How many children would you have to have


in order for it to make sense financially for the mother to be a stay-at-home mom? I know it’s kind of a weird question, but I have my reasons for asking. Let’s say the mother is college-educated. Obviously, it differs depending on a lot of other factors, but in general? Would 4 kids be enough to make sense financially for the mom to stay at home?


Depends on how much her salary is needed, how much she makes, how much childcare is… etc, etc, etc…


Too many variables to answer! It’s kinda like asking “How much does it cost to buy a car to get around in?”

What would she otherwise earn? What’s your child care comfort level (commercial vs grandma vs neighbor lady)? What hidden costs would her employment have (fancier car, business attire, ongoing education, more eating out, less time to bargain hunt…)?

Those are just a few that come to mind. And honestly, you can manipulate the answer to skew towards what you want it to be. So just decide what you want it to be and find a way to make it work.



Or at least it didn’t make financial sense for me to go back to work 14 years ago. And I am still at home with our only child. :shrug:

The pay ended up being better too. Hugs are priceless.:tada:


God bless you! Putting your kids first is the greatest sacrifice you can give them. We did that too, and although times were tough, our kids have grown to be a true blessing and are faithful Catholics.

If you are asking for opinions BadTurkey, I echo what mary said. The souls of our children are far more important than the riches of this world. God has ALWAYS provided for us, and homeschooling our children has brought even more fruit.


Everyone comfort level is different. For some families having another child could render them homeless. While there are others who having another would just mean the loss of a material item such as a new car. I think only you and your DH would know what would work for you. If you’d want to do a trial run live off one person’s salary for a couple of months and see how it goes. Good luck:)


For many couples, it seems to be more than two children tip costs in favour of a parent at home.

But, you would really have to tally up the income from working, taking into account tax considerations, and the costs. Those would be childcare, transport, clothing, meals out, etc.

Also, a mom at home can sometimes cut household costs substantially by spending time doing the little things, like serious menu planning or shopping for the cheapest prices in a systematic way, or using cloth diapers instead of disposables.

Of course, there are quality of life issues too, for the whole family.


For us it was one. We now have three. I stay at home. It is tight but doable. Actually I would have sacraficed a lot more to stay home. Financially… Add it up, daycare+ gas+extra doctors visits and other misc. Then see if it adds up to a salary or close to it.
For us though there were other factors other than financial. In fact, right or wrong, financial is usually the last thing we look at for our decisions… could be why we are poor.:smiley:


New car = 22K

Eating out = $200

Being home w/ kids if possible = priceless


I haven’t returned to work since our first was born, who is now 3 (though many a time have I wished I did work so that I could have a break! LOL!) Like pp have said it all really depends. Also remember to factor in whatever benefits you are currently pulling in from your employer, such as health insurance, dental insurance, 401k contributions, etc. Daycare is very expensive so I’ve found out. I know if I did return to the workforce I’d have to go back fulltime and earn quite a bit just to afford a decent childcare for our two children. After everything is paid and weighing the pros/cons of it all, it is so not worth it for me to return to work. The little amount of money we’d keep from any potential salary I’d earn just wouldn’t be worth it.


I plan to become a stay-at-home-mom with our first child (still off the in the future, of course) so I would recommend staying home at once. I think it would be difficult to be a working mom and then after a few kids go to be a SAHM. Doable, but difficult.


I think it also depends where you live as far as cost of living…I work part time…I carry the benefits and make a very good salary…I work shift work so one of us is always home with our kids…we have 3…we don’t have nice cars or an expensive house but any house around here is a fortune…I would move but our families live here and my husband has a business here…anyway, as long as you can afford to provide food,shelter, clothing,and love:)…any amount of children is doable…if you can stay home full time…even better!.Homeschooling is great…but i don’t think i could teach the math…


Financially? It would depend on how much she would make and how much it would cost to hire someone to look after the children.

Maybe a grandparent would be willing to do it for free, maybe the mother would be bringing in a good salary otherwise that would more than cover the costs of daycare.

Once at least one of the children is old enough, he can do the babysitting. If the woman doesn’t work, it may be hard for her to return to work when the children are older since employers do not look favorably on people who drop out of the workforce for long periods of time.


We took a 50% cut in income when our first was born and I refused to go back to nursing. It was worth every penny. I didn’t go back to work for 16 years. We did without a second car, without holidays unless we were posted and then we combined a holiday with the move. We lived in military housing until DH was released. But it was all worth it because I got to see my kids grow up, to volunteer at their schools and to chaperone field trips.


You can’t put a price on everything.:slight_smile:


My wife enjoyed working. She worked with the first three, but after the 4th, it would cost us more money for daycare and other expenses than she made working. So she became a SAHM and has loved every bit of it. You have to take into account car expenses, actual daycare cost, how much money you make working and the effect of the kids. We were fortunate that my MIL has an in-house daycare. So while we still payed for daycare, we were confident in the care and love that they were getting. We would have had a much harder time with the decision of my wife working if daycare was with strangers.


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