SAHM v Career Girl?

Now that the girls are two I have noticed myself sometimes thinking about work and a future career but What? How? Where? and Is it the best possible option for us? Questions that keep on cropping up day in day out.

But last night when the dishwasher had been packed after our dinner and we were sitting in front of the tv watching CSI I realised just how exhausted I was, I was ready for bed and it wasn’t 9.30pm.

Is this a twin thing or is SAHM (Stay At Home Mum) maybe more tiring than going to work?

I mean, our alarm ‘Muuuuuuummmyy!’ cries out anywhere between 6 – 6.30am the same time I’d have to rise to go out to work, I spend the entire day on the go, cleaning the house, playing with the girls, house paperwork and the list goes on, I won’t bore you with the details. 

By the time 5pm comes, it’s teatime for the little ladies, followed by bath, dry, pyjamas, milk and bed round about 7.30pm. Then my attention turns to us, dinner needs sorting and our evening unfolds where sometimes I am so tired I can’t speak and just ‘um’ or nod a reply to Paul’s questions.

If I was to go back to work and have something left in my pocket after paying nursery fees x 2 to make the effort worthwhile, I would have to go up to London. This would mean putting the girls in a nursery by 7.30am so I could catch the last coach or a train and be in ‘the office’ by 9am.

A day’s work finishes at 5pm and probably goes over a little (can’t be seen running out the door as Big Ben chimes the hour!) so I wouldn’t be back to pick them up until gone 6.30pm at the earliest. Let’s face it, after a ‘day at work’ I would just want to enjoy a cup of tea, flick the channels and get dinner on, but no. I’d have to bath the girls, dry and dress them, feed them tea, get them to bed and spend some quality time with them if possible. (When?)

All household chores would be moved to the weekend – I’d be too tired to cope during the week and more often than not, not have time or the strength so even at the weekend I’d struggle to spend time with my girls.

Now Paul and I went through a right pallaver to get pregnant, and one day I will share our story, but every time I go through all of my options I keep coming up with a screaming ‘No!’ as I face the fact I would never see my girls and when I did I would be too exhausted to play with them.

So on that note, I am voting for SAHM BUT I have a few hours a day where I can sit on a PC, update my blog, my Facebook account, write emails, surf the net and listen in to Twitter via Tweetdeck so I could turn that time into something more fruitful as time goes on.

What’s your opinion? Do you crave the career or do you enjoy a SAHM status and have you found a way to earn some cash without upsetting the apple cart? I’d love to hear your story.

Housewife photo



  1. The Simple Life of a Country Man's Wife
    September 1, 2010 / 1:51 PM

    I do not know how women do it these days. I am a SAHW (wife) of one month now, and I love the balance between the garden, errands, exercise and chores, along with blogging, FB, etc. With kids, that would make this a much bigger juggling act. And than a full-time job … forget it!

    • September 1, 2010 / 2:04 PM

      Sounds like you have it all, very nice too. Kids are hard work but they do add a delicious cherry to the cake. :)

  2. ryoko861
    September 1, 2010 / 1:52 PM

    You’ve only been home for two years. You’re still adjusting. And welcome to parenthood. It gets easier as they get older. You’re right, you’ll never see them if you go back to work. You’ll be known as a “weekend parent”. I’ve never cared for “daycares” as we call them here in the states, sniveling little snots, pushing and bullying their way for attention and spreading germs all over the place.

    I think you and your girls will be better off in the end if you stay home. When they get older, like early teens, then maybe you can think about going back to work.

    I can’t tell you how many times it’s been one of those “thank god mom doesn’t work” moments for my kids. My kids could write blogs about those moments!

    • September 1, 2010 / 2:05 PM

      Thanks for your comment, I do agree with you and hope that I am never in the position where I HAVE to go back to work. fingers crossed eh?

    • imarsha
      September 2, 2010 / 2:24 AM

      mmmmm, I work at a daycare– they are not home but they are a necessity in this day and age. I was also a stay home mother for a while and I loved it, I am now a working mother and I love that as well. NOT sure if I completely agree with your view point though I see what you are saying…

    • September 2, 2010 / 10:31 AM

      Wow what an insensitive and ignorant comment. Unless you have actually experienced being a working mom and sending your kids to child care then maybe you should not pass judgement on them as “weekend parents” and daycare children as “little snots”. She did ask for your “experience” not baseless opinions.

      Its also nice for you that you don’t have to work. i am sure there are many kids who when thy want to do an expensive sporting activity or go to college, or maybe something much more basic then that think “gee i wish mom worked”.

      If working is not right for you Marisworld then don’t do it. I found when my daughter turned 4 I had far too much time on my hands, and decorating and cooking was not stimulating activities for me. I went to law school. Now my daughter is in kindergarten and as a student I get home before her, and I do my work after she is in bed. When i am working as a lawyer, I will work for a firm that allows me to go home at dinner so I can spend time with the family and then after she goes to bed I can work on my files if need be. We live in the city, so no commuting definitely helps the situation.

      Best of luck, I felt similarly when my daughter was a toddler, there was no place I belonged more. But as she aged and her world expanded beyond our little bubble, and I was unable to have more children, it seemed just as natural to start a career.

      • September 2, 2010 / 1:10 PM

        Uh-oh, let’s not kick off now ladies! I won’t have any bickering in my quarters.
        I’m very impressed with you ashtangalover at your energy and drive and you must be very proud of your achievements. I am absolutely positive that your daughter is not a snivelling, little snot and it’s lovely to hear from someone who has managed to have it all, after all it’s not for everybody, some just can’t do what you have done.
        As you say, life is long, the girls will grow and I will be able to reassess this as and when I need to.
        Thanks for your comment and best of luck with your future career in law! :)

  3. Syrena LoRe
    September 1, 2010 / 1:59 PM

    Today is my official first day of SAHMing. I am a teacher and now mother to my six week old daughter. If I were still working, today would be the first day of school. I noticed your blog on the WordPress homepage as I was logging in to update my own blog and make sense of this stay-at-home thing.
    It was for many of the reasons you explained in your piece that I decided to take a leave of absence from my career. After reading your blog, I voted (once again) on the side of SAHM. As it is, I am squeezing this response in while my daughter naps. Meanwhile, there is a pile of laundry, a full dishwasher, and a sink full of bottles waiting for me.

    • September 1, 2010 / 4:06 PM

      I don’t think you’ll regret your decision. SAHM is hard work but it’s also very very fulfilling and the joy of watching the little ones grow is immense. I wish you all the best in your new ‘career path’ :)

  4. rwlindsay
    September 1, 2010 / 2:03 PM

    My mother was a proud SAHM for thirteen years with my two brothers and I. She has always had a bumper sticker on her car that reads: ALL Moms Are Working Moms. When my youngest brother was ten she went back to a teaching job part time and gradually moved up to full time. Now that he’s in college and we’re all living far away, I think she very much appreciates working outside the house – but she would never trade in a higher position or salary for those years working as our mom.

    • September 1, 2010 / 4:11 PM

      I hear you and I’m sure she would agree. Trouble is as kids it was drummed into us/me ‘Get a Career’ after years of female oppression it seemed as we had something to prove.
      Now I have had a turn around and maybe bringing up my girls to be stable human beings might be the biggest job of all?
      Thanks for coming by

      • September 1, 2010 / 7:53 PM

        I agree! I’m not a mom yet–but I can’t wait! My mother stayed at home for 20 years, nuturing us three girls while Dad earned bread as a firefighter. It was a beautiful childhood. Now that we’re all grown up, Mom tutors children at a local elementary school.

        I know what you mean about the pressure to have a career–because of my own wonderful mother, I’m irked by portrayals of modern SAHMs as oppressed and trapped by motherhood. Both professional jobs AND staying at home are noble careers. Both kinds of women should be proud of what they do.

        Thanks for the great post!

  5. (mostly) yummy mummy
    September 1, 2010 / 2:22 PM

    I’ve been a stay at home mummy since 2006 and I *love* it! It really is the best decision I ever made for our family x

    • September 1, 2010 / 2:47 PM

      Thanks for coming by, when today quietens down I sahll pop over and *meet* you

  6. September 1, 2010 / 1:22 PM

    I know what you mean about the exhaustion. I’m back at work and barely able to do more than lie on the sofa and gibber once I’ve put the girls to bed. We’re lucky that we have a nanny which costs about the same as two at nursery and at least means I don’t have the dropping off/collecting thing

    I’m still focused on my career. I worked hard to get here and don’t want to walk away from it – not least because I want to have something to do when they need me more. But it is far from ideal and I would prefer to drop a day/work from home/find a way to have more balance

    • September 1, 2010 / 1:31 PM

      I know what you mean. I was ‘luckily’ made redundant at the beginning of my pregnancy so never had the choice of returning to work but sometimes I miss the buzz of the office and the feeling of being good at something. Maybe when the girls are school age – who knows?

      • Billie
        September 2, 2010 / 6:03 AM

        You should have a feeling of being good at something – raising your children.

        To develop a fully-fledged, ethical, social citizen is one of the hardest and least valued activities in the world.

      • Annie
        September 2, 2010 / 1:15 PM

        A-men to that.

  7. raisingable
    September 1, 2010 / 2:26 PM

    I’m voting for SAHM for at least a few more years. Wait until they’re in school before you jump on the roller coaster of being employed and raising a family. If you’re only going to have two, it will be easier when you do go back to paid work.

    Being a SAHM or domo-guru as I like to call it, has so many advantages. Time over money. Open-ended fun together. The biggest is less stress. Your life will get more complicated with an outside paid job.

    Your children are only young once, and then it’s over forever, no going back. So savor it as long as you can. Find something to do at home instead of doodling away on the Internet!

    • September 1, 2010 / 2:46 PM

      I couldn’t agree more with you and am going to enjoy these years to the max

  8. MTJAM
    September 1, 2010 / 2:42 PM

    I have always been a career girl and didn’t lose that impetus after I had children. Then suddenly in the last six months I’ve had a reality check and realised how much I’m missing. I’m permanently exhausted, I don’t see the children or my husband (who works most weekends), I do household chores in the middle of the night and on each occasion I need to ‘make more time’ for something, I shave another hour off my sleeping time. I’m down to five hours a night now, just to fit everything in. It’s insane, and if I carry on like this I will break. So I’m jacking it all in to be a freelance copywriter as soon as I can make it work. I want to be there to drop my kids off at school and to pick them up. If they come out crying I want to be able to go straight in and see the teacher, not hear about it via a childminder. Like you (I suspect – I’d love to hear your story) we’ve been through an awful lot to have our children and I don’t want to waste another moment.

    • September 1, 2010 / 4:18 PM

      Oh good for you for taking that decision. Only the other day I was talking to my brother who’s a web designer about the possibility of becoming a freelance copywriter – still haven’t read up it properly though yet (time issues again!)
      I sincerely hope it all works out for you … lunch dear? :)

  9. lifeintheboomerlane
    September 1, 2010 / 2:47 PM

    When my first two kids were three and four, I left special ed teaching. When they were four and five, I became a Realtor. I did so because I could totally control my hours. Of course, nothing is perfect, and there were some hilarious mishaps along the way, especially after my third child was born (like going into labor during a listing appointment, and finishing the appointment anyway). But for me, it was a good compromise.

    • September 1, 2010 / 4:19 PM

      That’s lovely to ahve found the perfect solution to getting around the debate even if you did go into labour during an appointment – did you get the sale??? :)

  10. September 1, 2010 / 1:48 PM

    Ah, the many faces of Rosie the Riveter. I say she looks good no matter what she’s wearing, though I’m sure the naysayers would be first in line to disagree! While I am not a mother myself, I am retired, which allows me to spend time with my grandchildren whenever they come to visit. I find it to be the best solution.

    The Codger

    • September 1, 2010 / 2:01 PM

      Ah, you are of the ‘pass them back when the going gets tough brigade’ – but we wouldn’t be without you for a minute :) Thanks for coming by

  11. September 1, 2010 / 1:50 PM

    i have been a SAHM since april.
    walked away from everything. my son is 3 yrs old.
    best decision i ever made.
    its 9:50 am and we have already built a fort and had breakfast in the backyard.
    life cant get any better than that.

    • September 1, 2010 / 2:03 PM

      Sounds fabulous! What’s instore for this afternoon? I had a craft afternoon yesterday kept the girls amused for – I was going to say hours but they can’t concentrate that long! However it was a good amount of time. Thanks for coming by

    • katiebee
      September 2, 2010 / 1:09 PM

      That sounds like heaven. My daughter is 1 1/2 and I switched to part-time when she was born but I still don’t feel like it’s enough. Would love to be able to mentally be completely “there” instead of trying to balance the every other day work schedule. Who doesn’t appreciate a good fort?

  12. Liz Weston
    September 1, 2010 / 2:53 PM

    Being a SAHM or SAHD (daddy) is just as hard as being at work, but in a different way. The daddy in our house would empathise with everything you have written.

    I’m juggling because I work from home whilst daddy does daycare… I see the boys several times in the day, for tea breaks and so far, it’s working well for our boys. For me, it’s harder work than I’ve ever done in my life. I work in the daytime and because I see my troops as well, I often work in the evening once they are in bed. For the daddy in our house, it’s harder still…

    But we’re working it out. I have a number of friends who have gone back to work full time, because they don’t want to be at home with their children full time. I would like to be at home with our boys, but have greater earning capacity than daddy at the moment, so we’ve had a role reversal.

    It’s interesting to see how you’ve got so many people to comment. It’s a topic that stirs people up isn’t it?

    • September 1, 2010 / 4:24 PM

      Well I’m pleased to hear you have found a way forward albeit a hard one and maybe as you go on, it will become easier too.
      Surely it’s good to at least see the boys throughout the day?
      It is a topic that has got people talking and I am overwhelmed with the massive response it’s had.
      Lovely hearing your side of the story, thanks for coming by

  13. thevfamily
    September 1, 2010 / 1:54 PM

    I think that exhaustion is a mommy thing in general. Twins I have not, but I do have a 1 and 3 year old. I feel often like I am walking circles around my day, picking up what I just picked up previously. I teach on-line classes, so I work but from home. Some days I do miss getting dressed up in my cute clothes and teaching in a physical classroom but the hurry and stress that being able to do that might add may not be worth it, as you suggest. I do know, after all, that they are only little for so long, so I overall prefer my being at home. I know I will go back into the official workplace one day but for now I just have some pretty demanding and exhausting bosses that I just happened to give birth to :O)

    • September 1, 2010 / 2:08 PM

      They are demanding and exhausting – you are so right!!! But when they ask for a cuddle or enjoy make nbelieve stories with you? Nothing in the world can beat that. Thanks for coming by and I hope your ‘bosses’ give you a pay rise soon! :)

  14. Gordon Wagner
    September 1, 2010 / 2:57 PM

    I was surprised to find myself a Stay@HomeDad ten years ago. My job had been “downsized” away and my wife had recently received a huge increase in salary. I feel it was best for our two kids, then ages six and two. Now that my youngest has begun middle school (literally next door) I’ve been looking for a job, which, as it happens, are tremendously scarce following the recent economic collapse.

    My vote: if at all possible, stay at home with your girls. You’ll get to see them grow up. It’s NOT rewarding (never expect any thanks) and it’s a lot of work, but it’s worth doing, beyond any question.

    • September 1, 2010 / 4:30 PM

      Always a pleasure to hear from a SAHD too. I bet it is difficult at the moment to find a job but don’t give up. Sometimes we have to just go that extra mile and then we’ll be rewarded with a massive ‘Yeesss’ I so hope it works out for you.
      Thanks for coming by and commenting.

  15. September 1, 2010 / 2:20 PM

    I’ve been a SAHM for 22 years now. With 3 kids in 3 years, then one 8 years after, no post-secondary education (thus no possibilities for much more than minimum wage), staying home just made more sense and I’ve never looked back. I admit there are times when I wished for something more interesting to wear than jeans and keds sneakers, and conversation more stimulating that the latest Lego creation,but having the option of spending the entire day in my pajamas while playing games with a sick 9 year old instead of trying to figure out what to do with him while I’m at work…that’s priceless.

    • September 1, 2010 / 2:49 PM

      Yes, you’re right – what to do with a sick child when you HAVE to go to work. Problem solved when you’re a SAHM

  16. September 1, 2010 / 2:20 PM

    I’ve been out of work since getting laid off July 12th. I’m excited to be starting a new job next week but I will miss being a temporary SAHM for my 19 month old. It’s been fun and it’s been exhausting too. I completely agree that there is not much down time for SAHM’s especially if you have a “nap resistant” toddler. I’ve got mixed feelings about which I would enjoy most. However, I do think that I need my career in order to have self-pride. I know that being a mommy is one of the most important jobs in the world, but when he’s grown and gone, I need something that I can still have of my own. That’s where my career come in. In addition, I think it sets a great example for my son when he sees Mommy go to work.

    Good luck with your career debate. Either way, you’ll be exhausted until he’s about 30 I would imagine. :)

    • September 1, 2010 / 2:48 PM

      LOL, you’re right of course about being exhausted forever! Good luck with the new job and I love your blog title!

  17. September 1, 2010 / 2:29 PM

    Age old debate. I don’t know who has the answer? I have a 6 month old and work part time so in a lot of ways I feel like I have the best of both worlds. Can contribute to our income and have some adult time but am still home by 1 in the afternoon to spend the rest of the day with our daughter. It does make for very long and busy days whichever way you slice it.

    • September 1, 2010 / 4:12 PM

      Sounds like the perfect solution, a bit of both worlds. Sadly in today’s recession that’s not possible for everyone. There just aren’t enough’half’ jobs around. If it works for you, hang on to the job

  18. s.m.
    September 1, 2010 / 2:29 PM

    Funny I came across this by happenstance as my husband and I just had this discussion yesterday! I walked away from a professional full-time job just months ago to become a SAHM. A part of me does miss the workworld at times, with earning a paycheck and interacting more with others. Let us not forget that working outside the home allows you to take a break and walk away. And the recognition. Even in this day and age, I get the feeling that others not in the know hear “stay at home mother” and still envision women lying around watching soap operas and eating bon-bons. I strongly feel that staying at home involves a lot more work, but when I am exhausted, I think about how I spend my energy on my family and the rewards are great. When I worked full-time outside the home, I came home exhausted after dealing with ungrateful people in a stressful environment and a long commute. Now I have a different kind of busy. I know it will pay off later in life. Fortunately, it is more financially prudent for me to stay at home because of daycare and commuting costs. So while I have not found a way to bring in extra cash, we save more as a family because we get to keep more of what we earn.

    • September 1, 2010 / 4:15 PM

      Very interesting. It’s true that at work often you are dealing with ungrateful people and sometimes they can ‘come home’ with you ie a bit angry, glum, fed up.
      It’s lovely today to speak with so many people who have chosen the SAH option.

  19. September 1, 2010 / 2:42 PM

    I worked part time after my second was born but work was boring. Thankfully, it was a good mix with mine only in nursery a day a week and a husband able to look after them the other. It just so happened that work had tailed right off then I was TUPEd and had even less work so I got out by taking voluntary redundancy in April 2009. I still do work but my focus has been my children in their last few months before they started school (eldest Sept 2009, youngest about to start next week) and I haven’t regretted it as it’s allowed my OH to get full time work. The money has been an issue, but compared to full time nursery for them and permanently catching up for me, it’s way better.

    I think others are right – as they get older and into school, you will have more time to consider your career options. I know plenty of people that have changed careers / working patterns to fit in with motherhood – the challenge seems to be how to make it family friendly.

    Whichever way you choose, you will probably feel guilty about it tho. Goes with the territory so go easy on yourself. :)

    • September 1, 2010 / 2:57 PM

      Thanks for the comment and the tips! There is no way round the guilt trap is there? Each to their own I say

  20. CrystalSpins
    September 1, 2010 / 3:45 PM

    I am not a SAHM — but I do know some and as the children get older and more self-dependent and get into school it is likely that you will have more time to do things on the side (at least at home). But I think you’re right to choose to stay home for now.

    My mother wasn’t able to when we were little and she really regrets it.

    Things are worth what they cost and while the world tells us that a “career” is an important thing to have, I don’t think it is a very big sacrifice for your children during their most formative years. They are worth that.

    Good luck!


    • September 2, 2010 / 1:47 PM

      Thank you Crystal for your comments

  21. September 1, 2010 / 2:55 PM

    I fell your pain – all of it. My husband and I actually came up with another solution – not for everyone but it works really well for us. My parents moved into our home. They help out with afterschool care for our kids, who are 5 and 7 and we actually get a date night once in a while! My husband and I get our careers and our kids are surrounded by people they love and who love them.
    But, I also believe that it is more important for one of us to be home when they are older and could get into serious trouble, so I will cut back and be part-time in about 5 years, when my daughter starts 6th grade. Either way, you have to find what works best for you and your family! Good luck – it is one massive balancing act!
    Margot at

    • September 1, 2010 / 4:27 PM

      Now that is a brilliant idea but as you say not for everybody, only too often do we hear about MIL jokes from ‘wicked’ husbands :)
      It’s nice that it works for you. As for me, my mother lives with her second husband too far away and my other half’s dad is 79 – not the right age for looking after 2 two year olds I’d say.
      Thanks for coming by and commenting

    • September 2, 2010 / 2:21 PM

      I have to say I agree with Margot on being there when they are more likely to get in trouble. I have 4 young adult/adult kids, and even though it is physically exhausting when they are younger, it becomes more mentally exhausting as they get older. And they need you even more. It may be difficult to understand, but my opinion is that they need to have their physical needs met when younger (of course their mental and emotional as well), but as they reach upper elementary and middle school, just when we think they can care for themselves ‘physically’, they actually need huge amounts of mental and emotional support as they learn how to make life decisions.
      I think it is wise for you to consider being more available at that age.

      I believe each mom and each family has to work out whatever is best for their situation. I am thankful I had options, but not everyone has the same things available to them.
      Just my 2 cents!


  22. September 1, 2010 / 2:56 PM

    I’m both – a WAHM who ‘manages’ during the holidays. Of course this actually means that I compromise every which way and that’s not good for anyone. I enjoy my work and financially it’s not an option for me not to, but there are definitely days where I’d like to officially be a SAHM and commit to it fully.

    And you’re right, all housework gets pushed to the weekend – it’s a constant headache. Sounds like you’ve voted for exactly the right thing for now – good luck to you x

    • September 1, 2010 / 3:08 PM

      Thanks for coming by. For the moment I am here and will stay (at least till I answer all of these comments!) then one day I cna rethink it all over again. Yoohoo to Freshly Pressed!

  23. jpcabit
    September 1, 2010 / 4:25 PM

    Awesomeness!!! :D I love the way you convinced yourself out of being a FAMBIACGN (Forget-About-My-Babies-I’m-A-Career-Girl-Now). It made perfect sense. You’d also rob your children of something too, if you were a FAMBIACGN.

    • September 2, 2010 / 1:53 PM

      Glad you enjoyed the post and so happy you came by to read it :)

  24. September 1, 2010 / 3:26 PM

    I am torn.
    I’m expecting my first in October – a sweet little surprise for my husband and I! I tell myself that I am only putting my education on hold for this baby, not quitting; but, the truth is, the motivation and the focus started to dissolve shortly after the bewildering results of the ‘pee-on-a-stick’ test. After four months of awful sickness, it was hard to reapply myself to my studies. I was half-way through my Ph.D. and I’ve neglected the loose ends to neatly tuck away the past academic year during my pregnancy. Why? I don’t know – I almost feel like I intentionally sabotaged myself to make it that much harder to resume. I can’t imagine not being a SAHM, at least not during the first few years… but at the same time, will this keep me happy in life? For how long?
    Looking at my mother, who had always been a SAHM, I fear closing doors. A woman reaching her 60’s, she carries regret quietly tucked away, yet audible in the tones of her voice when she tells me about her day. She always says she wouldn’t trade the time she spent with us during our childhood for anything in the world…. but now, with both my brother and I out of the house, out of town, with our own lives keeping us busy, I think she often wonders – what if..?

    • September 1, 2010 / 4:34 PM

      Wow, that was deep and I can understand your apprehension as I had my first two kids (now aged 22 and 19) when I was only 21. They did change my life there’s no getting away from that but I did get so much back.
      I am also a believer in take your decision and go ahead with it not looking back and wondering as that is a difficult place to be as you’ll never know will you?
      Enjoy your pregnancy, enjoy your baby and life is full of surprises so maybe one day you’ll have the opportunity to carry on your Ph.D. who knows what lies in store for you?
      Have fun with baby – they truely are the best thing ever xxx

  25. Sashi Ranee
    September 1, 2010 / 3:57 PM

    I was a SAHM for 4 1/2 years before having to return to work full time. Honestly both are exhausting but I feel like I get more down time with working out of the home than I did as a SAHM. Just the drive to and from work in the silence is a blessing. Don’t get me wrong I miss the time spent at home and I am seriously worn out by the end of the day but I do love working out of the home.

    I think it helps that my daughter started school at the same time I started back to work (helpful and traumatic for the both of us at first).

    It is up at 6am to make lunches/get dressed/ argue over no toys at school/no you can’t wear that/no you can’t watch that/eat your breakfast/put your shoes on/please please please eat your breakfast!!!

    I love our drive to school in the morning when she chatters endlessly to me about school and friends and trees and birds and I love it when she is out of the car and I can sit in silence or crank my music (not kid music). I work hard at work. I don’t get as much time as I like to play on the computer (said as I’m goofing off at work and reading the internet) but it is nice to have a separate identity again and to be in the adult world. It is nice to have order on my desk and no one laying on the floor grabbing at my foot and whining that they want to play/do this/do that/etc…

    But it is 5:30 before we get home, then it is time to cook, clean up, do the bath and bedtime routine. It is 9 before I get to sit down and relax, make personal phone calls, have a cup of tea, watch a little tv… and I’m drooling in my pillow by 10:30. Rinse. Repeat.

    Both are difficult and exhausting.

    • September 1, 2010 / 4:45 PM

      Of course, and it does sound like you have your work cut out for you, that’s for sure but I can also hear a pride in your voice so you must be getting the delicate balance right. Well done!
      And remember when you are tired and down, as you say, BOTH are difficult and exhasuting.
      As for me, I shall review as I go along and see what’s best for us

      • Sashi Ranee
        September 2, 2010 / 1:19 PM

        That is truly the best call you can make to go along and see what is best for you both. Things change so much over time and only you can decide what is best for your family. Either way I do think it is important that someone is home with the child at first. You can never get back those moments so you have to spend them wisely. :-)

  26. September 1, 2010 / 3:58 PM

    I can just say that my mom was a SAHM for all of my brothers and sisters, and I don’t know if we would have had the same stability growing up if she wasn’t at home. If she was working all the time, I’d have no one to come home to and tell about my adventures in elementary, high school, and university. She was always there for us and she became the in-house therapist, chef, physician, accountant, etc without having to leave the home My vote for all mothers is to be a SAHM.

    • September 1, 2010 / 4:47 PM

      Now that vote is sure to open up a can of worms! All mums can’t be SAHM, some out of choice come for other reasons. I am lucky at the moment to be able to choose although I do take your valid points on board about growing up, sharing and talking with mum whenever you want, the importance is not to be undermined.
      Thanks for your comment and opinion

    • ambermom
      September 1, 2010 / 6:28 PM

      Now if this is not a rave review from a very satisfied client, then I don’t know what is! It is wonderful to hear feedback and perspective from those that SAHMs work for. :)

  27. thebarefootmom
    September 1, 2010 / 5:01 PM

    I could not agree more. I am asleep by 8:30 and up by 4am just to have some quiet time before my children wake.

    • September 2, 2010 / 1:49 PM

      I don’t know how you do it? I need my 7 hours to function normally throughout the day. well done you and thanks for coming by

  28. fawnjenee
    September 1, 2010 / 4:18 PM

    I’ve been at home since half way through my first pregnancy in 2004. It is a complicated issue, some have to work, some think they do because of lifestyle choices, some feel they need the “self pride” they get from working. I feel I’ve got a great job, it is best for my family, therefore best for me. We SAHMs need to use our free agent status to make things work for us. There is no reason to intellectual rot at home, join a book club, drag the kids to the museums, the gardens. I do long for the freedom, sometimes, of doing what I want when I want, but in few short years these little ones (Ihave 3 active boys) will be gone all day and then gone from home in a few more. There are seasons to life, I’m glad I get to have this one with my babies.

    • September 2, 2010 / 1:52 PM

      You’re right, we can do so much and not all activites are expensive, gardens, museums and libraries.
      Keep the brain active. Thanks for coming by

  29. Rivki
    September 1, 2010 / 5:27 PM

    I really enjoyed reading your post! You described the challenges of both staying home and working very well.

    My mom stayed home with me and my brother, and I am so grateful, and I definitely vote for SAHM. I attempted a part-time fifth-grade teaching job for two-and-a-half months last spring (my toddler was only about 14 months at the time), and even that was quite challenging, and not at all lucrative. That said, I also don’t want to “lose” my abilities, and so I’ve taken to teaching private piano lessons, which only adds up to about six hours a week, so I don’t feel like I’m missing too much of the parenting, but that I’m still keeping up with my degree and all that. It also brings in a nice additional income, so I can even buy a little treat for myself now and then without feeling too guilty.

    I feel fortunate that I’m in a generation where the choice of being a SAHM is gaining validity, and that, as you said in a reply to a comment, “maybe bringing up my girls to be stable human beings might be the biggest job of all?”

    Good luck with the twins! Sorry this comment got a little long. :)

    • September 2, 2010 / 2:05 PM

      I loved your comment! and it sounds like you’ve found a way forward keeping your skills ticking over and looking after your baby. Wonderful! Not only that you get a little money for the occasional treats which make it all worthwhile.
      I’ll be keeping everyone posted on the twins so do try and come back every now and then

  30. ambermom
    September 1, 2010 / 5:32 PM

    As a poor college student and a new mother, I felt I had no choice but to go to work. It took all of 3 months to change my mind about that. I quit my jobs, bit the bullet, and became a SAHM. My husband bore the burden of providing for us. It was very difficult back then (we ate a lot of beans and rice) but he was happy to do it.

    Now that college is done, my husband has a good job, and we have 4 boys, three of whom are “under the spectrum” and one who shows no signs of any autism disorder, I thank God I made the commitment to stay home with them when I did. It would have been far too easy to want to keep working outside the home as a want for relief from the stresses of raising our children.

    I still feel a need to provide for my family. I started up an online shop and local business out of my home but that was short lived. I closed shop to refocus on the special needs of my children when we began to better understand what we were dealing with in our growing family.

    Now, instead of bringing home the bacon, I make it up here at home. There is real cash value in the work I do. I work to directly provide food for my family which leaves us some money to spend elsewhere. I became an urban farmer. I had 6 organic fruit trees, a productive organic veggie garden, laying hens, and rabbits on our postage stamp sized lot in the city. My children raised poultry, pork, and goat milk on a nearby 4H ranch.

    When the opportunity presented itself, we moved to the country where we raise and grow almost the same foods we did in the city. Now, I also make all our own breads, desserts, and meals. I glean and preserve food in great variety, as well.

    I am doing MUCH more than I ever thought I was capable. THIS is my feminist movement. I am queen, call me SAHM!

    • September 2, 2010 / 2:09 PM

      What an amazing woman you are! I take my hat off to you ‘Queen’ I truely do.
      I can imagine the difficulties of having 3 boys ‘under the spectrum’ and still you were motivated to get thigns going for you all.
      the sense of achievement must be overwhelming.
      Well done you! I hope others read this comment and are inspired by it

  31. Princess L
    September 1, 2010 / 5:37 PM

    Good for you! :) I’m a big advocate for SAHM’s if it’s financially possible.

  32. beingmerry
    September 1, 2010 / 5:49 PM

    I don’t think it’s a twin thing, a SAHM thing or a Working Mom thing. I think it’s a “MOM” thing to be exhausted– because we chose to have someone dependant on us.

    The trade offs we make for our children. “They” say we will see the rewards of staying home with them when they are grown. I ask if I can make it that long. I am a SAHM who is looking to be a WAHM. My kids are older than yours, 7, 11 and 13. I put my career on hold to help them start their foundations- giving them all solid building blocks upon which to start their lives– and looking back on it, giving them a love for learning. I have a Masters in Education, and I couldn’t see handing over my babies to a day care provider while I designed courseware or knowledge for others trying to master whatever subject I was designing for. There are many others who could take my job as Instructional Designer, and there was only one person to take the job as “Mom”.

    When I started my career, after schooling and before having my first child, I asked a middle-aged friend who was a father, “when is it most important to stay at home with your child? When they are babies or when they are adolescents?” He gave me wise words to think about saying, “When you are home with your children when they are babies, you are there to help them develop who they will become. When you are home with them when they are adolescents, you are there to help them cope with who they are.”

    I devoted many years to my children– and took on volunteer jobs that related to my previous field somehow. I am now going to use those volunteer experiences to add to my resume as I return to the working world.

    Am I exhausted– you bet. But it does get better as they get older and can do so many other things for themselves. Right now, you are physically exhausted because you do practically everything for them. There will come a day where they will pick out their own clothes (and will hate you even stepping in their closet), when they will tie their shoes, when they will tell you on the first day of school, “It’s okay mommy, you can leave now.” That day will come for you, really.

    In the mean time, find some time for yourself and do not feel guilty about it. YOU deserve it. Give them a few extra 15 minutes of nap time to take a nap yourself, or blog or read something that has nothing to do with parenting. Exercise is also a great help for me– I’m more exhausted when I am not exercising. I was involved in a mom’s group when my kids were younger– helped us stay “sane” talking about parenting stuff– the ups and downs. I also volunteered at the school doing jobs that were related to my field– and gaining the stimulation I needed through managing programs/projects.

    Know that you will probably be exhausted for some years to come, and that everyday there should be a break for you– if you give yourself one. Start asking for help– ask others, ask the kids, and ask yourself. And when you get those breaks… relish them! SAHM OR WAHM or working moms– all of us need a break…just because we are MOMS (or DADs) and we have others depending on us! Hang in there…

    • September 2, 2010 / 2:35 AM

      That is really great advice… I’ve got to remember that…

    • September 2, 2010 / 2:14 PM

      Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous. What a great comment and what a brilliant quote, your friend is a genius, I must remember to write it down before I forget it.
      Thanks you so much for coming by, I hope others get a read of it like I did

  33. September 1, 2010 / 4:53 PM

    I totally understand your feelings on this topic. I have 2 year old twins and a 4 year old. Life has been so hard the last few years. I stay home with the kids even though I have an MBA, had a successful business career, and also started a teaching career just prior to having my first child. The problem I have with staying at home (besides the obvious exhaustion) is the lack of mental stimulation. I feel like I have become a mushy shell that is an expert at all things nurturing and child-related but has a complete incapacity to do simple arithmetic and hold length intellectual discussions. That said, I don’t regret my decision to stay at home but I look forward to when the twins start school because then it will be ‘my time’ again and I will resume my teaching career. It probably doesn’t help that I am an ex-pat in this country with a very limited social circle.

    This is the place for me right now and in the span of life it really is short-lived so despite all my gripes, I am trying to really take advantage of this time with my babies.

    • September 1, 2010 / 5:07 PM

      I do understand. SAHM is a completely different field and one that has to be appreciated. I think you have to stand back and see the bigger picture. What you are doing now, may seem mundane, boring and relentless BUT if you were to see a glimpse of the future and see the two possibilities that your children could turn into, one with a SAHM and one with a working mum, would that make a difference to how you see yourself now?
      After all you are character building, forming a young person and guiding that person to adulthood, that’s a massive take on if you ask me.
      thanks for your comment

  34. Lori Lowe
    September 1, 2010 / 5:56 PM

    Best of luck with your balancing act. I’m a WAHM and have been for 9 years. I can work during my school hours, though I did use part-time daycare when my children were younger. I’m a writer and marketing consultant, and I enjoy the mental challenges and feeling of purpose from working–as well as the paycheck. Last year, I started a research-based marriage blog that I find particularly interesting to work on. However, it can certainly be a challenge to balance client and child/family needs. If I were to start over, I would spend more time with the children and less on work. However, I’m grateful for the flexibility I have to be there for them when they are sick, to pick them up from school and be involved in their activities.
    Best to you!
    Lori Lowe

    • September 2, 2010 / 2:15 PM

      Thanks Lori for coming by and commenting. I shall pop by and check your blog out once this dies Freshly Pressed exposure dies down and my ‘house’ is back in order :)

    • September 2, 2010 / 1:54 PM

      I checked your blog and thought it was great, thanks for coming by

  35. Jennifer Gallaher - VAbyJen
    September 1, 2010 / 5:08 PM

    I was a SAHM mom when my son was born three years ago. I honestly thought I would want to go back to work, but no such luck! I have enjoyed being home with my son and step-daughter and having a hand in how they are being brought up. There are some days, I do wish for day care, but those days are far and few between.

    I have since switched to a WAHM and have my own small business and that has pretty much curbed me from the need to go back to work. To be honest, I was glad to stop working outside the home. The corporate politics were just too much! At least now, it’s just me. I do miss the physical interaction of other adults at times, but not enough to go back to work outside the home.

    If there comes a time when my husband and I agree that it is needed, then I will find something. However, it will only be part-time. I want to be able to be there for school for my kids and help out in the classrooms when needed. I hate to say that I have become a cliche, but maybe part of me has. I don’t think that is necessarily wrong, do you?

    • September 2, 2010 / 1:56 PM

      No, I don’t think that’s wrong at all. It’s your choice and we are so lucky to have that choice.
      If you go to bed at night happy you’re doing the right thing then you are. Thanks for coming by and commenting

  36. Carol
    September 1, 2010 / 5:21 PM

    I live in the US (and it seems most of your readers are from the UK?) but for me, I tried the SAHM thing when my first was about 1.5 years old, and I only lasted about 5 months. I have no flair for being domestic (though I do love spending time with my kids). If I could have just played all day, it would have been fine, but my in-laws thought if I were staying home, I should be doing a much better job of keeping house as well. Back to work, I went.

    I’m now working full-time and I have a 1 year old and a 5 year old, but I’ve got the best of both worlds, as my job is very flexible – my boss lets me work from home in the afternoons, and my husband also works from home. We split all the household chores and childcare down the middle (admittedly, we put a lot of it off to the weekends, but we’re okay with that) and while we’re often exhausted, we still manage to have a terrific time. Maybe you should look for a job that offers flex-time or some other working arrangement that allows you to work from home instead of an office?

    • September 2, 2010 / 1:59 PM

      Many readers are new to me both US and UK and I hope they come back every now and then because the response to this post is overwhelming.
      I did metnion on a post earlier that being in a loving stable relationship in my book is key to getting the juggling act work for the family as a whole. Looks like you (two) have cracked that and I’m very happy for you.
      For the moment I’m going to explore Work From Home avenues and see if I can juggle too

  37. September 1, 2010 / 5:22 PM

    My children are 11 and 8 – and I worked everyday for the first 11 years of being a mother.
    Due to circumstances (we had to move due to military orders and I have been unable to find employment) I have been staying at home. And I *LOVE* it.
    When my husband gets home from work, we actually SPEND TIME TOGETHER as opposed to stressing out about homework, dinner, dishes, conferences, sporting events blah blah blah. The things involved with running the home are already completed, since I picked the kids up from school, not sending them to daycare, homework is already done and dinner is ready.

    Even it is tiring some days, or other days it seems a little stressful, being a stay at home (at least at THIS point in my family’s life) is relatively stress free compared to my and my family’s stress level while I was working.

    Also, I am not so sure that going back to work when they are “older” is such a good idea either. Of course, I am speaking of a mother of a soon to be teenager, but I kinda like the idea of actually being around after school when kids start to do really stupid things with a complete lack of supervision because all the adults are at work and they are too old for child care.

    Children will always test the boundaries and do stupid things – that is the nature of learning and growing. But I may be a better guide if I am actually around more than basically one to two days a week.

    • September 2, 2010 / 2:02 PM

      Interesting commment there.
      I too have two older children 22 and 19 form a previous relationship and can totaly empatise with the teen stage as it is harder than than the toddler stage. If a mum feels she can stay at home and be there for them I personally believe that is better.
      I suppose it comes down to choice. I decided to have my kids knowing some sacrifices will have to be made. I’m ok with that NOW, come back and see in a few years time where I am, life has a funny way of rearranging the furniture when you least expect it.

  38. September 1, 2010 / 6:03 PM

    I was a SAHM for the whole time of both my boys lives. They are now 18 & 21 and are successfully off to college. I would not change a thing I did. There was not a day I was not there for them, we have a very close bond and they are wonderful people. Even their teachers noticed I was a Stay At Home Mom, said they could see the difference in my children for the better. How great and rewarding was that. My JOB was motherhood, that was what I chose! If I was reincarnated maybe I would choose a totally different life, but for me, in this life, I chose children & ME to raise them! So think long and hard, WHO do you want to raise YOUR children?
    Good luck!

    • September 2, 2010 / 2:18 PM

      Thanks Evie. It’s lovely to have feedback from someone who has been there and done it AND got the t shirt. Makes me think I may be on the right track

  39. September 1, 2010 / 6:08 PM

    I am yet to be a mom but we are now starting a family and I am seriously considering working at home. As of the moment, this is what I want to do and I guess when the baby comes in, I might have settled working at home or I might find that working in an office is more suitable.

    I guess it will always be a case to case basis though reading most of the comments here, I think none of them ever regretted whichever path they chose :)

    • September 2, 2010 / 2:20 PM

      I think you hit the nail on the head by saying it’s a case by case basis. there really is no right and wrong but what works best for you and one day that may mean SAHM and another that will be WAHM, or office girl.
      I think it’s key that it works for the family as a whole
      thanks for coming by :)

  40. September 1, 2010 / 6:18 PM

    I love/hate staying home and but I’m glad I did it. I know I’ll always look back and just have great memories. Now the kids are in elementary school and I am really itching to get back to work, of course now it’s the worse time in history to find even a decent paying job. My advice would be to keep up your resume, keep you skills and education and network up to speed. Plus, that will fend off boredom. And, in 5 years the economy will be better (?) and they’ll be off to school. Enjoy it while you can!

    • Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson
      September 2, 2010 / 11:46 AM

      THAT is great advice, Jill. So many women lose their skills set when they SAH. And then, someone gets caught in an affair and they suddenly need to use those skills again, only to find their references are retired, moved, deceased. Women need to think of themselves and their children. never allow your skills to lapse — whether you work or not, make sure you could work if you needed to.

      • September 2, 2010 / 1:28 PM

        Good advice! Thanks for coming by :)

  41. September 1, 2010 / 6:22 PM

    I’m one of the mums you are asking yourself if you want to become. I have two small children, 4 and 1, work 9-5, and I’m exhausted. I do like my job. And I love being a mom, when I’m home. However, you described perfectly what my day is like, including chores being reserved for the weekend. It’s not fun, but someone has to do it. I have taken help a few times, maybe every 8 months or so, and hire help to really clean the house well. Typically reserved for a time just prior to the holidays since guests will be coming to stay. As for childcare versus income, we have found a few gems of people who can be trusted with the children for a reasonable fee. We have no family in town, so we have to pay someone. Our sitter is great and she has a few other kids in her home as well, so she earns plenty between all of us. You may have someone close by like that, you just have to look and trust your instincts.

    • September 2, 2010 / 2:24 PM

      It sounds like you’re a very busy bee! thanks for coming by and commenting

  42. September 1, 2010 / 6:22 PM


    I just saw your blog post, and I have to say I’ve managed to find the best of both worlds. The thought of my 2+ hour commute after we adopted our daughter made me tired just thinking about it. I went back full-time for a month and felt like I never saw her, and there was that issue of cramming cleaning and laundry into each weekend, which didn’t leave time for much else. I’m now a full-time SAHM and work about 8 hours a week doing freelance work for my company. I’m able to get things done when she’s napping or has gone to bed for the night, or even on weekends when my husband can give our daughter his undivided attention. It also helps me to stay in the loop, as it were, especially if I ever go back to full-time work outside the home.

    It’s not for everyone, but it works for me.

    • September 2, 2010 / 2:37 PM

      Nice to hear you’ve found a better solution and it works for you. Thanks for your comment

  43. Leah
    September 1, 2010 / 7:22 PM

    Great post about the quandries of being a SAHM v. working mom. I am a working mom, but lately crave being a SAHM (a new feeling for me since I always wanted to work). I do think it’s really tough either way. Right now, I feel like I have very little time for anything and every minute is cramped full. And if I don’t get any “me time,” I get cranky. I can’t imagine adding another kid to the mix. Yet I think if I stayed home, I would need something else for me to do. It’s a dilemma! I think we’re destined to be in limbo!

    • September 2, 2010 / 2:43 PM

      Gosh you are in a muddle! The eternal doubter? You’ll have to try to see I think and see which works best.
      Thanks for your comment

  44. miraclemama
    September 1, 2010 / 7:27 PM

    I have two young kids and have been a SAHM for almost 10 years. I am almost 40 now and just starting to get back “out there” into the working world. I am looking for mostly part time work (not much else out there unfortunately). I think part time would give me the best of both worlds (or make me twice as tired!) I admit, it’s hard to explain to interviewers why my resume is mostly blank the past 10 years, but I look back at all the sacrifices we made for me to be able to stay home when the kids were young and I know deep down all of it was worth it for me.

    • September 2, 2010 / 2:46 PM

      Yes, it must be difficult in an interview but any interviewer worth their salt would see past the gap in your resume and find the skills spent during that time, time management, orgnaisation skills, people skills the list can go on and on if you sit and think
      Best of luck finding something suitable and thanks for coming by

  45. Army Wife and Mother of 4
    September 1, 2010 / 6:45 PM

    I am a SAHM of 4 children. Ages 8 – 1 years. I left my career when I married a military man and work for a short period at a “job” until I was pregnant and we re-located. (Not many places were interested in hiring someone that wouldn’t be there long term.) I LOVE being at home with my children. While it can be challenging at times, I am so glad that I had control over raising my children and didn’t have to intrust that to someone else so that I could work.

    There are times I wish I did work, but only because it would be nice to have better things. But we have our priorities and our family is first. I really am glad that I have this opportunity.

    • September 2, 2010 / 2:41 PM

      Thank you for your comment, it’s nice to hear you have no regrets and happily go without ‘better things’ as sometimes the media persuade us we ‘need’ all of those better things when in reality we don’t

  46. Jessica Rozitis
    September 1, 2010 / 8:43 PM

    Love your post. So many Moms I know are always juggling this question. I feel absolutely grateful that I can work part time (3 days per week) for a small company where the owners are 2 women with school aged children, and they understand my needs for flexibility. My sons are 9 and 6 years old. I am also very grateful that my mother in law is looking after my children on those days I work, so we don’t have to pay for a nanny. If I didn’t have her, I couldn’t afford to work. People always ask you, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”. My answer was always, “I want to be a mother”. I think I am a better mother for having the days at the office, and growing as an individual. I am lucky to have the best of both worlds, and am aware of it every single day.

    • September 2, 2010 / 8:50 PM

      Yes, lucky you. You have the mother in law ready to help and the supportive husband and two great bosses who are willing to be flexible. Don’t underestimate that as many, including me, don’t have those opportunities.
      Thasnk so much for stopping by and sharing wiht us.

  47. September 1, 2010 / 7:47 PM

    I was a career mother for my oldest child’s first two or three years. I enjoyed working and meeting new people (and the money, let’s be real), but I am so thankful to have had the privilege to be at home for my children. I’ve done some work from home and one day I am sure I will work outside the home again, but for now, I’m happy where I am.

    • September 2, 2010 / 2:47 PM

      The best of both worlds – lucky you! Thanks for coming by and leaving a comment

  48. September 1, 2010 / 7:58 PM

    I’ve been a SAHM for the last 7 years and not only was it exactly what I always wanted to do it was great to see my kids grow up. They both just started the new term and for the first time they are gone all day. When I had my first and did the numbers in my head it seemed like it would take forever for us to get here but now seems as though it was all in a blink. My husband and I gave some things up for me to stay at home and I have to say it was very well worth it.

    There are so many options these days between flexible work schedules to creating your own thing. I’m loving what I am doing, it’s home based and I decide how much time and when – it’s perfect for me. I always knew I would do something I just didn’t know it would be this and I couldn’t be happier.

    Good luck

    • September 2, 2010 / 2:49 PM

      A very refreshing reply. It’s lovely to hear from someone who is happy with their choices, let’s hope it inspires others who read :)
      Thank you for your comment

  49. September 1, 2010 / 8:04 PM

    I’ve definitely been thinking about this. My husband and I don’t have any kids yet but I am worried/thoughtful about how things will work once we do have kids. I know I won’t want to go back to the office full time, but I will want something to keep me occupied and engaged. I’ve thought alot about this…I’m laying the groundwork to have some clients to raise money for from home and also spend some time (and make some money!) selling my handmade wares on Etsy, wholesale, etc. I’m crossing my fingers that it will work! Good luck with your internal debate :)

    • September 2, 2010 / 2:52 PM

      I don’t know where you’re writing form but here in the Uk we get 6 months maternity paid plus 6 months unpaid. I’d suggest you take those first 6 months and then take it step by step, ask yourself at each stage what you want to do, that’s why my post came about as I’m at an asking stage. Guess I got an overwhelming response. Thanks for your comment

  50. September 1, 2010 / 8:11 PM

    I loved being a college educated, SAHM for our 3 children’s formative years! I felt fortunate to be able to do that! It was what I always wanted, so we made it work by not living beyond our means! I know life happens and not everyone can make that option work for them, but if you can, it was worth everything to us!

    When the youngest weaned at 13 months I enjoyed a (very) part time job as a designer with a sitter on Friday mornings (the boys were in school) and working Wednesday evenings and Saturday until 1 pm when my husband could watch the children. When my youngest was 4 years I did a room in a Designers’ Show House to announce my own Interior Design Business working from home. When the children are in school and you work from home; you call the shots and plan your hours around your children’s schedules! That’s what worked for our family.

    My mother was a SAHM, but took college classes much of our lives to earn her college and master’s degrees
    . By the time I graduated from high school, she had her masters in library science and her first real job which was a huge help putting 4 girls through college. It took her a long time, but it gave my mom the educational outlet she needed and I barely remember her ever being gone. When we were young she took night classes while our dad watched us; when we were older, she must have attended classes while we were in school.

    There is no one right way to do this. Everyone needs to do what feels right for them. Try one thing and if it’s not working, re-evaluate your options until it clicks for your family! What good is a mother that is bored and depressed out of her mind caring for her children? Don’t beat yourself up if that’s you. Full-time motherhood isn’t for everyone; but when it is right for you you’ll know it! They truly are only young once and it goes faster than you can imagine! I’ll never have regrets about the way we did it and I’m 59.

    • September 2, 2010 / 2:55 PM

      You brought up a point I was thinking about. Many women are concerned about losing skills while at home. It has never been easier to get a degree online! I wish I had that option when I was at home with my kids 20+ years ago! Even if it takes you a while, when you ARE ready to go back to work, or start a business, you will have the edcuation that will open up more options for you. And MAYBE by then the economy will turn around and there will actually be jobs to be had, lol!


    • September 2, 2010 / 2:59 PM

      Thanks for your comment, it does make SAHM sound so do-able. If women also get a further education whilst doing it all the better.

  51. loviedovie
    September 1, 2010 / 10:58 PM

    Well, I guess you would say, Im a NSAHM (navy stay at home mom). With my husband being in the military, and my weekend job, along with my attempt at finishing school– it does get to be a bit tiresome to say the least!! During the week it seems as if all my energy goes into my 4 and 1 year old boys, and whatever military brethren my husband decides to have us entertain for the evening! (ugh!) But with all that goes on these days, you couldn’t pay me to put the boys in daycare, I’d rather have them right here where I know for a fact they’re taken care of. We tried having a family member stay with us to sort of “ease the strain”, but that was a HORRIBLE IDEA! So for the moment were back to just us, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. (though sometimes it would be nice to throw my cell phone out of a window, and drive off on a coast to coast roadtrip alone! LOL!!)

    • September 2, 2010 / 8:54 PM

      What Thelma and Louise style? be careful their ending wasn’t that great :)
      Yes, it must be lovely to know YOU are bringing up your boys and only you.
      Thanks for coming by and leaving a comment

  52. kerenbaker
    September 1, 2010 / 11:08 PM

    I’m a SAHM- although I’ve seen the phrase WAHM- work at home mum, and thats exactly what I do. I’ve recently picked up a crafting part time job that i do around the kids -mostly eve’s (the odd one or two). I have 5 kids, aged 2-13 and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Sure, sometimes its hard work, but when was the career ever completely unfrustrating! I have had twins- one of them died at 2 and half years and I’m supremely thankful for the opportunity I had to spend every day with her and my other kids. I’ve often heard it said- you’ll never look back and wish you’d spent more time at the office!!!!!

    • September 2, 2010 / 8:56 PM

      OH God how sad! I don’t know how I could cope with losing one of my girls. I feel for you.
      But your post is increndibly optimistic and upbeat which leaves me to believe that you have found a way forward.
      I admire your strength, I listen to you and I will search for you
      Thanks, mari x

  53. Christina Baglivi Tinglof
    September 1, 2010 / 11:12 PM

    I was a SAHM when my twins were babies but I found it very isolating and, at times, boring. I craved adult conversation and being creative (there was no Facebook, WordPress or such at that time). Yet when I went back to work full time (my husband stayed home and freelanced), I couldn’t bare it! I couldn’t wait to quit. Not enough time in the day to see my babies AND take care of the house, etc. Fast forward a dozen years…my husband works outside the home and I freelance (ah, income and creativity–yippee). A happy medium.

    • September 2, 2010 / 9:00 PM

      Fantastic, you tried both shoes and found the right fit. Brilliant news – and you’re a twin mum, saluti!
      Thank you for coming by and commenting

    • September 2, 2010 / 8:51 PM

      Wise words, not to be discarded :)

  54. September 1, 2010 / 11:15 PM

    Most importantly, do what makes you happy. If that’s spending time with your kids, and you’re able to do that, then that’s where you need to be. There’s more to life than work, day cares, and the lot of it. Enjoy your life, and your kids.

    • September 2, 2010 / 9:01 PM

      Thank you, you are right – look for what’s best for you

  55. September 1, 2010 / 11:51 PM

    i have been a career girl into my mid 30s, then got my child and suddenly realized that there was someone very wrong in our lives, my abusive psychopath ex. so i threw all and everything away and started new on another continent. it was total chaos for a few years, the only constance was my child was always safe and happy. then i met my husband and somehow ended up SAHM in the ‘burbs. I am loving it, but now that my little one goes off to school I feel ready to take on a new profession and i am planning for it. this said, i don’t want to ever get back into the working trot where you forget what your life is really about – being happy with a family. there is nothing in the professional world that can give you the same satisfaction.

    • September 2, 2010 / 9:03 PM

      You sound like a lady up for a challenge! Well done you! Well done for leaving the idiot, changing continent, setting up on your own and creating a happy family.
      And thank you for coming by and sharing :)

  56. September 1, 2010 / 11:53 PM

    What about working from home? I have a coworker who works from her house most of the time, and comes in once a week. It works great. Of course, you have to find a company that is ok with that.

    <3 Milieu

    • September 2, 2010 / 9:05 PM

      yep, you have to find the company ok with that and we’re in a recession right now. I got made redundant during my pregnancy so had no job to go back to. C’est la vie! We move on
      Thank you for commenting

  57. September 2, 2010 / 1:10 AM

    I don’t have kids yet, but if hubby and I are able, I would quit the part-time job to stay home full time. I don’t even really care for my job now, but it’s needed. Hoping that if kids do come in the next year or two, I can stay home. I really don’t want to split my time, even if it’s a part-time job. I guess time will tell :)

    • September 2, 2010 / 9:06 PM

      Oh best of luck with your TTC, I wish you babies very soon and come back and let us know the outcome of your decision one day :)

  58. September 2, 2010 / 1:21 AM

    I have been working on a post for a week and couldn’t get the words I was looking for, but after reading your blog today, I was inspired to finish it. I linked to your post!!!

    I loved it!!


    • September 2, 2010 / 9:07 PM

      Thank you, I’m so glad you were inspired :)

  59. September 2, 2010 / 1:22 AM

    Being someone who has a great career and went to school a long time to achieve this career, the idea of being a SAHM does come across my mind every now and then. I know a lot of men who travel for work and aren’t home much. It doesn’t seem to affect how close they are with their children or nor do I use it as an indicator to how much they love their children. So I thought a woman could have the same results.

    My mom worked (out of necessity) when I was growing up, but I never felt like she was not around. I will say I was fortunate in the sense that she worked for the school system so we had the same hours when I was growing up so we always came home together or at right about the same time. No hanging out at home for hours waiting for my mom. Often she would drop me of and pick me up from school as well.

    Now being a working woman, staying home all day with my kids would seem – incomplete. I do want to do something with my life that transcends my immediate family, and part of that means going out into the world and leaving home behind at times. Home does not get ignored nor is it a low priority. Family matters do not get pushed on the back burner because of time, or exhaustion. Family First. I decided if my goal is to have successful, well adjusted children with proper priorities what better way to teach them than by example. As well, to let my kids know that they have choices in life but choices do not trump responsibility. Instead, both can coexist with a little bit of organization, planning and a positive attitude.

    • September 2, 2010 / 9:10 PM

      Beautifully put Nicole and I’m so happy it’s working for you. I thin the main point that has come out of today’s debate is there is no right or wrong, each person works the decision to the best of their abilities and many succeed as you ahve shown us.
      thank you for coming by and commenting

  60. September 2, 2010 / 2:25 AM

    Sorry, I’m too tired to read all these comments, but I do have a vote and that is for SAHM status!

    I am a mom of a five year old, not working right now. Already that is a downgrade from SAHM because I am now “officially” looking for work in the USA…. I’ve been looking for two years and I still cringe at the idea of going back to work for all the above reasons stated in your blog. Ideally, looking for something part time, but so far, it’s not happening.

    With all the official stuff said, I love being at home and detest the thought of working for someone else who will only see my value in terms of money. Staying at home gives me the most satisfaction I’ve ever felt on a daily basis, every day, every minute I spend with my son. I am teaching him, he is teaching me, constantly.

    I don’t think the average person (who is not a parent) realizes just how much a full, and often times stressful, day at work would affect our interaction with our kids. Do they want to know? Seriously, do I want to intentionally screw up that chemistry? Nope. We are always told to take care of ourselves so that we can take care of others. Squeezing a career into an already busy life seems like parenting suicide…. just my two cents.

    • September 2, 2010 / 9:12 PM

      and I thank you for your two cents!
      I hope you find something suitable that gits with your family and allows you to see your child grow up too.
      Thank you for sharing

  61. Stephanie
    September 2, 2010 / 2:30 AM

    I’m from NZ, I have a law degree and a post-grad degree. I’m a SAHM of twin one year old boys. The plan at this stage is to go back to work when the kids start school. If I went back to work, now, by the time day-care costs were covered I would bring home only an extra $100, despite working a 40-hour week. I work hard whether I study, I’m a SAHM or in an office, and I take pride in my work but when I worked away from home I felt torn between my obligations and under-appreciated by my bosses (plus, I have very little tolerance for *office politics*). I am doing some volunteer work for the national multiple birth association while the kids are sleeping, which is helping to keep me skilled despite being a SAHM. For me, so long as we can afford it, being a SAHM is the preferred option, but I think it depends on the individual. So many working mums comment on how much they love going to work, but the things they love about it are not my experiences in the paid work-force. The only thing I miss is the extra money. My opinion is to do what feels right for YOU and your family. Judging by your post, I think you already know what that is.

    • September 2, 2010 / 9:16 PM

      Lovely to meet you!
      I hate the office politics thing too and the longer I stay away from the office the harder I find it to settle back in and find a comfortable place for me. It’s all about time.
      Money is a wonderful thing, it allows us treats, days out that normally would be expensive and many other luxuries but it’s what we ahve to do for that money that counts.
      Thank you for your comment and your tips – all talken on board
      Mari x

  62. stephanie
    September 2, 2010 / 2:50 AM

    I work full-time for money. And I’m a mom for free. I like to think I work both the day shift and the graveyard shift. The grass is never greener on the other side, but working mothers can do it all. You would be surprised at what you are capable of. :)

    • September 2, 2010 / 9:17 PM

      Thanks Stephanie. It’s lovely to hear from someone who has ‘cracked it’ I wish you much happiness

  63. September 2, 2010 / 3:08 AM

    Stay at home. You will not regret it. I had a career and four children, and if I had a do-over, I would ditch the career in a second. All the reasons you raised are excellent ones. Your heart is speaking to you. Listen to it.

    • September 2, 2010 / 9:19 PM

      Ah, a woman after my own heart! I do listen to my heart and my soul and hence came this mega post that has changed my blog forever.
      Thank you for coming by and commenting :)

  64. September 2, 2010 / 3:55 AM

    I only have one 8 month old, and I have trouble making it some days. I go through the same questions of grief and wonder: Am I doing the right thing? I was looking for a job when I got pregnant, so I didn’t work while I was pregnant either. All I know is that I am doing my best to enjoy the time I have with my daughter and live in the present moment.

    • September 2, 2010 / 9:20 PM

      And if that’s where you are right now I urge you to make the most of it every single day as you never know what lies around the corner.
      Thank you for commenting

  65. September 2, 2010 / 4:31 AM

    I haven’t read everyone’s comments before me, and suspect this has already been said by someone. You only get one chance with your kids. One chance to see them grow up. One chance to share that special moment in their development. Work will be there for the rest of your life. But motherhood won’t. If you can stay at home, be grateful, and proud, and thankful that you can. And treasure it! Forget the silly people who don’t understand what a mother does for her family. Obviously, it’s a woman’s choice to stay home these days. Some women just can’t face not having their own outside “identity”/give up the buzz that a career can give them personally. I had no choice but to work in a highly stressful career when my first two were little. They are incredibly jealous that I gave up full-time work when the youngest was five. I am sad that I didn’t do it sooner as the youngest has benefitted so much since I was home for him more often. I’m obviously firmly on the SAHM side. But who says you can’t have it all? As I said earlier, work will be around and available for the rest of your life. It’s not the end of the world to spend a few years giving your kids the best start you can possibly give them in life.

    • September 2, 2010 / 9:23 PM

      Thank you for your words and thoughts on the matter. I agree with you. I am very lucky but already this blog is becoming more and more of a job taking time out of my day away from the girls.
      I am obviously very happy for the recognition offered and want to explore further and it’s up to me to find a happy medium
      Thank you for coming by

  66. September 2, 2010 / 5:01 AM

    I’m not a mother, but my understanding is that things get a bit less hectic as the kids age. Twin toddlers are certainly more than a handful!

    In a few years, they’ll start to become more independent, and then they’ll want to spend time out of the house–visiting friends, going to school, etc. That’s when you can catch your breath and start thinking about what else you would like to be doing with your time.

    But for now, enjoy them, and enjoy the luxury of all that time with them! :)

    • September 2, 2010 / 9:25 PM

      Thank you and yes I will enjoy them whilst I can as for adolescence, maybe that worries me more than toddler life as children become more secretive and want to be independent even if they’re not quite ready – nightmare to come :)

  67. September 2, 2010 / 6:34 AM

    I was in your position before, wanting to work, wanting to use my college degree, wanting to give something to the community, wanting to make money, but now as a carrier Mom, although I enjoy my work, always hope to have more time with my kids. After work, going home thinking about reading them story…forget that! the fact is, I have to wash the dishes, cook dinner, make sure they do their homework and study for tests. By they time their done, I am out of it. Sometimes I fall of sleep before them and let my husband put them to bed. Really consider to work from home carrier, hopefully by next year!

    • September 2, 2010 / 9:27 PM

      I hope it all works out for you. thanks for our comment, it’s very much appreciated

  68. The Alchemist
    September 2, 2010 / 6:36 AM

    Hey there. I faced a slightly similar situation and dilemma and quit my career after having a very “fruitful” and “successful” career for 6 years. I wrote about it at

    You are welcome to check it out :)

    Personally, I feel, if you are financially in a position to not need the money from the career and emotionally better equipped to deal staying at home and not becoming crazy, then your choice of being a SAHM is justified and politically correct :)

    You know my E Mail ID from above. Feel free to be in touch :)

    • September 2, 2010 / 9:28 PM

      Thanks for your comment, when I have a mo’, I will come and check you out – promise!

  69. Rita Elizabeth
    September 2, 2010 / 7:41 AM

    Now that my daughter is twenty-two, a university graduate, and working full time, I long for those long, exhausting days when she was little. My husband has always been a good provider, and for the first 7 1/2 years of my daughter’s life, we had a live in nanny who worked Monday through Friday, from about 7:00 a.m. until dinner time. Even so, I worked part-time (self employed) and was able to spend a lot of time working at home.

    If there is any way you could work part-time with full time child care, that would be ideal. That way, once the day is done, you could have quality time with both Paul and your little ones.

    The reason I say “full time” child care is that you could work part time, then come home and do the housework/dinner bit — at least prep the materials for dinner and cook just before serving. Then, with Paul’s help with cleanup, you’d have quality time left for him and the twins. Also, you wouldn’t have to do housework during the weekends, so the entire weekend could be devoted to quality family time.

    This is basically what my husband and I did. Yes. I know. Full time child care and part time work seems kinda crazy, especially in these recessionary times when money is tight and we’re lucky to have any job at all, but if you could possibly pull it off, this would be the way I’d recommend you go.

    If not this scenario, then for my part, I’d definitely vote for SAHM. As I said when I started this comment, now that she’s grown, I LONG for those days with my daughter. You can NEVER get their childhoods back!


    Rita Elizabeth

    • September 2, 2010 / 9:31 PM

      Thank you Rita Elizabeth, Not sure if I /we can afford full time care right now but I have listened to you and taken your comment on board.
      For now it’s SAHM and who knows what the future may hold…I may win
      the lottery and therefore have an entirely different scenario.
      we’ll see.

  70. September 2, 2010 / 10:12 AM

    I am a SAHM in the day and work part time in the evenings. This way I can put my children to bed and go to work knowing that they are asleep with their daddy looking after them.
    I am very lucky that my job is flexible as in the last 3 weeks Eloise has been unsettled with her sleeping so I was able to adjust my hours and go in once i had her settled. Don’t get me wrong it can be very tiring looking after the children, house, chores etc all day and then go to work but i only have to work minimum of 8 hours a week. I currently do 9pm-1am so i still get some sleep before having to get up and do the school run. Well done Marianne. I love reading your blogs and your thoughts as they are always so interesting.

    • September 2, 2010 / 1:06 PM

      Thank you lovely :) I know you’re doing a brilliant job with your kids and family and working for such a large company can be really helpful in times of need. Well done you for juggling the family/work issue xx

  71. Anna
    September 2, 2010 / 11:25 AM

    Unfortunately for me, I don’t really have the luxury of choice. However, I am also happy that I’ve chosen to go back to work. Where I live, it is significantly less expensive for good child care, but beyond that, I was noticing that while I wasn’t working, I kind of vegetated as a woman. My hair was all frizz, my clothes would sometimes be P.J.’s all day and on some level I felt that I wasn’t really being all that I could be with my appearance. Beyond that, I take real pleasure in my job as a teacher, and I felt like I was stagnating intellectually and personally. It gives me a chance to break out of the “mommy” side and the “wifey” side for a bit and just me…well,…me. My house has taken a toll in terms of cleaning strategies and I’ve had to depend a little bit on excellent relatives, but other than that, I’m happy with the decision I made. When I was growing up, my mom solely focused on us kids, and then when the empty nest came, she didn’t really know what to do with herself because she hadn’t developed the education or skills to accomplish it. I understand that not all SAHMs lack education or skills, so PLEASE do not think I am judging you. I’m totally not. If I had the financial option of being a SAHM, I would be very much tempted. I know that it’s not a piece of cake and that having kids really is a full time job. :-)

    • September 2, 2010 / 1:19 PM

      Thanks Anna for coming by. I love your comment and many women will connect with your words. I have always made an effort to get dressed by 9am but I have been known to leave my hair too long before getting it cut and I go every day with no make up trying to kid myself it’s still ok (it’s not!)
      some younger girls have commented on being pregnant and not having yet completed their PhDs, they’re defiinitely not lacking in education or skills, maybe life just other plans in store for them?

  72. marisol diaz
    September 2, 2010 / 11:28 AM

    I would never recommend any women to fall in this trap:
    “You should have a feeling of being good at something – raising your children.
    To develop a fully-fledged, ethical, social citizen is one of the hardest and least valued activities in the world.”

    The world or society does not and have never valued that, and when it comes to finantial distress women suffer and have less. When you go out there you don’t get a job because you raised ‘becky’’ll get a job or a decent salary + ‘worth’ because you are an accounter, teacher, programmer, doctor, lawyer, etc. You as women have contributed to youself, your family and society. That is proverbs 30. That others have distorted the ideal women from the original is another issue but as for me… and I coach women I would never advised them but to keep a priority in their finantial district for their own good and then that of their offsprings. That is the only way your kids will be “good citizens”. They will see and be raised in a great example. Being finantially independent is a must and you don’t get that as SAHM.

    • September 2, 2010 / 1:21 PM

      All valid points you out forward and thank you for your opinions which may go against the grain of the majority here but equally important. It helps being in a loving stable relationship where the woman who chooses to be a SAHM is financially looked after too.

  73. September 2, 2010 / 10:36 AM

    Good luck with deciding what to do.

    We went through a lot to achieve this pregnancy too and our plan is for me to return to work part-time at the end of my maternity leave. Fortunately, my employer has flexible work arrangements that will allow me to work from home for some of my hours. I just have to be in the office 1 day per week. I don’t know how it will go in practice, but we’ll worry about that when the time comes…

    • September 2, 2010 / 1:12 PM

      You’re really lucky, many women would dream for a scenario like yours, hold it tight – they are few and far between. Thanks for your comment, it’s very much appreciated

  74. Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson
    September 2, 2010 / 11:37 AM

    I can’t speak about twin, being the parent of one, now 11-year old son. That said, while I loved being a SAHM mom, I have a manuscript (hopefully soon to be published) about how difficult the transition to SAHM was for this full-time teacher. I missed the classroom. I missed the ego strokes, of which there were none. (Maybe the girls thank you for wiping their ass. My son never did.) I loved having the choice to SAH: that was a blessing. We were financially stable enough where it was a choice. That said, I wasn’t the happiest me during the 6 years I stayed-at-home, cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, shopping for groceries, and doing other routine tasks.

    A few years ago — when my son was 8- years old — I took two sections as a English 101 teacher at our local community college, and suddenly the world was a brighter place to be. My son went to school and so did I. I was home before he was, having graded most of my papers. I only worked MWF, so I had Tuesdays and Thursdays to meet with girlfriends, see doctors, get my nails done, and clean the toilets, etc. So I have continued to teach my two sections which works out to be 6 hours a week in the classroom, and a bunch of time grading papers on the couch! But at this point, my curriculum is made, so it doesn’t take long to plan. I LOVE it. I am much happier being outside in the word for a few hours and I wish i had done it while my son was young. The logistics seemed overwhelming, impossible. Frankly, I still can’t figure out how they would have worked. But I digress.)

    I guess I would say as long as you are loving SAH,this is the right thing for you to do. I just beg of you to not judge those women out there for whom staying-at-home really emptied out. For those women, society does a real doozie. They don’t need any more guilt. It is hard enough to have to admit you aren’t cut from the SAH cloth and then have to get up everyday and leave your child each day, sometimes at childcare, sometimes with friends, sometimes with a disapproving grandparent. Whatever the case, the goal is to raise wonderful independent children with strong roots and wings.

    I’m glad you are enjoying the SAHM journey. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

    If you’d like to visit me at my blog, its called Lessons From Teachers and Twits at:

    • September 2, 2010 / 1:27 PM

      Of course I will come by once this Freshly Pressed has calmed down and thank you for your words.
      Of course, you’re absolutely right, we mustn’t judge women who are working mothers but this post wasn’t supposed to do that. As you say all mums feel guilt whatever their choice.
      I have two older children now 22 and 19 and whilst bringing them up I did at some point find a job for all of the reasons you write about above AND I loved it being part of the adult world again and feeling as if too were contributing to the household.
      It took a long time for Paul and I to have these twins and it was a rocky steep climb therefore for me each day is precious with them, luckily being a woman I always have the right to change my mind further down the line :)

  75. Nichole@40daysof
    September 2, 2010 / 12:47 PM

    I guess I just want to put a plug in for the thought that there’s nothing wrong with not being productive, every minute of every day (in regards to the few hours of leisure you have). If you can financially afford to do it, and it sounds as if you can, then enjoy your time with your girls. And if you can mentally and emotionally handle what is a very tough job. :) As someone whose mother HAD to work when I was growing up, I would encourage you to stay home as long as possible. My friends and I always spent the majority of our time at the friend’s home, where the mom was there after school. We liked it better. She had time for us.

    • September 2, 2010 / 1:31 PM

      That’s quite a sad comment Nichole. My parents split when I was 10 and mum held down two jobs in order that we could lead a life, she worked damn hard but my memories of childhood aren’t tainted with her absence but her energy and drive to provide for us where my father was failing. It gave me great incentive.
      Thank you for coming by

  76. September 2, 2010 / 12:29 PM

    How many chances do you get to raise your kids? Only once, why miss that if you don’t have to? You will have the rest of your life to pursue a career or other interests, but you only have your children for such a few short years…enjoy them to the fullest! I’m a SAHM to three young boys (9-4), with another baby due any day now. I wouldn’t trade being at home with/for them for anything in the world! Sure it’s exhausting and sometimes I would love to get dressed up and go off to work and forget about the housework etc., but then who would be here to hear the stories after school, talk about their day, take them to their sports, hang out with the younger ones and actually be a part of their day? I would never want to miss any of that!

    • September 2, 2010 / 1:29 PM

      Thanks for coming by and best of luck with your imminent birth, wishing you love, laughter and hapiness :)

  77. September 2, 2010 / 1:10 PM

    First, physically speaking, parenting does get easier as the kids get older. You’re not nursing and changing diapers at all hours of the day and night. But emotionally it is harder. Ex: my daughter is nearly nine and I’m worried about–everything. Will she be excluded at school? Will her relationship with her best friend change? When will she start her period? How to afford the things she needs? If you take your stresses to bed, you’ll feel them the next day. Add a 9-5 job and you get a restless night’s sleep.
    I thought about going back to work for extra cash, until my husband and I figured that every cent I would make would go to a daycare. I didn’t have a child to let someone else raise her. Instead I stay at home and work on my book and for part-time work I sell Avon. I’m doing what I love and am able to pay off some debt too.
    You’ll have to do what you and your spouse feel is best.
    Best of luck to you and your family.

    • September 2, 2010 / 9:35 PM

      Great news L,
      Yes it is tough but you manage, you get by and you are happy with your life becasue you choose to do so rather than be told what to do. I am sure your daughter will reap the benefits.
      Thank you for commenting

  78. Annie
    September 2, 2010 / 1:54 PM

    Hello. My name is Ann and I have four small children at home (ages 3-1/2, 5, 6, 7). The three oldest are in school full-time this year and can finally take the bus. I work from home and work part-time as needed at my local community college as a Note Taker for students with disabilities. Last year it was particularly difficult for me to do anything because I was diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism making it almost impossible for me to drive the kids back and forth to school. Prior to that, my kids were just too young for me to work outside the home and we could not afford daycare or a nanny.

    However, with the help of God and my DH (darling husband), I was able to get through this awful health crisis.

    I have always wanted a “career”, but my calling is raising children. So, until all our kids are in school full-time, I have to patiently wait and work as I can, doing whatever I am able.

    I began taking college courses again last semester and this semester each of my classes are online. After this semester, I am switching to an online college that has all its courses online so that I never have to step foot in a classroom again and can work it around my family life and work schedules.

    Where we live, employers are now asking for Bachelor Degrees even for Entry-Level jobs! So, finishing college is a must. If you are a SAHM, I highly recommend taking at least part-time classes and getting a degree in something, even if you already have one. You can get certified in something or get some education in Green jobs and careers. You don’t want to fall behind like I did. Going back to school after being out for 20 years was not an easy task for me. It’s like starting all over again from scratch.

    Anyhow, hope I helped someone out there with my motherly advice. lol

    Oh, and THANK YOU moms for raising some good kids out there! I know you don’t hear it enough but know that there are some people out there, like myself, who salute you. Your decision to stay home and raise your child(ren) is most honorable.

    • September 2, 2010 / 9:38 PM

      Thank you for commenting and I’m pleased you have found your path. as for me, I’m 44 and going back to studies I think not. I’m done with that. istruggel to do an online workshop for my blog so I’ll stick to what I know.
      However, for younger readers I couoldn’t agree more with you, or readers of my own age with more voom in their turbo!

  79. September 2, 2010 / 4:14 PM

    I admire SAHMs. Balance is the key to life. I think with whatever time you have during or at the end of the day, it’s best to put it to use following your passions whether it’s writing, sewing, painting, etc. Just use JK Rowling as an inspiration.

    Best wishes!

    • September 2, 2010 / 9:40 PM

      JK Rowling, what better last comment to have? (for today)
      we can leave this debate on a happy note and all dream of reaching that terrific woman’s high standards – wouldn’t that be fantastic?
      Thanks for your coming by.

      • September 3, 2010 / 6:04 PM

        Yeah I totally admire JK Rowling, especially how knowing how much she gives back to her community.

        It’s empowering to know there are positive and inspiring girls/women like you, JK Rowling, and others who are out there and making the best of their situation.

        Stay strong:)

  80. September 2, 2010 / 8:21 PM

    I’ve been a SAHM since our son was born 14 years ago. At the time, I knew it’s what I wanted to do, but I also had this nagging feeling that somehow I was letting down the cause, not being a good feminist, not meeting some ideal that said women need to do it all. Now I realize that no matter which side you come down on, SAHM or career gal, the choice is personal. To be truly “liberated”, women need to be able to have the freedom to raise their families as they want. Without judgment or scorn. I’m very happy with my decision. That’s what matters to me now.

  81. Sandra of Enso Monkey
    September 3, 2010 / 7:56 PM

    SAH is the way to go…kids or no kids.

  82. sayitinasong
    September 4, 2010 / 7:29 AM

    If financially you do not have to go to full time work, I would not, the realities of the daily commutes and the tube strikes etc are quite harsh and will do nothing but add more frustration and stress to your days….maybe some local part time work?

  83. lukucence
    September 6, 2010 / 4:02 AM

    I graduated college last year and got pregnant not too soon after. Part of me craves to go work and pull around some weight financially. But, 1) my baby is still too young, and 2) I want to be around him, and teach him things, at least until he can speak a few words and is potty trained. Then I can consider finding a job or going back to school.
    Btw, you make a very good point by mentioning how much a mother does. Our job as mothers’ never ends, while our financial job does, eventually.

  84. September 6, 2010 / 3:19 PM

    I faced the same thoughts when mine were young (now 14 and 16). Fortunately I worked 12 hr nights as a RN and was able to drop them off at 6:30 which meant they were only awake and under someone else’s influence for about 2 hrs and picked them up at 7:30 am which meant they had been up about an hour, if that.

    Once I went part time and per diem the question really became a strong point. By the time you add travel expenses, meals, uniforms/business apparel and sitters –are you really getting ahead, at least financially?

    My advice–if you can afford to do so, is to wait until they are in school to go back to work–enjoy the days with them (and the freedom to work on the house or relax) as long as you can. You can never get those times and memories back.

    • September 6, 2010 / 3:51 PM

      Thank you for your comment and I agree with you – enjoy them as much as you can while you can :)

  85. Paige Morgan
    September 7, 2010 / 3:55 AM

    I just saw this post and have to tell you, I am working mother and am envious of my SAHM friends… to a point. I work from home and we have a nanny for our two kids, so my situation is more ideal than most. I can pop out of my home office to say hi to the kids or hear about their day and I still get to close my doors and focus when need be. There are times where I love ignoring the tantrums in favor of surfing the net, I mean working.

    But I have been having a change of heart lately. While I love the dual incomes, I feel like I NEVER have free time. I am either working or making up for being a working mom. I am competitive by nature and can’t hold a candle to SAHMs or employees without kids, so I always feel a little mediocre. I am also not as passionnate about my career as I used to be. I think the key to being balanced (my blog is is carving out personal time for you to pursue your passion. If it is career, that’s great, but if it is sitting at your computer and updating your blog, as long as it fulfills you, you’re in great shape. I know I would love to give up my career and write (or make that into a career) but for now, I have to do the job I am paid to do.

  86. Tracy (heppwalker)
    September 8, 2010 / 7:06 AM

    Hi Marie, I am fully with you. I work 3.5 days so I can collect Charlotte from school two days a week and I am sure (in fact know) that DH wants me to work more – but there would be no quality childhood time, no quality me time and the house would be filthy dirty. I am with you – take the time with the girls – I know the journey you travelled and your reward is time with the girlies.

    Odd I dreamt I saw you two last night – you were pushing them along in a buggy and I was straining to see their little faces – odd.

    Well done with the blogging fame!

    • September 9, 2010 / 8:46 AM

      How nice to see you over here! And how strange to have dreamt of us! You can see their little faces on FB – mind you I haven’t added photos for a while now as there’s not enough time in a day for me.
      Yes, I shall continue to stay with them and I am enjoying it so much, when the time comes that they are at school then I can re-evaluate and see what is good for us
      see you again I hope :)

  87. staceyc36
    September 8, 2010 / 6:52 PM

    after 13 years of nursing, I decided to take on a bigger challenge of being a SAHM!! Damn, nursing was a piece of cake!! I choose to call myself a ‘DOMESTIC ENGINEER’ these days. I wear myself out just thinking about what I have to do the next day. Somehow I thought I would have time to whip up masterpiece dinners, run to the gym, tan and stop by for a weekly mani & pedi!! WTH??? This definitely is not Housewives of Orange County!! Of course I wouldn’t change a thing!!!

    By the way, I am new at this blogging thing and I have no idea if I have done this thing right. Just want you to know I totally enjoyed reading yours!!!

    • September 9, 2010 / 8:54 AM

      Thank you Stacey for commenting, I’ll pop over to you as soon as I have a mo and check you out too. I think we all wear ourselves out wherever we are and whatever we do, it’s a case of some things have to go, in my case it’s usually the mani and the pedi

  88. Ali Law
    September 9, 2010 / 10:59 PM

    Hi I chose to be a SAHM too-I am mum to 2 boys now 9 & 10yrs old.Both my boys are on the Autism spectrum,having been diagnosed as Aspbergers Syndrome.This in itself has been one of the most challenging things that have happened in my life as a lot of extra effort is required to see them fit in socially in all environments.Plus I had my kids in my early forties so seemed to get more tired than some mums with similar aged kids.Previous to this I was a Registered Nurse,working within my community and loving assisting people with their health issues.In recent years I have yearned to get back into the workforce,have more conversations and sharing with adults but realised that I needed to have work with flexibility so I could be readily available if needed.So I found an opportunity to work from home that was related to my passion for Health.I work with a company called Melaleuca-a wellness company that is committed to helping people remove chemical based products from their homes-I’m finding it very satisfying to make a difference to families as so much ill health is related to products that are far from healthy.I’m following my passion and making an income.Email me if you would like to know more.

  89. fashion game
    September 22, 2010 / 2:46 AM

    that`s great! thanks for us

  90. Madge Beasly
    September 27, 2010 / 1:55 AM

    Fantastic blog! I actually love how it is easy on my eyes as well as the information are well written. I am wondering how I can be notified whenever a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your rss feed which should do the trick! Have a nice day!

  91. July 25, 2011 / 10:19 AM

    I came across this when I read your Make It Count Post. I can understand why you are proud of this post as I think it’s at the heart of every mother. I work part-time which is perfect as it means that I can do the school run and I decide when I do my hours (within reason). If I’ve been busy during the day I can catch up on my hours in the evening when the children have gone to bed. I wouldn’t want to be a career girl or housewife exclusively. I enjoy both aspects and find things balance out naturally. If I’ve spent too much time working then I find myself dreaming of making cakes or a need to teach my kids to knit! Equally the work I do is so different as well. I write for angels & urchins magazine, work as PR consultant to a hospitality/events client and see keeping up with my blog taking more and more time. Good to have found your blog. I look forward to your BMB carnival.
    Best wishes

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