How Did You Decide to Give up Your Career and Be a SAHM or Not?

Updated on May 18, 2013
J.M. asks from Seattle, WA
35 answers

I am a teacher and lucky enough to have a .6FTE position. This worked very well when my 6 year old was younger. My schedule was such that I had a good chunk of quality time wtih her 2xs a week plus more time off than most jobs offer. This is no longer the case, my schedule keeps me away from home pretty much full-time, although I am officially .6. I don't feel I have quality time to bond with my 1.5 year old. I feel like I don't see him and feel sad going to work. I didn't feel sad leaving my daughter when she was a toddler/pre-schooler b/c I was her primary care-taker every other day. It probably helped that I also just had her. When we were together she had all the attention.

So, now I am seriously considering leaving my profession. I am going to ask for another year of leave, but I am not confident it will be granted. I find myself flip-flopping all over the place on this decision. I feel invested in my profession. It offers significant income (much more than I could make doing childcare or subbing part-time, other options that I've explored that will allow me to spend more time with my son) I am also passionate about my profession. On the other hand, I feel my core values are that developing relationships with and guiding my children are the most important roles for me in my life. I feel like I “know” that. I am open to living simply, but it’s attractive to try to split myself –work and take care of my children so that we can have a more comfortable lifestyle. If I quit my job we will really just have the basics. No eating out, lessons will be difficult to fund, … the need for car repairs in the future could put us into credit card debt (we already are slightly, but could be mostly out of credit card debt by the time my income reduced significantly). It would be tight. One day I feel like I have made my decision. The next day I am changing my mind.
How did you decide to give up your career to parent full-time or to stick with your career?

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Kansas City on

I worked as an elem school teacher and school counselor before starting a family. I had no problem giving it up to be a SAHM. For me, it came down to spending the day with my child or other peoples' children. Mine won! I am still passionate about education and am probably the best volunteer at my sons' school. I look forward to going back some day.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I didn't decide to give up my career as we need two incomes despite us cutting back, etc.

But, I wish I could just work part-time. That would be ideal.

Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Pittsburgh on

I'm wondering if you should have a different conversation with your HR. Why are you working basically full time and away from home every day if you are supposed to be 60% time? If you can restructure that, maybe you can feel good about working, as you did with your daughter. I know several people who work part-time, and it's my understanding that this kind of 'job creep' into more and more hours is very common. And you need to re-evaluate your responsibilities and hours with your HR every now and then to make sure it is how it's supposed to be.

That said - I knew from the isolation/loneliness I felt during maternity leave that I was meant to be a working mom. I'm a better mom when I can get some adult interaction during the workday, and then go home happy to see my kids every afternoon. Plus, it give me incentive to make every weekend special family time because I never take it for granted.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I will not ever give up my career. There is more to working than money, and more to the financial decision than just your paycheck. Women need to be aware that quitting a job lowers their future Soc Sec income, and lowers any future potential of income (harder to get back into the workforce, and at lower wages), and puts your family at risk if your husband's job or ability to work unexpectedly ends. Unless a family has a full 6 months of income in a savings account, and full life and disability insurance, neither should leave a job.

You are passionate about your profession, so keep it. You are developing strong relationships with your kids or this question wouldn't be in your mind. The reason we are torn is because we care about our children, and that means they know we care.

Having a career that is something you are passionate about is something I wish for everyone.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Finances notwithstanding, I knew that I needed the socialization, adult interraction, and sense of accomplishment that are attendant to working. I thought DS would be better off with a happy mother than one who felt her wings were clipped staying at home.

Might I recommend that you decide to "table" the decision? Promise you'll consider this in 3 months or 6 months time, and not give it another thought till then. Agonizing can be agonizing.

Good luck to you and yours,
F. B.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I work as a teacher, too. I have a toddler and another one on the way. I never considered staying at home. Here's my reasoning:

1) A woman should always be able to support herself. My mom taught me that after seeing tons of her friends go through mid-life divorces and face financial ruin.

2) I came from a home that faced a lot of financial stress and it really sucks. Really. If you can avoid it, do so.

3) It's almost always impossible to regain your footing if you take time off from your profession.

4) I derive a lot of meaning from my job. If I were to stay at home, that hugely important part of myself would go away. Being a mom doesn't mean I stop loving the things I love. While I love being with my daughter, I also love being with my students and my colleagues doing meaningful work. Obviously my family comes first always. However, we have my daughter in an amazing day care that loves her and nurtures her. The more people she has in her life to love her, the better.

5) Teaching is the perfect profession for parents... we get time off to spend with our kids but can still work and earn an income.

6) I'm not a good full time mom. I get bored and antsy and then become irritable with my daughter. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with a toddler and a newborn might just send me over the edge.

Ultimately, these were my reasons and they work for me and my family. If these don't resonate with you, find your own reasons to justify your own decision. I know people who love being at home with their kids full time and I know people who stay at home because they think that's what's best for their kids and that's what they should do. Very different cases.

Good luck!

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

Have you worked 40 quarters in order to be able to qualify for social security? If you haven't, you should really think hard about leaving the workforce. It's not just social security you have to pay into - it's Medicare.

You can't just depend on your husband. Life throws curveballs and your retirement needs to be secure, at least where your safety net is concerned.

Good luck.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

As a single mother, I worked full-time and parented full-time.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

For me it was very simple. By the time I factored in the cost of me going to work (daycare, transportation, meals, clothes...) it really wasn't worth the hassle. We waited until we were debt free to have kids, my husband has a good paying job with excellent benefits and I am quite frugal by nature.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I think this is a question no one can answer for you.

Just know that there is no wrong answer. There is nothing wrong with having a career and leaving your children in daycare, and there is nothing wrong with being a SAHM.

I also know that if you first decide what you want, then sometimes the exact job you're looking for will find you. Figure out what you want, then put it out into the universe.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I've gone through this for years. So far I don't regret working. My kids are 7 and 8.5 now. It's hard - I basically don't do anything but work and spend time with my kids. No "me" time. No going to the gym etc. But my job has always been close to home and I've generally worked short enough hours that I would get home in time to have ~4 quality hours with them, recently more like 5, every evening. And I've outsourced as much as possible so that when I'm home, I'm available vs have to be cleaning all the time etc. Our weekends never had to be around running errands either. And I can make it to all school events, see them during the day via volunteering, go on some field trips by taking a vaca day, etc. What I like is when my girls now come to my office for lunch as they do fairly regularly and say that they want a nice office like mine some day. And a job like mine. I always thought I'd be a SAHM. But now I see it's not so bad being completely self sufficient if I ever need to be. I'm showing my girls that their hard work in school can be worth it. And we've built a major nest egg. We can pay for their colleges, we will be fine in retirement vs a burden on them, we take nice, memorable vacations, we never have to argue about money etc. My kids seem to be turning out fine btw. Knock wood... Lots of SAHM's I see seem to send their kids to aftercare or the daycare at the gym or are so busy volunteering that I'm not sure their kids get that much more of their attention than mine do. So I think bc I still am very involved with my kids and they get lots of my time and affection, they will look back and be glad that I worked so they don't have to take out college loans and they got to do cool stuff. To me it's about balance. Working 60 hours a week, dumping kids at daycare all the time and only seeing your kids briefly every day, rarely being able to volunteer and make school events for a big paycheck is a nonstarter. Not working and being broke all the time and stressed or not being able to give your kids any kind of activities etc would also be a nonstarter for me. When you're in the middle like most people are, I think it's just a constant reevaluation of whether things seem to be balanced somewhat. In your case, I would definitely wait until you're out of credit card debt and have some savings. But likely you're always going to feel a bit torn. I always have. There doesn't seem to be an easy answer for many of us. I do take it one year at a time btw. Each year is my last... Are you off for the summer? If you get typical school holidays, that seems like a good amount of time with the kids.

ETA: Someone said you are not parenting your child when they are with others and she's right. But that doesn't mean it's not ok. Honestly, I'm not a fan of huge, institutionalized daycares but other options can be good. If you find someone who you trust, who is smart, who likely has way more experience with kids and perhaps is better at certain mother oriented things than you are, not sure it's all bad. We had the same very caring, sweet, way more patient than me, devoted to children nanny for 8 years. Yes - I didn't parent the hours she was there and I was at work but that was ok. She taught them things I might never have thought of. And I tell them now, they're lucky they have had nannies who are good at art bc I stink at it. Same with doing their hair. Other involved adults in a child's life can be a good thing. My SAHM sister taught me that. A rolling roster of various daycare givers I don't think is quite the same so if that is the only option, I would stay home too. But some homebased or small centers seem to have consistent caregivers and teachers that the kids adore. Why is it so bad that those people parent some? They likely are teaching the same things - share, be kind, don't hit etc.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

When I had DD, the struggles with my job became unbearable. I found myself thinking, "I'm leaving my baby at daycare for THIS?"

I had a really bad boss, which made everything worse. After I was suffering physically from the stress, DH and I sat down and worked the budget. Yes, we'd lose my income. But we would also not be paying $300/week in childcare. I would not be commuting an hour each way, and spending the gas. I decided to freelance, pare down, and take charge of a lot of things at home so that DH did not have to.

I will admit that sometimes I think about what I would have if I had the money from the job. DH's furloughs wouldn't be so bad, for example. But DD wouldn't have been able to attend the wonderful school she is in. I wouldn't have been able to work and take care of her when she had a stomach bug.

For me, had I had a supportive and positive boss or found more positive things in my work, I probably would have stayed working. It was otherwise a good job and DD had an excellent daycare, even if I missed her.

Each option has pluses and minuses. A minus of being home is that I don't always appreciate my time the way I did when it was precious and I was out of the house most of the day. A minus is I can't as easily put her in private kindergarten. DH had to stick it out with a bad boss himself because he was the main income and we had to work through his resentment toward me for not working FT. A plus is I don't have to leave my child when she's sick.

I do suggest that if you SAH or work PT you and DH are on the same page about what that means. Who pays for what and who does what and what is expected around the house.

I am only able to do this because DH has a good job and we are frugal by nature. If there was any question about easily affording what we needed to, I would not have quit. I did look for another job initially. I also look at this as a non-permanent thing. I can go back and might, when DD is in elementary school.

ETA: We have retirement accounts and the kids have college funds (but we NEVER intended to give any kid a free ride - we feel they need to invest in their own futures, even if we make it easier) and we have life insurance on both of us. Should I be eaten by bears, DH needs some money to get DD in daycare, pay off the house, etc., too. Don't overlook things like that.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

I remember someone telling me that your children are on loan to you for about 18 years, and then they move out/on with their own lives. You have the rest of your life to work.

I worked from age 15 to 28, have two bachelor's degrees and my master's. I got a lot of satisfaction from working, but it was not hard to put my career on hold for the sake of raising my children. I have had several friends tell me that I am too smart to stay home and my skills are wasted. I disagree. I'm simply developing new skills!

My husband and I both agree that we love having a parent home and always available for the kids. He is active duty military and we are away from family, so it is important for us to have one of us stay home. He provides well, so there is no financial strain. They are 7 & 4 now, and I will probably start working again when they are both in school full time, but it is not necessary by any means.

I think it is an extremely personal decision to work or not work and for us, me staying home is the best thing for our family. Sure, I miss the rewards and the paycheck of a career and sometimes fear I won't make up lost time for my social security or retirement funds, but it is a sacrifice I am happy to do for my kids.

They are excited to see me everyday, happy to have me go on school field trips and volunteer at school. They have many friends who get very little time with their parents and are aware of the benefits of having Mom home. I have never regretted my decision to put my career on hold and stay home.

By no means do I think you need to do what I do, but I wanted to share my feelings about what works best for our family. Good luck in your decision! It is not an easy one!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Colorado Springs on

When our oldest was 4 months I went back to work full-time as a designer. I loved my work but hated that I spent a total of 3 hrs. awake time per day with him. I would cry (and I'm not a cryer) because someone else was raising my kiddo.
When our second was born I didn't go back. At the time I worked at an amazingly creative design firm, loved my work, loved my coworkers, loved the opportunity to create and I made more than my husband. The only thing I didn't like was leaving my kiddos at daycare every day. Sure, they had fun most of the time but we were only spending a couple hours a day together. I had to wake them up by 6:30 to be out the door by 7, drop them off by 7:20 then not pick them up until 5:30, rush home to fix dinner have bath & get in bed by 8:00/8:30 because they needed plenty of sleep because they had to wake up at 6:30.
Anyway, after numerous discussions & number crunching we decided that I should stay home. My husband had no desire to be home all day while I did/do. I can still contract out & freelance design whereas he can't & honestly for us it's more important that our kids are raised by us than I make more money for more stuff.
All these years later & 1 more kiddo into the mix we now homeschool & I can honestly say that for our family staying home has been the absolute best decision we have made.
**disclaimer: these beliefs & feelings are for our family & are not intended to be construed as casting judgement on anyone else :-)

5 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I am going through this RIGHT NOW!

Honestly, money is not everything, but I think based on what you stated about your financial situation (need for car repairs would possibly cause you to incur cc debt, etc) would make me continue to work. I wouldn't quit until you were completely debt free with a good cushion in the bank.

The stress of not being able to afford things like car repairs will wreak far more havoc on your marriage and home life generally than going to work every day and just being a little sad. I think there is a little bit of a benefit that comes from that sadness. It makes me a better mom when I am home with them. I am completely present, no cell, no TV (unless they want to cuddle and watch). And I am far more patient, as I stop and think, "hey, the kids haven't seen me all day, they want mom!" You are still developing amazing relationships with your children and guiding them even though they are not with you every minute of the day.

There are WONDERFUL benefits to being home (hence the reason I am considering it!) but as stated, I really think you need to be far more financially sound before you make that jump. That is what is motivating me to be even more frugal than necessary. If I do end up quitting, we will be ok. If I don't, we will be even better financially. Win win!

Good luck to you!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I NEVER considered giving up my profession. I wanted to do it since I was 6 years old. I only considered having a child after being 100% convinced that DH and I would parent equally - both time commitment and organizational responsibilities. I love what I do (both the career and the mom part) and see no reason at all to give up either. I also feel a true responsibility to my son and his future partner to set an example. He knows that his mom is a full fledged participant in society beyond the home and that his father is as complete a parent as his mother.

Has your husband considered cutting back his work schedule so you can continue yours? Will you be able to afford to send your children to the colleges you want to and afford the retirement you want if you (or he) stop working? If you stop working now, will you be able to get back into your profession and if so, at what level (will you be forever mommy tracked)? Remember, you will not have children that need you during the day forever, and will need to do something once they have their own lives. These are all questions for which you and DH need to figure out your OWN answers.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

For me, the choice was easy; I had children, I was going to raise them myself. Unfortunately, when you relinquish them to daycare FT, you also relinquish your parenting for that time frame. Your never NOT the mom, but you are not the primary caregiver for 75-80% of their waking hours. Someone else is hugging them, feeding them, rocking them, answering their questions, instilling unspoken core values in them, teaching them the art of sharing and conversing with one another...someone else is seeing them roll over, crawl, smile, take their first steps.

I never felt like I wanted to not be that person for them. I never felt so compelled to "be fulfilled" by a career, or an external "pat on the back", that I was willing to give up my parenting rights for so much of ktheir formative years. I already have to relinquish once they turn 5 and go to school, where all their needs are met by teachers and administrators for 8 hours a day.

I'm willing to bet that there aren't too many dads out there who pretend that they are "full-time parenting", or are "the primary care giver" to their children while they are at work. Dads know better and will be honest about that. Women have this need to try and pretend its something that its not. When you work, you ARE NOT PARENTING. Its really that simple. So, decide what is at the top of your priority list for the next 5 years, raising your children, or working full time? You can have it all; just not all at once.
Good luck.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

A simple answer to your post is...

My husband and I had it planned before we got married that I would stay home full time once the kids came. Sooo, I didn't renew my contract with the private school where I was teaching. I ended work in June of 1999 and our first child was born in December of 1999. I have been home ever since.

It was always our plan so we always lived on one income even when we had two incomes. We qualified for a loan for our first home with our two incomes..yet bought a home that we could easily afford on one income. We lived as if we were a one income family...because after I stayed home then it wouldn't be a huge adjustment...and we'd have a savings.

It is amazing how many stories I have heard from women(and a couple SAHD) that say they they took the leap and it is somehow working out financially. They learn to live on less....but in the end give their family more...time.

We believe in living pretty frugally, we save for the future, we have multiple life insurance policies on my husband and one on me and investments and I will most likely go find a job once the kids are out of the home. There is always time in the future to work...but the kids are only home for a short time.

Also....we are not among the common trend of parents who think it is our responsibility to pay for our kids' college education. This is actually a new trend. We both have degrees...our parents did not help us financially at all...and we worked our arses off to get through college quickly, find grants and inexpensive loans and then paid them off ASAP. I have quite a few friends that are simply working because they are planning to pay for their kids' education. This boggles my mind!!

Keep talking it over with your husband. You can always go back to teaching in the future when kids are older or out of the house. You can do substituting on and off when it fits your schedule to then put into an "emergency" account for the unexpected bill that will and always does come.. when you least expect it.

Good luck and best wishes. We always get wishy washy when taking a huge leap of faith. Sometimes it is best to just jump in when you know what you are jumping into is a wonderful thing...and then work your darndest to make it a successful venture.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

It was really rather easy for me, but that was because I was in-between jobs at the time of the birth of my first child. I was 7 months along when we moved from Okinawa Japan (where I worked in Domestic violence) to Littleport, UK. I simply did not look for new work once we got settled in the UK, I was due any day by that time. I have thought about going back to work a few times, and after 10 years at home I am basically starting over career wise, but I am okay with that. I figure that when I am on my death bed and I look back over my life I will more then likely not be thinking "man, I wish I had worked more and earned more money and spent less time with my kids". I am not knocking working parents at all, but for me the sacrifices I made to stay at home have been worth it.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

For me it was easy. I knew that IF I had kids, I would stay home. My background is a research academic in philosophy of education. My training showed me all the reasons to stay home. So ironically, my career lead me to where I am.

I then decided to homeschool, and one major reason was because I didn't want to send my young toddlers/preschoolers to schools where most of the teachers lacked my education. Language develoment research shows how vital one on one dialoging is. In fact, following mom around while she does chores, if she dialogues, is the best schooling you can give young children. Hubby doubted me on this, but when our daughter started reading at a 2
grade level at 4, he decided this was the right path. She is a handful and would only get in trouble at a school. At home, she is a happy, free-spirit, with amazing curiosity and interest in science and math.

It doesn't hurt that my hubby makes good money, but we'd probably figure it out if he didn't.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I decided to stay home, as some moms said H., as soon as I had my first.
My husband and I made that decision together, and since then I have been home. I had 2 beautiful careers which I enjoyed, but I have 2 wonderful kids which I adore and I feel that my call was to stay with them to raise them, educate them and give them all my heart.
I think that it is a matter of choice, and whatever your choice is doesn't make you a bad or a good person, it is just a choice based on your reality, your family, expectations, goals, many things.
Many parents, as friends of mine, choose to work outside the house, both mom and dad because they want more money, a bigger house, more purchasing power, etc,a and others choose to stay home with the kids with less income or so. None of those decisions are bad IF you really are sure and comfortable about it, and in the same page with your husband.
Whatever you decide think of how your decision is going to have an impact
on your family, yourself (if you're happy, your family will be happy, if you are frustrated, they will too). Take your time and talk to them.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

I completely understand how you feel.
You are realizing how fast it went with your 6 year old and know with the baby it will be even faster.

My main decision was that I wanted to be able to drop her off and pick her up at the end of the day. I wanted to hear all about her day and maybe even be able to invite her friends over after school. I wanted to be able to volunteer in her schools. And I knew that the job I had was not going to ever be flexible enough.

Certain times of the year, I worked 12 hours a day 6 days a week,, That had been ok, when she was younger and in daycare or preschool.. but I knew it would be stressful to have to meet a set schedule of actual school.

Yes, we cut back on everything. Used cars (clunkers), no vacations, except some camping trips. I was able to cook almost every meal and learned to be very frugal.

I was also able to save money by not having to purchase "Work Clothes" since I was in High end Retail, that had been part of the job, was wearing what we sold.

I have no regrets. I never missed any of her performances or special events. I knew all of her friends, teachers and the parents.

I could only do this, because my husband worked full time with excellent benefits. There was one year where he was unemployed, but we both did jobs on the sides. I ended up helping others start businesses as a consultant. I found clients that had me doing special events for them.. so I did make a tiny bit of money.

This investment all paid off. Our daughter was an excellent student and received excellent scholarships and grants.

SO in the end it paid off well for us.

By doing all of these odd things while not employed, I have now started a new business. Made money from the moment I started it. I feel like all of my experiences helping in schools with the PTA, fund raisers, community service and the contacts I made, helped me in the long run.

Think outside of the box. Notice here on Mamapedia, how many parents are looking for help. Someone to pick up their children to and from school. Tutoring needed, Things for kids to do on school breaks. I bet with your background. you are clever enough to actually organize some services for working parents, employ other moms and make some money.. .

Here are the suggestions I have given some of my teacher friends to make money just during the summer.

Cursive Handwriting Camp.

The summer Book club camp.

Cooking Camp.

As well as tutoring math, reading and writing for different grade levels.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from El Paso on

As soon as I had my first, I wanted to stay home. My husband didn't want me to as (at the time) we were getting ready for our first deployment. So, I worked that first year. Then, we moved to a different state, and my teaching certificate didn't transfer (as it usually doesn't). He made enough money to take care of us on just his salary, and so, decision made. :) So, I didn't have a lot of option weighing to do. I got off easy in that regard.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Along the way, some decisions were sort of made for me, and some were of my choosing.

When my son was about 2.5 or so, we decided to open a preschool in our home. (I'd had a preschool in the past, had taught at two CDCs and had been a nanny, so this was my profession already.) We had a great first session; the second session was harder, due to the fact that having our house 'be' preschool was hard (you walked in and it WAS a preschool in the common areas, no couch, no tv available, little areas for various activities, etc.) and I got a really mixed bag when it came to parents.

After the second session, my husband and I were in agreement that we really wanted our home back. I also realized that in the 20 years I'd been caring for children, there had been a pronounced shift in parenting styles which made my work a lot harder. Suffice it to say, some parents treated the preschool handbook as a mere suggestion, choosing to let their child lead them in important decisions like bedtimes, clothes for school (often weather-inappropriate), lunches and bringing toys, etc. I actually had to send home a laminated 'Picture list' for the kids so they might choose to dress themselves appropriately. In short-- A lot of nonsense for not enough satisfaction.

I was burnt out. I've had some jobs helping organize/lead child care for High Holy Days for a local synagogue, but overall, I'm happier being at home with my son and making he and our family my focus. I felt a bit at loose ends that first year without working outside the home, and have since found a lot of fulfillment and satisfaction in volunteering in the library at my son's school. My current project is color-coding all of the books to designate the reading levels, so that kids can find books which will be more accessible to them at their own level of skill. I love being part of the school in this way, and my son is in half-day kindergarten, so that's 'found' time from my perspective. He'll grow up so fast, I want to be able to give of myself to him while he wants me around!

I should also add that my husband has a demanding job which requires him to be on-call 24/7 and he makes enough money so that we are comfortable. We live a fairly modest life, live within our means, and I feel like we have enough without having to incur a lot of debt.

Interesting question.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Mostly my decision was based on what I have to offer my kids. For example, could I provide the challenging and stimulating activities that children need to thrive in development. It was easy when my first born was young; I had read so many parenting books, etc.. when my second was born I didn't have the energy, time to read the books, or patience in all honesty. I felt that I could be a better parent if I could continue to provide to educational activities and educational toys. I went back to work after 16 months and it continues to be tough to leave my second in the mornings. However, I have so much peace of mind, that because I work , we are not under the stress of tight budget and this year bought a larger car. :) Your decision is never an easy one, good luck.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

For my husband and I the decision came down to money. A co-worker and I were due the same time and both of us looked into the price of childcare so we could return to work. The cost to have someone watch our baby was the same as what I brought home from work each payday. We agreed that yes, it would be financially tight for us, but would be better than me working just to pay someone else to watch our child.
Our son is now 2 years old and we were blessed with our daughter who is now 1 year old. It's been tight but we've made cuts and changes where and when we can.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

After the first child I went back 4 days a week..I hated leaving my baby and paying someone to take care of her. As I drove to work.. i thought why am I working to make money to pay someone to do the job I want to do..

After the 2nd child I quit. I was home full time for 2 years.. and then I was offered a part time contract job. I work 2 days a week.. (about .3) it si great.. I love going to work.. I love being home.

being home full time is hard.. you lose the adult interaction.. and I ran short of patience with little ones.. but once I went back to work 2 days a week I was a happier momma.

2 days of day care were good for the kids.. now my kids are in full day school and working 2 days allows me to volunteer int eh classroom.. and keep up with the house...

I would quit if you cant reduce your hours..

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

A hard question....I left 2 years ago and like being home but it was professional suicide. I basically will need to start over or do something else and we miss the income. Do u have summers off?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I work full time, have for the past 17 years. I have no choice. I am the one with the health insurance. At times I would love to be a stay home mom and other times, I am where I need to be. I understand your sadness. My youngest is almost 2 and I do not see her until she gets home from daycare with her dad .. she is generally still sleeping when I leave in the morning.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Salt Lake City on

In your shoes, I think the first thing I would look into is whether the school would be willing to adjust my schedule and make it more family-friendly. After all, it was possible before, right?

Personally, once I had my kids I gave up my teaching career. It wasn't the way I'd planned to do it. But when my husband was active duty and we moved every 2-3 years, I was already stuck as the perpetual adjunct, and once I had my daughter, I realized that child care would cost more than I earned. I actually saved us money by staying home. When she was 2, I started making plans to apply for an opening at the local community college, because she would have been eligible to go to their on-site, reasonably priced day-care. Then I popped up pregnant again, and that was the end of that.

When both of my kids hit school age, I started thinking about heading back to teaching. Then my daughter started to struggle terribly in school. That's a long story I won't go into here, but we decided to try homeschooling. And my daughter thrived. I now homeschool both kids, and while there are days when I question my sanity for doing so (Right now I'm re-learning algebra. I have no desire to re-learn algebra. I didn't miss it.), I have no regrets.

So, there it is - I do still teach. But my class is very, very small, and I am no longer paid. :-)

For me, the decision to stay home has been motivated by different things at different times. Early on, it was a financial decision. Later, it was what I needed to do to support a struggling child. And now, I've been out of the work force long enough that I'm not sure how easy it would be to get back in. I have no income of my own. But I grow children, pets, and gardens, and I've decided that for now, I am content.

All y'all who read this, please remember - I am not saying that my choice is the best choice for everyone. I am saying that this is how it worked for me.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Since the time I was 6 and knew how much i loved that my mom was home with me and I didn't have to go to a babysitter like one of my friends. I see a variation on this question a lot on this site and it always strikes me that in all the consideration of pros and cons, rarely is the child's feelings factored into the equation. So my advice is, in your pro and con list, what do you think your children would like best? That may tilt your scales.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

I just could not bear to leave my kids...that is how I knew. I did start working part time as soon as I could bear to be away some. I work part time now and my kids are 3 and 9. There is a part of me that is a little sad I gave up my Biologist career. But mostly I am very happy to have had so much time with my kids, taking them to sports, being here after school, helping with homework, etc. It does mean that financially we have to be careful. I don't know what to advise you...if your income is needed you might want to stay. But missing all those precious moments is something I could not do. It's such a hard decision. Being a teacher means you will have the summers off the same as your daughter (when she is in school). If only you could leave for a few years and then go back...that would be ideal.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I understand how hard it is for you to go back to work. I also think that in these times it not very good to give up a good paying job. Where would you be if suddenly hubby was without work for months, even a year or more, what if he passed away? You have to be able to provide for your family. If you have those things covered then you are financially able to quit work.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Nothing at all wrong with a career.

Despite advanced degrees and a lot of earning potential it would still be a lot of $$ for my 5 in full-time childcare. So I am at home but it's still expensive b/c of various lessons. When you're home, you have to DO stuff and it's not cheap. Husband makes way more than I ever would so that's our situation. They are in full-day preschool too from age 2 and I have NO concerns that a mom needs carve out a big amount of time with her kids. You do what works for you! It's quality, not quantity. Mine thrive in preschool and would be bored with me all day.
If you like your job, stick with it! If money were no object at all I'd choose full day daycare over having even the 9 to 3 preschool. The preschool is way less $ for some reason over a center full-day. Kids benefit a lot from daycare and there are so many good centers out there.
I feel they are better off in a center than with me all day though. Centers are child-centered and provide all the entertainment, etc. The kids go outside each day and get balanced meals. The staff are amazing at the ones near us. At home I have a lot of cleaning and cooking and it's not all quality time for sure.



answers from Las Vegas on

Can you switch to a subsitute position.. then if they call you to work, you can say yes or no, depending upon the day..
As for me.. I worked in the brokerage industry for about 17 yrs prior to having my son, then about 4 more thereafter.. My job ended up moving from the Bay Area to AZ and while I like the heat, I wasn't ready to move down to the South West, which meant I left my job... it's been the BEST , GREATEST decision I ever made.. was I missing out on so much of my son's life.......................... Oh sure, we've had to cut back on everything.. but it's been soooooooooooooo worth it.. However, I didn't just up and leave all at once. We first put away money for a rainy day..... had already stopped buying coffee out.... brought all meals to work.... this way, we had a little bit of cushioning in the event we needed things like car repairs, which by the way.. we did..
Oddly, by leaving work , which meant I don't have a ton of extra income, it's also costs me a friend or two who like to eat out a lot and always go away on the weekends. I did stopped getting invited to some things and some other moms who still worked outside the home seemed a bit bothered that I had become a stay at home mom...
but all and all................. so what, who cares!! :):) I'd never trade it for the world... it's allowed me to become as I like to say, "a more APPARENT parent" I feel so blessed and if you can wing it............. then I highly recommend it!!

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions