A Mom Blog Social Network
For those of us blessed with a choice, the decision to work or be at home with the kids can be tricky!
I stopped practicing psychiatry (in terms of sitting face to face with patients) when my first child was born. I've loved being at home with all three of our kids, but still toss back and forth in my mind as to whether I made the right decision.
Is there ever a perfect decision?!!
I would love to hear your story. What have you done? How did you make the choice you did?
aka Dr. Ann : )
So glad you posted this. I have a Ph.D. in education, and have worked hard at my career. I have always loved teaching, curriculum writing, and aspired to get a tenure-line position at a university. My desire for this high-stress job completely diminished after having my kids. I still wanted to be considered a professional, needed time to exercise my brain muscles, and wanted to stay current in my field.
I'm blessed to have a job where I could request to go down to part-time, and because my husband is a small business owner, between the two of us, we only get a baby-sitter once a week. I had a book come out the same time my second son was born, and am finding ways at home to do professional development and still spend time with my kids. Technology is what makes this possible; I think Moms in today's society don't have to pick one OR the other. They can do both, making their own rules and boundaries...and that is a wonderful freedom! [A side note, we did have to significantly downsize and cut back financially to make this new life a reality, but neither my husband nor I have any regrets.] I know not all careers have this flexibility, so I am thankful for my position in life!
Darci the STEMmom
Thanks for sharing your story Darci! (btw, I would have replied to you much earlier, but I'm still trying to figure out how to navigate this site.) I appreciate your point about the freedom to do both - that's a great observation. But yes, nothing is free and so the financial reality is a choice we face as well.
I got married at 18 and I was 19 when our first child was born. I quit school (college) and my job (retail) to stay home with our daughter. I have been a SAHM since. We have 6 kids. Our oldest is 20 and our youngest is 1 1/2.
For us, me staying home just fit. We also homeschool our kids. I guess you could say that we made the choice to be the only ones raising our kids. Maybe that makes us selfish... maybe not. It is just what works for us. Our kids are happy and well educated. My husband and I have been married for over 21 years and we are happy with each other and with the choices we have made.
Is there a perfect decision?
I don't think so. The decisions we've made are perfect for us, but they are by no means perfect for everyone. Each couple has to decide what they want to do and how they want their family structured. I think it is very important for a couple to "hash out the details" of what they expect from themselves and from each other and what they expect for their family-to-be BEFORE they get married. Too many couple start out without a plan and without knowing each other's expectations... and too many times, once they realize that they aren't on the same page about things, they are so far in with each other and with kids that the whole family structure just breaks. This just leaves too many people hurt. It is sad.
So, I guess the perfect decision is whatever works for you and your family. What can you all be happy with?
Just like you, I'm learning that there really is no perfect decision, and that even within the same family, the decision can morph over time. I like your point about discussing expectations ahead of time - we didn't do that in our family, but somehow things worked out. It's individual for each of us, just as God created us uniquely.
I'd love to read more of others' experiences too!
I am glad you brought up the fact that the decisions morph over time! I was thinking that as I typed my response, but I wasn't quite sure how to word it. lol. I know I am not the same person I was 20 years ago, as our family and relationship has grown over the years. This means that we have made changes in many aspects of our lives.
One of our dreams is to own a farm. If/when this becomes reality, we hope to have a restaurant and a little farmers market type of store and branch out into the "Agri-tainment" industry. This means that we will work together as a family. I guess I would be a work-at-home mom... or a work at the family business mom. So, yes... decisions do morph. :-)
I have alternated between a SAHM and a working mom through the past 12 years of my son's life. I just started working again last October. On Friday I was offered a huge promotion with a huge raise BUT the hours mean I would not get home until close to 7 pm each night instead of 4 which is when I now get home. I want that job so badly because it's my dream job but I could never imagine only spending an hour with my son every night.
I feel your pain BUT remember no one ever lay on their deathbed and through ... I should have worked more .... but many have said that I should have spent more time with my kids. Sod the job I say! :-)
Tracy, It sounds as if you made the right decision for you and your family! It's great that you were able to look at the choices clearly, and count the opportunity cost on either side of the equation (doesn't that sound so cuddly?!) Many blessings for your time home with your son. I'd love to hear more about how you've alternated between work and being a SAHM over the years - sounds like a blog post to me!
Hey there, I have 3 kids under 7 and hubby and I both work full time. I'm starting to look at other alternatives. We have recently moved countries (South Africa to New Zealand) and so badly want to move away from the 'hamster on the wheel' feeling that I have sometimes. Surely life is too short to spend so much of it in an office doing something that doesn't really inspire me. We took a bit of a financial knock moving countries but hopefully I can make the same money but doing something more fulfilling. Would love to hear some feedback from someone experiencing something similar.
I'm a photographer who is able to work out of my home. Here is a posting I recenly wrote..
'prioritizing your priorities!" =)
I used to be a Cosmetologist. I never really gained the footing I thought was ideal for the professional I wanted to become. I also have lots of sisters that killed my love of hair, thinking that I had nothing better to do than to to walk around with my shears and curling irons.
I worked for a few places that treated hair like a factory, where it was all about numbers, not considering family or uniqueness. I decided to leave the industry after having my second daughter and started my childcare business. That worked for many years like a well oiled machine until I have my last daughter. I really didn't want to "close"my doors because I had built many relationships with my families, not to mention good income. But, I was loosing my mind with PPD. My supportive Hubs encouraged me to, and though scary, it all has worked..in that area, not the PPD, and it's been almost 3 yrs.
My kids do have me as a presence in the home, I'm able to be at thier beck and call. that can be both good and bad. I currently live in a town with no family, no friends and the hubs commutes for work, so it's just me and the kids, everyday all day. I'm a little stir crazy. It takes a good balance and ideally, some family to be there when you need a break. You don't get to eat Bon Bons all day. Does anyone know where I can get some by the way?
Such great stories - these are issues that affect so many of us.