Stay At Home Mothering after kids start school?

The benefits of being a stay-at-home-mom while your children are still at home all day are obvious and plentiful, but some people change their minds after their children enter school. If you stayed at home after school began, what are some of the pros and cons you've found from being a SAHM of school-aged children?

20  Answers

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There are so many answers to this one!! Here are some of mine.
* The world needs volunteers! (So does your child's school.) Teach a (free) class. Bake for your local homeless shelter. Volunteer in your child's classroom or library, or your church/synagogue. Keep your skills sharp from your chosen career by doing any or all of these things!
* Your child still needs you to be on top of things. If he is special needs, or has allergies, or anything that requires you to be in-the-know, it's not a bad thing to still be at home to help him.
* Summers, sick days, and other vacations. Need I say more?
* Many people find that couponing and shopping for bargains helps keep costs down enough so that going back to work is not financially the better idea... believe it or not! Working moms often don't have time to do these things, and end up spending more than they need to.
* If you do decide to take charge of your kids' education (by homeschooling them, or after-schooling with them), you will have an easier time of it as a SAHM. :)

Hope this helps someone!!

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It is entirely up to the individual, and depends upon personal circumstance. But in my personal opinion that there is no work you can do upon this earth that will have greater value or meaning than raising your own children. Abraham Lincoln said something along the lines of : 'the greatest service an American can do for their country is raise their family correctly'.

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One of the most obvious is that I am blessed to Homeschool, but coming from a family where my mother worked nights and slept during the day, I felt like she was distant and unreachable, unless I was bleeding. I have been told that when you are mothering, and have to make the choice whether to work outside the home, that it is important in a child's life to be there at the "cross-roads". These are times like when they wake up in the morning, when they go off to school, when they come home, and when they go to bed. Knowing there is someone waiting for them will give them a sense of security.

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I think that Heather's thoughts say it perfectly! The only other thing that I would have to offer is that when I was growing up, my mom went back to work once my sister and I were in school full time. My friends and I got into alot of trouble after school because we had no supervision. The middle school and high school years are so very important for you to be there for them when they need you!

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My kids arent in school yet but I plan to stay home even then. I can answer this from the prespective of the child though. My mom was a sahm my entire life(well from 6 months on). She was always there when I needed her and was there even when I got older and wished she wasnt. I think I got in less trouble after school as a teen because I knew she was home waiting for me. Whenever i got sick at school she was always there to pick me up if i needed her. After i started puberty and my period( oh joy) she was there if I needed her to umm..bring me something at school. We will just say i never had to wear the dreaded "lost and found" pants that were kept in the school nurses office. I think that I felt a bit more confident knowing my mom was home. Plus, my friends thought it was cool my mom wasnt at work all day and a few times she picked my friends up from school in the day when they were sik and their parents couldnt get off work. So, of course it is a no brainer to me to be sahm even after the kids are in school.

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PROS: ability to keep UP with household, volunteer and participate more is chidren's school/after school activities
CONS: less money to do ALL OF THE ABOVE!

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I am struggling with the whole idea of going back to work. I really don't enjoy being home but I want to do what is best for my family. I know the fact is that everything runs smoother with me home. I am thinking part time would be beneficial to our finances. I just don't want it to interfere at all with my home life. I have worked outside the home and I was gone sometimes 6 days a week. I wasn't there in the morning or in the afternoon. Often my kids went to before school and after school care. I thought as long as I had money to give them the things they neede was all that mattered and that turned out to bite me in the butt so to speak. My oldest child got into a lot of trouble and I had a hard time taking any responsibility. I did eventually leave to look after them full time as I soon came to realize that it was best. We do okay financially but I still struggle with the perception of being a stay at home mom. I also feel my husband does not respect me as much as when I worked. He didn't agree or disagree when I left my job and worried we would not be able to make it. By writing this out I do feel I am able to better understand myself and my situation. Thank you all for this forum and the great advice to being a stay at home mom.

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Jodi, Ronnie, and others who are struggling with being a SAHM... I'm Heather (the first responder to this question). I love being a SAHM. But I'm also a WAHM. I do direct sales (Usborne Books). If you are needing something professional to do on the side, may I recommend a reputable direct sales company. With these companies, you can work your own schedule, promote yourself into leadership if that's your thing, and get a ton of professional development on the way. If you choose to do this, choose a company whose products or mission you love. (i.e., Mary Kay for makeup lovers, Pampered Chef for cooks, Usborne for book-a-holics like myself... ;) Find a leader who is prepared to mentor you. Then you can set your own very part-time schedule and build a business or a money-making hobby on your own terms. (As for me, the need for Usborne consultants is huge. Our mission is childhood literacy. 67% of children in 4th grade in the US test below Proficient... obviously we have work to do! If you are interested in checking us out, my website is www.WonderFunBooks.com)

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I can't tell you how amazing it is to still be home even after the kids went to school full time. My kids have so much they are involved in that it is almost a requirement I stay home. Yes, I did try working at first but realized the family balance outweighed the extra money. I can plan meals at home, stay on budget, get all the cleaning and laundry done and maybe also have a little "me time" to rev up for the kids to get back home. I am busy!!!! I get really annoyed when people say "what do you do all day". I do plenty!

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I'm struggling with this myself. .. you're point of view helps

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This is just my personal experience so far and it hasn't been easy. I wasn't a stay at home mom in the early years of my daughters life. I worked two jobs as a single mother until she was two years old I saved up as much as I could to move into the city to be closer to family and well more people since I was found myself single with child in a town where I knew no one, but would have had nothing to look forward to each day had I not missed her so much while I worked. And all the while throughout the day Id be thinking bout ways to experiment with bubbles or what fun we would have that evening doing what ever we wanted. Now having lived in the city for 12yrs I'm having health issues and cannot work at the young age of 33. I find being at home has been challenging not to just become a hermit inside the comforts of my home. I become so stubborn and angry to not want to be subjected to some descriptive stereotype. I force out a grandiose don't care stance to as I did all those years prior & just get out walk around. take in the neighborhood that blankets my home since It also belongs to me and is mine to have. I avoided other parents at times not wanting to embarrass her. But I heard my saving grace straight from her mouth at the very moment I thought I was about to. When asked what her mom does she says'' everything if she would need or want to.'' OMG That helps me not feel so looked down upon. Since then I have had to get over the ""it just seemingly sounds so lazy to not have more than I'm a stay at home mom"" to reply when asked. But now I know I have every job in the world as my profession should she need me to be. Plus I know I do more each day at home alone for the betterment of not only my daughter but my community as well. And that is my benefit of being a stay at home mom.

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Once my youngest daughter started Year 2 (7 years old) I started casual teaching. The perfect job as I only had to take jobs at the schools and on the days that I wanted and I could drop my kids at school before work and pick them up soon after. If they had something special on I would just not work that day. Now that I only have my youngest in school, I still only work about 3 days a week as I need to have time for my kids, my husband, my volunteer work, myself and the house. (notice that the house comes way down on the list!)

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The benefits of a SAHM are immense for the kids and for the hubby and for the home too! After being a full time career woman , am being a SAHM for the last two years now. I quite enjoy the luxury of rambling with my kids late in the nite without the bother of a strict morning schedule every day. However, there are times when i miss my corporate life , the ppl interaction and the challenges of a different world. was i more in power in that corporate world? i dont know..time will tell this one. Its also hard to justify te 'homemaker' status to some other moms .
But for one , am happy seeing my kids happy.No regret on being a SAHM..not at all.

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I ran my business from home so it's not something I have to think of. It's fulfilling to be a mom but being part of the bigger world is also an exciting journey that makes beautiful memory. I enjoying being the one that's always there for the family,but I need my work to be a healthy channeling of my focus. When my kids are disobedient, when they can't or refused to deliver what 's expected after all the effort poured in, when the husband not supportive of my parenting strategy, I can throw all the frustrations out of the window and dodge into my work that I can still have to be proud of.

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We have three children in school and one still at home, but I expect to still be at home even when all four are in school. Getting four kids ready for school in the morning, having lunch ready when they come home to eat, helping four kids with homework and projects, taking four kids to appointments and after school activities, volunteering at the school to help with four different grades, getting to know the friends and their families for all four kids, being available when kids gets sick... I'm sure it will fill up the days no problem.

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I'm struggling too - left a great, long-term part-time job in November even though I didn't really want to and am now trying to figure out what to do next. My youngest is in 5th grade so I don't have babies at home anymore. Live in a small town so finding something else part-time in my field is near impossible. I'm 45 and not sure I want to start over someplace new anyway. I've thought about going back to school to get my masters but feel guilty about even thinking about spending the money when I will have my kids to put through college soon. My husband is not supportive of me just staying home - feels it's not fair that he has to work and I don't even though we are very lucky that he makes enough money to support our family. He also has the idea that I am lazy for wanting to stay home. I'm just torn. I don't know what to do. I want to just enjoy this stay at home time even if it's not forever, but I feel guilty for doing so. Just don't know what to do.

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i don't mean to be rude, but you've got it all wrong.

for SOME families, SAH parenting worked great.
for SOME families, day care worked great.

i am SAHM now but my daughter was in day care for three years. i felt horrible about it. ppl asked why i had a baby if i was just going to let others raise her for me. the bottom line is that it's what she desperately needed: she was developmentally delayed (she's been since diagnosed with ASD) and the day care staff had the training to do the exercises she needed to bring her speech, social skills, etc, up to par. they did such an excellent job that she's surged well ahead of her age in many areas, this from being "profoundly" delayed before she went there.

since i had to pull her out of JK, she's been home with me and i tell you right now, i am NOT the ideal person. when she has a meltdown, i find it so hard not to buy into it and allow things to spiral disastrously out of control. i am homeschooling her and that's frustrating - i'm all for letting her lead but at LEAST wait until the 2m 37s video clip finishes before you want to learn about something else!!!!

she'll be starting SK at school in another town - french immersion, which should help - and i will be sooo happy to just stay home and RELAX.

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I would have loved to have stayed at home when my children were little, and once they started school. Unfortunately, due to economics in our household, I have HAD to work. I have them in an after school program, so that I know they are in safe care until I can pick them up...but it still is hard. I try to spend as much time with them as I can, but it's not the same if I was with them. My mom was a SAHM all my life, and it was great having her there. I wish I could do the same for my kids, but unfortunately our situation just does not allow that. Maybe one day...

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It would be nice to actually be a SAHM but financially it'll be hard. I wish I can stay home with my boys every day. Sometimes we just have to make sacrifices. I'm lucky to say that I have my mom taking care of my boys while my husband and I are at work. If this wasn't the case, then I think I'll have no choice but to stay home since day care and babysitting expenses will most likely cover up my entire check. So for those moms that can stay home, I envy you and cherish every moment you have with your children because not all of us has this option!

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If you'll have no choice but to stay home if your mom wasn't there.. Then you do have the option... Yes Sahm should drink up every moment. But don't let your optional envy make others feel bad about the sacrifices they've made to stay home.

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there r definitely ups and downs to bein a stay home mom. u can get ur housework and laundry done, catch up on ur shows, watch new movies, etc. i find the main problem is that u can get bired at home. due to unfortunate circumstances, i cant volunteer at the school. i myself prefer to work. I need to make money to help with bills and stuff. But even if my bf made enough money to cover all bills and expenses, I'd rather work so we have extra money-spending money. Every mom is different and each have their own views and opinions. I am just sharing mine.

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Interesting question! I am a working mom with a SAHD(ad) - i have always been jealous that he is the one at home and when our youngest started Kindergarten this fall I really wanted him to go back to work part time. But then he started watching his oldest daughter's (24 yr old) baby. It has been an even worse situation than him staying at home and not working part time - because he gets stressed out very easily and then our kids get short changed.
I respect SAHM/Ds, but I do feel like the working parent's feelings about being a single income family beyond the immediate child care years should be considered. For me, the ideal world would be for both of us to be able to work part time and both be more involved in our children's lives.

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I have just returned to work after being a SAHM for the last three years. It has been difficult for all of us especially my 5 years old, whom we adopted this past May. She keeps telling me how much she misses me and it breaks my heart. I have two grown children and even grandchildren. I am now wondering if I went to work too soon.

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