nonworking prisoner vs. working slave - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 03-03-2004, 11:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've been a stay-at-home mom since my first child was born 4 yrs ago. I have NOT enjoyed being home and want very much to work. However, I find it difficult to justify working for what is left over after childcare expenses. All you working moms must make a high income to be able to afford to work! I'm going on interviews now but I wonder if its worth working fulltime for about $9000 a yr. I'm caught in a troubling dilemma: being a nonworking prisoner or a working slave.
This may sound so un-AP, but I HATE staying home with my kids. I find it boring, isolating, lonely, and frustrating. Plus, we're living in poverty, so I actually do have to work. But I don't know if its worth it. Also, it's a scary prospect dealing with the culture shock of being a SAHM so many yrs to becoming a WM. I'm so confused about the whole thing. I need an advisor.
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#2 of 20 Old 03-03-2004, 11:46 PM
 
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Does your state offer child care assistance?

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#3 of 20 Old 03-03-2004, 11:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've been a stay-at-home mom since my first child was born 4 yrs ago. I have NOT enjoyed being home and want very much to work. However, I find it difficult to justify working for what is left over after childcare expenses. All you working moms must make a high income to be able to afford to work! I'm going on interviews now but I wonder if its worth working fulltime for about $9000 a yr. I'm caught in a troubling dilemma: being a nonworking prisoner or a working slave.
This may sound so un-AP, but I HATE staying home with my kids. I find it boring, isolating, lonely, and frustrating. Plus, we're living in poverty, so I actually do have to work. But I don't know if its worth it. Also, it's a scary prospect dealing with the culture shock of being a SAHM so many yrs to becoming a WM. I'm so confused about the whole thing. I need an advisor.
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#4 of 20 Old 03-04-2004, 02:24 PM
 
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Could you find something PT while DH is working? It will give you a little extra money and some time out of the house.

After ds was born, I figured out of my $13/hr I was getting paid, I would take home $3/hr after daycare expensed for 2 and increased taxes, gas for the car, lunches out, etc. Totally not worth being gone 50+ hrs/week (40 hr work week, 1 hr lunch, 1 hr commute each way.

I did have the opportunity to work PT around dh's schedule at my old job and jumped at the chance, twice. It was wonderful to be around other adults, and I really liked my old job and co-workers, just not the hours or commute.

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#5 of 20 Old 03-04-2004, 03:20 PM
 
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PT might be the way to go, and if you could try to get hours when your DH didn't work then you wouldn' t need daycare, and you would actually make money, instead of making money to pay the daycare lady.

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#6 of 20 Old 03-04-2004, 10:52 PM
 
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For some, the $9,000 they take home after taxes can make a big difference.

That $800 or so dollars a month can seem pitiful, but maybe its one moms rent, or food for the month. Gas for the car, the electric bill, phone, whatever.

I dont think anyone should have to "justify" anything, especially why they work. Who am I to say that the woman working her ass off for seemingly pennies is wasting her or her childrens time?

There are moms here that do well. There are also many hardworking mamas who bring home less $9000 after childcare, and it keeps them from slipping over the edge.

I am not a fan of being a sahm either. You can AP and work.

Your adjustment to working might not be as hard as you think. You wont know until you actually do it. You will be fine, and so will your kids. and besides, you can always quit.
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#7 of 20 Old 03-04-2004, 11:09 PM
 
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Why do you have to bring home a certain amount of money to justify working? I went back to work because I wanted to. It was time for me. I missed my research and I had a great opportunity to work until my next child was due. It didn't end up costing us anything because DH is home with DD - no daycare. For DH and I it is important that one of us be with the children at home. Right now he's loving it and I'm loving being at work!!

Do what you need to make you happy and well-rounded. Hey, if you bring home an extra $9000 a year, that's great!


edited to add: there were two of these threads going so I merged them

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#8 of 20 Old 03-04-2004, 11:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't know if there's childcare assistance in my state. I AM looking for f/t day jobs as well as p/t evening jobs. So far, though, there have been no offers for either. I'd like to go back to real estate, which I can do on weekends when my husband's home, although there's a lot of running around, spinning your wheels in this commission-only field. However, it's great fun. Today I got up the courage to call the agency to ask if I could come back. I was so scared. I was kind of relieved that my broker wasn't in the office then.
There is a down side to working weekends: I'm living in a partially finished house which my husband is working on in his spare time (weekends). So if he has to watch the kids, then he'll never get anything done and we'll be living in a dump forever.
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#9 of 20 Old 03-04-2004, 11:55 PM
 
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I think an extra $9000 is nothing to sneeze at. After daycare and working expenses I would break even (and that is an optimistic view :LOL)

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#10 of 20 Old 03-06-2004, 01:34 AM
 
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This may sound so un-AP, but I HATE staying home with my kids. I find it boring, isolating, lonely, and frustrating.
It sounds like you need to work for your own sense of well being. Sorry nak can't say more
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#11 of 20 Old 03-07-2004, 10:39 PM
 
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Pony, honey, you gotta get out of the house! I'm not real good at being a FT SAHM- let's be frank, I su*k at it, & there's nothing wrong with being able to admit that, okay?!

I'm a full-time student right now, trying to cut back to PT, but even with my grants & scholarships I still just break even with childcare costs & what we lose in gov't benefits. I have even been known to work PT at a financial loss.

I've got a half renovated house as well- I used to work on it when I was at home full time. One day I will take a crow bar to the back end & we will have no choice but to finish it!!! But from my perspective right now, I'd rather be working/studying & worry about the house later. Your oldest is 4, right? Old enough to start helping out with the garden work, IMO, so you don't feel like you live in a dump. It'll make a big difference. Give your family the 'buck-up little campers' speech. Let them all, kids included, know where you're at in your head, KWIM, & that some team effort is needed here to help keep mama happy. Sorry if that sounds like i'm being a bossy-boots! But you are important too!

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#12 of 20 Old 03-08-2004, 12:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, indeed: I need to work for my sense of well being, and for financial independence so that I'm not completely dependent on my husband and have some options open in case I want to leave (as I've wanted to so many times) . Frankly I think sahmotherhood is the most disempowering, self-esteem-destroying, brain-atropheing occupation there is. A woman's got to have her own money because money is power.
And yes, I did get out of the house today. I went to a yoga class for an hour.
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#13 of 20 Old 03-08-2004, 12:49 AM
 
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Frankly I think sahmotherhood is the most disempowering, self-esteem-destroying, brain-atropheing occupation there is.
I would certainly not go that far!!!! But it's not for everyone.
Do what feels right for you.

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#14 of 20 Old 03-08-2004, 01:30 AM
 
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Originally posted by pony
Frankly I think sahmotherhood is the most disempowering, self-esteem-destroying, brain-atropheing occupation there is.
i guess it all depends on how you approach it. I used to feel this way but then one day decided I was not a very good household employee. I started aproaching motherhood as a job instead of what I was left with. I started getting up on time and dressing for sucess (ie - shirt I hadn't slept in, and something I could open the door in and leave the house in). I implemented a schedule, added a ton of structure and set about it as if someone was going to be evaluating me (hey in 20 years when my dd chooses how he will parent someone will be evaluating me). Suddenly my days had purpose and goals. My children have been happier and better behaved. I have time to educate myself and volunteer and overall my experiance as a stay at home mom has been more fulfilling.

if you feel like you have to work go ahead. it sounds like your motivation is more than finding somehting more fulfilling. It seems to focused around money. In that case the only thing that is going to help is a job and SAHP is nothing if not low paying (I have however found a substancial amount of change in the dryer :LOL).

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#15 of 20 Old 03-08-2004, 08:50 PM
 
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Pony, best wishes with those job interviews! It sounds to me like there are other issues going on at home aside from being a SAHM. It sounds like you feel very limited by not being able to make your 'own' money, & I reckon you'll get alot out of that $9000 per year. Emotionally more so than financially.... You may find that once you feel like you've got some power back by having a wage, your feelings about other aspects of your life will be a little brighter too.

A question, which you don't have to answer if you don't want to. Is your partner contributing to some of these feelings about being a SAHM? I don't want to sound harsh 'cuz it sounds like you have enough to cope with, but tension at home can make having a full time job outside the home pretty hard too. I guess what I'm saying is....... don't expect having a job to make things better.... just different.

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#16 of 20 Old 03-10-2004, 12:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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An interviewer recently asked me during the interview: "how do you deal with stress". I told him: 'I deal with stress everyday. I'm looking for a job to get some RELIEF!'
He thought I was being funny, but I'm totally serious. My 4 yo messes up what I JUST cleaned up, he hurts his disabled sister whenever he gets the chance. He needs to be with other children. I don't think it's healthy for him to be cooped up at home all day with me.
I was busy all day faxing out resumes, answering calls from prospective employers. It's like a part time job looking for a job--on top of the full time job of taking care of my 2 small children and the house. I'm thinking about just taking any temp job for about $25k--even if I just break even. That way it'll get me used to employment culture from which I've been apart from for 4 yrs and which very much intimidates me. It'll be sort of a test run to get my feet wet in the working world.
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#17 of 20 Old 03-10-2004, 01:21 AM
 
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Job hunting is a miserable task, no doubt, but it sounds like you are well on your way to finding something. Be careful taking a job out of desperation tho, seriously. If you're wanting to get back into the workforce after a while away, you're probably going to have to stick with whatever job you take for a while, just to re-establish the 'commitment' that you have to working, KWIM? I think you need to be careful not to be seen as 'flighty' after being away for a while.

Now, DS beating up on his sister, that's another issue. I've still got about 6 sets of training wheels on my gentle discipline bicycle, so I don't really feel well equiped to offer much advice there. Maybe try a post or a search on that board & see what comes up. If your DD is younger, & disabled, there are probably some issues going on in the little fella's head that he needs help in dealing with. Is your DD severely disabled? Are you getting the support you need?

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#18 of 20 Old 03-10-2004, 11:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Is your DD severely disabled? Are you getting the support you need?

Yes, she is. And NO, I'm not. I only get a nurse 2 days a week and it's so hard taking care of both kids at the same time. I desperately need to escape, so I'm trying to escape through work. But actually, I don't think it would be such a bad idea to take any BS job that I'm offered. I don't ever need to mention it on a resume. It'll help me get into the groove. And I can always quit.
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#19 of 20 Old 03-10-2004, 11:43 PM
 
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Pony-
Did they increase your hours for Phoebe? Tell your case manager you are planning on going back to work. Ask her if you can have a personal care attendant to care for Phoebe if she can't increase your nursing. Check and see if the state will give you childcare assistance for ds. My sister Lisa (the ddd case manager) says she has all always encouraged moms of special needs kids to get part time jobs when fesible - it saves their sanity. She also has a special needs son (they are all living with me now).

Try and find out about siblings groups for ds. It would be great for him to be with other kids who have special needs sibs. Also, get him some activites that are just his - sports, art classes, whatever.

Hang in there Pony! Good things are going to happen to you, I know it!
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#20 of 20 Old 03-12-2004, 02:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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doulamomvicki, thank you so much! No, I didn't get more nursing hrs from DDD (and you know I was rejected from Medicaid). I'm trying like hell to explore every avenue I know of . Thank you for your wise counsel! I will persue it!
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