Were any of you SAHM's fulltime WOH moms when you had your 1st child? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 26 Old 05-16-2005, 11:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Then you decided to stay home after the child was a little older?

Dd is 17 months and Dh and I decided that I was going to stay home in June. Well it is time to give daycare and work notice and I am scared to death.

I don't know for sure what it will be like to SAH and I don't know for sure that I will 'like' it. I love my dd very much but how do you deal with no adult time? There are moms around here that I know I will be able to get together with but I am a little scared about it because I don't parent like many of them. I am lean more and more toward AP parenting but I know there are a couple of AP things that aren't for us either.

I feel like I'm stuck in the middle. I would love to be with my daughter more...but I don't know how I will deal with the loss of adult conversation.

Any advice or comments are welcomed.

Thanks
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#2 of 26 Old 05-20-2005, 10:15 PM
 
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I just saw this and didn't want to read without posting, if only to tell you that I'll get back to you soon - I've got a couple things I want to do and then it's early to bed for me tonight.
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#3 of 26 Old 05-21-2005, 09:22 PM
 
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I went back to work when he was 8 months and finally am now a SAHM F/T for the last 8 months I love it but it is hard somedays
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#4 of 26 Old 05-21-2005, 09:34 PM
 
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I was never a woh mom, but I worked full time in my career and loved it, up until I had my ds1. It was really scary and a bit hard to adjust to being a sahm. I think one of the most important things to do is to stay involved with things your interested in outside the home. I feel like I spent a long time without doing things that interested me besides taking care of ds1 and the house, and I started to lose the part of me that was me before I became a mom. So as soon as I started volunteering at a wildlife refuge, exercising, reading, and doing some of the things that kept me in touch with me I felt a lot better. I also went through a weird thing where I didn't want to ask my dh for money for anything for me, like clothes or haircut, because I wasn't bringing in any money. I finally got over that when I read an article stating that if you had to pay a stay at home mom for all the work she does, you'd be shelling out over $70,000 a year!! Mind you dh never gave me any problems about money, it was all in my head. Most of all, make sure you keep in touch with your friends and get some time out without children! You need to remember that being a mom is great, and tough, but you are also a wife, a friend, and whatever else you want to be!! Good luck!

 
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#5 of 26 Old 05-22-2005, 03:29 PM
 
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Jenn... I was THERE 3 weeks ago. More than you will ever believe, that I know where you are coming from.

My story - and I will just lay it on the line and be totally honest. I have a degree in linguistics. A liberal arts degree. I happened to have a knack for machine language as well and taught myself to write code. Fast forward 15 years... I am working as a programmer/analyst and earning 70K/ year. It took me soooo long to get where I was in my career. And to be making that kind of money with the degree I had - never in my wildest dreams did I think this could happen. Then I took a 3 year leave when dd was born. I didn't think I would ever make it 3 years as a SAHM because I loved my job so much. But the days flew by and I found that the day of reckoning was here. I opted to go back to work. I had some things going on at home that I felt necessitated me going back to work (my mother moved in with us and we had just returned from living in Germany and needed to bulk up the savings account more). Anyway, I was back for 3 weeks and those 3 weeks were hell. I hated being there, dd hated me being gone. I realized that SAHM was the life for me.

I am a SAHM again and happy as a lark to be so. I totally understand why women work, and I understand why they stay home. But if you are torn up about it like I was, you'll never know the answer until you try both worlds. I wish you luck and hope you find your answers.
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#6 of 26 Old 05-22-2005, 08:13 PM
 
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When dd was born, I was a full-time student. After college, I worked part-time at a job I loved, which is where I was was ds was born. Staying home at that point was NOT an option, since financially we would have been doomed. When ds was 18 months, I took a full-time job, thinking the kids were old enough and everything would work out. It was totally and completely a disaster! I hated the job, the kids hated daycare, and dh was totally stressed about it all. Three months later, after crying every single day at work, I quit to be home and do daycare. I think doing daycare allowed me to: 1) bring in much-needed income and 2) still feel like I was working. Then our third baby was born with special needs -- the daycare was closed, and I was home full-time with all three children. It was a big adjustment for all of us, but looking back, I'm really glad I was able to be home with them, especially since everything was so scary with dd's special needs. Now that they are older, I find they need me in different ways. I also think it's important for me to find my own interests, to show them that moms can do lots of interesting things! I make time for my hobbies, time to meet friends, and time to continue learning. What I do know from my experiences is that there is no "ideal" side of the fence -- SAHM and WOHM (and WAHM) all have joys and challenges. The key is choosing what works for you and your family and then making the best of that.
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#7 of 26 Old 05-22-2005, 09:11 PM
 
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There was a somewhat similar thread on here not long ago, where I read about a book called "Staying Home: From FT Professional to FT Parent" which I highly recommend.

I worked for fifteen years and had a good-paying, interesting job, and went back to work when ds was eight weeks old. I only lasted for about two months and then quit. We have made a lot of changes to our life to finance this, most significantly moving from NJ to Ohio for the lower cost of living (and to be closer to my family).

It's been well worth it. You'd be surprised how many "mom groups" there are -- La Leche is a good place to meet like-minded mothers as well. There's no reason for you to be lacking in adult companionship. Another good thing I read suggested to think of other SAHMs as co-workers -- as in you are usually friendly with your co-workers, and occasionally will meet a good friend there, but mostly they are people who can help out at work (that is, staying home with your children) and can help pass the time pleasantly.
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#8 of 26 Old 05-24-2005, 04:31 PM
 
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Yep. Worked full time until DS was born (11/02), then went back to work full time 6 weeks after he was born. We needed the money badly. Finally (08/04) got my chance to get the h-e-double-hockey-sticks out of there, and started my SAHMing life. I do miss adult conversation sometimes, but I can call up my best friend for a good chat. But becoming a SAHM is the best decision I have ever made.

Good luck mama!
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#9 of 26 Old 05-24-2005, 06:00 PM
 
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I worked full time before ds was born and had every intention to go back part time after he was born (I'm an RN). Then he was born. :LOL And all that changed. I was terrified to tell my manager, to tell my husband...everybody. But thankfully they were all very supportive.

Yes, some days I miss adult conversation, BUT, I keep myself in constant contact with adults by attending a mommy-baby (toddler) exercise class, by taking ds to parks and outings frequently, and by working one shift every other weekend to keep my skills up and foot in the door.

I'm glad I chose to stay home. It's best for both of us. Ds has special needs and is a very high need toddler, and he really NEEDS me at home right now, quite frankly. He keeps me busy enough that at the end of the day all I really want is some peace and quiet. :LOL
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#10 of 26 Old 05-24-2005, 06:04 PM
 
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I worked full time for the first 4 yrs of my first son's life. I got laid off right after we bought our house and a mth later I found out I was pregnant. It was the best and worst thing to happen. We then decided I would stay home with the kids. Now we have 3 kids and the youngest are 16 mths apart. Somedays I wish I was back working, but then again I'm really glad to be able to enjoy my kids and see all the things I missed with my first born.
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#11 of 26 Old 05-24-2005, 06:35 PM
 
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I'm so glad you started this thread. I have worked (30 hrs/week) since DS was 6 weeks old, and now after 12 months, I am getting ready to quit and become a full-time SAHM. My job has become too demanding and, mentally, I'm not up for it. I hate feeling like being a mom is just an extra-curricular activity I do on the weekends. I hate feeling to tired and drained at night to play with DS during what little time I do have with him. So I'm quitting my job to SAH.

I don't have any advice for you, but I just wanted to say that I share similar feelings. I'm nervous about being a SAHM. I hope I can handle it. I know this is a decision I won't regret, but I hope I can remember that during the days when DS is driving me batty.
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#12 of 26 Old 05-24-2005, 07:30 PM
 
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I work very, very part time now out of my home so I consider myself a sahm.

I started working from home right before I found out I was pregnant. So basically I had 9 months away from the work routine. It's still hard sometimes to be a sahm.

Some days it is hard, but I remind myself that woh wasn't always peachy either. You take the good with the bad.

The nice thing about staying home is that you can do it to fit your (and your child's) needs. You can stay home a lot if you are a homebody, or you can be out and about. I hang out at home a lot, but I know plenty of people who are involved in play groups, go to gyms that have childcare, meet dad/grandparents for lunch, and the list goes on and on. Please don't feel like you have to be stuck at home.

Also, you can always try different things like working from home, working part-time, volunteering, taking a class, etc.
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#13 of 26 Old 05-24-2005, 11:25 PM
 
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I worked FT until DD #1 was about 18months. I then found out in the same month that I was a) going to lose my job in 3 months and b) that I was pg with dd#2. (Pg was planned, losing job was not : ). I was going to be unemployed and about to be showing and did not think I had a good chance of being hired being pg. So we took out a 2nd mortgage, bill consolidation loan (big mistake, avoid if possible) and I came home full time. I never would have considered being a SAHM, it just played out in the cards like that. But knowing what I know now, and being the kind of parents we are, I am honestly surprised that we did not think of it before.

Yes, I missed adult interaction terribly. My friends and family used to joke that I kept telemarketers on the phone too long because I just needed to talk to someone who spoke clear English. I welcomed the people knocking on my door trying to convert me to their religion. The UPS man was always greeted warmly and I think he was happy on the days I could not get to the door in time, so he could get quickly in his truck and get back on his route.

It has been a few years, I don't miss adults as much any more. My kids are actually some of the most interesting people I know, and their English is much better now!! I do work out of the home one day a week. I needed to keep my professional skills and license active. That helps a lot, but it is a caretaking type job, so if I am not dealing with kids bottoms, I am dealing with elderly bottoms. But I also embrace this time in my life that I have the opportunity to care for those that need me.
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#14 of 26 Old 05-25-2005, 03:33 AM
 
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As much as my desire was to stay home and raise my babies for some reason in my mind I didn't think I had the temperament for it. I mean I always worked 60+ hours a week for years. I loved tackling projects and accomplishing them and doing it well.

To my surprise I had no problem adjusting. I never would have thunk it. Now the thought of having to get up and go to work everyday harbors no appeal whatsoever. The thought absolutely sickens me and that has nothing to do with the kids. I love my freedom

So my point is that you can't look at yourself and how you expect yourself to react to it because the reality is you may react completely different than you think.

As for suggestions on the adult thing. When my youngest was 3, out of necessity, I ended up with a p/t job working about 12 hours a week. I soon learned that it was a nice little break from the kids and from the house. It gave me back a dimension of my life that although I had never missed it I soon realized it helped me to be a better mom. That me time just makes all the difference.
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#15 of 26 Old 05-26-2005, 11:46 AM
 
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me.I stayed at home for 1 year and then returned to school and worked.It meant that from age 1-3 I saw my daughter in the mornings to getr eady, on the weekends and to put her to bed.I was the msot exhausting phase of my life and I got severely depressed.When she was 4,5 I changed my education track and was able to pick her up at 3 most days, soemtiems earleir or longer if she wanted to stay.

I married when she was 6 and now I am SAHM.

But it's too late

She comes home from school at 4: 30, does homework,eats and then plays with her friends.By then,in summer it is 8 and she gets bed ready and I get to read to her most days.

I feel tremendously guilty because I missed so much of her life and I miss the time and experience.I honestly think I was a bad parent, I never had time and was always stressed and had not much patience during the time I did have her around

I feel like I have to work extra hard now to keep a connection up.It's just too late now.
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#16 of 26 Old 05-26-2005, 12:29 PM
 
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Huggerwocky, I usually only lurk here (I WOH, but am hoping to conceive child #2 and stay home in a year) but I wanted to respond. My parents split when I was 5, my sister was 18 months, and my brother was 6 weeks old. My dad was utterly useless financially, so Mom went back to work. She dropped me at the sitter and my sibs at day care at 7:30, went to work, worked all day, got home at 6:30 once she grabbed us from our sitters, made dinner, got us ready for bed, put us to bed. She was always stressed out, there was never enough money, and never any time, and the house was always a wreck. For 4-5 years that was our life, until I was old enough to watch my siblings after school (well, I was 10...close to old enough).

By the time she actually got to spend much time with us, my sister was 6 or 7 and my brother was 5. She pretty much missed their baby and toddlerhoods. We're all grown now...and we are all three *very* close to our mom. We all knew then, and know now, that she didn't have a choice, it was work or lose our home. Even after we saw a bit more of her, she's always worked full time, and I've never spent more than a few hours a night during the week with her. In spite of all that, I see my mom all the time, and am very close to her, and feel that I always have been.

Truly...you may have a better relationship with your DD than you realize, and you can't feel guilty, you did what needed to be done. I'm sure she knows that.

Mom to Liz (14) and Dillon (3) and Mitchell FINALLY born 7/11/10!
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#17 of 26 Old 05-26-2005, 03:55 PM
 
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I worked 3/4 time from the time ds was 10 months until 27 months. Then I took a few months off before dd was born and knew I would not go back. I hated every minute of working, but I couldn't not go back. If I went back for 3 months, I was paid 100% of the 10 months I took off at my old FT pay rate. My boss was great and I had ds with me at work, in their child care. I could go in and nurse him down for naps, etc. I would not have wanted to hire me tho, my attention was anywhere but on work! I also needed the health insurance that it provided.

OT: during my second pregnancy, while I was working, I had a constant yeast infection, was exhausted since ds was still nursing every 45 minutes at night ( not a typo) and I was also commuting more that 2 hours to work. 3 weeks after I stopped working, ds stopped nursing, my yeast infection went away never to return, and I actually felt good!

Me.  With 1 spouse, 4 kids, 16 chickens, 74 matchbox cars, 968,562+ legos, a dishwasher waiting to be emptied, a washing machine waiting to be filled and a lost cup of tea in the house.

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#18 of 26 Old 05-26-2005, 05:08 PM
 
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I worked for the first 6 years of ds life and jumped at the chance to become a sahm when I married dh- I immediately started homeschooling. I think having the age of your dd will make things easier to find alone time. She still naps right? And infants nap a lot. If she has been in daycare then she is probably already accustomed to playing without an adult having to play along side her constantly. When you start making friends, if you could find a close by friend you like with a child the same age, you could do a trade off once a week for a few hours or even every other age (I'm assuming you won't want to trade the baby for awhile).

It is an adjustment, but you will do just fine. I think looking into some Waldorf homeschooling preschool books will help you to find some structure and rhythm for your day.

One suggestion, don't freak out with the isolation at first and overcommit yourself to dozens of playgroups/etc. You will get burnt out quickly.
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#19 of 26 Old 05-27-2005, 06:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rebeccalizzie

Truly...you may have a better relationship with your DD than you realize, and you can't feel guilty, you did what needed to be done. I'm sure she knows that.
That is so nice of you

It has one positive side though: I know for sure that I am not one of those powerwomen that can handle family and job.It's too much for me and when I have more chidlren I will not once regret that I am not working like others who wonder " what if..?"
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#20 of 26 Old 06-02-2005, 04:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you ALL for your responses. I do plan to SAH but I have decided to wait 1-2 more months and pay a couple of bills...then when the baby come I will be ready to stay home and not be so concerned about money.

Thanks again for all the encouragement.
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#21 of 26 Old 06-02-2005, 04:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by race_kelly
I finally got over that when I read an article stating that if you had to pay a stay at home mom for all the work she does, you'd be shelling out over $70,000 a year!!
Actually our local news just did a study on this and said it was over $150,000!

Shannon
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#22 of 26 Old 06-02-2005, 06:54 PM
 
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I was a full time WOHM for most of my older kids lives (they are 15 and 11 now) and I worked part time (3 days a week) after DS#3 was born until he was two and DS#4 was born.

I always wanted to be a full time SAHM but it was impossible until just recently. It's been a difficult transition but I wouldn't trade it for the world

Great for nature studies! http://www.pleinairkids.com
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#23 of 26 Old 06-06-2005, 02:50 AM
 
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I worked until DD was 10mo. I just didn't get enough time with her and I felt like someone else was raising my child, so we decided I would quit.

Transitioning is hard. I worked in the computer industry with a lot of technical stuff and I generally worked closely with other people and did a lot of decision making and problem solving. It was quite a hard transition to go from constant interaction with others, stimulating (if stressful!) problems to solve and major decisions to make to looking at a nonverbal child all day long and seeing no one.

One thing we did that helped me was we did not drop the daycare completely - we sent my DD for a few hours two afternoons a week to the same daycare (it helped that this daycare was very small ~10 kids and she just loved it there). This gave me a bit of a breather while I got a chance to get my feet as a SAHM. After a while I didn't need it anymore, but she still goes because she loves her friends there so much! Now I'm facing a new transition - from one to two and I tell you I am scared!

The first month or two were great - it was like being on vacation. After that was when the hard transition hit, but after a few months of that I started getting into regular playgroups, finding a rhythm and things got a lot easier. It helped actually knowing what the alternative was (working) and that it wasn't acceptable to me, I think I was better off than if I had stayed home right away, always wondering what I was missing.

Mightymoo - Mom to DD (6) and DS (4)
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#24 of 26 Old 06-08-2005, 05:58 PM
 
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Well i have a almost 4yr old son and a 9mon old dd. I am going to be a sahm in 2 weeks! I just turned in my notice. I think finding groups of other sahm are the best. I have already started searching for other adults to be with some times.
I wish you luck on this new start.
Julie
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#25 of 26 Old 07-19-2005, 08:59 PM
 
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I worked the full time when i had my first son.Now with my second Im a SAHM
I love it but sometimes its hard. :LOL
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#26 of 26 Old 07-30-2005, 01:23 PM
 
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I worked until my DD was 9 months old. It was hard, there are things I don't like about it. I miss aspects of work and especially the adult interaction. It was great at first - the honeymoon peirod I felt like I was on vacation. Then it was really hard for a while - probably another 6 months where I had to power through so to speak.

I actually felt better about being a SAHM becuase I did go back to work after DD's birth. I know if I didn't go back I would be wondering if I made a mistake, etc. But having been a WOHM, I know from experience I wasn't getting enough time with DD for my taste - I felt like someone else was raising her and I was missing out on too much. When things are rough, I hang on to that feeling.

Mightymoo - Mom to DD (6) and DS (4)
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