Ask 10 different moms why they stay at home instead of full-time work outside of the house and you’ll likely get 10 different answers.
For some, it’s financial. It just doesn’t make sense, in their situation, for them to work. Maybe that’s because their personal incomes are low. Maybe it’s because the number of kids they have make daycare expensive. Whatever the reason, it COULD be a financial no-brainer for them to stay at home.
For some, it’s emotional. They really, really, really want to. It’s where they want their focus to be. It’s what they’ve prepared for. Maybe they haven’t found a non-mom job that they really like. Maybe home is just where they want to be.
For some, it’s just practical. Maybe their spouse is military and moving is something they frequently do. Maybe their spouse works long or irregular hours or have lots of travel.
For me? Why am I deciding to stay at home?
It’s my influence. I’ve lost too much of my influence with my children. It isn’t that I have no influence with them, but my influence is too small. When I was just working part-time, it didn’t bother me. When they were really young and the major goal was keeping them alive and thriving, it didn’t bother me. When my sister was my babysitter, it didn’t bother me. When there wasn’t so many of them, it didn’t bother me.
But all of a sudden? It started bothering me. My kids are in a church-ran preschool and they do good things there. They’re even thriving there. In particular, Finn has done great with an established routine. (Something that kid really needs!)
But I’ve realized that Mr. Jacob has more influence over my 3-year-old Finn than I do – by a long shot. Mr. Jacob seems to be a good guy, but I don’t know him. I’ve never had him over for dinner. I haven’t met his wife or his child. I don’t know his philosophy on teaching or discipline. I don’t know how long he’ll be at that pre-school. Same with Stephen’s teacher – she seems great, is a grandmother and is very kind. Sammy is too young to have much influence on, but the same things apply.
Even though the decision-maker wasn’t financial for us, it still has financial ramifications. And that does bother me. I make a great income and it’d be financially worth it (on paper) to have up to 7 kids before daycare costs are more than my income — especially once you factor in that we’d probably hire an in-home nanny.
It isn’t that I want to be the only influence on their lives – grandparents and family are wondering influencers. And I like the idea of preschool a couple of mornings a week. I like Sunday School teachers and Awana leaders. I’m just not ready to give up 50+ hours/week at this stage in their lives. I’m excited to stay home for the major reason that I can start to have the influence on my kids that I want to have.