Replies to My work/SAHM Post!

Updated on January 19, 2019
L.M. asks from Schenectady, NY
8 answers

Wish I could reply to every person who commented on my post. Thank you for the feedback!! Some of your feedback was hard to hear. I think that in my attempt to find a perfect balance, I am driving myself crazy when there will never be a perfect balance.

Honestly, I cannot be a SAHM. I think I like the idea of it but and I imagine being a “lady of leisure” but thats not realistic. I hate housework, chores, shopping, cooking and it would get old real fast. I enjoy having someone to clean the house, a husband that cooks and grocery shops and does most of the cleaning. I know I probably sound like a big spoiled brat right now! I’ve always worked and been independent. I hate depending on someone else for money. I love to shop and enjoy buying things when I want and right now I go nuts buying my daughter clothes and shoes and I love it. I felt so guilty when I was a SAHM after having my baby and I would spend money. I hated that guilty feeling of spending when I wasn’t contributing financially. I feel guilty spending money as a SAHM and I feel guilty being a working mom because I feel like I’m choosing money over spending time with my child! Ugh! I now know that a little bit of SAHM life and working is the perfect balance for me.

To the person who says this part-time opportunity is a bright shiny object being dangled in front of me - thank you! I think I’m reacting based off of emotion which I seem to be so bad at after becoming a first-time mom. Its also so comforting to hear that my toddler prefering my husband is normal. I love spending weekends with my daughter and I never feel like its enough time. Mondays are the worst. Some people have questioned why I say I dont need to work but talk about daycare being expensive and me taking a significant paycut. I don’t need the money but I also dont think its smart to spend more money than I make and work a few hours to be in the negative financially. This is the problem for moms like me who want to bring in money but still be able to spend time at home. Part-time jobs pay very little that its just not worth it. I think a work from home job would be great and I have the capability to do it. I would never expect to have my child home with me while I work from home BUT At least I could drop her off at daycare a little later and pick her up earlier.

My poor husband is so tired of my emotional breakdowns over this situation. Its been two-years of constant back and forth and he refuses to give me any more advice. He knows its tough on me to have her in daycare and spend so little time with her, he gets that. He just wants me to make a decision and stick with it and be HAPPY. I really think I should look into some counseling/coaching for myself.

I think I need to stay where I am for now and ask for the flexibility (doesn’t hurt to ask). My plan was to work for the next two years and save as much money as possible so that when my daughter starts pre-k, I can quit working and have a nice stash of money saved up. Most people might question why I would want to stop working when my daughter starts elementary school - seems silly right, is usually the opposite way?!? I grew up with two working parents and it was always hard to not have them present at school events and functions or be at home when you come home from school. That’s just not the life I want for my child. I’m hoping that I can request part-time work with my current employer by this point and if it doesn’t work out then I just quit. I’m an entrpreneur at heart and I used to run my own side business while working full-time. Sadly I had to shut it down when I was very pregnant and I would love to return to it once my daughter is in elementary school.

Thank you all for your advice!!!!

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answers from Washington DC on

I'm glad you can hear the advice and not be mad at others for giving it.

I'm glad to hear you are staying where you are. Maybe find a day care closer to your work so you can have more time with your daughter.

Stay the course. You have options. I wouldn't quit just because you don't get what you want. Bank the money and pave the way for reopening your business. Until then - stay the course.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I sounds as if you got good advice and you are evaluating the answers you received. A lot of new posters on the site get mad and flounce off the site when they don't agree with a response vs actually reading responses and taking them seriously. Good for you.

It is OK if you feel a SAHM job is not for you but keep in mind that a SAHM IS working very hard and maybe her contributions are not financial but very rewarding otherwise for her family. Every mom is not cut out to be a SAHM which is NOT a "lady of leisure".

Working from home is also WORK and if you go that route, you still need daycare so you can fulfill your job responsibilities efficiently.

I was fortunate to have it both ways working with my late husband at home while raising our daughter. When she started school, I started subbing at the school and I have continued that.. this is year 18. We also have or own company which enables us to office out of the house. I have continued the company and subbing since his sudden death in 2015.

Don't feel stuck or tied down to 1 decision. Things change over time and you may have more options. Also, don't let anyone make you feel bad because you feel the need to work vs stay home full time. There is a balance that comes in time that works for you.

I agree with your point of being home when your child starts school. As a teacher for 18 years, I see the need of a parent to be home to help the children decompress, do homework, participate in events, etc.

I hope you find what works for your family.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Sorry but I have to say I feel sorry for your husband. I assume he works full time? Yet you enjoy having him clean and cook and while he’s doing this he has to listen to you whine? I understand your dilemma. Many of us also live it. But your focus on making yourself happy and shopping makes me think you have some growing up to do. Your daughter will benefit from having a hard working, down to earth mother. I don’t like cooking or cleaning either and make enough money to easily pay someone to cook for me everyday if I wanted. But I don’t want my kids growing up watching their mother be a spoiled princess. So I’d say to get a grip and accept life involves hard work and hard choices and doing things we don’t like to do. Set a good example for your daughter. That’s probably more impt than whether you’re home or not.

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answers from Boston on

I'm thrilled to read that comments were helpful and that they've prompted you to take some action (e.g. coaching) and helped you to rethink some things. If you've had experience working from home and have that entrepreneurial focus and drive, that's great. And you do understand that working form home is WORK - which many of our posters don't fully understand.

Of course you want to give your daughter the things you missed - such as parents at school events.

Let me suggest a couple of things: being there for your daughter is work, and it has value. Always measuring your value and contribution in terms of money is unfair to all of the women and the low-paid care workers and teachers who aren't making what they deserve. So don't put yourself down, and don't, by association, inadvertently put others down.

Second, try to contain the "going nuts" buying things for your daughter. Yes, it's fun, but is that what she needs? Let me suggest that you redirect some of those dollars, and give her stuff that will help her grow and have wonderful memories. So, instead of another outfit or cute pair of shoes she'll outgrown in 5 months, how about buying a membership to a children's or science museum? I had fun shopping in resale shops for my son (lots of perfectly good clothes, and it was no different than getting cute hand-me-downs from friends), and having money left over to give him experiences. We used so many free resources, such as our public library's passes to dozens of area museums and attractions. We'd try them out, and if we found one that we felt would be a favorite, we bought a year's membership. It made it possible to go for free, and just stay for a child's attention span of an hour or two, rather than turn it into a long day because, "Hey, we paid full price for admission." Exhibits change, and our child's interests and abilities changed over the years, yet we always found we could do fun things. My son is grown now, and remembers those times we spent together. He doesn't remember one pair of shoes or one pair of pants. Instead of me buying him a toy in the store, he'd stop in the museum gift shop at the end of a day of good behavior, and we'd get a member discount on something that piqued his interest at home and his pursuit of knowledge. It created a work ethic in him as well. So think creatively about the memories you want to create with your child, and use your dollars in a wise and meaningful way rather than the fleeting fun of an impromptu purchase.

You could also save up for "experience" type vacations that will give your child great memories. For example, we rented an RV a couple of times and traveled around to see the sights. We experienced campgrounds without having to rough it in tents (some people love that but we don't!), our son met and played with kids he didn't know (which developed his confidence and social skills), and we saw some great landmarks (museums, caverns, etc.) while having wonderful bonding time on the drive. While this particular experience might not be for you, I hope you'll use the idea and try some other things that are a mix of luxuries and simple times and pleasures.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

good for you for listening and working through your own issues. so few do that.

i'm still puzzled by your not wanting to be a SAHM until your child hits school. if you work p/t you can still get to events and functions and be home at least most of the time when the kid gets home from school.

mostly i hope you figure out how to get your own business up and running. sounds like that's your happiest possibility.


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answers from Chicago on

Glad it sounds like you are figuring things out. I’m really hoping that counseling helps you feel less guilty about whatever you decide to do. There are no right or wrong paths, you just have to figure out what your priorities are and find what works for you. I think it’s terribly wrong that only moms are asked to make these kind of decisions, making it almost inevitable that we feel stressed when we find that it just isn’t possible to have it all, at least not all at once.

I want to live in a world where all parents are given the opportunities to work flexible schedules that allow for time for work and time for home. Even people who aren’t parents would benefit from flexibility.

I have been fortunate to work in a field where part-time and flexibility is possible. I definitely think you should ask your job for greater flexibility, and rather than quitting entirely, you might want to continue part time work when your daughter begins school so that you can participate in school events, but still have work that you enjoy. I would also second Diane’s suggestion about spending your money on experiences rather than stuff. I know it can be fun to buy things, but kids really remember and appreciate experiences much more.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

I'm glad you are figuring it out. In the future, I still think you should go part time though instead of quitting work altogether. Your child will be in school during the day and I think you will be bored and unfulfilled not working. Also it will help you to not feel guilty when you spend money. You can limit yourself to not spend more than you make. Ok, good luck! Talk to your employer about doing a job share where you share your job half time with another person. At my job if you work more than 20 hours a week (even if it is only 21) you don't get health care, but you DO get retirement benefits.

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answers from Portland on

Just a follow up to this question - I have friends who work from home - have home businesses, and also are contract workers (work odd hours. When they are busy, they work non stop full time, then have patches when they don't work at all. They can decline work offers if they want - if their home/family life is busy).

Home businesses can be VERY busy. Both moms I know who do it have very supportive husbands who totally pick up the slack, and have families (grandparents) who also pick up the slack. If you want your home business to work (even with school age kids) you have to have support. Just something to keep in mind.

Working from home (as in you have a position where you can work from home) - you'll have to have childcare after school - you can't really manage it, or playdates, or taking kids to activities, whatever you plan to do - if you're working, if conference calls come up or your boss needs you to handle something, or clients need a report, etc.

I still think if you could find a related position that's part time - and here, I personally would opt for certain days and have others free - and your child went to daycare the days you work - would be my preference if I had to do it again. that's what my sister did and she had the best arrangement by FAR of anyone I knew.

I have another close friend who has something similar but she works mornings one week and afternoons the next with her school aged kids. It's hectic and busy. She doesn't need to (financially) but does to work, and get out of the house and for her. It's ok. I think she'd rather have a full day off every two days because part time days are rushed - you can't get as much done as you'd think (appointments, etc.)

ETA: Thank you TF for pointing out that SAHM are contributing. When I am in that position, I actually find it more exhausting than working (at a paid job) at times. It's often thankless. :)

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