Should you become a stay at home mom?
I feel like among Christian bloggers there is a weird pressure to stay home with the kids, like “that’s what a Titus 2 woman would do.” Yes, during Bible times women were most likely staying home and raising their children, but that was thousands of years ago and, to be clear, being a homemaker is not limited to “staying at home.” “Raising kids” and “being busy at home” can happen outside of work hours. Many women are doing it, maybe they’re just not blogging about it. If you’re not sure whether to stay-at-home or go back to work, that’s okay! Hopefully this blog will help you to decide.
Personally, I became a stay-at-home mom out of necessity.
Becoming A Stay-At-Home Mom
I have my ministry license and vocational ministry diplomas in Biblical Studies and Leadership Development, but I don’t have a college degree (yet). Higher paying jobs require at least an associates or a bachelors degree. So with my current credentials, if I’m not hired by a church or working my own business, my options are entry-level positions that start at minimum wage.
With that said, I transitioned out of a ministry job just before I found out I was pregnant. I was burned out and needed a break so I became self-employed as a nanny. I became pregnant a month into starting the nanny job. It was a surprise! 🙂
When the time came to have my daughter, the wonderful family I worked for did not feel comfortable with me bringing her to work, so I graciously resigned.
The way I’m wired, I have to love my job — I don’t do well if I’m not in a job where I feel like I’m using my gifts to solve problems and make a difference. I wasn’t ready to do ministry again, I wasn’t interested in being an “employee,” and I didn’t want to leave my daughter at a daycare to work an entry-level job I didn’t love, for money that would basically pay for her child care and nothing more. So I chose to stay home.
It was an easy decision, but it was hard to live out.
Pros and Cons
For me, becoming a stay-at-home mom meant extremely limited finances and limited adult interaction. My husband was working at an amazing lumber company at the time, but the benefits didn’t cover childbirth. I spent all day every day with our baby, but because I hadn’t structured my life well up to that point, I felt like a full-time milk machine (I breastfed exclusively). Though my family is amazing and God was so good to us, I honestly hated that first year because I felt so lonely, disorganized, tired, bored, passionless, and… sticky.
There is a plus side that made everything worth it. I have been able to spend the past three years bonding with my daughter and raising her in Christ, in a safe environment. I’ve had time to rediscover God’s purpose for my life and grow as an adult and homemaker. I have learned the value of putting my family first (second only to God). But would I recommend becoming a stay-at-home-mom?
Some women have wanted to be moms for as long as they can remember. When they were kids, all they wanted to do was have kids and homeschool them. I have so much respect for those women. If that’s you — by all means, you should stay at home. That is your dream! Do it!
I also think being a mom is one of the highest callings one can receive because we have the opportunity to raise the future’s leaders. (Teachers, student pastors, and those who serve children and families have some of the highest callings as well). Andy Stanley often says, “Your greatest contribution to the kingdom of God may not be something you do but someone you raise.”
AMEN. …However, I don’t think being a stay-at-home mom is the only effective way to raise children and thus make a great contrubution to the kingdom. And I don’t recommend it for women who have other dreams.
There’s Nothing Wrong With Wanting to Be “More” Than A Mom
I think it’s possible to raise your family intentionally in Christ while having a full-time job. I have friends who are doing it (some while going back to school) and by God’s grace, in His timing, I will be doing it as well. I think to do otherwise when your passion is not just your role as a parent could actually make you resent your family because you feel limited in your dreams.
I noticed that when I started working again, I was able to give more of myself to my family and appreciate them more. My husband would say, “busy wife, happy life,” because I was a completely different person when I started going back to work.
In fact, going back to work has made me a more consistent homemaker because I hate coming home to relax in a cluttered environment with no food. 😅😂 It’s as if I’m forced to be more intentional with my time at home. And I find joy in doing so!
Should You Become a Stay-At-Home Mom?
So how do you decide whether you should become a stay-at-home mom? I think the biggest factors are finances, desire, and God’s will. It would also help to write down the pros and cons for your family.
Pray through these questions about finances:
What would it look like for your family to go from living on two incomes to living on one?
If you went back to work, how much of that money would go toward childcare?
If most of the money went toward childcare, would it be worth it?
If most of the money went towards other things would it be worth it?
Pray through these questions about your desires:
What are your big dreams? What are you passionate about?
How do you define success?
What do you want your kids to be able to say about you?
What energizes you?
Pray through these questions about God’s will:
Are you spending time with God regularly?
Are you spending time with other Christians regularly? (i.e. going to church)
What does your husband think?
What are your fears or concerns?
What does God want you to do as a mom and as a career?
Do you have peace about your plans?
And Here Are Some Alternatives to Staying at Home:
Talk to your boss to see if you can work from home on some days and have a nanny or drop off at day care on the days you go into the office. The family I worked for as a nanny did this.
Ask for a raise:
Maybe it’s time to ask for the pay increase you haven’t gotten since your started working there 2+ years ago. That way, going back to work and paying for childcare will be worthwile.
Have a family member help:
Some people are fortunate enough to have their retired relatives stay with their children while they go to work. Or maybe one of your parents is just waiting for you to say the word so they can retire and be full-time grandparents.
Adjust your hours:
See if you can work less hours on certain days and make those hours up when your husband will be home, and vice versa. I work very part-time during hours when my mom-in-law is home to watch my daughter. The extra cash helps us do fun things as a family and working is an outlet that brings me joy and lets me share Jesus with people outside of church. As a pastor’s wife, who is at church sometimes 4 days out of the week, that is refreshing!
Start a side hustle:
Begin planning and working on a side business that you can do from home. Then when money is consistent, adjust your hours or quit. My goal is to get my business going so that when we have our next child, I can continue to serve my clients and grow our income while staying at home.
Bring your baby to work:
If you work in a safe environment where you won’t be easily distracted, see if you can bring your baby to work on some days.
Other things to consider:
You could stay at home for a season and then go back to work. If you’re considering changing careers anyway, like I did, it might be okay to take time off and go back to work after your child is walking, talking, or potty-trained.
What Does God Want YOU to Do?
I hope this blog helps you to decide! I want to challenge you NOT to measure yourself according to what others think you should do, but let God set the standard for how you should live in this season. Don’t let other’s definition of success corner you into doing something that does not look like God’s definition of success for you. Take the time to pray and figure out the difference.
Your Turn: Do you think being a stay-at-home mom is right for you? ⭐️
Hey sis! I’m Imani, the Young Moms’ Advocate and Legacy Activator, who is here to help your family prosper. Also, I’m probably dancing to Michael Jackson right now.