Was your mom a sahm or not? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 87 Old 09-03-2010, 12:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Just wondering if your mom stayed at home or if she worked outside of the home and how that influenced your decision to sah.

My own mom worked full time, as did my dad. She worked out of necessity from the time I was 8 or 9. There were a lot of us children and they needed both paychecks just to scrape by. It was not a happy time for me. I did all the caregiving through my teen years. My siblings got into a lot of trouble as they were largely unsupervised. I always felt that my parents, mom especially, was too tired and too busy to care what was going on with us. They rarely came to my school events, were never home when I got home from school. We were like ships passing in the night, so we had little contact, other than in the mornings before school when we'd see her.

While I realize that other factors besides work made our home life less than favorable (being poor, having a lot of children), it made me want to be a sahm, so I could be part of my kids lives in those mundane moments. Moments that I so desperately wish I'd had, like help with homework, shooting the breeze while making dinner, talking about my day, and so forth.

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#2 of 87 Old 09-03-2010, 01:05 AM
 
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Yes, she was. I believe that to be a huge influence as to why I choose to stay at home. As a child, I always felt sorry for the kids that had to go to a neighbor's house after school; that couldn't go home to see their Mom (or Dad). I enjoyed having my Mom at events. If I was sick - even just a little - it wasn't any problem for me to stay home from school. We always had healthy, home cooked meals, etc.
Notably, my DHs Mom was also a SAHM. He also values it. We are very lucky to be on the same page on this issue.
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#3 of 87 Old 09-03-2010, 01:15 AM
 
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Yes, my mom stayed home, too. For awhile when I was in college and beyond, she worked as a preschool teacher, but now she's back to staying home again, visiting me and the kids, volunteering at an animal shelter, and running the house. I think it's the greatest job.

I always thought it was great to have my mom home. She baked cookies, drove me and my brother around, knew the details of our lives, and attended every event in which we were ever involved. She was often the only parent at cross-country races or tennis matches, and even in the midst of my teenaged years, I appreciated the attention.

We are supremely lucky that we are able to coast by with DH working full time and me only working a couple of nights a week, after DH gets home. It was always my plan to be able to be at home with my kids during the day, and we are fortunate we were able to make that happen.
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#4 of 87 Old 09-03-2010, 01:22 AM
 
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I don’t think my mother’s working or staying at home influenced my decision to be a SAHM.

My mom stayed at home until I was in 5th grade and my siblings were in 3rd and 1st. On the plus side, I think my early years were calmer and less-stressed because she was home and she didn’t need to worry about child-care, taking off for illness, etc. OTOH, she didn’t really like staying home, was not the mothering type, and didn’t have much patience. Overall, I think we were all happier when she went to work. At first she arranged her schedule to have summers off. (She said it was to take care of us but I think it was because she loved to golf so much!) During the school year, we had a sitter at the house from 3:30 – 4:00. My father was home early – by 4:00 – and always made dinner. They worked together well as a parenting/housekeeping team and I think that was great – we never grew up with gender stereotypes.

I am a very different person than my mother. I wanted to stay home because unlike my mother, I felt I would be a better mother if I didn’t have the stress of a career and commute. Also, I do not have the family or neighborhood support my mother had. I’m an older parent and was able to work in my field for years prior to having children and my children had health issues…basically I have a completely different life and relationship with my children than my mother had. Not better…just different.

Maybe it skips a generation in our famliy. My grandmother was a SAHM and my daughter will probably be a working mother!
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#5 of 87 Old 09-03-2010, 01:35 AM
 
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My mother did not work outside the home, and although I appreciate her and all she did for us, even as a child I wished she had more of a life for herself aside from us kids (there were four of us). I haven't worked since my first child was born three years ago, but I don't plan on being the kind of SAHM that my mom was.

I do totally resonate with what three little birds said about having a parent home after school and being able to stay home sick without a problem. I'm hoping to be the mom with either a part-time job or a home business on the side, lots of friends, and my own interests and hobbies. I watched my mom struggle to find work in her mid-forties and to build the community around her that she didn't have energy for when we were young. It wasn't horrible or anything, but I just couldn't help but think that she could have had those things much earlier and that it would have actually benefited us to see her more fulfilled.

I guess the fact that my mom was a SAHM is both an inspiration and a cautionary tale for my life.
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#6 of 87 Old 09-03-2010, 01:50 AM
 
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My mom stayed at home part of my childhood and worked other parts. She is a strong proponant of the SAHM and feels guilty for working. However, I think she struggled when my brother and I were in our teen years and gravitated towards friends insteading of spending much time with family. I think her sense of identify and usefulness came mostly from what she did at home, and my teenage rebellion certainly didn't help.

I am currently SAH, but do plan to work probably part time once DS is in school all day. I would like to have more of a meaningful career that I can be proud of that my mom didn't have.

I see both sides, and also think some people are better suited to SAH and other people need to work for their fulfillment and sanity! I'm beginning to think I belong to the latter category - I don't have the patience and with the crazy lack of routine in the summer, I've been struggling.

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#7 of 87 Old 09-03-2010, 01:57 AM
 
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hey i saw this in new posts and so am replying.

my mom was a SAHM - a reluctant one. the guilt in her won and she stayed to parent.

how we wished she had gone to work instead. the life of sahm did NOT suit her personality because my dad was a total introvert and my mom needed to go out and be an extrovert. so staying home when we were under 5 i could understand. but she should have returned to work after we started school. she would definitely have been a better parent.

i was a sahm for a couple of years and due to my marriage breaking down had to go find a job. but otherwise i so badly wanted to be home with my dd. every minute away from her was torture.

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#8 of 87 Old 09-03-2010, 02:07 AM
 
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My mom WOH full time. I don't know if that influenced my decision to stay home. Probably indirectly. My best friend growing up had a SAHM who was like a second mom to me. SHE influenced me to be a SAHM. I gave up a career as a midwife to be home with my kids. Not so much a decision about wanting to work or not, but about wanting to be there for my kids. And create a meaningful family life.

My DAD was a school teacher and was home with us kids all summer and a very involved father. That also influenced my decision, now that I think of it.

I don't know if it had anything to do with sah/woh, but the quality of life seemed to be better for my friend who's mom stayed home compared to my life where my mom went to work. Although they probably had less money, my friends' house/home life never gave me the impression that life was just for making it through. Their life just seemed more, well, full of life! And I really think it had everything to do with there being someone home to make the house a home.

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#9 of 87 Old 09-04-2010, 01:18 AM
 
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My mother worked a lot, 6 days a week from early in the morning till very late at night. When we were little we stayed at a babysitter's house and then my older sister watched me once she turned 9. Not having a parent home for us sucked in every way imaginable.

Both my sister and I chose to become SAHM. I was a WOH when my oldest was little but I was a single teenage mother who had to make a living. Now we scrape by every month but it is totally worth being able to SAH with my kids.
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#10 of 87 Old 09-04-2010, 01:23 AM
 
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No. She worked. I had to be a latchkey kid and take care of my sibs after school. I hated it. That's one if the reasons I have "been there" for my kids.
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#11 of 87 Old 09-04-2010, 09:25 AM
 
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My mom worked and we were quite happy. I have lovely memories of going to the Girls' Club after school. I stay home because it works better for me and my family. I wouldn't handle the stress of running the house and working full time well, plus I love the time with my kids.
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#12 of 87 Old 09-04-2010, 11:08 AM
 
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Nope, she was a single mom who worked in a factory my entire life. Still does. She doesn't really like that I'm a SAHM. She doesn't say it but I can feel it.
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#13 of 87 Old 09-04-2010, 11:23 AM
 
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My mom was a SAHM until my brother started 1st grade (I was in 3rd). However, she went back part-time and eventually got a job as a kindergarten assistant so even though she did work, it felt like she was at home because we rarely needed childcare for her to work when we were at home (teacher workdays, etc), and she had Christmas, spring break, and summers off. When she went back full-time, she still had all the same holidays, but she got home a little later than us, which didn't matter at that point because we were old enough to be by ourselves for a while.

Since I always thought of mom as a SAHM, I always knew that's what I wanted. DH's mom was also a SAHM, so he was fully supportive of my wanting to stay home, and actually prefers it over my going back to work.

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#14 of 87 Old 09-04-2010, 02:57 PM
 
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#15 of 87 Old 09-04-2010, 03:03 PM
 
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My mom was a SAHM, she took a small job working in the kitchen of a local school for a year or so when I was in 8th or 9th grade but other then that she was always at home. It did influence my decision to mostly be at home. She was very involved when I was in elem school she ran our girl scout troop, volunteered in the classroom. The summer after 5th grade we moved 2000 miles away and things went downhill from there. We lived 30 minutes from town and the middle/high schools, my mother started not wanting to drive (distance, deer, snow), she never worked on creating her own interests in that state or friends. Many years later she still has very few friends here, like 2.

I didn't really reap the benefits of having a SAHM after that, it was 5pm before we would get home from school because we were the last kids on the extensive bus route. I was never allowed to do anything after school or on weekends because it would mean my mom would have to drive, same with friends coming over, no one wanted to drive out to my house. She still stays at home even though my younger sister moved out 8+ years ago. She helps my dad at his work sometimes and they do own a storage unit business now that she manages.

As for myself, I work very part time and then volunteer. I do work on having my own interests and free time, easier said then done, but I try. I also do having the side effect after never being allowed to have after school activities, of allowing my children to do any one they want. DH grew up with 2 working parents and a nanny, it was important to him as well that I mostly SAHM while we have young children.

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#16 of 87 Old 09-04-2010, 03:08 PM
 
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my mom always worked. sometimes she worked during the day and other times she had night shifts. same goes for my dad. having her home or not did not phase me one bit and has no influence on the choices i am making with my family.

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#17 of 87 Old 09-04-2010, 04:10 PM
 
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My mom stayed at home with my two siblings and me until I was 13 or so and my youngest sibling was about 9. I definitely liked having her at home before I started school and was glad I could go home right after school instead of going to Latchkey. She says she's never regretted staying home with us when we were little.

It's definitely made me feel like staying home for now is the right thing to do.

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#18 of 87 Old 09-04-2010, 04:28 PM
 
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I thought WOHM was what I would do as my mom did all her life; she had her own interests and career.
My husband suggested I SAHM and though I haven't always loved it, I sure am appreciative. My kids are now 7 and 10. I work pt when I want to for my husband's practice, and have hobbies and interests I love. I feel vy blessed. My children have both said the thing they like best about me is I am always there for them.
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#19 of 87 Old 09-04-2010, 04:30 PM
 
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My mom stayed at home with us and I've just always felt that's the way it should be. I didn't have kids to have someone else raise them. One of the parents should stay home. Unless it's financially completely impossible.

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#20 of 87 Old 09-04-2010, 04:33 PM
 
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No. I only ever knew of 2 SAHMs before I became one. My mother hated them both. I was only around people who had negative things to say about SAHMs. All I ever heard was that they are lazy, they live off the man, they should not be allowed to go out. My mother forbade me to babysit for a neighbor who was a SAHM because my mother felt that any woman who was unemployed was too lazy and should not be allowed to have a babysitter. She also has always hated my aunt, who married my mother's brother. She just had this disdain and would make all sorts of remarks like she is too lazy, she is mentally incapable of working, she "uses" my uncle, etc etc etc. (This aunt had 2 children, one of whom was disabled and needed a lot of care).

I am a SAHM now and have been for 15 years.
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#21 of 87 Old 09-04-2010, 04:40 PM
 
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My mother was a SAHM, but probably shouldn't have been. Her society and church said that only horrible, neglectful women who don't deserve to have kids if they want to "give them to other people to raise"/worked outside the home. Not only that, but that if you weren't a happy homemaker you were crap too. This led to immense suffering. For both of us.

I am a SAHM because I *want* to be, and I deeply appreciate that I am *fortunate* enough to have that be the situation. I have suffered through a martyr SAHM/Must Be Or Else SAHM and would go back to work even at a job I detested before inflicting that on my children.

Therefore, I support and applaud women who do what they need to do and find contentment. I couldn't care less if they stay home or not. The point for me is to avoid trapping people as much as possible--I'd like to see SAHMing supported (ie it would be nice that I didn't have to detonate my SS check because I left the workforce) but at the same time I support working moms as well.

I've learned to be really careful about projecting my own childhood traumas onto every other mother out there.
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#22 of 87 Old 09-05-2010, 01:49 AM
 
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My mom went back to work when I was three months old, which now makes me sad. :-( It was so soon! And apparently it wasn't for money reasons, but because she "had to get out of the house / have her own life". When I discovered this I took it to mean she wanted to get away from me. :'-( She nursed me for those first three months at least. >.>

The good thing was that she was always a flight attendant. So shed be gone for two days, then home for three or four, and so on. This was a better schedule than being gone all day every day. Plus, my dad worked from home for many years too, so he filled in while she was gone.

As for me, I have always wavered btw SAH or working. I could work, my old boss wants me back, but I really don't want to. My tiny babies need Mama more than a measly paycheck. DH is cool w it too bc his mom SAH while he was young too. She worked only when he was older, like a teen. So, I may have "wasted" some of my education, but such is life. I can work later. My babies are only young once.

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#23 of 87 Old 09-05-2010, 02:00 AM
 
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My mom SAHed and worked odd jobs that didn't require childcare. For example, she did a little bit of freelance writing for some nonprofits. I still remember going to the printer's with her and having to sit quietly while she went over the layout and made necessary changes and edits. I thought it was so fascinating because it was all on computers, and sometimes the woman who worked there would let me type. I remember being very smug in school when we first used computers (in first grade, I think), because I had actually used one before!

She went to graduate school when I was in kindergarten. The first year I did have to go to after-care because her schedule wasn't flexible, but after that she tried to arrange it so that she would be home when I was. It was a money thing more than a philosophical thing, I think. I think one semester I did have a teenage babysitter after school a few days a week, because she had a class then.

I think of her largely as a SAHM, and I think that she enjoyed it and I have largely happy memories of having her home. But I think that my decision to SAH was based more on my personality than anything else. I'm definitely a homebody, and my interests are things that I can do at home.

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Originally Posted by Lisa1970 View Post
No. I only ever knew of 2 SAHMs before I became one. My mother hated them both. I was only around people who had negative things to say about SAHMs. All I ever heard was that they are lazy, they live off the man, they should not be allowed to go out. My mother forbade me to babysit for a neighbor who was a SAHM because my mother felt that any woman who was unemployed was too lazy and should not be allowed to have a babysitter. She also has always hated my aunt, who married my mother's brother. She just had this disdain and would make all sorts of remarks like she is too lazy, she is mentally incapable of working, she "uses" my uncle, etc etc etc. (This aunt had 2 children, one of whom was disabled and needed a lot of care).

I am a SAHM now and have been for 15 years.
Wow! How did she take that?

Trying to live a simple life in a messy house in a complicated world with : DH, DD (b. 07/07), DS (b. 02/09), and DD (b. 10/10)
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#24 of 87 Old 09-05-2010, 09:18 AM
 
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my mom was a SAHM and i do think it influenced me. philosophically, i think it's important for me to have a career and earning power, but practically, i WANT to stay home with my kids because i like how my childhood was. she worked at times, and works now, but never in a typical 9-5 situation... she worked at my baby sister's preschool for a couple of years while we were in school, and she's done other things since then. i don't know what i'll end up doing. i think i'll probably go back to work once my kids are in school, but i do really like the idea of being home while they're young.
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#25 of 87 Old 09-05-2010, 10:47 AM
 
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#26 of 87 Old 09-05-2010, 10:52 AM
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I'm not a SAHM but I have felt like one. We homeschool, and made it work so that one parent was home with the kids (not necessary since they've gotten older). When the boys were little I did work full time, and they went to a home daycare and later school for the older one. That stopped when they were 7 and 4.

My mom stayed home until I was in first grade. I think for first and second grades she was home by the time I got out of school, but by third grade I was a latchkey kid. I'm an only child, so I had to only take care of myself. I don't think my mom's working affected my decisions as a parent. My parents' general lack of involvement as I got older affected my decisions as a parent, and that had very little to do with their state of employment.
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#27 of 87 Old 09-05-2010, 11:39 AM
 
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My mom is a WOHM. Which in some ways was a good thing because I didn't have a good relationship w/ her. I have decided to be a SAHM because I feel it's what is best for our family. I like being there for DS everyday and not missing a moment of his life. I miss the adult interaction sometimes, though.

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#28 of 87 Old 09-05-2010, 12:09 PM
 
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Saw this thread on the main page and I want to respond. My mom was a sahm until my brother was in high school and us 3 girls were out of the house (he's 8 and 7 years younger than us). Then she got her child development certificate and went to work at Head Start where she had been volunteering. I was a sahm for 13 years. Before and after that, I've been a wohm and a wahm. She has supported all her children's decisions including mine of homeschooling even when she didn't agree with them (she agreed about work status; it was the homeschooling she didn't agree with). My decision to wah/woh/sah was made because of what was good for my family. Not because of what I (or dh; he also had a sahm) grew up with. All things considered, I prefer to wah.

Chris--extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing, co-sleeping, APing, CLW, homeschooling before any of this was a trend mom to Joy (1/78), Erica (8/80), Angela (9/84), Dylan (2/98)
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#29 of 87 Old 09-06-2010, 04:42 AM
 
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My Mom was the primary "bread winner" in our family and not only worked full time but worked full time at night, 12 hour shifts; her preferred schedule. So, even when she was home she was not usually "there".

I don't know if that influenced my decision to be a SAHM or not, but I don't think it did. I just decided, before I married, that I would be raising my children myself and not WOH, and anyone I married had to agree to that. Glad my Hubby did!

Any misspellings or grammatical errors in the above statement are intentional;
they are placed there for the amusement of those who like to point them out.
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#30 of 87 Old 09-06-2010, 02:17 PM
 
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My mom has always worked and was (is) also the primary breadwinner.
She always wanted to stay at home, so maybe that influenced my decision.
I worked full time until my son was in kindergarten, out of neccesity, and I do wish I had been able to stay at home with him from the beginning.
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