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Why Do You Work? - Page 4

post #61 of 109
I'm the lone breadwinner, so I work.

I chose to work at a child care center so that I can be available to my child 90% of the workday. I earn a LOT less than I would working in my preferred field, but I think we are both a LOT happier with this setup.
post #62 of 109
Why do I work?

Because I've had a hard time convincing them to pay me for NOT showing up.
post #63 of 109
My work is part of who I am. I would do it for free, although I sure am glad I get paid.

In fact, I've decided that I'd rather work full-time with one child than work part-time and have another. That's how thin I think I can spread myself and still have a good quality of life. My mother is horrified.
post #64 of 109
Right now, I work because I have to. I very much wish I could have stayed home longer than I did (I went back when DD was 5 months) but I make more than triple what my DH makes, so if I don't work, we can't pay the mortgage. I had no idea I'd want to stay home as much as I do. I never thought twice about putting myself in a situation where I was the primary breadwinner.

That said, I do enjoy my job a lot, fortunately. Its hard for me to imagine forcing myself to go every day to a job I hate.
post #65 of 109
I just wanted to thank, from the bottom of my heart, every single person who replied with so much thought and sensitivity to this question. I am touched by your responses and you all have helped me immensely.

I have been a SAHM twice in my life. First, when my eldest two children were small. When they were 3 1/2 and 1 1/2, I got divorced and returned to the workforce. Then, I became a SAHM when my youngest child was born and I've been home with him for 3 years.

Bottom line: staying home FT doesn't work for me. I had an incredibly hard time making the decision to go back to school FT this fall and finish my degree, and I felt very guilty. Now, though, I'm getting so excited about being back at the university, and since I'm very close to finishing, I'm also excited at the prospects of bringing some money into this household. My youngest started in a great day care near our house (I used to work there) about 2 months ago, so I've had time to work on some of the writing projects I've had knocking around in my head all this time, and it feels sooo good to do that.

Surprise, surprise, every single person in my family is happier now. The kids know I'm happier; I enjoy my time with them 1000% more than I used to because I'm not depressed, anxious, bored, and lonely.

As much difficulty as I had making this decision (I have definitely bought into some of the "SAHM is the only right way" rhetoric), I've always believed that the whole WOHM/SAHM debate is silly. It is every conscientious, loving parent's responsibility to make decisions for the family that are in every family member's best interests. There is no "best" decision for every family. There are only "best" decisions for each family. And if Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!
post #66 of 109
Because I loooovvveee to be creative and I am a really motivated person who likes to acheive. I though tI would love to be just a sahm, but I prefer to ba wahm. I also love babywearing and am passionate about helping other mothers keep their babies close. Sooooo, my goal is to get enough employees some day so that this is a very part time creative buisness for me!
post #67 of 109
I work because I have to. I would love to SAH but we just can't afford it. Plus I carry the family's insurance (DH's is triple the cost of mine so we'd never be able to swing that). I've wanted kids for most of my life and I've never wanted to be anything but a SAHM, but instead I had to go back to work when Maya was just six weeks old. Who knows -- I may decide that being a SAHM wasn't for me after all, but I've never had the chance to try, so I guess I'll never know!
post #68 of 109
My husband and I both work because we have to in order to have a place to live and eat. If there were any way that either of us could figure it out to stay home with our daughter we would. That said, I do like my job-it's challenging. I've been toying with the idea of staying and doing family home care (totally unrelated to my what my job is now) and part of the reason I wasn't too excited about the idea is that I didn't see it as offering much challenge. I'm new to MDC and forums in general, and actually some of the knowledge I'm gaining from these forums is starting to make me think there could be niche in offering family home care that isn't the standard "baby warehouse" situation. No offense meant to anyone doing home care-but I've seen a lot of that in my search for a good day care for our daughter, and I know that I wouldn't last long in a situation like that.
post #69 of 109
I know this is an older thread but I was doing some searching and this thread was useful for me.

I have a 6 mo old and am struggling with my desire to go back to work. I lost my job when I was 6 weeks pregnant and have been home ever since doing some light consulting & writing but nothing too serious. Well with almost 100K in student loans the pull to go back to a job is real strong these days. Dh makes enough but not a lot of extras and being that he is self employed we lack good insurance (basically we have catastrophic) and retirement what is that.

However due to lack of a center around here that I would comfortably put dd in we would have to go with a nanny situation which I like but frankly will eat up most of what I am likely to earn. I figure the base pay for me with my skill sets will allow me to pay a nanny/basic travel and work related costs and pocket anywhere from $500-700 after the fact. On the surface I feel why work for that but them I am thinking about hidden benefits such as employer sponsored health coverage, retirement and then a outside jobs looks great. I am also reminded that the longer I am out of the work world the harder it is to get back in (I was in non-profit management).

After reading this thread though it seems that not everyone is working for the money which I guess is reassuring because while I love being home w/dd sometimes I so miss adult interaction. I have a 14 yo ds but this is my 1st time as SAHM and its hard.

Babe in arms so I gotta go.

post #70 of 109
I have to work to pay the bills.....

Sure we could sell our house and not pay the mortgage and live in a crappy cheap apartment but I like my house

And my DD has kidney reflux and we have constant medical bills to pay for her.
post #71 of 109
I have to. I earn more than DH and have 100% health coverage, for free.

He has to. His job offers 401(k) and they match as well.

More importantly, we live in Southern California. At the beach no less. It would be really really hard for us to live on just one of our moderate incomes. I know people say you CAN do it, but we really can't. We live near our families already, and we're not going to relocate far far away from them just to save money.

Our cars are old and paid for, we rent a teeny house, and we've taken one vacation in 5 years (a roadtrip to WA for a wedding). So we think that we live modestly but happily!
post #72 of 109

I Work At Home And I Love It

I do have an advantage to being able to work at home. My husband has a good job and we are on his insurance.


edited by mod
post #73 of 109
I work because I'm a single Mama and I have to. I feel very lucky because I was able to work only 20 hours a week for nearly 2 years ... and just now have I upped that to about 28 hours a week. My son and I are able to get by just fine on that part time income.

I am taking classes and preparing to start a new career in the spring/summer. That will mean enrolling my son into Waldorf school full time. But he will be 3 and a half at that point, and I feel very lucky that I have been able to balance home/work until he was older.

I would love to be a SAHM, but I don't see it happening.
post #74 of 109
1. I provide the family health insurance.

I've been off since the birth of our youngest and go back to work on Jan 23. So think of me ladies... It will be a difficult day for me.

Secondary reasons.. would be more important to me if the boys were already in school.

I like to think that with me working maybe DH could cut back on his hours (read quit one of the part time jobs that he has to travel so far for) and be home more to share in the parenting load

I don't feel as guilty spending money if I think I've helped to put it in the pot, so to speak.

I hope that I'm making a difference in one if not many more than that of my student's lives... enriching their appreciation for the arts and life itself. Opening their eyes to the world around them, or just having 40 minutes of a day that they can forget about whatever troubles await them elsewhere.

I'll admit, I also like being able to talk to other adults, albeit a very small percentage of the day!

Having said all that I still wish I wasn't going back until my boys were in school themselves
post #75 of 109
I work because I'm the breadwinner and DH stays at home. I was born here and have a law degree, he came from Russia when he was 30 when we got married and doesn't have a four year degree or fluent English (Russian is the language of our home). He would have to work twice as many hours in hard physical labor to earn maybe 60% of what I do now (and my earning potential is actually 3-5 times higher than what I earn now if I chose to go back to the private sector, which I don't because it's not compatible with what I want my family life to be like). For us it's a no brainer. DH is planning on doing more of a home business eventually and may work out of the house on projects more regularly once our kids are all in school but for now he mostly (he occasionally does out of the house projects) stays at home and works on our house, a very slow process anyhow.
post #76 of 109
I work because I'm good at what I do, and there isn't exactly an oversupply of people who are good at being psychologists for poor inner-city folks with HIV.

I work because the research I'm involved in has the potential to make a real difference in the lives of people with HIV.

I work because I don't have the patience to stay with my baby 24/7. I'm a much better mama when I *am* home if I have three days a week of adult company and intense mental stimulation.

I work because I want to be able to afford to send my kid(s) to private school.
post #77 of 109
Because I have to. I would give anything to be able to sah with my ds.
post #78 of 109
Originally Posted by ayme371
Because I have to. I would give anything to be able to sah with my ds.
I'll get slammed for saying this, but you can! As soon as I got pregnant, I called a SAHD friend of ours and offered my services for childcare if he ever decided to go back to work (out of the home). What started as 15 hours a week so he could play some golf has now blossomed into a great paying 40 hour a week job, with my now 2 1/2 year old still by my side every day. I get to make money, maintain financial independence, and have plenty of adult interaction with the other moms at play group, in parks, at the museum, pretty much everywhere we go. Plus, my boy gets pretend brothers to play with, which gives us all the social perks of daycare with none of the cooties.

Of course, like one mom said earlier, we have to follow our hearts to find our happiness. I don't suggest this for the moms who feel inclined to continue in a specific career path; I'm just offering my story for the moms who said they wish they could be home but can't.
post #79 of 109
I've thought about that, but I'd have to watch 7.5 kids, full time, at the county voucher rate to bring home what I make now PLUS keep contributing to my retirement. Sadly, that's above the legal limit of kids I can watch in my home. The retirement issue is CRITICAL to me since I saw what happened to my SAHM when my father suddenly took off after nearly 40 years of marriage, leaving her with no insurance, no means for an income (disability), no retirement & no eligibility for disability for her new health problems (because she was a SAHM for 30+ years and didn't have enough "points" in the system - nice system, eh???). We are counting down the days until she turns 65 and can get some sort of health care coverage.

Yeah - I'm slightly paranoid, I know... But that's my life & it's impacted me greatly.
post #80 of 109
I could feasibly practice law at home, but I would have to get training under a solo lawyer first b/c what I do now isn't terribly compatible with solo work, then client chase for heaven knows how many years to make half of what I do now. I worked for a solo lawyer one summer in law school who had to re establish a practice (which he did about two years before I started working for him) in a different area once his main client was taken over by a different company and he lost his main source of income. He worked more hours on average than I do now and made half as much and I'm sure his health insurance, etc. was way more expensive and he most certainly didn't get matching 401K contributions on top of a pension plan like I do (I won't even go into the reduction in stress level I enjoy due to job security, which after another year will be really, really solid). If I were the second income in the family I would think about it as a way to supplement income if necessary (or just contract work), but with me being in the breadwinner position I need something that pays more and is more stable, where you won't get screwed tomorrow if you lose your big clients to circumstances beyond your control. In the end, working from home would be more stress on the family and more time consuming and I don't think I would actually have more time with my kids and what time I would have would be more stress-filled. My parents went through a string of not very successful small businesses (the stress of which I often experienced along with them) and I have to say I like being taken care of by a big employer, in this case a gov't agency.
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