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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Becoming a stay at home mom - a decision to make

In the sixties women's place were at home raising their children. With the advancement of society over the years, many women have received higher education and there is a shift of women's place from home to office. In addition, the high cost of living today makes earning additional income inevitable. Many women are working either full time or part time today to support their family.

Therefore, we, women, once have children, are often facing dilemma. There are choices to be made. Some may opt to work full time and leave their children with childcare centers, grandparents, relatives or nannies. On the other hand, some may choose to live on single income and be a stay at home mom.

Our decision to give up our jobs and to stay at home comes with costs. It is a life changing decision; therefore, before we make transition from a working mom to a stay at home mom, it is wise to evaluate the pros and cons of staying at home.

The benefits of staying at home are as below:

1. Bonding with children

Spending time with our children during their formative years is very important. Our children need our attention and loves. If we are stay at home moms, we will be there always to love our children, guide them, instill good values and shape good behaviour. Our children will bond with us more and this will help to develop a loving and trusting relationship between our children and us. This is very important in the development of children.

2. Making sure children's needs are being met

When we are stay at home mom, we can ensure that our children's needs are being met. We make sure that they are properly fed and clothed. We are able to help them with their homework and make sure that they are not late for school. We will be able to ensure that our children go to bed on time. We will have less worries comparing to leaving our children with babysitters.

3. More focus and less stress

Being a stay at home mom, we can focus our attention solely on our family, as we do not have to juggle between work and home. We are the bosses at home and we can decide on schedules that best suited us. We will not bring our tension from work to home. It is less stressful comparing to if we have to divide our time between work and home. Being less stressful, we will have more patience with our children and family.

The disadvantages of being a stay at home mom is as below:

1. Lack of financial security

Being stay at home mom means forgoing our career and living on single income. Living on single income may not be easy given the high cost of living today. In addition, there is less protection on us; we will lose our medical insurance and retirement funds. We may be forced to forgo our present standard of living, as there is less income to sustain it. We will have fewer funds to pay for our mortgage and for emergency. We may lose support in case of death of spouse or divorce. We have to be mentally ready for all these.

2. 24 hours on call

We may be working around the clock at home. Our children may become too attached to us leaving us little time to rest. Our spouse may too dependence on us on running the household. We may end up doing all the household chores such as running errands, cleaning and cooking. We will be both mentally and physically exhausted.

3. Lose touch with society

Our lives as stay at home mom circles around our children and family. We may lose touch with our friends from work since our interests will be mostly on family and children. We will be busy taking care of our family with very little time for socialising with friends, exchanging ideas, etc. Hence, we will be easily lose touch with society.

In closing, whatever decision that we make in the end, it is important to discuss it with our spouse and always ensure that our spouse supports the decision that we are going to make.

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