SAH when kids are in school

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-28-2003
SAH when kids are in school
60
Wed, 05-28-2003 - 12:30pm
What is your opinion on SAHMs (or SAHDs) whose kids are in school? I agree that it takes a lot of work to be at home with babies/toddlers, but once they're in school, what do you do in the mornings? When I was home before my dd was born, I'd wake up, see my dh off to work, shower, clean the house a bit, then have all this time to read, watch Oprah, go for walks... basically the fun things of life.

What about the SAHP who say that they will never WOH? What will they do when their kids are in college/on their own? Do you think the spouse should provide financially or them still?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 05-28-2003 - 12:44pm
Whatever works. I think it's up to the individuals involved.

I know one couple, without children, where the DH stays at home while the wife works. They're happy with the arrangement. He does all the cooking and shopping, which she appreciates. He also has good skills in carpentry, tile work, etc., and he spends time at home remodeling their house.

I can think of all sorts of ways that an adult at home could contribute to the good of the family without having a paying job, whether there are children at home or not. On the other hand, if the working spouse feels like it's unfair or if money is a problem, then they have some negotiating to do.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-28-2003
Wed, 05-28-2003 - 12:56pm
I suppose it works for some people.

But if we didn't have children and I was home doing stuff I'd do for fun anyway (love cooking, working on the garden/house, etc.) while my dh was bringing home the paycheck (because don't you think the reality is that no one loves their job 100% of the time but we work because we like it most of the time and it brings us a paycheck)

then (unless we were very rich) I'd feel guilty if I wanted to splurge on a haircut or a pair of shoes.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-01-2001
Wed, 05-28-2003 - 1:00pm
I think the assumption that paid work is the only type of valuable work is hysterical!

My mother has been at home since 1969 when my sister was born. By 1982 all her children were in school full time. When my brother and I were in high school she worked part time, and also a again a few years ago when my parents moved and she was trying to create new friendships. She has no desire or need to earn an income and gets much more fulfillment from volunteer work. Through out my childhood she was always involved with various organizations from school programs (she was the president of the district PTA for a number of years) to church work to a home for mentally retarded adults. She is currently volunteering (15 hours aweek or so) with a ministry that matches needy people with donated cars so that they can travel to better jobs, as well various church committees. One of the reasons she loves volunteer work is the flexability it gives her, when my sister has dealt with health issues she simply told her supervisors that she would be gone for a while, she can also travel with my father, a college professor, during the summers with no concerns with regard to a job.

While I plan on going back to work with in the next few years (my youngest is going to kindy next school year), I don't ever plan to work full time (unless the income is needed). I'll also likely cut way back so that my husband and I have time together once the kids leave the house.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 05-28-2003 - 1:25pm
My opinion is that if you want all parents to woh when their kids go to school,then you'd better write the school board and put an end to random days off and early outs and sending kids home who have a a slight cough, not to mention little volinteer programs like cutting out paper hearts in the classroom at 11 AM.You'd also better not live in a bedroom comm where a lot of woh parents have a 45 mimute commute to pick up their kids if a snow day is called.

My mom sah,and both of her kids are grown, and my dad still lets her eat.Some parents are even retired by the time their kids are in high school or college.I guess they do whatever they feel like doing.My brothers bedroom is now a TV room,mine a study,they are going to the beach for a week,they eat out a lot and see movies, so they don't seem to be too sad.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 05-28-2003 - 1:28pm
Personally, I have worked FT or PT most of my adult life. I currently work PT, and I prefer it to working FT or SAH at this stage in my life. But if a couple is comfortable with one income, I have no beef with that.

I don't think the worker has to love a job 100% in order to feel fine about supporting non-working family members. I'm thinking again about the couple I mentioned above--the wife does like her job, but she has her share of typical wroker stressors--budget issues, busy times, annoying co-workers, etc. However, she sees having her DH at home as positive overall. It frees her from many of the mundane household chores that she doesn't enjoy, and allows her time for the stuff she does like, such as gardening and decorating. Also, he is much happier than he was when he was working. His job caused him a lot of stress, and he also seemed depressed. When he's happy, he's a lot more fun to be around and she's happier too. Also, she travels a lot for work, and he can come with her frequently, which they enjoy. He used to work for a contractor doing remodeling, and was too tired after coming home to work on their own house. Now, his work may not benefit them financially, but it benefits them directly in that they are getting their home remodeled exactly as they want it.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-08-2003
Wed, 05-28-2003 - 1:29pm
Lifetimer Housewife here. Before kids, will be after kids. I do it because it is best and it works best for our family plus I'm following a dream.

What do I do?

Clean, cook, laundry, errands, groceries, baking, volunteering. I never get really done with anything as there is way too much to do but I like it that way. I may spend 5hours cleaning one day and 1hr cleaning the next because I have something else I want or need to do.

Then there are things called outside interests of all of the above and beyond motherhood and being a wife and I have the time and opportunity to pursue those and explore new options. I have a great life and wouldn't change one itsy bitsy thing about it.

My husband and I both agreed before marriage that I wanted to be a housewife and he thinks that is great and wants to give me that opportunity. It does benefit him and his career to have a sahw but that certainly was not the deciding factor. It was much more broader and more in depth than that.

It is a very personal choice and it is a life style choice we made together and we are both elated to be given the opportunity for this choice.

There is plenty to do and I couldn't tell you the last time I watched a soap or Oprah lol

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 05-28-2003 - 1:38pm
Good point. I always wonder, when people talk about getting a job once their kids are in school, what sort of job they plan to get. I have what I consider the ideal PT job. I work 9-1, so I can drop my kids off at school and pick them up in the afternoon. I also have a lot of flexibilty, so I can rearrange my week's worth of hours around kid sick days and school holidays. But even so, I always find myself scrambling for child care for school vacations, and summer is a logistical challenge as well. I can certainly understand why a parent would choose not to deal with the hassles of fitting a job around school hours, given a choice in the matter.

My parents are both retired. They are plenty busy and enjoying it very much.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 05-28-2003 - 1:39pm
If a parent does not want their child in dc, it can be just as difficult to try to juggle once they are in school ft. I'm starting to think about this now. My youngest will be in school a year from now. The first couple years of his schooling, I will be finishing my degree and going to school ft myself. It wont be too difficult to manuever around the kids schedules at that point. BUT....if I want to work ft once I get my degree, THEN the juggling will begin! Dh and I have already discussed it, and the one plus for us is he works shiftwork so his schedule is pretty flexible. I am thinking that its *likely* I will end up working either in a job that also has shiftwork (state mental hospital, juvenille detention, counseling services) OR I might change tracks and go for something with the school district (I think I am going to minor in education so that this will be an option). But realisitically, finding a full time job that coincides with a school schedule (or opposite a spouse's schedule) can be very difficult.

Dh and I are both against kids being left home alone for any length of time, and we arent really into the whole dc thing for them either. Plus my kids are 8 years apart so dc at all would be really complicated-my dd will be 15 or so when I am working ft, ds only 7. He could go to aftercare at school maybe-but what about her??

Argh. I can see why some parents prefer to have a parent at home until all the children are pretty much out of the house. And as far as going back to work when they go to college, I will be approaching retirement age when that happens.

dj

Dj

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

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 05-28-2003 - 1:51pm
I've been trying to figure out what I am going to do,and we do have a pretty good afterschool program, but it is sooo expensive, and they charge extra for all the early outs, etc.Afterschool care could easily cost $1000 in a vacation month for my two kids.Even that I could just think,it's fun and educational, but on summer vacations they take them to waterparks,etc. and I am NOT comfortable with that AT ALL.The school has a cheaper program, but it is only available when school is in,which I don't quite get...

Your job sounds ideal.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-28-2003
Wed, 05-28-2003 - 1:58pm
< guess they do whatever they feel like doing.My brothers bedroom is now a TV room,mine a study,they are going to the beach for a week,they eat out a lot and see movies, so they don't seem to be too sad. >

I didn't think they'd be sad... that's my point. It's the good life to SAH.

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