26 answers

For Those Moms Who Gave up a Career to Stay Home... or Thought About It

So so torn... IF it were possible to give up my job - which I love, which pays over 100K per year.. which is flexible with my schedule (other than occaional overnight travel) to stay home with my 4 and 2 year old, should I? For those of you who have given up the career and financial upside to such a job, what did you experience if you stayed home? For those who stayed working - any insight? So torn and feeling there is no "right"answer. Thanks!!!

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

WOW - what insightful and SUPPORTIVE responses. Thanks for sharing your stories and experiences and reminding me there is no "right" answer. I will explore the flexibility in my job and make the most of that. I also will focus on saving some money so that maybe when they are a bit older, I can have a schedule that allows me to be "home when they get home" from school.... I truly appreciate all of the comments. Thank you!

Featured Answers

i gave up a really good career.my area of expertize is not broad and i cannot just get back to it. i have to be living in certain cities to be able to do that: NYC, DC etc.
I worked full time from home for years before my kids were born and then another 4 after they were born. when my daughter started having health issues, i found myself not be able to be as productive as before. my brain was gone while working, or my brain was worrying about work while i was spending time with my kids.
it's been 2 years now since i became a stay at home mom, and truly i don't know if i made the right decision. i struggle with it a lot. mind this, i had no choice, i had to quit so that my daughter can have me help her with whatever: doctor visits, school (she needs extra help). that part i love. i love and truly appreciate being here for my kids all the time.
the other part is that i have completely lost myself. i am scared to think what will happen when i am able to go back to work. what will i do, and will i ever find a satisfying job.
it is a very personal decision. very personal, and very difficult. i hope you are ok with whatever you decide. i am still not. i am not there yet.

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

By saying "giving up career", it sounds like you really don't want to do it. What if you put your career ON HOLD instead~~ for a time, that would be the better way to reckon with it. If it's totally flexible tho, and your kids arent lacking in love and quality time with you, you should just keep working since you enjoy it so much. Happy kids have happy moms. If you arent happy staying home it wont be worth it.

4 moms found this helpful

If you love your job, keep working. Your kids will see a mom who does something that makes her happy AND still thinks that the sun rises and sets on them.

And, honestly, that money's nothing to sneeze at either. I can't imagine giving up that kind of job in an economy where, if I changed my mind, I just might not be able to get it back.

You're right - there isn't a "right" answer. But there is a "right for your family" answer. My suspicion is that you already have it.

4 moms found this helpful

I stayed home had a blast.......but now the kids are just about grown and where am I. Most of my friends were to busy with their careers good bye. Nothing toward SS,no pension, no retirement and the boredom while everyones at school. I mean you can only clean the house so much and shopping gets old. I say stay with your job the way you describe it you may not ever find something like it again. Just enjoy every moment and make the most out of them as possible with your kids. The longer your out of the working field the harder it will be to get back in.

3 moms found this helpful

I did leave my job, but here is the thing........I did not "love" my job. You do! Instead of quitting why not figure out a compromise. For example, less hours, or working 4 days, etc.... Or don't compromise if you what you are doing now works! You say your schedule is flexible. Working with a family is not perfect, but guess what..........there is no perfect. I guess what I am trying to say is........... If you are thinking of leaving your job because you feel guilty you are not at home, fight it. You can be a good Mom and have a career too. Lots of women do it.

2 moms found this helpful

For me it was an easier decision. I was a legal secretary, which I loved. However, I had long hours and only made $55K. There are still days where I'll check job postings, but right now I'm happy with my decision. It's been 1 1/2 years since I quit. It's not all roses staying home, there's lots of work to be done and there are days where you long to talk to another adult. Then there are days where your kids are so wonderful to be around that you can't imagine not being there. I'd have to say that if I had your set up, I don't think I would leave. As much as I would want to, 100K would put us in a great situation and provide a college future for my kids. At $55K and with the long hours I would have to put in, at least $35K would go to a nanny. Minus taxes, commuting costs, etc, I wouldn't be making a lot of money. My plan now is to go back to work when my kids go to school all day. I always say that when the days I want to go back to work out way the days that I want to stay home, than I will go back to work, but right now the days I love staying home out way going back to work. The "right" answer would be finding out what works best for you and your family and doing it.

2 moms found this helpful

DM,

I am home with my kids right now... I gave up a very nice paying job 3 years ago. I had better benefits and better pay then my husband did at the time and a flexible work schedule. What I looked at was how much having my income really gave us - after daycare, gas, work clothes, lunches, eating out dinner more, etc. I considered that with us being in a higher tax bracket as well. I also thought about the intangibles.. leaving our kids at a daycare 7am and not seeing them until at least 4pm and possibly as late as 6pm. My kids go to bed at 8pm. After homework, dinner, baths... if I was getting home at 5 or 6 - I would get MAYBE an hour with my kids every weekday?

So I made the hard choice to stay home. I still miss working. I never longed to be a "House Frau".... I never hoped for a husband that could support me. Women told me how "lucky" I was to have a husband that could support us.. and I just felt blah. Fortunately my husband IS wonderful and he sees this as something we are BOTH doing for the best of our kids and family. He knows I miss working. I miss time with adults. I miss the satisfaction of having a paycheck. I miss the sense of accomplishment of a good review, hitting goals, getting a bonus, getting a raise, a promotion... I did finally finish my bachelors degree when I was home. (I had been going to school and working.) I am pregnant right now, but I plan on going back for a masters in the next 6 months. It's important for me to maintain who I am outside of a parent.

You really have to do what you think is best for you and your family... but BOTH need to weigh in. Some Moms are a better parent getting some time away, staying home is not for everyone. Some Moms staying home is a dream come true. Some families decide its better for everyone if Dad stays home!

If you do decide to stay home - stay in things you're interested in. Yoga class, a photography class, continuing ed through a junior college.. Stuff that lets you be an adult and explore your own interests.

Good luck, whatever you decide!

2 moms found this helpful

i gave up a really good career.my area of expertize is not broad and i cannot just get back to it. i have to be living in certain cities to be able to do that: NYC, DC etc.
I worked full time from home for years before my kids were born and then another 4 after they were born. when my daughter started having health issues, i found myself not be able to be as productive as before. my brain was gone while working, or my brain was worrying about work while i was spending time with my kids.
it's been 2 years now since i became a stay at home mom, and truly i don't know if i made the right decision. i struggle with it a lot. mind this, i had no choice, i had to quit so that my daughter can have me help her with whatever: doctor visits, school (she needs extra help). that part i love. i love and truly appreciate being here for my kids all the time.
the other part is that i have completely lost myself. i am scared to think what will happen when i am able to go back to work. what will i do, and will i ever find a satisfying job.
it is a very personal decision. very personal, and very difficult. i hope you are ok with whatever you decide. i am still not. i am not there yet.

2 moms found this helpful

As a 44 yo mom, here is my experience: I grew up from 1966 to 1988 with a mom who had a career. She was never the "stay at home" mom or "room mom." She was both internally and externally motivated and although I wanted her to be their for field trips and school "things" I learned to appreciate and really respect her as a role model, a woman, and as someone who brought so much to our household. When she came home her time was focused on us. She made a very clear break from work to be with us and we knew it.
I lost a daughter due to congenital heart defects and then had twin boys. I gave up a very lucrative multiple 6 figure job to stay home with my boys as I felt so lucky to have two healthy children. As I was starting to think about going back to work, I had a daughter 18 mos later. Three in diapers!! I did this for 3 years during which time my husband who fell in love with me as an independent woman, making her own way in the world, saw me become a resentful, stressed out, and different woman. It was a very tough three years and even though I was able to afford babysitters to go out on weekends and have a cleaning lady come in to help every two weeks, I was stressed out. My husband talked me into going back to work, not because of money, we were fine fortunately, but because of my mental state.
I have now been back in the workforce 3 year later, and let me tell you, even though it was only a 3 year lag, it was very difficult getting back to where I was. If there is anyway in the world you can keep doing what you do, maintain the adult working world in your life, I promise you it can work out and you will be a happier person for it (unless of course you've always dreamed of being a stay at home mom.)
The caveat I bring to the table is that I have help - I have a part-time nanny who picks my kids up from school in the afternoons and chaufeurs them to their activities. I have lessened my schedule so that I meet them at home with dinner started. If I had kept my job during all of this I truly believe I would have had even more flexibility and much less of a pay loss.
Best wishes to you - explore you options but remember that it's so hard to find a job/ career that you really enjoy, good people for whom to work, and a stellar pay check. Keep it if you can, and you can make it work. Your kids will benefit from your outside interests, experience, and the role model you bring to your children, either boy or girl.

2 moms found this helpful

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