(Long) SAHP's with all kids at school, including a teen--please help *UPDATE post #13 - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-12-2010, 07:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I used to consider myself a SAHP when my kids were young, even though I kept myself busy working on a graduate degree from home, working part-time at various things, volunteering, etc. I LOVED being at home and being available for my kids the majority of the time. Now I have basically a career that I thought I would love (but don't anymore) that was supposed to be part time (3-4 days/week, home when the kids get home from school). I've been at this job for 2 years and I am so miserable! I feel I don't have enough energy or patience for my girls after school, I'm stressed out about getting dinner on the table, I miss lots of things I want to do (like volunteer meetings, kids' special events at school, going to the gym, cooking from scratch, seeing friends), and most importantly, I'm having a lot of issues with dd1, who is almost 13.

We could manage financially if I quit, but would definitely have to cut things out to make up for it. Dh would prefer not to have all the financial burden on his shoulders, but reluctantly supports me quitting if it would make me happier and help improve things with dd1.

I can't guarantee that me being a SAHP would solve the problems dd1 and I are having, but I do think that I would have more patience and be more willing to spend quality time with her if I wasn't overwhelmed with a job I hate.

For my happiness, I would definitely quit.

But I would like to get some perspective from other SAHP's with teens on how staying at home benefits them and your relationship with them. Or am I just justifying quitting for my own benefit and deluding myself that it will have any improved effect on our relationship?

(I made an appt to start seeing a family therapist to work on improving things with dd1, but if I quit, its an expense I can't really justify).

If you've read this far, thanks.

Miriam
Mom to two daughters born in 1997 and 2000
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Old 05-12-2010, 07:52 PM
 
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I actually read a couple of research studies...basically if you could only choose one time period to stay home with your kids, the teenage years are the most important. More important then birth to 3 years old.

Heidi
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Old 05-12-2010, 08:49 PM
 
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13 is such a hard age for girls. If she needs you now (which it sounds like she does) and you can manage it, do it! She'll probably give you hell for it now, but she'll thank you for it someday.

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Old 05-12-2010, 10:04 PM
 
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I'm a sahm and all my kids are in school. Ages are 7, 9, 14, 17 and 19. (okay, the 19yr old works f/t)

I find it helps in many ways. Especially with relationships with them. I feel I'm not as stressed out so when they need to talk, I'm more available to them. And by available, I dont just mean, physically, but I'm calm and more open to *hearing* them. I also find with the teens, that seeing them on a constant (maybe thats not the right word....cant think of a better one though....) basis it makes for more trivial conversation which makes the more important ones easier. Does that make sense? Probably, not, lol, I'm not very articulate when writing. I'm better in person.

I should probably try and group my thoughts and then come back.

Basically, I agree with the others, if you want to, and can, go for it! I do believe it will help.
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Old 05-12-2010, 11:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mum4boys View Post
I actually read a couple of research studies...basically if you could only choose one time period to stay home with your kids, the teenage years are the most important. More important then birth to 3 years old.
Heidi, can you point me to these? Thanks much!

Mom to a sunny toddler and a snoozy baby
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Old 05-13-2010, 12:01 AM
 
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I don't have a teen, but anecdotally, my mom was mostly SAH during my teenage years- I'm glad she was- our relationship grew so much during that time. Also, I started dating at 14 and prob would have gotten in much more trouble had she not been ever-present to keep me in line. My house was the house with the 'cool' (ie not super stressed) mom, where all my friends preferred to hang out. Big plus from a parenting standpoint.

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Old 05-13-2010, 12:03 AM
 
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Here's a list of reasons why I continue to stay home even though my kids are now teens...

*sick child
*doctor's appointments
* teacher workdays
*summer vacation (nearly 12 weeks here)
*kids can hang at my house after school and they are "supervised"
* activities that need a ride, I'm the driver
*activities that need parent volunteers, I'm there
*dinner at 6:15 p.m. every night
*safe rides for other kids who need one
*safe place to be for kids who need one (this has happened twice so far)


The slow mornings with the kitchen chores, the radio or the internet make up for the whopping high speed afternoons around here. It's my time to get things in order and get my mind straight before dealing with their stuff and chaos.
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Old 05-13-2010, 12:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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OP here. I'm really appreciating all the stories and support. I think I may work on my resignation letter over the weekend. What it comes down to is my family is more important to me than pleasing my boss or worrying what she will think of me. Dh will come around if that's what I want and I'll just have to hang out at the frugality and finances forum more like I did before I was working.

Thank you all so much!

Miriam
Mom to two daughters born in 1997 and 2000
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Old 05-13-2010, 12:41 AM
 
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While I am currently working 3 (yeah 3) jobs for financial reasons, 3 months before number 2 was born (she's 18 months old now) I came home after working full time my oldests entire life. DD1 is 14 now, and even that little bit of time home made a HUGE HUGE MASSIVE difference, and now that I am working again, I can actually see how it's affecting her again. Thankfully, 1 of my 3 jobs is temporary and the other is a self employed gig, so it's not like this is going to be an ongoing situation. But almost immediately after I came home Caiti was ALWAYS telling me "I am so glad you are home mom." She loved when I made breakfast for her, something I rarely did before because of when she had to be at school and I had to be at work, she loved that I was able to run her to soccer practice or pick her up from a student council meeting after school, without having to practically move heaven and earth to make arrangements because of work or DH's school or whatever.

I never thought I would be a good SAHM, and really, I intend to do some sort of work. But once DH is done with school (he has 3 semesters and 2 summers left) and is working at a job that covers all our income, I am coming home for good. I just feel like it's best for my kids, ESPECIALLY in the teen years.
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Old 05-13-2010, 01:40 AM
 
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A PP mentioned availability, and depending on your paid work that can still happen, but I find that's so huge to my kids. They're 20 and 17, by the way, and the 17 y.o. (doesn't drive yet) can get a ride home whenever he's done with school, the 20 y.o. can reach me whenever he needs to (he's away at school and they had a couple of very difficult events this year, it meant a lot to him to be able to just touch base very easily). My availability always seems to feel good to them. Also, they're a bit hesitant to contact DH at work but know that I'm able to, so they feel as though it's easier to reach their father as well. It has been tight financially but wonderful for our whole family.

Empty-nesting SAHM to DS1 (1989), DS2 (1992), and an overachieving mother (1930). Married to DH since 1986.
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Old 05-13-2010, 06:21 AM
 
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I live in a different state then my mother, and moved out of the house years ago. She just started working a lot more then usual and I hate it! She can never talk when I need her. If I find her job annoying as an young adult in another state, I can only imagine how hard it would have been as a teen.

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Old 05-17-2010, 08:06 PM
 
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My babies are still babies but I'll tell you my experience I had with my own mom.

She married my dad when I was 4 and stayed at home during my elementary school years. When I was 13 she began working a job that she actually really loved and was good at.
All hell broke loose.

I had some very tumultuous early teen years and my mom not staying at home only seemed to escalate things between us. She still talks about it to this day. She said she started working and it was like I just lost it.
I remember her asking me if I wanted her to start staying home again but I was 13 and 'hated' my parents at the time so of course I said no.
I think if she could go back and do things a bit differently she would have quit and stayed at home a few more years. Who knows if it would have made anything easier but I'd venture to say we could have managed better.

If it were me, I'd cut out what needs to be cut out to manage it financially and I'd start staying home again.

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Old 05-18-2010, 06:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OK, I did it! I gave my two weeks notice yesterday and I am so happy! Somehow I managed to do it without burning bridges, which was important to me.

Thanks for all the feedback--it really helped solidify the decision. After Memorial Day, I'm done!

Miriam
Mom to two daughters born in 1997 and 2000
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Old 05-18-2010, 07:16 PM
 
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Congratulations!

Mom to a sunny toddler and a snoozy baby
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Old 05-19-2010, 01:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Lil'M View Post
OK, I did it! I gave my two weeks notice yesterday and I am so happy! Somehow I managed to do it without burning bridges, which was important to me.

Thanks for all the feedback--it really helped solidify the decision. After Memorial Day, I'm done!
Yay! It sounds like you really went with your heart on this one and I think that's wonderful! Enjoy your new adventures

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