Stay home with kids: When is it most important?

I’m planning with my husband the next couple of years with kids.

I wanted to know, after everything you learned, if we had to choose, is there a “most important phase” to stay home with kids? The baby phase, the primary school phase, the teenage years..? I’m asking so we can organize ourselves financially.

3 replies
  1. Penelope Trunk
    Penelope Trunk says:

    The only time there is medical evidence that one of you should be home with the kid is the first three years. The medical evidence is very strong.

    The rest of the time parents choose to stay home because they don’t want to miss their life with their kids. But the twin studies are very strong proof that parents don’t significantly change outcomes after 0-3.

    That said very few college-educated women ever go back to work after taking time off for kids because work feels stupid once you have kids. Also you probably don’t know anyone who feels like they have enough money for kids once the kids are in third grade. No one feels that way. Because we instinctively want to give everything we can to our kids — it’s human.

    Just have a baby and accept that your life will be turned upside down. It happens to everyone no matter how much they try to stop it.


  2. Mysticaltyger
    Mysticaltyger says:

    I think this was a very good answer, Penelope. You’re super practical and realistic when it comes to managing kids and work. Too bad we’re fed so much bad information.

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