Come on, honey! Give Up the Cash
After reading an article in Mother’s Day Magazine, I begin to ponder how stay at home parents actually get money out of their spouses?
For some, staying at home is the ideal choice in a waning economy where the costs of daycare can take a huge chunk out of their already small paycheck. For others, staying at home offers the ability to develop deeper connections with their children. Also, by staying at home parents ultimately decide what stimuli their children encounter, or what friends they make through play dates. Thus, they decide what their children are exposed to.
As concerns over violence erupting in schools and other education concerns grow, some parents see the choice to stay at home as the ultimate way to be there for and educate their children on their terms. Still, the age old problem of finances rears its ugly head.
For stay at home parents, the tough choices, the strict budgeting is deemed well worth it, even if the family struggles to do so. Although most people assume that stay at home parents must have a well to do spouse to keep them afloat while the other spouse stays at home, this isn’t always the case. When weighing the options between choosing work related stress, forking over a wad of cash to daycares or babysitters rather than staying home, more parents are seeing that the benefits of staying at home outweigh the disadvantages of a loss of income.
However, as the article mentioned, for the parent staying at home, feelings of guilt may loom when the bills began to pile up, even if that parent wasn’t the highest earning parent in the household. This makes it difficult, even degrading for some to ask for money for anything outside of household expenditures. Especially when the stay at home parent was used to paying their own way, was used to being a contributing member of the household, and was used to spending their money whenever they wanted to without consulting their spouse.
So how does this parent ask for money when it doesn’t relate to household expenditures? When that parent needs to temporarily escape the chaos they call home, how do they accomplish this?
Some stay at home parents control the finances. Most, however, are not in control of the money and have to resort to asking their working partner for an allowance. Some try to supplement their income by picking up part-time jobs that pay minimal amounts, such as babysitting and other work from home jobs that pay little. Many do this to avoid asking for spending money, to maintain some level of independence and to increase their self-worth, even if the contributions are less than desirable.
So weigh in on this matter. Are you a stay at home parent? How do you handle asking for money?