To stay at home, or to not stay at home. The Struggle of a SAHM.

Alisha - posted on 06/30/2010 ( 13 moms have responded )

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I went to a good school, got a mechanical engineering degree, and had just started my career when, bam, I got pregnant. When maternity leave was nearing an end, I cried almost every night at the thought of leaving my son with anyone, even someone I trusted. Despite the pressure to go back to work, I ended up staying at home. It has been wonderful and crazy at the same time.

To make a long story short, now that my son is a year old, I'm getting renewed pressure to go back to work. We need the extra money, and apparently, my husband and his family fully expected me to return to work once my son turned 1. In some ways, I long to be back on a job-site and to be mentally challenged again. On the other hand, I can't bear to be separated from my son for 40+ hours a week.

This is a lot of stress to deal with. Is anyone else going through this sort of struggle? Do you have any plans? Or will you continue with being a SAHM?

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Christy - posted on 07/01/2010

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I got preg with my first, had maternity leave for 3 months, went back working from home 2 days a week and in the office 3 days, leaving my son in at at home daycare for those 3 days I was in the office. I had to stop working once my second was born (a year later)! However, I get what you are saying and feeling. Can you work part time, or from home at all? With one, it's a lot easier than 2 like my situation. And it STILL broke my heart to leave my son only 3 days a week at someone else's house. It's your mom instinct kicking in. If you have to go back to work full time, it's OK. You are taking care of your family. Don't let anyone else tell you otherwise, or that you are a bad person for working.

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Alice - posted on 07/05/2010

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Alisha,
Have you tried telecommuting (working mostly from home, over the internet) in your career feild - most jobs can be done remotely now with all our technology? Or maybe work-from-home business?
I was a SAHM for my first two, then just after I got pregnant w/my third (didn't know I was preggo yet, though), I started working (great job, wonderful people) because my husband caved to his family's pressure for me to go back to work and I got an offer where I could work mornings (4am to 2pm) so we could swap (hubby worked 4pm to midnight+) and avoid the cost of daycare.
I hated the thought, (loved the job, but didn't want to leave the girls) but we went ahead. After week 1, my husband wanted me back home full-time, but by then, I had signed a contract and we were stuck until it was up. I didn't know then I was about 2 mos pregnant, but after the baby was born, I took 5 wks maternity & went back to work to finish. My sister worked from home and kept telling me I could do that, but I was skeptical. 17 months later I quit work and started working from home full-time and it's been wonderful! We now have 4 daughters & I get to home-school and we run a farm and do lots of community stuff we weren't able to do when we both worked. Plus, the home business contributes way more money than my outside job had (and I was a Business office manager with a decent salary).
Working from home is an amazing blessing to me. I have no plans of ever going back to working outside the home & my additional income almost has us where my husband can quit his job and pusue his dream of running his own restaurant!
Hope this helps!

Nicole - posted on 07/03/2010

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It sounds like you are working (babysitting etc.) Good luck with your whatever you decide!

Stephanie - posted on 07/03/2010

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I think we all have different idea's of what 'the good mom' is or should do. Fact is we do what we can when we can.If a wonderful job presents itself to you I would take it.If not I would stay with the baby as long as possible.Fact # 2 you'll never get this time back again so do whats going to make the most sense to you with your husbands understanding, not his family's they should have no say over what your life is going to be .Only be invited to share the things you want to with them.Thats my thoughts.' Good Luck.

[deleted account]

Couple things....

My boyfriend and I discussed beforehand that I would stay home with our daughter....I'm so glad we're on the same page because I'm absolutely LOVING being at home with her (21 months). I don't plan to go back to work until she's in school full-time....by Kindegarten (age 6ish)....unless of course we have another which is still up for debate!

I'm sure once you get over the initial seperation anxiety you'll enjoy the time at work....I'm sure your career is very rewarding!? A good friend of mine is an electronic engineer and she LOVES it! Could you maybe just work part-time at first to ease your way back into it? Who will be watching your son full-time?

Good luck with whatever you decide!

Alisha - posted on 07/01/2010

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First of all, thank you for all the support. I've had a very difficult time trying to decide what to do. My husband has been as understanding as he can be. Part of my problem is my internal struggle. I just can't imagine anyone else spending more daylight hours with my son than me or his dad. However, I have a difficult time just being at home; I almost feel guilty. I don't feel like my son is difficult, and I just love to be around him. My husband hates his job and works long hours with a difficult commute. And, although I don't feel completely fulfilled and sometimes feel inadequate, I love my job.

I have been doing small things to bring in extra income. I babysit. I work as an assistant with an autism group. I tutor math and science. I'm also looking into possibly working part time as an engineer. Majaliwa, I would love to work as a contract engineer, but I only have 1 year of work experience under my belt. I'm also trying to study for the FE. It's a long story, but I'm finally just now getting around to taking it.

Anyway, I know this is something that I ultimately have to decide for myself and work out with my husband, but I appreciate all the feedback. Thank you.

Christy - posted on 07/01/2010

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I actually wish i could go back to work, i have a associate and by the time i pay for child care i would barely have nothing for take home. so the fact that in this economy you could go back is great. it really isnt a lot of stress, at least you dont need to tell yourself that. extended family can most of the time try to think what is right for you vs. you and your hubby. untill i can find a job that pays well to have 2 kids in childcare for me it isnt worth it, but also when i did work all I dreamed about was being a sahm :)

M - posted on 06/30/2010

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The big thing is deciding what's best for you and your family. Everyone outside of your family will have their own opinions and I'm sure they've already shared their other opinions as well :-0

With that said, I have a BS in Mechanical Engineering, an MBA from a top school, and 7+ years experiencing in marketing and consulting and there is NOTHING I find more rewarding then spending time with my son. There are times when I do long to be mentally challenged beyond Sesame Street so I actually consult on the side for small businesses. What's great is I get to choose my own schedule and I don't have to miss any time with my family or have the time I do spend with my family be so stressful because I'm tired from a long day at work.

I think as a society we have become so convinced that people need to have 2 income households. I disagree. My mom was a stay at home mom and we weren't the richest family but I enjoyed the fact that she was there when I grew up and I think I'm a better person for it.

[deleted account]

I decided not to go back after a year. I want more kids, so I'd be going back for a year or two, only to quit again. I don't plan on going back until I'm done having kids. Maybe bring that up to your husband.

Carisa - posted on 06/30/2010

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My husband is an electrical engineer and some of the women he work with job share so they only work part time...maybe that could be an option for you.

Claudia - posted on 06/30/2010

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Sounds like you need to have a real heart to heart with your husband on what your family priorities are. This was a settled deal in our marriage before we had kids so there was no discussion. I have a bachelors degree, was in a great managerial position and when the time came, I immediately left the workplace and haven't turned back for almost 5 years. Yes, it's tough on one income, but the sacrifices we make far outweigh the payout in the long run... I have MANY working friends that are envious and wished they could stay home and participate in their children's daily lives. Talk with your husband and see if you both can come to an agreement, tighten the budget, give up some "perks" and maybe even look into some kind of work at home opportunity? When you look at the cost of working, I would have that to show him (and the in-law if necessary) cost of travel/gas, childcare, lunches, work clothes, regular purchase of make-up, hair products, etc... I know for me I am much more LOW MAINTENANCE staying home than when I was working! lol =)

Sarah - posted on 06/30/2010

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Hey, sounds like you have a lot of stress on you...You have to do what is best for you, and your son. If you want to stay at home with him then do it, and dont let others pressure you. Whatever decision you make don't let others judge you. Check out - no greater joy website. Debbie pearl gives awesome advice. Wish you the best!

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