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WOHM - Why do you work? - Page 2

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 #21 of 62

I hear you on the 2 body problem (as we call it!). I actually ended up at the same institution as my Dh because we decided to follow his career not mine. He's the brighter of the two of us (he's an astrophysist too) so we decided his career should lead our family. I am happy with that choice, but I DO understand how hard it is.
post #22 of 62
I work because it is financially neccessary, but I like working and I would work even if I didn't have to.. I would just work part time instead of full time.
post #23 of 62
Working is a financial necessity, but I really enjoy my career. It used to be a grand passion, however, but now it's less so.

When I was pregnant I didn't fully believe a co-worker who said that my priorities would change dramatically after the baby was born, but she was right. I still enjoy my job and want to do it well, and I still appreciate the organization and want to do right by it, but I'm less willing than I used to be to shove my personal life to the side when things get a little hectic at work. Much to my relief, my co-workers are wonderfully understanding and supportive.
post #24 of 62
Originally posted by MamaDeLiana
When I was pregnant I didn't fully believe a co-worker who said that my priorities would change dramatically after the baby was born, but she was right.
Oh, yes....I think of this often. Sometimes I wonder if I would have made more conscious decisions in preparation for my post-baby career (off-loading projects, delegation, etc.) , knowing how drastically my priorities would shift.
post #25 of 62
I didn't vote. Here is my situation. I worked full time for one year after baby #1 was born - hated it, cried, etc. Then I telecommuted for one year - working from home two days and in the office 3 days. I still hated it, but less so. Then I worked part time for one year - 3 days a week in the office, two days off. That was best, but I still dreaded the work.

Now I have been on leave without pay since Sept to see if we can do without my income. I intend to fully separate from my employer in mid-Feb. We just refinanced our house and we are using equity to pay off student loans, etc. It seems that we will be able to make it work financially. And now I am 5 months pregnant with baby #2.

My work was a career, but a career that I was tired of. Leaving it all together basically means leaving that career and all of its earning potential (I was making great money, even part time, and had great benefits), because I worked for a government agency that is hard to get into. I worked there for 11 years and now I will need to start over if I choose another career path.

I like being at home, but I don't love it everyday. A week at home with a sick child makes me long for an office job with personal space and lunch breaks.

Honestly, I think we will be okay without my income, but the unknown is scary. I was always the major breadwinner in our household. I know that once I give this job up I will be cutting my earning potential for the long run. I estimate any other full time job I could take in the future will pay about 1/2 what I was earning. That is scary.

Also, I was at a point in my career where I could coast, and a new career will mean ALOT of work and starting over.

Hard choices, eh?
post #26 of 62
I will be WOHM because it is financially neccessary right now. I know I will lvoe my job, because I love child care and being a nanny

We'll be using my salary to pay off bills! WOOHOO!
post #27 of 62
I'm not sure how to answer it either. I am happy with the arrangement I have, although it has taken me about 8month pp to get it this way. I remember hearing about the change in priorities while pg too, but I thought I was different (LOL). The minute I met my babies outside of me for the first time, I went into a denial about ever going back to work! The cocoon of maternity leave was entrancing me ! I felt so betrayed (by myself), confused, and guilty going back to work.
Today, though, I feel fortunate to have the mostly the best of all worlds. I work FT while DH stays home with my twin 8month old DDs. I have a specific and timelined plan for how I spend the next several years, resulting in my ability to consult with other companies anywhere on my area of expertise. Meanwhile, I can work from home up to 3 days per week, in the office for 2. And, my pet project, an after school program I'm developing, is how I plan to exit to be with my DDs once they are in school. All of this is part of the plan to be able to live anywhere and still earn a good living while being with my DDs and feeling personally fulfilled.

All in all, motherhood has been a perfect focusing tool. I never knew I'd want to make the world better for children and working parents (my pet after-school program project)... and I've never felt so in love with life and with my DH and amazing DDs.

And, BTW, thank you for a chance to talk to WOHMs.
post #28 of 62
Thought I'd jump in since this is a topic that often plagues me, day and night! Like many other posters, while prego I thought I would be different and not mind going back to work after dd was born. Everything changed during my maternity leave. I was able to get 3 months, paid, leave, but it was not enough. I also felt betrayed by myself, hating to go back to work but knowing that I had to.....dh was unemployed and I was the only breadwinner....we had nothing else to fall back on at the time. I feel that it has taken me the last 8 months to reconcile myself with being a career WOH mom. The operative word here is "MOM". I realized that although my job was great, my co-workers were great, the pay was very good, the hours were decent, the fact of the matter was that I was irreplaceable as a mother to my dd. Although someone else could step in and do my job and the world would continue, nobody could replace me at home with dd. The time I missed out with her was, simply put, time lost forever. Going to work with that knowledge made me crazy. I literally spent days simply sitting at the computer and going through parenting web sites and boards in an effort to console myself and to feel connected with dd. Work definitely became less of a priority and more of a necessary evil. I cut my hours to the barest minimum, without getting in trouble. Fortunately, I work in a small office with good co-workers and a wonderful boss who was very understanding.

Well, dd is now 12 months old. I feel slightly better about working and juggling motherhood. I think my ideal situation would be if I could work part-time. That would be nice. Right now, that is not an option. However, our goal is to get to a position where I can go to part time, at least, by the time #2 comes.

For now, I run home for lunch just about every day to either nurse dd or simply to see her. It is a strain, since I work about 20 minutes away, but one that is soooo worth the stress. I also stretch my arrival time in the morning and ditch the office as fast as humanly possible in the afternoon. I am the Queen of leaving earling and have been known to simply sneak out on occassion. Do I regret it? How can I when I walk into our home and dd has the biggest smile on her face when she sees me!!The

Because I couldn't stay home, and we didn't want dd in dc, we made a huge financial sacrifice to have a woman come to our house and care for dd. That way, dd gets lots of one on one care and is in her own environment. Also, dd works out of home and is in and out of the house during the day. That way, she sees him and he is able to keep an eye on what is going on. Most days, I am gone a total of 7 hours....not too bad considering this includes transportation to and from work as well as coming home to see dd during lunch.

I think the key is finding a balance that works for you and your family. I am still working on it, but I think I am getting close. I don't know if it is possible to have a perfect situation, but I guess you can strive for one that is best for you. Good luck to all of your WOH moms!!


post #29 of 62

I voted other

Here is why. I'll try to keep it simple!

Dh was in a business partnership. I started working for him part time at home when he expanded into an area I had a working knowledge of but he didn't. (He is a physical therapist, adult re-hab, and landed some small pediatric contracts.) It was supposed to be temporary. Last year he bought out his partners and we own the business. I am still "working" because it is our families livelyhood and I feel it is in our best interest for many, many reasons.

But if I listed them, this reply wouldn't be short!

I'd rather be a Full-Time-Stay-At-Home-But-Do-Lots-of-Volunteer-Work Mom.
post #30 of 62
I voted other...we don't need the money I make,but it helps pay off bills. I enjoy my jobs because they're part-time.I work 2 days for my dad answering phones...my dd is at her grandmas those days. I work 4 nights at a music store...I enjoy it and dd and daddy get special time together.
post #31 of 62
post #32 of 62

Posted Other

My situation is a little different from the ones I've read here. I came to my current career a little late in life and really really wanted to pursue it. I found out I was pregnant when the pregnancy was already 2.5 mos. along and it was a BIG surprise, let me tell you. (I'm 36, sloppy with the birth control since 28) So, had the little one, had a very difficult recovery period due to midwife from hell ( I MIGHT post that story here sometime if I was certain that it wouldn't appear to be libel ... maybe one of the lawyers reading this might be able to tell me the limitations of that? ) and episiotomy at hosp. that was from a deeper circle of hell, so my six mos. off stretched into eight and I was really really happy to get back to work. I was happy to be healthy enough to and I wanted to return to my job.

Almost all of my take home pay goes to pay for a terrific nanny, but our sunny little boy loves her and I'm thrilled he is getting exposure to more adults than just husband and I. (Family is all in other areas of country.)

Ideally, I would like to work for myself, but not possible right now. This was my ideal before I ever knew there would be a child and the child hasn't changed that. I did work for myself, too, but in slightly another field than the one I'm in now. Really, I would like to be able to take my son to work. I spent my afternoons after school in kindergarden and 1st grade under my father's desk at work and had everyone in his office building as potential role models. It was very educational! (And fun.)

I got really bored just staying at home, but of course I was physically shot, too. Being sick is dull. I'm really efficient, so times when I have been doing the purely domestic thing, I invariably start a business (or 2! It happened once with a double header!) I'm afraid that I'm not a terribly attentive wife ... when dating (um, uh, well, that's a euphimism, all right!) I used to say "marriage?!?! Are you crazy? You can say you knew me when!" And, guess what, I don't feel the least bit guilty about it. I've always been perfectly up front and it's not my fault if he didn't believe me.

Child is a little different. I don't feel any guilt though. He's great fun to be around, but I know he has a great time without me and I'm not jealous of his friends or of him. I think it'll be ok. We'll see in a few years.

There's more to my story, but then again, I get the feeling that there is more to everyone's story here. Too bad we can't all sit in a big circle yacking.
post #33 of 62
Thread Starter 

Just wanted to update!

Since I started this thread on a day I was feeling particularly grumpy about my lousy job, I am pleased to report that I QUIT! And am now working in a small deli (for slightly less $, and less hours too, but my schedule is perfect now! yay!) and I love it! I am soooo relieved.. It is amazing how draining working somewhere you really dislike can be.. Now if only I could change my vote...
post #34 of 62

Re: Just wanted to update!

Originally posted by esplynn
Since I started this thread on a day I was feeling particularly grumpy about my lousy job, I am pleased to report that I QUIT! And am now working in a small deli (for slightly less $, and less hours too, but my schedule is perfect now! yay!) and I love it! I am soooo relieved.. It is amazing how draining working somewhere you really dislike can be.. Now if only I could change my vote...
COngrats on finding something that works for you!

Michelle- soon to be SAHM
post #35 of 62
Stephanie, that's great that you found a better job so that you could quit the job you hated. I was very surprised that only 12% of the people responding to the poll said they do not like their job. Unfortunately, I'm in that group. I think you're right that it is draining to be a job you don't like. I've been at my current job for five months now and I took it out of financial necessity. I don't like the work I do and it's a very stressful, demanding job. I realized this week that it's really taking a toll on me. In the short time I've been at this job, I've had four colds, strep throat, and an awful case of mastitis. I feel like my job is literally making me sick. My dh has been encouraging me to find a new job, telling me that most people don't hate their jobs, and based on this poll I guess he's right. But dh has had trouble finding work since he was laid off 15 months ago so I can't really quit my job and finding a new job when I've only been at this one for a few months is not very realistic. I'm hoping that I can stick it out for another year or so and then look for something better.
post #36 of 62
Originally posted by Ocean
...and finding a new job when I've only been at this one for a few months is not very realistic. I'm hoping that I can stick it out for another year or so and then look for something better.
Ocean, just wanted to encourage you to at least put some feelers out, regardless of the time you've been there. I don't work in your field of expertise, so I probably don't really know what I am talking about, but as someone who has interviewed and hired several people that had been at their current position for only a few months, I know that there are many reasons why one would decide to leave after such a short time. Maybe you would be surprised.....Life is short, so if you are unhappy, go for it! Good Luck, whatever you decide!
post #37 of 62
I voted for other. I do have to work, and I do like my job, but I also would keep working even if I didn't have to. I'd go down to PT though.
post #38 of 62
I work because I have to. Fortunately I like my job.

I have to work because I am the sole income in my household which consists of just me and my three kids. I think that if I had a choice I would SAH, but I am not 100% sure that is what I would choose if I really did have the choice. (I think I would be dazed and confused if someone gave me the choice actually...it's so far from reality to have that dream lol).
post #39 of 62
I voted that i work because it is a necessity and I enjoy it. I generally enjoy my job working for a national conservation group. But I would quit in a second if we could really pull it off.

But, like someone else commented, we made choices about where to live. We moved to a community with great schools, and expensive houses. My husband got a new job, that is exciting and rewarding for him, and even pays more. Yet jobs in non-profit conservation are not the most secure these days. Until he's been there a while, and the economy looks better, we feel that my working part time is a necessity.

Could we get by on one income, take the risk? Yes, probably.

But for us, "necessity" is a bigger picture than just dealing with the monthly bills. Its about finding a balance. We need health insurance, which my organization pays a big chunk of. We feel that good schools and a clean, safe environment are important. We strive to eat organic and whole foods. Trying to stash away a bit for college and retirement are needs too.

So we try to negotiate with our jobs to have flexible schedules and do some work at home. Find the best sitter/nanny possible to come to our home when we're gone.

And try to focus on loving our child [and each other] as much as possible!
post #40 of 62
Is working a financial necessity? Frankly I've never sat down and done the math--I've just assumed that it is. We have massive debt--both student loans and credit card (purchases we made before the child was born when we weren't thinking about the future). We chose to buy a nice big house in a lovely neighborhood to be close to family and good schools, but that comes with a big mortgage payment and high utility bills--plus fairly long commutes, which means we spent a lot on gas each week, too. So it would be extremely difficult for my husband to pay the bills each month on his income alone, and have any money left over to eat!

Plus, I get great benefits at my job; I pay very little for health insurance for myself and my daughter. If I were to quit, another large chunk of my husband's income would have to go for our insurance. Not to mention that I'm also contributing some of my salary (a very small amount, but some!) to a 401-K plan, and if I quit I wouldn't have those savings adding up.

On the other hand, we're very fortunate in that we're not paying much for child care. I work 4 long days a week; Mallory is in daycare on Mondays, with her grandmother Tues-Thurs, and with me on Fridays. Putting her in full-time daycare would be about the equivalent of paying a second mortgatge, and I'm not sure if that would be worth it. If my mother-in-law ever decides she doesn't want to tend to Mallory anymore, we're going to have to do some re-evaluating. Ditto that to having a second child.

Do I like my job? I voted that I do, and in some ways that's true. It's low-pressure, the hours are flexible, the people I work with are great, and most of the time the work is interesting. But, like many of you, I spend a large part of my day procrastinating, reading these boards, and dreaming of my daughter.

If it were possible for me to quit, I'd do it in a heartbeat with no regrets. I guess that answers the question!

Mama to happy Mallory, born 12/02/01
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