SAH early years vs teen years

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-22-2005
SAH early years vs teen years
53
Sun, 06-13-2010 - 4:26pm

This past weekend I shared a room at a church youth conference with a mom of three girls (6 years, 13 years and 15 years). In getting to know each other, she mentioned that she has recently quit her job after being a working mom her entire children's lives. She was concerned about her 13-year-old and decided to stay home so that she could focus more fully on some problems that have been surfacing.

I nodded in approval and casually mentioned that I thought that if there was a more critical time to have a stay home parent, it wouldn't be the infant years; it would be the teen years. She nearly burst out crying and said that she was SO RELIEVED to hear somebody say that. She said that she always hears people talk about how we should stay home when our kids are really little, and so she felt guilty (her words) that she didn't choose to stay home when they were little and yet she was choosing to stay home now.

My take on the matter, which I conveyed to her, was that when they are small children we WANT to stay with them but nothing serious is likely to happen by trusting another loving, responsible person to take care of them while we work. By contrast, when they are teenagers, they are much more independent and much more capable of getting into serious trouble. For some families, having a stay at home parent would be a good way to increase the diligence factor (eliminate the distractions of work and use that time and energy to get more involved and keep an extra close eye on things).

She had never thought about it this way and was really, really grateful to hear it. You could tell it was something that had been eating her up. She thought that society was somehow looking down on her for her choices because "all you ever hear is messages about how important it is to stay home when the kids are little; you never hear anything about staying at home when the kids are teens."

So my question is: Why do you think hardly anyone ever touts the benefits of staying home once the children are teens?












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Avatar for rollmops2009
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-24-2009
Sun, 07-10-2011 - 2:06am

Yes, at one point dd seriously thought of becoming a teacher so she could take good care of children like herself (her explanation). She is good about teaching others and it is a conscious response to what she sees as the failure by many to teach her when she asked them to. In fairness to her teachers, dd can be quite relentless, lol.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-12-2005
Wed, 07-20-2011 - 8:11am

My oldest wanted to stay home last Wednesday. If I had stayed home with him that day, I would have lost my job. It seems to me it would be pretty reckless to give up my job, with health benefits and retirement benefits, as well as pay, so that my child can stay at home when he wants to. Especially since on Thursday, he wanted to go to day care.

What my children want is a factor, but not the deciding one, in my choices. What I think my children need is the deciding factor. What I think will benefit my children is also a stronger factor than what my children want.

1. What my children need: shelter, food, clothing, health benefits: covered by husband's salary. lots of love and nurturing: available whether I work or not.

2. What I think will benefit my children: great school district, home on safe street with lots of space to play; college funds; family travel; extracurricular activities; extra financial stability in the form of a backup breadwinner; financial assistance starting their adult lives; mom and dad retiring comfortably before grandchildren are born to help out in any way possible: not entirely possible with husband's salary alone; entirely possible with both salaries.

3. What my children want: for Spiderman to move in with us: not happening; family vacations: possible with both salaries: guitar lessons: possible with both salaries; to have some day care days: possible on both salaries but not on husband's salary alone; to stay home whenever the urge arises: not possible with both working, possible only if husband alone works; daddy to make dinner because mom's

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-28-2011
Wed, 07-20-2011 - 12:02pm

My best friend would agree whole heartedly.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-12-2005
Wed, 07-20-2011 - 12:50pm

I think your friend may be making excuses. At age 16,

Avatar for rollmops2009
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-24-2009
Wed, 07-20-2011 - 1:14pm

Not sure why it would have to be a problem that a 16yo is having sex. Also, with teens, it is not so much being home FOR them, it is a question of whether they are ever home. You can work and still be available to a teen, if you choose to make that a priority.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-15-2006
Tue, 07-26-2011 - 6:40am

what would she have done differently if she was AH with her 16 YO..kept him home, not allowed him to go out?

my oldest is 14, she has views on sex, drugs and alchohol, i enjoy listening to her perspective and she wants to know where we stand too.

 

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