Stay-at-home mom VS Working mom

@slash23 (102)
Philippines
November 2, 2008 6:34am CST
Yay! My first post ever! And I'm feeling somewhat depressed... Well actually, this "low" feeling has been going on for months now. A little background first. I'm the typical employee working 8hrs a day/5days a week. I work as a systems specialist in a very good company which provides good pay. Fast forward, I got terribly sick beginning of this year, had an operation last April, recovered, got back to work last June... but life has never been the same since. That sickness was like a "bump in the road", sort of an eye-opener that, cliche as it may sound, life is too short. Made me rethink of what my priorities really are. Yes, I still feel happy working (i love my job) but there's this part of me that wanted to stay at home and be with the kids more (have 2 daughters aged 6 & 3). Yes, you could say that quality time is better than quantity time...but if possible, I wanted to give both. If only I could leave my job that quick... but then there are bills to pay. ;) Oh well... just thinking out loud. I'm not sure if this feeling too shall pass. :) Are there moms out there who went through the same dilemma about leaving their jobs to be stay-at-home moms? I envy your courage, ladies... :)
14 people like this
37 responses
@pumpkinjam (5800)
• United Kingdom
3 Nov 08
I feel that there is no better person to raise a child than his/her mother. If I hadn't have had the choice to look after my kids myself then I would have hated that. You are definitely not the only person who feels the way you do. I think that if there is a choice, no matter how difficult it might seem, then you should stay at home with your kids because it's better for them (well, assuming you're a good mum of course!) and because I really don't see the point in having children if you intend for someone else to take care of them more often than you can. Obviously it can be financially impossible for some people not to work. Lately I have had no choice but to take a part time job just to make ends meet. Even though I only work a few hours, I still feel that is time I should be spending with my chidren. I worked full time for about 3 weeks when my older child was only 2 and I absolutely hated it. Yes, we had a little extra money but I felt that no amount of money was worth leaving my son all day every day. I hope I'm not making you feel worse. If you have to do what you're doing then that's fair enough. What I don't understand is the people who do it who don't have to but somehow think they are better for doing it. Anyway, back to the point. There are plenty of parents (because I don't doubt some dads feel the same too) who work because they have no choice (or think they have no choice) but who wish they could be with their children. We might have missed out on holidays and other "luxuries" and had to buy Value brands of everything but I think missing out on material things is preferable to missing out on my children. I'm only working now because we have cut back as far as we can and absolutely can't manage on one wage any more. My kids are 8 and 3 and my dad can look after them if my partner's not here so that's not too bad but I still feel bad that I have to leave them even if it is only for a short while.
@patgalca (14649)
• Orangeville, Ontario
3 Nov 08
I agree with you 100%. I see people with two working parents and they spend all that extra money on "stuff" - big screen tvs, boats, kitchen renos, etc. Sacrificing for our children is the biggest gift of all. When my parents were first married they lived in ONE ROOM of a house with two small children. Not a one bedroom apartment but ONE ROOM. That was over 60 years ago and when my father passed away two years ago he left my mother very well off financially. He had money invested all over the place and having sold her house recently she can now be called a millionnaire. We were the last ones in our neighbourhood to get a colour television set. We never got stuff we didn't need. Society today is so materialistic and everyone trying to one-up the other. The children are our future and spoiling them with stuff is not going to make up for the time with their parents that they lack.
1 person likes this
• United Kingdom
4 Nov 08
That is so true. I have a friend who, I think, has always worked and has two completely spoilt children. The children both regularly misbehave but still get more or less whatever they like. Maybe that's the parents way of "making up" for not being there by giving them stuff, My kids do have some stuff they don't need but they have been taught to appreciate it. They have also been taught that the way they are is so much more valuable than the things they have. They are extremely well behaved, very bright and two of the most adorable people you could meet. I have often been complimented on their politeness which makes me super proud because I know I did that by being there.
@ronaldinu (12440)
• Malta
3 Nov 08
Money is essential in today's world but it is not everything. There are certain things in life such as time that are invaluable. You are not going to get your precious time that you have passed with your babies during motherhood back. Once you lost it you can never get it back. I can understand that you feel divided between staying at home and having a working career. © ronaldinu 2008
2 people like this
@jfeets726 (775)
• United States
2 Nov 08
Have you ever thought about being a stay-at-home / work-at-home mom? That is what I am. My daughter just started full day pre-k this year, so I am starting to look for more work to start working full-time. I have spent the last 3 years working as a part-time web content writer. I would usually work nights so I could spend some time with her. You mention that you have bills to pay, so I wouldn’t recommend quitting your job right away. Try some work-at-home opportunities or jobs part-time (like after the kids go to sleep or on the weeks). That gives you the opportunity to see if you can make money from home and get a taste of what it is like before you make a decision. I decided to stay home with my daughter when she was about 9 months old. I worked as a retail store manager for a discount store. I was regularly working 50 to 60 hours a week and that was just too much.
@sudalunts (5526)
• United States
2 Nov 08
I do not have small children now, but I know exactly what you mean. A while back I was in a car accident and was on medical leave for six months. At first I was so depressed that I was not able to work, but after a few weeks I began to love it. I was able to take my son to school every day, have a meal ready when he got home from school, enjoy all of the school activities as a parent that I could. It was great. I could tell too, that he was happy to come home from school and see me there, rather than coming home to an empty house and waiting three or four hours for me to arrive. When I had to return to work, it was truly bitter sweet. I know what you mean about the bills being paid, would it be beneficial to you to get part time work. You would not be able to spend all day with them, but it would be a substantial difference than the full time work. Good luck, and continue to enjoy your children.
2 people like this
• United States
2 Nov 08
I do it all... :).... I am a stay at home mom in a sense because I work from home. I operate an online business which I have been doing for 5 years now. This was a choice i made when I decided I was going to have my second child. It really was beneficial for me to do it this way because I get to spend his toddler years watching him grow. I also operate a night business which keeps me out more at night but it pays the bills. Atleast when I leave for work my children are sleep which makes it easier for me to leave home. I also attend school but I attend class while my kids are at school. My son, 2 years old, and my daughter, 16 years old, will start to miss me if I am not home because of the changes that I have made career wise, we have become even more emotionally attached.
1 person likes this
@patgalca (14649)
• Orangeville, Ontario
3 Nov 08
If you can work from your home you are getting the best of both worlds. I did catalogue sales for awhile and even then I had to deliver orders (at Christmas) and the kids complained about me being gone in the evenings to do this. I told them if they wanted a Christmas they had to put up with it as it was only this busy during this particular time. I gave that up a few years back and I don't miss it at all. Now I am focusing on my writing.
@slash23 (102)
• Philippines
3 Nov 08
Hmmmm.... online business!? Do you mind sharing what it is? You're one busy superwoman..!? Wish I could manage my time that well. Kudos to you.
• United States
2 Nov 08
Well, first let me say this: The grass is always greener on the other side, or so it may seem. I know how you feel, but right now I'm on the other end. I am going to be starting my new job this week, and it is a big change from being a stay at home mom. I miss having a little money of my own though. I also feel that I need some "grown up" conversation in my life again. I will probalby regret going back to work once I'm there for a while, but we all wish we had things we dont have. It's crazy how that works. I suggest (if you like to read) that you get the book Chicken Soup for the working mom's soul. It's great, and it has many situations like the ones we are both going through in it. I think you might like it.
@slash23 (102)
• Philippines
3 Nov 08
"grass is always greener on the other side..." Yeah, i thought about this a lot too. Even my husband is telling me that I might miss work eventually. I guess it's really a matter of accepting (and loving) the situation you are currently in. Re Chicken Soup, thanks. Will check it out.
@jonesy123 (3950)
• United States
2 Nov 08
I chose to stay at home with my kids. We made the decision because we felt it was better for our kids. We didn't want them to be raised by strangers. They are reaping the rewards academically as well as in emotional stability. They may have done as well in a daycare setting, but may not have learned as much independence as they did at home. At least that's the observation I made when I compare them to kids their age. Of course that's a matter of how you raise your kids. Also, to me in a daycare setting the kids do not get as much individual attention as they need. My middle one is on the shy side. For me, she would not be where she is now, if I wouldn't have gotten her out of her shell. I don't think that would have happened in a daycare setting where she would just go with the flow and let others do things first. I left a well paying job. There are some sacrifices of course to just live of one salary. We don't take vacations every year, and if we do we often stay nearby. My kids can't join all the sports activities and such they want. They have to learn to pick and chose. They don't have the newest toy on the market either, lol. On the other hand they love having one of us at home. As to your situation. Maybe you can work out a part-time or even work-from-home situation with your employer. They have become more flexible than ever in that regard. You have some budget research to do and some soul searching. Staying at home is not for everybody, either. Personally, I work some on the side to allow for some extras for us. It's all done from home. Point is, where there is a will there is a way. If this is something you truly want for yourself and your family, then you'll find a way to do it. If not, don't feel guilty or feel like you wasted time away. Just enjoy the time you have with your kids. Well, keep us updated on the decision you'll make.
1 person likes this
• United Kingdom
3 Nov 08
I also find the same things as you regarding how well kids do. I try not to compare my kids to others but you sometimes can't help it can you? I noticed that children who were looked after by their parents are almost always better behaved than those looked after by child minders or put in day care. Of course, this will vary depending on how good the parent or carer is. Both of my kids are very advanced in a lot of ways. They might have turned out that way anyway but I am sure that they are the way they are because of me. As you say, they get the individual attention, as a parent, I know which areas they need to work on and don't just make them do what they are "supposed" to be doing. It's not too bad with my 8 year old because his teacher has given him tasks and challenges appropriate to him. That's great but, as there are only 2 more years at his particular school and he's already capable of the same things as those 2 years above him, the school can't advance him much further whereas I can do that at home and, of course, if I was working all the time them I wouldn't be able to do that for him and he'd get frustrated by being stuck at a level where he shouldn't be. If you see what I mean. I'm a little disappointed with my 3 year old son's nursery. They do seem to be sticking with where they "should" be and not really encouraging or challenging the brighter children who are already past where they should be. If my 3 year old wasn't socially ready for nursery then I think he's still be better off at home with me.
@patgalca (14649)
• Orangeville, Ontario
3 Nov 08
I became a stay-at-home mom not by choice. When I had my first daughter I was single, the father was not in the picture. The day I went back to work I found myself crying in the lunch room after having just dropped my daughter off at the sitter's. It was heart-wrenching but I made the most of the moments when we were together. I played with her when we got home at night and as she got older she helped me cook dinner (she would stand on a chair and stir the cooking pasta). When I was pregnant with my second daughter I made a remark to the receptionist at my work that I didn't want to come back to work after the baby was born. I had every intention of doing so but I developed fibromyalgia while on maternity leave and could not go back to work. That comment came back to bite me in the a$$ because the insurance company heard about it and thought I was faking it. I struggled with the illness for years but with the help of a therapist I learned to find the blessings in having the illness. The biggest one... I was able to stay home and raise my kids. We have been struggling financially for 12 years now (insurance company made a lump sum settlement; never did believe me even though I had 10 different doctors backing me up). But my mother says that at home with my kids is exactly where I belonged. Even though my kids are now 12 and 15, they still have their mother home when they get home from school and they can come and talk to me immediately about their day. The illness has limited me in being the best mother since I don't cook every night and sometimes just can't get up off the couch, but my kids have learned to become a little more independent and judging by their accomplishments in school and athletics, not to mention their morals and attitudes, I must be doing something right. I know it's a personal choice but I have seen what happens to kids whose parents both work and they come home to an empty house after school. They just seem to be missing something and aren't happy. Again, I was FORCED to stay home but I wouldn't change it for anything.
1 person likes this
@Gwapako_28 (2142)
• Philippines
3 Nov 08
I am a working mom too. I work 8 hours a day 6 days a week. My mom is the one who took care of my 5 years old son. And every sunday and when i got home from work is the precious time i spend with my son. I am so glad i have my mom who is always there for me. He did everything for me. So, i always get him bags, i bring her too to watch movie and we went to restaurant and eat. Because i owe a lot with my mom.
@mohommed (60)
• India
3 Nov 08
Hi Slash23, Dont feel bad about this.I know you are double minded now because of the situations.My suggestion for all working moms who at one end you wants to be with their kids and other end financial position does not permits for that.Well,I would say that dont quit your job bcoz in year your kids will start going to school.And then you will be left alone with no financial support for you.You yourself mentioned you are earning good so dont leave it as ver lucky people on earth get so good job.You also think that your daughters will need good education and you definitely want them to get all good thing in life which without money you cant even imagine.Just be patient and think twice. Bye
1 person likes this
@sid556 (31003)
• United States
3 Nov 08
I get what you are saying. I have done both sides of this. There were times when my girls were very young when I was able to be home for them but only because I worked part time at night and did a lot of side work...odd jobs and babysat as well. Then I got divorced and raised all 4 girls on my own. Oh yes...my heart was always pulling me to be home with the kids. It was and still is quite difficult. I only have one at home now and I hate being at work when she is home even though she is now 14...almost 15. Anyway...I'm almost on the other side of it all now and my girls have all grown up fine and very responsible. We are all very close and what I think they learned from all my working is that they too have to work for a living. They are very independent, strong people. I have no doubt that if I were in a situation where I could have stayed at home with my kids that I would have grabbed it. I didn't have that choice so I just made the best of it. At times it was very tough because they really did want me to be there and it was painful to not be able to all the time. Now that they are grown, they understand better why things were as they were and we are all very very close. They know that I loved them and did my best. I understand your feelings but don't let guilt get to you. You have to do what you have to do to provide for your family. Your kid's will understand. it's tough, huh?
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Nov 08
I quit my job 3 days before I was supposed to go back after my maternity leave. It was a very hard thing for me to do. I had always worked and had always contributed financially to our marriage. It was my husband's idea for me to stay home and I wasn't as open to it at first. It was hard on me the first few months but I love it and I have absolutely no regrets. The money was tight for us for awhile but he has since had a promotion- he makes far more than we did with 2 of us working. I have been home for nearly 10 years now and I wouldn't trade being a stay at home mom for anything in the world. I have seen all the 'firsts' for both my girls and I have never had to leave them with strangers at daycare. I have been here with every boo boo and every milestone. My girls are happy, healthy and well adjusted kids. I am able to volunteer at school and do all those fun things that I might not have been able to do if I had still been working. If you can financially do it and it's what you want, do it! You will be so happy that you did- and so will your kids!
@earthsong (589)
• United States
2 Nov 08
I was a stay at home mom for 14 years, and while I missed the socialization with other adults, I wouldn't change it for anything. I have been working for the last 4 years and only because there are bills to pay. In a perfect world I would be able to work part-time, my kids are all in school full-time now, but there are doctor's appointments, school functions, etc. that I really miss being able to devote my full attention to. I don't think I would quit working all together, its great to be away from home and be around other adults on a regular basis.
1 person likes this
@roque20 (518)
• Philippines
2 Nov 08
I am still single here but i want to be a stay at home mom with business because in business you are the boss and you have your employees to work with it,all you have to do is to monitor or whatever.Your right that we need to give time to our kids,when i have kids i would like to give them time and take care of them. I would work online or any sideline that doesn't affect the time of being with my children.Happy posting!
@eden32 (3976)
• United States
2 Nov 08
I've been a working (outside the home) mom, and a stay at home mom at different points in the 20 years since I had my first child. When my two oldest were young I owned a retail store & worked 60+ hours a week at my store. At least when it was my business I was able to have my kids there quite a few of those hours. I now work from home. I am able to work just a few hours each week and spend most of my time with my family. Are you also a single parent? Or does your partner work full-time too? I found when I looked at my life style, and my budget there was quite a bit I could cut out without missing at all. There have been sacrifices in order to stay home with my children, but for me they were worth it.
1 person likes this
@070707 (302)
• Indonesia
2 Nov 08
Wow. Your typed writing are so long. It need more than a minute for me to read, and it is become worst because my english is not good enough. LOL. If I would say that you do what you can do now. I have an almost 16 month aged son. Me and my wife are a full time business owner. We are not paying a babysitter for my son. Since we are to affraid to let our son to other people. So, we take our son wherever we go. Including at the work. It is hard, but we can handle it still. Maybe you can consider to have your own business? Not have to be the big one. Something that you can do at home.
1 person likes this
@postergal (214)
• Egypt
2 Nov 08
well I totally agree with about sickness/accidents being messages from you inner God. BUT are you sure you only want to limit your life to just a personal life. I mean you could find a part time job or even better start you own project, anything that combines you have a successful career and spend more time with your kids
1 person likes this
• Philippines
2 Nov 08
I am a working mom, too. It's good to stay at home because you have more time to your kids and family. Sometimes, because of crisis, you have to go out and find job for family esp. for your kids. It increases your self-esteem, professional growth and personal also. try to think of pros and cons of your decision,then, try to decide to a more advantageous position.
@xtedaxcvg (3190)
• Philippines
2 Nov 08
Well, I'm not a mom, but I'll leave a comment anyway. :) I guess if you're really feeling that your life is beginning to whiz past you without even really noticing it, and your kids are growing faster and you feel that you're not there to see them grow, then I think you should consider your options. But you should always weigh both sides first before making a decision. Well, just my 2 cents. :D
1 person likes this
• Philippines
6 Nov 08
i go though that every day of my life since i started working. i have 2 grown kids from my previous marriage. i didn't have to work while i was married to my ex because he is well off so i was able to give my 2 kids my full time---and it was great! then things got bad and we got an annulment so i had to work to raise my kids. now that i remarried and have a 1 year old baby, things are getting worse by the minute. i worked while i was pregnant which caused me to go on preterm labor so i had to take a leave and waited till i gave birth. then i had to get back to work when my baby turned 2 months old---which was the most horrible feeling for me----i had a very bad case of separation anxiety... and i still do...i need to work to help my husband support the kids, and as much as i would like to stay home and care for my babies, i just cant. i got a great job who's been so good to me. i earn far better than my husband so i really am so torn. i wish i can find a home based job that pays as much as my current job so i can have the best of both worlds----but that's close to impossible...sob sob sob
@slash23 (102)
• Philippines
7 Nov 08
well..what can i say, good luck to both of us! :)