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'High-Earner' Mom Wants To Give Up Her Job With Benefits To Be A Stay-At-Home Parent & Gets Hit With A Hard Truth From Other Moms

Photo: Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock, Monica Turlui / Pexels
Women at work, mom and baby

A mom who works full-time at a job she deems fairly flexible says she is “so exhausted all the time” and wonders if she’s making the wrong decision by continuing to work.

She wrote into Reddit's "r/parenting" subreddit to explain how her financial situation was affecting her emotional well-being, asking other parents on Reddit how they balance work and family.

The mom described herself as a ‘high-earner’ with extensive benefits — yet she wants to stay home with her daughter.

She stated that in addition to her high salary, she has a 401K, health insurance benefits, and has established a 529 plan for her young daughter’s future college education.

Her husband also works full-time, with a similar salary and benefits. They send their daughter to part-time daycare. Yet the mom has doubts about staying in her full-time position, and reports that she “can’t shake the feeling that [she’d] rather just be home” with her almost 2-year-old daughter.

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“I can’t help but feel like we’re doing this all wrong,” the mom said.

Despite the nagging feeling that she wants to be a stay-at-home mom, she wonders how she and her family could afford to do so. She explains that if she leaves her lucrative job, not only would her family lose half their income, but she and her daughter would also lose their health coverage. In addition, they would lose contributions to the 529 plan they invested in, and they wouldn’t be able to add as much money to their savings as they currently do.

The mom also expressed her concerns about the steeply rising costs of living. “I just don’t know how people do it,” she confessed. The mom also described her wish to have a second child, but even that causes her to have doubts. “The thought of sending both of them to daycare destroys me, but I also don’t know how we’d do this on one income.”

Childcare costs are increasingly high in the United States, and inflation is rising, making it hard for families to afford even basic care for their children.

The Center for American Progress reports that childcare costs in 2021 were "over $1,300 per month… families with infants would need to pay nearly $16,000 per year on average to cover the true cost of child care."

The CAP states that this amount was around 21% of the median income for a family of three in the United States in 2021. Two years later, childcare costs have increased even higher, and as inflation rises, so does the general cost of living in this country.

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Comments from fellow Reddit parents varied, yet most agreed that the mom had to choose what was best for her and her family.

Some supported her decision to quit her job and stay at home with her daughter, citing the value of being present for her child’s younger years. Others noted that she had to make the decision that felt right for her family, yet that no matter what conclusion she comes to, it will be a sacrifice either way.

Another mom noted a hard truth: “No matter what you decide, the mom guilt will always follow us.”

Lauren Smith Brody, the founder of Fifth Trimester Counseling states that "mom guilt is, unfortunately, kind of universal."

"A lot of women blame themselves first and foremost when life doesn't feel in balance," Brody explains. "It's not reasonable to expect that anybody would have that balance, given the lack of respect our country shows for new motherhood."

The mom who made the post came to the comments to express that she valued time spent with her daughter over her current employment, saying, "It's a question of priority and right now she is my priority."

Yet she acknowledged that rising costs and the lack of health care coverage made her choice feel "so unsustainable," which is a feeling a majority of parents in the US are experiencing. Making the decision to stay home with her daughter will create a level of transformation in her life, be it bound to her finances or her emotional landscape.

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers celebrity gossip, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.