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Why do you work? - Page 7

post #121 of 134
thank you ellien!

I can't wait to read through this; just skimming I've already seen some stuff that resonates; ie, aobut the impact on the patrnership between parents, and the implications for our society if mothers *didn't* work, as in, fewer, much fewer, professional women and thus, a reinforced idea that women can't do certain things, like be a doctor or a lawyer or a auto mechanic.

I'll be back!
post #122 of 134
Originally Posted by Herausgeber
Another thing this has me thinking about is the assumption that well-paying, career-type jobs aren't compatible with motherhood, which leads a lot of women, probably subconsciously in many cases, to pursue less demanding work because they figure they can't balance those responsibilities with motherhood as well. So they take jobs that aren't as satisfying, don't pay as well, etc. The classic "mommy track." Instead, my experience as been that the further up the hierarchy you go, and the more valued your skill set, the more leverage you have to set your terms. I.e., you have more control over your work hours as a mid-level software engineer than the receptionist at the same company. Yet, the receptionist job would seem, superficially IMO, as the "family-friendly" job. My partner's line of work (engineer, with a defense contractor) is EXTREMELY compatible with family life and pays an excellent wage. Yet, he meets few mothers in the fields.

Agree? Disagree?
I definitely agree. I'm "middle management", I guess you could say and I have brought my kids to work when I was in a pinch (or just wanted to for whatever reason ) They sit in my office, visit with my co-workers, etc and it's not frowned upon. I can show up late, leave early or work from home when the need arises. I also got to work from home for 7 months after DS2 was born, which I never could have gotten if I wasn't so high up in the food chain. There's a trade-off........ I work late into the night to meet deadlines and there's very little tolerance for mistakes in my line of work.
Unlike your partner's experience, though, my company has a lot of female employees. I was lucky to find a company that is very family friendly, yet even so - those people working in customer service and the like are not given the same flexibility that I have. Definitely a plus for a college degree and a lot of sweat equity over the years.
post #123 of 134
so, I don't even really know how to answer the oooriginal question, why do I work...

I don't think it ever occurred to me not to. I mean, I'm from a poor/working class family, and although my mom was able to stay at home with me, when my younger sibs were born, she was working. I had always considered being a sahm to be a luxury that was only available to upper middle class and above.

Now I know there are a lot of families that make a lot of changes and what not to be able to have a sahp, and lots of families with one working parent live at poverty levels to make it work; but that's kinda new knowledge for me.

When dd was born I used to say that I wished I could be a sahm. But I did eventually realize that I think I'm much happier and a much better parent for the time I have to myself. Yeah, sitting on the train for 20 minutes and a bus for 10 isn't exactly quality time, but it is time where I'm not attentive to the needs of a kid. Also, i get lunch breaks. woot!

anyhow, I work because we live in an expensive city and my aprtner's income as a public school teacher is enough to pay for rent and food, and nothing else. We need my income. plus, i need to variety in my life. Plus, when we discussed theidea of me being sahm, my partner was not happy about the idea at all, and back when he made more than I did (we make nearly the same amount now) there was a lot of tensiona round money. Mostly it came form me feeling defensive about not making as much money, but whatever, it really is a good thing that we are contributing 3equally both in terms of money, and in terms of household maintenance, and in terms of parenting. now, if we could just manage to find a way to have sex, we'd have a really good relationship.

I also have a big activity that isn't work or parenting; I do a lot of poltical activism, which takes me away from my kid. And I feel good about it; it's what keeps me sane and mentally/emotionally healthy, and I'm happy to be raising my kid in a politicized community. My aprtner probably spends on average one night a week with dd while I'm at a meeting or event. and it's cool.
post #124 of 134
I work only about 2 half days a week (abot 12-14 hours) at my husbands office. I do it because I am a major control freak and have to have the office run a certain way & feel that no one will do it the way I do. If our office doesn't get the $$ in, we have no $$. Period. So I strictly go in just to make sure tings are running as they should be. I don't mind working too much, it gives me a break from the kids and gives me adult time, too. I do not feel guilty for that. My kids love when the babysitter comes. She bakes with them, they dance & play.
post #125 of 134
I like my job.
My job is a big part of who I am.
It keeps me at the same level as my husband.
For long term security.
To show my DD that also women need to be able to be independent.
DD is happy at daycare. When she or I become unhappy or other reasons that require a change we'll evaluate again.

post #126 of 134
Because if I didn't there is no way we'd make it. My hubby has always made less than me, I am the breadwinner. We both work to pay the mortgage, bills, save for college, and retirement. I also work because I love what I do. I am a graphic designer and designing brochures, websites, etc, is my creative outlet. Spending time with my little man actually increases my creative potential at work. I now see so many things that I never saw before because I see it through his eyes. Having Koda has actually helped my career, though this is not why I had him. My boss knows though, Dakoda comes first. If I have to go because he needs me, then I go.
post #127 of 134
Single mother, no CS = work or be homeless...

That and I'm an intellectual type of person. I enjoy spending time with my son, but I need grown up time, too.

And I mostly like my job.
post #128 of 134
WHY do I work? It never occurred to me not to work, really. My mom worked after my brother was born, and went back to school twice while I lived at home, the second time for her masters. Higher education has been very valued in my immediate family. With our family finances that means scholarships & loans ... and what's the point in going through that trouble & debt if you don't use the degree and knowledge? I'm an ambitious person to an extent, and I have something of a professional ego.

So. I work to show my daughter that I can use my brain daily, can be the breadwinner of a family, can do fine on my own (in my extended family there's a lot of man's-the-provider fear that prevents otherwise necessary divorces), can receive professional accolades, can build a reputation in our hometown, can accomplish large goals. I also work to care for our family, to provide for a home and food. I enjoy my husband's respect for my professional life. I enjoy the contact with my patients, and knowing that I've helped them live fuller lives. I enjoy the mental puzzle of diagnostic work.
post #129 of 134
So much resonated as I read this last night--using one's education, contributing to the household, needing autonomy, setting an example, etc--but then I realized the basic truth. I've worked for more than 25 years--starting as a teenager--and it's completely a part of who I am. Dh and I have sometimes talked about me quitting my job--to have more time to be creative (this was before dd; now it would be to have more time to devote to being a composer AND to dd)--but he pointed out that he can't imagine me not working, paid or unpaid, outside of the home.

And of course if I were to quit my job in order to focus on being a composer and pianist, I'd still be working, kwim?
post #130 of 134
Originally Posted by kodamama
My boss knows though, Dakoda comes first. If I have to go because he needs me, then I go.
Same here. And I am lucky that he is easy going. I can work from home when DD is sick and leave early if I have to. I know it is not that easy at every job.

post #131 of 134
I work because it's as much a part of me as being a mother is.

I need to have my own place, my own space, that's just mine. I need to be stimulated intellectually, and be able to talk about something other than my children. Not that I don't love to talk about them, but it's nice to have other conversations, day to day.

I also don't think it's fair for dh to have to worry about being the sole provider. He's always been able to do it, which is great. But I do know, him knowing that if something happened to him, I could do okay, lifts something off of us.

I love my job. It's something I can do for the rest of my life, if I want. It's flexible enough that I can still be involved in the kids' activities, and around. And it pays well.

I don't think I have to be supermom, or superworker, but I do like being an odd mix of both those titles.

And finally, I work because I want my kids to see that you can work, and still have love for your family, and still have your family life work. If my dds want to work, after they have kids, they should know that someone went there before them, and I did okay.

At least I think I did okay.
post #132 of 134
Hello Everyone!

I WOH part time, right now it's 5 days a week in the mornings. I work for financial reasons. If we were going to stay in our apartment, I could probably afford to stay home, but we reeeaaallly want to buy a house, in fact we just got our mortgage info and downpayment together and are about to start looking We also want to have more children and it's sure nice to have a year off with pay, which you can only get if you're employed (Canada).

So it may not be totally necessary, we do have a car (old clunker) and a college fund for ds. But for us, it gives us a better standard of living. We eat good food, we have good fun. That being said, I do buy things (clothes, toys) second hand as much as possible.

Also my job has medical and dental insurance, dh's does not. And I get to enjoy a hot cup of coffee without having to reheat it 3 times because I had to stop to read Goodnight Moon 4 times in a row

However, my job has noooooo mental stimulation, short of internet access which allows me to surf MDC... I lurked for months on my mat leave until I came back to work and had time to start posting We are also fortunate to have ds in a home daycare where he is very well taken care of, loved and happy.

If I won the lottery tomorrow, I'd stay home. Ever since I was a little girl, all I wanted to do was be a wife and mother. I never wanted a "career". I would love to have a big house with lots of kids, homeschool, grow my own food... those ladies are my heroes. But I think we've reached a compromise that works for us and we can live with.

I don't know what I'm going to do after more children... it seems daycare would be really expensive, I just hope then maybe I'll be in a better position to stay home (dh will need a big raise! ) Or maybe I can take different hours, work on wknds while dh is home.... who knows, I'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Sorry so long, but great thread and had to post my story!

post #133 of 134
I work because after two years of not doing so, it came to a head...we need money!!
post #134 of 134
I was a SAHM for 5 years. There are a lot of reasons why I'm working now, but one of them is that my Dd is at a fabulous school and I'm at a fabulous job. If any of that changes, then I'll reevaluate.
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