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Advice from SAHM's and Working Moms
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Advice from SAHM's and Working Moms

I am looking for advice from SAHM's and Working Moms. What made you decide to stay home or work outside the home? Was money the only factor? Has anyone gone from working full-time to being a SAHM? Was it the best decision you ever made or would you rather work? The reason I am asking is because dh and I are considering having me stay home full-time next school year. Some of you already know that our childcare arrangement (my mother) is not working out and we would rather not send Avery to daycare. I am so scared to make a decision. The economy is terrible. Financially we can do it but we won't have alot of extra money especially since we will have to buy our own health insurance which will cost over $500 dollars a month. So, we either spend $500 dollars for healthcare or $190 dollars a week for daycare. Please share your stories! :)
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I went from working full time to being a SAHM.  I would have much preferred to work part time, but there was nothing available that made it an option.  I loved work, and I miss it, but the hours were just way too much and I missed my girlies.  Now I miss work.  But after a few year of being a SAHM, I finally found a nice part time job and so I go back to work next week. For me, part time is the ideal balance.
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Whatever decision you make I am sure you will be fine.  You would be a great SAHM and Avery would be so excited to have you all the time.  Just think of all the stuff you will get to do with Avery on a daily basis.  I am off this summer and I already got two memberships, one to sesame place and one to the zoo:)
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270405_tn?1293039221
Well, we decided that I would stay home when I had my first baby.  My husband's Mom was home with her kids, and it was important to him to have the same for his kids.  I did not have parents around much when I was a kid, and was a latch key kid from a very young age.  Lets just say things didn't work out so well with me being home so much with out parental supervision.  

Now, originally I was going to stay home for the first year, then get another job.  Now I'm about to have my 3rd baby, and I've been home for over 4 years now.  At this point, it wouldn't even make sense for me to be working.  The cost of daycare for 3 kids would be so expensive.  I figure I will stay home with them until they are all in school, and then any jobs I have will revolve around their school schedules.  I want to be as available to my children as possible.  

Right now, it works ok on 1 income.  Sometimes things are tight, but we manage to make it work.  If for whatever reason I needed to get a job for financial reasons, then I would work around my husbands schedule so that one of us will always be home with our children.  Of course sometimes I miss working, but I would miss being with my children even more I think.

It is definately a personal decision, and you need to figure out what would work best for you and your family.
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alikat- I am hoping to find something part-time too. I think that would be a good balance for me, 2 days a week would be ideal for me. Good luck going back to work next week.

Kim- can we meet you at Sesame Place? :) It would be nice to stay home, I am just scared, confused, (as you already know) it is a big step!
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House of girls- Thanks for your input. I can't imagine the cost of daycare for 3!
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I would love to be a SAHM but with the way the  economy is going and hubby only working about 6-7m out of the year(for the last two yr) there is just no way I could stay home...But dont get me wrong I do love coming to work, I get a little Me time and to talk to grow up's! lol
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Well I'm a full time working mom and believe me, I would much rather stay home with Jayden.  Unfortunately, finances will not allow.  All healthcare is through me, we can't afford it if I stopped working.  We have way too many expenses even for me to consider staying home.  Richie would love it if I was able to stay home all the time, he thinks it would be good for Jayden but what can I do.  I say, if it is feasible then do it.  But it's all a personal choice.  Some days I love going to work and getting a break but then I just miss him when I'm here.  Plus, it's nice not having to deal with moody bosses.
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I am a SAHM now. I've worked a few jobs since I had my DD, but since I got pregnant with #2 I haven't worked. I quit my job and I plan to be a SAHM, till the kids are in school and I have my degree, which I'm currently working on. I think money is a BIG factor; money and convience. We make enough for me to stay home and things so it works out. If things were different then I might be working after the baby. I don't know.
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Thanks ladies for your input!

Jezi-I agree sometimes I like coming to work for a break but then I just miss Avery once I am here. :(
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178590_tn?1294180367
I'm a full time working mom but just left being a SAHM.....(I was laid off) and I'm so hoping we can figure out how to get me to be a SAHM....I loved it and I'm hating it now.....but I'm the insurance carrier.....so that's a bad part....but we are working on a way to get me there....I hate not getting to see all the cute little things they do and affraid I'll miss all the firsts to come.....my mom comes to my house to keep them everyday but it's just not like me being there....
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My situation is very similar to houseofgirls. I am home w/ my girls for the most part and work 1 day a week with a cleaning job. I wish I could work more, but really, There is no one who could watch my children, and we probably couldn't afford it...I mean it would work out that if I worked even part time, all that money would go to child care, and not much, if any would come into our house hold. I plan for the most part, to stay with my girls until they enter school (For Madelyn, that is only 1 1/2 years!) and then return to the workforce, depending on the economy...THat is why I am working on m degree now, so I can be more qualified for when that time comes. Sometimes, for me at least, it is very difficult to be home w/ my kids all day. It is a lot of work, more so than any job I have worked outside of the home before having kids(I quit working once I got pregnant w/ my first as well). Sometimes it can be very frustrating. But, I think if I were working all the time, I would miss my girls and wish I was home w/ them. I agree w/ whoever sid a little bit of PT on the side, is good. Breaks are nice, I need them (even if only one day a week). What we are doing now works for us, but I do plan on working more when my girls enter school.
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I too think you would make a great SAHM!!  I work part-time mornings M-F.  I do enjoy working and it is nice to get out of the house and think of other things each day (and speak to adults!) but to tell you the truth our lives would just be easier if I were a SAHM.  The problem for me is that I still need to go through the whole routine of getting to and from work at specific times and that actually takes a lot of time!!  It seems to add stress to my life even though my job is very pleasant (taking care of a toddler is much more demanding than my job!!) :).  Yet when I am there I just want to be at home (again even though I enjoy it there.).  My current job will be ending in 18 months and we will probably take that as a opportunity for me to stay at home.  We don't really need the money from my job but of course it is nice and right now I have terrific benefits, better than dh, so it is hard to leave since I don't see another job like this coming my way again.  I personally think you should try staying at home - you can always go back to work later if you don't like it!!  Nothing is set in stone!  Plus $125 per week for insurance costs less than $190 for daycare.  It is scary though, with the economy and being 100% dependent on someone else.  That will be the hard part for me.  Best of luck - you will be great at whatever you decide!!  Avery will be so happy if you stay at home with her!!! :)
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148691_tn?1260198503
Oh hun I think you'd love to be a SAHM!!!! and your little princess would enjoy her mommy all the time!! My mom was a SAHM and I can tell you that was the best thing in the world! having my mom there, right beside me all the time... =*)

I HATE HATE HATE going to work and leaving Maddie with the sitter (even when she's really nice...) I am too, afraid I'll miss all those cute things and milestones, so far, I have been there to see them... but I WISH WITH ALL MY HEART I could stay with her...

Now I have worked my butt off to be as much as possible with her and still be productive and earn money. We cannot possibly afford me being at home (I actually make about 50% of the income) so that's not a choice for now... =(
But I have arranged with my boss to work 2 days a week from home one week and then 1 the next and then 2 the next and so on! =) I think that's awesome! =)

Good luck with what ever you decide!!!
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669941_tn?1252483658
I stayed home for the most part with Ayden.  I bartended at night once or twice a week for his whole first year.  I usually didn't leave until he was in bed and only got an hour or two of sleep before he got up but it was so worth it.  Now I work full time overnights as a 911 dispatcher and made the decision to come back full time after Lukas is born.  I don't leave the house till 7 and I'm home before they get up.  I figure even if I sleep for a few hours in the morning I still have pretty much all day with them.  Plus I only work 4 days a week.  I would rather be home full time though if you want my opinion.  The money we are paying in child care is crazy right now.  Since I'm pregnant I send Ayden to his sitters so I can sleep during the day before coming to work.  He loves it there.  With 3 kids we just can't do it financially for me to stay home again.  Plus I love my job.  I think you just need to weigh your options.
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Thanks ladies for all of your input!! You gals are great!!
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I went from working full time as a general manager of my own retail store to a SAHM and wouldn't change it for the world!  I think a lot of it is how stressful your job is/was to begin with.  Mine came with far too much stress for me to manage, so I quit when I was 20 weeks pregnant and haven't looked back!  We figured it would cost us more for met to work full time since we shared a car for the first 2 years of Abigail's life.  I am also extremely picky when it comes to daycares because I used to work in them.  I also have a BSE in education, so it's harder for me.  If my mom had retired, I might have gone back to work part time doing something different, but that's not an option.  

From childhood all I ever wanted to do was be a mom.  My mom was a SAHM until we went to college and I loved it.  DH's mom never knew where he was or who he was with and that bothered him too.  We both agreed that the financial struggle and sacrifice (gave up extras like clothes we don't need and eating out) were worth it.  

It's a very personal decision and especially if money isn't the only reason.  There will always be jobs out there, but your baby will never get their first few years back.  What I ended up doing was babysitting to bring in extra money, and it is working out GREAT for us!
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I am dealing with the same thing right now.  I have taught kindergarten for the last 10 years.   My son will be in kindergarten next year.  We are moving to Texas and I have decided to stay home with my 19 month old daughter.  Part of me is really excited, but part of me is sad that I will not be at school with my son.  I have always looked forward to the day that Bennett would be at school with me.  I have never stayed home, and I am afraid that I will hate it.  I am going to give it a try and see what happens. I am planning to volunteer at school a lot and be the best homeroom mom ever!!
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I just don't know how to be dependant on someone else. My DNA just won't allow it.  

It works for us.  Of course there are times when I wish I was at home with my son more, but overall I think this is the best situation for us all.  I won't work late or travelYou just have to decide what is the best for you and your family.  

best of luck either way :)  
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Also all our medical and retirement benefits are through my job.  
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15480_tn?1302533402
Thanks everyone for sharing your stories!

Tanker Chic- I know exactly what you mean, I am scared to be totally dependant on someone else too!

lfb-You will be a great homeroom mom! I would love to do that someday too! :)
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294043_tn?1354211546
After 5 months of staying at home with my girl I am going back to work full time.  I was born and raised in Europe where SAHMs were very rare.  I can't imagine not going to work.  My mom always worked full time and it did not affect me in a negative way.  Also, I want to set an example for my girl of a working mom.

In addition, my dh's mom became a SAHM when he was born and was not able to go back to work when he left to live on his own.  She does not regret her decision but my dh and her husband actually blame her depression on staying at home and being idle after he left.  So, my dh actually insists that I stay active in the workplace.  
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270405_tn?1293039221
I think it is scary to become a SAHM when you are used to working.  I worked from the moment I got out of high school, all the way until I had my first baby.  It was a huge adjustment for me.  I was so used to supporting myself, that it was hard to let go and be dependant on someone else.  Now, with our 3rd baby almost here, I look at it a little differently.  I feel that my husband and I are dependant on eachother.  He depends on me to take care of our children and to keep our household running.  I take care of him and our children, which allows him to work.  And I depend on him to work and make a living for us.  So he takes care of us as well.  He is also a very hands on Dad, so he helps me so much when he gets home from work.  If I have an appointment or something, he takes care of the kids.  So really, we work as a team in order to raise our family.  

What works for one family, doesn't necessarily work for another.  
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houseofgirls- I like the way you described it, you are exactly right. Just because I am not bringing in any income doesn't mean that I am not working. Taking care of a house and children is a full-time job in itself. Right now I feel like I have 2 full-time jobs, it would be nice to have just one.....................................................................................
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212720_tn?1304379015
I have the best of both worlds. I work full time from home.  I knew when I got pregnant that I did not want her in daycare nor did DH. He and I both had Moms who stayed home to take care of the kiddies and that is what we wanted for Quinn as well.
However we knew going down to 1 income would be tough, Luckily DH carries all of the benefits. I also did not want all of my education and past work experience to sit on a shelf. So I was able to find a company that hired me full time salary to work remotely. It is not easy working and being home with a toddler but I would not change it for the world. I love what I do and I love that I can still provide $$$ to the family and still be with Quinn everyday.
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15480_tn?1302533402
Quinn's momma-it sounds like you have a good arrangement. I can't imagine working at home with Avery though, she is very demanding when it comes to being entertained!! lol I am sure whatever is meant to be will work out for us. Thanks for your input and good luck with ttc. We will probably start ttc again in the next year.
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I just want to say that I am so glad you started this topic.  This is one of the best threads I have read!

I am having the same delimma as you trying to decide what to do after the babies come (twins!)  I have a great job that we hadn't planned for me to give up.  His mother was our pre-planned babysitter..  but then,,,  twins...  how do you put twins off on someone who is in her late 50's and retired?

And, I also have 3 older children ages 11,12,16 so I'm already busy with them all the time.  Now we're adding two more and I'm trying to figure out the best thing to do.

We can afford to live off one income, with just my hubby working, but we'd barely squeeze by.  He has a good, stable job, it's just a lot of pressure on him with such a large family.  

Ideally, I'd like to work 3 days a week, but not sure if my current employer is going to agree to that.  We'll see.  

I love reading everyone's outlook and real life experiences.  Thank you all for sharing!
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35momofboys- I have run into the same problem. My mom is 60 and retired and it is too much for her watching Avery all the time. She thought she could do it and all it is doing is putting a strain on our relationship. DH doesn't want our daughter to go to daycare so that doesn't leave a whole lot of options. I would like to work 2 days a week, Mom could handle that and I would be home most of the time. I am hoping something comes along.
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You'll find something,,, good luck.  I don't know what your field is, but as far as entry level positions go, banks are always hiring part time tellers.  (I work at a bank myself but I work in the Investments dept.)  It's something I have considered (part time teller ) but it would s.t.i.n.k. to take that much of a cut in pay...   I'd almost rather stay home instead.  

I really love the job I have now and my fingers are crossed that I'll be able to go part time here!
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When I had my first son I was a single student and needed to keep working to support us. I worked full time and went to school full time, which left little time for the baby. By the time I got home I was so stressed, worn out, and I had a ton of homework to do so I don't think I spent much time with my little boy.
I hated it, but I must say that from a very young age I knew I wanted to stay at home.
My mother and father are both doctors (a dentist and a doc) so I was raised by a nanny. I must say that growing up I always felt as though my parents had enough time for me because they were too tired. I know this is not the same for every kid, but that is how I felt & I didn't want it for my kids.
I graduated with my bachelors a few months after I got married. Now I am a SAHM with my 4 year old and my newborn. I love it! It took a little getting used to, but I know my sons are happier because I am home. When our children are in school I will return to work as a teacher so I can still be home when they are. Money is not exactly always plentiful for us, but we do just fine- I have learned to budget creatively!
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My reality: I had the luxury of 11 months of maternity leave. It was great to develop a great bond with my infant son. And then I went straight into 65 hour work weeks. From age 1 to 6 my son has been in daycare preschool/ school for 9 hours a day and I have been pulling all the necessary overtime from home during the night, in addition to the regular 8.5 hour work day. It means that both of us have been exhausted for a long time.

As the only breadwinner I had no choice but to stick with my old job that is quite well paid but requires all that overtime. Since I had already "proven" myself in my field, it was easier to get some flexibility in work hours to accommodate all the daycare drop-offs and pick-ups.

Had I had a choice, I would definitely only work part time in the same field to have sufficient quality time with my son and time to tackle all the maintenance chores on the side. I focus on quality time only after work, so the house is quite the mess 5 days a week.

I would not have chosen to be a SAHM though. I love my son but I love spending time focused on a task which never seems possible in his  presence. So work it`s gotta be. Just less would be nice.
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171768_tn?1324233699
I work, but it works out well for us. I am a teacher, so my days aren't long, and I get all the vacations, including the summer off. In addition, DH is home with DD either 1 or 2 days a week, so she's only at the sitter 3 or 4 days (alternating every other week). I happen to love my job, so i don't dread it. I also love our sitter so I don't feel guilty leaving DD. I think it would be much harder for me to be working if all of these factors weren't in place.
While we could scrimp and cut down on all extras and survive off of one paycheck, the stress would not be good for anyone. Any unforseen expense would add to a creditcard debt. I am also terrified of being in the position that both my parents and his parents are in right now- approaching retirement age without the prospect of retiring. So, for now, staying home is not an option for me. Would I do it? I would definitely give it a try if I could.
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280369_tn?1316705641
My situation is a little different because Hubby and I have our business and it just works out. Until I was about 8 months pregnant I worked outside of the home in the office at our store. Now we closed the store, and moved everything to our home since we moved and my brother works here full time, which is such a blessing, because Jeremiah loves him Uncle Billy! =) I still help out where I can, but I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE being home with my little man. I wouldn't want to miss his first crawl, or his first step, and my mom lives over an hour away (she would be the only person I would want watching him) and it's not feasible at times. I feel like it's my job to keep the house tidy and take care of Jeremiah. It's so rewarding and it is like a full time job. Actually it's a 24/7 job, there are no breaks, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. I think you would love it. =) Also, I am so thankful that in this economy right now, my hubby is super busy with work. Even when he wasn't though, we would just be extra careful where we spent our money. I try to be as thrifty as possible all the time, it's just my nature I guess. We still go out and enjoy ourselves because I would lose my mind if we couldn't! You still need those little breaks away from baby and time with hubby! =) But honestly, if you choose this route, you will be super happy! I have so much fun with Jeremiah all day and I couldn't imagine doing anything else. This has been my dream for years! =)
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127529_tn?1331844380
After my first I went back P/T to a job I loved; my son was with an excellent sitter who totally understood his special needs. When we moved I became a F/T SAHM and then had my second child. Now both my kids are in a daycare centre part time and I work part time for just a couple of mornings a week and the odd Saturday, my employer is great and my hours can be flexible around my kids schedules. For my own mental health I need to work P/T, I felt very isolated as a full time SAHM as I have no family or friends nearby and getting out to work a few hours a week keeps me sane. What I earn just about covers day care costs most months, I am happy with this.
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15480_tn?1302533402
Thanks for sharing all of your stories ladies! You gals are the best!
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