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AnniesMommy's avatar

Stay at home or not stay at home?

Asked by AnniesMommy (7points) May 5th, 2010

I am a stay at home mom of a 1 year old. I had recieved by BA a week before my daughter is born. I know there are million of stay at home moms out there, but I was wondering if it is really right for me? I am able to do it, my fiance has a decent job in the military, but is it more benifical to my daughter if I stay at home for her, or if I go out and find a job? I know it seems like a simple question, but I am a little confused about it right now.


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17 Answers

CMaz's avatar

What makes you happy?

RedPowerLady's avatar

The answer is whatever makes you a happy mother. If you are a stay at home mother who is unfulfilled and thus unhappy this will not benefit your daughter. If you are a working mother who is unfulfilled because you don’t get enough time with your family and want to be the primary person raising your dear daughter then this won’t benefit her. If you are a happy momma who loves her daughter and is fulfilled (whatever your choice may be) then your daughter will get more love, calmness, support, compassion, relaxed atmosphere from you.

janbb's avatar

I agree with @ChazMaz and @RedPowerLady. There is no “one-size fits all” when it comes to staying at home versus going to work. I think kids thrive when their parents are loving, happy and fulfilled so whichever path accomplishes that for you is what you should do. And remember – whichever choice you make, it is not irrevocable. You can try going back to work and decide it doesn’t make sense for now or you can stay home a while and later go back to work. Also, you can consider the possibility of part-time work which can combine the best of both worlds. Good luck in your choice and remember it does not have to be a forever choice.

TILA_ABs_NoMore's avatar

Get a job and try it out. You can always quit if it’s not making you happy. It might be just what you need…but you’ll never know unless you try it out!

Jeruba's avatar

I adored my children, but I always knew I could never be a 100% fulltime mommy. My arrangement when they were small was that I worked at home as a freelancer and had a babysitter come in. If anything big happened, I was there, but otherwise I was not to be disturbed. That way I could take little breaks with them, be on hand if someone broke an arm or drew a great picture, and handle routine visits to the doctor, etc., but I was also putting in concentrated work time.

My wonderful babysitter went home to England for 5 months, and I said I’d wait for her. I almost went nuts during that time. No adult conversation until my husband came home (tired, wanting solitude and down time), no peer recognition, no relief from demands for attention, and an awful lot of coloring, building with blocks, and playing Candyland, whose invention I cursed almost by the hour.

When she came back I gave her a raise.

The main thing to weigh is how you feel—exactly as @RedPowerLady says. If you can devote your full attention to your child without feeling stifled and resentful, that’s wonderful. I knew I could give more to my children, and give them the better part of me, if I weren’t intellectually and socially starved myself.

Seek's avatar

I agree with the above posters – do what’s right for you.

My biggest push was realizing that my son’s “baby period” was so… short. In no time, he’ll be all grown up, and when I look back, I don’t want to wish I had seen more of the inside of an office than those beautiful brown eyes exploring the world.

My best friend got her masters degree two months after her son was born. She still hasn’t gone back to work. He’s two, and she just fell pregnant with her second. No one is going to come take her degree away because she’s not using it right now… and there will be plenty of time for her to work when her kids are at school all day.

skfinkel's avatar

I asked many women in classes I taught this question: How much time did you think you would want to take off before you had your baby, and then: Since you have had your child, what do you think now. You would be amazed that the mothers who thought they would take a few months off wanted much more—and most were taking the time they wanted. Many were leaving jobs that would not accommodate the time they wanted with their children. Others, some of whom had said they wanted six months off, or a year to be with their babies, stayed with their first notion, but they were far fewer that the ones that wanted more time. So, if you want the time now to be with your child, I would say you are not alone. As @Seek_Kolinahr implies, this period with a very young child is so short, and you will never regret the time you spend with her.

RedPowerLady's avatar

You would be amazed that the mothers who thought they would take a few months off wanted much moreā€”and most were taking the time they wanted. Many were leaving jobs that would not accommodate the time they wanted with their children.

Describes my experience perfectly.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Stay with the baby for a while and then go back to work. Just be there for the beginning, it will be beneficial to both of you.

MissAusten's avatar

There is no right or wrong answer, like others have said. You make a choice based on what is best for your family, and part of that is knowing what makes you function best as a mom. If you are currently happy staying home with your child, by all means continue to do so. If she has a stable and loving family, she will grow and thrive whether you work or stay home with her.

I’ve worked full time as a parent and stayed home full time, and our kids have always been happy and well-adjusted either way. It’s not your work status that matters, it’s your parenting abilities. :)

faye's avatar

Could you work parttime? and have the best of both worlds?

PandoraBoxx's avatar

What is the cost of working for you? If you’re happy staying home, and it’s going to cost you more to work, factoring in day care, clothes for work, car expenses, eating out, maybe someone to help with housework, than you will earn working, then don’t do it. See if you can find a sweet spot of alternative employment, like part time, or if there is an at-home business you can come up with.

Jeruba's avatar

Remember that there is also volunteer work. If it’s not about the money per se, you can get the mental stimulation, the adult society, the feeling of using your skills and talents, the change of scene, etc., by volunteering a few hours a week, like maybe one or two afternoons, doing something you enjoy. It’s not the all-or-nothing commitment of a full-time job. But it can lead to something when you’re ready to go back to work, if not directly then indirectly through contacts. Or at least keep your skills sharp and give you something to put on your resume.

myopicvisionary's avatar

If at all possible, raise your own child. The first few years of a child’s life will set the stage for the rest of their life, why let some stranger do it? Secondly, kids in daycare get sick more often than kids raised at home with mom. When our first was born my wife was making $40,000 a year. When we did the math, Gross Pay – (taxes+gas for work+lunches+day care+clothes for work+extra hour a day to drop off and pick up baby) = net $150–200 net per week. Now we divided 200 by 50 hours and that’s $4 per hour – not a lot of money and a lot of stress.

Jeruba's avatar

One year as a freelancer I earned $500 less than I paid the babysitter. I calculated that if I could save my sanity for 500 bucks, I had a bargain.

Pandora's avatar

The world isn’t what it once way. Staying at home can cost you years in your profession when you try to return to the work force. Now that your baby is a year old you can try some volunteer work in your profession if its possible. A few hours a week or doing an actual part time job maybe 3 days a week. This way you have your foot in the door till your ready to work full time. With time you may be able to do part time at the job and also be able to work from home. Of course a lot of this depends on your chosen profession.
Keep in mind that marrying a military man may mean you will have to change jobs often. If its something you can eventually do from home then I would work on getting that started so the the job moves with you when you move.

liminal's avatar

@AnniesMommy Would you mind saying more about what is personally confusing to you as you consider this decision?

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