SAHM. Likes and Dislikes

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from lizinboston. Show lizinboston's posts

    SAHM. Likes and Dislikes

    I don't really have to worry about this just yet, but with child care being so expensive, DH and I have decided that my salary wouldn't be enough to provide for the family as well as pay for childcare, so we are thinking about me staying home when the baby arrives. We don't have much option when it comes to family who could watch our baby while we work.  

    For any of the SAHM's, I was just wondering a couple of things:

    What made you and your spouse decide for you to stay home?

    What do you like about it?

    What is hard about it?

    Do you get sad, lonely, down sometimes?



    Thanks! :)

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from ml2620-2. Show ml2620-2's posts

    Re: SAHM. Likes and Dislikes

    Liz, where do you live?

    It wasn't an option for me, and I have deep regret about it. There are some incredible networks out there for daytime support for Moms, just curious what area you live in, that would definitely help!
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from Arcain. Show Arcain's posts

    Re: SAHM. Likes and Dislikes

    Liz, I can't offer any advice, but I'd like to add a question to the mix. Did you use a particular calculator to figure out whether it made financial sense for you to go back to work? DH and I have done rough calculations and, much to my disappointment (ideally I'd like to stay home for at least a year), it seems to make sense for me to keep working after my leave. But we basically just considered my salary vs. childcare and transport costs. Are there other things worth considering?
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    Re: SAHM. Likes and Dislikes

    Arcain - That is a very good question.  I am curious what things people consider when making that decision.

    Liz - I work full time, so I can't help too much, but I will say that I enjoyed being home with the baby SO MUCH during maternity leave and it really made me reevaluate whether I would want to be a SAHM... if it were actually an option.
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from lizinboston. Show lizinboston's posts

    Re: SAHM. Likes and Dislikes

    Acrain,

    I have more than finacial reasons to want to stay home. But, I don't make much at my job as I am in a non-profit field. Like, if I were to take care of everything with only my salary, I would be in big, big trouble.

    My mom stayed home and I feel like I really benefited from it. It is hard to talk about this because people can have such strong opinions. I admire women who work and are moms, and I admire women who stay home.

    Most of my friends work, but one does stay home and she has loved it. Now, her experience may be completley different than mine, but for at least the first couple of years, it is something I would really like to experience. I may change my mind and we will have to revisit our financial situation.

    And, ml, I live about a 8-10 minute walk from an Isis Maternity!
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from rama8677. Show rama8677's posts

    Re: SAHM. Likes and Dislikes

    I have a few thoughts:

    1) Financial factors to consider: I'd look at your salary after taxes, and compare it to the cost of daycare in your region.  Make sure to evaluate home daycares as well as larger center based ones because the cost can be quite different between the two.  I'd be hesitant to include things like gas or commuting costs etc into the mix because as a stay at home mom, you are likely going to leave the house with the baby to have playdates and take classes etc. - all of which also cost money. Just get a general comparison between how much daycare would cost/week versus how much money you bring in/week and see if the numbers push you in one direction or another

    2) non-financial factors:  Being a stay at home mom is a 7 day/week/365 day/year commitment and I think that is the toughest part for most people.  You don't get weekends off, and at night you likely will be the one who has to get up with the baby so your husband can rest for his job.  It's very difficult to be "on" 100% and lots of people who did not stay at home with the kids have no clue how stressful and difficult a job it is.  If you choose to stay home, you should try to surround yourself with a supportive network of other moms, either by doing a class at Isis or finding a free new moms group in the area.  The advice, friendship, support and company of other moms is so invaluable.  It's not fun nor healthy to spend the entire day just with a baby without human interaction. 

    3) babies become toddlers:  It's nice to think about staying at home full time with a baby and easy to imagine that type of life but babies quickly become toddlers who have wilful personalities and are very mischievious.  Fast foward your life two years and that's where you will be.  Toddlers need additional stimulation beyond the confines of your house. They make shopping, coffee and lunch dates with friends very difficult.  Thus, once your baby becomes a toddler you will likely be enrolling him/her in classes (ie music class, gym class etc.) to provide socialization and interaction for both of you!  Classes don't have to be costly, but can be.  Some parents also choose to enroll their kids in pre-school at some point also to socialize their kids and give themselves a break.  Just some things to think about even though it seems so far away, babies grow up way too fast!!

    4) Your long term plan:  Picture yourself in 5 years when you are sending your baby to kindergarten (or in however many years from now when you are sending your youngest baby to kindergarten).  Will you be fulfilled staying at home when there are no babies to care for? Is your career such that you will be able to jump back into the working world after a long break from your career, or will it be difficult for a future employer to hire you after such a long separation from work?  

    I am sure there are other factors to consider too but those are foremost on my mind.  After my daughter was born almost two years ago, I left my full time job as an attorney at a large law firm with the intent of staying home with her. After six months I realized that I missed having something else going on in my life and I found a part time position at a smaller firm that I work at 3 days a week.  For me, it's a perfect balance because it allows me to continue in the field and sets me up for the ability to get a full time job several years down the line when I am done with having babies but also allows me more flexibility to spend time with my child while she is young. While the pay isn't fantastic and there are barely any benefits, I look at it more as an investment towards my future career/future lifestyle. My daughter is at a local home daycare on the days I work ($55/day including food) and she loves it, and I think it's been really good for her in a lot of ways. 

     Good luck making the right decision for you for the short and long term - and congrats on your pregnancy! 

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from cwagner13. Show cwagner13's posts

    Re: SAHM. Likes and Dislikes

    I would definitely recommend reading Rama's post. Because that is exactly how my mother felt about working vs not working (she worked until we moved to NYC suburbia where she did not find a job she wanted to continue and then she became a SAHM - my father was happy to let her choose if she wanted to work or stay at home). And as she told me, her biggest regret is that she did not continue working even part time in her field (she was a computer programmer and over time, if you don't stay in the field, it gets harder to come back into software development especially in her area of expertise).


    My husband and I talked about it (although more a question of if either of us wanted to stay at home since we could be okay with tight financial planning on either one of our salaries). We talked about what would be best for the family and for us personally over the long term (we don't have any issues with SAHD vs SAHM - we thought about both options). However, with our fields being such that layoffs are always around the corner and it is very easy to be obsolete - not that anyone has a certain future - we decided to keep working as a dual-income household and then revisit the issue later when the kids are older and have after school activities (and where we are in our fields then - assuming that layoffs/economic environment did not affect our jobs negatively).

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from stefani2. Show stefani2's posts

    Re: SAHM. Likes and Dislikes

    being a SAHM is REALLY hard!  i didn't understood that until i had my twins.  you should def. take advantage of isis and consider some regular hours with a babysitter (if that's an option) b/c you will deserve (and need) a break as a SAHM.  a lot of poeple don't get one due to financial reasons (or they feel like they don't deserve one b/c their "job" is being at home? dunno) - and i think that is SO HARD!  GL.  (BTW i work full time!)
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from Daisy75. Show Daisy75's posts

    Re: SAHM. Likes and Dislikes

    Another financial consideration if you stay at home is that you will not be earning money toward social security (in the event it's still around in 20, 30, or 40 years), so this decision can have some long-term repercussions, too.  Will you be able to contribute to a Roth IRA or an IRA or some other type of retirement savings while you're not working outside the home?  Most people don't think about this but it is really important.  Everyone wants to believe that they are going to be happily married for ever and ever, but the divorce rate says otherwise.  (I really don't want to be a downer--just talking about something no one has mentioned yet.)  IF you get divorced eventually, not only will you have lost income over the course of however long you stayed at home, you may have lost significant retirement savings as well.  I don't know how divorce settlements work these days, but many women are left in the lurch b/c they expected that they would ultimately benefit from their husband's retirement savings and then once they get a divorce, a huge portion of their safety net is gone.  Again...this is just something to think about and be aware of as you make the decision to stay home.  Make sure that part of your husband's income is designated to go into a separate retirement plan and/or savings of some sort in your name.  My mother stayed home with us for many years and doesn't regret a second of it, BUT when she and my stepfather divorced, there were certain financial realities that she had never considered and retirement savings was one of them.

    If you have a financial advisor, it may be worth a quick phone call or meeting just to make sure everything is set up in such a way that you won't be negatively affected in the long term.

    Good luck whatever you decide.  I have 2 1/2 year old twins who I love to pieces.  I don't work on Fridays, so I'm a SAHM one day/week.  There are days when everything goes smoothly, the kids are angelic, and I'm at the top of the parenting game and feel like a superstar when the day is done.  And then, there are the days when the kids are tag-teaming me, and most of my day is spent putting one or the other in time out and breaking up fights and all I think about is how relaxing it would be if I were to check myself into an inpatient mental health facility.  I admire the full-time SAHMs and SAHDs out there b/c I would have a really hard time doing it everyday.  

    Whatever you decide, good luck!
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from Winter2011Bride. Show Winter2011Bride's posts

    Re: SAHM. Likes and Dislikes

    I too was going to bring up the possibility of a divorce or even what if your husband got laid off?  Is being a SAHM still an option if he looses his job?  After having my son (he's 11) I went back to work full time and my husband at the time changed his shift so that he was with him till 1:30 and than my mom watched my son from 2 until I got home from work.  Well in May of 2002, about a month after DS started pre school, I was laid off.  We took him out of pre school and I than became a SAHM and looked for a job as there was no way we could make it once unemployment stopped.  It was tough, none of my friends had children the same age and my nieces were all older and in school.  I found a job 10 months later and than shortly after that I was going through a divorce.  I than became a working mom who had to pay for all of childcare alone.  So please think about all of this and don't assume that if you should get divorced that you'll make out good, it doesn't always work out that way.  I was married for 10 years.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: SAHM. Likes and Dislikes

    And just to bring the conversation down further -- make sure you're financially protected in case of the death of your spouse. This goes for EVERYONE here, male or female. You just never know.

    I'll repost this article by one of my favorite people -- a lot of you have read it before.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/01/fashion/sundaystyles/01LOVE.html?pagewanted=all

    "Paradise Lost (Domestic Division)

    Published: January 1, 2006

    A WHILE back, at a baby shower for a niece, I overheard the expectant mother being asked if she intended to return to work after the baby was born. The answer, which rocked me, was, "Yes, because I don't want to end up like Aunt Terry."

    That would be me.

    In the continuing case of Full-Time Homemaker vs. Working Mother, I offer myself as Exhibit A. Because more than a quarter-century ago I wrote an Op-Ed article for The New York Times on the satisfaction of being a full-time housewife in the new age of the liberated woman. I wrote it from my heart, thoroughly convinced that homemaking and raising my children was the most challenging and rewarding job I could ever want. . . . ."
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: SAHM. Likes and Dislikes

    By the way -- I'm not dumping on SAHMs at all. I would have loved to have stayed home with my daughter for at least a year, but it just wasn't possible. If our society provided any sort of safety net, I probably would have tried to make it work. Some of my best friends are SAHMs and really great at it.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from newcarsmelly. Show newcarsmelly's posts

    Re: SAHM. Likes and Dislikes

    Liz - I'm SAHM to 1.5 y/o DD. It's a big decision that will certainly, as many other posters have mentioned, will effect your life now and down the road. To answer your specific questions...

    What made you and your spouse decide for you to stay home? I went back to work part-time after DD was born and quickly realized that my job was just not cut out to be a part-time job. I was constantly stressed and adjusting our schedule to get work done and attend last minute meetings. Also, my DH schedule is completely insane (shift work) so it was just getting to be too much to keep up with each other and a little one. Not to mention a home, friends, working out, etc. We are fortunate enough to be in a financial position that we could do w/out the $ that was leftover after daycare, commute costs etc. My biggest fear was being out of the workforce (for who knows how long), not funding my SS and 401k. These are all serious things to consider. BUT even my boss said as I walked out the door.. you can always come back! She's so right. I left my company on good terms but I left work knowing that if I couldn't be SAHM, I could back to work, even if not there, somewhere. It doesn't have to be forever.

    What do you like about it? I LOVE seeing all the little things my DD learns everyday. I LOVE not being rushed in the morning and hanging out in the kitchen in our PJ's having our breakfast together. I like going to the park and other fun activities and seeing the joy on her face. I like having dinners ready on the nights that my DD is home and us all eating together. I like doing more things around my home that always seemed to get neglected. I like that I have more time to work out/go for walks/runs w/ DD. I LOVE not having to work at night and wishing my DD to bed so I could work on the laptop in peace. Being able to take a vacation with family anytime we want! Having more time to nurture friendships and help out friends. I like that I'm there when DD wakes up from her nap is all happy and singing.
     
    What is hard about it? Little down time (is it nap time yet!?) Some days it's just the two of us. If DD is working all day, I try to do a get together, play date or activity but it doesn't always work out. So you have to be prepared for that, at times. I sometimes feel pressure to keep up a perfect home. I think my DD gets sick of me sometimes and acts up.. those days can be long! Not being able to sit at my desk and surf the net and eat a lovely salad in peace! Not being able to pick up and run out of the house to do an errand. Trying to keep DD on a schedule and having to always plan around it.

    Do you get sad, lonely, down sometimes? I wouldn't say sad. Some days or afternoons can be a bit lonely but I try to call a friend or online shop :)- or some kind of pick me up. The important thing is to try to make friends, plan playdates, get outside, try to plan ahead to keep yourself and LO busy. I don't think anyone would be happy hanging at home with Barney going all day.

    I know for sure we made the right decision for our family. I love being at home. I never felt right leaving my DD at daycare (although she does still go 2x week for half day). It just wasn't for me. I totally acknowledge that we are in a very fornutate situation. For me, it's such a precious time to be with DD but there is NO doubt that it IS hard, non-stop work.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: SAHM. Likes and Dislikes

    I had to deal with an unexpected flood of guilt for being a "total financial burden" instead of a big financial contributor.  By not contributing financially, despite all the ways I contribute that we decided would be worth it to our household even before we had kids, it became a guilt-ridden thing for me to spend anything.  Kids or no kids, it's hard to go from earning from an outside employer to contributing in other ways even if that includes raising your child.  Suddenly, buying something you can't absolutely say you need, going to your regular salon, even buying your regular DD coffee, can fill you with unexpected guilt.   I had to learn to accept that I still deserve to go somewhere other than Supercuts for a $15 hack job haircut or grabbing the scissors myself (which I did once because I felt so guilty staying home) just because I contribute at home instead of outside our home.

    It can get lonely, but that's up to you to do something about.  Make SAHM friends and make plans to keep up with the people who are truly worth putting effort into continued relationships with.  I go twice a month "out East" to visit old friends from work.  You can do that with a baby, too.  I've met moms for lunch who have cut back their work schedules since having their kids.
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from lizinboston. Show lizinboston's posts

    Re: SAHM. Likes and Dislikes

    Thank you for ALL of your suggestions. I think they are all great, and Daisy, Winter and Lemon, everything you talked about I have certainly considered.

    I think for me, like, newcar, I just don't want to put my child into daycare so young. And, I am in no way knocking on people who do, it just isn't something I want to do.

    As for working part-time at my job, it certainly is an ooption, but I would have to have a long conversation with my boss about it. They may in the end decide that they really need someone full-time to do my job.

    I also, do not see myself staying home for the entire time I am raising a child. I think it is something me and DH need to really talk about to make the right choice.

    But, thank you for all of you words of wisdom.
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: SAHM. Likes and Dislikes

    As far as working part time goes and having that "long talk" - I hope you really will ask about it.  As my mom taught me when I had a habit of not bothering to ask for anything, don't make people's decisions for them by not communicating your needs because you assume the answer will (or might) be "no."

    GL!!
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from MichelleandtheBoys. Show MichelleandtheBoys's posts

    Re: SAHM. Likes and Dislikes

    When my first son was born I was able to work out a job-share with a coworker who had a baby two months prior.  I hated every minute of it, but it was too good of an opportunity to pass up.  After us each working 3 days/wk for 4 months (my mother was my babysitter), they wanted one full time person. So we both quit and never looked back. Fortunately, my husband's career has continued to advance, so the finances were not really an issue, but even if they were, I would have tried any way to make it work.  

    I have been a SAHM for the past 11 years.  It's not all roses, but I have spent so much time with my children and I think we're all better for it. I can see that it's not for everyone, but I've loved it.  When they were little I loved cuddling in the mornings, making breakfast, watching Sesame Street, dancing and singing, reading books, going to playgrounds, Gymboree, museums, music classes, playgroup, etc..... Every day was like a weekend.  The days were sometimes very long, but the years were extremely SHORT. They are only little once. We also met a great group of people at a music class, and several of us had weekly play dates.  We are still friends now.  That was very helpful as far as me getting to socialize with other parents. I realize that it would have been much harder not to know anyone else in the same boat.  I also used to meet my working friends for lunch, particularly when I only had one child. My husband works 10-12 hour days, so sometimes it's hard, particularly with two toddlers, I wanted to pull my hair out.  But overall, I wouldn't trade it for anything.  I miss those days tremendously.

    Now that they are in school full time, it's certainly different, and I could stand to have at least a part time job, but I still enjoy being home. I'm more of a chauffer, errand runner, homework supervisor, etc. but I'd still rather it be me than someone else. Several of their friends' working parents look to me for help with days off of school, and my kids love that I can take them to do something fun with their friends, or just have them over to play.  I have recently been wondering what else I am going to do with my life, as I know I can't just dote on them forever, but I have no interest in a full time job at this point. I started doing some editing work a few hrs. per week, and volunteer a lot (too much) at school.  I will do something else eventually.

    Some of the others bring up good points, but even if you ever have to work to support yourself, you'll likely always be somewhat employable, and you can further your education if necessary.  The kids will only be little once, for a very brief time, and there's no going back.
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from MichelleandtheBoys. Show MichelleandtheBoys's posts

    Re: SAHM. Likes and Dislikes

    In Response to Re: SAHM. Likes and Dislikes:
    I had to deal with an unexpected flood of guilt for being a "total financial burden" instead of a big financial contributor.  By not contributing financially , despite all the ways I contribute that we decided would be worth it to our household ...
    Posted by kargiver


    That was definitely an adjustment.  The first couple of years, having a big fat zero next to my name on the tax return was jarring, but I'm over it. ;)

     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from luvRIboy. Show luvRIboy's posts

    Re: SAHM. Likes and Dislikes

    I agree with Kar about broaching the subject of part-time option with your work.  I think it makes sense to know what all of your options are before making any decisions.  If part-time is on the table, I'd seriously consider it.

    I wish I could work part-time, but I had just started my job when DD was born, so I'm biding my time before having that conversation.  It would be my ideal situation, as I would love to be with her more, but don't think my personality would do very well if I gave up my identity as "professional" completely.  I, too, work for a non-profit, and I love my job and the organization I support...it's an important part of who I am, as much as what I do. 

    I have noticed, though, that like most things in life, the grass is always greener on the other side.  No situation is perfect. For me, it was especially hard when DH was home with her full time for 3 months while he was laid off...I so wished it was me, while he wanted so badly to be back at work. 

    And you child will ALWAYS know you are her or his mom...and will trust you, love you, rely on you, and need you more than just about anyone else in the world.  The most important thing to ensure that he or she is happy and has a great life is to remember that YOU have to be happy for that to happen. 

    There is not right or wrong decision...but you have to be happy with the decision you make...then it's the right one for you!

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from KMMZ1012. Show KMMZ1012's posts

    Re: SAHM. Likes and Dislikes

    Can I just say I'm so impressed by the lack of judgment from people about SAHM versus workplace moms?  Your civility gives me hope for the rest of the universe.
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: SAHM. Likes and Dislikes

    Michelle, your post made me laugh.  I'm over it, too, thankfully. :)
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: SAHM. Likes and Dislikes

    This is a very insightful and interesting thread.

    Liz, I'm not a SAHM, so this might not be helpful, but...

    For me, like most things in my life, I needed to experience it first hand before knowing what the ideal situation would be for myself.  I stayed home for 3 full months on maternity leave, then worked part time for a couple of months (about 3 days per week).  Then I increased to 4 days a week, now I'm at 4.5 days per week (DD is 13 months).

    What I've learned is that I could not have been a full time SAHM, but that the ideal situation for me would be to work 3 days per week.  Unfortunately, I can't do that in this job, but it's good to know, and I only know it because I got to experience it.  You'll learn a lot during the first few months of maternity leave.  You might surprise yourself and really want to return to work.  You might feel you'd be happy to stay home with your LO forever, or at least for now.

    Like some others have said, my advice would be to keep all options open for as long as possible, and find out everything you can about work options.
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from rsw978. Show rsw978's posts

    Re: SAHM. Likes and Dislikes

    I left the workforce after my son was hospitalized and the day care choices where we lived were very depressing.  He is totally fine now, we moved and had a second.  My children are sweet and generally well-behaved so I appreciate my time home.  To be a happy, "balanced" stay-at-home mom I joined a gym and got the best rate.  The kids rate ends up being 75 cents an hour if you go everyday.  It is so worth everyones mental and physical health, provides routine, break from kids and socializing for the day.  (Better to spend money on the gym then diabeties medication, etc.)  Some gyms allow you work there and take your kids with you or if you teach a class you can check your kids into the babysitting.  In our area, we are within a 10-15 minute driving distance of about 10 high quality libraries with a long roster of activities.  Sign up for every story hour, sing along but don't feel stressed about attending if your child is still napping, having a bad day, doesn't want to sit.  So, mornings are spent at the gym and afternoons at libraries, playgrounds and play dates.  Costs are kept way down.  Link up with every mom group.    You feel "professional", busy and occupied as a stay-at-home mom.  If possible, try to get a weekend or part-time job or take classess to keep yourself in your field depending on your past or future field of study .  My kids are with a modeling agency so that also keeps us busy.  Also, some preschools do have scholarships and don't be shy about applying.  Also, if you don't have hand-on family, we have met some great neighborhood kids to be babysitters and mother's helpers as support if you need a break or need someone to watch if you get an evening job and need someone to watch the kids for an hour or two until your partner gets home. 
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: SAHM. Likes and Dislikes

    rsw, great post.  So thankful to see your son is OK, now. 
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from wrkingmom. Show wrkingmom's posts

    Re: SAHM. Likes and Dislikes

    Can't really help other than saying that somedays when at work I really wish I could be there with my son and at the end of some weekends I am ready to return to work.  I think it is a hard decision with some amount of guilt on either side no matter what you choose.
    I am working now but would hope I am building in the flexibility for a 4 day a week or at least a work from home situation once the kids start all the afterschool activities and need the guidance and time that comes with being middle schoolers and high schoolers.  Part of me believes that is really the time to be available and not as much now when they are young.  But it is hard to leave them now.
     
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