What are you planning: SAHM, WOHM, WAHM? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 32 Old 12-27-2007, 09:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Let me just start off by saying that I really don't want to get into a discussion of the relative merits of SAHM, WOHM and WAHM, but I'm just curious if y'all have already started thinking about what you will do after the birth? Those of you who already have kids, what kind of arrangement do you have going now?

DH and I both agreed that it would be great if I could stay home with the kids until they're old enough to go to school (age 4 here in NL), at which point I could perhaps work from home during school hours. I'm a translator, which is luckily compatible with being a WAHM-- you just need a computer, an internet connection, and a good desk and chair. However, it's starting to look like that's not going to be possible financially. We just went through our finances really thoroughly and came to the conclusion that I will most likely need to keep working at least one day per week after my maternity leave ends (3 months after the birth) in order for us to make ends meet. I know that's not much, and I should feel grateful that DH has a good enough job that I won't have to work full time, but I still feel kind of disappointed. I'm not sure yet what we'll wind up doing... I'm still trying to come to terms with the idea that I'll most likely have to leave our babe with someone else at least one day per week.

Again, it is not my intention to step on anyone's toes or to make those of you who are WOHMs by choice or by necessity feel like you need to defend your decision... I'm just sad because I personally felt good about our decision for me to be a SAHM, and now I find that it probably won't be possible.

Anyone else struggling with work-related issues?
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#2 of 32 Old 12-27-2007, 10:10 AM
 
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SAHM, WOHM and WAHM, but I'm just curious if y'all have already started thinking about what you will do after the birth? Those of you who already have kids, what kind of arrangement do you have going now?
I'm mostly a SAHM. I worked until I got pregnant with Henry, and then daycare costs were going to be about equal to my paycheck so I quit. I am a doula and childbirth educator, so I work a little, but not too much - I only take 1-2 birth clients a month and teach on Wednesday nights from home. I won't be taking any birth clients until baby is at least 6 months old - it just depends on the baby!

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#3 of 32 Old 12-27-2007, 10:15 AM
 
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For me SAH was the best thing. There was no way I could leave him with anyone - even my MIL! About 5 months ago I started WAH - when #2 was a year. That has been great. I really needed something that was MINE. I plan to continue with my business after this one is born and just see how it goes. I can work as much or little as I want so I think it will work out.
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#4 of 32 Old 12-27-2007, 10:28 AM
 
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I am a SAHM. We knew that was our plan before any children, so we never considered my income in our lifestyle. We would not count it into our mortgage, etc. We did buy a smaller house in a town that would not have been our first choice. I feel really lucky that it all worked out for us. I have been at home since our DS was born over 3 years ago.

Megan, I thought the Netherlands is really generous for parental leave. I thought you could get a year paid parental leave when you have a baby and part payment for up to three years? Is the work flexible as a translator? Can you work an hour to an hour and a half per day, all week, to make up one day's work? I wonder if you could do this while the baby slept, or when your DH is home. Then you do not have to think of childcare, and your baby will be right there if it really needs you. Just a thought...
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#5 of 32 Old 12-27-2007, 10:45 AM
 
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I am currently a SAHM and plan to continue to do so.
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#6 of 32 Old 12-27-2007, 10:58 AM
 
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We were just having this discussion last night. Right now I'm a SAHM. We LOVE the arrangement. I'm about to start student teaching (Jan-mid April) to finish up my Master's, and everyone keeps asking me if I'll start teaching this fall (of course, most of these people don't know I'm due in August). The answer is no, I'm going to continue to be a SAHM.

We were discussing though what would happen if DH lost his job-he works for a big company, and while it's a pretty secure position, there's always the chance. We decided that if it was possible, and our youngest was say, 6 months old or so, we could try having DH stay home and I work for a while.

I definitely wish there was a way for us both to part time it, but at this point, that's just not possible. But, given the chance, I'd love for him to be able to stay home with the babes!

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#7 of 32 Old 12-27-2007, 11:02 AM
 
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I wish I could be a SAHM, I'm so jealous. We just can't afford it though right now with the new house. I work during the day while DH is home with the boys. DH works at night and is also starting school in January. I'd like to as well, but just doesn't seem possible seeing how my income is more than DH's. But I do plan on starting back part time and instead of asking for a salary increase, I want to negotiate working from home as a trial for maybe 2 days a week. It would be a nice start and I wouldn't feel so awful about leaving the new babe. It was very hard even working part time with Liam considering if I wasn't there to nurse him, he wouldn't eat at all and I just will not do that to this baby. I've been checking out the WAH boards and maybe something might pan out from there. Oh well, a girl can hope for a layoff right

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#8 of 32 Old 12-27-2007, 11:17 AM
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i really, really love my work (see my sig! ) and so i really can't imagine not working.

but, i plan on greatly reducing my schedule. i'm going to run a few workshops a year (two week-long ones; two weekend ones), and i'm going to run about 5-6 lessons a week (3 private, 2-3 group classes). I'm going to run these in the evenings when my husband is home from work so that he can have some 'alone time' with his kiddo.

and, while the money is great, i'm really doing it for the love of the work!
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#9 of 32 Old 12-27-2007, 02:05 PM
 
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After my first 2 kids, I took one-year maternity leaves and returned to work part-time (I'm a state prosecutor so have great benefits). After our third baby, I quit my job and decided to SAH for a few years.

Now that we are having our fourth, I'll definitely be a SAHM for at least a few more years.

But I do plan to practice again one day since I love my job.
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#10 of 32 Old 12-27-2007, 02:47 PM
 
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When I had my first the money I made in comparison to the cost of working and childcare with loosing my income and we decided I'd just stop working. I wanted to anyway.

Now I work part time opposite shift from dh 20-30 hours a week. I'll be stopping that once the baby is born, at least for a while.

I would love to find something that would allow me to work from home. For a while I was dying and selling yarn and loved doing it. Its a hard way to make money though as its not all that profitable. There is also lots of competition too.

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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#11 of 32 Old 12-27-2007, 03:12 PM
 
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I'm currently a WOHM, but after the baby comes I expect to be able to work from home part-time for a while. I am the primary wage-earner and we also get our health insurance through my job so it's pretty critical that I return to work. But, I also don't think I'd be very happy in the long-term as a SAHM.
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#12 of 32 Old 12-27-2007, 03:18 PM
 
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iam a sahm and plain to stay one forever

Amanda mom to Mahmoud 7-20-06, Kareem 8-23-08, and Baby #3 due May 19th 2011
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#13 of 32 Old 12-27-2007, 03:19 PM
 
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I WOH and enjoy it..mostly because I love what I do. I work 30 hours a week and provide the majority of our income. I stayed home for 7 months and discovered it was not the best decision for me. My husband is with our son M-TR and does some individual painting jobs as they come. I expect that we will stay on the same schedule when this one arrives. I am super lucky in that I can bring the infant to work with me for the first 6 months or so..the boss loves babies.

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#14 of 32 Old 12-27-2007, 03:33 PM
 
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DH and I are graduate students and both work part time and mostly from home. This has been so great, but I'm finishing my degree in May. I was planning to start working outside of the home full time in August... then we found out I was pregnant! I think with 2 babes under 2 and DH writing his dissertation, I'll stay at home until January or so and try to find something temporary. DH and I will both start full time jobs out of the home in August 2009. Until then, we'll be broke but rich with time.

I would like to say how much I appreciate how respectful everyone has been about these very personal decisions! There is no right way to be a mother... each woman and family are different.
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#15 of 32 Old 12-27-2007, 03:50 PM
 
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Ideally I always envisioned myself being a SAHM. But realistically since this pregnancy was a bit of a surprise its just not going to happen. I also am in the process of purchasing my first home so I need to work. I am lucky in the sense though that my work schedule is pretty flexible and I have a lot of support from family and friends. I'm a nurse and I work nights 3 days a week so its actually not a bad deal. I think I actually may be able to take off 12 weeks after the baby is here ( I REALLY don't want to go back to work at 6 weeks). Of course everything is subject to change. I may end up going part time or something like that. Either way I think I'm going to have to leave him/her :-(.

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#16 of 32 Old 12-27-2007, 04:06 PM
 
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I'm only doing the SAHM thing for a year, then I'm going back to finish my degree. I was scheduled to start nursing school in August, but it's pretty hard to do clinicals when you've just given birth, so I'll start in August of 2009. after I finish my degree, I'll work part time as a nurse for a couple of years and then we'll have to move so I can go to grad school. thankfully, in those first few years, we'll have my MIL to help out.
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#17 of 32 Old 12-27-2007, 07:20 PM
 
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SAHM since my last babe. Its strange since I NEVER thought I would want to be a SAHM but I really like it. I will be home at least until we are done having kids, my hubbie wanted 4 when I met him but now he is down to 2 but we will see. After that we will have to decide if we want to home school or do public, if we want to do private I will have to go back to work, the costs will be to high to afford private on just his salary.

Interestingly I am not sure if I really like my profession anymore and will have to think long and hard before I head back in. The work is fun but mostly the people SUCK and it is very stressful. I was an Electrical & Computer Engineer working for MIT which just meant that MOST of the people I worked with were egotistical super intelligent jerks.:

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#18 of 32 Old 12-27-2007, 07:38 PM
 
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I have always been a SAHM so this baby (#4) doesn't change anything. My oldest is 4.5 so we don't do much yet, but I will be homeschooling all the kids. I feel very blessed to be able to stay home with my kids. I am from CA originally and we were considering moving back there to be near my family but we realized we could just NOT do it financially. We live in a part of the country where it is very do-able for moms to stay at home.

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#19 of 32 Old 12-27-2007, 11:07 PM
 
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I'm a WOHM. I love what I do outside of the home thankfully or it would be really hard. DS goes to a very nice daycare with webcams in every room so I can check on him during the day. The caregivers are very nurturing and DS has really thrived in the environment. I feel very blessed to have a flexible job and a great daycare. Not all WOHMs are so lucky.
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#20 of 32 Old 12-28-2007, 12:01 AM
 
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I am a teacher and feel very fortunate that my husband stays home with my son. Most likely the arrangement will continue after our next child is born, unless my husband gets a super full time job. Currently he works fixing computers on his own (no boss, he sets his schedule) so that he can be with our son during the day and book appointments in the evening. It's worked out so well for us because I love my job (and all the time off I get) and I provide phenomenal health insurance for our family. My son has a chronic illness so it's imperative that we always have top of the line health insurance, so I can't see me not working. Financially it's a stretch, but for us it's worth it because our son hasn't had to be in daycare - meaning he hasn't been exposed to lots of colds/flu which are a pain for him to deal with, and I know that my husband does a great job caring for him. Their relationship is stronger than it would have been had I been the stay-at-home parent.

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#21 of 32 Old 12-28-2007, 02:04 AM
 
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I stayed home for 2 years with E, and will probably do the same with this one. I get one year paid, but I think I'll take the first four months off (I have to by law) and then DH will be taking 8 months paternity leave (he gets topped up to 100% by his employer for that long) while he does his Master's degree. I think we'll just suck it up and live on one income during that time. He'll go back to work after his pat. leave is up, and I'll stay home for another year or so. I may do some substitute teaching here and there, but that's it.

fridgeart, lucky mum to E (5) and Ro (2)
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#22 of 32 Old 12-28-2007, 02:49 AM
 
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I've been a SAHM since my oldest was born. He's turning 3 in a few weeks, and we're expecting #3 in August. I can't see going back to work until my kids are all in school. I have a degree program to finish, so I'm not rushing back into it until I'm ready to pursue it full time.

Right now, we're very fortunate. My DH works full time and I work a very, very flexible schedule caring for my disabled brother. It suits our family well, and the money I make is enough to allow us to save for the future.
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#23 of 32 Old 12-28-2007, 09:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am a SAHM. We knew that was our plan before any children, so we never considered my income in our lifestyle.
I don't actually work at the moment, and we manage to get by on DH's salary. If nothing were to change, we could go on like this just fine-- we live very modestly, other than sometimes splurging on organics. The problem is our house. We have a teeny-tiny little townhouse with two bedrooms (one of which is used as an office by DH, who works from home several days per week), no attic, and no closets. We're already desperate for storage space, and the babe isn't even here yet! We're planning on cosleeping at first, but eventually we're going to have to add onto the house, or our DC won't have a bedroom of his/her own. Which may not sound like a problem to some people, but it's not just a matter of having a place to sleep-- we need some place other than our own (very small) bedroom to store childrens' clothes, toys, books, etc. With the money I'll earn starting in January, we can afford to add on a 3rd story, which will give us an extra bedroom and a large closet/small storage room. Definitely necessary if we're not to go crazy. Problem is, if my income suddenly disappears, we won't quite be able to pay off the addition, let alone cover the extra expenses associated with a child. Moving is not an option, either-- this house was very cheap by Dutch standards, and we definitely can't afford anything bigger.


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I thought the Netherlands is really generous for parental leave. I thought you could get a year paid parental leave when you have a baby and part payment for up to three years?
It's generous compared to the US, but it's not that great! We get 4 weeks of paid leave before the birth (non-negotiable... you have to take off whether you want to or not) and 12 weeks at full pay afterward. If you've been working for the same company for at least a year (which I will not have), then you're also entitled to an additional 520 hours (about 13 weeks) of unpaid leave, which you can use up all at once, a day at a time, or even use to work half-days. I won't be eligible for this, and unpaid leave won't solve our problems anyway, so I'm pretty much limited to the 12 paid weeks after the birth.


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Is the work flexible as a translator? Can you work an hour to an hour and a half per day, all week, to make up one day's work?
At the risk of making this post into a novel, work as a translator is somewhat flexible, in the sense that you can do it from home, but not flexible at all in terms of the timeframes involved. I couldn't stretch a day's worth of work over the course of a week, because customers generally expect fast turnaround. You pretty much have to be ready and willing to work whenever you get stuff sent to you. Not really compatible with caring for a babe. :

On the other hand, the company I'll be working for is very family-friendly and has lots of women who jobshare, work parttime, work from home, etc. I'm hopeful that my boss and I can come up with some workable solutions if it is indeed necessary for me to continue working after our DC is born.
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#24 of 32 Old 12-28-2007, 09:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I get one year paid, but I think I'll take the first four months off (I have to by law) and then DH will be taking 8 months paternity leave (he gets topped up to 100% by his employer for that long).
Wow, now that's what I call awesome maternity leave! Is it like that in all of Canada (that's where you live, right?), or do you guys just work for a really great company?
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#25 of 32 Old 12-28-2007, 09:35 AM
 
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I WOHM. I also travel a great deal for my job, and as the primary wage earner I will be returning after the birth. Fortunately, we live in a very small town so my work is less than 5 minutes away from my home and my employer is fantastic so I should be able to negotiate a good maternity leave plan (I don't really want to travel for a full year, but would consider no travel for 6 months and then minimal travel after that...). My h can pretty much make his own schedule so he usually works his around mine so that we don't need dc. It's not the greatest (we hardly see each other), but it works for now.

In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you." Buddha

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#26 of 32 Old 12-28-2007, 10:02 AM
 
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DS goes to a very nice daycare with webcams in every room so I can check on him during the day. The caregivers are very nurturing and DS has really thrived in the environment. I feel very blessed to have a flexible job and a great daycare.
This sounds wonderful. I love that you get to see your little one all day.

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I get one year paid, but I think I'll take the first four months off (I have to by law) and then DH will be taking 8 months paternity leave (he gets topped up to 100% by his employer for that long) while he does his Master's degree.
Wow, that family leave is really great.

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Originally Posted by Megan_in_Holland View Post
It's generous compared to the US, but it's not that great!
I am not sure where I was thinking about! It has been a long time since college.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megan_in_Holland View Post
On the other hand, the company I'll be working for is very family-friendly and has lots of women who jobshare, work parttime, work from home, etc. I'm hopeful that my boss and I can come up with some workable solutions if it is indeed necessary for me to continue working after our DC is born.
That sounds like a great situation.
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#27 of 32 Old 12-28-2007, 12:17 PM
 
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Our plan is for me start working part-time out of the home sometime after the babe is 6 months old. I know I could not handle my current job and an infant, but I do not want to give up working out of the home completely.
This will require some financial sacrifices for us, but we will try to make it work. Of course, nothing is set in stone!

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and my angel, Nico, , lost to us at 19 weeks gestation, 12/27/12
Longing for our rainbow
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#28 of 32 Old 12-28-2007, 01:18 PM
 
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I started SAHMing when ds was born and will continue to do so. It is my FAVORITE job ever! We are very fortunate and I know it.

April thankful mommy to my boys Big Red 3/06 Little Z 9/08 and happily awaiting the arrival of 10/10 :
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#29 of 32 Old 12-28-2007, 01:19 PM
 
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Oh but I do make money tutoring a boy in ASL twice a month. It brings in a whooping $50/month. But I get to use my skills and ds comes with me and plays with my student's little brother.

April thankful mommy to my boys Big Red 3/06 Little Z 9/08 and happily awaiting the arrival of 10/10 :
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#30 of 32 Old 12-28-2007, 01:57 PM
 
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DH works for the gov't, which tops up to 100% pay for moms, for 12 months, or 8-10 months for dads/partners (straight or gay). It is a very sweet deal!
The least you'll get in Canada is 1 year paid at 55% of your salary (to a maximim of about $800/every two weeks) and some employers top up. I'm a teacher and get topped up for about 20 weeks, then it's just gov't money. We are very, very lucky here!

fridgeart, lucky mum to E (5) and Ro (2)
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