Stay-at-home moms face financial and emotional challenges.

Can a Woman Stay Home and Raise Kids Anymore?

by Eliza Martinez

There's no question that raising kids isn't an easy endeavor -- whether a mom stays home or goes to work. The debate about which is better is referred to as the "mommy wars" and most moms have an opinion. If you have decided to stay at home to raise your kids, it might seem impossible. Making changes are likely necessary, but dedication can make it work.

1. Emotions

Guilt is part and parcel when it comes to motherhood. Some moms feel guilty for going back to work while other moms feel guilty because they can't afford fancy clothes and vacations when they give up their income. Staying home to raise your kids can also bring on depression because many women don't expect the physical and emotional drain that comes with it. However, if staying at home is your choice and your family can afford it, your risk for depression decreases, according to "Psychology Today."

2. Finances

One of the biggest worries facing moms who want to stay home with their kids is finances. Going from two incomes to one puts a strain on many families, especially if the budget is already tight. You can likely make it work, but it requires some effort. You'll need to take into account the expenses associated with working, including child care, which for some working moms negates their take-home salary. Sit down with your spouse and hammer out the details of where you can make cuts to your spending and come up with a plan to scale back your budget to match your spouse's income, suggests BabyCenter. You might have to sell a car, downsize your house, cut back on cable or reduce your phone package, but if you raising your kids at home is what you desire, chances are you'll be able to get through these changes.

3. Public Opinion

The mommy wars can create heated debates among women and men alike. You might encounter people who wonder what you do all day or why you don't feel the need to contribute financially to the household expenses. Some women have trouble dealing with this aspect of deciding to stay at home and raise their kids. On the other hand, if you can deal with this, chances are you can make your decision work. Support from your husband helps as does surrounding yourself with other moms who have made the choice to stay at home.

4. The Future

Staying at home to raise kids is extremely rewarding for most moms. However, it also poses the risk of sabotaging their career path. Being out of the workforce for several years can make it difficult for some women to return to work once the kids go to school full time. In many career fields, things change quickly and you might be way out of the loop when you're ready to go back. To make it work, keep up with the changes that happen in your field, stay in contact with former coworkers and consider furthering your education while you're out of the workforce. Volunteering part-time is another way to stay connected and keep your name out there, notes "Forbes."

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images