Wife Quitting Job to Be a Stay-at-Home Mom

Do you have any advice for a woman who is about to leave a high-profile career in order to devote all her time to parenting and homemaking? My wife is on the verge of taking this momentous step. How can we make it a smooth transition? We've reached this decision together after hours and hours of prayer and discussion, but I still have questions and doubts. For one thing, how can I be sure that we'll be able to make it financially?

We want to begin by affirming you and your wife in this decision. As you may know, Focus on the Family has always made a special effort to provide support for mothers who choose to stay home with their young children. That’s because we believe that devoting time and energy to molding little lives during their period of greatest vulnerability is a calling of great worth.

We would go so far as to say that stay-at-home mothers have an unparalleled opportunity to contribute to the well-being of society as a whole. The best social science research indicates that young children often suffer negative effects when they are separated from their mothers and placed in day care facilities for many hours each week. Babies, toddlers and preschoolers need their mothers in order to thrive and become emotionally healthy. Nor are the positive effects of this mother-child bond limited to the early childhood years: the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health in 1997 showed that 7th through 12th graders with strong emotional attachment to parents and teachers were much less likely to use drugs and alcohol, attempt suicide, engage in violence or become sexually active.

Now that you’re convinced of the importance of the step your wife is taking, there are several things you can do to help her ease the transition from the workplace to the home. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Communicate clearly about roles and expectations. The first thing you need to do is let your wife know that you’re on her team and that you’re ready, willing and available to help in any way you can. Believe it or not, husbands of stay-at-home mothers play a crucial part in every aspect of family life – their role is not necessarily limited to that of being the sole breadwinner in the family. If you ask her, your wife will probably tell you that there are a number of things you can do to help re-organize the details of life in your household in order to maximize the effectiveness of her interaction with you and the kids, ease the burden of managing a home, and participate with her in the process of raising your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Sit down with her and discuss how things are likely to change once she stops working. Try to visualize how this is going to impact your daily routine. Make sure that the two of you are on the same page. And take time to nurture your “couple relationship” and keep the flame of romance alive.
  • Prepare, prepare, prepare. The two of you should read as much as you can on child development, the relationship between mothers and children, and family dynamics. This will be especially important for your wife if she had a difficult childhood or a strained relationship with her own mother. You may also want to undertake a careful study, from both biblical and secular perspectives, of male and female roles in the home.
  • Encourage your wife to talk to other women who have made the transition from full-time work to full-time mom. Help her develop a social support network by meeting other moms in your neighborhood or at your church. You can be sure that there are other women in your local community who are in the process of making a similar transition and who would love to compare notes with your wife. They can find each other with a little effort. Bible study groups and church-based mother-child programs, such as “Mommy and Me” or MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers), are excellent ways to make connections of this kind.

If you have additional questions or would like to discuss your concerns at greater length, we’d like to invite you to call our Counseling department.


If a title is currently unavailable through Focus on the Family, we encourage you to use another retailer.

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