Stay at home or work outside of home?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
How many of you mothers out there work outside the home, how many are stay-at-home moms, and why?
-- Gayle in KY (email@example.com), March 26, 2002
When I had my daughter, I took her to work with me as a chef. That got tricky after awhile, so I got a job cooking at a fancy "day school" for yuppy kids. My daughter was in her class (2 year olds) and was always nearby.
Then, I went back to college and managed the food service on weekends in exchange for my tuition. Once I graduated from college, I took Heather out of second grade and homeschooled her from then on. I started a CSA farm as a source of income at home.Did that for 12 years.
Now my daughter is earning $11 hour at 18 years old as a carpenter. It's not her ultimate goal in life as she also does uncollege for outdoor recreation. I'm very glad I spent as much time as possible with my daughter. We are very close and she turned out darn good ;-) http://www.homestead.com/peaceandcarrots/HeathersHouse.html
-- Peace and Carrots Farm, Vermont (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 26, 2002.
I used to work outside of the home, and finally realized that raising children wasn't an evening and week-end job. So, I quit my job and we moved to NC so my husband could accept a job paying more money.
That was four years ago, and we've never been happier. I do some legal transcribing about ten hours a week--nothing much, but it helps pay for some "extras" and allows us to save a bit more. (When I quit my job, we cut our income by more than 1/2.) The per hour wage doesn't amount to a whole lot, but I can do it at home when it's convenient for me.
I used to feel that working was an economic necessity. Looking back, I realize that we could have done a lot more with a lot less. Honestly, it had to do more with my ideas of "success," which were pretty much tied up with my career. Once I really thought about what "success" meant to me, I realized that raising healthy, happy and well-adjusted children was more important to me than anything else.
Don't get me wrong . . . I don't think that moms who work outside the home are necessarily "wrong." On the other hand, I think that it's a lot more difficult to raise children well when both parents are working outside of the home. I suppose it can be done (and sometimes needs to be done), but something is definitely lost at home.
For those who feel that they must work outside the home for economic reasons, I know that sometimes it is necessary. However, I think there are an awful lot of families out there who say they "have to" work when the reality is that one parent could stay at home if they were willing to adjust their priorities. A couple of years ago at a Girl Scout meeting one working mom said that she simply didn't have the time to spend 2 hours one evening or weekend manning a cookie booth . . . afterall, she worked for a living. Despite the fact that I was the cookie mom AND working 3 cookie booths (in addition to two booths for my younger child in another troop), this mother felt that I should work HER booth, too. "Afterall, you stay at home--isn't this why you do it?" I gently pointed out that we made the choice to stay at home so that I could raise our children--not hers. She became rather incensed and said that she HAD to work unlike me. Well, this family had two nice cars (less than two years old), a house nearly TWICE the size of ours and took nice trips every year. Yeah, I'd have to work to support that lifestyle, too.
Even those who don't have lavish lifestyles to support can often find ways of reducing their expenses and/or picking up a bit of income without having to work full-time out of the home.
Just my two cents worth.
-- Julie Woessner (email@example.com), March 26, 2002.
My wife stays at home and will until our youngest starts Kindergarden. We feel strongly about the bonding in those years and we don't trust many people with our children when they're that young. We have a rough go of it financially but it's worth it. Besides, daycare is outrageous and it almost isn't worth it to work just to pay someone else to raise your kid and lose all that time ... it goes too quick!
-- Mike in PA (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 26, 2002.
Julie, I would have had to bite my tongue (and it might not have worked, at that) before retorting, "No, I stay at home with my kids so I can laugh at stupid people like you who haven't a clue!" I may save that for when people ask why I don't volunteer for this or that at school.....;o)
Mike, just from the other side (as a Mom), daycare is cheap considering what you are asking providers to do--look after the most precious people in your lives. If you do the math, most daycare providers do not even make minimum wage. I wouldn't go into the daycare business for the money--it isn't enough. A lot of people (not you in particular, women gripe about it too ;) complain about daycare costs, because they unconsciously devalue the time and experience of a stay-at-home-parent. That is a societal thing, and a real shame.
Although, if you read the current thread on the woman with Lupus, it could well change your mind about, even if not working outside the home, at least looking into disability insurance on the stay-at-home parent.
-- GT (email@example.com), March 26, 2002.
I stay home. I worked up until DS was born, then stayed out the full 12 weeks I was allowed under family medical leave. Then I had to go back and finish the school year, so I taught for the last 4 weeks of school! I didn't teach the next year, and last school year I thought I wanted to go back. I ended up working part-time last year (only 8- 12 M-F) which basically PROVED to me that it isn't worth it! I am not working this year.
A person would have to make an awful lot more money than I do (teaching) to make a "profit" at working....after daycare, gas for car, car repairs, clothing, doctor bills because he was sick all the time in daycare, etc., etc.....I calculated one time that I was PAYING to have the privilege of working and making my entire family miserable.
I couldn't stand the reality of only seeing my son maybe 4 hours a day, and during his most grouchy time at that. He was always grouchy and tired by the time we got home from school (4:30 pm) and we had 4 hours til bedtime...during which I was supposed to clean the house, cook supper, feed the animals, grade papers, work on stuff for tomorrow's lessons, etc......
I am 100% certain I made the right decision to stay home. I sell things on ebay to help pay off our debt, and we make do with 1/2 the income we had last year. Another thing most people don't consider is the income taxes. When we both work full-time, we are in the 33% tax bracket. If only DH works, we are in the lowest income bracket and I think it's something like 12% maybe? That really does make a big difference in "the big picture" as far as $$.
-- Tracey in Alabama (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 26, 2002.
I stay home but I've worked on & off at part-time jobs, babysitting, cleaning, etc, but only if I could take the kids with me or do the job when my husband could be home with the kids. We sell at the farmers market & the kids are either with me or at home with dad.
I'v noticed over the years that people are willing to pay much more for having their houses cleaned than having their children cared for.
-- Bonnie (email@example.com), March 26, 2002.
I am at home 4 days a week and work teach at a college 3 days a week. Why do I stay home? To keep my house in order and spend time alone with my youngest. Why do I work? To provide a private christian education for our 4 children and to allow one of our children to continue training as a competitive athlete. Would I stay home full time? Not if it meant my son giving up his dream of the Olympics and my children not being able to go to a christian school. I think most of us would love to be stay at home moms and I guess if grandma and a good daycare weren't available for babysitting and if I didn't have a job that gave summers off as well as all the other holidays and didn't have the flexibility when the kids are sick I may do different. But for now this works for our family quite well. Our days are short and either my husband or myself can pick the older kids up from school and bring them to school in the morning. The same goes for daycare drop off and pickup, our son is there only 2 days a week and his day is usually quite short.
-- susan banks (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 26, 2002.
I stay at home, have occasionally worked if we needed extra money for some bigger repairs on this old place. The time spent with children goes by in a blink of an eye. We also homeschool, and can't imagine how much the time would fly by even fasterif they were in school. I will more then likely stay home after the kids are grown also. This is who I am!!! My choice in careers, I guess you would say! We manage, sometimes struggle with finances, that is if your trying to be debt free! Getting a loan is just to easy anymore... We do alot of the self sufficient things. We raise our meat, milk, veggies, etc. etc. I'm getting real good at carpentry, & home repairs. What more could I want out of life. I've got it all right here............
-- Suzanne (email@example.com), March 26, 2002.
I worked full-time until I had my daughter last year. Honestly, I think I knew even before she was born that I wanted to stay home with her full-time, but I left the option open for myself & took a leave instead of quitting. When she was a little over 3 mos. old I went back to work part-time. That lasted 3 weeks. It wasn't worth it stress-wise or financially.
For me, part of it has to do with how I was raised. My mother stayed home with us 4 kids until the youngest was back in school, putting her career (teaching) on hold. Now, all her contemporaries are retiring, but she has a few more years to go because of the time she took off. I asked her while I was pregnant what she thought of that....she said she will never regret it - sure she'd like to be retiring, like everyone else, but she says she would never change her decision. She is my role model in so many ways - this is another. That was part of it for me.
Another part was my husband's support. Before we were married, we discussed how we would like our lives to be - how we wanted to live. One part of that was children & we both decided it would be best, if possible, for me to stay home with them. He works hard to support our family - when I quit my job, our income was cut almost in half. So, we've made sacrifices, but nothing that matters more than our daughter.
Another part was the fact that we tried for 3 years to have a baby. After 2 miscarriages our daughter arrived! After all that waiting, grieving, hoping, etc....I didn't want to miss a moment of her life. She makes me laugh every day - she is so beautiful & such a blessing. There isn't much that could keep me away from her for too long at a time.
I could go on & on - there are so many reasons.
Just because you stay at home, doesn't mean you can't do something to help support the family! I do some consulting for my previous employer & am considering other home business ideas. Also, my house is cleaner than it was while I worked; my husband & I actually eat square meals, etc....I have been getting our garden ready & will do more in it this year than when I worked. All of this adds up to a more productive home.
-- heather (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 26, 2002.
I will become a stay-at-home Mom in August, God willing. I will be leaving an administrative position earning approximately $75,000/year. The joke around the house is that I need to find a cookbook for recipes for beans and water, since that's likely what we'll be consuming for the forseable future. LOL
-- Liz Rhein (email@example.com), March 26, 2002.
Wow Liz! Keep us posted on how that goes. If you need any help, we're always here.
-- Gayle in KY (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 26, 2002.
Even though I work full time for one newspaper as a reporter/photographer and part time for a daily newspaper, my office has been in my home for the past 22 years.
I started it that way because my kids were at home when I started. Now they're all grown and gone and I'm still working at home and loving it!
We also homeschooled til they all grew up and that worked out great!
Kids need their mothers at home and they need their dads there too!!!
-- Suzy in Bama (email@example.com), March 26, 2002.
i am a work at home mom , although its rather hard to classify, we have tons of animals , and of course adding more all the time, so thats my main "work" but i am also in the process of writing a cookbook, and testing recipes, so thats yet another aspect of me
i homeschool our 12 year old and take care of our 20 month old, so theres another aspect
i also do marriage and family pastoral counseling, so theres more "work"
but since right now nothing"pays" i dont*"work"* according to the Gov.......
-- Beth VS,in SE North Dakota (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 26, 2002.
I am blessed to work at home as a computer tech. The company I work for is in Philly, I'm in Michigan. They fax me a paper with a client's name, phone # and a short description of their problem and I call them from here. I have been doing this for 8 years with a 6 month 'break'. It is pretty stressful, lots of hours. I go through periods where I have to be on-call, meaning I work from 8 am to 9 pm. My pager doesn't work most times, so I have to call in to get messages (like every 15 minutes). That's a pain in the butt. BUT...I'm home. My youngest is almost 17 now, and it has been good to be here. Sometimes, though, they would see me here, and think they have mom, but, alas, "I'm still working". There are definitely trade- offs, but all-in-all, it's sure better than working outside the home. I remember leaving my first child, at 6 weeks to go back to work. What an awful feeling. I hated working when my girls were little. Amy
-- Amy (email@example.com), March 26, 2002.
A penny saved is a penny earned. That kind of sums up my situation. When I was working outside the home I once figured up all my expenses (even the little ones most folks don't count). Wow I was paying for the priviledge of working! I don't bring money in per se until you figure out the value of my being at home. I make everything from scratch and raise most of our food(including milk and honey). If I were to figure the retail value of all the things I produce at home I make a pretty good income. I barter with a lot of my homemade goodies....to me that is as good as getting cash for it..plus I don't have to pay taxes on it :o). I do plan on doing a few things from home for money this year....need money for building a house. I'd have to make a lot of money at a job in order to justify giving up the benefits of me staying at home. This doesn't even count the value of staying home with my children....priceless.
-- Amanda (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 26, 2002.
Never worked until our girls were into high school. We just planned our budget on what hubby made and still do. Any monies I do make now on the "JOB" (journey of broke) helps. I do have a home business of sorts that allows me to make more money than at my nursing position. My daughter has 3 boys at home and does excellent at this home business down south. She has never had her children in day care. She has worked hard at this "home" business and it is a great success for many women. Not exaaclty what you would think a homesteader "women" would be doing but I love it and the money too !! I think staying at home with the children is so very important. Sure...we never had a new car all the years the girls were home...still don't. But I can't see working a 40 hour a week job to pay for a car payment.. Maybe I'm crazy but we can still pay our bills on my husbands salary if need be. Guess it's just whatever your priorities are in your life. It's your decesion and don't let people tell you what is important for you and your family.
-- Helena (email@example.com), March 26, 2002.
Used to work full time and only left full time employment after 3rd. child was born. We thought we'd be broke after I quit my job but the opposite happened. We actually were able to save more. I guess our priorities changed. We're very family oriented and we weren't when I worked full time for a large medical office. That was 8 years ago. I did take a part time job with the county last year to coordinate the sporting activities in our small town. It wasn't because of money that I took this job. I don't make very much money and its stressfull at times but doing this job makes a difference for the children. No more coaches who curse in front of the children, etc...I also handle all paper work from my house and when I go to work I usually get to see on of my children playing 1st. base! I don't ever want to work full time or outside of my home again. I've done both and I've seen the difference staying home has made for my 3 boys. We also currently homeschool 2 of our 3 children... Oldest (14 )is crazy about the ROTC program at the local high school. Michelle.
-- Michelle Thomas (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 26, 2002.
I worked so much when I was a single parent that my daughter really didn't know who I was. I finally realized it wasn't worth it and quit a very good paying job to work part time so she would know me. When I got married I still worked part time until I started having high risk pregnancies then I was asked to quit my job. I now stay at home and have 2 very active boys but there are days I really miss working. Not for the money but to have adult interactions. I've tried to explain this to my husband but he doesn't seem to understand, he prefers that I stay home and for the most part I agree. But...there are days. That's part of the reason I come to this sight every night-just to communicate with others or just to see what they're doing.
-- Terri in WV (email@example.com), March 27, 2002.
Terri, I know just what you mean!
-- Gayle in KY (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 27, 2002.
I know just what you mean, Terri and Gayle. I've always stayed home with my son and I also Homeschool him. It's been very hard at times (actually most of the time). His father left when he was 6 months old and has never paid child support. Heck, my son wouldn't know his dad if he walked up and said "Hi" to him. But the struggle has always been more than worth it. And I get lots of comments from other people about how polite and considerate my son is. And he is a great kid! (And yes, I know everyone thinks that about their children.) I support us by raising and selling farm animals and dog.
It's a hard life being the mom and dad and the sole supporter AND staying at home and being the one to raise your own child. But the rewards are PRICELESS................
-- Jodie in TX (email@example.com), March 27, 2002.
I stayed at home and homeschooled until both girls went off to college. The problem I found is that some of the other mothers would always be qualifing to me why they worked. It was their choice. They also would like me to take their kids when they were sick so they didn't have to take a day off. I know it sounded bad but I didn't do those kind of favors because I didn't want the sick kid with my healty kids. Now, though I would like to work and I do have a college education but if you haven't worked in 20 years, your not going to work! We live on a ranch now so I guess my work is feeding 100 animals and I started a home business which is doing okay. There is good and bad to both sides of issue. I only wish we all could get along on the issue because it is a very personal choice for ones' family.
-- debbie (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 28, 2002.
I worked outside the home for 8 years before I had my daughter; and returned to work when she was 12 weeks old. I have a happy, healthy, well adjusted child who will be graduating from high school in just a few weeks; and who will be going to school to become a nurse, like her Mama. She also plans to both work outside the home and bear children - but not for several years yet. I was also the child of a mother who worked outside the home, and I did not feel abandoned or neglected because she worked. I had excellent child care while growing up; as did my daughter. Most of my aunts also worked outside the home as well - the ones that did stay in the home had jobs that provided income, such as child care, sewing or house cleaning.
My mother told me that she felt that any woman who had more children than she, by herself, could support - financially, emotionally and lifewise - was a damn fool. This coming from a Catholic woman in the 1960's. She's passed away now, but her words stuck with me (her only child), and I'm sure that they've stuck with my daughter (my only child) as well.
You can work outside the home and be an excellent parent - and that means mothers and fathers - you just need to look at the world around you without blinders and prepare yourself. I wouldn't have bothered to marry a man who didn't want to participate in raising his child - (Andrea Yates ring a bell?) - I grew up "in Daddy's hip pocket" and wanted/expected no less for a child of my own. You can work outside the home, participate in your childs education/activities and yes - homestead, too. You just need to make certain your priorities are straight - for me, that was #1-child; #2-marriage; #3-job; #4- homestead. That was pretty much the order for Jes's Dad also. You need to find out what your spouse's priorities are, and then work out a realistic plan for sharing work and chores. Yeah, you're going to be tired sometimes - I look at everything my grandmother and other ancestors had to do just to survive, then I'm grateful that I'm just tired!
When I worked in a factory job, my husband and I worked opposite 12 hour shifts (nights/days), so that Jes (daughter) would be with one or the other of us most of the time. When she wasn't with one of us, she was with a family friend who lives on a farm; or with her grandparents. We planned to live and work in an area near our families and friends. By working 12 hours shifts, we had 7 days out of 14 off, allowing time for both of us to go on field trips, chaparone class parties and dances, participate in 4-H. When we took vacations, we took them to kid places/educational/historical sites - for instance; the trip to Walt Disney World also included the Space Center, Ft. Augustine, the Georgia coastal islands, Appilachian mountains, and many historical sites in TN, KY and IN. Could we have afforded that trip without my working also - No, not that one, nor many of the day or weekend trips we took - always with the child in tow. There's plenty of time for adult activities after the children are grown. (I plan to spend my adult time spoiling grandkids!)
As far as working/kids/homesteading - We usually did homesteading big jobs (butchering, gardening, canning) on our days off; but it wasn't unusual to come home after my shift and pick a bushel of tomatoes. He'd come home after his shift and wash them and run them through the juicer; then I'd come home after mine and take the juice out of the fridge, heat it and can it. He cooked. I cooked. He cleaned. I cleaned. Jes worked with and learned from both of us; and we learned from each other. She and I learned how to finish concrete from him; she and he learned to sew from me, and so on. If we had too much going on at one time, we'd cut something out - and it wasn't childrearing.
I now work as a nurse, 12 hour night shifts; and Jes's Dad owns his own business in the town where she attends school. At 17, she doesn't need us often (we've raised a pretty self-reliant child) but one of us is always available if she wants us. When I was working full time and attending nursing school, her Dad bore most of the child rearing load; when he went to school and was working long hours getting his business started, I did. Did I mention that we are divorced - and that we did this going to school/starting a business AFTER the divorce? Cooperation. Shared goals. Putting the kid first.
I know a ton of other working mothers - all I have to do is take a look around the hospital where I work; the school my daughter attends, the stores that I shop in. I take a look at their kids and I see a lot of good kids - yeah, some kids with problems too; but I see those kids in families where Mom stays home, too. If you don't think you are capable of working outside the home and still raising happy children - then don't. It is hard work, requires a lot of flexability and determination, and it isn't for everyone. If you feel like you want or need to go to work outside the home, then go for it - just remember to make sure you've talked it out with your spouse (if you have one), and make sure that your priorities are in order - the kids come first. If you don't have a job that allows you to put the kids first; look for another one, getting retrained for something else if necessary. You can do it all if you want to.
-- Polly (email@example.com), March 28, 2002.
all depends on your personality. i enjoyed staying home far more than i enjoyed the 60+hour work week i had in the army. bills and hubby's stress plus the fact that my disability from the army for a damaged back is allowing me to go to school for no $$ out of my pocket has sent me back to school. i've worked part time since i got out of the military-will NOT go back to that long of a work week. some of us don't intend to have more kids than we can support by ourselves, birth control does not always work-pills, "umbrellas", rhythm and a vasectomy have all failed us. we now have 4 and a tubal. 1 in 10,000 odds the tubal won't work. we get the kids we are intended to have. i'm going to school for elementary ed. plan to teach in one of the rural school systems here. my mom keeps the younger kids, i leave after the older ones and get home before them. i will do my best every semester to arrange my schedule this way. i'm not so tired after school i can't enjoy my kids-i have a good thing and i love my life. the youngest will be school age when i finish.
-- laura (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 28, 2002.
Here's another point of view - I was a child raised by a "stay at home Mom" and I sure am grateful. Most of my friends went home to an empty house - I went home to a healthy snack, a hug and someone who watched over me as I did my homework. Not to mention the tea parties, bike rides, walking to the grocery store (1 car family) with the red wagon to bring home the goods, etc. All my friends liked to come over and play because my Mom always had patience and homemade cookies to share.
I admit I sometimes envied the other kids that had tons of toys and clothing. However, now as a grown-up myself, I would not trade my childhood for all the barbies and dresses in the world. By the way, I am still freinds with some of my childhood buddies - all of their children are in daycare - what a shame. Best of luck to you.
-- diane greene (email@example.com), April 01, 2002.