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WOHM - Why do you work?

Poll Results: What is your WOH situation?

  • 15% (27)
    WOH is a financial necessity, I DO NOT enjoy my job.
  • 67% (116)
    WOH is a financial necessity, but (thankfully) I DO enjoy my job.
  • 9% (17)
    WOH is not a financial necessity, I choose to work because I enjoy it.
  • 7% (13)
    other (please explain)
173 Total Votes  
post #1 of 62
Thread Starter 
I was just wondering what kind of working situations we all find ourselves in...?

This is my first poll, so I am keeping it simple.

(I am assuming that if WOH is not a financial necessity, and you didn't enjoy your work, you wouldn't do it.. but please correct me if I am wrong..)

Any WOH mom or dad is welcome and encouraged to post their thoughts/feelings here..

post #2 of 62
My situation doesn't quite fit into the poll categories, though I voted that I work because I enjoy it. I also have thought about staying home, especially since I am now pregnant with #2. It is not an absolute financial necessity for me to work--my parents got by on much less than my husband makes--but it would be very difficult for me to resume my career if I completely left for any long period of time (more than 6 mos or so). I really love the work I do and see myself wanting to stay in the field for a long time. So even though we could get by on my husband's salary for some period of time (since we have savings and could be more frugal), eventually I would need to resume contributing and I couldn't do that if I stopped completely. I'm lucky that I can work for myself and choose how much and what kind of work to do.

post #3 of 62
Unfortunately, I voted that WOH is a financial necessity but I don't like my job. My dh was laid off 15 months ago and has only worked periodically since then, so I am the primary income provider. But even if my dh when my dh was working full time, he doesn't make enough to support all of us, so I would need to work at least part-time. It's hard on me because I spent so much time and money in college and grad school to get where I'm at in my career, and I don't really enjoy it. The worst part of it for me was when I returned from my maternity leave at 7 weeks pp and everyone kept saying things like "oh, you must be so happy to get out of the house and get back to work!" I felt like screaming "No! I want to be with my baby and I don't even like this job!" What are you supposed to say to that? When a baby is nursing every hour, it seems to me that its mom shouldn't be gone for longer than an hour. It felt awful to be gone for nearly 12 hours in a row.
post #4 of 62
I am a WOHM, and I enjoy my job very much - but I'd love to work less. Like Benjismom, I cannot leave my job for any length of time, or I wouldn't be able to return to it, so I work. It would have been wonderful to have the first two years at home with DD, but we have the next best thing - my sister cares for her while DH and I are at work.

Ocean, I totally understand about wanting to be at home with your baby. Even though I love what I do, there are so many times every day that I wish i were gere at home instead of at the office. When DD was very young, my sister would bring her to the office at lunchtime if it coordinated with her naps (we try never to wake her!), and I would cry when she left! It was so nice to be able to nurse her in the middle of the day, and the closeness just felt so right . . .I would feel as though a part of me had been ripped away when they left! She no longer visits for lunch, as she eats finger foods and doesn't nurse until after my lunch break . . . sigh . . .I do miss those surprise visits!

mommy to Greta 3/14/02
post #5 of 62
I answered work out of financial necessity and do enjoy my job but lately I'm on such a rollercoaster I'm not sure what the right answers are. I could stay home for a while, although it would be tough financially. Before ds was born, I did love my job, and the issues are incredibly important to me (I work for an environmental non-profit protecting marine wildlife).

I was able to be on maternity leave for almost 5 months. My boss has allowed me to go to a 32 hour a week schedule, and my co-workers are awesome. Still, I have to drag myself to work every day and I'm getting more and more resentful of being away from ds. Even though it's no picnic being home all day, I'm so tempted to just quit and take care of my baby while I can. Especially because he is *not* a mellow baby and doesn't seem to be adjusting all that well to my absence (it's been 3 weeks now).

On the other hand, I don't know what will happen careerwise if I quit - I've got a good education and 5 years of experience in the field I'm in, but it's hyper-specialized and I don't know if I'll sabotage my career if I leave now. If my boss gets mad at me for quitting, I don't know if I'll be able to get a job in the same field again (it's a very, very small world).

Arghhh - I don't know what to do!
post #6 of 62
I answered that I work out of financial need and enjoy it...... which for the most part is true.

My dh lost his job in November of 2001. We lived ok on my maternity leave and his employment insurance. Then my mat leave ran out and his EI soon after and it became a necessity that I return.

The plan (since before we were married) was that I would work till we had kids. (Although I have a great career position with a large company - my true calling is to be a full time, SAHM. It is what I enjoy the most.) We bought our house and did our budget based on one income - my dh's. My income was put into savings and debt/mortgage reduction.

Due to my dh's unemployed situation, that all changed. When my maternity leave was up, I had to tell my employer that I would come back to work. I went back in Aug 02. Currently, we are both working FT (dh got a temporary job in mid Dec), but mostly to "catch-up" till I get pg with #2 (which I hope will be soon). Once dh has a "stable" job - I'm home!!! And I really can't wait for the day!!

I have a great job. I like what I do, but I am currently running into problems with my manager. To put it bluntly - he's an idiot when it comes to managing our contract and other simple tasks. Nice enough guy - but an idiot. "Not the brightest bulb in the pack" :

So now I count down the days..... and hope dh finds something stable very soon!! My goal is December of 03...... that is when I want to be a SAHM.
post #7 of 62
Normally I do enjoy my work, but given the ridiculous fallout from turf issues in my new position, I've not been happy at all. I plan to be resolving those issues this week with the heads of my respective departments.
post #8 of 62
Okay, it is a financial necessity, and, yes, most of the time I do enjoy my job....but it is a job and not a passion. Still trying to decide what I want to be when I grow up!
post #9 of 62
It is a financial necessity for me, but I would work even if it were not. Dh works 4 days a week from 8:39-5:30, never on weekends, never over time, never a business trip. We "sacrificed" being able to afford to have a SAHM in our family in order to allow dh to work minimally and have a very active parenting roll. (He is actually SAHD 1 day per week). I teach elementary school, and it is my passion. I pursued advanced degrees after college, and I love all of my job responsibilities (except report cards, which I am currently in the midst of). I would not like to be a SAHM because I would feel more responsible for doing all the house chores and the meal preparation, which I absolutely despise. This way, dh and I share those responsibilities, too.
post #10 of 62
Thread Starter 
K, thought I might reply to my own question.. I voted I do not enjoy my job, and that whole story is in my other ranting thread.. : I was really grumpy yesterday! But, it won't last forever, and hopefully someday I will be able to do something I can actually enjoy.. No, not "hopefully", we WILL make it happen.. Gotta stay positive!
I've also been thinking I would like to go back to school and learn web design or something so that I might be able to WAH eventually..
But for now, I just have to grit my teeth and keep telling myself "this won't last forever"

By the way, it is great to see that so many of you who have voted enjoy your work!
post #11 of 62
I responded with neccessity and I enjoy my job. All true. The only thing I don't enjoy is being the sole provider. After dh lost his job in 2001, he decided that he needed to finish his second degree and obtain teaching certification. He only works sporadically at some very small consulting jobs. That might put gas in the cars each week.

I love what I do and have a very successful career. I get tons more done as a WOHM than I ever would as a SAHM. If we really didn't need a second income, dad would love to be a SAHD. Unfortunately, only one income is very stressful. I don't have issues with time off or leaving in the middle of a workday to take care of a sick child or to stay home with a sick child. For this I am grateful.
post #12 of 62
Originally posted by owen&mama
Okay, it is a financial necessity, and, yes, most of the time I do enjoy my job....but it is a job and not a passion.
Ditto... I couldn't have said it better!

ALL of my paychecks from now until ds is born (10-14w from now) are going to pay the credit card and the midwife. After that, we're going to have to live on dh's income because I'm quitting work. We'll be making less than we ever have been, not to mention that dh took a 30% cut in pay last April when he was downsized and had to find a new job. :

It will be hard, but I hate being the b!tchy, grumpy wife that I am when I have to work too many hours. Lately I've been averaging 30hr/wk and that's more than I can really handle right now.

The thing that makes it doable is my mom watches her while I work, so thank God we don't have to deal with daycare... no way I could do that (and I don't make enough $$ to pay for it either).
post #13 of 62
I do like my job and have no desire to be a SAHM. As for the "necessity" aspect of it, I'm not sure. If I quit working, we might be able to barely survive on what dh makes as a teacher, but it sure would be touch and go. We would have to sell our moderate house in an excellent school district and have to rent in a lousy school district. We would also have to give up the idea of saving for our children's education. Personally, I find good education to be a necessity, and I would not homeschool our kids.

I would like to have a part time job though, rather than full time. Even if I could find one that paid a decent wage (not likely), trying to find part time child care that coincides with the work hours is a nightmare, according to those I know that have tried it in my area.
post #14 of 62
EFMOM--it was like I wrote that myself. Dh and I are both teachers....there is no way we could live on only one of our salaries--college loans for one thing and the other is medical.....Medical would take half of dh's salary.....

I do enjoy my job, and that makes it a tad easier to leave my dd, but some days, as you all mention, it is painful, painful, painful. Most days. I feel bad sometimes because I sometimes daydream and wonder what if dh had another profession and could take care of us? And that hurts to say, because being a teacher, I know it is something he really enjoys and would hate for him to be in a job he hated just so he could make more money and 2) I hate how antifeminist that wondering leaves me. I don't necessarily want to be taken care of...it would just be nice to have one of us (well, yes, HIM) in a job where we could even entertain the idea of me staying home...but if it weren't for that darn insurance....
post #15 of 62
hulamama...i know exactly what you mean!

no, i am not a teacher, but a nurse. and yes, i love my job, so it makes it easier. dh does well, but insurance is astronomical at his place of business....and at my job its $150 a month for all 5 of us, including dental.

i do not think you are anti feminist because you would love to stay home with your child, and have dh work. dont let anyone make you feel something less than you are because of your desire to stay home. your husband i guess would be "taking care of you", but in doing that it allows you to care full time for his child, both of yours home, etc.

we need good teachers though. i for one am glad your're out there.
post #16 of 62
OT, but..insurance for 5 that costs $150/month?! Wow, you are lucky! Through my teaching job, I pay $280/month for my son only! (Mine is free, and the policy wouldn't cover dh at all.) And I found out just last week that it doesn't cover dental for ds.
post #17 of 62
teachma...yes, $75 bi-weekly, for the whole family, including dental, life insurance (a small $20,000 policy) and short term disability. and this is me only working 2 days a week. it would be even less if i worked full time! thats why i wont quit, between decent pay and excellent health insurance, i would be foolish! to be insured under dh work would cost us abot $500 a month. crazy!

i work at a hospital that has many facilities in the west, keeping premiums down.
post #18 of 62

i picked other

I kind of fit into the financial need category, but really the reason i work is because dh is an independent contractor and does not have benefits. i work because of the awesome benefits we get from my job. i do enjoy my job.....at times..
luckily i only work 20hours to get bennies and with my son who was an icu baby the cost of the bill was about 200,000+. none of which we paid

P.S. i looked into getting our own insurance if i were to be SAHM and for the 3 of us is hold onto your undies $400 a month, that's california for ya.
post #19 of 62
I work 3 days a week. It is part financial and part sanity. I stayed at home with dd for the first 15 weeks. After 10 I needed to be with other adults on a one to one basis. What I have found is that when I am home with my dd, I have a much better time with her. We cuddle and play and hug much more. We both aprreciate the time more.

She does go to day care, but she seems to love it there. She is always smiling and such. The providers are great about discussing my concerns and issues. They are so for the gentle disapline (no spanking, no time outs, no humiliations). I really like that.

I also like what I do, sort of. I am actually in the rounds of hunting down another job in the same work place, but I have made it clear it would be for 3 days a week. I need to spend the time with my child!
post #20 of 62
Not sure how to answer it. Tricky.

I enjoy my job now, bcs I arranged to do more research than teaching. That will last another 1.5 yrs. Then will have to do double the teaching that I do now.

I have thought of quitting to become a sahm, but it would require major changes. We would probably have to move to another town or even state. We're both physicists and the only job in our small town is at the university. My husband won't work at the univ (btdt, won't ever do it again), so in order for him to find a job in physics, or something else that could use his background, we'd have to move somewhere else. He is teaching now, but really hates it and is going to quit after this semester and be a sahd.

I know it sounds confusing that I say he has no career now, but he is teaching. I consider a career to be something with long-term goals and evolution. He is just doing one year of teaching, as a fill-in for the university, with no goals of exploring teaching methods or building a research program, etc.

I think it would also work for us if I was sahm and he worked, but he has been out of a career for so long (almost 8 yrs) that it would take some real shoving to get him to do it. Yes, he has it really good We lived apart for 6 yrs, both trying to get a job in thesame place which never happened. Then one year we both went where the best job was, and it happened to be mine.

I've been thinking lately, though, that maybe it's time to switch roles and let him be the main breadwinner for awhile. I keep bringing it up, but he points out that I have it really good right now. I do. So, maybe in 1.5 yrs we'll switch - when my current arrangment for teaching/research runs out.
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