents moved to my city 2 months ago, so finally extra help. I come home at 19:00, he has dinner and I play with him until 21:00 time that he goes to bed. Yes, it is sad to be with him only 2 hours a day, it would be much better having found a job ending at 16:00, that way I will have time to pick him up from the school…but, most of the jobs are from 9am to 6pm in Spain, so … And now that I have already started here, is being difficult to leave them as I like the Company and I am happy with the income. It is also not good to change jobs every 3 months…not good for your CV…

    I love my son, but being with him eveyday at home playing is not the only sign of love. Providing him food, a comfortable house with heating and to see his fathers less stressed because they are having less and less debts, is also a sign of love, don’t you think? Time and money will give him stability, not only one or the other…

    Be strong woman, listen to your inner voice and don’t blame yourself for doing the right thing. Only you know what is right and what not. Listen to you, read as much as you can, and listen to your brain and heart at the same time. They both have to work together to get a better work-life balance.

  • Ali Zee

    I am 18 weeks pregnant with my first and I work in a toddler room at a childcare. Me and my husband are moving to a new city a month before I’m due because of his job. we plan on me being on maternity leave for our babies first year. I have expressed to him that I don,t want to find a new childcare job after my maternity leave because I think it’s silly for me to raise someone else’s children while someone else raises mine. He is worried about money so we have talked about me finding an part time evening job as a waitress or something(i used to do this before childcare) so he will be home when I’m working. But it all seems silly to me. I would love to open a home childcare I have the diploma for it and think I would live it. Sadly we need a house first. But we have a year and a half… A lot can happen :)

    • jennymaree5

      If there’s anywhere in your budget to cut spending to stay home, I highly recommend it…for example, make coffee from home instead of Starbucks drive through, meal planning at home instead of eating out, canceling cable tv and magazine subscriptions and Pandora, etc. every little bit adds up, especially if you think about the fact that you still have to pay taxes on what you earn so your really only bringing home part of what you make, plus paying for childcare and for me it was an hour commute to work each day so I’m saving hundreds in gas alone. Well worth it if you can refigure your budget to do what you can to make it work to stay home with baby, they’re only this little once and it goes by so fast! Enjoy!
      And if you get a chance, check out The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy

  • Christie

    I am having a major/constant internal debate about staying home with my kids. I have a 3yo and a 6 mo old and plan on getting pregnant with 3rd this summer. I REALLY want more time with the kids and to “raise them myself”, but my hangup is that I have a really cush job with the federal government with the awesome benefits and retirement and everything. It’s hard to get back into my job so I feel like I am closing the door on my career instead of just taking 5-7 years off. It’s a scary big jump to quit and not make money. I’ve had a job since I was 16 and worked 3 jobs in college–it’s what I do….get up and go to work and make money. But in the same breath, my kids will only be little once and I feel like I’m missing out. I only get to see my little girl for an hour and half before I have to put her to bed. My biggest concern is that I will resign and regret it and be stuck at home jobless and depressed and miserable. One the other hand, I feel like if I don’t stay home with the kids since it is a very real option, I will look back 10-20 years later and wish I had put my kids first over money/benefits and retirement. Any advice? The war in my head is all-consuming and unbearable.

    • Michelle

      I am also dealing with this! I Feel the same way! My daughter is 8 months and because of this gut wrenching mental battle I feel I can not enjoy her (I do) it’s just this tug of war on what to do! If I can just make a decision and stick to it, it can be better for all. My husband wants me to quit as he feels I will have regrets later. I love my job and I make fantastic income. I can work from home when I need to, so it’s a sweet deal. But…it’s still work! I love my daughter so much we fought to have her for years…what did you decide?

  • Selene

    I do not want anyone else to raise my child! My child came to me to learn and grow from me and not from some other lady with her own belief systems! Or even worse that my child learns from other children (at daycare) and what they have been taught at home by their parents and siblings, a child learns much more from an adult then from a child. Doing part time job from home can be pretty nice support if you want more income.
    When I was a child I hated daycare, I was abused there … and if you gave me a choice I would stay with my mother or my grandmother the whole time, not be separated from them. A child when becoming an adult will start to separate on their own slowly with the speed that feels comfortable for them … you don’t force not ready seeds out of the flower, you grow them until they are mature until they start falling away (same goes for pregnancy and many other things)!