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Do you feel like being a SAHP is a job? - Page 2

post #21 of 61

i define "job" as a way to make money, but i define what i do as my "career"...the work that i devote my life to.

dh and i actually figured it out and to be able to aford childcare and the extra gas and lunches for me to work, i would have to work full time. if i worked part time it would cost us, and full time would just break even.

since i do see homemaking as my career, i do put conscious effort into managing the house well. if i can meal plan wisely, then my husband can be less stressed about money. part of my home career is making my own soap, cloth diapering, cooking from scratch, and doing whatever i can to maximize dh's paycheck and minimize his stress. and i tell him when i do something that saves us money like "man, making our laundry soap has saved us xx$ per month"...not to brag to him, but to let him know that i am thinking of him and putting in effort to keeping the family going. that way, when he thinks about me staying home, he thinks about the money he doesn't have to spend on disposable diapers, and the extra hours he won't have to work.

post #22 of 61
I believe being a SAHM is definitely a job! It's more enjoyable than jobs I've had away from home because there's no workplace drama, no bosses to impress, no rules except for the ones I make & enforce, and my kids are much better company than miserable coworkers. Sure, I don't get paid or get any real recognition for what I do but I'm so much happier doing what I do now. I was 8 months pregnant when I quit my job as an office manager after almost 6 years and I kept getting the same question from my coworkers (mostly men) which was, "What will you do after you stop working?" That question struck me as funny & not funny at the same time. I would answer, "I'll be working of course!" Some of them actually seemed uncomfortable with my response. I think it must have been hard for them to see how I could not be working there but still working. Maybe they imagined I'd be sitting at home all day with my Bon Bons and TV shows. My husband is grateful that I'm taking care of our kids and finding ways to save money but he also hates his job and I do get a weird vibe from him, like he is resentful that I get to stay at home and he doesn't. It's actually the same resentful vibe I got when I worked full-time & made more money than him. One thing I'm learning from this experience is that you have to make your own happiness, that you have to value your work as a SAHM even when it seems no one else does.
post #23 of 61

yes it is a full time job we moms never really get a break.

post #24 of 61

The worst thing about being a sahm mom is no sick days. That and not being taken seriously by alot of people bc we *just* stay at home. I see my job of being a sahm cleaning much of the house, cooking, taking care of business during the day that dh can't while at work, finances, shopping, and taking care of the kids/animals. That's all to do while dh is working, and when he is home everything is split. If I am sick or going through morning sickness I expect more help from him until I am able to do it again. And I do NOT subscribe to the old-fashioned theory of "women's work" and "man's work", but bc I am a sahm this is my part of taking care of the family, and dh's part is his employment, and then when we're together it's half/half. Last summer our central air broke down and I felt so useless and despondant bc we couldn't afford to have it repaired (finances were also low at the time) and my husband explained to me that he feels so good to know someone is taking care of his kids and he knows there's always something to eat when he gets home. We talked about the families we know where both parents work and there's not much time for family(not all families are like that, I know, but we know several who are). He doesn't want us to be that way. We have a very good relationship and I do realize not all couples are like this. My own parents and my in-laws were different.


If it helps, think of how much a weekly housecleaner would cost. How much restaurants would cost. Whatever you do yourself(hair cuts, your own nails,...) remember how much it would cost if you had someone else to do it.


I will say, my "baby" is almost 9 yrs old and I have 2 teenagers...when the kids are toddlers things are different and I need more help around the house and everything is more laid-back until it's time for a birthday party. I am pregnant now so I know once the baby is here, the only housework/cooking that will get done is whatever my older kids do and dh does. My job will be taking care of the baby and myself.

post #25 of 61

Even if 'job' doesn't work semantically, it is *work*.  Often hard work.  Often with no end in sight.  So a sahm deserves the respect anyone who works hard deserves.


For me, the words I'd use are more along the lines of "calling" and "life's work".  I'm in it for the long haul (with dh's support) and we are open to more children, so there is a possibility that "Mom at home" will be my career in lieu of anything else.

post #26 of 61

My DH said that to me a few days ago when we argued. Later that evening we met with our financial advisor who asked if I was ever going to get a job again so he could plan accordingly for our retirement.


I didnt say anything at first b/c I was wondering if I should get a job like he said. But then he immediately jumped in and said that it made no sense for me to work. He liked me being at home and it would make life alot more difficult if I worked. We woudl have to put my DD back into a school and limit our other kids extra currs.


I was so happy to hear this from him. I knew this wasnt what we had planned. But having 2 sn kids changed our plans dramtically. I used to have a career I loved. I was a bit resentful at having to stop working.


But I love it so much now. I would be happy never going back into work.


However Iw ould love to do foster care, or more volunteering. Things that being a SAHM allow me to do when my job didnt.

post #27 of 61

No.  I'm a parent.  Parenting my children is not a job.  I chose to be a parent just as I chose to be a wife.  I'd never refer to my marriage as being a job, it's something I undertook out of love and a desire to be with my partner for life.  With that in mind, why would I ever refer to parenting my children as a job?  

post #28 of 61
Originally Posted by crzycakes View Post

No.  I'm a parent.  Parenting my children is not a job.  I chose to be a parent just as I chose to be a wife.  I'd never refer to my marriage as being a job, it's something I undertook out of love and a desire to be with my partner for life.  With that in mind, why would I ever refer to parenting my children as a job?  

Maybe because often what is accomplished during the day of a SAHM involves much more than just 'parenting'; like housework, shopping, cooking, watering stuff...whatever. 


post #29 of 61

The job part is what comes along with the sah part of sahm...the actual working part. This is why I specify when dh is home it's split.

post #30 of 61

You'd have to do all that even without kids.  It's just a basic part of life, no?

post #31 of 61
Originally Posted by crzycakes View Post

You'd have to do all that even without kids.  It's just a basic part of life, no?

Not as much of it lol.  Besides if I didn't have kids this discussion would be moot because I would be working.  So the reason I see holding down the fort during the day as my day job is because, as purple rose just stated, once DH gets home everything is split 50/50, just the same as it was when we were both working outside of the house.  Its the only fair way IMO. 


If all of the above is just part of parenting than I would feel like I was the primary parent and then I would get all resentful of DH for not stepping up.

post #32 of 61

I see your point, but for me, it feels demeaning to my children to call it a job.  It's parenting.  A job is something I do (hypothetically since I don't work out of the home) for pay.  It's something I can clock out of and be done with.  It's a task that for most people, is not something done because it brings joy, it's done for money.


I don't parent for money.  I can't ever clock out.  It's human interaction, emotional connections, immense love, the raising of little humans and guiding them so that they become happy, well adjusted, responsible adults.  As I said, for myself, it's demeaning to think of my kids as a job.  It lessens the importance of what I am doing and the relationship we have.


My dh works 12 hour days.  With his commute he's gone 14 hours.  When he gets home theres more wok to be done on the farm.  He helps with the kids and housework here and there, but I am primarily responsible for these things.  My day starts on average at 5:30am.  His starts at 3:45am.  We go to bed between 10-11pm every night. As far as parenting/housework roles we have a more traditional relationship.  I am caretaker of the kids and the home, he works his job then comes home to more work.  I have supper on the table within 15 minutes of him getting home.  Not because I am June Cleaver but because there's still work to do.  Kids are in bed at 8:30 every night so that gives us time to work in the barn together and after sit on the patio and relax before bed.  


I don't feel resentful that he is out talking to adults all day.  This is what I signed on for and I feel very blessed to be able to be home with my kids. 

post #33 of 61
It seems like just a different way of defining it. To me a job is something either I'd do or I'd have to pay someone to do. If I were working outside the home, someone else would be paid to do a lot of what I do. But I still feel blessed to be able to do what I do. And I don't find the word "job" demeaning. I can see, since you do, why you define it how you do.
post #34 of 61

Being a SAHM is a choice. I have been a stay at home mom for many years. I have worked PT jobs off and on. I like working, but I LOVE being with my children. I have always been able to take my kids to school and pick them up from school. The PT jobs had to fit that time frame*.


I went through all of the sly outside comments, along with the “maybe I should work FT”, and the guilty feelings. However, I always knew in my heart that the place for me was with my kids.  


My turning point was when it dawned on me that anyone who diminishes the value of a SAHM is simply ignorant to the day to day operation of my choice.  From then on I was able to chuckle at their comments and move on. (Or maybe I was too exhausted to care what they thought!)


As I tell my children, ‘We all have choices in life. It is the choices we make that define who we are.’ 


*It was this choice that ultimately led me to my dream job of writing (from home where I can still spend time with my family)!

post #35 of 61

I think it is a job. When my DH and I come home after work (we both work full time), we often say "on to our other full time job" (we have 3 small kids).

Not every job is just as busy, not every SAHP is just as busy. But taking care of the kids needs to be done, just like bringing in money to buy food etc, so it's a job (and not just a hobby or so).





Edited by Carma - 5/25/11 at 10:13am
post #36 of 61

I was a sahm for awhile, then went back to work full-time. Having tried it both ways (multiple times, with various jobs) I think that being a sahm is much easier than my old job was. I quit my job in early May, but it feels like forever ago now. I was so completely stressed out, tired, guilty, exhausted, and just all around a major jerk because I was just overwhelmed. It was hard as all get out to work the schedule I did (more than full-time) and take care of the kids. I literally wouldn't see my kids for days at a time. I went a week without seeing my youngest except when she was sleeping. Finally I broke the cycle of not seeing her by waking her up when I got home. It was horrible. I bought my kids stuff all the time because I was so guilty about not being there for them.


Now that I'm staying at home again, for the present anyway, the pressure is off. Sure, there are some things that have to be done at certain times but it is so completely different. I felt like I was running through life, barely having time to see what was going on around me. Now, we can take our time when we want to. I know what is going on at school. I can finally breathe again. My kids see me and know me again.


That isn't to say that it isn't difficult at times. Everything has difficult moments. When all three of my dc are screaming at the same time, do I wish I could just quiet them like I would a group of employees being too loud? Sure. And I sometimes think fondly of how I'd lock myself in my office with a snack and read without anyone interrupting me. That rarely happens now.


But I wouldn't term this a job. First off, no one pays me. I'm not forced to do anything I don't want to do. I have the right to make my own moral decisions, not just blindly follow company policies. In my home, I make the rules. Meaning, if I want to spend a day in my pajamas, vegging out with the kids, I do it. And when I feel like being super productive, I do that. I couldn't make those kind of decisions at work and I was the "boss". I had rules to follow, people to answer to, deadlines to meet. So I take this as I feel it is, I get the choice to be a sahm. The freedom to make that choice. I am doing what I was so envious of while I worked. I am actually getting to live my life with my children, as opposed to going at full speed from one appointment to the next, measuring time in deadlines. I am super happy and just can not really put this in the same category as something that I'd require someone to pay me in order for me to do it.


Also, I totally get the husband part of it. If your husband doesn't like his job, he probably really envies you. My husband was home for awhile while I worked. I hated that he knew everything about the kids and I knew nothing. And even though I'd stayed at home before that and knew what a day was like with the kids, I would fall into the trap of "what did you do all day?" It just seemed like he should have the apartment clean, kids tucked in, dinner ready... And all that is coming from someone who had already been the sahp. I imagine my attitude would likely have been worse had I never been through it. It wasn't pretty, it wasn't pleasant, and I am not at all claiming that it was acceptable. But it is honest. When you have a crappy job and envy that your spouse isn't in that situation, it is hard to look at something like staying at home and say it is harder than working and parenting. Not at all to say that its cool if he's taking out his job woes on you, just saying, it is a difficult situation to be in.

post #37 of 61

I consider it a job, and in my house a mostly thankless job. Hubby works two jobs because it would cost us for me to work out of the home and once he gets home, I'm still responsible for all the household stuff. He may change one diaper a night, some nights not even that. He comes home and complains that the house isn't spotless, I have a 10 year old and a 2 year old, I pick up after they have all gone to bed. The 10 year old is supposed to wash the dishes, but getting him to do so is a fight every night and some days I don't have it in me to wage that war (most nights, actually, but I'm trying to deal with some depression issues related to loosing my dad earlier this year) I mow our almost acre yard with a push mower and also my mom's yard (she and my brother are allergic to lots of outdoor stuff, so I mow the yard since my dad passed) I also cook dinner every single night and when I ask for input from dh on what he would like he'll say "You're home all day, it's your job to think of that" and then try to play it off like he's joking when I get mad that no one wants to help me figure out what to eat, but when I decide no one wants to eat it. I would love to go back to working out of the home, because I feel like hubby would more willingly help out with household stuff and I wouldn't be so stressed and depressed about the state of my house and the feeling that I need to do it all with no help. Sorry this has turned into a rant.

post #38 of 61
I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed right now so it seems like a couple of jobs. Dh is not with us presently and won't be again for 8-10 months (he's deploying) so I'm fully responsible for everything that goes on in the house with no one to back me up at the end of a long day. This week I've been sick and I truely missed the sick days I had at my job pre-kids thT allowed me to stay in bed if needed.

I think of it as my chosen career. Sometimes I wonder if I'm nuts but most of the time it's worth it and I'm glad right now that i have the privilege of staying home with my babies while their dad is away. They are taking his absence really hard and I couldn't imagine having to have them go to a babysitter on top of that.
post #39 of 61

My kids are not my job, but I define a job as work. If I have to mow the yard, weed- eat etc, I don't get paid for it but it's still a job. I am a mother to my kids, but being a stay at home mom includes waaaaay more responsibilities than just taking care of the kiddos.  It includes a. TON. of work!!  My dh has kept the kids by himself for almost a full day before and he tells me straight up, without a doubt, my job is harder than his. Similarily, if I pick up a job that includes 5 hours of work, even if it's something way not fun like cleaning people's toilets, it still feels like time off for me.


post #40 of 61

I'm not calling my children "a job", and I don't see anyone else doing it either.


For many of use, SAHM is a term that encompasses a huge workload that is not under the umbrella of "parenting".  No, it is not a "job" to teach, love, hug, help, care for, and be with my children.  Yes that is parenting.  But my being at home includes a whole lot more than that.  That is not all I do.  It's the best part of what I do, with the most valuable long term results.  But the rest of it--it's work.  Hard work.  I could be called a job, though an unpaid one.  If I didn't have kids and weren't a sahm, much of what I do would not need to be done, or at least not with the frequency or intensity that's required of me now.

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