Becoming a Stay at Home Parent?


Soon we will be faced with the astronomical cost of having two children in childcare. If we thought that forking out for one child was bad, the thought of paying for two is off the scale. Last night we sat down and added up the eye-watering costs, and have been left wondering if we are doing the right thing.

It goes without saying that we do not expect good quality childcare to be cheap. However, we have reached a point where I may need to take a break from having my protected days for freelance writing. This would effectively mean becoming a stay at home parent. If this were the case, I hope that I might be able to continue doing some writing in the evenings, although this would require some serious dedication (and coffee).

Stay at home parents don’t seem to be well thought of in our society. There is an expectation that a mother or father will return to work at the end of any parental leave they have taken, and continue to progress in their career (albeit at a slower rate). There is a certain negative view of stay at home parents; whether it is a view of laziness, under-achieving, or simply that they are a bit odd (who would want to spend time with their children, after all?). Even the thought of telling people that I stay at home with the kids makes me feel a bit inferior, as if I am not contributing to society. But what could be more important than raising young, bright, well rounded children who will become valued members of society? Why, as a culture, don’t we place enough emphasis on this?

I have really started to wonder if I could be a stay at home parent. Could I be at my childrens’ constant beck and call, at least 5 days of the week (and most likely the weekend too)? Could I enjoy that uninterrupted time with them?

On the other hand, would having more days together make each day feel less rushed? Would we all benefit from slowing down a little bit?

I am approaching the idea with positivity, as it really would be wonderful not to be paying through the nose for childcare. However, I am trying to keep my sensible head on, as this lovely spring weather has given me an optimism for days at the park, trips to the beach and bike riding. Come the gloom of winter, I’m sure I will be sick of spending 5 days in a row trying to find exciting indoor activities. Rather selfishly, I would also be sad that my writing would slow down, especially the work on my novel, which I am really enjoying. As everyone keeps reminding me, though, they are only small for a short amount of time and I could pick things up again when time allows.

It’s a big decision and not an easy one. I think we will be spending a lot of time over the next few weeks mulling this one over.

Has anyone else become a stay at home parent and either loved it, hated it, or felt indifferent? It would be great to hear from you below or tweet @workinglife2016.

4 thoughts on “Becoming a Stay at Home Parent?

  1. smartrachael says:

    I am a stay at home mum with a two year old, my eldest six. I’m a social worker in child protection and the job doesn’t fit family life when my partner works away. I have ditched it to put my my kids first. Social attitudes to me have been varied but mostly negative, there are few people who realise I also write and hold down lots of editing jobs as well as doing an MA. I had to put my own kids before others and I will never regret a minute of it, even the winter months. My view is, we are a long time working and only a little time as babes. Best of luck, love your blog.


    • workinglife2016 says:

      Thank you for your comment and for sharing your story. I’m sorry you’ve faced negativity over your decision. It’s such a shame society doesn’t always value parents who choose to stay at home with their children. We are still deciding what to do although more and more I feel that being at home is really important to me and my children (regardless of whether it makes financial sense and all of these sensible things we weigh up). Well done for making the right decision for you.


  2. Emma says:

    I am a stay at home Mum and I absolutely love it! The days are so precious and special, yes there are tough days, like any job, but as they say the days are long but the years are short. Its good to try and have things planned most days even if it is a stay at home day which is needed at times. I am preganant with my second and I know I will have to find a new normal but I would not have it any other way. I do not really care what others think, My husband and I did not want to rely on family or pay for childcare and so ultimately we are doing what is right fot us and our babys and that is all that matters. Hope you decide what is best for your family and ignore any negativity from others, the only people that matter are your children x


    • workinglife2016 says:

      Thank you Emma. You are right that it’s a personal decision for you and your family. I love the days with my two (as hard as some of them might be) and there’s rarely a day that we don’t leave the house to do something. Good luck with your pregnancy and finding a new normal.


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