Family Size and SAH/WOH status

Avatar for tickmich
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Family Size and SAH/WOH status
12
Wed, 06-18-2003 - 10:04am
We got into this partially within one of the threads below. I have heard SAHM's say it is hard to SAH. Although as a parent to one child, I feel it would be easier for me to SAH. However, if theoretically I had four children I dont think being a SAHM would be easy.

Did the amount of children you have or are planning on having factor into your decision on whether to SAH?

Do you think that the amount of children one has impacts the difficulty of SAH? If you have four children is the SAHM now "equal" since she cares for four children which would cost a bundle in daycare costs? Or is she less "equal" since it might be harder for her to change her working status?

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Avatar for cindytree
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Registered: 03-28-2003
Wed, 06-18-2003 - 10:30am
I have four kids. I've always been at home with them. (Currently, they are 21, 17, 14 and 9 and I homeschool the 14 year old dd due to dyslexia as I've mentioned elsewhere.) For me, it was something I wanted to do and actually have enjoyed. I would have been overwhelmed when they were younger trying to get them all packed up for daycare and rush off to my job. I would worry about them. If one or more got sick, I would feel I was doing my employer a disservice by calling at the last minute and saying I couldn't come into work, or my husband's employer if he were the one staying home with a sick child. My being at home was the best choice for my family. It benefits all of us and I've been thankful we have been in a position to have it this way.

For me, it was just easier physically, mentally and emotionally to stay at home. It was what I wanted to do. I loved holding my kids as babies, playing with them as toddlers and preschoolers, participating in their classroom activites at school, and talking to them at teenagers when they get home from school. I like going to their activities after school and doing things with them. For me the choice has always been easy and fulfilling.

I am one of those women with a strong sense of caregiving so maybe that is why. It fulfills me. I also do freelance writing and am an artist and those are fulfilling. My life revolves around my family but there is more to me than that and I nurture those things as well.

Financially, sure, it has been a little difficult in the past but we've always had our needs met and been comfortable. I think some put way too much emphasis on SES and nothing comes without a price in other ways. SAH has a price and so does WOH. I won't go into that because I think we each know what the personal price for our decision is and it will be different with everyone. Neither is a perfect situation. I don't know anyone who thinks their situation is perfect in every way but maybe they exist somewhere over the rainbow.

The trick is to be content with your choices in life and I am.

Good question.

Cindy

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 06-18-2003 - 10:32am
Did you decide to have 4 kids, hoping or knowing that you'd be at home?

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 06-18-2003 - 10:36am
"Did the amount of children you have or are planning on having factor into your decision on whether to SAH?"

No. We limited our family size to two children because we knew we'd both continue working FT, but primarily because we want our children to get a lot of individual attention. We also frankly want to be able to afford more things and experiences for them than we could if we had 3 or 4. I think it's also what you're used to. I am one of two siblings, and DH is one of three (but his youngest brother is 9.5 years younger).



"Do you think that the amount of children one has impacts the difficulty of SAH?"

For sure. Number of children and spacing.

"If you have four children is the SAHM now "equal" since she cares for four children which would cost a bundle in daycare costs? Or is she less "equal" since it might be harder for her to change her working status?"

The number of children doesn't impact the equality of the situation. She might work harder, but it was purely the couple's decision to "create work" for the family by having so many kids.

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Registered: 03-25-2003
Wed, 06-18-2003 - 10:37am
Family size didn't have anything to do with our decision, although I do think it makes a big difference in how hard it is. I know that SAH with just my 3yo is not really that big a deal (well.. it wouldn't be if I didn't have so much else to do on top of normal things!) and it's only marginally more difficult now that I'm pregnant. I can see how with multiple children, especially small, how it could be really hard. Sometimes I watch several children, between the ages of 9 months and 2, and it's a load of work! I don't get much housework done on those days! I can't imagine the cost of putting 2 or 3 children in daycare, much less 4, since putting one in is financially not an option for us. As for equality.. this has never been an issue, since a marriage is never equal, it shifts back and forth. JMHO
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 06-18-2003 - 10:45am
We have three children now and are planning on more. I stay at home because it is best for my children, myself, and my dh and dh makes enough to support our family comfortably financially. The number of children we have/will have did not factor into our decision because I think one child is as deserving of a SAHP as three/four/five, etc. children. The number of children certainly impacts the difficulty of being a SAHM. I don't consider myself "equal" to dh and I don't think he is "equal" to me. We contribute in different ways and both are of value to our family. Each of my children gets LOTS of individual time and is well-cared for. DH and I both grew up in fairly large families (5 children in mine, 6 in his) and had SAHM who had college educations. We appreciated the choices they made and have chosen to do the same for our children.
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Avatar for cindytree
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Registered: 03-28-2003
Wed, 06-18-2003 - 10:45am
Started out wanting five, settled for three and got four! lol We talked about having five children when we got married, but after the third one, we decided three beautiful daughters were a good place to stop. While on birth control, I got pregnant a fourth time and had a son. We couldn't have had it all turn out better if we planned it that way.

So, yes, we planned on a larger family knowing I would be at home, we just didn't know the exact number.

(Actually we almost had five kids. Our second daughter was actually a fraternal twin, but I miscarried the other twin. Long story but a blessing that she survived. Her name is Kelli which means fighter or warrior because early in the pregnancy she fought for her life.)

Cindy

Avatar for ahlmommy
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 06-18-2003 - 10:52am
I have 3 children. My kids are almost 14, 4 and 18 months. SAH for me is harder than when I worked outside the home. I have one that has to get to school in the morning, and then the little ones have a better social life then I ever did. LOL!! For us me SAH was a given. We knew we could led a comortable life on my DH income. I just started WOH on Saturdays, so that we can start saving for a trip to Disney. Our children are home with daddy on that day. We were only going to have 2 children, but DD came along anyway. SURPRISE SURPRISE!! I think families have to do what they have to do to care for their family no matter what that is. Just like with my family. We knew we could not afford a trip to Disney on my DH income and me SAH. So I choose to WOH 1 day a week in order for us to take that trip. Me working 1 day also gives my DH time to be with our children doing what he likes to do with them. It works well for our family.
Avatar for natsmom98
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 06-18-2003 - 11:22am
I definitely think the difficulty of SAH relates to how many kids and how old. I have one friend who is a SAHM to one 4 1/2 year old child who goes to school 9-1 four days a week. Now REALLY, how tough can that be? Sounds like life of luxury to me! If I were to stay home full time with mine this fall (5, 2 1/2 and newborn) that would be very hard.

My choice whether to WOH or SAH is purely financial though: we need my income. If I weren't able to make good money working part time, and we couldn't afford the daycare for 3 kids, I wouldn't have had 3, because we can't afford for me to stay home.

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 06-18-2003 - 11:38am
We had our children 5 years apart because I did not want two in daycare at the same time. Then we jumped the gun and had two in daycare for the first year.

I have a friend that is expecting her 4th child. She will have a 7,5,3 and a newborn with an unemployed husband. I think her day is much harder than mine. I would like more children but I do not want them close together. 4-5 years difference is perfect for our family. I am 27 so I have plenty of time.

Kristi

"I do not want to be a princess! I want to be myself"

Mallory (age 3)

      &nbs

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 06-18-2003 - 2:07pm
The amount of children definately was part of making the decision to SAH. I only had two, but they were eleven months apart in age.

Another reason that made SAH make sense, is that my dh has two older children from a previous marriage. For all of our marriage, he was the non-custodial parent - long distance, interstate. This made thinking about WOH even more difficult, as even if I had regular child care for the younger ones, finding child care for holidays and summer only was somewhat difficult; further complicating the issue that the visitations were often last minute and indefinate. At 8 and 10, they seemed to old for daycare; even if we were to find daycamps, it would prove difficult finding one to fit a last minute schedule.

I am thrilled to report though - this week it all has changed. Dh was granted sole full legal and physical custody of the two older children on Monday. This is a temporary order, to be in place until final permanent custody is decided on. So far, odds look overwhelmingly well for dh, as the judge has for the temporary basis, suspended all contact and visitation with mom.

So, now with a family of 6, I have to wonder, if I will ever WOH? I had made plans this fall to attend college once again and finish off my degree. With all of the adjustment our family is facing, I am now thinking it may be best to either only take classes very part time or to put it off at least for a year alltogether.

BTW, nice to be back on the board - I have been gone for a while - acting as dh's paralegal as he has obtained this custody pro se. Not only did he get the custody he wanted without a lawyer, but he also challenged interstate jurisdiction at the federal level and won. Has been a long time since I had a chance to sit down and look at the computer and not see something regarding legal code on the screen.

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