Being a Stay at Home Parent
I was speaking to a friend the other day and she raised a question that I feel may be on many people’s minds. It is something that could strongly affect the livelihood of a family and may even cause a family to suffer or prosper. This is the concept of career or stay at home parent.
There are many things that will cause a family to look into this. First of all let us assume that we are dealing with a typical family where both the husband and wife work and they have at least one or two small children.
The idea comes from the time when a woman discovers she is pregnant and begins to put in for her absence from work typically called maternity leave.
Stay at Home Moms
First of all I must say that the time a woman takes off for her maternity leave will differ from company to company as far as how much, if any, she will get paid during her absence. This blog is not about that. This blog is about what happens after she goes back to work, assuming she does.
Since the 1980’s women have entered the workplace and have excelled in higher and more demanding levels of promotion. Often women have either put off having children (regardless if it is through giving birth or adoption) until later in life.
What happens if that family does have children? What happens to a career when children are now involved?
In Today’s American Society
A few things that must be considered when this occurs. The most frequent thing that we see in America is that women will often return to work. The problem is that is it best for the family to have both parents working while the small child is either raised by other family members or by some form of paid daycare?
A lot has to be considered here on both parents parts.
- What are the costs for having someone else raise their children? Also, is it better to be there for the child or for someone else? This can be in the form of a nanny / opare or some form of day care.
- Which of the parents have the likelihood of getting paid in the present or near future?
- Can one or both parents work from home?
In my previous blog “Goal Setting – 1 of 6 – Your Point A” (found at https://www.kevinadunlap.com/goal-setting-1-of-6-your-point-a/) I talked mainly about goal setting and how to get to your end goals which you need to know where you are starting in order to get there.
This can be applied here as well.
Costs of Both Parents Working
I have found that many people will be paying the same or more to daycare services (including meals, diapers/clothing, and the actual services rendered) than one of the incomes from one of the two parents. Thus, mathematically it would not make sense to do this. Also, with the rise of home schooling this can also be a determinate factor.
I have seen more and more of my friends who are now doing home schooling for their children. You may have your own opinion on this subject (either for or against it) but it is one thing you must consider when raising children.
When deciding to have children you must start weighing in the costs of both parents working and the hard costs of raising the child.
In My Opinion…
In my opinion there are additional options that you may want to consider.
- Can one or both parents work from home and also raise the child at the same time?
- Which of the two parents makes the best income with the possibility of promotion in the near or not so near future?
- Comparatively what are the costs (weekly and monthly) of having someone else raise your child?
- What other income options can one of the parents seek if they were staying at home? Can they start and operate a home based business?
- Where do you see yourself, your family, and your child 12 months from today? Or even in 5 years? Or 10 years?
The last one is probably the most relevant to think about. You may have a short term goal in mind, but what about long term? If you have a grandparent or other person help with the early years, what about when kindergarten or elementary school ages are approached? If you home school can you still operate your career from home? Also, what about what is best for your child?
Many things have to be considered here. And it is not always the wife or mother who has to be the stay at home parent. I have known many stay at home dads. The mother had the higher wage earning job and the husband stayed at home taking care of the children. I know one of them who became a stock trader and traded stocks either aftermarket hours or during nap times.
I hope this article helped open your eyes to other possibilities as well as to actually begin to analyze what is best for you and your family. If you take the pride of having to stay at work out of the equation then hopefully you will come up with the best solution for you and your family.
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