Before Lance Somerfeld’s son was born in July 2008, he was working as a sixth-grade teacher at a high-need public school in the Bronx, earning a salary of roughly $45,000. He left his career to be a stay-at-home dad, wanting to be involved in his boy’s early milestones—milestones Somerfeld’s own father missed while he worked a full-time job throughout Somerfeld’s childhood.
The decision to become a stay-at-home dad also made sense financially. “For a quality day care or a nanny, it would have cost us about my take-home salary,” Somerfeld says. “Why would I pay someone else to take care of my child when I can do it for the same cost?” His wife’s job as a corporate actuary also served as a financial cushion.
The decision for a spouse to become a stay-at-home parent has significant financial consequences. In many cases, losing a source of income is too much for a household to bear. However, for families like the Somerfelds, the monetary benefits and the extra time spent with their children outweigh the costs.
Click here for more on the financial benefits of becoming a stay-at-home parent.