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Why Do You Work? - Page 2

post #21 of 109
1. To provide health insurance to my family, dh is self-employed

2. To afford housing in a very expensive part of the country (Boston)

4. So my husband can be a part of our son's life as well. Many SAHM's that I know are able to do so because husband has job where he has to work mega-hours. Although we both work full-time we all have dinner together and have meaningful family time every night.

I don't mind answering this question on this forum but I generally don't like when people ask me that because men who work are not asked that question. It really isn't anyone's business and people want to make judgements (exp. we're not "sacrificing enough", I'm "career oriented" etc.)
post #22 of 109
oh, right. i forgot the health insurance part. i have excellent health insurance through work, while the insurance offered at dh's work is not very good and very expensive.
post #23 of 109
I work and will continue to work once the baby comes because:

1. Somebody has to. DH and I are not independantly wealthy, and DH is still in school. He supported me and sacrificed his education through my undergrad and first year of law school, and now it's my turn. Plus, my skills command a higher wage than his do without a degree, so I can work less hours and still make our bills and have more time for the family that he would be able to.

2. I've spent 7 years of my life and uncounted thousands of dollars developing my skills and my career, I love what I do and I think it's important and valuable to society as a whole and to me as a person.

3. I do not have the skills or temperment to stay at home all day. I totally respect women who do, but I don't. I'm dreadful with housework, and I don't do well without externally imposed structure. I'd be horrible at trying to impose a schedule on a child and play with them and keep them entertained while still managing a house. DH is by far the more traditionally feminine and nurturing person in our relationship -- It's just totally not a skill set I have.
post #24 of 109
Originally Posted by UrbanEarthMom

I don't mind answering this question on this forum but I generally don't like when people ask me that because men who work are not asked that question. It really isn't anyone's business and people want to make judgements (exp. we're not "sacrificing enough", I'm "career oriented" etc.)
Great point, and not one I'd really thought about before. My husband looks forward to retirement, and says he want to be the one to stay home with our kid(s).

But if he wants to stay home, I need to finish my education so I can hopefully find a decent job!
post #25 of 109
I am the primary breadwinner, and my job provides health insurance for the family.

But even if that were not the case, I would still work at this job. It is truly my dream job--I use my skills for a cause I believe in and get paid for it!--and I don't think a similarly-ideal employment opportunity will *ever* come my way again. In addition, my work let me reduce my position to part time once my son was born. It would be more difficult if I were away from home FT, I think--although temperamentally, I am simply not cut out for being home FT. Wouldn't be a very good parent if I didn't get time away most every day. (My dh feels the same way, and was fortunate enough to get PT work in his field, as well.)
post #26 of 109
These are the reasons I am currently in school full time, will graduate next spring and start working part time:

1) We need the income I currently generate from my loans (I'll be getting about $18 000 CDN this year alone).

2) Dh is not comfortable with the idea of my staying home, and I respect his position - we're in an equal partnership, and we're doing what we agree on.

3) The adult interaction; I have a personality where I get *very* lazy if I don't have a set schedule and things that must be done during the day.

4) Belleweather said

I do not have the skills or temperment to stay at home all day. I totally respect women who do, but I don't. I'm dreadful with housework, and I don't do well without externally imposed structure.
This sums *me* right up.

5) I'm entering a field that I feel very passionate about - nursing. The work I'm doing is very fulfilling to me, and I want Zoe to know her mother is happy.

Dh and I are going to be TTC early next spring. Here in Canada, I will receive a year of maternity benefits enabling me to stay home for about 50 weeks. After that I will once again be returning to work part time.

I'm usually a little sensitive regarding this question as well, but it's interesting, empowering and just plain uplifting to read everyone's responses.
post #27 of 109
1. I need the adult interaction. Like others, I don't have the temperment to stay at home. I think a lot of it stems from my mother being a very resentful SAHM. I'm a little afraid I'd be like that.

2. We need the money but really so DH can be an equal parenting partner. Either of us could probably get better paying jobs so one could stay home but neither wants to do the self-sacrifice to our family that that would involve.

3. I like my job. And I like the example I'm setting for dd.
post #28 of 109
b/c i have to. I will stop working for a year (at least( when New baby arrives.

after new baby gets a bit older I will propbably get a PT job to get me some interaction and to help out financially a little bit at least.
post #29 of 109
I wanted to add a real life situation with regards to the underlying evil comments to WOHM who chooses to WOH and doesnt have to.

my mom gave up her teaching career and decided she would be there for her children - totally going against what her heart wanted. both my brother and i so wished she had done otherwise. i remember when we started K, we asked if she was going to go too to be happier.

so i think moms who follow their hearts make better parents than those who dont. whether u choose to work, or stay in an unhappy marriage, or resentfully bfeed i am sure children pick that up no matter how hard u try to hide it.
post #30 of 109
Well, I'm kinda in a "have to" situation but I would love to go part time. Part time would give me the adult interaction that I need (I too get really cranky with just children around), make me feel professionally fulfilled as well as being financially independant. I, like the OP, don't want to be dependant financially on anyone. I've worked since I was 16 and just can't imagine a day I don't work at least part time. I also would love to afford my mortgage payments! :LOL
We simply cannot affort to live in the area we live in with one full time and one part time salary. I actually make more than my dh so me working part time doesn't make sense. There is no option in my dh mind of moving somewhere less expensive basically because he would have a VERY hard time finding a job in his field, and he's older than I am, so it's not like he's got a lot of time to build that retirement fund! Also, all his family is here and I really want our kids to be around family and have that connection and relationship. I grew up in Canada and my parents' families were all in Italy. We only talked to them on the phone at holidays and special days and saw them incredibly rarely. I don't feel like I have a great connection or relationship with any of them and I really would like that for my kids.

I also want to contribute some to my kids' college fund. We probably won't be able to foot the entire bill, but we are determined to help them out as much as we possibly can.

Anyway...that's why I work.
post #31 of 109
I work because I like it. I'm a good doctor, I save babies' lives, I help parents and families through incredibly difficult times. I am building a research career around breastfeeding and human milk, causes I believe in passionately. I chose my academic position over private practice, essentially taking a 50% pay cut to have a flexible schedule so I can mostly have regular hours. I am BF my DS, who has never had formula, I spend as much time as I can with him, and am happy.

My DH is also a physician, but he has decided that he would rather be home with DS than practice surgery. (odd, but true) He doesn't have the drive that I do to make a research career, and he doesn't want to work long hours, especially when the kids are little. We don't need two salaries, so only one of us works. Right now, that's me, and I'm OK with that. If I decide I'd really like to be home, or he really wants to go back full-time, we can always switch it around.

Like several PP have mentioned, I refuse to make excuses for working, just because I'm a mama. If DH and my situation were reversed, no one would think twice. As it is, family and friends think he's odd for choosing homemaking and parenting as a career over surgery. Whatever
post #32 of 109
Our set up is currently I work FT and DH works FT nights so one of us is always with DS. Soon DH will be going PT and shorter nights too

I work FT cause I earn way more than DH and always have and cause he wants to stay at home with DS and to be honest, I don't. I'd go nuts being around DS all day, I just don't have the patience so it makes way more sense for me to be the breadwinner. I also have better long term career/training prospects.
post #33 of 109
Like some others have said, I work so that dh can also spend a good amount of time at home. We are in a job share situation, where we each work 3/4 time. Financially, we are doing about as well as if he did the job alone and I stayed at home. But if that were the case, he would definitely be gone way too much - most evenings, working Saturdays and Sundays, etc. As it is, our lives are a bit crazy - we do all our own childcare except about 3 hours a week - and we don't have enough time with just each other (since we are no longer in the office at the same time), but the payoff is that we both get a substantial amount of time at home with the boys. We kind of have the best of both worlds - we each get to be part-time stay-at-home parents and work at a job we love part-time too.

I also work b/c I feel like what I do makes a contribution to society.

I was surprised, though, to discover that I totally have the temperament to be a SAHM. When I was on maternity leave, I didn't miss my work at all. And I think I could leave tomorrow if it didn't mean that dh would then work insane hours and we'd never see him again. I don't think I would miss the adult interaction even - so many of the adults I work with really drive me crazy!
post #34 of 109
I WOH p/t. I think if faced with woh f/t or sah it would be a hard choice. However, my reasons, in no particular order are

1. Keep my foot in the door. Especially since I am pushing 40, work with great people, have a flexible job, awesome onsite dc AND am not exactly working in the field that I got my master's in. If I ever want to do that now, 5 yrs after graduating, I'll have to have an "in" I think. So, it's a great situation so I'm holding on to it.

2. Financial independence of some sort.

3. Because I think I contribute to society by doing what I do---I teach nurses how to better care for critically ill children.

4. Health insurance, 401K, pension

5. I found SAHM tough. I took my time for granted. Wasn't organized and then spent too much time during waking hours cleaning and stuff but felt like it was ok because I was home. When I work I get more stuff done and more stuff done either when the kids are asleep or dh is home.

6. I feel like I'm a good role model of work/family balance not only for my kids but for the nurses I work with. They see me bringing my pump, nursing at lunch, slinging my babe, talking about the family bed---maybe I can influence some of them.
post #35 of 109
Lots of different reasons, mainly financial/ security.

The reasons that are sort of blech:
1. I have to. My husband's salary doesn't pay the mortgage right now.

2. I need the sense of security that my own income brings. Must be that child of a single mother talking, but she always told me to plan for the worst and make sure I had enough to cover anyone who should come along. So my salary would provide for me and DD should the need arise. It would be tough though.

3. Foot in the door. Sure I could give up my career, but what would I do when my kids are all in school? I work in a technology position and even being on maternity leave set me back some, so I shudder to think about trying to get back in after a 10 year absence.

4. Health insurance and 401k. Need those.

That said, I did at one point like my job. I was a consultant though, and travel would have taken me away from my family almost 100% of the time. Unacceptable. So I took a job closer to home and now, though it's a good job, it's no longer what I want to do. Consulting was more my game and I'm wholly unsatisfied at my current state. I am also feeling like working is affecting my relationship with my daughter and it breaks my heart. I am definitely a "WOHM-and-feels-like-crap-about-it" and it's mainly because I spend way too much time at work (a reqd piece of my current job that makes it less than satifactory). I don't know that SAHM is for me either - I like having the security that my own income brings as I mentioned, and I feel like my DD is so well socialized as a result of being around other kids all the time. She loves school and she has a blast. She learns a tremendous amount there. Ideally what I'd like to do is work PT at something home-based where I can designate my own hours, and have DD in school during that time so she can keep reaping the benefits of the wonderful daycare. I really do love the daycare But I miss DD and I hate my job. So I'd like to work say 20 hours a week or so on my home-based business. That to me would be the best of both worlds.

Interesting comments on the DHs. Mine doesn't want to stay home and I don't want him to either. I want to be the one to stay home. We are partly in the situation we're in because he took a lower paying job close to home to spend more time with me and DD, but he would not be a FT dad. Different strokes for different folks
post #36 of 109
Originally Posted by UrbanEarthMom
I don't mind answering this question on this forum but I generally don't like when people ask me that because men who work are not asked that question. It really isn't anyone's business and people want to make judgements (exp. we're not "sacrificing enough", I'm "career oriented" etc.)
Good point. My husband's family asks me this question all the time and it really pisses me off coming from them. They also ask me if I'm still nursing (yes) and how much daycare costs (none of your business, now bug off) Whatever feelings you have on the topic (WOHM as a matter of necessity or desire) this is a pretty loaded question.
post #37 of 109
Because I have to. Really, there's no other motiviation (and these are just MY opinions about MY family, no one elses):

1. I don't enjoy what I do. And I don't care about helping "other people." I'd much rather be at home helping my own kid(s) than someone else's.

2. I sit alone in a windowless office all day and get virtually NO adult interaction, so that's not a factor. In fact, sometimes the only people I talk to all day are DH & DS anyway! A little chit chat with co-workers here and there doesn't rock my world anyway, it's not that important.

3. I wouldn't mind being financially dependent on my DH. After all, I have education so it's not that big of a deal.
post #38 of 109
Originally Posted by UrbanEarthMom
I don't mind answering this question on this forum but I generally don't like when people ask me that because men who work are not asked that question. It really isn't anyone's business and people want to make judgements (exp. we're not "sacrificing enough", I'm "career oriented" etc.)
I agree and that's why my answer is: Because it never occured to me NOT to work.

My mother worked when I was small and HER mother was a seamstress in NYC during the depression. Before that, my family farmed and ALL mothers worked.
post #39 of 109
Mostly b/c I have to right now. I am not very effective at work though b/c it's so hard to be full time with an infant.

I do like to work. I love my job. I'd just like to do less of it and spend more time with my beautiful son.
post #40 of 109
why do i work?

to support my family.


but i guess a more relevant response to this, for me, would be, "why do i go to college?"

nobody is *making* me go to college, but i do because...
1) i'm working toward a degree in my Dream Field, and
2) it gives me time to do something i love doing, and
3) i'm working toward making a better life for our family.

if i could be a sahm part-time and go to school full-time i would LOVE to do that... but alas, i must also be a working mama to pay the bills.

eta ~ in all honesty, now that i've been working awhile... it really is nice to have the independance and be in charge of the finances. "if you want something done right, you've got to do it yourself."
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