When is it time for a stay at home mom to go to work?

@miamilady (4924)
United States
August 13, 2007 11:14am CST
I will probably begin looking for a job this fall. I have mixed feelings about it. It has become necessary for me to start bringing in an income. My children are old enough, I suppose. One is going into middle school and the other into highschool. I did this once already...I went to work part time when my youngest started kindergarten. It worked out okay, I guess. Of course, it presents it's challenges. As a stay at home mom, I do the majority of the cleaning. I will have to get more cooperation on that once I go back to work. My youngest would still prefer for me to stay at home, he's a bit of a mommas boy, I don't mean that in a bad way. So...what do you think? If you're a stay at home mom, is there a time that you think you will go back to work? Will you remaine a stay at home mom, then housewife indefinitely or do you plan to go back to work when your children reach a specific age (or grade)?
14 people like this
34 responses
@agnescav (566)
• United States
13 Aug 07
Can you work parttime? I think it is dumber to leave a 15 year old home alone than an 8 year old!!!!
1 person likes this
@miamilady (4924)
• United States
14 Aug 07
Part time is what I'm going to look for. I know what you mean about the 15 year old.
2 people like this
@sid556 (30998)
• United States
14 Aug 07
sorry to butt in but I just had to add that I agree with this. My boss doesn't understand why I can't do extra nights during the week ...after all my girl is now 13 almost 14 and no longer needs a sitter! I work full time putting all my hours into the week ends except for one nite. the reason I do this is because she is with her dad on the weekends. If I could get rid of that one nite..i would. If could find a way to fit in more hours into those 3 days that she is with dad...i'd do it. I would have been much more at ease leaving her alone 3 years ago than I am now! I told my boss those exact words that you wrote! I recently gave her dad a key to my place and asked him to drop by randomly to check on her on that one night that she is home alone.
1 person likes this
@miamilady (4924)
• United States
14 Aug 07
Did your boss never have children?? Did you ever see the email that went around about internet predators? I will leave my daughter home alone for SHORT periods of time, but not for long periods of time. I know many teens are left home alone, and they do okay, but there are enought that run into problems, that it is a genuine concern.
1 person likes this
@chertsy (3804)
• United States
13 Aug 07
Don't feel bad, your not the only one. My youngest starts school next week, so I will be right along with you looking for a job. You can tell your family that everyone has to work as a team. If you have to, write up a list of what everyone has to do every day. Once you start working, your husband won't have any excuse for you to do everything and him not. I'm not saying he doesn't help you out, I know from talking to other women that once they come home from work it doesn't matter, that they have to do everything. I want to go back to work, it's been 11 years so it will be hard. Now I just need to find a job with hours of 7-2. Good Luck with the job hunting.
1 person likes this
@miamilady (4924)
• United States
14 Aug 07
Thanks. You too.
1 person likes this
@chertsy (3804)
• United States
14 Aug 07
Your welcome.
@squaretile (3833)
• Singapore
14 Aug 07
i think this is one of the toughest decisions for mums to make. have you considered working from home? are there jobs that could pay a decent salary if you work from home? I think i saw someone's avatar recently that said she's a WAHM - working at home mum. most people say that it's best not to miss out on your child's growing up and that would apply to your youngest, but then again I've seen how some mums have strained relationships with their kids cos they are around 24/7 and there's no room to breathe. and the kids feel like mum's always on their case, adn the mums get stressed out trying to manage the kids all by themselves. i hope you find a solution that works for you, miamilady. keep us updated!
1 person likes this
@miamilady (4924)
• United States
14 Aug 07
I've looked at the work from home option, on and off since I've had children. I looked very seriously at the options last year. I haven't been able to find anything that suits me. I think for now, the alternative will have to be a part time job. I'll keep you posted. I'm waiting til the get settled back into school before I start seriously looking. My daughter starts school this Thursday, my son will start the following Monday. Thanks for your response.
1 person likes this
@Michele21 (3094)
• United States
23 Aug 07
That is a tough one!! My daughter is in First grade this year and my son is only two so I say I will go back to work once he starts school. But I don't know if it will happen!! It is hard being a Mommy and taking care of the house and everyone, husband's included!! But I think the extra spending money would be nice, I guess it will depend on our financial situation when my little boy starts school, it would be nice to stay home and clean and do whatever while the kids are in school.
1 person likes this
@carlaabt (3505)
• United States
14 Aug 07
I think that the time that a stay at home mom should go back to work is different in every family. A lot of moms never choose to stay at home, other moms always do. It really depends. Right now I'm a stay at home mom. We only have 1 son, he's 18 months old. We would like to have at least one more child, and we have agreed that I should stay at home as long as we can afford for me to. I might decide I want to go back to work after all of my kids are in school, though. I won't know until we get to that point. If I was in your situation, I would look for a job that would allow me to be home when my kids were home. Unless you absolutely need a full time income. If you were working a part time job, it would also make it easier for you to adjust and for you to still get all the stuff done at home that you will probably still be expected to do. I would definitely set up some chores for the kids, though, too.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
14 Aug 07
I think we housewives should also look for something to let ourselves grow and be as we are. And one way of proving our being a woman is to explore to the outside world. To work and somehow earn for ourselves. Of course there is nothing wrong with being a housewives and caring the children. It is a very nice and good thing to do to personally care the house and our children. But in your case that your child is already in school I think you can now find a work. Maybe just part time for the mean time so you can adjust the new pressure of caring family and having a work. Just go for what you think is good for you.
1 person likes this
@cutepenguin (6455)
• Canada
13 Aug 07
I don't have kids yet, but I plan to work part-time. We need the income, mostly. My husband gets a bit stressed out at times, and I think that if he were the sole income, he might find it a bit stressful. If I work parttime, he always has a bit of a safety net, because I could just work full time and he could stay home with the kids. Plus, my clients would get upset if I just stopped working. I need to wait until all of my students are finished.
1 person likes this
@Lakota12 (42681)
• United States
13 Aug 07
I did nt want to wait to go to work but it ended up the kids were grown when I di d and we moved so much I ended working at the motels we stayed in the I found I could go temp so I did then I really found a job I likes building puter boots and then had t oleave that job to move again. So as you live in the same place all the time find something you enjoy nd have fun with it and the kids are both in school go for it hugs
1 person likes this
@wiccania (3360)
• United States
13 Aug 07
I don't really think that there should be a "set time" I think it should be a matter of what the family needs. If you absolutely need the income, or if your child absolutely needs you to stay home a little longer. My son is starting Kindergarten this year, so I plan on getting a part time job while he's in school. I definitely need the income. Since his dad works a job where he'll be able to work from home, I'm going to see if he can work from here from time to time so that perhaps I can work more hours, and he can have some 1 on 1 time with his son after school. He doesn't get the chance to be the daddy very often, and to be perfectly honest there's never been a time that I wasn't there to tell him what our son wants/needs, so I think it would be a good thing for both of them.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Aug 07
I am not a mom but I had one. My mom was a stay home mom until the family needed her to work outside the home.I think that as long as mom is happy at home and most of all there is enough money for her to stay home, then she should stay at home. But if she wants to go to work, or the family needs the second income, then off to work she should go.It sounds like your kids are old enough.Give your youngest some time to get used to the idea. It took me some time.And he getting to be a big man, middle school. Besides with any luck , he may be going out for soccer or baseball and he will be too busy playing to miss you.Good Luck with the job search.
1 person likes this
@Ravenladyj (22937)
• United States
13 Aug 07
Well I went back to work (fulltime) with my youngest when he was 7 mths and I started to ween him off the boob, with my daughter I had to go back (fulltime)when she was only 5 weeks old and when I got preg with my youngest I retired for good and I've been a fulltime sahm ever since.. I think it should and will vary from mother to mother/parent to parent really I mean no two situations are the same so its only realistic that what works/worked for one won't/didnt etc for another....I think that when a parent is READY to go back on all levels then THATS the time they should go back...
1 person likes this
@mamasan34 (6521)
• United States
14 Aug 07
I know a lot of stay at home moms who go back to work either part time or full time when their kids start schooling. But a lot of them end up staying at home because of their committments to their kids extra-curricular activities. As for myself, I have always worked, up until the last few months. I did work a part time job for some time because we needed the extra money, and I am looking for another job whether it be full or part time. It is hard to go back to work! Especially when you realize you have to work extra hard to get the housework done and work outside of the home!
@miamilady (4924)
• United States
14 Aug 07
My children's extra curricular activities and my involvement with their schools are some of my concerns.
• United States
21 Nov 07
Hello! I have been a stay at home mom since my youngest two were 2 years old. They are twins who will be twelve next July. I plan to start seeking employment when school starts next year, and the reason I waited until they were going to be twelve is because they may have to be home alone for an hour or so either in the mornings or in the afternoons, depending on what I am working. By state law, they must be twelve years old to stay home alone for an hour or so. Before that, and I would have to pay a babysitter, and considering I would probably be working for minimum wage, I can't afford child care in addition to the other expenses associated with working outside the home; gas, food, vehicle upkeep, etc. I agree with you that there will have to be some cooperation on cleaning and housework when I go to work myself. But then, at twelve, they should be learning how to do all the housework, since that is knowledge that everyone (male and female) should have. And with that in mind, I am now teaching mine how to operate the washing machine, and how to properly wash dishes (you know, use hot water and rinse well), and also about how much easier it is to find things when everything is in its place. I see that you posted this four months ago, and hope that you have had good luck both in finding a job and in your children adjusting to having a working mom versus a stay at home mom. Have a great day!
@pumpkinjam (6267)
• United Kingdom
25 Aug 07
I don't think there is an ideal time. Personally, I am having to look for work now - my youngest child is only 2 and it is through necesity rather than choice. If I had the choice, I would want my youngest to have got used to being at school so maybe when he was 7 or 8 because he'd be settled in school and my oldest would be going to secondary school (high school) so I would feel comfortable working part time around their school hours. I don't know about full time though. I'd want to be around for my kids outside school hours as much as possible until they are 16 but I suppose if you feel comfortable leaving them elsewhere or on their own before that then that's not too bad but I would never choose to work before my youngest is at school. I would hate to be "just" a housewife. Once my kids are both at school, that's 6 hours a day, 5 days a week so I'd want to do something although I think I'd probably rather go back to college than work until I feel the kids are old enough to look after themselves and whatever age that will be will depend on each child.
@jcj_111776 (3220)
• Philippines
23 Aug 07
Hi Mia. What you said was almost the same thing most stay at home moms do. When their children are old enough to take care of themselves, they go back to the work force. As for me, I'll still have to wait for a little more. My son had just started preschool and he's only turning 4 this September. To be honest, I don't see my husband doing what I am doing for our son and for the house. He can barely help me do the dishes, let alone take care of our son when I'm away at work. You really have to tell your kids to help you now with the household chores. Because you can't do everything while you're also working. You'll be so stressed out in no time. As soon as I feel that my son is ready and able to take care mostly of himself, I'll surely go back to work. I'm a Nutritionist and I always wanted to work at a hospital. I can apply for a job at restaurants or other related areas but I don't know. I get a sense of fulfillment whenever I'm working at a hospital. So, goodluck Mia.^_^
16 Aug 07
For me, I plan on helping my husband out in his business once all my kids are in school full time. My mind may change as time goes on but rite now that is my current plan.
@Rozie37 (15499)
• Turkmenistan
15 Aug 07
I am not a mom, but I know that if I were, I would want to be there for my children as much as possible. That being said, we know that this is not always a reality, so we have to learn to do what needs to be done and not feel guilty about it.
• United States
14 Aug 07
I have been a stay home mom for over 5 years. I have recently started college in the evening and with our new move have had to start earning an income myself. Luckily my son is starting kindergarten this year so he will be in school all day and my mother in law can take care of him after school while I go to college.
• India
14 Aug 07
well thats a choice u have to take and decide on ur own.going to work needs certain compramises.and some discipline from everybody at home but things can always be arranged esp.when ur kids are so big.its nice have a mom at home when u come home to cater to ur needs but it is ore nice to have a brainy mom who can manage home and work and help them financially when needed in the future.it also make ur proud that we are able to contribute to their development money wise -which means more than all the physical labour we do to them.thats from my experience dear!!
@trk918 (254)
• United States
14 Aug 07
From a single working mom... If I had the option I would consider parttime work while the kids are in school. You need the adult conversations but working fulltime I miss out on a lot of the school activities because I can't get off work to go. It's very hard sometime to juggle it all.