Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?

Updated on October 04, 2009
R.P. asks from Richardson, TX
12 answers

I'm a working mom with a demanding full-time job. Lately, I've been thinking more and more about staying at home full-time instead. Financially, it's feasible. The bills will paid; the lights will stay on. But, we'd still be cutting our income by a third, and this represents a major lifestyle adjustment. My husband and I are viewing it as a quality of life decision. Right now, the stress of an eight-hour workday followed by baths, and dinner, and bedtime is coupled with weekends spent running a billion errands and cleaning and catch-up, so the net result is almost zero downtime.

I'd love to hear from women left solid careers in favor of staying home. How did you cope with the lifestyle adjustment? And, do you look back with any regrets? I'm worried that, household budget aside, I may not be stay-at-home material. I LOVE my child, but I like the challenge of working too.

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So What Happened?

I just wanted to thank everyone for their wisdom and encouragement. I'm still processing everything, but I do feel better equipped to make the right decision. Thanks!

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answers from Lubbock on

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answers from Dallas on

I also work part time. The biggest thing for me is getting out of the house. When I stayed home full time (well,and watched some lil' kiddos in my home) I never got out. I learned that I have to get out, run to the store, go to a different park, meet other mommies out somewhere, and I love staying home when I do those things and am plugged in with others. You will not regret it. I have my lil' cash car in the driveway and frankly will drive it forever if it means I don't have to stress over where and who my children are with. Now I work part time at the church and the girls go with me to their own classes. I think that is good for all of us. I did not do that until the lil' one was 18 months. Find a balance; but I guarantee you won't regret the time with your child.

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answers from Dallas on

Hello R.,

I have the best of both worlds at the moment. I work full time at home. Because of this, I am able to spend lots of time with my girls. At times though, I wish I was able to be a SAHM full time. Unfortunately, my salary makes up half of our income. So if I were to stop working, we would be in dire straights.

If working full time is too stressful to the point where you can't even enjoy quality time with the kids, then do what your heart tells you to do. You are lucky enough to have a supportive husband. If he's okay with it, then go for it.


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answers from Dallas on

I have been full-time, part-time and totally stay-at-home - I have 3 kids and they are all school aged now - I really don't know how I could possible work full time and get them all to and from school and activities... I work part time and that works for our family at this stage of our life.

Are there sacrifices?? Absolutely! Are there rewards? Even more so!

When I worked full time (with 3 kids) I was running ragged - and we ate out a lot or take out a lot b/c we had to - the financial gains were not worth the toll on our family life. I had to have full time childcare and it was chaos - I didn't have kids for someone else to raise - that is just me ... at that time we needed the income and it was short term (only 18 months) - otherwise I have not been full time since having my first child 13 years ago...

I really believe that no one will look back on their life and say "I wish I had worked more..."

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Wichita Falls on

Definitely stay home with your child. I am a teacher and at school yesterday we had a big event and the students whose parents were not there were so disappointed. The one's whose parents WERE there said things like, "THERE's my MOM." and "I DID IT WITH MY MOM!!!" The ones whose parents weren't there were disappointed, and I am not just talking young, young children....up to middle grades.

Aside from that, what is more precious than time spent with your son? There are many many challenges at home. If you don't need the $$, I think you should definitely stay at home.

Best of luck to you, in every possible way!



answers from Chicago on

After my first son was born, I continued working 4 days a week/40-50 hours and we had a nanny come each day to our house. When I became pregnant the second time, I knew I did not want to continue working. Our nanny was awesome, but I wanted to be the primary caregiver to my kids. After our daughter was born, I tried to resign, but my boss created a job for me where I could work part-time from home, totally flexible, it was hard to say no. I can do my job while they are napping or at night, it is not at all demanding and I can do it in my sleep (not literally, of course, wouldn't that be ideal? Make money while you're sleeping!). I had a six figure salary, this change to "part-time from home" cut our income considerably. I had a really successful career but never for one second do I regret stepping aside to be home with my kids. The monetary sacrifices are totally worth it. It was a huge adjustment, no doubt financially, but for me personally, my career had totally defined me for many many years. It took a long time to adjust, sometimes I felt a little lost. I am now expecting my third and I'm not sure if I will continue to work at all. What I do know is, if you are talented, you can always return to work; great opportunities will always exist for talented women. It's worth it to try staying home. I find it incredibly rewarding and wouldn't change a thing. There's plenty of time and opportunity for working. There's only one opportunity to be there while your kids are little. At least that's how I look at it! Good luck!



answers from Dallas on

Wow this is a biggie!!
I have done the two choices, now with 3 kids 8, 6 and 4 I am on choice number 3...part time.
I am very lucky to have this option because I too love my job and my kids. It is still a little crazy but better than full time.
Any chances you can find something part time?
Your baby is entering an important stage of attaching strongly to you, it would be great to have you there so speaking for him...mama is best, but mama needs to be happy too.
Good luck!


answers from Dallas on


I left full time teaching to be a full time SAHM 11 years ago and have zero regrets. Yes, it would be nice to be driving new cars and living in a bigger house but are those the things I will regret one day on my death bed? Obviously not....but for me, I know that I would have regretted the time I missed, even as mundane as it is sometimes. I'm raising my kids, not child care givers....for me, that is the only option unless something happens that forces me back to work (husband losing job or being hurt). I don't judge women that choose to work, that is their choice. My friend helped me put it all in perspective one time....She said, "Glenda, you have only 18 very short years to impart as much of your values and morality as you can on your children. After that, they will have the rest of their lives to be at the mercy of what the world considers moral and right. So, make the absolute most of this time you have with them". That has been one of the wisest things that has ever been said to me and puts it all into perspective the reason I choose to forgo the extra income to stay home. My kids deserve to have at least one parent that is pretty much always available, dad is very busy with his work and does the best he can but time is limited. I'd hate for it to be that way from me, too. Hope that answers your wishes in what ever decision you make.




answers from Dallas on

I left a full time career to become a SAHM. No regrets. There is no job in this world as important to me as raising my children. Sure, our lifestyle changed. We don't eat out as much because I have the time to cook dinner every night. I wouldn't ever go back unless I had to. It was a little hard to transition to staying at home, but my saving grace was joining Stroller Strides and their mom's group. So, definitely find yourself a mom's club that you can be active in. Get yourself out of the house every day. Even if it is just for a walk in the morning. I know it can be a difficult decision. Just do what feels right for you.



answers from Dallas on

I was laid off back in Spring so not my decision to be a SAHM. But our 2 youngest, 7th and 4th graders, I just felt that I am very needed with them. Our 4th grader has a learning disability and it is very important to me that I can be there for him and the 7th grader is a girl and lots of changes going on with her (not bad just growing up). I knew tho that I had to bring in some money and this also seemed like a great time to try something new - working at home. This was way outside my comfort zone as I have worked for many years and my insurance coverage had been free.

I happened to meet someone prior to getting laid off who introduced me to this great company, team and most definitely great products. I was very hesitant (thinking it was one of those schemes) but as I was trying the products talked to friends and turned out they used or had used the products and loved them. And my team - what a super fantatics support and training I've received in marketing and support. The products are awesome and very safe, eco - friendly - green products for your home, bath / body, nutrition & vitamins and even makeup. It has been awesome helping people too - whether just to refer them to these great products or to help them in their search to make extra income. And another great thing - no inventory, no delivery, no repeat sales.

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answers from Dallas on

My decission was made for me when I was in a car accident. I was a Human Resource Manager for 7 branches in Oklahoma and Texas and put in anywhere from 60 - 80 hour work weeks. My kids went to Playtime Daycare and sometimes I would have to call them and ask them to feed my kids dinner because I was going into another meeting. I never saw my kids or my husband who worked 2nd shift at that time and his days off were Wednesday and Thursday so no weekend time as a family. Getting fired while on medical leave was a blessing, even though we ended up homeless for awhile, (I was making a little over $4000 per month and then months later my husband lost his job so it hit us hard). My family learned that money is not important that God and family are all that matter. We still struggle, but from what you said its feasible with your husbands pay and it sounds like you all will be ok. If your wanting some extra income, join something like PartyLite or Homemade Gourmet to make money. Sell to your old co-workers, family, friends, etc. And any mom is a good mom, God blessed you with a child...enjoy him. There are a ton of MOPS Groups out there along with play places to meet other parents at, you'll do great!



answers from Dallas on

I've done all 3 options. I'm happiest working, preferrably full time. Yes there are social groups for moms, but those to me aren't the same as the satisfaction of my career. If you can go part time or on a leave of absence to try it out, that might work best for you.

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