SAHM, WAHM, work full-time, work part-time? - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-30-2007, 09:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I guess I'm interested in hearing what others are planning regarding work after the baby comes.

I currently have no idea what we're going to do. I'm the breadwinner in the family with killer benefits, yet I want to stay home as much as I can. I also haven't liked my job for a long time and know that if I hadn't gotten pregnant I would probably be interviewing for other positions. I want to leave but know that I have it REALLY GOOD compared to most people in this country.

I was hoping that both DH and I could arrange 50-80% time or combination work at home so that one of us is always with the baby. Then when the baby is older (like 2, ideally) I might consider going back full-time and DH being a SAHD. We could make it on my full-time salary alone, but we couldn't on DH's.

What do you plan to do? What has worked for you and your family? Are there any considerations that, being a first-time parent, I am not thinking about?
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Old 07-30-2007, 10:28 PM
 
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We made it work with me staying home and I plan on doing it until they are grown. We just made every cut in the budget we could and did really great money management (like no car payment, etc) and made it work. It's tough but doable for us so I think you and DH should talk about it and see what you can come up with. Would your job let you work from home? Then at least that cuts out the commute and you could spend lunch with baby, etc.

Mama to (DS 7) and (DD 5), wife to DH

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Old 07-30-2007, 10:34 PM
 
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I work at home right now doing daycare. About 4-5 months after the baby I'm going to go to full time doula mode. I'm going to try to take 2-3 clients a month. That way I will be home as much as possible but have some flexability unlike w/ daycare.
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Old 07-30-2007, 10:37 PM
 
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I too make a bigger paycheck, and have the insurance benefits. I went down to the min hours I could and still get benefits. I now work 3 days a week, and love the balance.
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Old 07-30-2007, 10:43 PM
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I have stayed home since our daughter was born. My husband and I agreed before we decided to get married that I would always stay home with any children we had, and he would earn our income. Both of us came from SAHM families and wanted the same for our own kids.

Money's been tight since my DH has been in law school full-time since we got married in 04 (just graduated in May and took the Bar last week - yay!) AND has had to work full time since our daughter was born in 05 when I quit my job. We're not broke but we certainly don't have a lot of spending money - regardless, I am really happy with what we've arranged. I can't imagine doing it any other way.
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Old 07-30-2007, 10:53 PM
 
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I had a (VERY : ) full time childcare business out of my home for 5 years, then met my current dh, AKA My Dream Boy, 3 yrs ago.

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I have stayed home since our daughter was born. My husband and I agreed before we decided to get married that I would always stay home with any children we had, and he would earn our income. Both of us came from SAHM families and wanted the same for our own kids.
This is what my DH & I decided as well, on about our 2nd date . We both came from SAHM mama families, too. Plus we homeschool. I love being a SAHM very much & hope to always be able to do it.

North Idaho rural living  mama to: 23 yo DD, 16 yo DS, 8 yo DS, 6 yo DS, 4 yr old DS, 2 yo DD, and 1 yo DS. And someone new coming this Christmas!
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Old 07-30-2007, 11:02 PM
 
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SAHM. I work in daycare - I'm on disability leave right now due to a slipped disc & working in the infant/toddler room of a daycare can really aggravate stuff like that. So I don't think I'll be returning there since I don't want any more back surgery! Even if my back was fine... working at my job and having my baby be at work with me would mean I was earning $100 a month. What with gas to get to and from work and other expenses that pop up when I'm working f-t... it's not worth it. I'm very glad about that though - my mom was a SAHM and I'd been hoping to be able to do the same. So I'm glad that I'll be able to do it!

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Old 07-30-2007, 11:44 PM
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I had a (VERY : ) full time childcare business out of my home for 5 years, then met my current dh, AKA My Dream Boy, 3 yrs ago.



This is what my DH & I decided as well, on about our 2nd date . We both came from SAHM mama families, too. Plus we homeschool. I love being a SAHM very much & hope to always be able to do it.
Yeah we discussed it almost immediately too. Staying home was non-negotiable to me, and it would have been a deal breaker had he felt otherwise. We're definitely considering homeschooling too, just not really "there" yet!
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Old 07-31-2007, 12:28 AM
 
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SAHM, not going to pay someone to raise my baby!
I would like to find something small to do from home to make money to help more because we sure need it.

Heather, ds Dante (12.28.07) and due in April.
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Old 07-31-2007, 12:33 AM
 
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I stay at home too. Very traditional-like. All the women at his job feel sorry for me, always barefoot and pg and homeschooling.
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Old 07-31-2007, 12:35 AM
 
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I SAH now, and have since May. We plan to homeschool and I have no plans or desire to ever return to the workforce. I would have to be making pretty big bucks to even break even between childcare, gas, work lunches, a work wardrobe, and all that. Me working part time would actually cost us money, instead of giving us a little extra.

Mama to DS1 (12/07), DS2 (4/11), and DD (6/22/14)
Finally diagnosed with APS after 3 s (11/09, 3/10, 7/13)
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Old 07-31-2007, 12:47 AM
 
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I'll have a few months left in the Army after Peanut's born, so I'll have to go back to work after 6 weeks. But once I get out, I'm done! We're gonna try to make it work w/just one breadwinner & an army retirement.

Me, my Sweetie , DD 1 (Dec 07),  and DD 2 (Dec 09). Co-sleeping, delayed-vaxing, quia Lutherans!
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Old 07-31-2007, 01:29 AM
 
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Sahm
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Old 07-31-2007, 01:31 AM
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Sahm.
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Old 07-31-2007, 01:49 AM
 
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until we're out of debt I'm a working mom. I don't like it but since we don't pay for childcare and dd stays with my parents (which for me is better than a daycare since we live with them so its the least disruptive situation for her and she love her 'nemo and papa') it really does make us money. Until I have this baby our money will go to pay the midwife and pay the principle on our business loan. Once the baby is born I hope to take somewhere between 2-6 months off and then go back. Then I will be working to pay off our credit cards and pay up DH's motorcycle. I plan to start staying at home as soon as the credit cards are paid off.
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Old 07-31-2007, 03:02 AM
 
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Yeah we discussed it almost immediately too. Staying home was non-negotiable to me, and it would have been a deal breaker had he felt otherwise. We're definitely considering homeschooling too, just not really "there" yet!
Wow, that's cool, it would have been a deal breaker for me, too! We talked about it very early on, too. I already had 2 kids when we met. He asked if I ever wanted more kids & I said absolutely positively omg I fantasize about it every day BUT. Big fat but, I could only have more kids if I was able to be at home with them & that's asking a whole lot of a new partner- to support me AND my kids from a previous relationship. But my Dream Boy was made for me & so it all worked out.

Dennie, I understand where you're coming from. But your dd gets to be home (literally) with Grandma! That's awesome. I'm sure she has a lovely time, and one day you'll be free from cc debt & this will all be worth it.

North Idaho rural living  mama to: 23 yo DD, 16 yo DS, 8 yo DS, 6 yo DS, 4 yr old DS, 2 yo DD, and 1 yo DS. And someone new coming this Christmas!
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Old 07-31-2007, 03:34 AM
 
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I stay home full-time with our girls. I stopped working about 3 months before they were born because being PG with twins was also a full-time job.

My DH works as an attorney in a law firm so we're able to live comfortably on what he earns. He works a lot though & it's hard to be the only parent most days.

I have a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and worked as a child psychologist previously. I do not know if I will go back to it at some point, or not. At this point, I do not plan to home school so in some ways I could work when they're in school, but then I don't know what I'd do with the summer months and want them to have the carefree summers I did as a girl. My Mom stayed home with us.

I like staying home with my girls & can't imagine it any other way.

SAHM to F & P, : fraternal twins born 3/05, : I, born 12/07 & at 5 weeks in July 2009
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Old 07-31-2007, 04:00 AM
 
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I'm a lucky SAHM too! DH is home most of the time too working from home a lot. We're kind of a SAH Family!!! I also "try" to earn extra money by selling random stuff (clothes, etc.) on ebay. It's not much but it helps with little extra things I like to buy that aren't in our regular family budget. I'm also a huge fan of buying pre-owned, great condition stuff for our family-baby equipment, furniture, clothes, you name it. DH always tells me that my "excellence" in bargain hunting and finding really saves our family a lot of money. : Even though I don't bring in the big bucks, I still feel like I do my part loving and playing with dd and being wise as I "manage" our home.

Christy-SAHM to my elf princess(4/06) and my little man (12/07). Married to the love of my life and expecting our pumpkin baby boy 10/09! :
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Old 07-31-2007, 08:35 AM
 
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I guess I'm in the minority here-I will continue to work full time after the baby is born. I'm taking a 10 week maternity leave, then DP is going to have a leave period with the baby.

I am able to arrange my schedule so that I can work around DP's. So most likely I'll be working evenings, while DP works during the day. We plan to avoid daycare that way. For the couple hours that both of us are working, we plan on having the baby stay with grandma (DP's mother). We will do this for the first year at least-then later, once the baby is 3 or so, we will probably look into Montessori preschools/daycares.

I wish I could afford to stay home. However, I do love my job, and they are very flexible with me. I'm lucky in the sense that I get to set my own schedule, and as long as my work gets done, I pretty much do whatever I want.

Karen, mother to a wonderful active three year old.
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Old 07-31-2007, 09:23 AM
 
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Yup when I was preg w/ DS #1 we agreed for me to be a SAHM but when DS was 2 I went back to work until we started trying for #2 THEn I quit it was hard because Dh was struggling to get his biz off the ground and at the time I was the breadwinner. We had to move in w/ MIL while preg w/ #2 for 8 months we are now living in an apt and just putting in an offer on a house we made a lot of sacrifice for me to be a sahm- but its very important to us I also homeschool and plan to until they are in college. We dont have the really big nice house we used to have or 2 cars or lots of spending cash but we do have eachother and a very loved close knit family now which is what we always wanted. It was hard to make the transition but oh so worth it.

Betsy, Mommy to DS (10) DD (4) DS (2) and DS (1)
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Old 07-31-2007, 09:44 AM
 
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I am going to be a single mom, so not a lot of options here! However, I have always worked at home, so that makes things much more convenient. I am going to *try* to take six weeks off after the baby is born. After that, I plan on hiring someone to come in for 3-4 hours a day to take care of the baby so I can have relatively uninterrupted work time. The rest of the time, I will have to work around baby's sleep schedule. I can usually get all of my work done in 4-6 hours a day, if I buckle down. After the first year, I'll either have to have someone come in for a longer day or hopefully arrange a co-op with friends for day care. I would like to avoid traditional day care if possible.

Lynn, single lesbian mama to All Mighty Iris 12/10/07
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Old 07-31-2007, 09:58 AM
 
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Looks like I'm in the minority. I'm going to continue working, probably full time. For at least the first six months I'm planning/hoping to take the baby to work with me. After that, I might cut down to three-quarter time or even half-time or figure out more flex time or working from home. As long as stories are filed by deadline it doesn't really matter when or in many cases where they get written. My bosses have been really clear that they'd work with me and figure something out, so my kid wouldn't be sitting in daycare for ten hours at a time.
My boyfriend works hard and loves his job and makes decent money, but he doesn't make enough to support both of us (make that all three of us) and I wouldn't want to ask him to. If we were married and had already laid out that arrangement prior to getting knocked up, it would be one thing, but in this situation I don't think I should cut off my earnings. Plus, I love my career and find it really rewarding and stimulating. It's like a community for me, and I'd hate to have to leave it.

Jen, journalist, policy wonk, and formerly a proud single mama to my sweet little man Cyrus, born at home Dec. 2007 . Now married to my Incredibly Nice Guy and new mama to baby Arthur.
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Old 07-31-2007, 11:39 AM
 
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I stay home. I tried to keep my job when 3yo DS was tiny, by working from home and going in two mornings a week while DH stayed home to watch DS. It was too hard. DS had problems nursing, so I was spending so much time on that, and everything else started to fall apart -- I was really resentful of my boss for giving me work, my DH for wanting the house clean, and my son for being "difficult" with the nursing. I quit working when he was six months old (nursing ended before that ).

I think I will try to pick up some at-home work of a different kind soon. My old career was very high-stress, with many deadlines and pressures. I know that I have the time and desire to do some paid work, but not that kind of work. It needs to be a labor of love, and I have just the thing in mind that may actually work out soon. Keep your fingers crossed/say a prayer for me, ladies!
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Old 07-31-2007, 12:14 PM
 
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I am a part-time work-at-home attorney. I am a public defender and I write appeals, so all of my clients are in the penitentiary and all my work is done on a computer, not in court. I don't need an office and I don't have to *be* anywhere to do my job.

I keep DS full time, and I work when DH is off, including some nights & weekends depending on my caseload. I feel very fortunate that my office has been flexible with me and let me have this arrangement. The legal profession is not known for its mama-friendliness.

coolshine.gif Mama to DS ('06), DD ('08), and DD (9.18.11).

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Old 07-31-2007, 01:03 PM
 
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I will be a SAHM as of Sept. We're moving out of what I'd consider commuting distance of my job and I was planning on being home once the baby was born anyway.
I may need to pick up something part time in the spring because we're planning on buying a house next summer and are sooo close to having the down payment and closing costs covered and I'm not sure how much we'll be able to save on one salary.

Alison: BFing, BWing, ERFing mama to KidA (12/25/07) and KidO (6/26/10) nocirc.giffamilybed2.gif

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Old 07-31-2007, 01:14 PM
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I am a part-time work-at-home attorney. I am a public defender and I write appeals, so all of my clients are in the penitentiary and all my work is done on a computer, not in court. I don't need an office and I don't have to *be* anywhere to do my job.

I keep DS full time, and I work when DH is off, including some nights & weekends depending on my caseload. I feel very fortunate that my office has been flexible with me and let me have this arrangement. The legal profession is not known for its mama-friendliness.
My dad (also an attorney) always wanted me to go to law school because he said I could "write my own ticket" as far as work went when I became a mom. Of course I didn't listen - instead I sent my husband Sounds like you have a really sweet deal. That's cool. I really admire moms who hold down jobs and still make it work with caring for their kids full-time - I don't think I'd have the multitasking skills!
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Old 07-31-2007, 01:56 PM
 
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Im going to be working ... prob about 30 hrs a week when i return back to work when baby is 10 months Old. I unfortunately can not afford not to .. we have just bought a new house and both drive so we could never manage on DH salary alone ... but the way DH shifts are we would only need childcare 4 mornings or 4 afternoons each week and im a civil servant so my employers are really great about child commitments, flexible working hours to a degree and its only 10 mins down the road. Its not ideal, i do feel guilty about it and given the chance i would be a SAHM.. baby is not even here yet & im already dreading childcare : : ..!! but unfortunately we just really do not have a choice..
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Old 07-31-2007, 02:09 PM
 
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DH and I also came from SAHM families, and we agreed before we got married that I would be a SAHM. I quit my college job 3 months before DD#1 was born, and finished my bachelors degree 4 weeks before her birth. Since then, DH has worked PART-TIME while attending school 3/4 time to finish his degree. We used pell grants, medicaid, a housing subsidy and a few student loans to survive. Thankfully DH just finished school in June, and got his first full-time job with benefits. We're living with my parents for the moment... working on buying a minivan before baby #3 comes, and trying to pay of as much of our student loans as possible. Thankfully, we have been extremely frugal, our 16 year old car has continued to chug along, and we managed to make it out of school with only 30k in loans... half of which is zero interest from my FIL.

Being a SAHM has been a sacrifice for us, but it's also been a blessing. Frugality is what started me on my quest for more natural parenting... cloth diapers are cheaper... making slings/wraps is cheaper than buying Baby Bjorns... and co-sleeping saves quite a bit of $$ on cribs/play-pens, etc. Plus, wearing baby saves $$ on swings, bouncers, etc.

I've never wanted to even enter the workforce, though I have considered several WAHM options. I would someday like to certify as a Professional Organizer, and run my own business. I would also like to certify as a doula, and possibly a lactation consultant. (I'm already working on LLL leadership... but that's more free information. )

Anyway, I probably won't be doing any of that stuff for a while. I don't think I would be very effective with a nursling tagging along, and so far I've been pregnant and/or nursing for the past 3 years... and don't plan on that changing anytime soon.

BTW... I consider motherhood to be my career, and each new child is another "promotion"

Emily
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Old 07-31-2007, 02:13 PM
 
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been a SAHM for about 5 years now. About to start a medical transcription program though. Very nervous about it. Not the program itself. But working from home, being mom, and homeschooling.

wife to my awesome DH, homeschooling, unassisted birthing, food growing, life loving mama to 5 crazy monkeys. :
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Old 07-31-2007, 04:46 PM
 
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SAHM, not going to pay someone to raise my baby!
I would like to find something small to do from home to make money to help more because we sure need it.
I'm sure you just didn't realize, but please be aware that this sort of phrasing is both inaccurate and VERY hurtful to parents who, for whatever reasons, work outside the home. No one is EVER paying another person to raise their children and do say so devalues the work that ALL parents -mothers and fathers- do at all hours of the day to raise and care for their kids. Please be mindful of how your words effect others.

*

As far as us... um... I dunno! We've kind of got to scenarios going on here; on one hand, if I am chosen for the job I've been interviewing for for the last TWO MONTHS (: ), I will work full time after an 8-10 week maternity leave, and DH will stay home during the day with both kids and work in the evening. His part time job has benefits that make me weak in the knees, so he'd carry health insurance for our family while my job has a salary that makes him weak in the knees, so I'd pay the bills. I absolutely hate the idea of going back to work full time so soon and am freaked out about pumping because I had a hellish time last time, but this would be a pretty good situation.

The other option, if I don't get the job, is that DH will get a full-time lab job hopefully with the state or the university so he can keep his benefits (he's a molecular biologist), I will finish out the contract I'm working on currently (I'm an attorney) and then stay at home with the baby as long as we can financially manage before going back to either contract work or looking for something full-time again. My "One True Job" is to work with the State Department overseas, so I'm in the application queue for that, as well as some other interesting but far less sexy things that might turn around in the few months after the babe comes.

Spending all of my money and time on this wild, wild life.
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