The Short of It
Financial website NerdWallet recently did a survey of more than 1,200 moms and pregnant women across the country. In it, 31 percent of pregnant women and 30 percent of mothers cited the decision to stay at home or to return to work post-baby as the No. 1 reason for arguing with their spouses.
It gets even more interesting. The moms they surveyed were parents of teenagers. Forty-four percent of them say they wish someone had recommended that they start saving for college as soon as their kids were born. Finances are a hot-button issue that persists from birth to college age.
"Stay-at-home care is a deeply personal issue, but it is increasingly becoming an economic one with the rising costs of daycare," Torabi says. "But as their kids age, families face the added dilemma of the ballooning cost of college."
In the end, there's no right answer to the question, "should one of us stay home with the kids"? In fact, a recent working paper from the University of Maryland found that the amount of time spent with a mother wasn't associated with better well-being or academic performance in kids ages 3 to 11.
Many times, our upbringing, our parental instincts and/or our worries about financial stability influence our stance on the subject. Those are some strong motivators! When you're discussing the decision to stay at home with your partner, try to keep it civil, okay?
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