If money WASN'T an option, would you choose to stay home with your children?
Unfortunately, it's usually the deciding factor when a family decides whether they can live on one income or two. It's highlighted in this article, When Being A Stay At Home Mom Isn't a Choice.
Of course I was curious, being a stay at home mom at the moment, to see what it had to say. "More mothers say they're staying home because they can't find work that pays for the rising cost of child care." It's a conversation that comes up almost immediately when talking to other moms. While watching my kids play at the library, play places, or the park, I listen to the moms talk about how they used to work full time or scaled back when the children were born or can't find a job where the money is "worth sending them to daycare all day." Whether their decision is soley based on finances, is none of my business, I don't ask. I can only draw from my own experiences, working full time, and now freelancing. Trying to find the right balance for your family is TOUGH. Making sure the bills are paid, you're comfortable with your childcare situation (whether it's you, a nanny, or a daycare) and that mom and dad are happy in their respective roles, is a challenge. What I do find extremely disappointing, is the lack of opportunities out there for moms. I will admit, many of the mommies I've run into, want to do it all. Ideally, they'd like to work, at least in some capacity and be able to pick up their kids at the bus stop. It's just not easy to find. The article When Being a Stay At Home Mom Isn't a Choice includes comments from Anne Weisberg, a Senior V.P. at the research organization Familes and Work Institute. She says "income has really been flat and expenses have been climbing, especially child care expenses. That's the squeeze."
I've also listened to moms choosing to take a break from the workforce and ideally dip back into it when the kids, or at least one of them, are old enough to go to school. They tell me, that way, you don't miss those early years, and you don't have to pay for two kids in daycare. I get it. I've seen the numbers. I have been on both sides of the working mom/stay at home mom struggle. Finding ways to make ends meet is a challenge, but no one can debate the time you spend with your children is the most amazing investment, whether you leave the house to go to work or not.