Should You Only Work At Home While Your Children Are Small?

Should You Only Work at Home While Your Children Are Small?

Having children is one of the big reasons why people get started working at home. It saves a ton on childcare and you can still earn some money. There’s often a question, however, of how long you should keep working at home. Should you only work at home while your children are small, or do you keep going when they’re all school age?

Honestly, there’s no one answer to that. It really depends on how well working at home is going for you and if it still meets your family’s needs.

Consider The Financial Aspects Of Continuing To Work At Home

Money will be a huge factor for many families. Once the kids are all in school, childcare costs go way down, making working outside the home more affordable. If your work at home income is minimal, that can make a big difference in your desire to remain at home.

successful working at home

On the other hand, you may be earning more from home than you’re likely to earn outside the home. In that case, finances aren’t really a consideration. Odds are good that you’ll choose to keep working at home unless you’re really just done with it all.

Think about your future as well. Will your career advance as well working at home as it would working outside the home?

What About Retirement?

Of course, your finances now aren’t the only consideration. Are you able to save appropriately for retirement while working at home? You may not feel the pinch now, but what about later on?

Certainly, you can keep on working at home even past retirement age, so long as you keep your skills up and you’re physically able, but not everyone will want to. If the work you do at home isn’t earning enough for you to save for retirement, you need to think about how you’re going to handle it.

It’s a good idea to save for retirement as a stay at home mom or dad regardless of whether you work at home, of course. That’s not possible for everyone, but if you can find a way, make sure you put aside money for your retirement. You’ll be glad of it later.

Are You Still Enjoying It?

working mom

Working at home is wonderful in many ways, and terrible and others. Many people find it isolating. It can be hard to put your work aside enough to have time for yourself. You may be finding it more difficult to be productive simply because you aren’t enjoying being at home so much anymore.

This may or may not be a reason to find outside the home work when the kids get bigger. We all have times in any job where we’re just tired of it. Location doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with it. On the other hand, you might just be done enough with the whole work at home thing that outside the home work will be better for you.

What Kind of Work Can You Get Outside the Home?

Getting back into the workforce is hard for many people. Working at home means you at least have something to put on your resume, but how will it relate to the work you’d like to do? Are you going back to a field you used to work in, continuing in more or less what you’ve been doing at home or trying something new? Are your skills up for what you’d like to do?

to work at home or not

Finding an outside the home job is hardest, of course, if you haven’t been working at all for a few years, and are trying to get into a demanding field. It’s much better if you’ve kept up on your skills, and better yet if you’ve been actively using them. Things can change quite a bit over a few years. If your skills and experience are somewhat out of date, you may have to start lower than you anticipated.

If you’re having trouble getting back into the workforce, consider updating your education. Figure out what you need to learn to move your career in the direction you’d like it to go. This may involve going back to college or taking classes online.

What Does Your Family Think?

While the final decision must be yours, take your family’s feelings into consideration. Kids who are used to having you at home may not be all that comfortable with you heading out to work. Be prepared to deal with the adjustment if you decide that you aren’t remaining at home. The kids will adjust – they’re flexible like that – but it may take a little time.

As for me, when the time came, I chose to keep working at home. All of my kids are in school now – one is even learning to drive! It’s not always easy, and there have been times that I’ve considered heading to work outside the home.

It comes down to this: I like working at home. I like working on my own schedule. And I love that I can be there when my kids need me. They still do sometimes. They’d be shocked if I started a job outside the home, although I’d be lying if I said I never considered it.

Whatever you decide, don’t feel guilty if it’s not what everyone in your family wants you to do. You’re allowed to consider your own needs as well as those of your family.

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5 Responses

  1. Bianca says:

    I’ve thought a lot about what I’d do when all of my kids are in school for a full day. Having a college degree makes me want to make use of my education, but a part of me has changed and wants to stay at home and make sure the home is a harmonious place and haven for the family. Even if that means working from home somehow.

  2. The decision on where to work is very personal and depends on so many factors. I worked part time outside the home when my daughter was a baby baby. I just went back full time. We need the insurance and the extra income. My hubby works from home.

  3. Jenny says:

    Such a personal decision and so different for each family! I stayed home with my trio for 5 years and then went back to work for 3. Working outside the home just wasn’t cutting it for our family, so I’m home again, and it feels right 🙂

  4. I know how you feel. I can’t imagine going back to working outside the home, but both my older sisters have worked at home and eventually gone back to outside the home.

  5. So true. Two of my sisters have stay at home husbands and they work for the money and insurance too. Insurance is why my husband works outside the home too – working at home is great, but if we needed insurance I’d be looking at ways to get it at home or away.