Why Do You Work? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-28-2005, 09:48 PM
 
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I'm the lone breadwinner, so I work.

I chose to work at a child care center so that I can be available to my child 90% of the workday. I earn a LOT less than I would working in my preferred field, but I think we are both a LOT happier with this setup.
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Old 07-28-2005, 09:51 PM
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Why do I work?

Because I've had a hard time convincing them to pay me for NOT showing up.

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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Old 07-30-2005, 09:28 PM
 
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My work is part of who I am. I would do it for free, although I sure am glad I get paid.

In fact, I've decided that I'd rather work full-time with one child than work part-time and have another. That's how thin I think I can spread myself and still have a good quality of life. My mother is horrified.
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Old 07-31-2005, 10:03 PM
 
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Right now, I work because I have to. I very much wish I could have stayed home longer than I did (I went back when DD was 5 months) but I make more than triple what my DH makes, so if I don't work, we can't pay the mortgage. I had no idea I'd want to stay home as much as I do. I never thought twice about putting myself in a situation where I was the primary breadwinner.

That said, I do enjoy my job a lot, fortunately. Its hard for me to imagine forcing myself to go every day to a job I hate.
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Old 08-01-2005, 01:41 PM
 
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I just wanted to thank, from the bottom of my heart, every single person who replied with so much thought and sensitivity to this question. I am touched by your responses and you all have helped me immensely.

I have been a SAHM twice in my life. First, when my eldest two children were small. When they were 3 1/2 and 1 1/2, I got divorced and returned to the workforce. Then, I became a SAHM when my youngest child was born and I've been home with him for 3 years.

Bottom line: staying home FT doesn't work for me. I had an incredibly hard time making the decision to go back to school FT this fall and finish my degree, and I felt very guilty. Now, though, I'm getting so excited about being back at the university, and since I'm very close to finishing, I'm also excited at the prospects of bringing some money into this household. My youngest started in a great day care near our house (I used to work there) about 2 months ago, so I've had time to work on some of the writing projects I've had knocking around in my head all this time, and it feels sooo good to do that.

Surprise, surprise, every single person in my family is happier now. The kids know I'm happier; I enjoy my time with them 1000% more than I used to because I'm not depressed, anxious, bored, and lonely.

As much difficulty as I had making this decision (I have definitely bought into some of the "SAHM is the only right way" rhetoric), I've always believed that the whole WOHM/SAHM debate is silly. It is every conscientious, loving parent's responsibility to make decisions for the family that are in every family member's best interests. There is no "best" decision for every family. There are only "best" decisions for each family. And if Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!

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Old 08-01-2005, 02:04 PM
 
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Because I loooovvveee to be creative and I am a really motivated person who likes to acheive. I though tI would love to be just a sahm, but I prefer to ba wahm. I also love babywearing and am passionate about helping other mothers keep their babies close. Sooooo, my goal is to get enough employees some day so that this is a very part time creative buisness for me!
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Old 08-09-2005, 07:31 PM
 
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I work because I have to. I would love to SAH but we just can't afford it. Plus I carry the family's insurance (DH's is triple the cost of mine so we'd never be able to swing that). I've wanted kids for most of my life and I've never wanted to be anything but a SAHM, but instead I had to go back to work when Maya was just six weeks old. Who knows -- I may decide that being a SAHM wasn't for me after all, but I've never had the chance to try, so I guess I'll never know!
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Old 08-10-2005, 02:53 PM
 
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My husband and I both work because we have to in order to have a place to live and eat. If there were any way that either of us could figure it out to stay home with our daughter we would. That said, I do like my job-it's challenging. I've been toying with the idea of staying and doing family home care (totally unrelated to my what my job is now) and part of the reason I wasn't too excited about the idea is that I didn't see it as offering much challenge. I'm new to MDC and forums in general, and actually some of the knowledge I'm gaining from these forums is starting to make me think there could be niche in offering family home care that isn't the standard "baby warehouse" situation. No offense meant to anyone doing home care-but I've seen a lot of that in my search for a good day care for our daughter, and I know that I wouldn't last long in a situation like that.
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Old 01-16-2006, 01:45 PM
 
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I know this is an older thread but I was doing some searching and this thread was useful for me.

I have a 6 mo old and am struggling with my desire to go back to work. I lost my job when I was 6 weeks pregnant and have been home ever since doing some light consulting & writing but nothing too serious. Well with almost 100K in student loans the pull to go back to a job is real strong these days. Dh makes enough but not a lot of extras and being that he is self employed we lack good insurance (basically we have catastrophic) and retirement what is that.

However due to lack of a center around here that I would comfortably put dd in we would have to go with a nanny situation which I like but frankly will eat up most of what I am likely to earn. I figure the base pay for me with my skill sets will allow me to pay a nanny/basic travel and work related costs and pocket anywhere from $500-700 after the fact. On the surface I feel why work for that but them I am thinking about hidden benefits such as employer sponsored health coverage, retirement and then a outside jobs looks great. I am also reminded that the longer I am out of the work world the harder it is to get back in (I was in non-profit management).

After reading this thread though it seems that not everyone is working for the money which I guess is reassuring because while I love being home w/dd sometimes I so miss adult interaction. I have a 14 yo ds but this is my 1st time as SAHM and its hard.

Babe in arms so I gotta go.

Shay

Mothering since 1992...its one of the many hats I wear.
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Old 01-16-2006, 09:52 PM
 
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I have to work to pay the bills.....

Sure we could sell our house and not pay the mortgage and live in a crappy cheap apartment but I like my house

And my DD has kidney reflux and we have constant medical bills to pay for her.

Sarah - wife, mom to Riley 7/9/03 and Jacob 7/15/05 and Hannah 1/5/11 a successful vbac.gif
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Old 01-16-2006, 10:29 PM
 
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I have to. I earn more than DH and have 100% health coverage, for free.

He has to. His job offers 401(k) and they match as well.

More importantly, we live in Southern California. At the beach no less. It would be really really hard for us to live on just one of our moderate incomes. I know people say you CAN do it, but we really can't. We live near our families already, and we're not going to relocate far far away from them just to save money.

Our cars are old and paid for, we rent a teeny house, and we've taken one vacation in 5 years (a roadtrip to WA for a wedding). So we think that we live modestly but happily!
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Old 01-17-2006, 12:47 AM
 
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I do have an advantage to being able to work at home. My husband has a good job and we are on his insurance.



Sharalyn

edited by mod
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Old 01-17-2006, 03:42 AM
 
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I work because I'm a single Mama and I have to. I feel very lucky because I was able to work only 20 hours a week for nearly 2 years ... and just now have I upped that to about 28 hours a week. My son and I are able to get by just fine on that part time income.

I am taking classes and preparing to start a new career in the spring/summer. That will mean enrolling my son into Waldorf school full time. But he will be 3 and a half at that point, and I feel very lucky that I have been able to balance home/work until he was older.

I would love to be a SAHM, but I don't see it happening.

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Old 01-17-2006, 04:48 AM
 
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1. I provide the family health insurance.

I've been off since the birth of our youngest and go back to work on Jan 23. So think of me ladies... It will be a difficult day for me.

Secondary reasons.. would be more important to me if the boys were already in school.

I like to think that with me working maybe DH could cut back on his hours (read quit one of the part time jobs that he has to travel so far for) and be home more to share in the parenting load

I don't feel as guilty spending money if I think I've helped to put it in the pot, so to speak.

I hope that I'm making a difference in one if not many more than that of my student's lives... enriching their appreciation for the arts and life itself. Opening their eyes to the world around them, or just having 40 minutes of a day that they can forget about whatever troubles await them elsewhere.

I'll admit, I also like being able to talk to other adults, albeit a very small percentage of the day!

Having said all that I still wish I wasn't going back until my boys were in school themselves
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Old 01-17-2006, 11:37 AM
 
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I work because I'm the breadwinner and DH stays at home. I was born here and have a law degree, he came from Russia when he was 30 when we got married and doesn't have a four year degree or fluent English (Russian is the language of our home). He would have to work twice as many hours in hard physical labor to earn maybe 60% of what I do now (and my earning potential is actually 3-5 times higher than what I earn now if I chose to go back to the private sector, which I don't because it's not compatible with what I want my family life to be like). For us it's a no brainer. DH is planning on doing more of a home business eventually and may work out of the house on projects more regularly once our kids are all in school but for now he mostly (he occasionally does out of the house projects) stays at home and works on our house, a very slow process anyhow.
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Old 01-17-2006, 02:17 PM
 
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I work because I'm good at what I do, and there isn't exactly an oversupply of people who are good at being psychologists for poor inner-city folks with HIV.

I work because the research I'm involved in has the potential to make a real difference in the lives of people with HIV.

I work because I don't have the patience to stay with my baby 24/7. I'm a much better mama when I *am* home if I have three days a week of adult company and intense mental stimulation.

I work because I want to be able to afford to send my kid(s) to private school.

Alexandra 4.11.05 and Colin 2.9.09. Click on my name to visit my homeschooling blog.
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Old 01-17-2006, 03:23 PM
 
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Because I have to. I would give anything to be able to sah with my ds.
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Old 01-18-2006, 12:32 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ayme371
Because I have to. I would give anything to be able to sah with my ds.
I'll get slammed for saying this, but you can! As soon as I got pregnant, I called a SAHD friend of ours and offered my services for childcare if he ever decided to go back to work (out of the home). What started as 15 hours a week so he could play some golf has now blossomed into a great paying 40 hour a week job, with my now 2 1/2 year old still by my side every day. I get to make money, maintain financial independence, and have plenty of adult interaction with the other moms at play group, in parks, at the museum, pretty much everywhere we go. Plus, my boy gets pretend brothers to play with, which gives us all the social perks of daycare with none of the cooties.

Of course, like one mom said earlier, we have to follow our hearts to find our happiness. I don't suggest this for the moms who feel inclined to continue in a specific career path; I'm just offering my story for the moms who said they wish they could be home but can't.
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Old 01-18-2006, 11:47 AM
 
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I've thought about that, but I'd have to watch 7.5 kids, full time, at the county voucher rate to bring home what I make now PLUS keep contributing to my retirement. Sadly, that's above the legal limit of kids I can watch in my home. The retirement issue is CRITICAL to me since I saw what happened to my SAHM when my father suddenly took off after nearly 40 years of marriage, leaving her with no insurance, no means for an income (disability), no retirement & no eligibility for disability for her new health problems (because she was a SAHM for 30+ years and didn't have enough "points" in the system - nice system, eh???). We are counting down the days until she turns 65 and can get some sort of health care coverage.

Yeah - I'm slightly paranoid, I know... But that's my life & it's impacted me greatly.
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Old 01-18-2006, 01:23 PM
 
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I could feasibly practice law at home, but I would have to get training under a solo lawyer first b/c what I do now isn't terribly compatible with solo work, then client chase for heaven knows how many years to make half of what I do now. I worked for a solo lawyer one summer in law school who had to re establish a practice (which he did about two years before I started working for him) in a different area once his main client was taken over by a different company and he lost his main source of income. He worked more hours on average than I do now and made half as much and I'm sure his health insurance, etc. was way more expensive and he most certainly didn't get matching 401K contributions on top of a pension plan like I do (I won't even go into the reduction in stress level I enjoy due to job security, which after another year will be really, really solid). If I were the second income in the family I would think about it as a way to supplement income if necessary (or just contract work), but with me being in the breadwinner position I need something that pays more and is more stable, where you won't get screwed tomorrow if you lose your big clients to circumstances beyond your control. In the end, working from home would be more stress on the family and more time consuming and I don't think I would actually have more time with my kids and what time I would have would be more stress-filled. My parents went through a string of not very successful small businesses (the stress of which I often experienced along with them) and I have to say I like being taken care of by a big employer, in this case a gov't agency.
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Old 01-18-2006, 01:39 PM
 
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I'm a single mom with no support from dd bio dad. I work so we have a place to live, food, and all that stuff.

My soon to be fiance though is trying to get into realestate and then I might get to stay at home and go back to school to be a midwife! Just crossing my fingers now!
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Old 01-18-2006, 01:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aprilushka
but with me being in the breadwinner position I need something that pays more and is more stable, where you won't get screwed tomorrow if you lose your big clients to circumstances beyond your control. In the end, working from home would be more stress on the family and more time consuming and I don't think I would actually have more time with my kids and what time I would have would be more stress-filled. My parents went through a string of not very successful small businesses (the stress of which I often experienced along with them) and I have to say I like being taken care of by a big employer, in this case a gov't agency.
What you are describing is one reason I want to go back to work, this is dh's life as a freelance writer/editor, he makes more freelancing than he would at any publications in the area since his clients are based in other parts of the country but he is always working. He is already possibly losing 1 of his larger clients and replacing that client is not easy. Sometimes he is working around the clock because as I have learned when you are self employed you always are on client time.

There is a lot of comfort in at least 1 partner having a traditional job with benefits.

Shay

Mothering since 1992...its one of the many hats I wear.
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Old 01-18-2006, 01:57 PM
 
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* deleted.

Third generation WOHM. I work by choice.
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Old 01-18-2006, 05:25 PM
 
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I currently work full time and although I really enjoy my job, I can't wait to wean myself off the workplace--soon! I've been saving up my money the last couple years so I can become a stay at home mom (OK, I'm really getting a head start...I'm not even pregnant with our first yet, but I hope to be REALLY SOON!)
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Old 01-18-2006, 06:03 PM
 
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1. I work to keep my skills current and my earnings consquently are higher than if I took some years off. If my husband were to die, become disabled, or divorce me, I would be able to provide for my daughters. My father died when I was 10, leaving my mother with 4 kids and no job skills. It was not fun. I don't want my kids to ever experience that.

2. My father worked overtime every night and every Saturday. I would have given anything for him to work less, so that I could have seen more of him. I will not deprive my kids of their father's time so that I can monopolise the time we can spend with them.

3. I truly believe that one of the reasons my father died so young of a heart attack was from overwork. I love my husband and my kids to much to risk losing him.

4. I enjoy my work, and my co-workers.
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Old 01-18-2006, 11:21 PM
 
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I work because:

1. I like my work. I spent a lot of time and energy just before and after DS was born figuring out what I wanted to do with my law degree. I left my old job, took a new position, and love what I do now. I work 25-30 hours a week, and my colleagues are extremely supportive.

2. I feel good about using my education. I'm still paying off the loans, so I'm happy that my degrees are helping me make some money and do good.

3. I like that I get a break from the selflessness and demands of mothering. Being the mother I want to be is waaaay harder for me than going to work. When I know that my time with DS is somewhat limited, I have more energy and patience.

4. I like that DH gets to spend a lot of time with DS. If I didn't work, DH would probably have to spend more time commuting to a more stressful job with longer hours.

5. I like that DH and I are modeling to DS a partnership of equals, two parents who are both devoted to DS and committed to thoughtful parenting, but who also have interests and skills outside the home.

6. Money. If I really wanted to stay home, I think DH and I would work on a plan to make that happen. I thought initially that I wanted to stay home, but after six months as a SAHM, I was thrilled to go back to work.
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Old 01-23-2006, 07:02 PM
 
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1. I like working. I stayed at home with DD for several months after she was born and as much as I love her I missed my work. I like 98% of my co-workers and I can tolerate our department head. Call me weird but I like being away from the home for part of the day. When I come back I appreciate what I have at home so much more. When I was at home with DD I felt lonely and isolated. I connect with the moms at work and I have a support group there. If I'm at home all day with the baby I think I would be unhappy though I feel terrible typing that.

2. Our goals. We want to retire early. We want to take a good vacation every now and then. By good I don't mean a 4-star hotel or a resort. That's not my style nor could we afford that even with both of us working. I mean going to a foreign country or doing something unusual. We want send DD to a private school and tuition is nearly $7,000 - $10,000 in some schools we've looked at. There's no way we could do all those things plus pay our mortgage, DH's student loan, and regular monthly expenses if I didn't work. This is going to sound like I'm bragging but I think it's relevant to the question. I make twice as much as DH. It would make less of a dent on our income if he didn't work but he likes his job so I wouldn't ask him to give it up.

3. My goals. I went to grad school in order to do my job. I've invested much in my education to give it up after a few years.

4. I like contributing to the family income. I get a great sense of satisfaction from knowing that I'm not depending on DH for everything. It takes the burden off him since he doesn't have to be the sole provider. He can work for a non-profit for half of what he could make at another place because I work also.

Edited to say that my mother watches DD so I'm very lucky in that respect.

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Old 02-01-2007, 01:36 PM
 
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bump - because it's a good thread!

Third generation WOHM. I work by choice.
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Old 02-12-2007, 04:09 PM
 
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1. Because I was actively wooed back to work by my old boss (different position, though). The opportunity fell in my lap.

2. Because things had been extremely financially tight and we really needed to make some major purchases (mostly house repair) that could not be made on DH's salary alone. We had spent through most of our "cushion" and I was perpetually in a state of low-level anxiety about money.

3. Because DD and I were in a rut in our relationship and I felt we needed some space apart. This could have been accomplished with PT preschool, but we could not afford preschool on DH's salary. I was also just feeling burned out on SAHMing.

4. To keep my skills current and to allow me to save for retirement, as we had not been putting anything away for me during my time as a SAHM (DH"s job contributes automatically).

I enjoy my job, but right now my IDEAL situation would be for me to work half-time.

grateful mother to DD, 1/04, and DS, 2/08

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Old 02-12-2007, 06:45 PM
 
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I work because I love what i do and I'm good at what I do. (I'm a zookeeper) I have known since I was a kid that I would always work to help animals and while I'm not a fan of zoos at all I know that I am giving the animals that are stuck there the best life possible. Ideally I hope to be working in a sanctuary someday, hopefully for elephants but we'll see how that goes.
I grew up around wildlife and would like DS to do the same. I love every second I get to spend with my family but my job is very important to me and keeps me sane, physically and mentally fit, and helps me to recharge. I have so much respect for those of you that stay or work at home, its just not for me.

S~ Peace loving, natural living, FuNkY vegan mama to Keiran bouncy.gif 23/Dec/06:
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter" ~~ MLK
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