iCate

laid off and learning to love it… my journey from corporate sprinter to life marathoner

SAHM choice: should i stay or should i go 06/08/2009

Filed under: SAHM Choice — ccatet @ 2:13 am

when i got laid off, i had a choice: to stay home with our two kids or try to find a job and go back to work. i was fortunate to have this choice as i recognize that there are many in the world who have no choice.

i had been struggling at work for months… part of me longed to be with the kids all day every day, the other part of me enjoyed the stimulation and challenges that working in a fast paced corporate environment brought my way. i had been torn while working, and i was still torn when i was actually home with the kids.

i also am not one of those people who “always knew” they would stay home. nothing against them, but it wasn’t me.

if you’re in the working world and thinking of becoming a SAHM, here are a few things i can share that may sway you one way or the other:

1– your kids will still get sick, even if they are out of child care… as an example, both my kids required tubes in their ears, one was in child care and one was not.

2- there will be days when you get absolutely nothing accomplished – for those results-oriented women, this can be tough!  i have found a way to feel productive but not beat myself up when the day goes out the window.

3- no more annual reviews, very little recognition. you have to trust you’re doing a great job and hopefully your spouse and kids speak up and tell you once in a while!

4- your house is messier – you’re playing it in more! for me this means a recurring cadence of household chores embedded in the family calendar so that we stay on top of things!

5 you will feel isolated and lonely at times until you find some other parents/friends to spend time with regularly. finding moms that you connect with can be tough, just hang in there… they are out there.

6- you will get to see all of their firsts… my daughter cut her two bottom front teeth last week and i look at them every day now as they grow in, how she is chewing differently as she learns to use them, how they look as they come in, etc. i never saw these details with my son.

7- your life will slow down, the pace is slow and steady (and we all know he wins the race, right?)

8- if you get organized, life at home with the kids can be really fun! i require structure so for me getting organized meant learning how to save enough money to justify being home, setting up a personal calendar online to manage the home and our activities, and building my resources for playtime (supplies, child development planning, etc)

9- you will know your children better than anyone and your relationship with them will hit an entirely new level. i am amazed now at how little i really knew about them being at work.

that’s just my two cents on the subject. i have been home a little over 3 months now and am loving it. it’s taken time to get here personally, but the countless giggles, grins and hugs i get all day long are worth it ten times over. i wouldn’t go back now – even if they called and asked.  🙂

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3 Responses to “SAHM choice: should i stay or should i go”

  1. tmiket Says:

    I love it! I’m SO lucky to be a part of the crew for your marathon…I LOVE YOU!!!

  2. Gretchen Cantoni Says:

    Hi Cate, I applaud you for writing this! It’s well written and it’s balanced. As someone who did always want to stay home (ok, i’m a generation behind you) I loved it. With and Early Childhood education background I was and am your go to guy for information on everything from potty training to what toys are best. Now, I’ve been RIFD or fired. It’s hard and weird to justify staying home. Working full time is not an option because I don’t need the benefits and others do. Jim would insist we still need the money and that’s true but after being a stay at home mom for 30 years I need to find ME. There is a balance. But the returns on your current investment are worth it! That little hand in yours. awesome

  3. Sara Says:

    Looky whose blog I found! 🙂

    I totally understand what you’re saying here…I believe 100% that SAHMs work just as hard, if not harder, than working moms. It’s a different kind of work, and extremely rewarding, but I think a lot of people underestimate how exhausting it can be–I know I did before I had Jackson! I am really lucky that I get a little bit of both worlds being a teacher, and I definitely enjoy having both experiences.

    Sure wish you lived closer! Definitely drop me a line next time you’re up here! 🙂


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