How Much Does It Cost for Moms To Work?

Reprinted again in March, 2023.

[Ever been told by God to do something but don’t want to do it. Unfortunately, that happens to me, too often. Writing this article was one of those. Then I waited several weeks before publishing it, again because I didn’t want to do it…I wanted to soften the message, to change the intent, to trash the entire article…but God kept prompting me to publish. The Bible’s message is true, is best, is what we need, right now. So I have finally obeyed. I pray that you won’t have to struggle so much to obey Him.]

The family is the foundation of a society. When the family is destroyed, the society will soon follow.
In Titus 2:5, God tells women to be “workers at home…so that the word of God will not be dishonored.”
Some have justified and changed that command all different ways but God says, "women be keepers at home." I don't know what it means to "dishonor God's Word," but it doesn't sound good. I will work at home to avoid that.

Many couples assume they can’t make expenses without the wife’s income.
Let’s look at what it costs for mothers to work.
How much do you spend on clothes for work?
What about all the quick meals because you don’t have time to make something? This includes lunches and those special treats (because you deserve it), and quick grocery stops for dinner because you didn’t have time to shop before.

How much are babysitting/child care expenses? Can you measure the worry that you have over whether your babysitter is treating your child like you would? Or when your child is sick and you must still leave him with someone else.
What about that game you bought for your child, because you feel guilty that he is home alone and must be kept occupied? Add up the total cost.

What do you pay for an extra car? You must have it for work, but could you do without it if you stayed at home? Don’t forget to include car insurance, smogging, registration, repairs and payments. Those costs add up.

[Living with one car per family is possible. My husband and I were a one-car family until we had our sixth child. We live an hour away from shopping. My husband left once a month for his army drill weekend four hours away…if anything happened (something always did) when he was gone, I had no transportation. We survived. I get creative. When we lived closer to town, we were given a two-baby stroller. I walked everywhere. A stranger gave me a ride home when the 100’ weather wiped me out.]

Do you still have any money left from your paycheck after you subtract all those expenses?
Could you live in a smaller, less expensive house?
What are you willing to do without, so that you can stay at home?
Many have never even considered they could stay at home, if they changed the way they think and how they spend their money.
A woman who couldn’t afford groceries for her children, wouldn’t consider not getting her nails done every week. What does she value?
What do you really value?
What are you willing to sacrifice?
The world is sacrificing its children on the altar of good things.

People instantly mention the benefits the woman receives by working.
Health insurance has become a god. We expect and demand to be cared for.
[We did not have insurance until we had four children. We pay cash for eye appointments and glasses (expensive, but cheaper than paying every month for eye insurance). We didn’t have dental insurance until we started taking several of the boys to the dentist and found cavities added up.]

What other costs are there for the mom working?
Let me list a few…
These are the unseen costs that rip at your soul and harden your heart…
Studies have shown women who go back to work soon after birthing do not bond with their baby for fear of being too attached. How can a mother be too attached to their own child? Because she has to leave him.
When your baby learns to crawl, you are running to work to file papers and feel important.
You miss your baby’s first steps, not just his first but his second, his third, his fourth…
When your child goes to school for the first time, you have already rushed to work. He gets on the bus alone. And returns alone.
When your child has a fight at school with his best friend and comes home from school hating life, you are at work thinking all is fine.
What happens when your child is sick? You go to work.
When your child doesn’t do his homework because the television is his babysitter and he would rather play a game, you don’t even know it.
When your son’s birthday comes and you shower him with gifts, because you can afford it, you don’t even realize what he really wanted was for you to be home to share it with him.
You promise him quality time. What is that? He just wants you home when he is home.
What’s the worth of the smile on your child’s face when he makes a home-run and looks to the stands, but you aren’t there?
What cost could be put on your child finding his pet dead, and you weren’t there to grieve with him?
You aren’t home to give him security, when the world is evil and he is changing with it.

You are a good mom. You do your best. You give your all. You wear yourself out trying to do it all.
But you are stretched between work and home. You only have so much energy. If you give it at work, how much energy do you have left at home?
Who is raising your children?
If society is based on the family. And the family unit struggles to exist, where will our nation be?

What other costs are there to the mom working?
We’ve only discussed how it affects the children, let’s consider how it affects your relationship with your husband.
When women started in the work force, divorce and affairs increased. Why? Women were more available. Why? They weren’t at home. They were working with the men.
When you are working, who do you work for? Many times, it’s a man. Now you work eight hours a day to please another man. You travel back and forth from work that takes another hour. You spend time getting ready for work…That leaves how much time at home? Even when you’re home, your thoughts are solving problems at work.
You have a divided heart. You were created to please your husband.
The time with your husband is rushed. You can’t make that special meal for him, because you have no time.
Saturday you run errands that you couldn’t do all week (the lines are long, everything is so crowded). Sunday you can’t rest because laundry must be done… You’re worn out and must return for work on Monday.
How do you cultivate a friendship with someone you don’t even see?

There is a lot to be said about work place atmosphere. Some women thrive with the challenges of work. They love what they do. They feel empowered…motivated…inspired…needed…wanted…paid.
Women respond. If their husband doesn’t notice their hair, someone at the office probably will.
Cleaning the house won’t give you that raise, but cleaning the lunch room at work just might.
Watch out…guard your heart.
Some of those needs should be fulfilled by your husband alone, not by a person at the job.
How strained is your relationship with your husband because you are too busy with your job?
Are you too tired to meet his needs?
Does your husband even come home, because he knows you won’t be home?
Men need their wives at home. It gives them an anchor, a rest, a haven. Many men today don’t even know what they don’t have, because society demands that women work. Culture pushes us to conform.
We must look to God for answers.
How much does it cost for you to work?
What do you value? Do you value things money can buy over what money can’t? Know what you sacrifice.
Do you believe what God says? Or do you dishonor His Word?
Count the cost. Is it worth it?

Displaying all 2 comments

I agree with my comment above. Looking back even more years, there is nothing that replaces a mother and wife being at home, especially if the children are then home schooled. No Christian child should be in the public schools of today, Satan rules them. As I read in a poem one time, "What can I give in exchange for the child in my care?"

As a stay-at-home mom who had to scrounged most of her married life, I know it can be done and it is all worth it. I think it was James Dobson who had an article on this and it concluded that most women ended up working for about 50c an hour after everything was taken out. I do hope this encourages someone to stay home with her family, God will bless the family for it.

I write about what you---
women, wives and moms---
about your family, faith and future.
I write about what's hard, what helps and what heals.
I show you how it's done. And not done.
I hold your hand as you find what matters to the Savior.
And let go of those things that mattered to you, but not to Him.
I write about what Him.
               Sonya Contreras

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Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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