Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Ankle Deep In Paradise
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To me it's all about the kind of work you're talking about and the options for quality child care available.
Since I finished school (I have a PhD in psychology and a law degree), I worked for 8 years at a high pressure university teaching/research job, then for three years at a low pressure law school teaching job, and this year I've been doing consulting from home (I'm a domestic violence expert).
If there were no quality child care available (my 2.5 yr old son is now in an awesome full time university preschool, with amazing facilities, resources, and staff, then I would be unwilling to work outside the home and would find a way to make my WAHMing work. For the first 2 years of my son's life, my DH and I both did part-time care and we had a part-time nanny. Then we felt that he needed to be around his peers more and in a more structured environment. He has absolutely thrived there, and the stimulation they provide in terms of toys, creative play, art opportunities, etc is incredible. I believe this environment is better for him than being at home with me all day.
Over my years of teaching, I came to dislike my high pressure, prestigious teaching job and had I not quit several months before getting pregnant (TTC did not work while I was still at this job, go figure), I'm pretty sure I would have stayed at home, at least for a year or so, if that was the alternative. Given that I was in a much better job (for me) when my son was born, I wanted to continue working-- and the law school rearranged my load of classes and teaching times to make it extremely convenient for me. Now, I am doing exactly what I want to do, and I'm making more money than ever working fewer hours. I now am able to use some of my working hours for necessary family activities (shopping, organizing, errands, cooking Shabbat meals, etc), which makes our weekends as a family pretty much fun-filled, without the chores that we had to do when I was working more.