The Sacrifices of a Stay at Home Mom
Monday, December 12th, 2011
I have been a stay at home mother for a really long time now.
In the first ten years, I have to admit that I never once thought about anything else that I would rather be doing. I never thought about what it really means to be a stay at home parent. My husband and I just decided that we would afford it, and we dove in head first because we were steadfast that it would be important for our kids.
However, more recently – maybe because I have turned 40 and find myself competing in my work at home profession with a bunch of 20 something’s, I realize that the stay at home mom gives up A LOT. And I mean A LOT! It isn’t just about it being harder to re-enter the workforce when you go back to work.
- You are giving up the ability to make more when it comes time for you to collect social security. Put it this way, the difference as of right now, should social security exist when I am older, between mine and my husbands earnings is around $1300 PER MONTH. As it stands, I would barely afford groceries on my earnings.
- To date, I have not earned enough income credits to be eligible for disability. In fact, it would take me working another 3-5 years before I would be able to collect disability should I become injured. I worked from the time I was 16 until I was 28 at middle-income jobs, yet still haven’t earned enough.
- When I left the work force, my skills were on par with everyone else that would be applying for the same jobs as I was. Today, being out of the workplace for 14 years puts me at a huge disadvantage of having basic skills.
- My husband has been buying employee stock and compiling quite a large 401K portfolio at his employer. Me…nada. NOTHING. When you are talking hundreds of thousands of dollars down the road, this is HUGE.
- Health insurance, life insurance? Nope. As long as I am married I have health insurance, but I don’t have life insurance.
- The problem is that not much of this seems unimportant right now. But as I look at my own parents and my in-laws, and realize that it won’t be long before I am their age, I do wonder how I will take care of myself. Then what? The last thing I want to do is end up being a burden for my children!
- Mothers give up a lot to stay home with their kids. If a marriage doesn’t work out, which according to statistics – only half do – then for making this ultimate sacrifice we could be looking at life as an elderly person filled with hardship.
- And still, I don’t regret the fact that I have been staying home with my kids while my husband has been out working. However, I do wish that I had the insight then – to make some arrangements for my future and myself.
What are you giving up to be a stay at home parent? And, more importantly, if you have any advice for our community – PLEASE share. Most of us are all in the same boat.