Why do what we do?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Why do what we do?
25
Thu, 08-07-2003 - 1:38am
I read the post concerning level of education and SAHM vs. WOHM. Which leads me to questions for all of you.

If you are a WOHM, do you secretly envy the Moms who get to spend all day with their babies? If you could quit working to spend more time with your family, would you actually do it, or would you be enrolling your child in classes to keep him occupied?

If you are a SAHM, Do you envy your friends who are WOHMs?

Are you a one because you choose to be,(meaning there is absolutely NO reason whatsoever for you to get a job, you and your mate are so financially well off you even have your kids college funds saved for)? Or because you want to be, meaning you can't bear to leave your children, because no one can do as good of a job as you are doing? If it's because you want to be, what changes have you made to your lifestyle to accomodate this?

I'm just curious about what people think about this. I know many of my WOHM friends are happy that they work, yet they miss thier babies. Meanwhile, many of my SAHM friends are happy that they get to stay home with their babies, yet they miss the extra $$.

Amazingly, both sides complain about the other side.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-2003
In reply to: cari_h
Thu, 08-07-2003 - 5:49am
As a WOHM, No, i didn't in any way (overtly OR secretly) envy moms who spent all day with their babies. Even as a WOHM, i spent the VAST MAJORITY of the day with them.

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No because i feel tht right now, I ALREADY spend the VAST MAJORITY of time with my family. As a teacher, i am home by 4 most afternoons and i only work 181 days per year -- meaning that there are 184 days per year that i don't work (weekends, holidays and vacations).

<>

If i had been home, yeah, i probably would have enrolled the child in something just so we could have a definite set of other 4 walls to look at.

eileen

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: cari_h
Thu, 08-07-2003 - 6:41am
I have always had little bit of the grass is greener syndrome.

I remember when the kids were little thinking that I couldn't wait until they were all in school so I could have some time to myself. Then as soon as my youngest went to school full days I went back to work because I wa bored at home. After going back to work which was fully my choice I still from time to time wish that I had my days free.

I think that the syndrome is pretty natural and not really a problem unless it goes overboard and consumes your life.

Avatar for taylormomma
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-23-2003
In reply to: cari_h
Thu, 08-07-2003 - 8:07am
I'm a WOHM, and no I really don't envy SAHM. I like my life. I've WOH, WAH (very briefly, during my first maternity leave) and SAH, and there were pros and cons to all of them.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-22-2000
In reply to: cari_h
Thu, 08-07-2003 - 9:47am
I've done both, and the grass was only greener on one side.

When my son was a baby until he was almost 4, I was a SAHM and it was no secret that I wished I could be a WOHM. Last summer and now this one I've gotten a taste of the SAHM life again (by way of being an unemployed WOHM) and it's totally confirmed that I just NEED to be a WOHM. Even if we could put financials aside (which we can't because really, as an "only" parent, I do HAVE to work,) I just feel totally stagnant and suffocated when I'm not WOH.


Avatar for biancamami
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
In reply to: cari_h
Thu, 08-07-2003 - 10:47am
Ditto!

I'm one of the people that *need* to work because of our finances...I'm the breadwinner. However, 3 months of maternity leave convinced me I could not SAH full time.

My dream would be to be able to work one or two less days a week. But I really do enjoy WOH. My sister, who is a teacher, says she's going crazy this summer SAH 24-7. It doesn't mean we don't love our babies, but that's just not the lifestyle for us!

Ana
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
In reply to: cari_h
Thu, 08-07-2003 - 10:51am
I always say I have the very best of both worlds. I woh pt, 2 nights a week. I go to school pt and have managed to get most of my classes so far via distance education or evening classes. I am still home with my children for the bulk of the week, yet get the extra $$ generated from working.

I will probably go back to work ft when my youngest is a bit older, but I am actually very happy with our situation as it stands now.

dj

Dj

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

Avatar for val10154
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-26-2003
In reply to: cari_h
Thu, 08-07-2003 - 11:03am
Right now, I work full-time b/c I have to financially. However, my ideal would be to work part-time only for the hours my dd is in school. Who I do envy are the people who work in schools, who are working on the same days & at the same times their kids are in school, so they're not really "losing" any time w/ their kids.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
In reply to: cari_h
Thu, 08-07-2003 - 11:14am
I've done both, and there are ups and downs associated with each choice.

I worked a reduced schedule (usually about 30 hours/week) after the birth of our first child until the birth of the second one about 8 months ago. There are definitely things that I miss about working - intellectual stimulation, adult conversation, winning a case or a motion, lunches in nice restaurants without two kids climbing all over me, etc. But I can have all of that again someday, and I am truly enjoying the time I get to spend with my girls now.

So, to answer your questions . . . .

<<>>

Not really.

<<>>

None of the above. My income was substantial, and giving that up was a little scary. Fortunately, if I needed to, I believe that I could reenter the workforce fairly easily. Also, my being at home has enabled dh to focus more on his job in recent months, and he

is really enjoying the success he has had of late. The downside to that of course is that he is not as actively involved with the kids (particularly the baby) as either one of us would like right now.

As for not being able to bear leaving them or thinking that no one can "do as good of a job" as me, I will admit that I did sometimes find it difficult to leave dd when I was working. However, our experience with her daycare was overall a very positive one. No one else will care for them exactly the way that I do, but that doesn't mean that they can't benefit from being cared for by someone else, whether it's occasional or on a regular basis. Sah is just what happens to work best for us at this point in time. If that changes, we'll deal with it when the time comes.

Avatar for 1969jets
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: cari_h
Thu, 08-07-2003 - 11:23am
I have done both. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. When I was working I sometimes wished I had more time at home. Now that I am home I sometimes want to get a job. But most of the time the complaints come from having a bad day, not true unhappiness with my life.

Jenna

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-15-2003
In reply to: cari_h
Thu, 08-07-2003 - 12:17pm
I wish there was a perfect answer!

Sometimes I want to be home more, sometimes I really enjoy working. All my friends (SAHM, WAHM, and WOHM-full & part time) question whether we're doing the right thing and whether there's a way to do it better.

I've found it to be incredibly fluid: my high-powered exec neighbor quit her job with her second to SAH full time & then when back to work at another high-power/pay job 2 years later. Now, she's trying to create a part-time job that will work for her. My other neighbor is a full time SAHM, who recently took a one-night-a-week part time job.

So work/stay at home seems to be a spectrum. It's just trying to find a place on that spectrum that works for you. And we seem to always think there's a better place on that spectrum than where we're currently at!!!!

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