Benefits of Being a Stay at Home Parent
Aren’t babies just simply delicious? This may be true for all when we say it is quite difficult to be apart from your baby. You just want to soothe them and cuddle them all the time. Keep them safe. Watch them grow. Witness the miracle of your child growing up to become a version of you. You would want to celebrate every milestone. Every parent does. But not everyone can. Some parents have to be away for work, while others have the option to be a stay at home parent.
It is now quite common for people to decide to be stay at home parents. In the past, it used to be a fort of women, but now stay at home dads are a common thing. This is because people are now realizing that being a stay at home parent has many advantages.
According to some experts, there is nothing quite like the consistent nurturing nature of parental care when it comes to ushering a child in his early childhood development. The alternative being childcare, which when poorly funded may only serve to hurt a child’s development. Studies made by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and by the Institute of Child Development of the University of Minnesota found that children who are left all day in daycares experience higher levels of stress and display more aggression than children who are cared for at their own homes. Follow-up studies have even confirmed that the negative impact of poorly funded childcare on children extends to their adolescent life.
What are the benefits of being a stay at home parent?
You are giving your child quality child care
One advantage of being a stay at home parent is that you are sure your child is receiving quality child care, because you, the one who gave him life, are the one giving it. Experts say that it is not so much as the type of child care that matters, it is the quality. And what better quality is there than from the parents themselves? The quality of care given by a parent, to whom the life of their baby means everything, is way different from the kind of care given by a caregiver, who is there for the job.
You become a part of your child’s life
The fact is, children grow up fast. You don’t have all the time in the world to help them build good characters. They are in their formative years when they are young. It is necessary that they have a parent at home with them to ensure that they don’t pick up bad habits and to help them adopt good qualities. By being a stay at home parent, you have direct supervision over your child. You will be there to ensure that they are in a nurturing and relaxed environment as they grow and develop. This will help them be easy to manage in difficult times such as in their teenage years.
You are there for your child’s growth and you develop a special bond with them
It is common for working parents to regret not being a witness to the important milestones in their children’s lives. If one parent is at home with the child, he/she can help record some of these milestones for the other. Be there for all the firsts. Your baby is only going to be a baby once. There are no repeats. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing your child sit up for the first time or laugh for the first time. Would you rather a caregiver saw these first? Would she even care enough and understand the gravity of your baby’s milestone? It also helps that the children have a parent at home to bond with. It helps the child to be secure and explore their potential because they have a parent rooting for them at games and recitals. It boosts their self confidence, which helps them grow up to be responsible and well adjusted adults.
There is consistency
Having mom or dad at home to fully supervise a child’s daily routine can come a long way when it comes to his socio-development. When a child is cared for by a parent who is there for the long haul, and not by someone who might no longer be there by the next month because of a better job offer, he will not experience daily separation anxiety. There will be no confusion over the inconsistencies in routine on days that mom is home and on days when the caregiver is in charge. There is stability when the same person is giving instructions and teaching discipline. The child will learn better.
With just you being in charge, however, your child may become clingier than you would desire since they are left to rely on you alone. They might have a hard time adjusting to preschool if he has never spent time with other children, so be sure to let your child play with other children from time to time.
It opens up new possibilities
Spell new career possibilities. The truth is that there are many ways to earn money from home. It is only by being a stay - at -home parent that many are able to appreciate these opportunities. Stay at home parenting helps the child and parents, as well. The truth is many people are more of an asset for the family when they are at home as opposed to commuting to and from work every day. On the other hand, some do not thrive in the home environment, and they need to go out and work. Their greatest enemy is boredom. Boredom can be overcome, though. Just be sure to carve out some me time during the day or the week to take a breather.
It can be beneficial for you and your partner
Gone will be the days when you and your partner will have to butt heads over who will take the day off from work when the baby gets sick. You won’t have to squeeze in household chores, shopping for groceries and other errands after work. You have the whole day to accomplish them so that when your partner gets off work, you get to spend time together. Just be mindful to avoid conflict by asking your partner to take the baby the minute they come home. Give them around 30 minutes to unwind before you give them the baby and take the break you deserve.
Financial benefits of being a stay at home parent
Unfortunately, many people view stay at home parenting as a loss of income. It may surprise people to see that, stay at home parenting can actually help the household save money. This is how;
- It saves on child care, which can be quite expensive. If you cut around corners and go for a cheap one, it is your child who will suffer in the end.
- It saves on commuting costs, and the commuting cost saved from one parent staying at home can be directed towards other expenses. By no longer commuting, you will also be able to cut on unproductive time. Time spent on commute can also cost you and can be considered an income loss. And what about the stress that commuting brings? Fatigue and stress will eventually wear you down and when that happens, it will even cost more.
- It saves on unnecessary expenses resulting from a tight work schedule such as ordering food because there was no one to make dinner hiring a household help to keep the house in tiptop shape.
- Some stay at home parents home school their children and this can help them save quite a bit of income.
- No more spending on fancy business clothes and fancy lunch meetings. You get to make your own coffee instead of getting overpriced coffee from a cafe. Staying home means spending less.
Are you ready to become a stay at home parent?
Before jumping in headfirst into becoming a stay at home parent, do consider that while there are a lot of upsides to staying home, there are downsides as well. Naturally. Serious financial and practical consequences should be considered. Here are questions to ask yourself so that you may determine if you are indeed ready to become a stay at home parent, full time.
Can you afford to stay at home?
It might sound simple and with all the financial benefits mentioned above, you might think you are already in the clear. There are more matters to consider, of course. By staying at home, you will be giving up a few things.
Consider financial vulnerability. One parent staying at home would mean only one parent will be bringing in the income. There will be no safety net, so to speak, when your partner loses his job. Having two incomes come in the household provides a degree of peace of mind that should one of you become unemployed, there is still one of you left. With one income, you may be at risk of a financial disaster. This is where the importance of having an emergency fund comes in. If you are confident with how you and your partner have managed your finances, and you have emergency funds to back you up, with investments here and there, then you have not much to worry about if one of you decides to stay home for the baby.
Staying at home would mean unemployment and your retirement fund will stop growing. You will no longer be contributing to your company’s retirement plan nor your social security and pension plan. Should you choose to stay at home, you might want to keep something as your retirement fund. Set up your own accounts and investments so that you will have some stash to keep you afloat when retirement days are upon you.
Another thing to consider is that your employability quotient may decline. Your appeal to future employers diminishes for everyday that you are unemployed and not working. Your work skills that serve as your employability tool become outdated. If you are planning to eventually go back to work, or explore new careers after some time of being a stay at home parent, be sure to keep yourself updated. Take some night classes to help you keep up with the ever evolving corporate world.
How prepared are you for all the possibilities in the future?
What if the unthinkable happens? What then? Are you prepared? Much as we could, we really don’t like thinking about all the negative possibilities in this world. We often want to attract positivity with the hopes that the universe and the future will cooperate. But when things don’t go as planned, you wouldn’t want to be caught off-guard and left for nothing. So, then, are you ready?
Not to be too straightforward and not that we would want it to happen, but suppose your partner falls ill or end up being worse? Are your finances in order and do you have emergency funds? Financial problems often arise from a death or an illness in the family. It is best that you prepare for these things like investing on life insurances and having access to hospital benefits.
Suppose one of you want an out from your partnership and simply want to call it quits. If the divorce settlement doesn’t drain your funds, spousal support and child support probably will. It is unthinkable, yes. And we sure do hope things don’t swing this way, but if in case, you better have a financial plan ready.
Should you stay or should you go?
Having gone through the benefits and the possible risks of being a stay at home parent, we now know that while we certainly do want to spend as much time with our children, there are some disadvantages when it comes to stay-at-home parenting. By deciding which among the two parents is more suitable to stay at home, the family unit can be turned into an efficient mechanism helping to raise great children. It is in the interest of the family unit that, before undertaking stay at home parenting, the parents sit down and put up the advantage against the disadvantages. If the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, then why not go for it!