Do You Plan to Go Back to Work?

Updated on April 07, 2011
N.S. asks from Muldoon, TX
23 answers

All you SAH Mamas out there, I am just curious what your thoughts or plans are. I've been home full time since I was 5 months pregnant. (Began so early because we relocated, so it didn't make sense to start a job for 3-4 months)

My son is almost 2.5 now and DH and I are pretty much in agreement that I would stay home until he was in school and I am doing home-preschool with him. After that, I am not certain if we'll have another baby or I'll go back to my former career (I'll be back at the bottom by then, or start a new career)

Lately I've noticed a lot of questions from people or subtle hints like I should be working now that my son is getting older. Like family suggesting that I help out in one of the family businesses or learn a new skill so I can "work" from home. Although I wouldn't mind some cash flowing in, I kind of find it insulting that everyone else seems to have a time line in mind for me. Like I'm supposed to jump up and go back to the office now that my son is a toddler.

I guess I am just curious what other moms are thinking or planning with regard to work outside the home or if you too are feeling the pressure of others?

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Washington DC on

there are two good reasons to go back to work.
you want to.
you need to.
screw what people think you should do.

5 moms found this helpful

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answers from Cincinnati on

you go back if YOU think you should.. dont listen to anyone giving you a timeline.
I personally did not have a choice to stay home...I would LOVE to have had the option. You do what you feels right. my opinion does not matter BUT if I were in your shoes, I would take that time that he is in school, work out, spic and span the house, do yardwork and make a kick butt dinner every night..but that is what makes ME happy....and may not be your forte'

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

This is a very timely question for me. Both of my boys are in full time school now and I have been asked this question. It has also been implied that I do nothing all day and that I am lazy. The thing is...we really don't need the money. We live quite comfortably on my husband's income-could things be MORE comfortable? Oc course. But by more comfortable I mean frequent travel, country club and McMansion. I really don't want or need any of this. We already have a ton saved for retirement and for the kids college. So really-what would be the point of working if I don't have to?? Who knows-maybe I AM lazy but I just can't see working when there is the choice not to. And working would definitely add a whole dimension of stress to our lives-even part time. And I would want to be home in the summers too. I don't know-maybe it is because I never really loved my jobs-they were just jobs. I never had a "calling" to do any one thing. I can see if someone is passionate about their career field then maybe it would be nice to go back. Also-I volunteer a ton for the school and various causes. I hate that people discount that because it isn't "paid".

What I am actually thinking about doing is in a couple years starting my own business. Once the boys are in Jr High they will not need me to be home as much because they probably won't be home much themselves. Not sure what I will do yet but am constantly brainstorming this. I really don't think I could ever work for someone else again.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

2nding SuzT.

Personally... yes. When I'm done with school & kiddo's in college (both will happen in about 8 years).

My mum was a SAHM. It was WONDERFUL for us. She was there every single day. She came on our fieldtrips. She helped us with homework. She took us on adventures. I have no idea why caring for OTHER people's children is a valid career... but caring for your own gets looked down upon.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsfield on

Just smile and tell them that you enjoy the job you have NOW very much. That should shut them up!
Don't let other people pressure you into doing what THEY think you should do. If you want to be a SAHM, then do it. You don't want to look back with any regrets because you were trying to please them.
I'm a SAHM, and I love it. It's what feels right for me. Some moms work and love it, which is what's right for them. I have no plans on going back to work when my children hit a certain age- I'm just playing it all by ear :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I personally will never go back. I hated the corporate politics, hated retail hours and pretty much didn't like having a boss in general. Someone telling me when to come in and when to leave. When to eat. No thanks. Can you tell I hated having a job. Although I met many great friends along the way.
I have 4 franchises on the internet which I manage part time and it will allow me to never have a job again. Or a boss. :)
Best thing I have ever done. I say look at other alternatives. I do need to get out of the house so I needed something but I wanted something fun.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Savannah on

My husband is 17 years older than me. We both got off to a late start, and basically both of us were starting over from scratch (in everything!) when we got married 5 1/2 years ago. We both had debt from our previous lives, I was leaving my career to move to TX and get married, and he was just restarting his career. These 5 years have been a whirlwind! We are debt free (except a mortgage), have a 529 for college, and retirement through IRAs and a 401(k), and some cash in the bank. But because we have 2 boys to think of (cars, colleges, travel opportunities, etc) and our retirements, and my husband's age, yeah, I'm going to go back to work. I'm a sahm mom now to a 4yr old and a 16 month old. My plan is once I've gotten residency established here, I will start going back to school part time. By the time my youngest begins kindergarten, I will finish up school full time, and then begin working. I will work the hours they are in school (or as close as possible) but want to be "mom" when they're home from school. I can work more as they get older and are in highschool and afterschool sports or extracurricular activities. This way, my husband doesn't have to work until he's 100; I will put all of the money I earn into other things (10% tithes, 50% savings, 20% college, 10% charity, 10% vacation fund). That's because tithes, charity, savings, college, insurances, and living expenses come out of my husband's income. We can live off his income, but I want to build a cushion so he's not stressed about my old age since he feels my retirement is his responsibility even though I'm younger.
I don't feel pressure from anyone that counts. Occasionally you get a judgmental working mom that looks down on you for staying home, which is just as bad as a judgmental sahm looking down on someone for working outside the home. We're all doing what we can, as we're able, for our families. As long as we're doing the best we can and striving to grow and improve, it shouldn't matter whether we're working in the home or out.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

I think it's an ideal situation where a Mother (or Father if he's more of a caregiver than Mom) should be able to spend the the first 4 years with child - until pre-K. Staying at home doesn't mean you don't socialize the child - be part of a Mom's playgroup, go to kid's museums and zoos with other kids/parents, etc.

It's sad that people think a person is wasting their opportunities, success and financial worth by being with their child and acting as a parent should. There is PLENTY of time to return to work after child is off to daily school.

I wish I had the opportunity to be a SAHM... 1st time around I was a single Mom having to work full time and go to school part time. Then when I entered a great relationship and he made more money... I went to school full time and work part time. Now I'm married and working as Nurse full time, pregnant with #2 and plan on staying at LEAST 6 months out if financially possible with #2!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I'm blessed to have support from all my family to stay home with kids. Try to focus on whats best for your family and if need be put them in their place.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Corpus Christi on

i've worked at home for many years now - it's what works best for me. i can work a couple hours a day and entertain my toddler all the time and still pull in a few thousand bucks a month. i used to work 40 hours a week and earned less than i make now and spent it on daycare. hope you find what works for you.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Stationed Overseas on

I've been a SAHM for almost three years now. I have no plans to ever return to work. My husband and I both believe that a child needs a parent available 24/7 regardless of their age. If I worked this would not be possible. My own mother went back to work when I was in elementary school and I think if she hadn't my siblings and my lives would have turned out much different for the better. Instead my siblings and I learned some pretty harsh lessons and grew up way too fast.
I feel no pressure from anyone to return to work except maybe some previous co-workers that want me to come back. My in-laws never ask and don't think it's any of their business, my mother doesn't ask either. But I am one of those people who could care less about what other people think about my life. If you are happy to SAH then by all means SAH and tell everyone to mind their own business.


answers from Killeen on

I felt the same way you felt but it's been 9 years since I made the decision NEVER to go back to a job. Once I did that I heard the same comments you did. What I found was that many people don't like it when you have the courage to live your life the way you see fit. Ever heard of the term "misery loves company"? Well that applied in my situation. Not only did I decide not to go back to a job, we started a business that we could do from home or anywhere in the world.

I started dreaming bigger and when my lifestyle changed, the comments got worst. So I took the advice of someone who was were I wanted to be in life and that was if the person giving you the advice to "go back to work" or learn a new skill", look at their life and if it is not where you want to be or if they are going to a job, miserable and can't spend time with their kids. DON'T LISTEN TO THEM!

People can sometimes think they mean well. But only you and your husband know what's best for you and your family. I see do what your heart tells you to do. I am SOOOOOOO glad I didn't take their advice!



answers from Clarksville on

I plan on going back to college next spring, then back to work about two years later. My kids will be almost 5 and 3 when I start school. I don't feel pressure from anyone but myself, I want to start working again by 30.


answers from San Antonio on

I quit my "real job" 3 years ago because I wanted to be home with my son. He was 3 at that time. I started out doing daycare from home (was registered with the state) and had 3 full-time kids and one part-time plus my own son. It gave us the income, but I really had no freedom. I worked more hours than I did at my "real job" and it can be very stressful at times. My son finally started telling me he didn't want the other kids here (he was the oldest). I ended up closing the daycare last June, partly because most of my kids were teachers children and they pull them for the summer.

I started looking for something else I could do because we do need some income. The main thing is that my husband and I both agreed that my "job" is to be the primary caregiver and make sure our son is being raised properly. My "job" is to be a mother. I tried a couple MLM type gigs and didn't really care for it. I did find a part-time admin job in December that I do from home and recently had a business literally fall into my lap that I am getting ready to start really promoting. These are working really well for me. BOTH are worked around my/my son's schedules. This was my primary goal when looking for something.

People do not seem to recognize raising children as being a "job". Maybe that is what is wrong with a lot of the children today. My son LOVES me being home. Yes, we could always use more income. Yes, there are some things we have to miss out on due to finances. Do we regret the decision at all? NO! I wouldn't trade this time with my son for the world. I've asked my son if he would like mom to go back to working full-time so that we can do more things. He always says no. He wants me to take him and pick him up from school every day and to be home with him over the summer. I only hope that my business will take off enough to get my husband home with us.



answers from Austin on

Many people seem to think they can make your decisions for you. Staying at home with your little guy and maybe have another one is your plan, and it is nobody else's business. Tell them politely but firmly that you think rearing your child is the most important thing to you right now, and that is what you're going to do. I stayed home with mine, and I'll never regret it.



answers from Washington DC on

I am going back to work when she is in school. I am taking college courses now to finish a bs and go to grad school. I found something i like and want to do. If I get pregnant that baby will be in daycare early on. But I need to finish and that will be the only of my children to go near daycare before age 3-4.
But we have older ones nearing college and need income from me to cover it. So what can you do really?



answers from Springfield on

I work part-time, and I do look forward to working more hours. My youngest is 2, so I'm thinking down the road a bit. My SIL's youngest will be starting kinderdarten, and she has no desire to work. Personally, I can't relate, but it's what she wants.

You have to do what works for you. Don't take it personally. Maybe they can't relate, maybe they are concerned financially, whatever. The decision is between you and your husband.

I would keep your response short and polite and not worry about. Honestly, I think my SIL and MIL don't really approve of me working even part time, but that's their opinion and my husband and I are happy with our situation.

Good luck, and do what works for you!



answers from Kansas City on

My kids are 5 (kindergarten), 3, and 8 months. The earliest I will go back to work is when my youngest is in kindergarten. I was a teacher/school counselor and really loved my job, but I really enjoy being home. Both of our families are very supportive and that makes it easier. Stick to your guns!



answers from Houston on

Do what works for YOU!! My kids are 19 and 17 (one in college and one a Jr. in High School), they don't really need me anymore, but I put on anything that asks what my occupation is: VOLUNTEER and I do at the school, at church around my community. I took the kids with me when I could; to cook and serve lunch at the Salvation Army - they learned what it is to serve others by my example. They saw that school was important to me because I was THERE from the time they were in pre-school (as roommom) to serving on the PTA while they were in High School. You've got to do what's right for you and your family - who cares what other people think - I always told others who asked me when I was going back to work, "I do WORK - I work at home, at.....and also in making sure my kids learn the values I want them to learn instead of relying on our school system or some day care to do it".
I was blessed that I didn't HAVE to work and I think my children and our community benefits by it. I don't know that I'll go back to a paying job when both kids are out of the house - I love serving others and there's great needs out there in the volunteering community - from hospitals, churches, Pregnancy assistance centers, Salvation Army, Meals on Wheels and I even helped start a ministry at our church that helps with the transportation needs of the seniors who don't drive, meals for sick or hospitalized people (new parents too), emergency babysitting. There's LOTS of stuff to do if you can afford not to work at a paying job.



answers from Houston on

Are they paying your bills? Personally, it is none of their business whether you choose to work or stay at home. People need to mind their own business. Next time tell them to talk to your husband.



answers from Houston on

I would like to give you my two cents.

I do work full time and none of my friends work. I have a 14 week old and 3 year old. I just returned from maternity leave. While I was on maternity leave, I got a taste of what it is like being a "soccer" mom. I loved it.

I would do anything to stay home. I would not worry about others. I would say if they feel the pressure then maybe their household cannot really afford for them to stay home. If you can afford it, stay home. Enjoy your children and when they go to school, enjoy the few hours in the day that you have to yourself before they came barreling in with homework and outside school activities.



answers from Austin on

Read the book, "In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms." You can read an excerpt:

I quit teaching when I was pregnant with my first child and haven't gone back full-time since. My kids are 23 and 21! I assumed I would go back to work when they were in school, but I found I liked being available for class parties, field trips, volunteering, etc. Then I was planning to go back to work when they hit middle school or high school because tuition would be even higher (we sent our kids to Christian schools), thinking they wouldn't want me volunteering so much. I was wrong. My kids found that they were envied because I could be there for all their events, especially the ones during the school day. I picked up various part-time jobs here and there but nothing that did not give me the flexibility to be there for my husband and kids.

I did all the housework, budgets, bills, shopping, etc. during the day while they were at school which left time on the weekends to have fun with them and be at every game and event. I didn't want to miss a thing - still don't.

If my part-time job got too exhausting that I would not have the energy or desire to listen to my kids when they came home from school, I knew I was putting in too many hours and would take less jobs. (I substitute teach now.)

Money has always been tight but my kids always preferred me being around than having things. When they would complain about not getting to have what so-and-so had, I would tell them that I could go back to work and they would always say, "No!"

Once they were in college, I knew I'd really have to go back to work. But I was needed even then: schedules, studying for a final, learning to budget, and basically learning how to be on their own. So I continue to find part-time, flexible jobs.

When my daughter graduated from college, there was a wedding to plan. Now she needs help moving. My son is still in college and sometimes needs me to send him something or has questions about something. I love being available!

My husband also has little projects here and there that he needs me to help him with at work. He loves that I always have time for him, whether it is to help with something or just to enjoy a game on TV. I am not too tired because I can plan my work around his schedule.

I very seldom have people ask me anymore if I am going to get a job because I tell them all the things I get to do. Dr. Laura has some great suggestions for comebacks in her book. I wish I had it when my kids were little. They can't argue with you when you say, "But I love being there when my son just wants to cuddle!"



answers from Honolulu on

I don't care what others think I should do.
Its my life, my kids, my family.
What I do is between me and my Husband.

My last child is 4. He will be going to Kinder next school year.
I then, will 'probably' have to go back to work.
I don't know.
But it seems just out of necessity.
If I could and me/Hubby could financially, then I will stay home.
Its fine.

My kids LOVE having me home. They tell me this. As compared to their friends Moms who have to work or they go to after school care.

But I am honest with them. I talk w/them and tell them one day I may not be able to be home with them, all day.
Due to money needs.

But it is ultimately up to the couple.

I don't feel nor get pressure from others about my being a SAHM.
I have been a SAHM since my daughter was born. 8 years, thus far.

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