How many of you became stay at home moms because of the cost of childcare?

Heather - posted on 03/20/2011 ( 30 moms have responded )

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Hi there. I am new to this group and I wanted to ask a question of you guys on here. I am currently in a Family Leadership Training course and I am working on my Community Project. This is a project that is meant to help the families and members of my community. And the topic that I chose is one that is very near to me.
I have been a stay at home mom for over 3 years now (a single mom on top of that) and I pretty much had to become a stay at home mom for one simple reason. I could not afford child care.
As a part of my project, which centers around parents (not just moms) having to become stay at home parents and those who feel that they have become "stuck" in the system of state funded assistance simply because they can not afford child care, I am looking to find out how many of us are out there.
How many of you had to stay at home because of this? I know that there are many of you out there who have chosen to do so but there are many who had no choice.
Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE being a stay at home mom. I am able to get in time with my children that I never would have been able to before, BUT I would have much rather preferred to have made the choice as opposed to being "forced" into it.
Any stories, information or comments you may have would be appreciated.
(No personal information is going to be used, I am just looking for examples/common stories to show that this is a very common occurrence)

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Stacy - posted on 11/30/2012

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is really is a huge issue. my husband was making less than 10 at the time I decided to stay home and I was making more. He didnt want to stay home so I chose to do so because of the cost of everything, it really is rediculous on how exp. child care is for one. Its 530 monthly here and it doesnt decrease as the child gets older, and I did have ins but dropped it whenI quit but it was raising every yr as well (we paid I think almost 400, but that was alot for us) . I will admit that we have food stamps (not much at all) and my son has medicaid. And I am very greatful for this help, it really is amazing to have help because we do need it. If my husband starts making more money of course we will drop them to pay for our own, (Its really irritating for people to get assistance and abuse it, we are one of the few familys that truly need it!). My husband works very hard and since then has increased his pay at the same position. We both do side jobs when we can like selling things online, metal, helping family clean their homes, so we are able to actually have somewhat of a life. We live a VERy simple life as in internet is our luxury lol, no tv, no vacations, limited trips to go out, But we work hard for what we have, and payin off our bills the best we can. It just really gets me though because with me working we wouldnt have what little we have now. , Things are just too expensive and they do not add up to the money being brought home. its like they are trying to suck the money out of our hands even before we get the check.

Jen - posted on 11/29/2012

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Hello, I notice this was posted last year but I am experiencing the same situation. I think the middle class is set up to fail, I work a full time job I earn a little more than the minimum wage, so I do not qualify for any governmental assistance, like child care, low income housing, food and most important insurance. I am trying to do things right by contributing to society paying my taxes ect. My day care for my daughter is 500 a month and insurance through my work is 600 for the both of us, that right there is almost my whole check!!!!!..... How am I supposed to live. I have came to a conclusion that people who sit on their ass and live off of welfare ect have figured it out, why try and not be able to make it!! You work and try your best you get no where, you stay at home and love your kids and not work you get insurance, food stamps, low income housing.... I don't know what to do, the bills are just staking up, like everyone else said im running around in circles. I just thought I would share my frustration, I'm sure there is a lot of families going through this.... thanks for letting me vent about this situation.

JoAnn - posted on 10/21/2011

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I am still on the fence about being a stay at home mom and leaving my amazing career of 14 years. I am due in February 2012 and after evaluating the entire picture, including the costs of my over an hour commute to and from work, parking costs while at work downtown, childcare expenses, the higher tax bracket we will be placed in due to me working versus not, the fact that my husband has a position with lots of travel, I have a part-time job that I cannot let go as it is my dad's source of housing, etc... Even though I would still be bringing in a nice salary after expenses, the level of stress and probably health concerns (ie depression and/or anxiety) due to all of circumstances... I'm thinking I'd rather stay at home and just stay current on certificates as well as refresher courses that can be added to my resume when the time comes that I'm looking for a job. (Hopefully my mom retiring next year in November will help me in achieving some of my schooling options.) - My husband has been extremely encouraging me to stay at home since I found out about the pregnancy. Oh, did I forget to mention that I also have an almost 11 year old son? That means homework every single night. - On the flip side, I've also been working since I was 15 years old and I don't know what it would be like to not have income coming in on a regular basis. The last thing I would want is to have the money that I do spend be monitored or be questioned. I don't know if that would be the case but I sure wouldn't put up with it. I'd find a job right away if anything was thrown in my face about staying home, how I'm spending $, etc... I've been obsessing on what it MIGHT be like and I'm thinking the good outways the bad. I guess the only thing to do at this point is give it a try and see what comes of it. :) Good luck on your research. Also, if anybody has information about making $ from home, please inbox me some information. Make sure it's legit and no strings or start up costs. (ie NO sales Mary Kay, Tupperware, Candles, etc. And please no get rich quick or pyramid stuff.)

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Stacy - posted on 12/06/2012

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For me it was about 40% literally. That is after paying for health ins which was pretax

It was too mcuh for me to be paying someone

Stress Judo - posted on 12/06/2012

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What's the "break even" point for daycare?

Everyone says "too expensive" - but what does that mean?

Is it when the daycare is 10% of mom's income? 33%? 50%

Just wondering.

Thank you

Stacy - posted on 11/07/2012

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I became a SAHM because of childcare cost! I would have been working just to go back and forth to work and childcare... not worth it!

Claire - posted on 11/06/2012

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I live in Australia and I've been a single SAHM for just over 6 years now. I was lucky in a way i suppose as I started studying in the childcare industry just after i finished yr 12. If you work in a centre your child does get reduced child care fees. I left her dad when she was 3 weeks old and we didn't have accommodation so we were living out of 2 suitcases and going from friends lounges to refuges for over 2 years. I tried studying at times where i thought i could, and in the process i qualified for a certain payment from the government because i was studying which allowed me to get 50 hrs of childcare a week for $1.10 a day so for $5 a week it was pretty good.

My daughter is just about to finish kindergarten and I've now set up a small family daycare in my home and have advertised online to get children to look after. i didn't want to have to pay someone else to look after my child just for me to get paid to look after other peoples. It hasn't been easy and still now at times i still struggle, however my daughter has learnt the value of money from a very early age and I've been able to be the sole person to guide and nuture my childs development thus far and I've loved every moment of it.

Ree - posted on 07/30/2012

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Today has been a hard day for my me. I am forced to quit my job as a communcation dispatcher to be a home mom because I was working to pay childcare. I worked really hard to get this job last year and I was training to be a police officer but now I have to give up my career for right now unil my youngest is in grade school. On top of all of this I have to turn down 3 interviews with 3 different counties but I know I can always reapply next year or whenever I'm ready. I'll be home for two years at the most and I am really trying to look at things in a positive perspective. Please somebody, anybody tell me how are you making it through your decision and how was it for you to make the first step toward being a home mom.

Syretta J

Tammy - posted on 01/04/2012

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The bigger issue here is child support or lack there of. We need to lobby the State legislator for time/value laws. When the "free' Parent has all the time in the world to go make money for theirselves, there is a time/value injustice. Since stay home moms are forced to stay home because daycare costs cancel out income earned. It's clearly not fair for the absent party to carry this burden alone. My vote would would be a cost of living increase demand from the absent parent. Support in most states top out at 28% to allow the absent parent enough money to live. Statistically this formula only benefits the absent parent. Who is after -all, just living for theirselves. The financial needs of the children and their mother/father custodial parent should come first. Stay home mothers have been discriminated against as poor, pathetic and hopeless. I disagree as they deserve every dignity. I personally believe that the non-custodial parent should be the one applying for assistance when they are unable to meet their financial commitments to the children they chose to bring into this world. Child support shold be no less than 50%. If non-custodial parents fail to meet this obligation, they should be the ones applying for assistance.

Stacy - posted on 12/19/2011

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I have been a stay at home mom for 10 weeks now. I did have a choice but then again i didnt. after baby number three born ten weeks ago. childcare was way to expensive i would only be making like 25 dollars a day after daycare. that was not worth it. so my husband and i decided that i should raise our kids and go to schoool. I have to say though i have days i am pulling my hair out i would rather be at the prison i was working at .lol

Ashley - posted on 12/17/2011

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I became a SAHM after changing jobs to have a better set schedule. After taking a week vacation and loving every day that I could wake up and spend the entire day with them I considered the idea of staying home. Being the one that has always had the steady income I was very nervous to make this move. Now 4 months later I am so glad that I made the decision to stay at home. Because we do not have to pay a sitter anymore we were able to cover my loss of a paycheck. My 2 year old son who at the time had a minimal vocabulary is now constantly talking and singing. My 3 1/2 year old daughter is now able to go to school and the bond that the three of us have is amazing to me. It is not very often that a mother has a choice to stay at home with her children these days but I am so glad that I am able to have this wonderful and rewarding opportunity!

Jenn - posted on 10/22/2011

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Stephanie - posted on 09/16/2011

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I am a SAHM and it is mainly because our two children have Cystic Fibrosis. Our daughter was in daycare the first two years of her life and she was always sick. At the time we still needed my paycheck. When we had our son and it turned out that he had CF as well. I decided to stay home with them to keep them from getting so sick. No one wants an employee that is always out of work because your children keep getting sick. Dont get me wrong though we could still use that income...its tight but it makes no sense to work besides them having CF. When we figured it out I would only be bringing home $400 a MONTH. EVERYTHING else would be going to daycare and that was just with a mediocre center. The better and more respected ones are even more expensive and I definitely didnt want them to be in some joke of a center. So in a sense CF and the cost of daycare for just two children keeps me home. But we have a good time anyway. Wish we could get out more but cant really afford to be driving all over town.

Kelsey - posted on 09/07/2011

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I am and still am a SAHM precisely because of the high cost to send my daughter to a daycare! If it were easier and less pricey per say, it would make the transition out to find a job(well paying job) worthwhile. I graduated from college before having my daughter, therefore didn't really jump start my career like I was supposed to do before having a kid!

Kelly - posted on 09/06/2011

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I am also from Australia and have recently looked into childcare for my eldest one day a week so I can have a break. Not only does it cost ALOT, but there are no places within a 100km radius from my home. Theyre all full. In desperation I called my maternal nurse in tears. I really needed a break. She told me to contact the council to organize a babysitter. They charge around $6 per hour. What a relief. I looked at how much it would be to go back to work with two kids in childcare, it would be alot more than I earn and thats with rebates, So I am forced to be a SAHM. I love my kids, but other than my husband, I have not seen another adult in over 2 months. This has to change.

Elizabeth - posted on 08/18/2011

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I definitely almost did and my husband is still in danger of having to. In Australia, especially professionals who work in the CBDs and therefore find it best to place their children in the CBD, the price is really high - it's actually my entire fortnightly paycheck. We could get childcare outside of the city, but then we'd have problems getting to them if there was an emergency, etc. Also, we've already got an hour drive to commute, so we'd hardly ever see them.

My husband became a stay at home dad the first time when it was his entire paycheck on the line (and he makes about 1/3 a year less than I do). We've decided to have no more children because being a stay at home was tough psychologically for him - he's built to work for self esteem. But I can't give up my pay because it covers the bills...

The childcare rebate is our saving grace, but childcare costs are going up whilst the rebate stays the same and is capped at less than 1/2 of what I have to pay a year (eg, yearly, it's $47,800 for 2 kids in childcare, and we are only able to reclaim $15,000 of it from Rebate). We make too much money to get the Family Tax Benefit and CCB is, comparatively, a joke. Despite being a high income household (in theory), having two kids and choosing to work has placed us in a situation where the mortgage could be compromised... UNLESS one of us chooses to stop working.

So, in short - yes, I'm absolutely certain there are people forced to be stay at home parents because of the cost of childcare. My husband and I have decided to cop that on the chin - but only because we can make that choice. Not everyone is so lucky.

Crystal - posted on 08/16/2011

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I've been a SAHM for almost 6 years and I chose to do it because I did not want to pay someone else to raise my kids. Plus, with what I was making at the time, I would be working just to pay for daycare. :(

Shelli - posted on 07/12/2011

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I decided to become a SAHM with our last blessing, which makes 3 children and 2 partial custody(husband prior marriage). Childcare was too much and I felt like we were missing the best years to influence our kids. I have a 13 year old from previous relationship and she grew up the first 4 yrs. with grandma raising her. I love my mother but am paying the price for not instilling the basics in the beginning. I know the finances can be difficult some weeks but that is the decision we made and we are grateful for it! My 13 yr. old is not too thrilled to have mommy in her business all the time but I know I am!! To all the parents out there who are teetering the decision to have a sahp-we say do it!!

Dawna - posted on 07/08/2011

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I am in an odd predicament. I was just licensed as a teacher. However, I am a string (music) teacher. They have a hiring freeze where I am at so I stayed at home. I wanted to anyway. However, things are tight. Especially, all the extra circumstances my family has fell upon. My fiance makes just enough that we can't get any assistance. So, I really need a job. However, in my area, rural, there are many daycares but it is not cost effective if you count all the expenses.... gas, time away, then the cost of the daycare itself. Yikes. I feel like I am stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Rebekah - posted on 05/26/2011

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It was the other way for me, I have to work because I can't afford to come home. :( Child care IS expensive, but both my husband and I have to work to make the ends meet. It sucks... I want to come home. :(

Jhoan - posted on 05/13/2011

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For me I sort of fell on to being a stay at home mom because I could not find a person to look after my daughter. Once, I hired a nanny, she turned out to be a bust because she made my daughter sleep the whole day thus making her sleep the whole day also. It ended up my daughter losing weight and us ( my husband and I) tired because we are not getting enough sleep. Plus, twice we had to rush her to emergency room because of dehydration due to diarrhea which means she has been picking up dirty foods or things and putting it in her mouth. When we decided that I should be the one to take care of our daughter things started going well with her. She was no longer getting sick, she was eating properly thus we are saving money on nannies and hospitals. Since the day I took over my daughter never suffered anymore diarrhea if she did it was basically minor stuff.

Keri - posted on 05/13/2011

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So Tia, please share with us what paying work you found that enabled you to stay with baby? I am SAHM & love knowing that I am the one ensuring my child gets the best care & attention at this delicate time in her life. For this I am very fortunate. However, (lol) I do miss the income, the feeling that I contribute financially & not feel guilty about spending money also having the contact with other adults. Don't get me wrong my husband is wonderful & never gives me a hard time. It's just difficult.. I moved from another country, found work with good money, met my husband, became pregnant & gave my independance up in every way. The thought of job interviews, making new friends after 3years terrifies me. I love my life just wish that I could ..work a couple days a week making the money I require to make it worth while leaving my girl, pay for childcare and still have some money left over to treat myself. Does such a thing exist?! As I have read in other replies, I went to college, I've held fantastic jobs. Will I be able to do this again??
Only time will tell right? :)

Leslie - posted on 04/27/2011

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I became a WAHM once we realized that the cost of childcare would be taking all of my paycheck. I did pursue on the journey to find another avenue to bring in income to supplement what we had sacrificed w/o my job. I'm thankful that I didn't give up, I found a new career that really motivates me everyday to be home and work alongside my little one. We now look back and realized what a gift it has been to be there for those special stepping stones in our child's life. I feel fullfilled as a stay at home mom who also has not lost the ability to be a professional from HOME!!! I wish many moms had this opportunity and "fire their boss!" =)

Megan - posted on 04/27/2011

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I love that im a SAHM mom of my children and SK's. I love it wouldnt trade anything in the world I keep busy with all of them

Maryann - posted on 04/27/2011

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I'm a grandmother now but I was a SAHM for my girls till they reached school age. The daycare was too expensive for me even back then. 30 years ago. I wanted to stay home and enjoyed every minute. I don't know how you young mothers do it today. I had a co-worker that came to the realization that she was working just to pay daycare so she was forced to quit and be a SAHM. The thing is...with the cost of living these days, most households need 2 incomes. I really feel for the parents of today. Most day cares don't offer daily rates either. So you have to enroll them for the entire week whether you need the 5 days or not. Grandparents are a good alternative if they are not working...I am so my help to my kids is limited by my availability and energy level! There is no easy answer.

♥TIA♥ - posted on 04/27/2011

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Well that's where I am heading. To be a stay at home mom. Finally decided what I can do with baby to bring some income to our home still. I am excited and hope it works...

Amelia - posted on 03/25/2011

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I became a SAHM because I was laid off when my daughter was 5 weeks old. I searched for a job for about 4 or 5 months but decided I actually loved being home with my baby. Now, 2 and 1/2 years later I'm glad I never found a job. We have been very fortunate in that we really have never been in a situation where I have HAD to go back to work. However, we have discussed it in the past. I have a 4 year degree, and I hate to let it go to waste. I mean, you put in all the time and money into college just to work for 2 years then get laid off. But in the end I never went through with applying for jobs. I would have to make over $40K a year to really make any kind of difference in our financial situation after you deduct the cost of childcare. With the economy the way it is and me being out of work for 2.5 years would make it impossible for me to find a job that paid that much. I don't know about all states, but in NC where I am there is a state funded child care program (one of my cousins is in that program). You have to meet certain financial criteria, and it is more or less poor quality childcare, but sometimes you just have to suck it up for a while to have a better end result. Also, I did babysit for a lady at our church who had a baby. I only charged her $40 a day. I think it was really on the low side since the infant was getting personal attention and not just being stuck in a crib or bouncer all day. So there are options out there.

Erin - posted on 03/21/2011

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the hard thing for me was it was going to cost me $85+ a day and i couldn't find anything cheaper and to me i didn't need a a place in which was going to provide lunch and nappies supplying these things myslef wouldn't of been a problem since i had to have them myself all i can say is thankfully now things have gotten a bit better for us and we are able to have our 1st and 2nd in care for that 1 day each a week

Heather - posted on 03/21/2011

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Thanks for your answer Erin. So WOW you couldn't even afford the one day a week huh? That is exactly what I was talking about and what my project is about. It just seems that it is so hard for people, single moms and even two parent families, to afford child care. Before I became a stay at home mom I was paying more for child care than I was for rent. I mean who is supposed to be able to afford that????
Thank you again for your response! =)

Erin - posted on 03/21/2011

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I became a stay at home mum because it was the choice I made but when I fell pregnant with my 2nd and then again my 3rd i wanted my kids in care at least 1 day a week but i couldn't afford it and when i sat down and looked at our money before our 2nd was born looking back i dont think that i wouldn't of been able to afford it with out having another kid i just wish the cost wasn't as high as what it is

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