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Working Quandary

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I'm due in February. I still haven't decided on whether or not to be a stay-at-home mom. I've been working since I was 18 and haven't stopped since. I've worked very, very hard to be where I am - and I'm finding it difficult to give that up. I guess my work has been such a big part of my identity that giving that up feels like I'm surrendering and sacrificing everything that I've worked for. However, I don't want to miss out on my child growing up. And I'm worried about our finances if we lose my salary.

When you became a stay-at-home parent, was it difficult for you?

post #2 of 5

I'm not a SAHP parent, but my DP is mostly a SAHP and it was a difficult decision, but once the decision was made, both of us were so happy with it and have been ever since. It looks like your post might have been missed, so I'm bumping it up for attention. :bump: Anyone want to share your experiences on the decision to be a SAHP?

post #3 of 5
When I was in graduate school, one reason I choose my career path ( nursing) was because of the flexibility it allowed me (day, evening, night, weekend hours, many different settings available). I envisioned this flexibility would allow us to be somewhat creative with child care as I never envisioned my children attending full time Monday - Friday daycare. I was however adamant that I was NOT going to stay home with my children all the time as I didn't work hard for a graduate degree for nothing. Yep, those were my words almost verbatim. Then, something clicked with me and along with my DH, I realized a couple things. First, I have MANY years to work, but my kids are only going to be little for a short time. Second, I couldn't see myself regretting not working as much as I could see myself
regretting not always being there for my kids. Third, my husband and I listened to an observed many friends and colleagues who were dual career families. We felt that life for many of them was rushed, hectic, chaotic, and in turmoil. Not everyone of course, but many. There seemed to be a lot of conflict over the division of labor in the home and family. Based on these three observations/ realizations we decided that it would be best for a me to stay home. This isn't the best choice for everyone and I know many families who have 2 working partners that certainly make it work, but it wasn't something that we wanted to do. I hope this helps somewhat. Best wishes!
post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by alessandro View Post

Then, something clicked with me and along with my DH, I realized a couple things. First, I have MANY years to work, but my kids are only going to be little for a short time. Second, I couldn't see myself regretting not working as much as I could see myself
regretting not always being there for my kids. Third, my husband and I listened to an observed many friends and colleagues who were dual career families. We felt that life for many of them was rushed, hectic, chaotic, and in turmoil. 

 

This.

 

It was lucky for me in a way, because I was pushed by outside circumstance to be a SAHM. Otherwise I might have found it VERY difficult to choose this lifestyle. It's hard for me to be a SAHM tbh- the monotony, boredom, feeling like I need to GO and DO. Struggling with identity and worth. But that said, I look at my precious daughter and can't imagine leaving her with someone else for these formative years. I know she belongs with me. And I know this is a sacrifice, but I'm more than willing to make it. As PP said, my child(ren) will only be young for so long and I have my whole working life ahead of me. 

 

I also agree with the whole hectic life of the dual career family thing. I was a nanny for three years for two lawyers and their children. It really honestly seemed like their lives revolved around their careers and outside of their jobs, it was a rush to squeeze quality time in with their kiddos. Me being their nanny, of course, smoothed down a lot of rougher edges because they never had to worry about making lunches or scheduling playdates, preschool, etc. I took charge. But I could see that their "free" time had to be carefully orchestrated, and was thrown off by the slightest outside event (sickness, weather, extra work hours, napping changes, teething, etc.) I'm glad as a SAHM I sort of set the tone for a more relaxed/peaceful pace of life. Something to think about.

post #5 of 5

For me, the decision to be a SAHP was an easy one.

 

What's hard is now, seven years later, starting to think about going back to work and realizing I'm pretty much going back to square one. I'm going to have to look at jobs that are at a lower level and significantly lower pay than the one I left, b/c I've been gone so long.

 

I've absolutely loved my time as a SAHP. I could love it for many more years. But I have a growing sense of unease at being unemployed. If there is any way for you to work very part-time in your field while your child is young, just to keep your options open and skills up-to-date, that might be the ideal way for you to go.

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