"It's best for the children" (m)

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
"It's best for the children" (m)
166
Mon, 06-16-2003 - 11:55am
Is it more important that your work status be what's best for the children? Best for you personally? Best for the whole family?

My work status is not necessarily optimum for my children and their day to day lives. It's not bad - I'd say it's very satisfactory. But given that it's much better for me on many levels, and good for my relationship with my husband, and good for our financial future (and present), my work status is what it is.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-15-2003
Mon, 06-16-2003 - 12:15pm
Combination. I don't think there is one answer or one angle to look at the whole big picture.

ChefsDozen

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 06-16-2003 - 12:20pm
My work status is best for me personally and my family as a whole. I think that makes it best for my children. They need a happy, secure family and parents with a strong marriage. For ME, working helps makes our family stronger. As I have posted before, DH has brain cancer. He still works and we could probably coast on his salary. Neither of us would comfortable doing that-we need the stability of knowing that I am working when the tumor comes back. I need to work so I do not stay home and worry constantly. My children need me working because I am going to have to one day (for insurance).

Some people always seem to go with the philosopy that a stay at home mother is the best. If the world were black and white, then that might be true. Women work not only for money but for insurance, for retirement, for private school etc. In those cases, working is the best for the children. If it is best for the family then it is best for the children.

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

Mallory (age 3)

      &nbs

Avatar for mjdphd
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 06-16-2003 - 12:30pm
Do kids always have to have what is best?
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 06-16-2003 - 12:55pm
Well, I do think that you have to consider all aspects, however, if I felt that my children were suffering in some way *because* of my work status (or lack thereof), I'd change it. And I wouldnt be talking financials, unless we were broke, because I dont think its about $$.

I'm not sure if *satisfactory* would be enough for ME. Maybe for my kids, but I'd feel like I wasnt offering them the best possible situation if I could only come up with *satisfactory* in regards to their day to day lives.

Dh and I both chose jobs and hours that work best for our family AND our children. Does he love working at 5am? Of course not. Do I love working weekends? Nope. But we do it because we feel it is what works best for our children. We are pretty child-centered in our home (disclaimer-we dont let the kids run the house, thats not what I mean by child-centered!). Pretty much every decision we make centers around the children. We both feel that in the blink of an eye they will be off to college, and then we'll have years stretching before us to do what WE personally want to do. We still cant believe our 12yo will be gone in 6 short years.....so yeah, for now, we work wierd hours and take trips to Disneyland instead of the Himalayas. For now we rent movies and cook burgers on the grill instead of fine dining (okay we still go out for fine dining once in awhile, lol. Cant give that up!). For now we focus on our kids and our family, because the time is SO fleeting.

dj

Dj

"Now when I need help, I look in the mirror" ~Kanye West~

Avatar for laurenmom2boys
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Mon, 06-16-2003 - 12:55pm
My WOH status is best for our family. Every member of our family is important. We do what we have to do to benefit all of us, not just the children.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 06-16-2003 - 1:11pm
Maybe satisfactory isn't a strong enough word. I think the kids' situation is a neutral overall, but I wouldn't be nearly as happy working PT or SAH.

You're in a great position of proceeding with your professional goals (going back to school, retraining) while working PT. But if you had to stop or seriously "downgrade" your goals for the few short years your kids were home, wouldn't that tip the scales farther in favor of your own personal goals? The fact you have children at home for only a few years cuts both ways.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 06-16-2003 - 1:20pm
No! I consider myself child centered, but my answer is no.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 06-16-2003 - 1:30pm
Confused, if I had to quit working pt or defer school for awhile, how would that be tipping the scales further towards my own personal goals? Maybe I misunderstood the question??

dj

Dj

"Now when I need help, I look in the mirror" ~Kanye West~

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 06-16-2003 - 1:49pm
Jet lag making me type cryptically.

What I was *trying* to say was that if you had to put your goals on hold completely in order to do what you believe is best for your kids, wouldn't you think harder about doing what's best for your kids? It would take more of a personal sacrifice on your part.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 06-16-2003 - 1:57pm
During the school year, I think my WOH PT status is best for the whole family. (Disclaimer--can you ever actually *know* that what you're doing is best? It's our best guess, anyway.)

I get to have a job I enjoy and a little bit of cherished free time between the end of my work day and the end of the school day. The kids get a parent at home every day after school, which means we have a wide range of options on how to spend the time. (Quite frankly, there are some days when they'd be better off in an afterschool program, and they'd probably rather be with grandma, but I'm their mom and they can't change that part of the equation!). DH has a more flexible schedule because he doesn't have to pick up kids, and can do stuff after work or travel when needed without a scheduling hassle. Also, since adopting this schedule I have been doing more cooking and we've all been eating better. Then there are the monetary benefits--my income is earmarked for paying off our mortgage by the time DD graduates from HS, and for college savings. We've decided that the additional income I'd get from a FT job is not worth it to us at this time. (Plus, unless I could find a senior-level job in my field, I'm most likely earn only a bit more FT than I currently earn PT.)

However, I'm not sure it's best for the kids in the summer. Last summer I was at home, and it was great to be able to do summer activites such as swim lessons mid-day. I also took the kids on a 10-day trip to visit my gradparents, which was priceless. DD is in a summer daycamp this year, and DS is at his same preschool (starts K in the fall, also at the same school.) They are enjoying their activities so far, but I wish for their sake as well as mine that we could have a more flexible summer schedule. It'd be fun for them to do some of the summer offerings that are just a few hours at a time, rather than have to schedule a 5-hour block. For us it's a question of long term vs. short-term benefits though. I hope, in the long run, they will benefit from a debt-free family and a college education more than they will benefit from a more relaxed summer schedule.

Dana

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