Hmmmmm. One thing I've noticed is many people understand the idea of staying at home when the kids are little. I mean those are the formidable years right? Not to mention the cost of daycare is off the chain! They would be right to think that way. There is a greater need to stay home with small children. We managed over the past 22 years of marriage to either work opposite shifts with my being part time and Dh being full time, or my staying home while simultaneously running an in home daycare. There were, aside from the advantages, disadvantages to both. Opposite shifts meant Dh and I saw each other in passing. We might have had a day off here and there but for the most part it was "Hi and Bye". In addition, what work on the house that I accomplished when off was not maintained when I was gone to work. No ones fault. Dh had his own things to care for. The daycare was some better except I had a houseful of kids (11 at the highest, counting my kids) Mon- Fri. Needless to say running errands were few and far between. That meant Sat was the day to clean, grocery shop, etc. Not much time for fun stuff. I always felt pressured for time. When I was somewhere fun it was at the cost of something being left undone that week. I know I should have been able to let that go, but lets face it, in this day and age you are supposed to be a super mom. I'm not. Right or not, that was my feeling. I 'm grateful, don't get me wrong, for the ability to work from home or work part time over the years, but even doing that meant I was working a full time job at home and a part time job outside the home.
Now I'm getting to be home and yet my kids are older. I say all this to say there are more reasons than young children for one parent/spouse to stay home.
1) When one person stays home and takes over the management of the home, it takes that weight off the other spouse/ parent enabling them to focus primarily on their job. All errands, doctor visits, chauffeur service, etc falls under the home management title. I won't go so far as to say which of the team needs to be the stay at home designee, but whoever has that distinction needs to understand this is a full time job as well.
2) It is more cost effective. So daycare isn't needed anymore. We never used that to begin with except for a short time when my oldest was a toddler. What I'm talking about is less gas used, less eating out, less convenience food, fewer taxes owed. In addition this frees time up to meal plan, bake, shop smart, garden, etc. These things save money.
3) Stress reduction. Not all schedules have to be hectic. Because there is a parent whose schedule is open and flexible, things fall into place. The house stays better maintained, whoever needs to be where ever happens much easier.. Especially in our case where we have two sons in technical college with differing schedules and Rubic has a job after school. The stay at home parent handles all business dealings in regards to the home finances or home maintenance.
4) More time for your marriage. I work around and for the home from the time DH leaves for work and until he comes home. I take breaks just like he does at work, When he is home from work, I am done for the day. Well excepting dinner prep and clean up. When Dh is home from work, he is done for the day, He can come home and enjoy the down time to ready for the next day. In much the same way, because I addressed what needed addressing that day,my day is done and I can enjoy needed down time. Great thing is we can enjoy that together. Our weekends are now our weekends. We can go somewhere, or not, up to us. We have the time.
Now I will put in this disclaimer. Anything that is greater than an 8 hour day is a shared responsibility for both parents. For example, Dh is off today and so technically so am I , but there are still things that need to be done. These become the shared responsibility of both of us. I cooked breakfast and he saw to the chickens and fed the dogs. He's also going with me to a friends house to help feed their animals while they are out of town.
I have been home for the past 4 days. Shock of shockers my house is being put back in order. I have 2 rooms left to clean and organize. Then I will address the outside. In addition, rooms I cleaned on Tuesday have been easily maintained through out this week even though I have been focusing on other rooms. Each morning I am able to go over the previous days rooms and make sure everything is in order before turning my focus elsewhere. I've been able to run errands, walk, read my Bible (Gasp!), sew, etc without feeling the pressure of time. Today we will be going out as a family to have a little fun. The plan is to have a leisurely breakfast, go check on my neighbors animals, and off we go possibly to some antique shops because youngest son wants to look for vinyl records. I'm looking forward to it. No thoughts on what is left undone. If something still needs doing I have Monday. My focus is time with my family. I love it. Dh says he's lovin it. My sons are amazed at how nice and clean the house is. Less stress for everyone.
I'm home now because I can be. Debt kept that from being a possibility until now. "The borrower is slave to the lender". The choices we made to get into debt kept an ideal situation from coming to fruition. Our own fault. Had we stayed out of debt from the get go, this could have happened a long time ago. If you are in debt, get out. If you aren't in debt, stay out. Best advice I could ever give.