What is it worth to raise your child? Is it worth giving up an income? For us the answer will be yes. First the first time in a long while my wife will not be heading back to work this September (she works in education). Instead she will be staying home to raise our little guy and our princess (19 months and 8 yrs old respectively). This wasn’t an easy decision for us. Giving up her income will require us to be a lot more frugal and we’ll really have to watch our spending now. Our future savings will also decrease as we won’t have as much to put away. We have a nice cushion already and I think we can do this; it just requires us to change our lifestyle.
Here is why we’re moving to one income:
- Child Care Cost – We were paying a LOT in child care. And yet for all we were paying our son was getting sick way too often, catching bugs from the other kids at day care. Not that the day care was bad; it’s just inevitable that a child gets sick and spreads it around.
- Sick Days – My wife took a lot of sick days during the last school year. As I mentioned the little guy was getting sick a lot. Day care is supposed to help us go to work but it was causing a lot of stress instead. Let’s face it, it’s painful seeing your child sick and not be able to do much about it. And my wife was getting to a point where her sick days were going to start costing her.
- Stress of getting around and making arrangements - Mornings were hectic to say the least in our home. Getting two kids ready and getting to work on time s a big deal. The evening before we had to make sure everything was prepared and laid out for the next day. Then there’s actually dropping the little guy off and picking him up (sitting in traffic, finding a spot, etc…). Ever leave you child with someone else and have him cry for you? It will break your heart! We also had to find arrangements for our daughter after school for a good part of the year. And because I was dropping her off in the morning I was getting to work and leaving later.
- Enjoying raising our children – Last on this list but first in our hearts, the main reason for my wife staying home to raise the kids is because we feel it’s the right thing to do. We feel strongly about being there for our children in their formative years. My wife originally intended to take more time out when the little guy was born but she ended up going back anyway. Now she will take the time off to be there for them.
It’s a shame that in today’s economy having a parent stay at home to raise the kids has to be a difficult decision. When did it switch from a second income being gravy to it being just about necessary?
Stay tuned to see what we have done so far to adjust to one income!
Have you moved from two incomes to one? How is it working for you?