Is being a stay at home mom a job?

Angel - posted on 11/10/2010 ( 98 moms have responded )

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I would like to first say that this is not about SAHM vs WM and if this topic already exsists then I apoligize, I didn't see one.

I want to know if there is anyone else out there that thinks being a SAHM is a job. I am tired of my father and his wife(and sometimes my boyfriend) telling me that being a SAHM is not a job. I have been told that I am just lazy and want my boyfriend to do all the working and paying of the bills.

If you take your child to daycare, why is it that the people taking care of your child are considered to have a job but if you take care of your own child it is not a job? Does anyone think that it is easy to be a stay at home mom? Am I taking the easy way out by not returning to work?

A penny for your thoughts.

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Johnny - posted on 11/11/2010

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Being a SAHM is definitely a job! Like others have said, if we have to pay others to do the same work, then clearly, it's a job!

I work part-time and my dad looks after my daughter. He closed his consulting firm (which he started after retiring from his job) to look after her. After working for 35 years as an air traffic controller and 6 years running his own business, he says that he finds looking after her, and occasionally also the neighbor's grand-daughter, way more challenging. And way more enjoyable. He's already made it clear that he's more than happy to do it again if we choose to have another.

I'm not sure I agree with him, my job is more challenging than the days that I'm home. But it is possible that is because I absolutely love doing the mommy/homemaker job and don't so much love my professional job. If we could afford it, I'd definitely choose SAHM. I find it infinitely rewarding. Being a teacher, carer, nurturer, nurse, chef, cleaning lady (not so much, lol), and laundry girl, making it all work together. It's a great gig.

And it's not for everyone. I have a couple friends who admit that they just can't manage it. For them, going back to work, and getting childcare and housekeeper help is a better choice. But again, you've got to PAY people to do that work. Clearly, it's a job. Our pay should come as love and appreciation, rather than monetary. Although I did like getting paid for staying home during mat leave. No complaints there.

Jenn - posted on 11/11/2010

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Anika - if you want to get all technical and shit, then if you are a babysitter and not a daycare worker, no governmental agency is regulating your business, but it is still a job that you get paid for. Same shit different pile.

Jenn - posted on 11/11/2010

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It's definitely a job! Luckily Brian knows how hard it is and does not EVER complain about the house being messy or food not on the table at a certain time or anything. Mind you I do keep the house pretty neat and tidy and supper is always ready by 6 at the latest - but still - he knows how hard it is just from the times I leave him with all 3 for short periods of time like while I go grocery shopping on a Saturday sometimes.

Angel - posted on 11/11/2010

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@ Anika- OK first it is Angel, not Angela lol, and 2nd I live in the US so there is no Ministry of Eduaction. In fact you don't need to have had training to work at a daycare here, although if you don't you get paid less. 3rd I don't see what me not having training in working at a daycare has to do with my comment "If you take your child to daycare, why is it that the people taking care of your child are considered to have a job but if you take care of your own child it is not a job?" I still have to do all the things they do in daycare all the time and don't get to go home like you do at the end of your shift. I have worked with the public all my life, so I know just how hard it is to deal with people and from what my best friend says, the parents she deals with at her daycare are no different than haivng to work with people in other professions. People period are hard to work with no matter what your profession. Even people on the phone are pain in the asses! Having said that, I personally find it a lot harder to be a SAHM than any other profession that I have had in all the years that I have worked. My point is I still have to do all the stuff they do in daycare and then some.



Of course it is your right to disagree with me, so I guess we will just have to agree to disagree. :)

[deleted account]

@Laci - Well if you think your husband is your employer and is paying you, I hope you're paying all your taxes! LOL

@Angela - I still disagree. For 1, the Ministry of Education does not audit and regulate your practices. And you didn't have to train (though most parents could do with a little education). And I also think you're underestimating how much work it takes to deal with parents. Yes, SAHM have to deal with inlaws, but that's got nothing to do with being a SAHM, just a wife and you've only got 1 or 2 sets to deal with. We have THIRTY sets of parents to deal with and whilst most are lovely, some are so bat shit crazy they make me want to pull my hair out.

Angel - posted on 11/11/2010

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OPPS! Sorry I forgot something lol.

@ Tah Dula- Yes, that absolutely makes sense :)

@ Loureen and Laurie- I doubt my boyfriend could handle it. I know for sure that my father couldn't. He doesn't know the first thing about raising kids or keeping house, my mother did all that, which is probably why he thinks it is so easy!

Angel - posted on 11/11/2010

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Thank you ladies for your responses! :)



@ Anika- My bestest(inside joke) friend also works at a daycare and she agrees with "If you take your child to daycare, why is it that the people taking care of your child are considered to have a job but if you take care of your own child it is not a job?". At home you have to work with them, teach them, care for them, deal with the other parent and his nosey family. Also, there is plenty of paper work involved; making grocery lists and writing out scheldules and to do lists. You also have to plan what activities you will do with your child and plan what you will teach your child. My son gets board fast. He might find one activity so much fun and 10 min later he is board. He knows quite a few signs of sign laungage for being only 10 months which someone(me) had to teach him. I agree that it is different than daycare, daycare workers have help from other workers and then you get to go home. Oh, and I hope that your next child is not a colicky, non sleeping, little shit LOL. That would really suck!



@ Serena- ROFLMAO hahahaha. I had to read that 3 times.



@ Nikkole- My boyfriend doesn't fall a sleep but he always has his nose in the computer when I am making dinner when he is supposed to make sure River(my son) is not getting into anything. So I have to run in and out of the kitchen to make sure he isn't tearing up shit when his father is supposed to do that. I can only imagine what my son is getting into when I am at school.



@ Laci- LOL Good point!!!!!!!!

Laurie - posted on 11/11/2010

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I think being a SAHM is absolutely a job! Its a tough job too! I think people are reluctant to call it a "job" because you don't technically earn an income doing it. But realisticaly you are saving money by not having your child in day care, and you are offering something no one else in the world can: your child being raised by her mother/parents at home.
When ever I get even close to having that conversation with my partner, I immediately start making a list of what it is I do in a day/week. I insist that he take a day off and complete the same tasks, as well as take care of an infant and see how well they do. I implore you to do the same to whomever judges or questions your role in the home with your child. Back in the day, moms did stay home. These days it usually takes two incomes to support a family unfortunately. If you are fortunate enough to stay home, why wouldn't you? You only have a few years, or months with your child at home, and have the rest of your life to work outside the home. I say relish the time you have!

LaCi - posted on 11/11/2010

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"job n. A regular activity performed in exchange for payment, especially as one's trade, occupation, or profession."


I do get paid. I get money for groceries, gas, diapers and bills from the boyfriend, so I suppose he is my employer. Just saying. If I didn't get paid I would have starved to death out in the cold a long time ago. I wouldn't have a house to clean. :)

Nikkole - posted on 11/10/2010

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i hate when men say being a SAHM is not a job!!!!! OF course it is and its not an easy one! my husband thinks its a cake job but its not he will fall asleep while watching the kids and my son will be climbing on th counter to get cookies or be eating stick glue! i think now he realizes its not so easy!!

Serena - posted on 11/10/2010

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Well if you want to be technical, a job gives you in a 8 hour day one lunch break equal to 30 mins or more and 2 15 min breaks. My bosses (my 3 kids) apparently have never heard of the fair labor act or OSHA leaving hazardous materials around (i.e. poop, vomit, or other undesirables) or toys conveniently placed right where I plan to step....

[deleted account]

Honestly, for me, being a SAHM is harder than any job I've ever had. Some of my past jobs have included waitressing, bartending, factory work, accounts recievable / payable, sales, cashiering...the list goes on. I think part of that is the fact that I had my son (my first and only so far) in my mid-30's. I've been working since I was 15 so it was familiar to me. I love being a SAHM but I definitely think it's harder (for me) than any job I've ever had. It's much more pressure and much more important to do the job "right".

Tara - posted on 11/10/2010

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Oh forgot to answer the question of whether it was easy to stay home.
If I had to say which is easier than yes staying home is (in my opinion of course) easier than going out of the house to work. I've done both so this was my experience.
I homeschool my kids and so have been home for a long time now. We all work together to keep our home clean and organized as much as possible with 7 people, 3 dogs and 2 cats, but we do it with smiles most of the time.
It's easy because I love it. Just like my relationship is easy because we love each other. There doesn't seem to be a lot of "work" in my day that isn't easily done. The physical labour isn't that hard, the daily grind isn't so bad... I wouldn't change it for the world. But when it comes down to it, by all definitions staying at home is not really "work" in the same way that other kinds of work are. But it's a job and it has it's ups and downs like any job.

Stifler's - posted on 11/10/2010

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No. But it's not like you get to do nothing all day at home with the kids. They make mess and want to do activities. Women have stayed home with the kids for years I don't see why we should face criticism now.

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 11/10/2010

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At times its hectic….but over all its easy when compared to other things like working 40-60- hr a week and then you have 3-5 kids your rising on your own…..
By definition is it a job….no, but it is something that you work at 24hr aday, 7days a week…and all the way until they are 20+

[deleted account]

"Does anyone think that it is easy to be a stay at home mom?"

For me, it is! I only have one very easy well-behaved child and I find it extremely easy. I do however, consider it a job.

JuLeah - posted on 11/10/2010

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Lets' say you get paid just a bit more then min wadge, so ... humm, maybe $10 an hour for all your many roles.
You wake children in the morning and make breakfast (1 hr)
You clean up and ready them for school - make lunches(1 hr)
You drive them to school and then shop for food (2 hr)
You clean the house and care for the pets (1 hr)
You wash clothes, fold and put away (1 hr)
You plan activitives for afterschool and plan dinner (1 hr)
You pick kid up and transport to after school activities, volunteer your time there and return home (3 hr)
You assist with homework and offer entertaing/educational activities (2hr)
You make dinner and clean up after (2 hr)
You assist with bath and bed time (2 hr)
You clean the house after the days activities (1 hr)
So, you have made $170 for the day, which is $1190 for the week, given you don't get weekends off even when your family is on vacation.
You make about $4,700 a month ....... your bf can pay you what you are worth, or respect you are worth that much .... his choice

Rosie - posted on 11/10/2010

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yes it's most certainly a job. you should leave, write a list of everything you do and make sure he does it while you're gone, lets say a week or a little less. surely that'll make him come to your defense a bit more when your father says such nonsense.

[deleted account]

I agree with Amanda. Being a SAHM is work but its not a job. This might all be just semantics, but a job is employment. You get paid. You get time off. You get a lunch break to yourself. You don't get any of that being a SAHM.

And because I work in a daycare, I disagree with this comment "If you take your child to daycare, why is it that the people taking care of your child are considered to have a job but if you take care of your own child it is not a job?". Working in daycare is a lot different to being a SAHM. Not only are you working with the kids, teaching them and caring for them, but you're also dealing with your team mates and parents. Parents are a lot of WORK. We also have paper work to do, planning and recording activities and learning. In New Zealand, early childhood education (which daycare is included in) requires as much work as school aged education. But that's not really the topic....

And, I gotta say it, I find staying at home easy. But that's probably because my daughter is young and cruisey and my husband is awesome (though don't tell him that) and helps out around the house. I'll probably be punished for saying that by having a colicky, non sleeping little shit for my second kid LOL.

Charlie - posted on 11/10/2010

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Of course its a job , it's the most important job how about you tell them from now o you are going to stop doing all the work you do around the house until they pull their heads in or better yet go away for the weeked ad leave them ALL up to the kids gradfather and wife .

People who say shit like that shit me , it isnt easy but it is the most rewarding job you will ever do , i cannot believe how rude your ow father is to you , sorry you have to deal with that :(

Tah - posted on 11/10/2010

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i would probably say that people who work at daycares aren't obligated to take care of your children..unless you bring them there and pay them , you have to care for your children either way...if that makes sense..well does to me..lol..

September - posted on 11/10/2010

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I was lucky enough to be able to stay at home with our son for the 1st year of his life and yes it was a full time job! It's not easy and it's exhausting just like any other job however I feel it is the best job one could ever have! :) No you are not taking the easy way out, you're doing what you feels best for you family and there is nothing wrong with that!

Caitlin - posted on 11/10/2010

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Lol.. I stay home with the kids 4 days a week, work 12 hour shifts the other 3 days a week (and breastfeed still when i'm home - pump while i'm at work) and i'm in university part time as well, maintaining a not too shabby 3.4 GPA considering I never sleep... *sigh* I can't wait till I only have 1 job!

Amie - posted on 11/10/2010

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Get bent. I was not as nice when I said it to my husband.



I left him alone with our 3 oldest kids once for 4 days. Just so he could see what I do in a day. The house was still standing when I got home so I considered that a win, he's also never once said I do "nothing" all day again.



It only get worse as the kids get older. When they're small it's easy. Now I have to toss in all the older ones activities, work their schedules, my husband's and my own. I have our calendar color coded, I have the exact same one written down in my day planner in my purse and there's another smaller one in our room. If I wasn't organized our lives would fall apart.



I've told my husband more than once if I had the education I'd apply to his human resource department at work (my background is in finance not HR), they are woefully unorganized and it drives me farking nuts!! I've been trying to get his address changed for the last 5 and a 1/2 years since we moved into the house we bought. 5 and a 1/2 years!! Are you serious?!! No SAHM is EVER that disorganized and lazy. Ever. I've seen some pretty crappy ones but my god.

Desiree - posted on 11/10/2010

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And exactly what is it... Just because it doesn't bring in a paycheck doesn't mean it's not a job. Being a mom in general in the most important job in the world. the person who shapes the minds of our children is you the mother and it is done from the moment of birth to the moment they die. Only a small minded fool would think that a SAHM is not working. Probably you work the hardest with the most hours put in. (not saying that working moms do any less I am one myself) Lazy is a word used by people who like to give the impression that they are hard working. But anyone can push paper around a desk, not everyone can be a Stay At Home Mom. It takes a certain type of person to be around children all day everyday and barely any contact with other grownups. No you are not taking the easy way out.

Tara - posted on 11/10/2010

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My job description:



Full time position available immediately, must be able to work 24 hours a day 7 days a week 365 days a year.

Duties: You will be required to perform the following roles when required:

seamstress, chef, maid, nurse, teacher, gym instructor, booboo specialist, laundress, gardener, artist, counsellor, friend, caring parent and loving spouse.

Skills needed:

Must be able to multi task all the time

Must be able to work under unappealing conditions including but not limited to: diarrhea on your new coach, snotty children, puke in the middle of the night, on your side of the bed, dirty dishes that seem to appear overnight, laundry piles that threaten a coup on the house itself and other unknowns.

Pay:

The rate of pay is wonderful. You will receive little in the way of remuneration for approximately 20-30 years until you have grandchildren. Until then you will survive on sloppy kisses, tight hugs and the smell of a freshly washed baby.

Vacation/time off: This is called sleep.

Sick time: No. Not unless you are admitted to the hospital.

Training and human resource support: call your mom/sister/best friend when you need to ask a question/cry/vent or have adult conversation other than that, find a mantra such as "one day I'll pee with the door closed... one day I'll pee with the door closed"



Angel, I think you're doing exactly what you should be doing.

Raising our children is the most important job we'll ever do. It sucks that too many people just don't take it seriously.

Angel - posted on 11/10/2010

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@ Amanda Phillips- I forgot about our dog and cat! I have to pick up their poop too. LOL Is it possible to sit around all day with a 10 month old? If it were I might consider doing that like one day a week LOL

Angel - posted on 11/10/2010

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@ Joy- No I have not asked them that question. I did get into a pretty heated argument with my dad over it and now I am not speaking to him. My father wasn't in my life untill 4 years ago, so what the hell would he know about caring for a child. I think I just need to cut those people out. I am too tired of defending myself.

Amanda - posted on 11/10/2010

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I too am a stay at home mom. And it is most definetly work!! I have 4 children and also have an inhome daycare! We have 2 dogs and a kitten, and cleaning the house, bathing, dressing, and entertaining the kids as well as making dinner, lunch and breakfast is all WORK! I too have been told that it's not a job and that I am so lucky to be able to stay home. I don't expect my fiance to work and pay for everything...if I did go to work than I would end up paying just for the daycare! Since when did being a SAHM become such a big deal?! I can remember my grandmother telling me that she stayed home with my mom and her siblings and raised them and took care of the house while my grandpa worked and took care of the farm and the outside of the house. That's a very fair trade! This is going to be a battle for a lot of SAHM's but I love it and enjoy being home with my children knowing that everything they learn they learned from me. Everyone is different and has their own opinions and mine and my fiance's is to have me stay home and care for the house and children while he works. The only way you could even be considered "lazy" is if you don't clean or pick up your house and your children are still in pjs when dad gets home. Or if you take advantage of being home and lay around all day. But if you are cleaning, cooking, caring for children, and entertaining your children than that's a FULLTIME job period!

Angel - posted on 11/10/2010

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@ Amanda- Hell no they don't help me! My son's father barely helps(sorry honey, love him but true). Any time that my son is fussing or acting anyway that is not happy, they all hand him to me. I don't think I mentioned my son is 10 months and just about walking and gets into EVERYTHING!

[deleted account]

"If you take your child to daycare, why is it that the people taking care of your child are considered to have a job but if you take care of your own child it is not a job?"

Well said! Have you thought of posing that question to your father and his wife? Not to mention that if you take care of your child(ren) yourself, you're not just watching kids like a daycare worker would. You're also doing chores from one end of the house to another. I'm actually a little insulted FOR you lol Being a SAHM is most certainly a job. A 24/7 job. Our pay is shitty diapers, hugs & kisses, and apparently ctiticism from people who should be supportive. Quite the trade off for a paycheck.

Angel - posted on 11/10/2010

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I feel like I should print this page out and hang it on the refrigerator, the bathroom mirror, on the front door, and in my bedroom. LOL

In addition to being a SAHM I go to school. I took fall semester off but for spring I will go to school on Monday and Thursday night(after boyfriend gets home), and Sat day. My classes are 3 hours each. I have a 4.0 GPA. It is extremely difficult to juggle being a mom, cleaning house, cooking meals(from scratch!!!!), and going to school. I am so stressed out all the time and it really hurts my feelings to be called a lazy SAHM. Not just my dad and his wife but some of my boyfriend's family also give us a hard time(well, they give him a hard time, too chicken shit to say anything to me). They are constantly in his ear, "you should talk to her about working", "you guys wouldn't struggle so much if Angel was working," I guess they don't get that it costs money to take your children to daycare. Even if I wanted and did go back to work(which I really don't right now), the only thing the money would pay for is daycare. There are not many jobs where we live that will pay you decently without some sort of degree. I think it will be much more beneficial to my son if I stay home with him and finish school, so that in 2-3 years I can make what I want. My boyfriend sometimes agrees with others but when I go to school he has to care for our son and I get to hear how he had his hands full(his hands are full for a few hours but mine are not when I have him all day every day plus with chores and cooking!!!).

Thanks ladies. Great to know that I am not alone!!!

Becky - posted on 11/10/2010

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I think being a SAHM is much more than a job! At most jobs, you have limited, set hours of work and a limited set of responsibilities. When your work hours are done, they're done. If it's outside of your set responsibilities, then generally, you don't do it. As a SAHM, your work hours are 24/7. There are no days off, no sick days, no paid vacation, even overnight and if you happen to get away from the house, you're still "on call." And your responsibilities can range from cook, maid, chauffeur, counsellor, nurse, janitor, comforter, playmate, teacher, secretary...and on and on. Tell me another job where you have that range of responsibilities! Next time someone accuses you of being lazy - especially someone who has a desk job where they sit on their ass in front of a computer all day - ask them how often they change poopy diapers or clean up puke at their job? How often do they deal with temper tantrums or intervene in screaming fights (okay, if they're the boss, maybe a lot, but otherwise, probably not!) They spend their time at work sitting at a desk. Do you get to spend 8 hours a day sitting? Not likely! When they get off work, they're off work. If you get out of the house, you still have to have your phone on you, in case someone gets sick or hurt, won't settle down, etc. When they're sick, they stay home and have no responsibilities for work. When you're sick, you still have to take care of your kids!
Yeah, it bugs me a bit when people think SAHMs don't do anything!

Amanda - posted on 11/10/2010

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it's not a job based on the definition of the word "job" (A regular activity performed in exchange for PAYMENT, especially as one's trade, occupation, or profession), mainly because a SAHM doesn't receive payment ;) it IS hard work! so, do these people that call you lazy, or imply that you are lazy, ever give you help so that you can do something for you? or, like me, are you literally with the kiddos 24/7, through every temper tantrum, mess, meal, and bedtime routine? they fail to see that when they leave thier job in the evening, they are done for the evening, they have 1 or 2 days off a week. You don't have that, so you don't make money but you are contributing so much more than a paycheck by raising your babies :) don't worry about what they say, they have no clue what it is like to be a SAHM.

Sara - posted on 11/10/2010

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Being a SAHM is definitely a job...one of the hardest in the world I think!

Laura - posted on 11/10/2010

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I have the same problem with my husband and some family members. I have gotten asked "So how's your retirement going?" since I've stopped working. My husband will come home and say "why didn't you do this or why didn't you get that done. I know you have so much to do during the day" So I tell him that I'll get a part time job during nights and weekends and he can watch the boys. He doesn't like that idea too much so I remain a SAHM. :) And when I have a dr appt. (I'm prego again) I take the boys to my in-laws and they say how much of a handful they are I just smile and say "and you think I have it so easy?"

Katherine - posted on 11/10/2010

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If you take your child to daycare, why is it that the people taking care of your child are considered to have a job but if you take care of your own child it is not a job?





Excellent point. I think being a SAHM is grueling work. It's a 24/7 job with no breaks, no privacy and no reprive. 100% dedication, no sleep. I could go on and on. It's very rewarding don't get me wrong, but it's a full time job.

LaCi - posted on 11/10/2010

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Its a job, and it's a difficult job. Quite frankly, I can't wait to return to work and let my boyfriend be a stay at home dad.

Bonnie - posted on 11/10/2010

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It is very much a job IMO. I have been a SAHM for 4 years now. I am worn out and tired at the end of the day. I don't get more than an hour to myself in total between 6 or 7am and 9pm. Okay I don't get a paycheck, but I know that I am getting things done throughout the day, whether it is cleaning or errands, making sure everyone is fed throughout the day, teaching my children things, playing with them, being a referee when my boys are at eachother's throats.
I think the only difference between someone working in a daycare and a SAHM is that a daycare worker gets paid and they might have to work with more children than a SAHM. But in all, a SAHM has more work because she has the home as well and can't just leave the kids at 5pm and go home because this is her life. I don't think any SAHMs are really taking the easy way out. You lose out on things when you are a SAHM, but at the same time you gain a ton and there are many rewards. I say don't listen what other people tell you. You are doing right for your children.

Caitlin - posted on 11/10/2010

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It's a job in my mind. I stayed at home with the girls until september, where I went back to work 3 days a week. My husband kind of believed me that taking care of the kids was no piece of cake, but when I went back to work, it was a whole new perspective on it, because he was the one taking care of the kids those 3 days, since we have no daycare. Now he's all run down at the end of the day as well, and has a new respect for everything that staying at home with the kids means, because it's not just the kids, it's meals, cleaning and laundry and everything else. I would much rather only have the one job, but it's a very rewarding one! Now once the kids are in school I woudn't consider it a job anymore, sure there's cleaning and laundry, but without the kids home it's a cop out to call that a job (IMO)

[deleted account]

Stay at home mom is many jobs in one! Childcare provider, cook, maid, errand-runner, gardener, and many more things! Running a household and taking care of kids is hard and exhausting work. SAHMs don't sit on their butts all day, eating bonbons and watching soaps.

Jessica - posted on 11/10/2010

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"If you take your child to daycare, why is it that the people taking care of your child are considered to have a job but if you take care of your own child it is not a job?"

That's a very good way to put it! I am a SAHM and of course its a job- a pretty tough one to be honest. Its hard being in charge of essentially all the housework and trying to be a good mom on top of it. There's always something that doesn't get done. I sometimes feel guilty because I don't have career goals or aspirations, right now. But the truth is, at 25 the only thing I'm sure about is that I want to be a mom! Sure, I could stress myself out trying out different jobs, struggling with daycare and never getting to see my son. But what would be the point, when I don't even know what I want to do as a career. After I have this baby, at some point, I intend to pick up a part time job to help with extra income so we can save up money. But I'm going to find something with minimal hours that are on evenings/weekends so my husband can watch them, because to me its still more important to be home with my kids.

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