According to parenting.com, raising a child can cost over $12,000 a year. It only gets more expensive as children get older and with a struggling economy, it’s becoming more difficult for families to find an affordable daycare.The stress of being a new parents is enough for any one, but when you add on expenses like childcare, it can become overwhelming.There’s a new trend though: staycare. Parents who just can’t afford to send their children to daycare and leaving them in the care of friends. For some parents, they say it saves them a little money and some peace of mind. Marilynn Rediker is living her dream and raising her children at her home in Levant, but she’ll be the first to tell you – being a stay-at-home mom is far from easy. Staying home was a decision her family made when her children were younger for a variety of reasons.Rediker said “I have four kids of my own and I wanted to be able to stay home with them. Besides, four kids in daycare, could you imagine what that is going to cost?”The stay-at-home mom’s own children are older now, but she’s taken on a new role. She runs a small daycare right out of her own home. “Leaving your child in someone’s hands, you want them to feel like they’re getting paid enough to take care of them well enough,” said Rediker.Many of the children Marilynn has watched over the years have been family friends. She says it cost her friends much less than traditional day care and kids are left in the hands of someone the parents can rely on. Rediker doesn’t consider herself just a babysitter, she says the kids she watch become part of her family. Right now 2-year-old Maddox is the only child Marilynn watches, but he occupies her time 10 hours a day for five days a week.There are many women, like Marilynn, who consider being a mom and caregiver a fulltime job.Graduate Student for Women’s Studies, Elizabeth Johns said “It certainly is work. It’s very important work and our society is critically dependent on it.”Johns has been studying woman and aging for a number of years. She believes family-care is the basis of our society, but something needs to be done to make it easier on families. She said “Give them credit for the time they spent caring in their social security benefits.”Johns said men tend to start their careers right after they finish their education, but for women, it’s a little different. “Women are much more in and out, in and our of the work force or shifting back and forth between full time and part time. She found that many stay-at-home moms tend to have financial trouble later on in life, she said “They’re penalized for that by and large and those penalties tend to be very long lasting. It’s not something you can ever really catch up on unfortunately.”This is what becomes the catch 22 for most families when they decide to have children, but Marilynn will tell you, staying home was her dream come true.”All I ever wanted to do was grow up, have a family and take care of my kids and that’s my dream. So, it was very important for me to stay home, I like it,” said Rediker. Rediker is certified in things like first aid and CPR, which is something parents should always check out before leaving their child in someone else’s care.