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Full Time WAHM? - Page 2

post #21 of 31
There are lots of different ways to find care -- nannies, babysitting co-ops, in-home daycares, and institutional childcare settings. All of which can be great -- you have to look at each individually.

But yes, I do think they can provide better care than a parent trying to do a full-time job at the same time, because that's ALL they're doing. They're not trying to do the full-time job, take care of the child, and work in dishes, laundry, grocery shopping, house cleaning, bill paying, and all that other stuff at the same time.

I know there is a pretty large bias amongst AP circles against childcare, but I know in my own experience, having been a WOHM, a SAHM, and a WAHM that care for your child can be a great thing. My kids have loved the daycare, preschools, and babysitters they've had -- because they've gotten great attention from childcare providers whose job it is to play with them and give them 100% of their attention while I did the things I had to do.

Plus, especially with toddlers/preschoolers, I think there's a lot to be said for the social interactions. My kids are generally happiest around other kids, and that's not something as a WAHM I can provide for them every day in the home context when I'm working.
post #22 of 31
Well I don't agree with the PP's about daycare... I have volunteered a few times in daycare and my DS definitely gets way more attention with me than he would in daycare. But I make a lot of sacrifices to make sure he gets that attention. He comes first, work comes second, *I* come third. That means I don't get to take my morning shower and half the time I skip breakfast. It means I don't do laundry & dishes & vacuuming (if it weren't for DH, they would not get done at all). I don't call friends or go shopping or exercise. It's hard being a SAHM, & it's hard being a WOHM, but being a WAHM with no childcare means you're doing BOTH of those jobs simultaneously, basically squeezing 80 hours of work into 40 hours, and then when the 40 hours is up you're STILL on the clock. I would not change the choices I've made -- and I have a high-needs DS & I have CFS and this last year has been TOUGH. But I really wish we could afford for me to be a SAHM because that is the quality of life I'd like. I guess I'm just trying to stress that while this is totally possible, you will have to give up a lot, including dreams of what being a mom would be like. It's very isolating, and you can't just join a playgroup etc. like other moms because you have to work. It's stressful, when your baby is crying and you have to finish something by noon or take an important client call. You constantly feel torn. It all sounded so much easier in theory BEFORE DS was born. I can't stress that enough, but I know no matter how I try to explain what it's like, you won't truly understand until you're in the moment. But at the same time, there will always be SOMETHING commanding your attention, if it's not a full-time job, it will be something else.
post #23 of 31
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post
But at the same time, there will always be SOMETHING commanding your attention, if it's not a full-time job, it will be something else.
Sorry got rushed toward the end, what I was trying to say is that if you aren't WAH and instead a SAHM, you'll automatically put more emphasis on things like keeping the house clean, getting a 1/2 hour of exercise, etc. so I don't think "not giving enough attention to the baby" is a valid argument against WAH. The arguments I'd have against it are more for you, the mom, and your DH.
post #24 of 31
I do it. My job is very flexible and I can work in short bursts (that's partly the job, partly being ok with breaking my focus to go back and forth). On average, for every 15 minutes that I spend working while she is awake, I spend 10 minutes playing on the floor with her. Even when I'm working, I can still interact with her. I've gotten to the point where I can send and respond to emails while tickling her with one hand, while she's nursing, or while singing songs to her. I make client calls while she's sleeping or happily playing on her own (she naps 2-3 hours of my work day). While she's napping I get as much done as possible. Her naps are not regular, but I can work around them. We then have 4-5 solid hours in the evening together before bedtime.

My hours are set (6am to 3pm, on the west coast working for an east coast firm). Over time I just got better at multi-tasking and doing things faster, both with work and tasks around the house. If I were to fall behind, I could make it up in the evenings or on the weekends. I haven't had to do that yet (DD is 9 months now). When DH has breaks (he's a teacher so time off after each semester, every 3 months or so), I get a week to focus on work, and I get way ahead. So for us, it's working so far, and we're both happy (trust me, DD lets me know when she isn't!) DD isn't walking, but she's crawling and cruising. So she is past the point where she stays where I put her, but I don't have to chase her yet. I had to adjust when she started crawling, and I'll have to adjust when she starts walking.

Every situation and every child is different. You can't know if it will work for you until you try it. I agree with crunchy_mommy - it's not impossible, but it's hard, and you need some flexibility and help. I have family and friends I can call on if I really need it (so far, I've called my mom once, when I got sick) and we have room in the budget for a mother's helper when she gets older. If you decide to give it a try, have a back up plan.
post #25 of 31
Thread Starter 
I am fortunate to have a DH that is more than willing to pretty much take over all household duties. He already does all of the grocery shopping and much of the cooking (former chef) and participates a lot in chores like laundry, cleaning, etc. (he's a keeper!).

I actually currently have a coworker with a baby at home and she is in the same position that I would potentially be in, and she said it is difficult and she does not get to give 100% of the attention she would like to to her LO, but she feels that it is still better than group care by a stranger. She is very fortunate though - her nursing LO was STTN in 6 weeks, so she does not deal with the sleep deprivation aspect that would likely change the situation dramatically I assume, so I try not to take her example too much too heart - she has a very easy baby. I am interested to see how things progress once her little girl becomes mobile though, that may make up my mind for sure!
post #26 of 31
You should ask her if you could come work over at her house one day & just be a fly on the wall... If you were closer to me I'd totally have you come over & watch me work LOL just so you can see first-hand what it's like. And yes, once she becomes mobile it will be a whole different ball game... that's great that you have someone in this very situation to compare to!! (But also keep in mind how easy her baby is & that yours may not be!!! Rolling out of bed at 7:59 after being up every 10 minutes ALL. NIGHT. LONG. and trying to work while your LO screams over who-knows-what & nothing you do to comfort him works... well, that's what I've dealt with for the last year!)

Your DH totally sounds like a keeper!!
post #27 of 31
My kids are older now (2 and 3) and I work after the kids go to bed. They have a very early bedtime (5 pm) and tend to sleep well until at least about 11 pm. So I get a good stretch there to work. The rest of the night is touch and go as far as whether or not we get sleep - sleep deprivation is definitely an issue. During the day I fly on and off throughout the day dealing with emails and such, but the work that needs focus or needs to happen away from tiny hands, happens at night.

Before they started STTN things were very different.

ETA: I'm also responsible for 100% of the housework/errands and 100% of the childcare.
post #28 of 31
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post
Sorry got rushed toward the end, what I was trying to say is that if you aren't WAH and instead a SAHM, you'll automatically put more emphasis on things like keeping the house clean, getting a 1/2 hour of exercise, etc. so I don't think "not giving enough attention to the baby" is a valid argument against WAH. The arguments I'd have against it are more for you, the mom, and your DH.
Uh, hm. I WAH but I also get exercise, go out on playdates, take baths, read, and keep a clean house. And the kids aren't neglected either. Maybe it's not the 100% focused attention other SAHM's give their kids but I also believe in giving kids a little breathing room. And they're always around me. And if they need me of course they come first. They're hungry, they're sick, they fall down and bump their head, whatever - I'm right there for them. But I guess I'm not reading 40 books a day and practicing flashcards or whatever. We do stuff together though. We do chores together or they run off and play on their own. We bake together, cook together, whatever. We try to stay at home as much as we can because driving places really cuts time chunks out of our day.
post #29 of 31
Please be gentle with each other and avoid taking direct issue with other members. We all have different goals for ourselves and our children and different things work for different families. We all love our children and want the best for them. Keep this in mind when posting.
post #30 of 31
I don't know if anyone saw the post that was removed but I was totally not trying to be rude, snarky, or sarcastic!! I was looking for tips because I was genuinely amazed at how well honey-lilac seems to manage her time & as a WAHM myself, I really wanted to know her secrets so I could manage to exercise etc. too!! I'm so, so sorry if this came off in any other way, and I feel very sad that my comments were misunderstood. I apologize if anyone was offended, sometimes I hate that tone just doesn't come across well on message boards. Please honey-lilac, would you be willing to share some tips with me?? I really do think you're superwoman, I mean that in an admiring way.
post #31 of 31
I did it with my son who is now almost 8 years old - I worked part time and brought him to the office with me until he was crawling. I would wear him, or he would sleep in a bouncy seat on my desk. I was a paralegal and most of my work was on the computer, so it wasn't too hard. Once he was mobile though? NO WAY.

He's in 1st grade now and it's just been in the last year or so that I can really work from home with him around and feel productive. In the summer I do work some weeks from home with him, but I also put him in lots of camps and activities.

I'm pregnant again, due in October. I'm not 100% sure what I'm going to do this time around. I'm in a different job, but it can be done from home. I'm thinking I will probably work from home in the beginning with a goal of about 5-6 hours a day (and that can be during any hours) and as the baby gets older start to transition into working some from the office, and some from home each day.

It can be done, esp when your baby is very young. But as they get mobile and then turn into toddlers and preschoolers ... it would get very, very hard.

I think it's one of those situations where you could do it - but I doubt you would do a very good job at either, kwim?

I think you need to make plans for some sort of childcare - it does not have to be traditional daycare center care either .. there are lots of alternative options. Good luck with your decision!
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