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Mom Working Hard To Pay $5K A Month For Childcare Explains Why She Doesn't Stay Home With Her Kids

Photo: TikTok
Paige Turner

As a working parent, it can be hard to balance a career on top of making sure your children are receiving adequate childcare. In the United States, the average cost of childcare, according to Zippia, is $14,760 annually, and while some parents are unable to afford the cost of childcare, others have no choice but to invest.

In a TikTok video, working mom Paige Turner explained to her followers why she and her husband choose to spend most of their income on childcare, and addressed the questions directed mostly at Turner for why she doesn't just become a stay-at-home mother.

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Turner says she can't stay home with her kids and has to work to pay $5,000 a month for childcare.

In Turner's video, she revealed that she and her husband pay $5,000 a month for childcare for their four children, and usually, when someone finds out the price, Turner said that she will usually be asked why she works if that's the cost.

"The question is almost always directed at me," she observed. "The question is, do you make enough to warrant that? How do you have any money left over? Doesn't it make more sense for you to stay home?"



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Turner continued, saying that for her and her husband, who earn almost the same amount of income from their respective careers, it doesn't make sense for one of them to become a stay-at-home parent and take care of their children all day.

She acknowledged that she and her husband are spending an "astronomical" amount of money on all of the different avenues in childcare. "It's crazy that we're paying that much money, which I totally understand."

"At the same time, the question as to why I work, one, always directed at me, is somewhat insulting, but two, negates the next steps in my life," she added. Turner pointed out that she will not be a mother of four young children forever, and will only be a mother to them for the next ten years, at most.

"In four years from now, my youngest child will be in full-time school. I will still have the cost of school, after-school programs, kid's activities, enrichment, [and] camp," Turner explained. "But I won't have the cost of childcare."

Soon, there will be a time when Turner and her husband won't have to shell out $5,000 a month for daycare, nannies, and other childcare necessities. So for now, Turner said that she can "struggle and grit" her way to the finish line.

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"I know that where I wanna go in my career and the compensation that I'm able to have, is there. It's at my fingertips, and me stepping away from work for five to ten years would throw me back." Turner pointed out that the life she wants to live after her children no longer need childcare is something that she doesn't want to put on pause.

Turner also remarked that those questions about why she doesn't just stay at home and work shouldn't only be directed at her, but also to her husband. "The question should be, does it make sense with your combined incomes that one of you stays home?"

"That should be the question, which one of you would stay home," she said, adding that no one should even be asking that question in the first place, and should instead be asking why childcare is extremely expensive in the first place.

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Compared to fathers, mothers are expected to drop everything and raise their children.

In a 2013 survey conducted by The Pew Research Center, mothers were much more likely than fathers to report experiencing significant career interruptions in order to attend to their family's needs. 

Among working parents of children younger than 18, mothers in 2013 spent an average of 14.2 hours per week on housework, compared with fathers’ 8.6 hours. And mothers spent 10.7 hours per week actively engaged in child care, compared with fathers’ 7.2 hours.

One of the other factors that play into this outdated gender role, is how society views the relationship between mothers and their children. In a 2012 Pew Research survey, 79% of Americans rejected the notion that women should return to their traditional role in society.

Only 16% of people said that having a mother who works full time is the “ideal situation.” In this country, where inflation continues to increase the price of necessary things many families need, including childcare, many parents are just doing the best they can for their children and themselves.

What one parent chooses to do won't be the same as the next, and we should never judge or inquire about people's situations, especially if that's it's working just fine for them.

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Nia Tipton is a Brooklyn-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.