Post # 1
Full disclosure: I am recently married, I do not have children. I have ahead of me a rather demanding, but what I believe will be fulfilling, career (the program I am in really trains me for one particular type of job). But I’ve thought about SAHM, and the benefits it brings, and I found this article FASCINATING. I would LOVE to hear what others think about this (though let’s not be disrespectful to either working or SAHM).
Post # 3
As someone who works as a private piano teacher, my hours are almost part-time, so I guess I can see it both ways. I am respectful of either choice, whatever anyone chooses – personally, even just from half of my piano students taking off for the summer, i’ve gotten restless having more days off – so for me, I feel that work is there to keep my mind stimulated and me moving. All that being said, I also don’t have kids yet, and could see how being a SAHM could be really beneficial as well!
Post # 4
I work and have a full time job my friend is married with three kids and didn’t work then ran day care outta her home and now subs. I’ve seen her emotional dollar coaster rides through the years n she is happiest getting out of the house. i believe she was happy to stay home but I could also see the life drain outta her. I couldn’t give up my career to be a sahm.
Post # 5
VictorianChick That’s sort of how I feel, too. Obviously, everyone has to respect SAHM, but I just don’t know if I could do it and feel happy about my life. But then I see how stressed i can get, and I don’t even have kids yet!
Then I can’t help but get frustrated about the fact of, where are the SAHD? How come this is so hard to become any sort of thing? You have this extreme mothering, but fathers seem so absent from the “stay at home” scene. And then I read article after article about how, in academia, (since that’s my world, really), women with families have their careers hindered by a family, whereas male academics with families often do much better, make more money, get tenure faster.
More than anything, I suppose, I’m just fascinated about what the next sort of “turn” in our motherhood cultural trajectory will be. First it was the op-out mothers, now they want to op-in. SAHM used to be seen as too traditional or anti-feminist, then it got a comeback as being entirely feminist. What will come next, I wonder?
Post # 6
I don’t have children yet either, but I am someone who really believes in higher education for myself. I don’t push my beliefs on others, but for me, it is how I was raised. My mother has a Ph.D. and has worked full-time since I was about 8. Now, before that, she was a SAHM to me and my two brothers. While she was a SAHM, she was finishing her Masters degree, which is what she needed to be career ready. My dad was, at the time, making between 80-100K per year, so financially it was a sound decision. They are since divorced, but my mom and step dad are both very well off financially because they have both always been career people other than the 8 or so years my mom took off.
However, I say all this to point out that not being in the work force for 8 years was not something my mom necessarily enjoyed in theory. She ended up working at the “play group” (daycare through church) that my brothers and I went to, she became an avid volunteer and is now in line to be the state president of the organization she joined 23 years ago, and she taught aerobics classes. She was by no means able to “just” be at home with us all day – she would have gone crazy, her words. (I do not mean “just” in a derogatory way, I’m simply pointing out that she needed to do things outside of the home to feel sane.)
She and I are very similar in temperament and personality. I think I *could* stay home until my children were in pre-K or something and be fine. I won’t be doing that unless DH gets a massive raise though, because as it stands, we make about the same salary and I will make more within the year when I finish my Masters. I plan on following somewhat in my mother’s footsteps and will definitely be getting at *least* a Specialist degree in my field, if not a Doctorate. I feel like it’s almost biological; I feel like I need to keep learning more and more about my field to be able to say that I have done all I can to be good at it.
I do wish the US was more parent friendly like Canada and we got awesome maternity leave so I could be at home for longer than the 6-12 weeks. That part kind of makes me sad, but I don’t see it changing.
I can see the merit in both decisions. I will say, I don’t understand people staying at home after their children are in school? One of my best friends growing up had a “SAHM” all the way through graduating high school and it just didn’t really make sense to me. The dad wasn’t exactly raking in the dough, either, so I never got why she didn’t at least work part-time after her kids went off to school all day. If anyone can explain that one to me I am happy to learn more since obviously I would *never* ask that of someone in person!
Post # 7
I think it’s often a financial/practical decision. For example, in my case it may be that childcare would cost more than my wages would bring in. In this case, should I say “we’ll suffer financially now, and take a gamble that I will get a promotion in future”? Or, should I take a chance and say “I’ll take time out and just hope that I can rejoin the career ladder later”? Both choices can be risky.
As far as choosing to be SAHM’s goes, I think that a lot of young women think that they don’t have as much to prove any more, so they’re OK with it.
As far as SAHD’s go, I know quite a few of these, or else guys who have gone part time after having children. I will say this though… they tend to look after the kids perfectly well, but the ones I know don’t tend to look after the house and do domestic work to the same standard as their female partners… that burden often still falls disproportionately on women.
… we still have a long way to go before we have equality.
Post # 8
@giru618: I actually have a friend who has a 3 week old baby and she’s the mega breadwinner, so her hubs quit work to stay at home. 🙂 He wanted kids soooooooooooooooooooo bad and was a teacher and he’s over the moon about it.