Professional Moms

Sara - posted on 12/16/2010 ( 27 moms have responded )

9,313

50

586

So, this is something I've been thinking about lately. I have a couple of friends who attended professional school. One is a Vet and another is an Eye Doctor. They both have recently become mothers and now stay at home full time. Now, don't get me wrong, I think staying at home is a great thing if you can do it, but I'm a little mystified as to why some women chose to spend literally hundreds of thousands of dollars on a professional education and then walk away from it (while still having to pay student loans) to raise their children? I mean, these aren't careers you can just pick back up whenever you feel like it. There's continuing education involved to keep licensed. I have no idea if they ever plan to go back to work, though I assume so. Why go through all of that in the first place if you know you'll want to stay at home with your children one day? What do you all think?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Becky - posted on 12/16/2010

2,892

44

93

I did it. I went to university for 4 years and got a degree in social work. Worked for 8 years and then walked away from it to be a mom. Why not? I always knew I wanted to be a stay at home mom, but when I was 19 years old, I wasn't one yet and didn't have any prospects of becomming one in the near future. So what was I going to do in the meantime? Just sit around doing nothing, working at a minimum wage job that I hated, waiting for someone to marry and impregnate me? I don't think so! So I picked an area I was passionate about - the wellbeing of children - and went to school, got an education, and got a job. Do I regret all the money and effort I spent on that? Not for a minute! Do I regret walking away when my first child was born? NEVER.
Mind you, I haven't completely walked away. I maintain my registration with the Alberta college of social workers, I take ongoing training (necessary to maintain my registration) and I do home assessments on contract for a private adoption agency. My student loans were also paid before I had kids.
But however a woman wants to work it, I certainly don't see anything odd about getting an education and a professional career while you're waiting for the time that you'll have children and stay at home with them. I see them all as just different phases of life. Eventually, my children will be in school, and then grown up and out on their own. They're not going to need me at home forever, and when they no longer do, I don't want to just sit around here watching soap operas all day because I never bothered to get myself a career I could go back to. Plus, should my husband ever lose his job or no longer be able to support us with just his income, I have many options for going back to work, I don't have to settle for doing something I hate just because we need the money.

Meghan - posted on 12/16/2010

3,169

33

202

well, because some of don't want to be working at bars for the rest of or lives making 8/hrs and struggling to put food on the table.. Some of us want to show our kids what a successful hardworking woman is (not to say that SAHM's aren't either.) Some of us want to be able to provide for our children if our husbands/baby daddy die. It could be a back up plan for the future, it could be filling the time, and like some others have said, maybe they didn't know at the time that they would want to stay home.

Lindsay - posted on 12/16/2010

3,532

26

267

Sara, I'm along the same thinking as you. I can only imagine that the ones that do choose that path won't reenter the workplace easily. Even if they've kept up with training and lincenses, they will have to go back in at square one to reestablish and build up a reputation.

Dana - posted on 12/16/2010

11,264

35

495

Really, what more can you do though, you either don't go to school until later in life or you wait to have kids until later in life, neither is a great option really, imo.

Tara - posted on 12/16/2010

2,567

14

114

Why should a a woman not stay home with her kids if that's what she wants?
My BF is a registered nurse. She took 5 years off from her career to raise her kids, she kept up with her education through distance learning. When she decided she wanted to return, she was able to secure a senior position on the L&D floor of her local hospital.
She has spent loads of cash on her career over the years.. but she doesn't see that as a waste of money.

I think if women want a career and then choose to stay home with their family, that's their choice. And a respectable one at that.
And I don't know about your friends but I don't see taking care of your kids when they are young as "walking away from their careers." I see it as taking a hiatus from their careers to care for their kids.
Teachers take a hiatus once in a while, doctors too...
Why not professional mothers?
If they chose to have children and place them in day care at 6 weeks or 6 months to return to work, people would be saying "Why did she have children if she doesn't want to take care of them?" or "her career must be more important to her than her children" etc. etc.

27 Comments

View replies by

Lady Heather - posted on 12/16/2010

2,448

17

91

Well if you have so much loan that you can't afford to have one parent stay at home, then you're an idiot for trying to do it anyways! One of the other ladies mentioned that she would feel bad about it though. I don't really get that. Marriage means we are a family now so we don't have mine and his, we just have ours. At least that's how I thought it was supposed to go.

Sara - posted on 12/16/2010

9,313

50

586

I was talking in the context of excessive amounts of student loans...but as I've said, if a family can afford for a parent to stay home full-time, I say more power to them!

Lady Heather - posted on 12/16/2010

2,448

17

91

I don't really understand the student loan things. I guess mine aren't as excessive as $110k, but they are sitting at about $22k right now. But we've made decisions as a family and the family decision was made to have me at home raising our children and him at work paying the bills. It's not like he didn't know I had student loans when we got married. It's not like he isn't benefiting from having me at home with our daughter. In fact, daycare is about twice the cost of my student loans per month. We'd just be replacing one bill with another one and we'd both be miserable - I'd be doing something I don't like and he'd have to cook dinner sometimes. Ha.

I don't feel like I've saddled him with debt. In our house the money is family money and the debt is family debt. We work together to make sure there is enough to go around to pay for everything and make sure that everyone is looked after and happy. If it was financially not possible to do this or if he had to kill himself working crazy hours to pay for stuff, I'd work. But that's not the case. We're all happy with our arrangement and I feel not a stitch of guilt about it.

Tah - posted on 12/16/2010

7,412

22

400

i am all for going to school and acheiving your goals prior to becoming a mother..i love having a back up plan and knowing if i need to work full-time if God forbid something happens i am able to provide. I think it gives you the best of both worlds, you can stay home for awhile if you choose and still go back into the working world and help provide, like Meghan said, things happen, i hate to even think it, but people are hurt in accidents, they die and smucks leave...so i think it gives people a feeling of accomplishment and piece of mind knowing they have something to fall back on if God forbid they need too. my mother always told us to do this, were we hard-headed, having babies first, yep..but we all have some sort of degree, at least an associates and some of us have master's and we all work in fields that have good demand..well to be honest..we are either in healtcare or accounting..lol...and have all needed to use it at some point due to life just being life..i encourage it...



i love what i do and even though i don't work full or part time,just as needed, so i make my own schedule, i do still have to keep my license and Continuing education credits current..i just walked in there today to pick up some little check i totally forgot about until they called..lol..and walked out with a packet of educational work to finish..lol

Jenny - posted on 12/16/2010

4,426

16

129

Well really, this is an example of why we never should have left the kitchen to begin with.

Lady Heather - posted on 12/16/2010

2,448

17

91

Maybe they didn't know that's what they'd want when they started? Maybe they wanted to spend the years before children doing something they were passionate about instead of flipping burgers or something? Maybe they do intend on going back one day? Maybe they just plain changed their minds?

I went to university and I only really used my degree for monetary purposes for a few months. I have thousands in student loans to pay back. The reason I stay home is because I thought I wanted to have a big fancy career and have my kids and basically figured I could have it all. Then reality set in and I realized my career choice was not at all conducive to family life and that in the end, I just plain like being at home better.

Some people get fancy careers and then after a few years decide to do something else. I don't see why one choice should determine your whole working life forever, regardless of money and time invested.

[deleted account]

"There IS no perfect way to combine a career and babymaking -- each option has pros and cons, so each mom basically has to try to do what works best for her".- Krista

I totally agree. Also, your priorities in life do change. What you think is important when you're 18-19-20 is not necessarily the same as those at 30.

Also, studies have shown that one of the key factors for having an intelligent child is having an educated mother. Just because you're not out there working in a vet (for example) doesn't mean you're not using the skills you learned at school.

Dana - posted on 12/16/2010

11,264

35

495

Well, for any marriage to work, it would have to be something that both husband and wife agree on and it can be done financially, otherwise it defeats the purpose of staying home.

Sara - posted on 12/16/2010

9,313

50

586

As I said, I don't think staying home and wanting to raise your child is a bad thing, but from my perspective, having 110k in student loans isn't something that I would feel comfortable not working to help pay down. But, if it's not a strain financially, then more power to you. It just boggles my mind to amass that much debt and then stop working outside the home.

Jenn - posted on 12/16/2010

2,683

36

96

I don't see what the problem is - I'm pretty sure you can still maintain your career by doing the continuing education courses so that you can return to work later down the road when the kids are a bit older.

Rosie - posted on 12/16/2010

8,657

30

321

if i could do it i would. i bet they plan on going back once the kids are in school? if they don't then that's when i would question it a bit.

Sharon - posted on 12/16/2010

11,585

12

1315

hahahaha!!! I know two, one became a lawyer and one became a PhD Biologist. Lawyer is a SAHM and PhD is a yoga instructor.

They found bigger joys. HOWEVER - I think the biologist wound up divorced with 4 kids. I honestly think she lied over and over to her hubby about her birth control failing until she had the number of kids she had confessed she wanted to us. Right after she announced pregnancy #4 she dropped out of our mommy forum. I did some digging recently and found out her last published university papers were years ago and she is now working at a yoga studio.

Her husband was beyond upset because with all their student loans they could NOT afford two kids, never mind 4. And to top that off, both of them have/had HEAVY workloads that required insane hours at the university. They had a life path and an unplanned pregnancy derailed it. 4 unplanned pregnancies probably blew it the fuck out of the water.

Lawyer - was married to a lawyer and has suffered no repercussions at all. She came from a family of lawyers so probably no student loans and her hubby is a corporate lawyer. Geeze I really miss hearing from her, she led the most glamorous life,lol

Krista - posted on 12/16/2010

12,562

16

847

That's true Dana. It's a real dilemma for women going into professional fields. Do you have your kids young, when you haven't even made a name for yourself yet, resulting in the possibility of having a REALLY hard time breaking into the field afterwards? Or do you spend several years establishing yourself and building your professional reputation, resulting in only feeling established enough to risk a hiatus when you're in your mid-thirties?

There IS no perfect way to combine a career and babymaking -- each option has pros and cons, so each mom basically has to try to do what works best for her.

Sara - posted on 12/16/2010

9,313

50

586

One of them knew if she ever had kids she'd want to stay at home with them.

I guess part of what I find confusing is that both of them had kids pretty early in their careers, within a couple of years of graduating. So it's not like they worked for 10 years and then stopped to raise their kids. They had barely broken into their respective fields...

[deleted account]

"My guess is that a lot of these women DIDN'T know that they would want to stay home with their kids -- it's just a realization that they came to, and they were probably just as surprised by it as you were."

That was the case of one of my teacher friends. She was prepared to return to work after her maternity leave. But then her daughter was born with a heart condition undetected in utero. Obviously, her plans changed and she took an entire semester off. Her baby was fine after a surgery. She did manage to return to work towards the end of the school but then decided to leave teaching altogether when she *ooops* was pregnant again! So she did take off of teaching for the next 3 years. When she was ready to return to a full time position, you guessed it....another *ooops*. So she has 2 girls, and a almost 1 year old boy. She truly does want to return to teaching, but like Krista's comment, she didn;t realize that she would want to stay home until her 1st daughter arrived with medical needs.

[deleted account]

Maybe they didn't realize they would want to be stay at home moms when they were getting their education and beginning their careers.
Or, maybe they just always wanted to be in the profession that they are in, so they did that first, then decided to stay home. Also, they could still go back or work part time hours in the same field once the child is in school.

Amanda - posted on 12/16/2010

697

15

25

Did they know for sure that they weren't going back? or did they decide once the baby was born? i know for some, once they have the baby they enjoy being home and decide from there. i had planned to go to work, but i shocked myself and actually enjoyed staying home (well, i'm not crazy about being home but i AM crazy about the being with the babies). then again i don't have student loans to pay off..... I can't help but think it may end up being a decision they regret once the kids are in school.....

Krista - posted on 12/16/2010

12,562

16

847

My guess is that a lot of these women DIDN'T know that they would want to stay home with their kids -- it's just a realization that they came to, and they were probably just as surprised by it as you were.

[deleted account]

I get mystified as well sometimes because I am a career oritented person with advanced degrees and have loans. I could never walk away from those bills and tell my husband "OK, you can work overtime to pay off MY educational loans". I couldn't do it. I know someone who was an accountant, and walked away from her career, a physical therapist who walked away from her career. But it's not my call to make on how a mother decides to raiser her children. I know plenty of teacher friends that left the profession for a short time to be a SAHM. It is hard to get back into the swing of things AND maintain a current teaching license. In many states, a teacher needs to accrue a certain number of professional development hours a year. Well, sometimes it is hard to do. I do know of one mom who attends several conferences to keep up with her hours, but then the knowledge gained at the conferences is not going to be applied in a classroom or educational setting. It is merely to maintain PD hours. With that being said, I am always going to encourage someone to strive for a goal for higher education, whether you actually use it or not.

Sara - posted on 12/16/2010

9,313

50

586

I understand the point of accomplishing goals for yourself, and I don't believe their choices are wrong, it's just something I've been thinking about lately and wanted soem other perspectives on...

Dana - posted on 12/16/2010

11,264

35

495

I see nothing wrong with it if that's what they want to do. They still have the accomplishment of being a career woman and now they can stay home and raise their kids, if they choose to. Unless they plan on staying home and never going back to work, I don't see why they can't go back to it after the kids start school, 5-6 yrs really isn't that long in the scheme of life.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms