what made you decide to do what you do?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
what made you decide to do what you do?
1246
Wed, 05-21-2003 - 12:18pm
In the interest of changing the subject back to something that is actually relevant to a SAH/WOH debate (LOL!), I will pose a question to anyone who wants to answer:

Who or what would you say was the greatest influence on your decision to SAH or WOH, whichever one you do (or want to do, if you aren't doing what you want)? Did any particular person, circumstance, situation, or anything else lead you to decide this question one way or the other?

What if two different influences conflicted? How did you make the decision then?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Wed, 05-21-2003 - 12:23pm
My mom was a SAHM, so I honestly didn't even think there was another way to do it for a long time! But now that I am actually a parent... it's a combination of that and the fact that my dh was a latchkey kid and wants there to be a SAHP as well. It is very important to both of us for ds to have mommy or daddy here when he comes home from preschool/kindergarten/elementary school/J high/high school. Plus, we like having the extra family time we get with one SAHP. Unlike other SAH families, however, our arrangement shifts from SAHM to SAHD depending on different circumstances.
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-04-1997
Wed, 05-21-2003 - 12:26pm
Well, I unexpectedly got pregnant with my first son while I was under a contractual obligation to start a job, so I negotiated a semester off and then went to work when he was 8 mons old. It was hard, but easier than I thought it would be, and I loved what I was doing, so I kept doing it. The kids never seemed to suffer for it.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 05-21-2003 - 12:47pm
That's pretty funny, because I had the same experience, except in reverse. My mom WOH since before I was born, so I didn't know anything else. Growing up was all about getting a good education and what were you going to *BE* when you grew up. I honestly never thought about whether or not I would be a parent when I grew up. Either I just assumed that happened to everyone, or maybe I wasn't all that interested in it. Anyway, it would have never occurred to me not to WOH.

My DH grew up with a SAHM who still, to this day, goes on about how she gave up her nursing career to raise her kids, as part of the ongoing saga of all the sacrifices she made for her DH's military career. It didn't occur to my DH until after we had kids, but he really didn't want to saddle his kids with the burden of guilt that his mom laid on him.

It has actually worked great for us to have everyone working and going to school at the same time, although sometimes when they were much younger things got a little hairy.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 05-21-2003 - 12:54pm
Got unexpectedly pregnant two months after a move and two months after being married.My ds was in NICU for 3 weeks after a complicated C section delivery ,so we decided he needed a lot of one on one care and attention.I also was pretty fragile emotionally(NOT PPD, I was just *scared* and shocked and in a state of disbelief that things can go worng in delivery and felt a real need to be with my son when he came home).Then decided to go ahead and have another one 3 years later(we were contemplating a two year move to Australia, but decided against it,but wanted to have another child before we left), and decided I'd sah until the youngest was in school,and then take it from there.
Avatar for biancamami
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Wed, 05-21-2003 - 1:01pm
Who is going to pay the rent?

That pretty much made the decision for me. That and the fact that in my family it is the norm to be a WOHM. We rely a lot on the older generation to help us take care of the children while the young women and men go out to provide for the family.

In addition, I'm the breadwinner in my family and have the higher earning potential because of my education. SAH has never been an option and I don't think it will be in the near future. We are very happy with our current situation.

Ana
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 05-21-2003 - 1:04pm
This is kinda the cliff notes to an epic tale so be warned:

My DH and I were not married when we first had Zak. I worked because I needed the insurance and the money. Then we got married and I wanted to stay home. The grass is always greener etc. So I did. I was a nervous wreck. DH has brain cancer and, at that time, had one brain surgery and radiation. I was scared that, if he died, I would not be able to be in the workforce again with a good paying job. I also was not good at SAH. So, off to the workforce I went and worked full-time. It was too much-I was pregnant and DH had just finished having his right temporal lobe removed. He was unndergoing radiation and chemo and we bought a new house. Chaos! I knew I could not stay home full-time so I found a very flexible job that was 32-39 hours a week. It has been perfect.

I guess to answer your question: DH's health and the well being of our family has been my driving choice. I have always tried to find balance.

The silly thing about the WOH/SAH debate is that it is hard to find any woman that has stayed home totally their whole children's live or worked full-time their whole children's live. I think we all flow in and out of the workforce as it fits our families. I do not have one friend that has stayed home totally or worked totally. Even my closest friend (who used to SAHM) does bookkeeping at home since her DH is unemployed. She is now a WAHM parent.

Kristi

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

Mallory (age 3)

      &nbs

Avatar for laurenmom2boys
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Wed, 05-21-2003 - 1:10pm
DH and I married when I was 32. I'd already been with my company 9 years and DH was just starting his profession as a dentist. He worked for others and didn't have his own practice. When DS1 was born we knew we could not survive on what DH was making so I continued to work. DS1 is now 10, DH finally has his own practice which is finally becoming quite profitable. I'll continue to work because my employer is very family-friendly and allows me to flex my time and telecommute if necessary in order to meet the needs of my family. And they pay me very well.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 05-21-2003 - 1:14pm
Oh, yeah. I just think it's interesting to look back at decisions and think, maybe, someone or something had an influence that you hadn't realized at the time. Most people's lives are way more complicated than you'd think, when examined in detail.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 05-21-2003 - 1:28pm
Oprah did a show a couple of weeks ago about how everyone has a story. That is so true...we all have interesting and fascinating lifes. It is fun to share them sometimes. It is also, like you said, interesting to look back and think about what has brought you where you are today.

Someone asked me the other day if I had ever asked for healing for DH's brain cancer. I was rather taken aback. I never have-it has been so much of our lives. It has effected the way that DH and I have matured and grown as a couple. It effects our work and where we live. It has effected our fertility. I would love to have another child but it would be lunacy. I had my second on faith and it ended well. I don't know if I am willing to do it again.

Kristi

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

Mallory (age 3)

      &nbs

Avatar for lola356
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 05-21-2003 - 1:29pm
I came back to work after 10 months of mat leave and thought I would be laid off and get a package and live happily ever after in SAH-dome. But alas, I came back to work, my boss quit and my jopb was elevated. Now it's not the most perfect job but I like it. And I like the sense of acheivement I feel while doing my work. And while I adore every second with my son, I don't think I could be a full time SAHM. But I've never really had the option...

L.

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