Some of the pros of being a stay-at-home parent include more flexible hours, being able to spend more time with your children, and not having to pay for childcare. Some of the cons of being a stay-at-home parent include having to give up your career, not having as much money, and not having as much free time. In this article, we review some of the facts and figures that explain the pros and cons of being a stay-at-home parent.
Benefits of Being a Stay-At-Home Parent
Consider these benefits of being a stay-at-home parent based on various studies and surveys about the impact of stay-at-home parents:
Improved Academic Performance
One study found that 10th-grade children who had a parent stay at home when they were young achieved better grades in school than those who had working parents working away from home during early childhood. This is even true for kids who’s stay-at-home parents went back to the workplace after a few years.
Although stay-at-home parents may have more time to support their children academically, parents who work outside the home may be better able to provide financial support.
Decreased Child Care Expenses
Families that have a parent dedicated to providing child care can avoid the major expense of paying child care providers for several hours of care costs each day. The cost of child care has been steadily increasing, with working parents paying an average of $143 per week for child care costs in 2011. This is a steep rise from $84 per week in 1985. This includes payments made to family members, which may be much lower than the going rate for daycare institutions.
Lower Stress Levels for Kids
Some studies have found that children in daycare settings may have higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol than children who are cared for by a full-time stay-at-home parent. For example, one study showed that 63% of children in daycare experienced increased stress levels while in daycare, compared to their levels at home.
Fewer Behavior Problems
A study found that children who spend more time in child care are more likely to have behavioral and social issues. Another study found that 17% of children who receive child care outside of their homes have behavior problems.
Being a stay-at-home parent has its benefits. You’re able to spend more time with your children and get to know them better. You can also pick up on any behavioral or developmental issues early on. And, if your children are school-aged, you can devote more time to helping them adjust to a new environment.
If parents don’t work outside the home, they may have more time to go to parenting classes or groups for stay-at-home parents. This would give them more support.
Approximately one-fifth of all parents in the United States are stay-at-home parents, and this number has remained steady since 1989, according to the Pew Research Center. In a survey conducted more than 25 years after the initial survey in 1989, the Pew Research Center found that 27% of mothers in the United States are stay-at-home parents, while the number of stay-at-home fathers has increased by 3% to 7%.
More Family Time
Many parents get satisfaction from spending time with their children and stay-at-home parents have more time to spend with their kids. A study found that on average, stay-at-home parents spend 18 hours on child care each week compared to 11 hours for working mothers. This includes stay-at-home parents of school-aged children, who may be able to spend time transporting their kids to and from school, attending field trips and events, and helping them with homework, and other parenting tasks.
Stay-at-home parents usually get more sleep than working parents. They sleep an average of 63 hours a week, while working parents only sleep about 58 hours a week. The extra sleep combined with more time for relaxation can help stay-at-home parents manage stress. It also gives them more balance between family time and personal time, since they’re always available as a parent.
Possible drawbacks of being a stay-at-home parent
While there are many well-researched benefits to being a stay-at-home parent, there are also some cons to consider before you decide what situation is best for your family and yourself:
Despite its benefits, being a stay-at-home parent can be challenging and emotionally draining. While many parents experience happiness and satisfaction from raising their kids full-time, they also experience heightened levels of negative emotions, such as worry. One study showed that 41% of stay-at-home parents worry frequently compared to 34% of employed parents, indicating increased emotional stress from staying at home full-time.
A recent survey has found that stay-at-home parents are more likely to report feeling sadness and anger than working parents. This is thought to be due to the additional stress that stay-at-home parents experience. If you are considering becoming a stay-at-home parent, it is important to be aware of the potential impact on your mental health and to plan accordingly.
While stay-at-home parents don’t have the same type of work schedule as those who have to clock in and out of their job, they can often find themselves working for much longer stretches of the day. This can lead to burnout, stress, and other consequences associated with working too much, even though they are in a domestic setting rather than a standard workplace.
Time Away From the Workplace
not being employed to raise children can have an impact on future job opportunities. One researcher found that parents who have taken time off to care for their children and are now looking for jobs receive interview requests 4.9% of the time, while employed mothers receive them 15.3% of the time.