Would you rather be a SAHM or stay as a working mother?

Lindzie Beachy - posted on 08/30/2011 ( 53 moms have responded )

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i m thinking of staying back at home mommy to the kids, I miss being with them its now been a few weeks working, my dh says he ll pick up 2 jobs is that wrong of me?

i want to help out the family but the kids miss me and hate the after school care. :(

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Laura - posted on 09/01/2011

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I have wrestled with this since I had my first child 4 years ago. I think having a part time job is the best of the two options. SAHM are around their children all day, which is great, until you need a break. Those of us who work full time get that break when we go to work but we miss out on getting more time with the kids. HOwever full time working moms help bring in more income which helps the entire family. I think it rough for some SAHM who dont bring in any income b/c I too often have seen the husband tell the SAHM that he makes the money and therefore gets to make the decision about how it is spent, or whatever. Then theres the mother guilt which can probably never be eliminated regardless of what path you chose. Bottom line is, its hard because in the end, you sacrafice something. And good luck finding a part time job if you need insurance.

Samantha - posted on 09/12/2011

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I have done the whole shot. Worked part time, full time ( way more than full time when I was in management ) and now I get to stay home with the kids. I have three, 12 / 5 /2. My five year old just started school on friday. Depending on what your husband does money can get a bit tight sometimes. Another SAHM had said she doesn't have cable or go out to eat anymore. Personally I have not had cable for almost 4 years or so and don't miss it at all lol. As far as going out to dinner and whatnot, my husband and I try to schedule at least one date night a month. It doesn't have to be expensive or anything but you do still need to make sure that you are making that time for each other. Right now with the hours he works he gets home kind of late but we still get to all have dinner together and we don't have to juggle the kids between us and the nanny and then try to schedule vacations or late nights at work or any of that other stuff between three people. In my opinion, if you can stay home with your kids and this is something you really want to do, you can make it work. Remember though, being at home with your babies can be 10 times more stressful than going to work at times. No lunch hours or breaks here ladies!! I have to say though that once I settled into the routine ( I have only been at home for 11 months ) It got a lot easier and I have never been happier. My kids have shown an amazing improvement as well. I actually feel like I am raising my kids now instead of a nanny and a tv. It really is the best thing ever.

Hannah - posted on 09/05/2011

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I'm a SAHM and my husband works. Not great money, just minimum wage but our bills get paid. We can't run a car or go out for meals but I get to look after, and more importantly teach my kids right from wrong, learning from the beginning. There's time enough for full time working when they are in school. No-one will ever have enough money to live as we always live to our means. But learning to live on less, can really I believe give you so much more x x x Having said that, I don't for a moment judge others and their choices becuase the first and foremost important decision you have to make is can you live with the choices that you make, and would you stand by those choices in years to come. Once you have wressled your consious and your heart, anything is achieveable and others who put you down, just know, that anyone who does is merely covering for their own guilt or regrets that they may have made x x x x Be true to your heart and the rest will fall into place!!!!

Amy - posted on 08/30/2011

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If you're husband is ok with it then I'd say that's what works for your family. Could you pick up a part time job maybe in retail for moms hours so you are home when they get home. I would never make my husband get a second job so I could spend mode time with the kids I don't really think that it would be fair to him to see them less. My husband works nights and I work days that way the kids are with one of us or my inlaws. It works for us, my husband and I don't really see each other but like I said it's what works for your family. Good luck deciding what's best for you!

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Terri - posted on 10/16/2011

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I've done both. My kids adjusted to both schedules just fine. Do what you want to do. If it's makes you happy, your kids will be happy.

Hannah - posted on 10/16/2011

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I recently read "a penny saved is a penny earned" and at first I thought, yeah right! But actually, I am financially better off than some of my friends who work. I think it's because we realise on one salary we must tighten our belts, but they assume they can afford things on two salaries and spend without thinking about the cost too much. I know this is veering off into a debt management conversation but weighing it all up on every level is the key here I think. Your child will love you / survive the years no matter what you do. And I am sure that other parents and your own guilt will eat you regardless. Focus on your positives and it will all fall into place x x

Miranda - posted on 10/16/2011

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I've givin up on working. I lost my part-time just in customer service due to an emotional uproot. so I figure going back to work should probably be the last thing on my mind. I don't feel bad I just love being at home with my 2 year old and this way we stay connected and happier :)

Heather - posted on 10/13/2011

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I love being a SAHM. I just like the fact that I am not missing out on them growing up. I know every family is different and some people need to work . My mother was a single parent and had no choice. If your husband is okay with it and you feel that being a SAHM is best for your family then go for it.

Briana - posted on 10/13/2011

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ive done both and i really wish i could be a sahm but unfortunately we cant afford me not working so i dont get to do that but if i could and not worry i would cause i miss my baby while she is gone and im gone.

Terri - posted on 10/12/2011

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Ive done both. I dont think there is any happy medium. Maybe part time work....Either way you feel guilty. If your a sahm you feel guilty for not contributing.It you are a wm then you feel guilty for leaving your child while you work. I think no matter what there will always be mommy guilt....

Andrea - posted on 10/12/2011

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I wouldn't let my husband get a second job in order for me to stay home. I think that is kind of unfair and plus when are the two of you supposed to see each other. If you can stay at home and make it work on one income then that it great. If not, maybe you could try to find a part time job where you can be with your kids more but also spend time with your husband as well. Also your MIL doesn't have a say...only you and your husband can make this decision!

Trina - posted on 10/12/2011

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Everybody's situation is different. I was able to work from home before my daughter started school so was able to spend much more time with her without leaving my organization. If you still want to contribute to the household finances but spend more time with your family speak with your employer to find out if this could be an option.

Caroline - posted on 10/10/2011

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Candi, I'd be interested in getting more information about the study of kids of SAHM vs working mothers. The studies I've seen conclude that day care kids are more aggressive than SAHM kids. I've never seen one that says they do better in social and cognitive tests. I personally think it's really hard to come up with an "average" because the basis of it are the kids and kids are TOO DIFFERENT across the board. Many shy kids go to child care. Many socially active kids stay at home. Plus, many other variables come into play--number of siblings, parents married vs. divorced, what kind of neighborhood they live in, etc, etc. I don't trust those studies. You just have to go by what works for you in your gut.

Caroline - posted on 10/10/2011

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Wow Laura, I really feel for you. Am sending you a big virtual hug. You're one big trooper for working FT with that many kids. But like you said, being a lawyer, the money thing is a BIG variable. It's unfortunate that your husband isn't more supportive though. Maybe he should stay at home with the kids. I know that won't help you with your wishes to be with them, but at least you won't be paying the high cost of daycare, and one of you is with the kids. You said he owns his own business. Is it successful? Flexible? Also, is it a possibility for your mom and sisters or SIL to babysit and help out in that way? Again, you're keeping it in the family, and you can pay them less than you're paying child care, plus it could be at your home, to help you with stress.

Caroline - posted on 10/10/2011

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Exactly Laura, you have to watch that. If you're a SAHM, you need to watch to make sure that your husband, subconsciously and consciously doesn't put you as second rate. It happens a lot of times. You need to make sure he realizes your contribution to the family, both emotionally and financially. The money you save (in child care, etc, etc) is a HUGE financial contribution to the household. Remember what Franklin said--"a penny saved, is a penny earned". Too many people forget that and give the SAHM absolutely no respect. If you have to, even give yourself a "salary". Put your salary into a separate bank account, or into your own 401K, or into your child's trust fund. That way you're keeping track, don't feel taken advantage of or taken granted, and your child can reflect when he's going to college or buying his first house, that the money came 100% from you! :-)

Caroline - posted on 10/10/2011

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If you're going to be a SAHM, make sure that you are covered financially JUST IN CASE anything happens with your husband and/or if you were to split. Hoping for the best, planning for the worst. That's the only problem with SAHMs. You get royally screwed in family court and the job market when/if it gets to the point where you are single and/or need to get a job.



If you're in a profession that needs continual training or regular re-certification, keep that up. If you can volunteer or help out very part-time in your occupation just to pad your resume, and keep up with the changes in your industry, take advantage of that.



Just watch your back. YOU NEVER KNOW! While people who continue working accrue job experience, 401 benefits, business contacts, etc, etc, women who stay at home with the kids get the TOTAL short end of the stick.

Caroline - posted on 10/10/2011

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If you enjoy being a mother and spending time with your children and you WANT to be with your kids all day (many people can't say "yes" to all three), then you should DEFINITELY stay home with them. You're the best care provider and teacher they will ever have.

Dionne - posted on 10/09/2011

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If I had the choice I would work a part time job since my son is in school. But I have to do what's best and that is working full time. You have to do what's best for your family. Since the kids are in school and you wouldn't really be a stay at home mom, you could see about picking up a part time job instead of working full time so you could be with your kids when they get out of school or see about changing your current work schedule if it's not the 9-5 or 8-5 M-F job. Run the numbers and evaluate the pros and cons. Could it be that they hate the after school care because of the kids there or the adults who run it? My son would rather go to after school care because he has fun there. If you're not able to stay at home then just make the most of the time you and your kids get to spend together and explain to them that it's about quality and not quantity. Best of luck to you!

Chasity - posted on 10/05/2011

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I would go crazy if I stayed home 24/7. I may be judged for saying this but I need something else besides being a mother. I love being a mommy don't get me wrong, I just need another purpose.

Donna - posted on 10/04/2011

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oh i totally agree. I have had to take 2 weeks out of work bc the dmv had suspended my plates due to a late payment on my insurance, retarded i know. But at the same time I have enjoyed being home and taking care of the kids and and picking my 2 oldest up from school and getting them ready in the morning and spending all day with my 2 yr old. But I know my family needs the income so unfortunatly I have to go back to work on saturday :(

Sarah - posted on 10/01/2011

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I think you need to consider whether having your husband work more hours is really the best thing for your family. My suspicions are that he may get burned out and also really miss his family. Plus your kids will miss their daddy. If the kids are in school, why not work during school hours instead (if possible) of course. Or like many moms have said, consider part time work - less day care, and still some income.

im a working mom and my husband is trying to find work. I would love to have the kids around more. Im definitely not interested in full time SAHM, but part time working would be fabulous. Unfortunately it is not an option in my position. Best of luck!

Mitch - posted on 09/29/2011

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I tried all of the three, SAHM, WAHM, and now back to a working mom. Try to get a part time job or work from home. There are many online jobs around that you can find. But I would say the "pay" is not as stable as from when you are employed.

Try blogging too! It also brings you money.

LaTasha - posted on 09/29/2011

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My daughters are three and four and I am away from them right now. I don't see how a mother would not want to be at home with their children, I would love to if I had the choice. I think the way society is today, in order to plan a future and prepare for retirement two household incomes are necessary. I miss my girls everyday, and would stay at home and have a money- making hobby if I could.

Kathy - posted on 09/27/2011

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as long as it works for your family, that's what matters. if your hubs doesn't mind, then go with it.

how about working part time?

Donna - posted on 09/25/2011

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If your husband is okay with it and you don't have such a great job to begin with why not. I wanted to quit my job when the kids missed me too much and my husband didn't want me to. It was a good thing I didn't because I winded up filing for a divorce afterwards. I always worked weekends and he worked during the week, so the kids were either with me, him or my mom, but my daugher has special needs and it was becoming too hard to keep up with everything. thankfully I work weekends so I can take her to all her appointments during the week.

Laura - posted on 09/25/2011

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I think pretty much all mothers would rather be with their children, some perhaps more than others. The difference is that some actually are willing and able to make the sacrifices to do this, others are not so lucky. It is not 'wrong' of you to want this. The question is 'what is best for the family which includes evaluating a lot more than just the kids getting more time with mom. For example, if your husband is going to pick up a second job, does that mean the kids wont see their dad???

Stephanie - posted on 09/24/2011

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I wish I could be a stay at home mom...but unfortunately, Ièm kind of lacking in the significant other department. I say, go for it! Youère partner is ok with it, the kids would love it, you seem to want to do it. Yep, go for it!!!

Bree - posted on 09/18/2011

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If I had the choice, I'd either be a SAHM or work part-time. I suspect, though, that if your husband takes two jobs you and the kids will see less of him. Maybe you need to find better care for the kids? That might be a better solution.

Brenda - posted on 09/14/2011

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I would love to be at home with my daughter but who would pay the mortgage,bills,food etc

Faye - posted on 09/14/2011

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Have you looked into being a "tupperware", "Mary Kay", "Pampered Chef" or "Preimer Jewelery" consultant? Most of them are SAHM and some of them home school the kids. Most parties are in the evenings or weekends and from what I have heard they make a pretty good living from just 4 - 5 shows a month.

Hannah - posted on 09/14/2011

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Wow Laura Alhardt! That's such a brutally honest account and you have hit the nail so firmly on the head! Before I was married and had my children over ther years I had gotten myself into debt through the cost of living that I got myself into quite a pickle. Spending the next years (15 to be precise) trying to climb out of a negative equity house, needing a car for work etc... things really spiralled out of control. When I had car, house and all the trappings I thought it was normal. Fast forward to a husband, pregnant, my husband made redundant and I had no choice but to go bankcrupt. It was my most awful year but at the same time my daughter was born so it was a very mixed emotional time. Being on welfare and quite literally having nothing has really made it possible for me to be a SAHM because now my husband is working we have more money now than we've ever had (soft as that sounds!) I think back to the times when we needed the money to earn to pay for everything and sometimes I see people doing their best slogging it out in a situation they don't want to be in and my heart goes out to them. Only because I lost everything does it even make it possible to be here. I applaud you and your load. Being an independant strong mummy in a working position (especially yours) is not easy, but I think it sounds like you are doing just fab!!

Sharon - posted on 09/14/2011

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I am not a stay at home mommy. I go absoutely crazy! I would much rather work. Would prefer to work part-time, but thats not going to happen anytime soon.

Laura - posted on 09/14/2011

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I have learned that some working mothers struggle with this issue more than others. I have a good friend who works full time and although has mother guilt, it is not hear what I have for she has never really considered being a SAHM, I have. I suppose then that some mothers are better at working full time than others, just like some mothers are better at being SAHMs. I am an attorney who works full time. I have a 4 year old, a 2 year old, and now 4 month old twins. I continue to work full time in a profession that is not family friendly nor career oriented towards women. My husband is not supportive of me being a SAHM and I can be ok with that so long as I could get a reduced working schedule. However, now that we have twins, we are paying the piper for daycare and my reduced hours plan has been put on hold. My plan had already taken a hit when the economy went south. My husband has his own business and so I carry the insurance. (Good luck finding a reduced hour job with insurance.) All of my sisters are SAHM, including my only sister in law. I am the only one on both sides who is working full time with kids and I am the only one I know who is working full time with a 4 year old, 2 year old and 4 month old twins in my profession. There are other professions that would have quit working by now b/c it would not have been worth it. I unfortunately picked a higher paying profession and am suffering in some ways because of it. I am trying to reach out to other full time working moms who are also struggling with this to see if they have found a solution. My fear is that if I continue to stay the status quo, I will eventually resent my husband for all of the time I missed with my kids. At the same time, it is a struggled to lose 1/2 of the family income. I think this has a bigger impact the more kids you have. Now that I have four kids, I need more money to raise them. I have checked into Nanny verses daycare verses Opar. I stuck w/ daycare because I found that Nannys charged per kid and so the cost was not less than what I am already paying. Plus if the Nanny is sick, I have to find back up. Lastly , I didnt want my kids to be put in front of tv all day where daycare has a curriculum. I have already witness my children benefiting from this. As far as an Opar, I suppose I am a bit old fashioned here. I am not interested in having another women living with me and my husband. Having twins much less two other children under the age of 5 already adds stress to a relationship. Need I say lack of sleep? And trying to keep up with date night is a challange too. However, I know that having an Opar has been successful for others. I agree that every family is different and has different needs. The amount of income you make for example makes a difference for it may not be worth it to work if you are only paying for insurance and daycare and there is nothing left over. As mentioned above too, the amount of kids you have makes a difference. The more kids you have, the more costly it is for you. The options you have for child care makes a difference. If you have a family member who can help you, it will save you money. Whether you have a supporting husband also makes a difference. It may be hard enough if you decide to be a SAHM with a supporting husband for some end up getting another job to make ends meet. As a result, you have less family time together. I could go on and on here. Like I said, I have wrested with this for 4 years now and continue to do so. I dont think the same size fits all. I think you need to find what works for you and your family. It appears that you sacrifice something either way. The best advice I have is to be smart about the decision as to what you are willing to sacrifice and remember its not just about you, its about whats best for your kids and your husband as well. Lastly, if you are like me, and are not where you want to be right now, dont give up trying. You may be on your way. Good luck!

Vanessa - posted on 09/13/2011

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I am a stay at home mom to our little boy Austin who is almost 8months. My husband is a surgery resident and works long hours. When I became pregnant, we decided we would sacrifice and I would stay home once the baby was born. It is by far the hardest job I've ever had, but the most rewarding. There are days when I don't shower before noon, and plans, forget them. If the baby is fussy, or tired, the plans change. The love I have for my child is incredible- I feel like my calling is to be a mother. Even though it can get hectic at times, I wouldn't change it. I'm already thinking about baby number 2.. But I do believe that each family is different and you must do what is right for your own situation.

Jacinta - posted on 09/13/2011

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I think Hannah really said it all.you have to do what works for you and you have to be able to live with your decisions and be fair to your partner too

Missy - posted on 09/10/2011

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I've done both and if money were no object I would prefer to work very part-time 1-2 days a week.

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I am a happy working mom and get the summers off. I am not SAHM type and I give a lot of credit to those who love being home. It's just not for me. I'm a professional and love my career (most days)

Caroline - posted on 09/07/2011

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I work part time which suits me fine, full time would not give me the time with my daughter that you can never get back again, but equally I couldn't be a SAHM as it would bore me to tears and I need the adult interaction. I would find being a SAHM too isolating. I appreciate my daughter more on my days off. I say whatever works for you and your family

PBnJ Couture - posted on 09/06/2011

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I am a home educating stay at home mom, but I have my own business and only work a few days a month. That was the deal, he works while I stay home to raise the kids. It works!!!

PBnJ Couture - posted on 09/06/2011

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I am a home educating stay at home mom, but I have my own business and only work a few days a month. That was the deal, he works while I stay home to raise the kids. It works!!!

Emily - posted on 09/05/2011

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Do what you feel is best for you and your family. I think everyone is different.. for me, working part-time is a perfect match because I still get loads of time with my kids, but also get to be in the adult world and feel like I'm doing productive work. When I have been unemployed, I personally get more stressed being with the kids 24/7 than when I am working. I do completely understand your desire to be with your kids, especially since they hate their childcare.

Susan - posted on 09/05/2011

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My mom was a SAHM and I always thought I wanted that too. That was until my maternity leave. I knew then that I need to work at least part time. I had to get out of the house and feel like I had accomplished something. I work part time and I feel I get to do both. I think being a SAHM is harder than going out to work, but that's just me. To be honest, I would feel bad if DH had to get two jobs and I stayed at home. Yes, staying home is a tough job, .but he would be out working all the time. You have to do what's right for your family though. Every family is different and what works isn't going to be the same.

Emer - posted on 09/05/2011

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Would hate to stay at home...did it for 2 years when they were small...love getting out using my brain to the optimum......hated how small my world became.......and the constant feeling that I was missing something.......am a better mum now that I have something of my own ie my job....and have given my daughters good example of being able to work and manage a household.......no regrets or resentment

Lauren - posted on 09/04/2011

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I have done all three worked full time then went part time in retail and now I am a sahm. None of it is easy. Full time you feel like you never see your kids. Partime my husband and I were constantly passing the babies off as the other went to work and staying home can drive you a little insane not having any adult interaction. But when I decided to stay home we had to make sacrifices. No cable, No dinners out, etc. but it works for us and our quality of life is so much better. We may not get to eat out but we eat dinner as a family every night around the table and I wouldn't change that for anything. Good luck in your decision. Follow your heart. Your head will follow :)

Bevely - posted on 09/01/2011

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I am a nurse and love working. But I hate my hours. I work 12 hour nights, 3 or 4 nights a week, so it is tuff. I keep an application in the local school system, really hoping to get a job as a school nurse one day soon. That way I can work when they are at school, and be home when they are home.

Nicole - posted on 09/01/2011

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I feel I have the best of both worlds right now but things will probably change just a little for the next year. Right now and for 9 months of the year I work 3 days a week(no weekends) 8-4. The other 3 months I work full time 9-5. I get to help out with our money situation and still get extra days off during most of the year to watch my daughter grow up. She's only 2 right now so I don't know what's going to happen once the 2nd child comes and/or when she starts school but right now I'm loving it.

Michelle - posted on 08/30/2011

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I agree with Amy perhaps look into a mom friendly part time job I have a job where I have the luxury of working the hours that fit best with my kids schedules, I put my son on the bus at 8 am then head to work and am done by 4 pm which is when his bus arrives so I am there for him, my parents live with us so my mom is with my daughter the 2-3 days a week that I work, and the one evening a week that I work the kids are with their dad for us this works I get time with my kids, their dad and we have that extra little bit of income to help us out with paying for my kids school tuition, dance and soccer fees. I hope you find the balance for your family

Lindzie Beachy - posted on 08/30/2011

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I miss the kids and the kids miss me tons. I dont mind quitting my MIL thinks I should stay at work and help out its 2011 and "both sets " of people need to work

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