Do You Sahm's Agree with This Opinion?

Updated on August 25, 2009
G.A. asks from Vacaville, CA
14 answers

I have been a SAHM now for a little over 3yrs and am liking it. It did take me a good year after our 1st child was born to get over the fact that I was a SAHM and not working outside the home. My husband and I chose to have me stay home because my mom did it and his mom did it and we felt it was the better choice. About 2yrs ago, I read in a magazine article some lady's thoughts on woman leaving the workforce and staying home with the kids. She was very adamant that as a woman, if you don't stay connected to outside work, once your gone from it for too long, your pretty much done. No one will hire you back, your skills that you had accumulated are gone and wasted and basically, you've blown it by not working outside the home. To this day, I am still bothered by her comments. Are they true? Does this really happen to woman? Have some of you tried to go back to your last career and told "sorry, you're not what we want anymore". Please let me know your experiences because I'm freaked out that if I stay home too long, this will happen. On the other hand, I'm not ready to go back to outside work yet because my 2nd child is only 10 months and I don't want anyone but me watching her so this puts me out of the workplace for awhile longer. Please just let me know your thoughts.

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So What Happened?

I just want to thank all you ladies who responded. You truly made me feel better about staying home with my girls. I don't need to work outside the home right now and I know in my spirit that when it's time for me to go back out there, God will truly provide that job - He always has. Right now He has made it so I can stay home with my girls and I just have to trust that this is His will for me. Again thank you all for being there. Though I don't know any of you personally, I love you gals!

More Answers


answers from Fresno on

Hi G.,
I'm a hiring manager, not a SAHM, but figured I'd respond anyway. =) What the article said is true, in that if someone came to me with current job skills, I'd hire her over the person with less recent experience, all other things being equal.

But really, WHO CARES? If you can stay home, why not do it? I'd cut off my right arm if it meant I could stay home with my kids. Truly, unless there is some financial need for you to go back to work, stay home and enjoy your husband and daughters! I feel like I could be the best mom in the world if I could stay home, but as it is with a really demanding career, I feel like I give about 80% to my kids and 80% to my job (for a total of 160%?), yet everybody is always left wanting. No choice we ever make is going to be perfect; you will always wonder what your career might have been like if you'd stayed working, and I'll always wonder what my home and family would be like if I were there more... we just have to be the best we can be at our chosen paths and not have any regrets!

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answers from San Francisco on

I agree that it's harder to get back in the longer you're out, but don't worry about it. I've been out (with minor jobs here and there) for about 15 years, but I don't regret a bit of it. You need to do what is important to you right now. It sounds like you only want to be gone for a few years, anyway, not over a decade as I have. Getting back into the workplace also depends on what you did for work in the first place.

I did things while at home I never would have done had I been "working" the whole time, such as (volunteer) teach theater for 6 years.

If you keep yourself young and active and current you will find a way back in.

And by the way, most jobs are one form or another of paper-shuffling, no matter what fancy title they are given, so don't place too much of your personal worth upon them.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

Hi G.,

For the past 7 years I have worked as an Executive Recruiter, recruiting for positions with Cities and Counties all over the Western U.S. Prior to that, I worked for an employment agency that placed temp and permanent employees in private sector positions. I will tell you that personally, I respected female candidates who were coming back into the workforce after having been a stay at home mom (no matter the length of time) and not once did I feel that this was a hinderance to their ability to perform a job function in their field of expertise. I worked my tail off to help them get back into the job market and be a viable candidate. Having said that, not everyone shares this view, particulary male hiring managers. It takes a mother to understand why someone would choose to stay home and foresake her career for any period of time. On the flip side, some female hiring managers might get jealous that you were able to stay home and they were not, leading to discrimination.

When I got pregnant I was faced with the same feelings that you have. Do I leave a very successful career with one of the most respected firms out there to stay home with my baby? Will I be able to come back in three or so years and not only be able to "pick up where I left off" but would I still perform at the level I was performing at previously? The day my daughter was born was the day that answer became clear. WHO CARES if I can re-enter the job market easily!!! Being a stay at home mom instantly became the most important job that I could ever have. Please, do not question whether you have made the right decision. You have. If you can afford to stay home, then do it. God bless working mothers but seriously, there is nothing in a child's life that can replace being raised by their mother for as long as possible.

Many of my dear friends have sacrificed everything to be a stay at home mom and they never have regretted their decisions. Although it did take them a little longer than planned to re-enter the workforce, they were able to do it. The right position is out there. Plus, you don't want to work for a company that does not respect and support your decision to stay at home for the length of time that you did.

Good Luck to you in your future endevours. Trust that you will be successful in the job search when the time comes. But for now, enjoy the success of raising your children yourself!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Nancy Pelosi became an elected official with no experience other than raising 5 kids and being heavily involved in volunteer political activity. Here's a quote from her book, "Know Your Power. " "Raising a family is challenging. I want women to know that the skills I required as a mother and homemaker have been invaluable to me. These same skills-so often undervalued-are transferrable to many other arenas in life, including the United States Congress."
Her book empowered me immensely when I felt similarly to you that the work I do as a SAHM was less than valuable.
One other little tidbit from my best friend... If you looked at all the types of work a SAHM does and how many hours she puts in and were PAYING someone to do it, the annual salary would be over $130,000. (I loved telling my husband that one :)



answers from Salinas on

I have a varied history of staying home, working nearly full-time and working part-time, and I think while this statement may be true for some people, it is a generalization and very abstract. If it is working for you to stay home now, then do it. If, when your kids are in school you work, then at that time you will find the perfect job with the perfect boss, who will likely be a parent who understands all the skills you're learning and the sacrifice you're making now!



answers from Sacramento on

I recommend the book In Praise of Stay at Home Moms, by Dr. Laura. Very encouraging reading material for us SAHMs :-)



answers from Stockton on

I have been a SAHM for almost 4 years. What I can tell you is that I did/have applied for jobs in my (previous) field and was told by one employment agency that I didn't qualify because I did not have "recent" experience(within 6 months). Do I think that staying home to raise my children is a hinderance on my 'working' experience....NO!!! I may never go back to being a medical biller, which I had done for 15 years and that is fine with me. I do work part-time at Starbuck in the evenings when my husband gets home and it works fabulous for us!! Noone takes care of our children but US! Someone you may want to listen to is Dr. Laura; she is a HUGE, HUGE advocate for SAHM's.
In my opinion, no job is worth having if someone else has to raise your children.



answers from San Francisco on

Keep up on your skills... and consider it a blessing when some crazy person won't hire you because you were responsible to your family first. If only all relationships would show their awful potentional up front.

Seriously, the woman that wrote that article... guess what? You would NEVER want to work for her. She'd be upset when you child is sick. Not understanding that you have to go home and feed people... Horrified when you can't run her personal errands so she can go do whatever she wants...

I've seen it... sounds bitter... but nah... just the way some people are. I'm fully for working for awesome people. ONLY They deserve my awesome skills in exchange for and awesome salary! Those that don't value that... deserve to get people with low self esteem, poor skills and the inability to perform well. Their business deserves to fail... Hope they don't end up looking for jobs where the ability to run a business is valued!



answers from San Francisco on

Dear G.,

To let something play on your mind for two years is not good for you. If you indeed plan to reenter the workforce at some point it would be a helpful if you kept your skill set up to date. You could do this by working part time (a few days a month) or being on call. (Being on call means you can say YES or NO).

Working a few days a month would give you the opportunity to avoid a sudden bout of separation anxiety once your return to work full time.

If you want to stay home with your kids, consider starting a small day care or home business that will generate income.

If your skills are not kept up to date, you may have to reenter the workforce at a lower wage and build back up. Either way, it is an individual choice, so please put your mind at ease.




answers from San Francisco on

i think raising your children, if you can afford to stay home, is the most important job there is. many employers feel this way, as i did when i was hiring, and looked at women who raised their children as women who could not only multitask but could also handle anything thrown to them. in my opinion, if you can afford to stay home, raise those lovely children and look for work when you are ready. something wonderful will happen for you when the timing is right. don't stress about it now if you don't need to.



answers from San Francisco on

Hi G.,
I stayed at home for seven years and have recently returned to full time work. (I absolutely love it, by the way, and wish I had done it sooner.)

I would encourage you to volunteer or take a part time job that uses your skills to keep them current so that in a few years when you are wanting a full time job, you have current experience. It's these activities that kept me in the running for my current job. This would be one way of staying connected as the woman in the article suggested.

Like the hiring manager below said, I think the person with current experience will be selected before the person whose experience is seven years old.

Good luck!



answers from San Francisco on

I don't think that is necessarily true. Depending on your field you could keep your skills up-to-date or update them by volunteering. You could also work for a temporary agency. These are just a few things that I could do if I wanted to go back to what I was doing before I had my child. There are probably similar things you can do to stay current on what is happening in your old field if you wanted to.



answers from San Francisco on

I think she has some valid points, although she could have said them nicely. Right now a lot of people can't find jobs, so someone who has worked more recently would have a better chance of getting a job (in my opinion). I have a friend who was unemployed for 2 years and has been on over 50 interviews this year (sent over 100 resumes) and can not find work. It depends on what type of work you did and how much has changed since you've been gone. Even as an office worker there are new programs, new protocols and ways to do things that had a transition period when you were gone.
Personally, I don't think it matters if you went back to work today or in 2 or 3 years an employer would look at your absence in the same way. Also, right now there are so few jobs out there it may not be worth your efforts. You could look into volunteering somewhere to be able to put that work on your resume.
Best of luck,



answers from Sacramento on

It depends on what you do for a living. I was a dental assistant at the time and the pay rates were low enough then that if I had worked it all would have gone to daycare. SO, it was pointless to even try. (all 3 kids were 5 and under) I stayed home for 3years and then went back. After 3 more years I ended up changing occupations so I could be home during the day and work at night only.
Basically, I work retail grocery now. Good Luck
W. M

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