Getting the Opportunity to Stay Home

Updated on November 16, 2008
D.S. asks from Chicago, IL
6 answers

Hi to all mommies! I'm currently a full time teacher with a one year old little boy. I'm expecting again in June. With 2 under 2, my husband had a little chat with me about staying home full time for a little bit. And possibly getting into PT work instead of going back to teaching. I'm torn! I don't want to loose my skills and years in teaching, but at the same time, I swore I'd never pass up this opportunity. I'm worried I won't be a good SAH mommy and will be overly anxious without work. I'm also scared I'm going to loose my identity a bit without a job. But, I also don't want to keep relying on day care to raise my children. I seem to complain more about my current teaching job and day care situation, and just wonder if I could make it work not going back.
I also can freelance in graphic and web design, but haven't ever really given it a full go yet.
Any advice.

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answers from Chicago on

You'll never get these years back but teaching will always be there. Yes, it might be harder to get back into it but IMO it's so worth it being at home with the kids. 2 under 2 is a ball and it's crazy!



answers from Chicago on

Is it a possibility that your husband could stay home with the kids? If that is not something your family is capable of doing or is comfortable with doing, then I am quite sure that you will do just fine as a SAHM...if you love your kids (and surely you must have something invested in them if you are on the MamaSource site to begin with :), then it will come naturally to you. Try not to fixate on some sort of preconceived, unrealistic expectation for yourself as a SAHM, because in the end it is really just about being a Mom and doing what you are instinctually drawn to do in the care of your children! Now in regards to your own sanity, peace of mind, and future career prospects, just try and keep your foot in the field, either through PT work, volunteering, or continuing education classes. Allowing yourself to have that "you-time" outside of your role as mommy will make you a better, more well-rounded mother to your babies! I wish you the best in this decision-making process.



answers from Chicago on

I'm currently a high school teacher with 12 years of experience. If I were to leave my job to be a SAHM until an infant were of school age (roughly 4-5 years, depending on when you leave), I would have a VERY HARD time finding another teaching position. Depending on the school district, you might be able to take up to two years on a leave of absence, but eventually you would have to officially resign. As unfortunate as it sounds many districts look at candidates with several years of experience, compare them with newer (i.e. 'cheaper') teachers and go with the younger ones. Also, if you're going to be out 4-5 years you definitely would want to make sure you're taking classes and remaining current with the profession. Trust me, I know managing the life of a infant/toddler/pre-schooler and coming up with creative learning opportunities for him IS practical experience in my eyes, but many prospective employers certainly won't think so.

I'm not trying to scare you but I just wanted to give you a realistic idea of what to expect if you have any plans on ever returning to teaching.



answers from Chicago on

Congratulations on your pregnancy! I, too, will have 2 under the age of 2 come next summer. I am a nurse and recently quit my job to stay home with my son and the new baby to come. In the few short months that I have been home, I can tell you that it is challenging but rewarding. You will become capable of infinite patience and truly understand everything about your little one. Its hard - and I only have one baby right now - I really can't imagine what 2 is going to be like! But its hard in a fulfilling sort of way. At the end of the day, no matter how exhausted I am, I always feel good knowing that I gave my son 100%.

I have a babysitter who comes for 3 hours twice a week so I can get in some "me" time (which really is just going to the grocery store and such) and I think that has a huge impact. Knowing that I can have just a little time to get things done solo is really helpful. Good luck with whatever you decide!



answers from Chicago on

I was an 8th grade language arts/ reading teacher before becoming a SAHM. I am going to be a SAHM until I am done having kids and they are all in 1st grade. Then, I plan on going back to work as a teacher...though, being a SAHM has made me realize how much I LOVE the PRE K age- so I am going to look into that in a few years and go back to school...

Also, look into your options. I was NOT a tenured teacher and they still gave me a full year and a half to make up my mind about leaving!

I would take the oppertunity and stay is so rewarding! I really enjoy being there with my son- I feel like I am his full time teacher. Join a M.'s group on and take lots of tot classes. You can always take classes to keep up your certificate or take a PT job at a learning center...or even sub.



answers from Chicago on

I know that under some teaching contracts, if you have tenure you can take a few years off and keep your seniority and some benefits. If that's the case for you, you should definitely consider it. It seems like the best of both worlds to me!

I also think what industry your husband works in is something to think about. The economy is going to get worse, and keeping your income sources diversified might be necessary.

You have quite a bit of time - you won't have to really make a final decision until right before the 09 school year starts. I'd use the time to watch the economic news, do some sample budgets. If you don't like your daycare situation, look into something else - personally, I feel that my children have really benefited from the connections with their beloved daycare providers and the other children and families we know from daycare. Daycare should be a chance to expand your child's circle of caring, not something you hate. But the choice is not between something bad or nothing at all!

You already have a job schedule that a lot of mothers would envy with summers off. On the other hand, it seems like teaching has a pretty easy re-entry path, so that may make it easier for you than for someone in the corporate world if you want to come back in five or six years. And having two children so young and so close in age is a lot of work for two full-time workers!

In short, my advice is to research, prioritize and make lists. (both you and your husband together). None of us can have everything we want, but I think we are happiest when we really look at all of the options and feel that we are making the choices that make the most sense for us. Congratulations on your new baby on the way!

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