The Decision to Stay Home
A while back, someone messaged me asking how we came to our decision to have me be a stay at home mom. She was curious about my perspective and the pros and cons we weighed. It was a good question, and it made me want to write a little post on it!
To be honest, this one was something we decided on many, many years ago.
I remember it very vividly, actually.
As someone whose mother stayed at home, it was something I really saw the value in and wanted for my own children someday. We all have our own set of convictions, morals, and values, and this was something that fell into my value-set.
I think Tom and I were probably engaged at the time, but it was a topic we hadn’t actually talked about. I remember we were having lunch at Whole Foods in Milwaukee, and were seated by the windows. We were casually talking about our careers and our future, and I honestly wasn’t sure what his view was… so I kind of off-handedly stated something like, “Well, if I stay home with our kids, then yeah.. blah blah..” He stopped, turned, and said, “Well yeah. I definitely want you to stay home with our kids.”
It was such a relief to hear him say that. I figured he probably felt that way (we are very similar and share the same morals and values), but hearing him actually verbalize it, was music to my ears. So honestly, from that moment on, I knew it wouldn’t be a big discussion later on, more than an eventuality.
That being said, there are obviously more parts to consider.
Financially, can we live off of one income? Especially as our budget needs to grow to accommodate a child?
How will our roles in the home shift?
Will this ruin Joy’s chances of re-entering the workforce later on? Will she continue to work from home?
Would the cost of daycare outweigh one of our salaries?
I mean, so many of the questions you ask yourself are very personalized to your own circumstances, so I won’t continue. But especially living in Nashville, where there are daycare waiting lists for 2+ years out, it just made sense for us. More than anything, having me at home was important to us.
Has it had its times when it feels like an overwhelming “giving of oneself” to the point where you find yourself staying up well after the others are in bed, just to have some time to yourself? Yes. It’s easy sometimes, and hard other times. It’s boring some days, and exciting and busy many others. Like literally all things in life, it was simply a matter of personal choice.
More than anything, though, the value in having me at home outweighs all the financial or career-minded aspects. Not everyone is able to stay home because of some of the pros and cons they have to weigh, so I count myself very blessed to be able to do so. It’s not for everyone. It’s not easy, and neither is being a working-mom. We all do our best for our kids and for our marriages, and keeping Christ at the center of our family will always be the most important.