Will my child remember that I was a SAHM

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-11-2007
Will my child remember that I was a SAHM
Wed, 06-06-2007 - 7:47pm

It struck me today that she might not.

I was sure I was doing the best thing for my children by staying home with them (two daughters-3 years old, and 4 months old). As I was talking to a dear aunt of mine (whose daughter is a working mother, since her infant was 12 weeks old), I felt my defensive bristles go up.

She went on and on about how "If she could do it all over again....she wouldn't have stayed home....." Then she told me a story in which her ds said to her, "mom, did you stay at home with us, or did you drop us off at daycare?" She almost died when he asked her that, because she stayed at home with her ds and dd until he entered kindergarten. Granted, many kindergartners haven't formed lasting memories by that age yet...but still. It got me thinking; is this ALL WORTH IT?

She was using it in her argument against staying at home. I have a Masters Degree in Counseling that I am not using. My career lies dormant at this time. We don't have cable, newspaper service, vacations, frills of any kind, new cars, etc. because of our money situation. We are middle-class and have sacrificed SO MUCH...only for me to hear from my aunt that..."her daughter needs to work to maintain their lifestyle." Yeah, driving a Volvo, she probably does....

I just need to hear from some of you who frequent this board and have solid opinions one way or the other on this topic.


Two Delicious Daughters Call Me "Mommy!"


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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-04-2005
Wed, 06-06-2007 - 8:28pm

My mom worked when I was a kid, from the time I was 6 weeks old. And although as a little kid I remember that my mom was a teacher, I don't remember her going to work. She was omnipresent in my life. When I think of my childhood, I can't remember a moment when she wasn't there. When I was a little older (7 or 8) I remember my after school babysitters, but strangely enough I still don't remember my mom not being there. It wasn't until I started staying home alone, around 11, that I can actively remember her absence.

I guess that's what being a good parent is all about - being so there for your kids that they feel as if you were always right beside them, even if you weren't.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-2006
Wed, 06-06-2007 - 8:38pm

Children have very few memories prior to age 5 so if the only reason you SAH is to create memories then it is probably not worth it. I was a SAHM for 12.5 years, my DH has always WOH, my children have no more early memories of time with me than of time with their father.

If you have other reasons to SAH then only you can decide if it is worth it or not.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-15-2006
Wed, 06-06-2007 - 8:45pm

i sah and hope my kids don't remember me as the label,*sahm*. i hope they remember me as a mom who frequented their classrooms,who was able to meet them for lunch,who was around when they got home from school to fix them a snack,who loved them unconditionally,etc etc. and that has nothing to do with slapping the label,sahm on it..........ftr,dh aka daddy is really the bonus in all of this. he's their proclaimed *hero* many times over,he has met them for lunch and would have met them for lunch more if his work was closer. that bond is really second to none.

militant exists only on message boards like this. lol. i've yet to meet one irl. :)


Avatar for tickmich
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 06-06-2007 - 9:18pm
My mom stayed home until I was 4 years old. I dont have any meories of her staying home. I do remember my first day of nursery school at 4 years old. I remember I cried becuase my mom was leaving me at nursery school for the first time.
I do have alot of memories of my mom after that all the things she did for me. I think the important thing is that the mom is cares and is involved in her child's life. i dont think working or having a career precludes that. It may affect the career path or job one takes.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 06-06-2007 - 10:11pm

I was never a sah because I wanted my kids to remember me for sah. It was just what worked for our family (ds as an infant was high needs, dh and I were both trying to juggle shiftwork, dd needed extra attention and stability as she was going through major upheavals, daycare would have been very expensive and I had issues with the idea of it anyway, etc etc) at the time. I didnt go into it with some especially noble idea and over the years I have realized it is not the holy grail. It just made sense at the time.

I absolutely LOVE that I have been able to be home with them so much, but I dont know if its something *they* think about much. They know I am there for them, but I think they would know that regardless of work status.


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

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-26-2006
Wed, 06-06-2007 - 10:41pm
I remember that my mom wasnt a SAHM. So to answer your question your children will remember what their childhood was no matter what you do. Not trying to be mean but you do have frills. You pay to post here. I noticed all your siggies at the bottom of your post.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-09-2006
Thu, 06-07-2007 - 5:18am

Who cares? Think of all the loving things you did for her when she was an infant--things you could have foregone and slept longer instead. Think she'll remember that? of course not. Would you still do them? Probably.

It's okay to do stuff, even stuff that's a sacrifice for you to do, even if the kids don't remember it. YOU will.

Does being a SAHM work for you, your child, your family? If the answer to those questions is yes, that's all the reason you need to do them, no matter what anyone else does, says or remembers.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-12-2003
Thu, 06-07-2007 - 9:12am


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 06-07-2007 - 9:26am
I stopped working outside the house when my oldest was 4 and my youngest was 2ish. They are now 8 and 10. The 8year old remembers nothing and the 4 year old has a few memories of daycare. They both have memories of preschool.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-27-2005
Thu, 06-07-2007 - 9:38am

My mother was a SAHM until I was about 8. To be honest, I remember finding her better organized and more "there" mentally when she was a WOHM, but that's probably unique to my mother :-).

With regard to my kids: I was a SAHM for most of the first 6 years of ds's life. He did go to dc very part time for a year while I finished up my Master's thesis (when he was 2). Otherwise, I was at home with him ft. I asked him if he remembered the time when I didn't work and he said he couldn't really remember. As far as he could tell, I had always worked. I don't think dd remembers at all, but she was about 2.5 years old when I started working again so I'm not surprised. I'm actually a bit surprised that ds doesn't remember since he was older when I started working again and it wasn't all that long ago (he's 12 now).

Ultimately, I think the decision to stay at home shouldn't be based on what memories the kids will have. They may or may not retain the memories one hopes or expects them to retain...it's an awfully shaky foundation for such an important decision. Whether or not to have a SAHP should be based on what is best for the family as a whole. If you feel that it was the best decision for your family, that's all that really matters in the end, whether or not the kids actually remember having a SAHP. We had to live quite frugally when I was at home with the kids (one very ancient car, tiny apartment, very limited budget), but for many reasons it was the best choice for our family and we all benefitted in various ways because I SAH at that time. I'm a WAHM/WOHM now and for various reasons that is now the best choice for our family overall.

Btw, this cracked me up a bit:

"Yeah, driving a Volvo, she probably does...."

Where I live, Volvos are ubiquitous and in no way a sign of affluence :-).