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Am I a SAHM now? ...How about NOW?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Reposting this from my Due Date club, as this seems like the better spot for it...


I've always had a hunch that I'd want to stay home if I had children. I've been a workaholic for years, FORCED myself to quit my "career" job because it was about killing me 2 years ago. Since then, I've been doing this and that, freelancing. Now here I am, 12 weeks along in my first pregnancy (age 30), and....


I don't want to work anymore.


I feel VERY busy with learning as much as I can and getting ready for this LO. My freelancing work, which I picked specifically because it wasn't demanding and was super flexible, seems utterly pointless now and makes me incredibly irritable. Like crying irritable. My husband's in the Marines, and we've had many discussions about the benefits of having a SAH parent in military families (that's how I was raised). He's slowly coming to terms with the idea; but as he was raised by a single mom in very tight circumstances, he's fairly terrified that if I don't work, we'll go broke. I've explained all the ways a SAH can make money go further while making life better, if that's what the partner really wants to do and is suited for. He's getting there. Slowly. He's now tentatively ok with me staying home once the baby's born.


But neither of us thought I'd be so set to stop working this soon! Has anyone else had a similar experience? It's just like...work is boring and frustrating and makes me mad, and there's so much to do to get ready for the baby (esp since we're moving across country in - eek - 2 months!), plus I've had CRAZY fatigue and some other unpleasant symptoms/couple of scares. If I'm completely honest, I've wanted to focus on being a housewife more than once during the last 2 years, but always felt that I SHOULD be working. (It was hard for me to justify it in a 1 BR apt with just me and DH and the 2 dogs...and 2 rats...and hamster.) Now that's gone. I literally just want to sit down and cry every time I try to work.


This isn't like me. I have a very strong work ethic. It just seems to all be aimed at baby stuff currently. Has anyone else been there? When did you make the shift?

post #2 of 7

Wow... hugs, mama.  FWIW, I was so stressed out during my pg with my now 8yo that I went on disability 8 weeks into a desperately needed new job and didn't go back after he was born because I seriously just couldn't.  I suspect hormones didn't help matters for me.


If you're freelancing, is it part time or full-time?  I'm wondering--if it's full time, could you focus on making as much as you can to bank the pay as a cushion to help dh feel more secure and hopefully that end-point would help you over the hump?  Or if it's part-time, maybe you could take on those money-saving endeavors a little more to show him the value?

post #3 of 7

I had to stop working when I was around 12 weeks. I had severe HG and my job could not make concessions to help me (I worked at Universal Orlando). I felt *a lot* of guilt about stopping work so soon - after all, I wasn't a "SAHM" yet, right...I had no kid yet. Then I realized that I did have a child - in my womb. And that I had to do what was best to take care of that child instead of killing myself at work and not getting the HG under control.

I did a lot to get ready for baby - research, forums (for homebirth support), and making many baby items. I saved us so much money by making all the nursery decorations, diapers, wipes, and blankets. I was also able to better control our budget and had the energy to cook *every* night and make sure my husband had a packed lunch each day, saving us money on going out. We cut down our cable bill (fewer channels) and cut down our phone bill (went to unlimited prepaid instead of a plan), and made everything from scratch. Now, our son is 19 months old. I am not saying being a one-income family is easy all the time...but when you consider the cost of daycare in many places, I would be working just to send my kid to daycare, plus deal with all the illnesses that get passed around in those places. Instead, he is at home with me, learning and growing, and we can continue our breastfeeding relationship.


Hugs. The limbo of being pregnant is tough, but you have to follow your heart. I have even tried to work-at-home since my son was born, and it just has not worked out - the work frustrates me and I feel I can use my time better elsewhere.

post #4 of 7

I can completely relate to the shift that you're talking about. I'm sure by the end of my first pregnancy I was more of a liability to my employer than an asset because all I did was close my office door and look at pregnancy and birth websites. I had completely checked out by about month 6. Luckily for me I was on contract, because when I left on maternity there was no job to go back to. I was off for nearly 7 years. I love being a sahm and I love baking, canning and going to the park. The daily cooking and cleaning I still haven't really gotten great at - sigh.


My youngest starts school in September and to be honest I feel ready to move onto the next phase of my life too. A bit sad though. To be honest I never want to work full time. I just can't imagine running home at 6, getting kids from sitter, trying to reconnect, cook a meal, clean up, do baths, make lunches, etc. all in a few short hours. But I do plan do work 20-24 hours next year as well as chair a board that I've been on for two years. I want to work again, but I don't feel the need to "define" myself by my work, my education or my income. I really couldn't have anticipated this change, but I feel good about it. 


We made some financial choices that allowed me to be home all this time, and now I feel that I should contribute to the family finances so that we can finally start moving forward on some things (education savings, mortgage, etc.). Maybe we'll even take a real vacation!

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks, you guys. This really helps. I just found out, interestingly enough, that my one remaining freelance client was going to have to end our contract by the end of this month, and was trying to figure out how to tell me (she's a friend of mine). ^_^ So it does seem that now's the time.


I feel like a load's off my shoulders. MamaB, I had a mentor of mine tell me yesterday the same exact thing - that it IS a baby in there, even if he's just tiny, and what I do now counts, emotionally as well as physically. I felt pressure to work because all of the women in my family are very tough and have had to work through some really difficult situations with all of their pregnancies. Compared to all of them, I'm spoiled rotten (granted, that's because of the life choices I've deliberately made, but that's another story). I felt like stopping would be admitting I'm weak. But if I have a chance to make things as happy and peaceful as possible for this niblet, then it seems silly not to just because I want to prove I'm strong and tough. I'm sure he'll give me plenty of chances to do that once he's here! lol


Diane, I'm so happy to hear your story, too! It's a good reminder that doing what's right now doesn't mean I'm refusing to ever work again (although I'm with you - full time office jobs are NOT for me anymore). Time to go with the flow!

post #6 of 7

Diane, I'm so happy to hear your story, too! It's a good reminder that doing what's right now doesn't mean I'm refusing to ever work again (although I'm with you - full time office jobs are NOT for me anymore). Time to go with the flow!

This has been a real epiphany to me lately. When I was at home full time with preschoolers I felt my decision to be at home was a permanent one. Now that the kids are both going to be in school I realize that I can still be a full time mom AND do other things for myself as well. And although some of the days felt like they'd never end, in looking back it seems like such a brief time now!  I just wish there were more well-paid employment options between 9am to 2:30pm, with flexibility vis-a-vis spring break, sick days, pro-d days and summer holidays. I think one of the benefits of having my kids at an "advanced maternal age" is that I have enough career experience to do contract work now.

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

It's a great time to head back, I think. Freelancing, independent contractor work, consulting firms, and alternative office setups are taking over - depending on what your industry is, of course. The type of work I'm leaving now is nothing but old-fashioned admin assistant tasks, but I've been doing them freelance, for a nice monthly retainer, whenever the heck I want! I was making enough to cover both of our car payments in about 3 hours of work each day. (You can see why stopping was such a difficult choice; the logical part of my brain is going, "Seriously?! This is the perfect WAHM job!!" Not the case for me. Oh, well.) There's a TON of great online info out there about how to tailor your services, find your niche, and make way more money than you'd think.

It's funny; I've read how hard my mom's generation pushed for flex time and child-friendly office policies. Who could guess that the internet and technological advances would start making traditional offices totally unnecessary in so many industries, parenting needs aside? And that some of us would STILL just want to focus on parenting and home management?? It just goes to show that there really isn't one right answer for everyone.

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