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Dansedescygnes's avatar

Did one of your parents stay home or did they both work?

Asked by Dansedescygnes (2881points) April 20th, 2009

How did it work out? Did you feel negatively about your situation as a child?

My mom was always a stay-at-home mom. She’s been heavily involved in the PTA and other school-related things (she’s president of the PTA at my high school), but it’s all volunteer work and doesn’t take that much time away from her. I like the fact that my mom has been involved in the school so she can really know what’s going on. My mom said she was essentially always planning on being a stay-at-home mom.

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29 Answers

casheroo's avatar

My mother and father have always worked. My mother worked in banks, or odd end jobs to make ends meet. But, she was always home in the morning to see us off, and home when we got home from school. That changed as we got a little older though.
I don’t think my mother ever wanted to be a stay at home mom, she would love to be working part time now, but can’t.

I personally have always wanted to be a stay at home mother, for minimum the first year of my children’s lives. I was able to stay at home for the first 15 months of my sons life. I now go to school and work part time. The goal is to have my education and work(my career) while the children are in school, once they are that age. For now, I just work to pay the groceries.

Les's avatar

They both worked, but my mom is a high school teacher, so she’d always be home when my brother and I got home. For a while, my Dad took me to school in the morning, and my mom picked me up in the afternoon. But even when I took the bus, my dad waited at the bus stop with me, and my mom was home when I got home. I had a great childhood.

Darwin's avatar

Once my dad got a real job and my parents decided that children were the next step my mom stayed home. She had been a chemical engineer prior to that and so I think went slightly mad. She used to lie in wait for repairmen and trades people just so she could have an adult conversation. In later years she got busy first as a volunteer in the school library and then later on in the public library when we were beginning to leave the nest. Once we were all off on our own. my mother opted for her second career, that of an artist.

jca's avatar

my mom was a single mom and did not get much, if anything, from my dad. she has a BS in Biology and then went for her MBA when i was a teen. she had no choice but to work.

cookieman's avatar

My parents worked the swing shift (he worked days, she worked nights) until I was twelve. Then my mom switched to days and I became a latch-key-kid.

As an only child, I became very self sufficient.

Maldadpermanente's avatar

My father worked at a factory as a painter, my mother stayed at home taking care of my brother and me.

SeventhSense's avatar

She used to work and leave me with the neighbor, but now Mother’s always home.

adreamofautumn's avatar

My dad wasn’t really in the picture except for the “every other weekend deal”. My single mother worked 2 jobs at a time pretty much my whole childhood. I don’t have any complaints about it really. It taught me a great deal about maturity, taking care of myself, etc. and I have an incredible amount of respect for my mum for everything she’s done for me. I wish she didn’t have to work that much, less for me and more for her sake, but overall I think my childhood worked out just fine.

aprilsimnel's avatar

My guardian (my BM’s sister) was single, not in any sort of relationship with the father of her son and had to work. Her job stunk; really crap pay for long hours far from where we lived, and she had no car. I can only think of three times where she attended anything school-related. She saw a show her son was in when he was in 7th grade. She came to an award ceremony for me in 9th grade and to my HS graduation.

She didn’t like talking to the other parents because she was afraid they’d figure out that she was uneducated and that we were poor, so she was gone as soon as the event was over. There were other issues living with her, but being in the socio-economic situation she was in didn’t help matters at all.

Facade's avatar

My mom was a nurse, and my dad was in the navy while i was young. I was fine with it..didn’t really pay it much attention. They, on the other hand, feel like they neglected me growing up, which is ridiculous because I couldn’t have asked for better parents. I’m not really attached to them (or any of my family).
Also, I’m an only child, so maybe that makes me self-reliant when it comes to family

tinyfaery's avatar

Both worked until my mom could not work anymore due to her MS. Neither of my parents bothered with me much anyway. Actually, when my mom no longer worked, I was able to come home from school anytime I wanted, because my mom would call the school and get me out. Ahh, good times.

I have so much respect for my mother because she worked as long as she could, and she did it so her daughters would have a decent life and learn what it means to take care of a family. Personally, I would have little respect if my mother had not worked, with or without the disease. I wanted a role model, not a caretaker who devoted her whole life to her kids.

YARNLADY's avatar

My Mom was a stay-at-home Mom until our teens, which was a big mistake, because all three of us had very tramautic teen years.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Both parents always worked and I was fine with it. They had some feelings later of not being there for me and we did talk about it in later years but I think most parents will try imagine different lifestyles or scenarios once their kids leave home.

augustlan's avatar

My single mother got nothing from my birth father so of course she always worked. I became a latch-key kid at the tender age of 7, and as an only child I certainly did become self-reliant. I often prepared dinner before she got home! I didn’t hate it or anything, but it’s not what I wanted for my kids. I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for almost 14 years, and my 3 children profess to be happy about that. I’ve been trying to get a job since January though… it’s time.

DeanV's avatar

My Dad works one job, and my mom works 2+.

Unfortunately, they are divorced, so that sort of skews things.

Dog's avatar

This is related to the topic but I admit is a bit off topic.

A lot of people tend to assume that the job of a stay at home parent is “eating bon bons on the couch and watching soaps” while the spouse does all the work.

The truth is that stay at home parent’s have more responsibility and work harder than many employees who make a salary and are gone 9–5.

Plus the hours of a parent are 24–7. How many jobs have you on call as the only responsible party 24–7?

How many of these “stay at home parents” give up a social life to raise children properly?

To me it is easier to work outside of the home then to raise kids who neither appreciate the sacrifice nor understand what it would be like to be without a dedicated parent at home.

So if you indeed had a parent at home CALL THEM and tell them you appreciate their sacrifice!

Dansedescygnes's avatar

Plus the hours of a Mom are 24–7. How many jobs have you on call as the only responsible party 24–7?

You sound exactly like my mom. :)

Likeradar's avatar

Both! When I was little in NY, my dad was a teacher. He worked a lot, but was able to be home a lot too. My mom earned money by first having a children’s clothing consignment store run from our basement, then by having an in-home day care. She was able to make some extra money for the family, while staying home with me and my brother.
During the summer, we went out to Fire Island and had a nanny. My parents were always around, but they got a nice break from us. :)
I think they did great.

knitfroggy's avatar

My mom went to work when I was in about the 3rd grade. My dad traveled all week and was only home on the weekends when I was young, so sometimes it felt like mom was doing it all alone. She wasn’t able to be involved in Girl Scouts and PTA type stuff, but we always got to do what activities we wanted to do. She worked evenings and we stayed with our grandparents a lot. I never felt like we were cheated out of anything as far as spending time with my parents.When I was a little older my dad stopped traveling and my mom worked days and it all worked out just fine. I think even at a young age I realized that you have to do what you have to.

augustlan's avatar

@Dog Yesssss. For me personally, working outside of the home would have been much easier!

Jeruba's avatar

When I was a youngster, in our time and place, all fathers worked and all mothers stayed at home with the house and family. So it was completely normal and expected for my parents to do as they did: my father taught in college, and my mother stayed at home. I don’t think it would have occurred to any of us to have an opinion about it; that’s the way it was, and we didn’t see any other model.

Once my youngest sibling was in school, my mother went back to teaching part time and then got her M.A. so she could teach full time at a university.

rooeytoo's avatar

My dad had his own business and worked very long hours, my mom was a full time mom. I think that is one of the main reasons why I opted not to have children, I saw motherhood as a full time career for at least 16 years and it was not the career of my choice. Seems like today there are a lot more socially acceptable choices for moms, and I am not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing, but since we don’t live in a perfect world it is the way it must be.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

My dad worked & my mom stayed home. Even when I was a teenager, it was good to come home from school & know that she’d be there. I never got too old for that.

MissAusten's avatar

My mom sometimes worked, and sometimes stayed home. She stayed home until I was about 4 or 5 and my brother was a baby. For a while she worked with my dad, and we spent the day with our next-door neighbor. After a few years, my mom stopped working but babysat for several other kids. She was a lot of fun, and with all those kids around we were never bored. For a while my mom also ran a ceramics business from our house—we even had a kiln in the garage. When I was in jr. high my mom went back to work full-time, and my brother and I stayed home alone. He was in 3rd grade, and I guess I was supposed to be watching him, but I don’t remember paying any attention to him! By that time we’d moved out to the country and did a lot of roaming around and riding our bikes to friends’ houses. I never minded my mom working. I think having no parents around seemed like a lucky break after having a stay at home mom for so long. I can’t think of any kid I knew whose mom didn’t work, so it certainly didn’t seem strange to me.

I am a stay at home mom now, but worked full-time until our third baby was born. After that, it just became illogical because childcare around here is so expensive. There are things I miss about working, and things I don’t miss. I’m sure I’ll go back to work at least part time in a couple of years when my youngest is in school all day. My husband has his own business, often works long hours, and usually has a meeting or two even on the weekend. Sometimes I think it would be nice to have a part-time job just to get a break (haha), but my husband’s business is too hectic.

@Dog Part of me wants to shout in agreement with the 24–7 thing, and part of me wants to cringe. I remember all too well having to haul my behind to work after being up half the night with a colicy baby, having to leave work with everyone mad at me because of a sick child, never being able to accrue vacation time and burning through my sick time because of sick children, getting up to dress and feed children before work, visiting the children on my lunchbreak (to play or to breastfeed), finally getting off work and picking up the kids to rush home, make dinner, give baths, read stories, put them to bed, clean up from dinner, do laundry, finally go to bed exhausted, wake up to feed or rock a baby a few times, and then start the whole thing over. If you’re a mom, you’re a mom full time whether you’re home with the kids or working. You’re still the on-call person 24–7. That’s my devil’s advocate side!

Of course, being home means I can meander through the morning a bit, not rush to get dressed and out the door, and don’t have to worry about finding time for doctor visits or people huffing and puffing if one of my kids gets sick and has to stay home for a day or two or five. I do miss having a lunch break and not having to pay out the nose for health insurance though! And I’d probably not babble like this if I had more adults to talk to during the day. :)

wundayatta's avatar

Ancient history now, but my Mom stayed at home. She schlepped us around, and was home when we got back from school. I don’t actually know what she did while we were in school.

I do know that she was very involved in town politics. She was a hard-working League of Women Voters member, and she was elected to town meeting, and later served on the zoning board.

After we were all off to college, she went to work, first at my Father’s company, and later for other small companies. She worked as an office manager, whatever that means.

Once my father retired, she kept working for another year or so, and then retired, herself. Now she’s fully involved in town politics, although I think she’s slowing down a bit.

With my Mom at home and my Dad at work, we knew her a lot better. My Father was fairly distant, emotionally. It’s still there, after all these years. Although, he will hug now. There was no kissing in my family, except between my parents.

I felt a little left out. I didn’t really know my father very well, and he didn’t express any love for me or pride in me. I think that’s something that can happen easily in families that worked like ours did.

mzgator's avatar

Mom stayed home, and Dad worked a lot. They were great parents who raised, in my humble opinion, three great kids. My grandmother lived next door. She helped to raise us too. We were very lucky children to grow up with a lot of love and attention.

When we had our own daughter, we knew one of us would be a stay at home parent. I feel lucky that it was me. I have enjoyed being home and taking care of my family.

RedPowerLady's avatar

I lived with my mother (only) and she never worked. Okay a brief stint at the local minimart. She later got on disability. I don’t agree with her not working but that’s the way it was. Most our lives (before I moved out on my own of course) we lived on an income of 9,500 a year (plus food stamps). That was our mother and her 3 kids.

tiffyandthewall's avatar

my mum works, and my dad has never really done a thing to help. they’ve been divorced for years, but he’s never paid anything toward my upbringing. he does work though. or did, 3 or 4 years ago when i last spoke to him.

fireside's avatar

Both parents worked at the business they owned. That meant that they were at the office until the work day was done and then came home with more work to do. I used to walk up to a babysitter’s house with a friend of mine after elementary school. Not sure what age I was when I got a key and just walked home after school.

Of course, the bright side of them owning the business was that we were able to take family vacations for most of the major school holidays.

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