Youthful Choices

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Youthful Choices
Wed, 04-16-2003 - 7:46am
This kinda comes from another thread that's incredibly long and circling on itself. Time to start something new. :)

Would you change any choices you made as a very young adult? I'm especially interested in choices that might have affected your sah/wah/woh status today.

Would you like to sah, but woh and think that changing a choice or two might have made that possible?

Do you sah but would rather woh?

Work FT and wish you could go PT?

My sister was thinking that if she had majored in PT, she would have the hours she really wants and needs. It's hard to find pt work in her field, and when you get it, it doesn't pay well.

Her husband is going back to school for teaching. His field is in one of it's periodic lulls. He's not getting any younger and is thinking about his chances of finding another job in the same field in the next lull (he'd be early 50's then). Wishing he had gone for the teaching years ago?

I really can't pick anything out. I would rather be a sahm, but none of my choices affected my work status. I was going to have to work no matter what. Well, I could have married rich.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 04-16-2003 - 8:20am
I don't know if I would change any choices but I have often lately thought how life would be different if I had made different choices.

When DH and I met we were both in the Air Force. He made it a career, I got out when I had DD1 and SAH for 12 years. If I had not gotten out then we would both be retired now. We would be on a fairly equal status earnings wise instead of most of it being on his shoulder. Even if I had gotten out of the Air Force but not spent those years as a SAHM our financial status could be much different.

But on the other hand the reason that I got out of the Air Force was because a dual active duty couple doubles the chances for sepertation. The reasons I was a SAHM was I did not think that I could handle working all day and running a household all evening and because I wanted to give my girls a little stability in our mobile life.

So from a purely financial stand point I did not make the best choice but maybe from a quality of life issue I did. Since I cannot go back and live it the other way that I will never know.

Avatar for mjdphd
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 04-16-2003 - 8:30am
I probably would still have been a WOHM, but I may have gone into a different field. I graduated college in the early 80's. Computers were just starting to take off at that time. If I had gone into computing, I would have been at the forefront of the field. I think that would have given me more options about how I chose to work once I had children. The field that I chose is pretty inflexible.

I also would have waited a little longer after getting married to have children to build up a bigger nest egg. But, then, I wouldn't have my wonderful son :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Wed, 04-16-2003 - 8:33am
I can't think of anything off hand wrt my choice of being at home, except that I wish I thought of running the dc alot earlier in my life. In order to do that though, I would have had to buy a home and I wasn't ready to do that until we did. But then again, with this debate...I am pretty flexible and go the "pro-choice" route. I am also pretty flexable in my own life that it really doesn't matter to me if I am home or not. The important thing to me is that both myself AND my family is happy. Currently we are with the decisions we have made.

The only thing that I wish I had done more of in general was travel. I have been across the US a couple of times, but I wish I had traveled outside of the US before I had kids. I would think that it would be more interesting to see it all for yourself then also experiance it through your children's eyes. One thing I truely enjoy is traveling with dd now and seeing things with her that I have seen before. It puts a whole new perspective on things.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 04-16-2003 - 8:47am
No regrets! I am very content with my choices.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2002
Wed, 04-16-2003 - 9:08am
You know...I was just thinking about this the other day...someone sent me some kind of fwd e-mail (the ones I hate but read anyway!!!), and it made me think about what I would go back and change. What I came up with?

At 16 I would have gone to my grandfather and said, "Teach me about money and saving and spending smart!!!". And he would have. I would have had him start putting a bulk of my income into savings, while I lived on the other 30-40%.

I still would have gotten married when I did, but I would have worked my butt off until dd was born to save up more money for the hard times and also budgeted differently.

I also wouldn't have listened to the condescending, "when are you going to get a job?" from my family. I would now respond, "when my kids are old enough to go to school full-time....if that is what works for our family. And WHY do you care?".

Then I would have SAH from day one through when I sent them to school full-time this year, and re-evaluated. :)

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-20-2001
Wed, 04-16-2003 - 9:15am
I would have gone to college straight out of high school. I probably would have married a nice college educated boy and be teaching high school history somewhere in Texas. But thinking of "Peggy Sue Got Married" and if I'd done the couldas .. I'm happy with my lot in life. My choices haven't affected working or not, just affected how I manage to do it. I gave up woh when it became impossible to manage my twins-ds/work/marriage/and our household ... I was losing me in there somewhere. Wah in a caring profession instead of woh in a caring profession works for me.



Linda - wife, mother, grandmum                     &nb

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 04-16-2003 - 2:48pm
Ask me when my kids are teenagers. :)

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Avatar for cyndiluwho
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 04-16-2003 - 10:14pm
I wouldn't have changed my status but I would have changed my major in college. Engineering and motherhood don't mix well. I think I would have chosen something a bit more flexible. While my particular position is usually pretty flexible, there are times like now when you just have to get the job done. I think I would have gone into something where I had more regular work hours and control over when I work when extra work is needed, like teaching, which was my first choice in the beginning but my counselor talked me out of it. So, here I am 15 years later working on my teaching degree.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 04-17-2003 - 9:11am
If I could have done things differently. Hmmm.... Sometimes I wished that I had tried harder to establish myself in a teaching career (my college degree is in education). Teaching jobs were hard to come by in the early 80's, but computers were taking off. Not wanting to live at home forever, while substitute teaching, and trying to figure out where I'd get the money to pay for a master's degree . . . I sold out to high tech and joined a fast growing computer company. They paid for my re-education, and I've made great money because of it. But here it is April, and I'm desparately planning how to cover daycare April school vacation, summer vacation, I've got two kids wishing mommy would just stay home with them . . .

I don't think I regret not planning to be a SAHM. One thing I can't picture myself doing was limiting my dates to only guys who made alot of money. I knew lots of women who made the effort to avoid guys whose bank account would never provide enough $$ for them to SAH. I couldn't be that fickle.

I do sometimes regret our move to a bigger home a few years ago - had we stayed in older, smaller (much) home, I could have gone part time. However, I would have had to deal with cramped living space, kids riding bikes on a very busy street, and a neighborhood with no friends for them to play with. It's easy to convince myself that the trade off, I continue working full time, they get the house in the cul-de-sac neighborhood, with tons of kids to hang out with, was well worth it.