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 Post subject: Tell me about staying home with kids
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2015 1:27 pm 
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It's almost certain I'll be quitting my job soon to stay home with Jonah. This was never something I thought I'd do. I've never felt I was missing out on Jonah's childhood. We adore his preschool, and I love seeing him learn things at school that I would never think to teach him. But it's just not making sense to have both of us working right now. I've had health issues and other problems that stem directly from not have enough time/flexibility, and my office is moving across town which will double my commute time. So this the right choice for now, even if it's not my first choice.

I'd love to hear others' experiences and advice, especially if you went into this somewhat reluctantly. (I know it's a huge privilege to have the choice whether or not to work and that many people feel a real calling for being at home with their kids.)

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about staying home with kids
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2015 1:52 pm 
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What are your major concerns?

For me there are three main areas to look at:

1. Self-care - when you're home and the main caregiver, it's really hard to get alone time. So what do you need to take care of yourself and your health issues - can you find a drop-in daycare where you can leave Jonah or a babysitter to get gym time, time to go to the MD etc or can you find ways for your partner to do that so that you can get time for yourself. This is probably my biggest area of struggle.

2. Not feeling lonely - being around kids is awesome, but sometimes you want grown up company and to hang out with other families. So I belong to a few awesome parenting groups and we arrange lots of fun things to do as a group. Jonah is young, but maybe getting into a class like MyGym etc is a way to have socialization time for both of you.

3. Financial (which may not be an issue for you) - when you lose an income, it makes sense to look at your budget and figure out what kind of stuff you can both cut. It's really easy to feel guilty about spending money when you aren't earning any, and it's helpful to see what you do have coming in, so you can budget for things that make you happy and also to see where you're saving money (commute, drycleaning etc). If you can afford it, I'd hire a cleaning service once a week, so you can enjoy being home without feeling the constant pressure to clean. The more time you spend at home with a toddler, the filthier your house gets!

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about staying home with kids
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2015 2:19 pm 
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Tofulish wrote:
What are your major concerns?


Losing my sense of self. Feeling resentful for giving up something I find stimulating. Falling into depression/anxiety from being in the house too much. Not having enough structure in my day. Losing the sense of purpose my job gives me.

I'm not so much worried about the logistics of taking a shower or going to doctor's appointments, because I am lucky to have a support network and resources. The new budget will be an adjustment, but I'm confident we can do it.

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about staying home with kids
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2015 3:50 pm 
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Upside - less HFM?

I haven't been in your position or a SAHP, but I imagine the hardest parts for me would be staying home too much and not having structure. I would definitely make sure you build that structure in and have concrete plans to get out of the house every day. For my own sanity I'd also make sure to put on pants with a button every day or some similar article of serious clothing. Wearing yoga pants is awesome but eventually they start to make me feel like I'm turning into a puddle, I feel better mentally when I get fully dressed for my life. I can say that on my days off from work I am so much more relaxed and even when those days are really hard because my 4yo is like a cyclone I don't feel as conflicted and pulled in ten directions as on my days at work (even though my work is obviously important and central in my life, I acknowledge that it makes my life really difficult and angsty).

If I were a SAHP I would be at the gym making use of their babysitting and working out EVERY DAY.


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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about staying home with kids
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2015 4:16 pm 
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Ariann wrote:

If I were a SAHP I would be at the gym making use of their babysitting and working out EVERY DAY.


I wish! Leela isn't happy to be left and the times we have tried, she has called for me within 10 minutes. Joshua maybe more used to it after preschool though! And on the parenting boards I am on, so many parents are complaining because their kids won't tolerate gym daycare either, so I know it's not just Leela. But then people like Ariann do it and they offer care, so clearly some kiddos love it!

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about staying home with kids
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2015 4:27 pm 
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Ariann wrote:
Upside - less HFM?
For my own sanity I'd also make sure to put on pants with a button every day or some similar article of serious clothing. Wearing yoga pants is awesome but eventually they start to make me feel like I'm turning into a puddle, I feel better mentally when I get fully dressed for my life.

I totally understand and love this! Having just ended work a couple weeks ago in preparation for being a SAHP myself, this is something I have already vowed to myself that I will do.

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about staying home with kids
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2015 4:38 pm 
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You could view it as a trial period. There are always part-time or less stressful jobs or just volunteer opportunities that you can do to give your life structure and meaning in a different setting than your old job. Don't let it seem like it's all or none. I'm sure you can find things to fill what you lack without reverting to something as time-consuming or stressful as a full-time job. Parenting groups are a great idea.


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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about staying home with kids
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2015 5:33 pm 
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I'll raise my hand as a sometimes reluctant SAHP. I posted about it a few months ago, but I was really struggling with the long hours I spent with my baby alone due to my husband's job. My son is 11 months now and while I'm still on the lookout for the perfect part time job, I feel I've somehow made my peace with the situation and as a result of that I'm quite a bit happier right now. For me the biggest issue was loss of identity/my career. I haven't really made my peace with that part as much, but I can tolerate it better. Honestly I think my son getting a bit older has helped tremendously...we have a lot more fun together as his mobility increases. 7 months and younger were hard for us.
The other things that I helped me be happier in the situation has been all about the self care Tofulish was talking about. I make sure I go to the gym 4-6x week and I don't take the kid (my husband has been instrumental in this, of course, and I have to be really flexible about when I go). I also read a ton now (e-books from the library) - often both the baby and my husband are sleeping during the day - I interpret that as quiet reading time for me. I also take as many baths as my spouse lets me :) My house is not spotless, but we always clean before it becomes too bad...some acceptance for that has also been helpful.
Some things still really suck - I feel isolated and I've got no family nearby that can babysit (being an introvert doesn't help). Something about Judah being about to turn 1 has really helped me understand the quick nature of this time and I think that has also helped. I can almost say I'm no longer a reluctant SAHP and that I will have fond memories of this time. I'm almost 37 and we are thinking about having another kid within the next 2-3 years - at least some days I can stomach the thought of doing it again!


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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about staying home with kids
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2015 7:19 pm 
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I was a SAHP for over 2 years cumulatively and it was a terrible fit for me-- basically everything MJ lists as concerns were problems for me. (That doesn't necessarily mean they will be problems for you though!)

What I wish I could have wrapped my head around then and what i'll say now is: just because you decide to SAHP now, you are not bound to it forever. If you try it and hate it and everything is terrible, you don't have to do it forever! Jobs will still be a thing when you are ready to come back, and while it may be a pain in the asparagus to get one/you may have hoop jumping to do when/if the time comes, it WILL be possible.

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about staying home with kids
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2015 10:51 am 
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Thanks, everyone. This is all really helpful.

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about staying home with kids
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2015 1:55 pm 
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ive been pondering this thread and even though im a SAHM im not sure im the best person to answer this because we came about being SAHP in different ways. ie when we decided to have a kid one of the stipulations was that i would quit my job because i hated my job and my salary literally would have just gone to daycare so why would i go to a job i hated just to pay for daycare? it didnt make sense for us plus it was important to us to have someone home with her rather than putting her in daycare.

so in that sense i cant help with the part about leaving a job that helps make you feel important and fulfilled because you like it because ive hated every job ive ever had.

also you're already a parent. you dont need parenting advice. everything i was thinking of seems more like stuff i would tell someone who is pregnant and going to be a SAHP rather than someone who has been parenting for awhile and is choosing to stay home after having been working.

one of the biggest issues i have as a SAHM is how clingy BP is to me. i call her a Barnacle for a reason. i feel like i can never get shiitake done or even breathe because she is literally on top of me AT ALL TIMES. so on the one hand i feel like maybe this wouldnt be a huge issue for you since Jonah has already experienced going to daycare the seperation thing has already happened so maybe he wouldnt be so stuck to you (but on the other hand i feel like you said somewhere he is very clingy when you're home)

also how old is he? i feel like he's somewhere in the 1 year to 18 months range? this was my FAVORITE age so far. BP was a late walker so 18 months was like the golden era for us before she became an awful 2 year old. she loved toddling around and doing like whatever. like she thought parking lots were great because she could toddle around them. i also think like someone said staying at home with an infant who has no concept of who you are other than life itself (ie food and comfort) and cant communicate and staying home with a little bit older of a kid (like a toddler) who is engaging in the world and starting to communicate is SO DIFFERENT. being at home with an infant is very lonely and alienating. at least with a toddler you can interact with another human and toddlers are hysterical

i think the biggest hurdle of being a SAHP is losing sense of self because you are basically devoting your entire day to your kid and also feeling resentful of the other parent who seems to have more freedom. i would just make sure your husband knows it's REALLY hard to be at home with a kid all day and you will definitely need a break when he gets home. sometimes i think my husband comes home and is like "phew long day at work im gonna sit down and put my feet up and space out on the internet for awhile" because that's what he wants to do and i get that because i worked full time my entire adulthood until i had BP but when he gets home im like AHHH TAKE THIS KID AWAY FROM ME. so that's hard.
on the occasion i get away for even just an hour or so i feel so much better afterwards. i work super part time for my husband's company and i go in the office once a week for like 3 hours and im like YAY NO ONE WANTS SOMETHING FROM ME AT ALL TIMES and i can sit here and do stuff and get it done!

we also have five pets, 2 of which are large dogs so there is literally always some living being on top of me wanting something. it drives me absolutely bat shiitake crazy bonkers.

so yeah being a SAHP is really really hard. sometimes i dont think we get a lot of credit for how hard it is but im also glad i did it. SAHP is not something i was dying to do and if i had a job i really liked i probably wouldnt have because i dont think it's the ideal situation for me but im really glad im doing it even though its hard because i really really REALLY think it was the right thing for our family. i think you can call me a reluctant SAHP in the sense i wasnt like "OMG I WANT TO HAVE BABIES AND STAY AT HOME WITH THEM ALL DAY!" that was my MIL for sure. there are definitely people who are dying for that. i was more like "well im not sure if this is going to kill me or not but i really feel it's the right thing for us"

a vague structure to your day helps. i personally would recommend against a hard core schedule or even telling yourself you're definitely going to do XYZ everyday to help keep your sanity because honestly it's not going to happen. sorry it's just not realistic. i wanted to shower daily because i always feel better after showering and more human but i go DAYS without showering because the monumental effort to make it happen is not worth my time.
our (good) days go something like this:

get up sometime before my husband leaves for work and he tries to get her going, get her dressed, change her diaper, start feeding her breakfast (sometimes this involves a lot of screaming and sometimes it flat out doest work)

after what seems like FOREVER to get her and i ready in the morning (see above part about how i never shower) we go do SOMETHING in the morning. a lot of times it's something boring but necessary like going to the grocery store, target, whole foods, etc. sometimes if i dont have to get something done we might go to the park or the library. sometimes we may have a dr appt or the EI person coming over or playgroup. i make sure we have SOMETHING in the morning. this morning we went to a little museum nearby

my husband works literally 5 miles away so typically around noon he comes home for lunch which is AWESOME because right now at age 2.5 me and BP are eternally locked in a constant battle of her vs me.

after my husband goes back to work around 1 i try and institute naptime. lately she is napping later so sometimes after he leaves she is still romping around playing or if shes REALLY not tired i try to make her go outside.

most of the afternoon is taken by naptime depending on when i get her asleep she typically will nap for a good 2 hours (though lately she keeps waking up after 1 hour....grrr)

then it takes FOREVER to get her going after naptime again so often it's wake up around 3:30, go out on the couch and nurse for who knows how long and then i try to get her to eat something so because of her eating issues this take FOREVER AND A DAY.

sometimes by the time that is all done it's past 5 and my husband is home from work. that's obviously not typical that it takes that long (i think?) but with her eating issues i have to feed her myself or she wont eat so it's a painfully slow process.

on the occasion she is actually up and ready to do something before it's dark we might go back outside and go for a walk around the neighborhood or go draw with chalk on our driveway (though winter is coming boooo)

having one parent at home is also good for the really boring crepe adults have to deal with like taking a car to get an oil changed, grocery shopping, or when the chimney dude has to come over and clean our chimney and woodstove, or the furnace needs to be serviced, etc.

the library has been a HUGE resource for us. we used to go to story time at 2 different libraries all the time when she was younger. we dont go often anymore because despite having no real job i seem to be constantly busy. but we still go to the library and get books and play with their toys and i get museum passes from them.

i dont know if any of that was helpful but i will say being a SAHP is totally a cliche because it's really hard but it's really rewarding and like people have said if you find out its really not for you you can reenter the work force and Jonah already has experience going to daycare so it wouldnt be that huge of a thing hopefully or maybe by the time you want to reenter the work force he might be school age.

good luck! i hope you find a balance of things that works for you!

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about staying home with kids
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2015 2:31 pm 
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Well, I've been a SAHM for 7 years -- I hadn't planned to do that at all, but I can't say I was reluctant about it -- I quit my job after my maternity leave ran out, which I didn't think I would do before I had Beet, but it felt like the right decision for us.

Anyway, I can deal with not having much money and I can deal with not having a social life outside of my kids, but my main pet peeve is not having -any- time to myself (Vax is going through a not-sleeping-alone phase, and my husband is a full-time student with a 4-hour commute). Like, I can't even take a shower without my husband because my toddler can't be left alone and ransacks the bathroom if I try to take him in there with me and he won't go in the shower with me. But you said you have good support network and resources, so you'll be okay there! :D If I had help in that department, I would have very few complaints!

I take everybody out 3x a week (exercise playgroup, museums, the Science Centre, the park, grocery shops, etc.), so I don't feel like we're stuck at home and isolated. And although I do have some days where I throw the schedule out the window, I usually have a plan/schedule for the day and follow it. (I find a schedule works better than just having a to-do list.)

LP nails how I feel here:
LisaPunk wrote:
and also feeling resentful of the other parent who seems to have more freedom. i would just make sure your husband knows it's REALLY hard to be at home with a kid all day and you will definitely need a break when he gets home. sometimes i think my husband comes home and is like "phew long day at work im gonna sit down and put my feet up and space out on the internet for awhile" because that's what he wants to do and i get that because i worked full time my entire adulthood until i had BP but when he gets home im like AHHH TAKE THIS KID AWAY FROM ME.


It's only a few years until he starts school, right? In the meantime, you guys are gonna be like this:
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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about staying home with kids
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2015 3:19 pm 
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LisaPunk wrote:
also how old is he? i feel like he's somewhere in the 1 year to 18 months range? this was my FAVORITE age so far. BP was a late walker so 18 months was like the golden era for us before she became an awful 2 year old. she loved toddling around and doing like whatever. like she thought parking lots were great because she could toddle around them.


Yeah, he's about 18 months. He's actually a really easygoing kid. He's not very clingy. Dad is his go-to person, and would actually be a better SAHP, but Matt makes 4x what I do (yay nonprofits!) Probably Jonah's most annoying habit currently is that he's really hungry but takes about 2 hours to finish a meal. And he's in the stage where he's trying to climb the furniture. But that's all normal kid stuff.

LisaPunk wrote:
i think the biggest hurdle of being a SAHP is losing sense of self because you are basically devoting your entire day to your kid and also feeling resentful of the other parent who seems to have more freedom. i would just make sure your husband knows it's REALLY hard to be at home with a kid all day and you will definitely need a break when he gets home. sometimes i think my husband comes home and is like "phew long day at work im gonna sit down and put my feet up and space out on the internet for awhile" because that's what he wants to do and i get that because i worked full time my entire adulthood until i had BP but when he gets home im like AHHH TAKE THIS KID AWAY FROM ME. so that's hard.


LisaPunk wrote:
having one parent at home is also good for the really boring crepe adults have to deal with like taking a car to get an oil changed, grocery shopping, or when the chimney dude has to come over and clean our chimney and woodstove, or the furnace needs to be serviced, etc.

All of this is a big part of the reason why I'm doing this. Matt is great at taking care of Jonah. However his back has been really bad lately, so he can't do any housework, besides things like paying bills. So laundry, cooking, cleaning, errands, cat care, etc. falls to me. And I've had some health issues myself lately, but haven't been able to get into doctors or take care of myself well enough. So hopefully these things will get better.

I'm very lucky in how much support I'll have. Matt is great at childcare and giving me time to get out of the house. I think we're going to keep Jonah in preschool a couple days a week so I can do volunteer work or freelance or have adult time.

I've realized this isn't just a SAHP thing, but also looking at how to shape my life apart from a job or school. I'd have a lot of these same questions to answer if I retired or started a business or anything else that wasn't a traditional job. Lots to think about.

Thanks again, everyone.

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about staying home with kids
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2015 3:49 pm 
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Good luck with your journey!

Ariann wrote:
Upside - less HFM?


I swear we have gotten every single gross thing you can get, even though I'm home with Leela. Pinkeye, pinworms, HFM, Fifth's, you name it, we've had it. Anywhere that kids hang out is rife with gross germs and diseases. We went to Imagine That last week and I freaked out at the hats that were shared in the costume closet, because they're basically lice waiting to happen. I might become a Stay In The Bubble Parent.

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about staying home with kids
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2015 5:06 pm 
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Tofulish wrote:
Good luck with your journey!

Ariann wrote:
Upside - less HFM?


I swear we have gotten every single gross thing you can get, even though I'm home with Leela. Pinkeye, pinworms, HFM, Fifth's, you name it, we've had it. Anywhere that kids hang out is rife with gross germs and diseases. We went to Imagine That last week and I freaked out at the hats that were shared in the costume closet, because they're basically lice waiting to happen. I might become a Stay In The Bubble Parent.

HAHA, no lie! We get a lot more ill when the kids' exercise playgroup is going on than during the summer when it's off. This is the longest we've made it without bad colds -- from late August until now -- it was only this week that Raygold and Vax got ill. Usually they get ill and I keep them home and then I take them back and they get ill and have to skip the next class, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about staying home with kids
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2015 10:59 pm 
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Tofulish wrote:
Ariann wrote:

If I were a SAHP I would be at the gym making use of their babysitting and working out EVERY DAY.


I wish! Leela isn't happy to be left and the times we have tried, she has called for me within 10 minutes. Jonah maybe more used to it after preschool though! And on the parenting boards I am on, so many parents are complaining because their kids won't tolerate gym daycare either, so I know it's not just Leela. But then people like Ariann do it and they offer care, so clearly some kiddos love it!


I think a lot of it is just getting them used to it. Today 10 minutes, tomorrow 15, etc. But much easier if you start early and have a laid back kid to begin with. And they're not all the same quality. Kids seem to really love ours and they have a big climbing structure inside which is pretty sweet.


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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about staying home with kids
PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2015 2:20 am 
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I think the idea to keep him in preschool part-time is good, they learn so much from being around other kids! I'm on maternity leave now, and the four-year-old is in preschool three days a week for five hours each day. It's great for both of us.

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about staying home with kids
PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2015 5:32 pm 
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I feel like this is actually an unpopular opinion, but I really love being a SAHM. I just worked at Whole Foods before having a baby and I didn't make nearly enough money to make paying for childcare worth it, and I wasn't worried about missing out on career opportunities or anything. So I just never went back to work after taking FMLA. At first I did feel reluctant and forced into being a SAHM, but I'm so glad now! Anyways, I totally understand that it's not right for everyone but I think it's a great gig. I'm lucky to have found a big group of friends and it did take some effort at the beginning, but now my life consists of mostly hanging out with my friends and all our kids doing fun stuff around town or at each others' houses. I never, ever want a job now! Sven does go to school two full days a week, and Edie will join him as soon as a spot is available, and I love that.

I also feel like it's a gift to your spouse to have a SAHP, and I'm glad yours is so supportive. Jason works long hours and travels a lot and I know it's a relief for him to be able to go out of town on short notice and know that everything will be taken care of. And I can take care of most of the housework during the week so we have our weekends free to do fun stuff as a family.

And honestly, Austin is such a great place to be a SAHP! There is so much to do all the time and a million other SAHPs (okay, moms) basically everywhere so chances are good you'll find your tribe. There are lots of Meetup groups, classes, etc. I run into the same parents everywhere. Austin is really a small place!


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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about staying home with kids
PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2015 5:47 pm 
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so many of my friends and cousins had babies at the same time i did and NONE OF THEM LIVE NEAR ME!!! AND THEY ALL WORK!!! BAAAHHHH!!! so frustrating.

i would definitely say if you can find a group of other parents it would make your days more fun. i always wish i didnt have crippling social anxiety so i could like meet people.

im with mandycoot i NEVER want to work again. this is totally unrealistic and technically i work part time now but as hard as being a SAHP is its pretty awesome not having to work.
now when i do go to work and some issue comes up i basically feel like "i cant express how little i care about this work problem" :-P

it changes your perspective on things a bit. i dont know if that is a good or a bad thing but ive noticed a definite shift in myself.

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about staying home with kids
PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2015 5:58 pm 
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Yay mandycoot! I'm so happy it's working out so well for you!

We have a great network of homeschooling parents and there is always so much fun stuff to do, and that definitely makes life a lot easier.

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about staying home with kids
PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2015 11:06 pm 
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I think a lot of people love being a SAHP. Pretty much everyone I've asked says they either loved it from the beginning or grew to love it. I asked for reluctant people partly because I've had a hard time finding anyone with that experience.

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about staying home with kids
PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 8:22 am 
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I definitely love being a stay-at-home-mom and wouldn't change it for the world. But I piped in my opinion because, while I wasn't reluctant, I had never, ever intended to do it until after I had Beety. After I had him, I didn't htink going back to work wold be a good fit for him and I, even though it meant less money.

(I am actually making a teeny tiny bit of money on the side now from slowly selling my junk off on ebay (I don't have a lot to sell, but enough to make a few bits and bobs) and from taking some mystery shopping jobs -- I can take my kids along to them and then the money covers our day out and sometimes a bit more. We got a free day-trip to the Isle of Bute for one of them.)

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about staying home with kids
PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 6:16 pm 
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mollyjade wrote:
I asked for reluctant people partly because I've had a hard time finding anyone with that experience.


I don't know if this helps, but I was the sole breadwinner in our family when we were trying to get pregnant and definitely didn't want to stop working, but we just couldn't get pregnant and were being told that it was in part because of my very high stress job. So I quit and we got pregnant and I thought I'd go right back after I managed to take the pregnancy to term, and then I thought okay, I can be home for a year and then it has extended from there, mostly because I feel like when you're a corporate lawyer, your job just eats your life - I used to work 60-80 hour weeks and miss weekends, holidays etc, and was always on call. Even when my mother was dying I was working remotely from the hospital, on a billion dollar deal, because I was the point person. A friend of mine worked remotely from the NICU with a preemie, because the markets never stop and you can't let a client down.

And it's still hard giving up a profession that I invested so many years in being good at. I spent such a lot of money and time to be a lawyer, and now it's weird not being a respected professional (and it sucks not making money). Some of my lawschool classmates run their own translation firms so they can be at home but still work, but I haven't found a perfect pathway back into law and being home. At the moment it just feels like I'm always so tired, so it's hard to think about doing anything else.

MJ wrote:
Losing my sense of self. Feeling resentful for giving up something I find stimulating. Falling into depression/anxiety from being in the house too much. Not having enough structure in my day. Losing the sense of purpose my job gives me.


I thought that would be more of an issue than it has been for me personally. I would definitely underscore that if you don't like it you can always find a way back, and in the interim, can you find ways to be part of your profession? Can you write articles or do other things to stay current? I still do continuing legal education courses - does your field have anything similar? That way you can feel like you're still keeping your skills fresh and your resume updated if you decide to go back to your field.

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about staying home with kids
PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2015 10:55 am 
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I should really make my husband type a response to your post instead of giving you my second-hand impressions, but....

My husband is a SAHD and I think he fits the reluctant category because he had no real choice in the matter. He quit his job to work for a start-up that didn't go anywhere, leaving me as the sole breadwinner at the time our son was born.

I think all the concerns you listed are really valid because I've seen my husband struggle with them. (In some ways, his "go-it-alone" man mentality has exacerbated the issues, so you may well avoid many of the issues we deal with). Things that have helped are having scheduled activities a few times a week to make sure everyone gets out of the house to socialize and scheduled adult time at least a few times a month. Something I wish he would do is schedule some time to exercise; it's apparently really easy to get caught up in the day and just never get around to it.

Even though he complains about it all the time, I think that my husband is happy for the opportunity to be home with our son. Every time that we talk about maybe putting my son in daycare so that my husband can go back to work, my husband chooses to remain home "a little longer."

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about staying home with kids
PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2015 11:30 am 
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I have mixed feelings about staying at home...

When I had my son I was 19, and not in the best place mentally. I was still at university, so I tried to carry on with my course, but I also had to take some time off... and then I did my masters, and now I'm a sahp again. So I've had experience of both. I do think it's nice to be at home with your child, because you get to spend more time with them and you can set your own pace for the day. I think it's good for kids to go to playgroups or nursery, or even just go to the park, so that they can learn how to socialise and interact with other kids. I have to admit though that I was incredibly depressed for the six months where I had to take time out from university and looking after my kid became my life. I'm having similar issues now, too, because although I know that child rearing is really hard and important work, it is definitely undervalued and sometimes I feel that all I live for is thankless domestic drudgery. I really have to make sure that I have things to focus on, things for myself, so that I don't just fall into a pit of depression and anxiety. I do think it depends on the person though - my goals in life involve more than being a parent, whereas some people seem to absolutely love being a sahp. I know a couple of people who homeschool their kids and basically spend all their time with their children - which although I'm sure is great for them, is absolutely not for me.


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