George and Mary-Lynn

Who Should Stay-at-Home with the Kids – Dad or Mom?

By Bigg Success Staff
06-11-08

Work – Life Balance

dad

Young couples often both work to make ends meet. Once children enter the scene, many couples decide that one of them should stay-at-home and raise the kids.

More and more of these couples are bucking tradition. There’s an increasing trend toward "dad" being the one to stay-at-home rather than "mom". According to the United States Census Bureau, there were 143,000 stay-at-home dads in 2005 compared to 98,000 in 2003.

Assuming you decide that one of you should stay-at-home, how do you logically decide which one it should be? Here are 4 questions to ask:

Can either of you work from home?
If one of you can work from home, this makes the decision easier. That doesn’t necessarily make getting the work done easier! If you can work at home, you may be able to juggle family duties and work duties, particularly as your kids get older.

Who makes the most money now?

It makes sense for the person who is earning the most money to keep working while the other person stays at home. Don’t look at just actual pay, though. You should also consider health insurance, retirement plans, and other benefits.

Who has the best chance for advancement?

It’s possible that one of you makes more money now, but the other spouse is primed for take-off. You should consider the longer term in addition to today. If one spouse’s pay will greatly outpace the other, you should factor that into the equation.

Who will be affected least by an extended leave?

With some careers, you can pick up right where you left off. With others, you may practically have to start over. Look to other people who have reentered the work force in your career as models of what you might expect yourself.

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(Image by Carin)

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