don't know what to do now -- need help

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2004
don't know what to do now -- need help
19
Thu, 07-19-2007 - 11:07am

Hi everyone,

I have been a sahm since my oldest was born 9 years ago. My youngest is now turning 6 and going into full time school (till 2:30). I admit that I have loved being a sahm. I have loved it more then any other job I have ever held. DH and I always wanted a large family and I really thought that I would be home with my ever growing brood until I was old. Well, that is not to be.

For the past three years we have been trying to have more children. I have suffered three unbelievably difficult pregnancies and three devestating miscarriages. The last one was just over a month ago. Although it is not 100% certain, it looks like we are not going to have any more children.

Now I am at a loss of what to do next. I still LOVE being home when my kids get home from school, but the hours when the kids are gone suddenly seem empty. I don't want to go back to my old career. That entailed 80+ hours per week of work on top of commute. My DH works those kind of hours and its just not for me.

I guess I am looking for advice from those of you who have made work/family work well for you. How do you manage child care? Who takes care of things when the kids get sick or a workman has to come to the house? I would especially love to hear from people who have transitioned into different kinds of jobs after kids went back to school.

Thanks,
-Jodie

Lilypie Baby Ticker

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-08-2006
Thu, 07-19-2007 - 11:24am

i can only offer you my perspective as a ft wohm (for the last 16 years). We manage childcare by having a nanny/household manager for 35 hours per week. She works a split shift (3.5 hours in the morning and 3.5 hours in the afternoons). She is here when the kids are sick -- unless they are really, really sick then one of us stays home -- or to let the repair people in.

For us, my staying in the workforce enabled me (along with current dh) to have the salary needed to employ her.

Good luck in your transition.

Carole

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-14-2003
Thu, 07-19-2007 - 12:30pm

first and foremost, i'm sorry about your losses.

next, i would say that ime, flexibility is key. it makes an enormous difference if both parents are able to take off work to accommodate sick child and childcare emergencies, as well as things like tending to special household concerns. if your dh can help with such things, you are much better off; if he can't or won't, your reasonable options are much more limited.

once our kids were both in school we started using the city's childcare program, which is offered on-site at the school. but i have settled on a 3/4 time position, very near our home and school, so we don't really need to use childcare, and we haven't used it regularly or even often over the past few years. that probably doesn't help you much, since the gist of this debate is inescapable--our options and opportunities are necessarily unique to each of us.

to go back to the more general issue, it will probably be best if you think of your options in terms of quality of life, rather than simply employment. you could, possibly, take this opportunity to give your dh the option of taking a new job or redefining his existing job so he can spend more time with his family. or, if the 80+h/w thing is set in stone with him, you should consider only woh if it would allow you to afford and you were interested in engaging dedicated childcare like a nanny, or if you are willing to limit yourself to very loose, very limited work commitments, since it is really, really hard to juggle a demanding or even a normal commitment to woh if you don't have a fair amount of reliable help. a lot of parents whose spouses work long hours find it overwhelming to try to juggle a job and the disproportionate amount of homelife responsiblity that comes from their spouses' worklife commitments.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2004
Thu, 07-19-2007 - 12:51pm

Chimaira,

You bring up some really good points. I sometimes forget that not everyone's DH has the hellish hours that mine does. The truth is that his hours are set in stone. I would go back to work in a minute if that meant that he would work less, but his job won't allow for that and he has no desire to seek a new career at this point, so my going back to work won't help him at all.

Whatever I do next has got to be pretty flexible.

-Jodie

Lilypie Baby Ticker
Avatar for amythemom
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 07-19-2007 - 1:05pm
If your reasons for going back to work are not financial, but rather to fill the hours while your children are in school, perhaps you could volunteer with an organization within your community.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 07-19-2007 - 1:05pm

I'm so sorry for your losses.

With all due respect, I think you are putting the cart before the horse here. You need to figure out what you want to do, and then figure out childcare that is necessary to support that job. And first and foremost, you need to get comfortable with your life as it is. You are entitled to take some time to grieve the life you wanted and contemplate the life you will have instead. There's nothing wrong with being a SAHM to school age kids. There's still plenty to keep you busy with their activities and volunteering in their schools and days off/short days, not to mention all those house projects. You could just do that forever if it works for your family. If and when you find outside work that you want to do the childcare will work itself out. Nannies, after-school care, camps -- it's all there and available if you need it.

Good luck with everything.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-17-2007
Thu, 07-19-2007 - 1:54pm

"Nannies, after-school care, camps -- it's all there and available if you need it. "

Not all in all places. Everyone has different availabilities of childcare. Nannies, though, generally are available in all areas.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-22-2005
Thu, 07-19-2007 - 5:03pm

I am so very sorry to hear about your losses.





iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 07-19-2007 - 5:08pm

I sah for 8 year and my return to work coincided with my youngest starting kindy.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2004
Thu, 07-19-2007 - 8:59pm

Thanks everyone,

These are good suggestions and I think I needed to hear them. The idea of sub teaching really interests me. Do I need certification before I can do that? Anyone know where I can get more information?

Thanks again everyone.
-Jodie

Lilypie Baby Ticker
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-2006
Thu, 07-19-2007 - 9:08pm
It would depend on the state. Here in Texas you do not certificaton to sub. Your local school district should be able to answer the question for you.

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