Do you wish you could SAH? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 79 Old 12-10-2010, 11:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm 2 months into a 4-5 month maternity leave (not sure when I'll be going back due to some pending financial things...), and am enjoying it and find myself wishing I could just work minimally/part time and not work at my stressful job anymore.  Dh does not have benefits or near enough income for us to live without my salary, so going back to work is not a "choice" to me: it is a necessity.  I don't HATE my job (4 days a week, flexible school schedule, decent pay and great benefits), just the last year has been really stressful and I am dreading going back.  Things have just seemed so much simpler since I've been on leave. But I find myself resenting that dh doesn't have the earning power to support us all, but I also realize that in many ways I'm not willing to drastically downgrade our lifestyle for me to afford to work less.

Just wondering how many working mama's out there wish they could stay home, or if you truly love and enjoy your job (if you do, please say what you do for a living!). :)


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#2 of 79 Old 12-10-2010, 11:15 PM
 
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I love my job and the challenge it provides. DS does well in daycare and having some adult time makes me a better parent. I truly look forward to being close to DS and spending quality time together each night. I also like that DH and I share everything from earning the living to caring for DS and the house equally. Sometimes my job can be demanding but I love what I do. I am a lead scientist in a small biotech/engineering company. My main job is to make sure that the products we develop are on solid scientific foundation and are well validated.


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#3 of 79 Old 12-11-2010, 11:00 AM
 
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I would be a SAH mom in a heartbeat.   However, given our situation, the best "for the family" decision is for me to work and husband to SAH.   I can honestly say it is the best decision for us as a family - financially - and the kids have a great, unique relationship with their dad that they probably wouldn't have if he worked and I stayed home.   But I'd be fibbing if I didn't acknowledge that the best decision for me personally would be to stay at home . . . All that said, we make it work, and I just have to work really hard to prioritize and let the kids be all that I do on the weekends and on weeknights before they go to bed.   It is hard, and I just allow myself to acknowledge where I am and then move on . . .

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#4 of 79 Old 12-12-2010, 07:04 AM
 
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I've thought about it a lot and no, I wouldn't want to be a stay at home mom. I love my job and I love my studies, and honestly, I don't think I would be happy as a stay at home mom. I was thinking about it, and even if I won the lottery I would still continue with my masters degree.

I love my son and I love spending time with him, but I really feel the need for me to have another path in life, in addition to "mom."

ETA: I've been a newspaper reporter for the last seven years. I'm now a part-time journalist and a full time grad student, working towards a duel masters degree in public policy and public health.


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#5 of 79 Old 12-12-2010, 08:28 AM
 
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I would have liked to when DS was really young, but now that he's two and quite a handful, I like working. 


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#6 of 79 Old 12-12-2010, 12:54 PM
 
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I just went back to work after my first (who is 3 months old) and dream of SAH all the time.  But it doesn't work for us financially either.  I would love to do part-time, 3 days/week but that would still be tough and I probably wouldn't have benefits.  I am trying to accept the position that I'm in and be grateful that I have a job.  It is hard not to be resentful of others that are able to SAH but I try my best not to.

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#7 of 79 Old 12-12-2010, 03:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Skippy918 View Post

I would have liked to when DS was really young, but now that he's two and quite a handful, I like working. 


YES- I wonder if this is why I'm feeling this way.  Right now he is so cute and little and easy (at 2 months old), but when they turn into walkers and are going through the 2 y/o and 3 y/o ages, maybe I would feel like my job gives me some space and helps me be a better mom when I am with the kids.  I don't remember feeling so strongly about going back to work with my older 2, but some of that may be me forgetting it b/c it was so long ago, and some of it may be that this is prob. our last kid, so I am relishing it and realizing this is my last chance to try the SAHM thing...even though it isn't an option for us financially, I still think about it and it feels like a loss in some way that I never had the chance to even try it for a season. 

 



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I just went back to work after my first (who is 3 months old) and dream of SAH all the time.  But it doesn't work for us financially either.  I would love to do part-time, 3 days/week but that would still be tough and I probably wouldn't have benefits.  I am trying to accept the position that I'm in and be grateful that I have a job.  It is hard not to be resentful of others that are able to SAH but I try my best not to.


YES- me too.  I try so hard to accept that this is what is needed for our family, and to be thankful that we have jobs and enough income to live relatively comfortably.  And we have good medical benefits through my job too, so I'm thankful.


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#8 of 79 Old 12-12-2010, 04:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by laurabfig View Post

Just wondering how many working mama's out there wish they could stay home, or if you truly love and enjoy your job (if you do, please say what you do for a living!). :)


Full time SAH, indefinitely?  No.  I love and enjoy my job.  (Right now I am doing mostly clinical work plus a small amount of research and teaching).

 

But in my ideal world I would like to SAH full time for six months to a year after birth, and then work extremely part-time (like maybe 3-4 h/day) until kindergarten, and then work maybe a 6-hour day indefinitely after that.  Not because I don't enjoy my job but because I do really enjoy my kid and don't think it is ideal for her to be in day care 8+ hours a day.

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#9 of 79 Old 12-12-2010, 04:13 PM
 
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I am very lucky and was able to take the full 1 year mat leave we get here in Canada, plus I earn vacation time from my job when I'm off.  In total I was off for 13 1/2 months with DS1 and will be off almost the same for DS2. 

 

I love my job / career and am looking forward to going back.  I would not want to SAH permanently but I wish I could work part-time (not an option) once the kids are in school.  I would love to be available during the day for activities, helping at school.


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#10 of 79 Old 12-12-2010, 04:17 PM
 
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I LOVE my job and I am enjoying the fruits of my labor.  I went to school FOREVER and I enjoy the lifestyle that my job provides.  I was on scholarship for undergrad any my job paid for me to go to grad school, so fortunately, I have NO serious debt.  My DH is in the military and now that we are far away from family and our support system AND I am 4 months preggers, with a 5 year old and DSS coming to live with us soon, I do find myself wishing I could SAH full-time.  My job provides the ability to telework, but working from home is SO much more stressful that just going into the office.  However, those are pipe dreams because our party of 5 couldn't survive off his military pay.  I do "resent" feeling like I am the main breadwinner, but DH is an excellent provider and great dad.  He was SO supportive of my dreams, how could I NOT support his military career, but if the military paid more, or when he rises higher in rank I would be willing to chuck my 9 to 5 the deuces and embrace being a SAH mommy and wife!!!! :)


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#11 of 79 Old 12-12-2010, 04:38 PM
 
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I just left my job to stay at home and I really miss working. My son is 11 weeks, and I would love to go part time in a few months, or maybe do some consulting. I miss the structure of a workday, and I miss my identity as a professional, honestly. We moved just after the baby was born and my old job would not have allowed for part time anyway, but maybe something will come up. I am definitely grateful to have the option of not working, but I did not realize how much I'd miss it.

 

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#12 of 79 Old 12-12-2010, 06:56 PM
 
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No, I never really did. I was fortunate enough to stay home 4-5 months with each child, but really, I was going stir crazy by then.

 

Question: Is that YOU want to stay home or that you want someone home with your baby? Would it make any sense for your dh to stay home?


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#13 of 79 Old 12-13-2010, 06:29 PM
 
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Yes. I want to SAH. I have two jobs and went back to one when he was two wks old and the other when he was five weeks, and I'm a student too. I have great, rewarding, professional jobs. But I'd much rather "just" be a mom, and yeah, even long term----I homeschool my oldest who is seven, and I'd like to continue with her and hs our baby when he's old enough, too. I am jealous of other sahps. Here I am, two weeks before Christmas, stressing over work and school when all I want to do is clean house and make presents and cookies. Other SAHMs I know have time for fun activities and keeping house. If I have an 'extra' hour from parenting and home duties, I am at work. Work is my break time and I literally have to decide to let a lot of important things go in order to make time for work. I don't like it---it causes me a lot of stress. I'm currently trying to rearrange things so that I can SAH full time or maybe just cut one job and keep the fun one (which gives me one night a week of me time doing smth I really like). I think it's worth it to simplify your lifestyle to make it work if you really want to be a SAHM.


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#14 of 79 Old 12-13-2010, 07:41 PM
 
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No, I never really had the dream of being a SAHP, so it is not something that really crosses my radar.  We're pretty happy with our set-up and it works well for us as a family.  I'm a lawyer and although there are days when I really dread being at the office, it is mainly because what I do can be very mentally draining and I would prefer to be doing something else.  Anything else.  :)  But, I also get a lot of satisfaction out of what I do and given the way that our lives have panned out, continuing to do what I do is a better option for everyone.  I guess I don't see my work as a "job" per se but rather something that I do...something that is one of the things that defines who I am.  

 

That being said, it was much harder for me when DD was a baby.  I had a very short maternity leave and I think that the deep need to be with your baby is something that is very natural.  I think I would have liked to have been able to stay home a little longer.  Permanently or even long-term?  No, but at least when DD was very young.  

 

There are times when I don't feel like working, but I had those feelings pre-DD and I think it is because the daily grind can chip away at your general happiness.  It would be cool to have some chunks of time where I don't have to answer to anyone except my own family.  I am always on call to someone external and sometimes I just want to shut it off.  My relationships and responsibilities outside my family are much different than those within my family.  Staying at home, however, is not the answer for me.  I just need to work on better balancing all the various facets of my life.  Coming home is always an incredible joy.  I love that feeling.  


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#15 of 79 Old 12-13-2010, 08:07 PM
 
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Yes, very much so. I am well-educated, relatively well paid, and am at the top of the field. My employer respects my work and treats me well. But still, the worst day with my kids is much better than the best day at work. I hate that I have to work. DH is consumed with guilt and it effects are relationship. I cried every single day for a YEAR when DS was born. Oddly enough, it wasn't quite as hard with the second, more of a depressing grind and less of an overwhelming emotional outpouring.

 

People talk about working mother's "guilt." I don't feel guilt. I feel angry. I did everything right-- went to school, paid off my student debt, worked hard, had kids after I got married at 35 and I still can't do want I want. When I hear SAHP whining I want to throw things at the wall.

 

My kids are really well cared for. I just want to do the caring.

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#16 of 79 Old 12-13-2010, 09:09 PM
 
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I go back and forth. Some days I wish I could SAH with my daughters. But honestly I know my patience will wear thin, and I'll turn on a movie to get them to leave me alone for five minutes...basically my kids get better care from the pro I pay to care for them. In an ideal world, however, I would SAH for the first 6 months, then go back part time until kindy. 6 weeks leave sucks.

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#17 of 79 Old 12-14-2010, 01:57 AM
 
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No. I love my work (most days) and feel that it helps define who I am. i would feel, quite frankly, like I'd lost a major part of my identity if I weren't somehow involved in my work.

That being said, I'm an academic and, therefore, have a lot of flexibility in my schedule, so I can work from home when necessary, can pick DS up from school three days a week, and generally be very present for him (though it sometimes means I work through the weekend and let DH and DS do their own thing without me). I think I might feel differently if I had to be in an office 40+ hours a week. I was also able to work PT when DS was little, so that also helped me a lot.

I know, though, that I could never really hack being a FT SAHM. I could do it short-term, but not long-term.
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#18 of 79 Old 12-14-2010, 05:38 AM
 
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No, I don't want to SAH full time. I want to work part time. Probably about 30 hours a week.

 

It isn't that I wouldn't like to be the one doing all of the child rearing... it is that I cannot leave myself completely dependent on another person, particularly a man, for all material needs. Additionally, I have a heap of brains and have to use them somehow, whether it is work or school... So in order to feel god about staying at home, I would have to either WAH or become independently financially stable. Or homestead!

 

ETA: my job title is Accuracy Control Supervisor, in warehousing for a major retail chain. I don't love it. Some days I hate it.


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#19 of 79 Old 12-15-2010, 04:51 AM
 
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Yes, I'd like to be a SAHM. But because of my need to pay back undergrad loans it hasn't been possible (ironic, that the loans which provided me the knowledge/educational status I so longed for are now blocking me from being the parent I'd always planned to be. If I had to do it again, I may not have chosen the path I did...). I do anticipate my situation being different with my 2nd/3rd children, but with my 1st born I've muddled through, making as much peace as I can with the situation. Finding a trusted, quality childcare provider in a home setting was essential for me to make that peace. 

 

My thoughts are with you! I remember the internal conflict between knowing I was a valuable part of the wage earning team and wishing my husband would just make enough to support us all quite well. In the end I decided those thoughts were eating me up too much and I tried to focus on my happiness that I was able to be a valued part of a work environment (remembering my grandma/great-grandma, who didn't have that option).

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#20 of 79 Old 12-15-2010, 05:15 AM
 
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I want to be a SAHM until I have something like 10 days off and then I'm ready to go back. 

 

I'm a respiratory therapist, went back to school in 2006 in response to my husband's health (he's stable at this point with a long-term prognosis).  It's a great job, most weeks I work 3 12's.  No benefits yet, I've only been in the field for  a year, I'm hoping a job with benefits is around the corner.  I love my patients, I enjoy the co-workers (especially the ones at one of the hospitals I work for), it's really good pay.

 

There are times (like now, our daycare provider is going back to work, whaaaa!!  She's the best.) that I wish there was another option, but we barely get by with just my husband working (it was a long 4 years, food stamps, etc).


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#21 of 79 Old 12-15-2010, 07:37 AM
 
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I would love to be a SAHM. But like OP said, my working is not optional for us. DH makes enough to cover the mortgage and basic utilities, but then there's still necessities like um, food. And clothing for the kids (even yard sales add up). And medical care (DH does have insurance through his job, but with a huge deductible, and so all medical costs come out of my paycheck).

 

I work as a nurse. I'm glad that I went ahead and finished school after having DD, but I still find it to be very stressful. Sometimes I feel like I do a lot of good, but sometimes it is pure adrenaline the whole shift. Since I never know which shift will be a bad one until I actually get there, I have a super high anxiety level before each shift, and then afterwards I often have a very hard time leaving work at work. Nursing pays well, which I'm thankful for, but for the most part I feel that it is so stressful that I doubt I will stay in it much longer.

 

Currently I work part-time nights, which I thought wouldn't be bad, but between the commute (gone for 14 hrs each worknight), the stress and the exhaustion, it's just not working so well. In January I'm taking my schedule back to per diem. The funny thing is, I'll still be working about the same amt of hours (have to), but I know it will feel different just due to having more control over my schedule. I've done per diem before and loved it. No benefits, but it's the closest thing to SAHM that we can afford.

 

There are a lot of positives to working, and I try to focus on those. But I definitely would SAHM if DH made enough money. He knows that, and I try not to complain, because then he feels guilty and depressed over not having more earning power. I love that he has such as strong relationship with the kids, and I'm not sure they would have that if I was here all the time.


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#22 of 79 Old 12-15-2010, 09:39 AM
 
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For me, I would SAH in a heartbeat. but DH is in school after 17 months of unemployment. We can't do without my income. I enjoy my job. to say I loved it would be an overstatement. However I do LOVE that I WAH 3 days and WOH 2 days a week. I like the adult time, dressing up a little, etc. However, there would be opportunities for that as a SAHM also (maybe not the dressing up part, but I wouldn't miss that).  DS is 13 months old - well, almost - and I find the older he gets the more I feel I am missing at home. and the days I WAH I can't focus on him 100%. Since DH has gone back to school, housework has gone completely haywire, and I wish I had time to do all that needs to be done. BUT DS isn't in daycare and has a great bond with DH, so no complaints there.

 

We plan on homeschooling somehow, and so even when the kid(s) are school age, I would want to be at home at least part time. full time would be awesome! we shall see how that turns out.


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#23 of 79 Old 12-16-2010, 05:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My thoughts are with you! I remember the internal conflict between knowing I was a valuable part of the wage earning team and wishing my husband would just make enough to support us all quite well. In the end I decided those thoughts were eating me up too much and I tried to focus on my happiness that I was able to be a valued part of a work environment (remembering my grandma/great-grandma, who didn't have that option).





Thanks for posting this. Very encouraging to know there are other moms who feel the same way I do. And a great reminder to focus on gratitude for my job/work...esp in this economy. I really need to be thankful I have a job to return to that I somewhat enjoy that pays decent and provides benefits to my family.

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#24 of 79 Old 12-16-2010, 04:47 PM
 
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It is different for everyone.  When I first sah I was stressed and lonely.  Getting to know other sahms was like being in middle school all over again -- yuck.  Then, after five years at home I finally felt like I had created a life and knew how I wanted to parent.  Then when my oldest was six ... X walked ... by the time she was 7 I was back at work. I do not multi-task well.  I do not do two full-time jobs well.  My kids don't get the best of me, but I have to work.  I like my profession.  I am grateful to have found work after being out of the job market so long.  But, for me, the one job I want right now is parenting and maintaining a home.  Not to be.

 

You are in the early days yet.  When you get back to work you may find that you can achieve a positive balance.  I hope so!


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#25 of 79 Old 12-23-2010, 08:48 PM
 
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I would love to SAH home until DD is 3 or 4 and then work part time. I haven't gone back to work yet - but I am going back in Jan. I am really torn up about it. I love what I do (home based special ed teacher for children with ASD) but I want to be a mother right now. I know I need to go back for $ reasons, but I hope that I can limit the amount of hours I work for now. If DH found a new job with a higher salary and benefits I would stay at home. I have a lot of stress & anxiety over the whole thing though.


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#26 of 79 Old 12-24-2010, 04:28 AM
 
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Originally Posted by laurabfig View Post

I'm 2 months into a 4-5 month maternity leave (not sure when I'll be going back due to some pending financial things...), and am enjoying it and find myself wishing I could just work minimally/part time and not work at my stressful job anymore.  Dh does not have benefits or near enough income for us to live without my salary, so going back to work is not a "choice" to me: it is a necessity.  I don't HATE my job (4 days a week, flexible school schedule, decent pay and great benefits), just the last year has been really stressful and I am dreading going back.  Things have just seemed so much simpler since I've been on leave. But I find myself resenting that dh doesn't have the earning power to support us all, but I also realize that in many ways I'm not willing to drastically downgrade our lifestyle for me to afford to work less.

Just wondering how many working mama's out there wish they could stay home, or if you truly love and enjoy your job (if you do, please say what you do for a living!). :)



the part i bolded i think is important to the discussion.  i did give up a very good paying job with benefits when my oldest was born, a job i really liked, to stay home.  but it was a *huge* financial sacrifice.  my DH and I talked about it a lot, and in the end we felt that we could manage and that it felt right for us.  but it did take a whole lot of getting used to, and my DH did make a decent living and we had property we rented out that generated a small amount of income which covered some of our smaller bills, so it worked out alright.

 

but after being home for almost 8 years, i'm back in school, switching careers (can't do what i used to do where we now live without driving literally hours each way to work), and i'm so excited to be getting back out there!  i very much enjoyed my time at home with my kids, but now that i'm in school again and working towards a new career i realize that i could never stay at home full-time as my kids got older.  we don't homeschool, and so once my youngest goes off to school i think i'd lose my mind with boredom if i didn't get out and do something.  it also makes a lot of sense for us right now because we are trying to start a family farm, and my DH really needs to be here more in order for us to manage the farm properly and still have time to spend as a family. 

 

i think, ultimately, it is a totally personal and individual decision.  so many things factor into it, and things change and evolve over time.  the only advice i can give is that nothing is forever - if you go back to work and can't stand it and feel you have to be home, the financial sacrifices will feel worth it.  but probably you'll get back to work and enjoy it and feel good about your choice, and enjoy the time you spend at work.  remember that the last year might have been hard in part because you were pregnant - the hormones and the physical stresses make everything feel more difficult sometimes.  so you may find it's not so bad when you get back. 

 

best of luck, whatever you choose!

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#27 of 79 Old 12-24-2010, 12:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pixiepunk View Post

i think, ultimately, it is a totally personal and individual decision.  so many things factor into it, and things change and evolve over time.  the only advice i can give is that nothing is forever - if you go back to work and can't stand it and feel you have to be home, the financial sacrifices will feel worth it.  but probably you'll get back to work and enjoy it and feel good about your choice, and enjoy the time you spend at work.  remember that the last year might have been hard in part because you were pregnant - the hormones and the physical stresses make everything feel more difficult sometimes.  so you may find it's not so bad when you get back. 

 

best of luck, whatever you choose!

Thanks for this encouragement...it feels like exactly what I needed to hear right now. :)  Really...I can't thank you enough for these kind words.
 


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#28 of 79 Old 12-24-2010, 12:43 PM
 
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This reminds me of something my mom always said, "the grass is always greener in someone else's yard".  I have to say, right now I'm an online student and I am looking at getting an internship because I can't wait to get back to work.  I've spent the past 10 years at home and though I wouldn't trade what I've done for anything, it does get mundane and boring quickly.  I want to get some goals that actually get completed occasionally.  At home, by the time I washed the clothes, more clothes needed to be washed, by the time I got all the dishes done another meal has to be cooked.  I know I'll still have that, but it will be nice to have a job where I can say, "yup, completed task A move on to B".  I miss that.  I am sure that once I start working I'll be thinking, "man I wish I would have appreciated staying at home more".  It's human nature to want what you don't have. 


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#29 of 79 Old 12-27-2010, 06:40 AM
 
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I always said I'd like to SAHM, but in reality I think maybe part-time would work better for me. 


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#30 of 79 Old 12-27-2010, 11:12 AM
 
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I love my career (I'm a trauma RN) and I would not want to SAH. My only wish is that I had a better schedule, and that I didn't have to work quite so many shifts (7-8 12 hours shifts in a two week period - very chaotic).


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