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Will you encourage your daughter to be a SAHM?

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
If you have a daughter, will you encourage her to be a stay at home parent?

What about a son? Do you have particular feelings about a son of yours being a stay-at-home parent?

I have two daughters and honestly I think I'd be great with whatever they chose - career, staying at home, some of one and then some of the other, whatever.
post #2 of 34
I would definitely encourage my daughters to be SAHMs if possible. I think it has been very beneficial for them and I think it would be for their children as well. That said, I did some casual work when DD1 was over 18mo and I probably will again when DD2 is around the same age. I needed to in order to maintain my registration. I also do 40hrs/year of continuing education. So I would encourage them remain current with their careers as much as possible as well so they have the option to go back when they want/need to.

I don't have sons but I would encourage them to facilitate their wives staying at home for at least the first 12 months (mainly for ease of breast feeding). After that I would encourage them to negotiate what worked best for their circumstances but I think it's great if dad's can be SAH. My DH was a SAHD for a year with his oldest daughter. He'd love to do it again but he earns quite a bit more than I can and we would struggle on my income.
post #3 of 34

I think it's better to encourage kids to live the life they want- not what others expect them. Some people hate the thought of being parents, and feeling pushed to have kids- especially to stay at home with them- would lead to a strained relationship and risk a miserable family. Pushing someone who would rather stay at home and raise a family to focus on career can have the same result. My kids may not want to have kids. They may not want to stay at home. They may want to stay at home and give the Duggars a run for their money.



I think it's especially dangerous to push people into feeling like they must have kids. If someone has a kid and then realizes they never wanted to be a parent and are miserable- it's not like realizing they hate being a teacher. You can't just quit your job of being a parent. Kids deserve to be truly wanted and loved.

post #4 of 34
I didn't read this question as "would you encourage your child to have children?" I answered on the assumption that they had already made that decision.

I guess I also interpreted "encourage" differently as well. I was thinking more along the lines of my child saying "so , I was thinking I stop work for a year/two/ever once the baby is born" and the conversation which would ensue. I'm certainly not whispering "you must be a SAHM" in their ears as they fall asleep lol.gif
post #5 of 34
Originally Posted by katelove View Post

I didn't read this question as "would you encourage your child to have children?" I answered on the assumption that they had already made that decision.

I guess I also interpreted "encourage" differently as well. I was thinking more along the lines of my child saying "so , I was thinking I stop work for a year/two/ever once the baby is born" and the conversation which would ensue. I'm certainly not whispering "you must be a SAHM" in their ears as they fall asleep lol.gif

I agree that we see "encourage" differently, I've seen a lot of people "encourage" someone (child, friend, student, whoever) into something the person doesn't actually want to do. But you're right that it can also be more along the lines of supporting them in a choice they've already made. Thanks for pointing that out. :)

post #6 of 34
Without getting caught in semantics...

I have both a boy and a girl. They are very much a boy and girl (trucks vs dolls). I do my best to raise them in a gender neutral world. Both have toy wraps (but one is for carrying baby dinosaurs)
because of hand me downs we got they both wear pink princess & football pjs...they both take soccer they both take dance. We do our best to create rules for the family without gender bias. So...when talking about life choices that are traditionally bias we try to flip the pronoun. So I would counsel both my children to consider being a sahp...in doing so I would point out that it is both fulfilling and isolating. I will also counsel my children to have a multigenerational home in which case I (or the other family) could serve as a sahp thus providing more freedom to do what they want and fulfill their goals.

But...I wonder...is the question would I encourage my children to consider someone (preferably from the family) at home with the child instead of daycare?

(In which case...yes. Yes, I would. There would be a clear bias.)
post #7 of 34

I would encourage them the same as I do every single one of my friends who are starting on the journey to motherhood...

Many of my friends are just starting to think about families and many have all sort of ideas of what they will or won't do after babies and how they will or won't raise their children. 

I support my friends choices even if they aren't the ones that I make, however the only advice I ever say is "Keep an open mind and your options open. Things may go exactly as you plan them, or they may go in a different direction that you never thought possible. The best "plan" you guys can make is to remain flexible and do the right thing for your family at the time."

I would love to be able to support my children and grandchildren in various ways if they decide to work or stay at home. I definitely think having a SAHParent or a supportive relative (someone who supports the parents way of parenting) around most of the time is ideal, but this can happen in many different ways. 


I know what works for us. I strongly believe in what works for us, but I also know that there are other "story lines" that would work great for us, and maybe even better. This also doesn't mean it would work for others, whether that be my friends, my children or strangers :)

post #8 of 34

I would encourage my daughter to pursue her dreams and have a strong career. I would love for her to take a break from that career if she has children, if it is financially possible for her. I don't know that I would necessarily encourage it when she is an adult...it would not be my place. As a child, I might entertain the subject if it comes up....I would let her know that I loved staying home with my kids and I wouldn't trade it for the world. 


I didn't always feel that way. I always pictured myself as a working mom for some reason. I wish I had listened to my parents and family when they suggested I stay at home. I tried to go back to work when my baby was 3 months old and he got so sick in day care. His lungs were never the same. With our 3rd trip to ER in three months, and eventual hospitalization, I realized I needed to stay home. I stayed home for 10 years. My daughter was in kindergarten when I went back to work, and it's only part-time. I do not have the time management skills to balance taking care of everyone and everything and work full-time (husband doesn't help much due to job). I am hoping to work full-time again when my youngest is closer to 18....in about 10 years.

post #9 of 34

I only have one child, a son, and I would definitely encourage him to be a stay-at-home dad if his wife had a career she wanted to pursue. He may remain our only child, and I have felt sad at not having a daughter because it seems to me that parenting gets handed down much stronger from mother to daughter. I feel strongly about the parenting decisions I've made and I'd like to see them, or improvements on them, used with my grandchildren. If my son was the primary caregiver of his children, that would be more likely I think.  Also I would like both my son and future daughter-in-law to have flexibility and options in their lives and not be chained to either a job or the home.  Of course, this all presumes that my 7 week old baby grows up to be straight (if not, same calculus applies, really) and want kids.

post #10 of 34

I have a boy and two girls.They know that I believe children need and deserve to have a parent at home to take care of them. Whether it's their dad or mom doesn't matter, but if the parents aren't ready to make the commitment to personally care for their kids, I think they are better off remaining childless. That of course is my opinion but whatever they actually do with their lives I will do my best to support and encourage them. Since I've been an adult my parents have always extended the courtesy of sharing their opinion once and then letting me make my own decisions and I will do the same with my kids.

post #11 of 34

I will be happy whatever my daughters decide to do.  The younger one already has admitted that she wants to be just like me.


If they aren't able to stay at home, I would be happy to help them as much as I can....without being pushy or telling them what to do.  I just want to continue to be a part of their lives as much as I can.

post #12 of 34

I grew up with a mom who always worked at least 40 hours a week. She was a single mom for a few years, then actually married my biological dad and still worked many hours because she had a college (nursing) degree and he didn't. So, he was off/on a stay at home parent but also often worked 40+ hour weeks. I had four younger siblings and had to care for them by myself a lot. Anyway, my parents (particularly my dad) encouraged me to put my career first and improve myself, not thinking of marriage for many years (my parents had me when they were 19). BUT- I did my own thing and was "rebellious", choosing to marry at 21 and have my first baby at 23. My dad was upset because I also became a stay at home mom, a waste of my college degree and potential in his eyes. Even though he was disappointed, I did always feel very free to do as I pleased. I was never hampered by being a girl/woman. I always felt like there were OPTIONS for me. ykwim? and that's so important.


On the opposite end of the perspective is my husband's family of origin....  his parents did things the "right" way. We're all Catholic, but they're the stereotypical Catholic family- got married young, his mom has ALWAYS stayed home, the dad is and always has been the breadwinner. They had six children, four girls and two boys. DH's younger sisters always say things like "I want to be a mom when I grow up" and I feel like they've been groomed to be stay at home moms. Like, that's just what women do. They have babies and stay home. And even as a stay at home mom myself, I have a problem with that mentality. Men are NOT just our moneymakers and women are NOT just their husbands' babymakers. 


So, what I want for my daughter is to see herself as a whole person and to never feel boxed in. To know that there are options for her as a woman. And that she can be flexible in her calling as a mother! She can stay at home, she can work, she can stay home for just a few years, she can stay home forever. However she feels whole as a mother/woman, and whatever works for her family (assuming she has a family and isn't called to something like missionary work or religious life or just plain old never getting married and being a worldly career woman). I want my daughter to know that I'm proud of her, always. Anyway, that's my perspective :)

post #13 of 34
DH and I hope to be 'stay-at-home grandparents' someday. The kids know of our intentions. Personally, I'd love a multi-generational home, but it will be up to my kids. We'll see how it works out. smile.gif
post #14 of 34

We have a stay-at-home Papa and grandparents.  if you could call running a small veggie-livestock farm "staying home". :)  I work part-time off-farm.


My 6yo DD said something that made us all laugh but it was very well thought out.


 (for the record, I have worked for a frat house as a cook, at a bakery, as a waitress, and now finally as an administrative assistant for the university.  my girls went to work with me a lot while a frat cook and they always have known what I do. Mama "going to work" is a very solid concept, not going off into the ether like my dad's going to work was for me...)


She and Papa drove pask the frozen-yogurt shop and for whatever reason had made the deal that if she was good, they'd get a treat there on the way home.  My daughter declared that when she grew up, she wanted to work at the ice-cream shop. 

BUT she would have to wait until she was married to work at the ice-cream shop because she had to have a husband to watch her kids and farm all day....


At least she understands how the world works!  haha!


My kids: We always tell them they can do whatever they want to do.  whether it's farm, stay at home with their kids, work designing space rockets, whatever.  I'm sure they'll find whatever works best for their family if/when they get married and have kids.


My family was the typical dad=breadwinner, mom=stay at home even though both were college-educated.  for them that's what they wanted to do.  My mother always made it clear we could do anything.  I always knew I'd be a mom but being the Stay-at-home and homemaking so far REALLY hasn't been my thing.  i was the main parent while we were in college and my hubby still did most of he housework... :)

post #15 of 34

Interesting question. I haven't really given any thought to that before. I would of course love it if my girls wanted to be SAHMs and could but at the same time I'd love for them to be career driven if that's what fulfills them. I really just want them to be happy either way. Same for my son. I am use to the dad=man of the house/breadwinner; mom=SAHM/caregiver bit given the ideals of the area I live in but that isn't always the way it works. I honestly think it's best for the kids to have a SAHM or at least mostly SAHM parent to care for them if at all possible... even better if both parents can be there! I'd love for us to get bills & expenses down so dh can work less and be home more. Kids need all the support and love they can get no matter where it comes from so the more time parents can get to form those bonds the better regardless of mom vs. dad. I don't want my kids to sacrifice their dreams just to be SAHPs either though because an unhappy parent does not a happy child make. I really would love for dh and I to be able to take up a lot of grandbaby time ourselves though so hopefullly my kids will be close by and can take care of needs with their partner while having our help. Multigenerational would be amazing but we shall see how my kids lives turn.

post #16 of 34

I will encourage both of my kid to do what is best for their families at that particular time, whatever their situation.  Certainly I will tell my kids I loved being home with them and encourage them in it if that is what they choose, but I would equally encourage them to pursue a career if that is what they want/need to do. 

post #17 of 34

No.  I'll encourage her in what SHE wants to do.  My kids will have seen the pantheon (SAHM from before they were born until my daughter was 10, then school full time for a year, then launching my own biz that revolves around their school schedule).  They have seen me happy at all stages, seen my struggle at all stages, seen me have to balance things at all stages.  They'll see me continue to take clients after this surprise baby is born.  DH has worked from home their entire lives and will continue to.  What my children choose (I hope) will be what fits their needs, their family's needs, and where they are in life at the time.  I don't ever want to box them in by promoting what I did as somehow superior.  It worked for me.  It may or may not be what they need.  Life and luck already curtails a lot of people's choices, so I will do my best to support them in what they want to do, even if they don't become mini-mes.

post #18 of 34

If she asked me, I would encourage her to first find a career she loves and stay with it. Once I became a stay at home mom, I felt like I lost my whole life. I was isolated and felt purposeless. I feel like having your own career really helps your sense of self worth.

post #19 of 34
Answering honestly I would have to say no. I know staying at home with children is important work. However I would like my daughter to really find her own talents and passions with the plan of sustaining herself in life toward a career before considering being a stay at home parent and partner. I think staying at home serves a family for a period of years, which is great. A good career is something that could be a big part of her identity for over half her life. I don't want her even really thinking about being in the service of a family until she knows who she is and all she is capable of being on her own.
post #20 of 34

My own mother's talents and passions were being with children, and that's something she claimed; she operated a small, but successful and always full in-home daycare for 35 years. She loved that she could keep us home with her until kindergarten, and had a hug and snack waiting for us every day when we got off the bus. I supposed that's technically work-from-home rather than stay-at-home (or maybe not? I'm not sure), but it was a model I grew up in, and have continued by working 15 hours a week, from home during the week and away on the weekends, while raising my two sons. I did get my degree first, and had a few years working professionally, but honestly, what that means for me now is a mountain of seemingly insurmountable student loan debt. I'm glad I have something to fall back on if things take a turn for the worse, but right now the debt I accrued pursuing a different life path is handicapping the life I'm actually living. 


I've talked with my two sons (8 and 5) about their options. Having children or not, partnering or not (with a woman or man), staying at home to raise children, working from home, working away from home--all are presented as ways that people can lead happy lives. And they actually know people who are living in these configurations, so have models, too. 


And I, too, love the idea of a multigenerational home where I could contribute to child care as an elder. It would be great if my boys were on board, but if not, there could still be options out there!

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