Thursday, April 12, 2012

Stay-at-Home Mom: The Pros and Cons

Last week I talked about My Story.  This week I’m going to talk about the pros and cons of being (or becoming) a stay-at-home mom.  If you don’t have time for the whole thing, be sure to skip to the bottom…I saved the best for last. :)

Pros:
-More time with your child to train them, teach them, and love on them.
-Not having to worry about what someone else is teaching your child.
-Avoidance of the social problems daycares and preschools can create.
-Fewer sicknesses in your home (because your child is no longer in daycare)
-Never having to feel torn between work and kids.
-Never having to miss out on anything, such as your child’s first steps or first word.
-No tyrannical boss (in fact, no boss at all!) to deal with.
-No more daycare bills, soggy sandwiches packed for lunch, dealing with coworkers, or gas spent on commutes.
-Being able to do chores and errands during the day, so that when your hubby gets home at night your house is less stressful and chaotic. 
-In the same vein, you can devote more attention to your husband (who should always be your first priority) because you’ve already met your child’s needs (or as best you can) and you have less to worry about.
-Also in the same vein, more relaxing evenings.
-Possibly having more free time to pursue things you love, such as learning a new language, gardening, or writing.
-Your kids (and you and your spouse too) learn that doing without certain things doesn’t mean less happiness.  The simpler life can actually mean more happiness!
-Possibly having a smaller house to clean (because you can’t afford a bigger one :) )

Cons:
-Having to depend solely on one income and salary
-Not having the money for certain (or any) extracurriculars for your child or good family vacations.
-The stress that comes with struggling to make ends meet
-Not getting to “climb the ladder”, prove your worth, or use the degree you worked hard (and paid hard) for
-Possibly leaving a job you love and that you feel like you’re impacting the world at.
-Having to be stuck at home more
-Not getting recognition for your daily work
-Not getting to socialize as much with adults (aka, coworkers)
-Caring for your child all day takes a lot of work and energy!

And the real comparison:
-Nice lunches with coworkers could never compare to PB&J sandwiches at the park with a happy, smiling child.
-Impacting the world a little through an outside job could never compare to impacting the world by impacting one little life.
-Training a new employee well could never compare to training up your child in the way’s of the Lord, using each second as a teachable moment.
-The extra money for highlights and manicures could never compare to the priceless gift of watching your child take his/her first steps.
-The reduced stress of not struggling to make ends meet could never compare to the reduced stress of not having to juggle home life and work life.
-Less fights about money (because they’re always plenty) could never compare to having more time to spend with your spouse.
-The bigger house, nice vacations, and living the “American Dream” could never compare to a hopscotch drawn on the driveway, sleeping in a tent in the back yard for a “staycation”, and making chocolate chip cookies in the kitchen.
-The accolades, promotions, pay raises, and bonuses could never compare to being able to lay your head down at night knowing that you’ll never receive the recognition you should for the incredibly hard work you did that day…and being perfectly okay with that.

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