1. Parenting

Pros and Cons of Being a Stay-at-Home Mom

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Being a SAHM isn't easy. You'll have a mix of happy and sad days at first.

Photo © Cultura/Liam Norris / Getty Images

Being a stay-at-home mom gets a bad rap. Most people think you're living the life of luxury with no job, no boss and no workplace stress. There are many pros and cons of being a stay-at-home mom.

Always There

  • Pro
    As a stay-at-home mom, chances are good that you will always be there when your child needs you as opposed to being stuck in a cubicle at work.
     
  • Con
    Always being there can sometimes feel like you're trapped. You may love being a stay-at-home mom but there will be times when you wish you could steal some moments for yourself, which is why me-time is so important to any parent, especially stay-at-home moms.

Never Alone

  • Pro
    Your kids are with you almost every hour of the day. You're there for everything -- first steps, first words, first skinned knees.
     
  • Con
    You're never alone, as in most of the time you can't even go to the bathroom by yourself. When you can laugh about it, that's when you know you're a stay-at-home mom.

You Don't Work Outside of the Home

  • Pro
    You can focus 100% of your time and energy on your children because you're not worried about work deadlines, what your boss will say or workplace stress.
     
  • Con
    You may miss the interaction you had with your co-workers, the satisfaction of doing a good job, bringing in a paycheck and even getting dressed up for work. You have to consider all of the pluses and minuses before quitting your job to become a stay-at-home mom.

You are Raising Your Child

  • Pro
    Your children are with you a majority of the time so you won't feel like a day care worker is raising them.
     
  • Con
    It's easy to create your own bubble and isolate yourself as well as your kids from the outside world. Get together with your mom friends and schedule play dates to make sure you are exposing all of you to social environments as you raise your family.

Master of Your House

  • Pro
    You run the house. Paying the bills, cooking, cleaning, getting the kids everywhere they need to be and keeping the family schedule is all under your control.
     
  • Con
    You may feel like it all falls on you. Even if your spouse is the world's best teammate, there will be times you feel super-stressed trying to keep up with it all while raising kids.

Employment Gap

  • Pro
    Even though you're not currently working as a stay-at-home mom, there are ways to cover your employment gap. When you want to go back to work, you can and employers these days seem more open to stay-at-home moms re-entering the workforce than ever before.
     
  • Con
    You will still run into employers who see you as someone who quit her job and put a halt on climbing up the corporate ladder. Another drawback is that you will now be competing with people much younger than you with more recent experience for the same position.

The Economical Side

  • Pro
    Staying home can be a more economical choice for some families than having to pay for child care, gas, car maintenance, dry cleaning, wardrobe, lunch out and salon costs.
     
  • Con
    That two-person income just got cut down to one paycheck your whole family has to live on while you're not working. The economics of coupons, budgets and cutting corners are no longer optional.

Different Stress Levels

  • Pro
    If you love every aspect of parenting your child and can even smile on the inside when your toddler is in full meltdown mode, then your stress level will probably be much lower than if you were having to raise your family while working outside the home.
     
  • Con
    Kids can be more than a handful and their fighting, misbehavior, your family living on one income and feeling like you have your family's success or failure riding on your shoulders can send your stress level through the roof. You have to find your happy place several times a day to keep your wits.

Life Outside of Kids

  • Pro
    You'll meet a lot of other stay-at-home mom friends who you can arrange girls' nights with to give yourself a little break from constant kid raising.
     
  • Con
    You'll probably notice a drop off in activities you take part in that you used to when you worked. You may miss engaging in social activities like office parties, business meetings and corporate outings that tend to talk shop more than family life.

More Consistent Routine

  • Pro
    You'll have more control over your family's routine as a stay-at-home mom. You won't have to worry about getting called in early to work or having to stay late for a meeting. Your routine will tend to be the same from week to week as a stay-at-home mom.
     
  • Con
    Routine can often be equated with boredom. Your days will be planned out so well that you can easily feel like you're in a rut.

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