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Economics of Staying Home

Parent carrying kids in a field

There’s nothing wrong about a family in which both parents work outside of the home. Each family’s situation is different, and the choice about whether to have one parent stay at home with the children is a personal, family decision that should be made after considering all factors. While it’s true that a single income family may have lower wages flowing into their joint accounts each month, that doesn’t make them less economically efficient.

A parent who takes full-time responsibility for the care of the children shouldn’t be considered a “non-contributor” simply because there’s no biweekly direct deposit. Indeed, as I will outline below, this parent contributes a vast range of personalized services that few families could ever hope to afford. Trying to equate the contributions of this parent to potential wages misses the point.

Among my many responsibilities, it can be easy to forget that I have one primary role, and that is to take care of the kids. Beyond that, I’m an administrative assistant, personal shopper, private chef, chauffeur, tutor, car detailer, housekeeper, and groundskeeper.

It’s a full plate that keeps me moving from when I wake up until I go to sleep. With few exceptions, my goal is to free up Alison to be focused on work when she’s at work, and focused on the kids while she’s at home.

As with any job, there are very real challenges. There are some days that I don’t want to work, and others when my coworkers (kids) annoy me. The truth of the matter, is I’ve never worked harder in my life, and I doubt that, when this season of life is over, I will ever work this hard again.

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CATHOLIC HUSBAND is a personal blog about marriage and family life, regularly updated since 2013. In addition to the blog, you may also enjoy the Catholic Husband Podcast. Let Catholic Husband inspire you to love, lead, & serve your family.

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About the Author

CHET COLLINS is a full-time sidekick to three small humans. He gets his best creative work done during their nap time. He’s the author of the The Transition: A Practical Guide to Engagement for the Catholic Man and Grant Us Peace. Chet also dabbles in web design when time permits. When he catches a break from the kids, you can find him enjoying the silence.

About the Host

CHET COLLINS is a full-time sidekick to three small humans. He gets his best creative work done during their nap time. He’s the author of the The Transition: A Practical Guide to Engagement for the Catholic Man and Grant Us Peace. He dabbles in web design when time permits. When he catches a break from the kids, you can find him enjoying the silence.