Scared to become a stay at home mom!!!!

Jackie - posted on 09/05/2014 ( 7 moms have responded )

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Hi, I have always worked. I have always been the :strong independent" type woman. One of the things my husband has always said is he loves that I "have my own life" i.e.: Im not clingy or needy.

But we want to have a family. And he wants to be the bread-winner and have me stay at home. When I talk to him about not wanting to give up my career he just says Im a control freak (I'll admit, I am a bit). He says if I don't want to give up my career than we just shouldn't have kids.

I don't know what to do! Our relationship is so good in every other way. Im also SO afraid if I become a stay at home mom I will resent him following his career and that he won't even notice my contribution to our relationship anymore.

Signed,
Stressed

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Guest - posted on 09/06/2014

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First off, becoming a SAHM does not mean giving up your independence or strength, it just means trading in your role as a financial contributor to your community for a role where you contribute in other ways.
That said, you don't have to be a SAHM to be a great mother, and you do not need to be a SAHM to fully fill your roles as mother and wife.

One warning I ALWAYS give to EVERY woman considering trading her career in for a SAHM position is to make sure you have enough money in an account that ONLY YOU have access to, to leave, just in case the husband becomes abusive, or in case he dies--some times probate courts can tie up funds for more than a year after a spouse dies, and you do not want to be left without any income or means of supporting you and your children during that time. You NEED your own funds!!!!!!!!!!! $10k-$15k is enough for most women to stay afloat until they find footing back in their fields, but if your field is highly specialized, you might want to stock away a little more. Your husband should be fine with this once you explain your reasoning......emphasizing the death scenario more so than the abusive one....

It is true that the SAHM's contributions are less noticed than the wage earner's contributions. Even now, you know you will be making a big contribution, you know that you and others don't think of SAHM's as making big contributions to their families and societies. That is just something you have to decide if you can live with. Personally, I don't care if people know how big my contributions are as long as I, myself, know what I am contributing. Other women need that affirmation from others that their contributions are worthwhile. If you need that outside affirmation, maybe a SAHM position is not right for you. Most people think being a SAHM is a luxury or an "easy way out." SAHM's, of course, know it isn't easy, but they don't care if other's think their lives are easy. Why should it matter whether the woman down the street thinks my life is easier or harder than her's???

My advice is to look at what you wish to accomplish in your respective roles:
What do I wish to accomplish as a mother?
What do I wish to accomplish as a wife?
What do I wish to accomplish in my career field?

Weigh out what is the most important for YOU specifically to accomplish, what you can hire others to accomplish, and what you need to do yourself.

When I became a "sahm" (I put it in quotes because I do still occasionally work when I wish to) I realized that I could hire out the vacuuming and dusting. I could take advantage of childminding programs that socialized my child while I worked or took time for myself while still maximizing bonding and teaching moments with my child. Over time, I realized I could also hire out portions of my career by taking on personal assistants, account managers, and accountants to give me more or less time with my family as needed. You can find a balance, but the balance is different for every woman based on her specific goals.

Araceli - posted on 09/08/2014

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Hi Jackie,

I had the same feelings as you. With a 25 year career in politics and working on a second degree in Business Admin and looking at starting a Masters Program in Accounting...Oh my! reading your post was like reading about my feelings. But let me tell you YOU CAN DO IT and you don't have to give up your independence or your career. But it does require some commitment and having a child will change you and your priorities. You become more of what you are but to the benefit of providing to your home, your husband and your child. My son is 18 months old and I am a stay at home mom. I work from home as an accountant and business consultant. My appointments with clients are set around my son's schedule and my husband's. Most of my clients understand I am a mom and they are flexible. I used to say I would hire a nanny or do daycare but something happened to my heart, I want to be there for my child and so my priority is him. Who you are for yourself and your husband will just make you stronger for your baby and your Life. Don't expect your life to be the same. Adjust your strengths and independence and career to fit around your baby and husband. Your husband will love you more for sticking to who you are and will admire your creativity and adaptation. He understands now, because men have a different instinct than we do, that you will have more demands on you and he wants to support you by being the breadwinner. Believe me, I appreciate my independence but I am so happy that I am not the sole breadwinner and that my little business and tasks are not the priority. My baby and family are. Go! Be! Do! and do not be afraid. When your little family starts forming, consider being the stay at home mom, babies are only babies once and their milestones never repeat. Enjoy! the career will adapt to you and your new priorities! You are woman!

Guest - posted on 09/08/2014

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I also agree with Michelle. You don't have to give up your career completely.

When I became a SAHM, I kept my career skills and professional network up to date by volunteering my professional services. This gave me the professional fulfillment that I craved and gave me a lot of good experience to put on my resume, but because it was on a volunteer basis, I was able to do it on my own timetable and have a lot of control over how much time and effort I put into each project.

Honestly, I found staying at home much more fulfilling once my little one started school because that gave me time to work on things that *I* found fulfilling--the school's publishing center, visual marketing for reading programs and fundraising, and things like that. Not that caring for my little one as a baby and toddler weren't fulfilling--it was too, which is why I chose to be a SAHM, but I am a person who craves......how do I put it?? More structure, a lot of intellectual variety, and more immediately visual accomplishments. Taking care of my little one alone didn't completely fill those voids, so I had to find other ways to fill them while still caring for my little one. After I stopped working to become a SAHM, I actually went back to work 3 times before finally finding that balance and settling into the role comfortably.

I've never liked the term Stay at HOME mom. I feel like this implies that good full time mothers should be at home most of the time, and that is why depression and anxiety are such big issues in the SAHM community. Moms can, and should, get out of the house. Just because we are SAHMs does not mean that staying at home and taking care of a house and kids should consume our whole lives. We should still have the right to our own hobbies and interests outside of work, just like WOHM (working outside the home moms) do. It does seem harder for us to have them because our home is where our work is, and the home is where most people go to relax or do their own thing, so we have to flip it around and get OUT of the house sometimes to relax or pursue our interests.

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Jackie - posted on 09/08/2014

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Michelle, Thank you for the reply! I am a bookkeeper now, and could go back to that once my kids were in school. I could even work from home. I just want to be there for them. My daughter was from my first marriage and I haven been able to be there as much as I want. She says I work too much. I guess its time to sit down with my hubby and work out a budget to see if I can take off work until our kids are in school at least. Maybe by then I won't want to go back and can do volunteer stuff or something.

Guest, YES!!! I felt exactly the same way with my daughter! But I felt/feel guilty over feeling that! I just need a little more ME fulfilment. I have had moms say I am selfish for that. I don't think so.

I actually had a long talk with hubby last night. He agreed that I have to have time to myself. We thought of making up sort of a "duties and responsibilities" chart like they do for his employees. Then we won't have any "why can't he just take out the garbage? Why can't she vacuums everyday" kind of thing. I hope that will help with some of my worries about not being appreciated and being "lost in motherhood".

So confusing. Accounting is so much easier than figuring all this out! lol

Michelle - posted on 09/07/2014

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I have another aspect.
I was a SAHM for a while after I had my 3rd (wasn't possible with my first 2 in my 1st marriage) and I enjoyed it but did crave to go to work.
There is nothing that says you have to give up your career to be a good Mother. My youngest is now 4.5 and my career is taking off. You don't have to give up your career for good, you could put it on hold for a couple of years. You also have to look to the future and your children will grow up, where will you be then?

Jackie - posted on 09/07/2014

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Wow, thank you! I have thought of a bunch of the items you mentioned, including the solo account. I know I want to be there for my kid(s) I just don't really know how I guess. Its the fear of the unknown I think that bothers me the most. Will I get alone time? Will I feel fulfilled? Anyway, that you SO much for the reply!

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