How to Talk to Your Spouse about Becoming an At-Home Parent

A picture of a man and a woman having a serious talk
Ready to have the talk about becoming a stay-at-home mom?. Photo © Tetra Images / Getty Images

Making the transition from working mom to stay-at-home mom is an important decision that both of you need to be on-board with before you quit your job. Trading in your paycheck for the stay-at-home life is a process that will result in a number of changes for your household. As you evaluate what is right for you and your family, follow a few simple steps to get from thinking about becoming a stay-at-home mom to being at home with your kids full-time.

Understand this subject's importance and try these tips for telling your spouse you want to be a stay-at-home mom.

Choose the Right Time to Talk

Telling your spouse that you want to become a single income household so you can stay home isn't something you should blurt out as you're dashing out the door to take the kids to school or while they're screaming at each other over who has more mashed potatoes during dinner.

Choose a time to talk when the kids aren't around and you and your husband aren't too tired to have a serious conversation. Any other time may result in a knee-jerk reaction because neither of you are in the right mindset to take on such a serious discussion.

Table the Conversation

Just because you've found the right time to discuss being a stay-at-home mom with your spouse doesn't mean you'll have the answer you want to hear right away. Giving up your career, even temporarily, putting an end to your steady paycheck and cutting back on your expenses take serious contemplation.

You may have been thinking about this for months so you may know exactly what you want to do. But, to your spouse, all of this is new information.

It may take some time for you both to work together to get to that moment where you turn in your notice at work. Be ready to table the conversation. Tell him what you're thinking, leave it at that and come back to the conversation later.

Approach the Subject with Thought

Saying, "Guess what, honey. I'm quitting my job!" is probably not going to get you a "Way to go!" response. You and your spouse are teammates and you need to include him in your plan to become a stay-at-home mom.

Think about how you would feel if your husband made a decision that affected the whole family without including you in it. Gather your thoughts and really think about how you would like to tell him your idea. But also consider all of the questions he's going to have that you may or not have even thought of at this point.

For example, your spouse will undoubtedly have concerns about your finances if you go from two incomes down to one. Expenses will need to be cut. Your family budget will need to be altered. You may even need to make drastic cuts to your children's extracurricular activities or trade in the annual family vacation for a staycation at home.

Be Willing to Compromise

Being a stay-at-home mom simply may not be possible for your family any time soon. Be ready to compromise. Think about other options that can make you both happy.

You may not be financially able to leave behind your 9 to 5 now but could dropping to a part-time status at work be an option?

Maybe working from home two to three days a week could keep the money coming in while giving you the flexibility of being home with your kids.

Set a Long-Term Plan

Don't be surprised if your spouse isn't immediately ready to accept your household depending on one income. Work together to set a long-term plan. You may not be able to become a stay-at-home mom tomorrow or even next week but what about in 6 months or a year?

Your long-term plan can be implemented right away and include taking stock of your expenditures, where you can cut back and coming up with a strategy of how you can ease out of the workforce and into life as a stay-at-home mom.