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Why I work

Posted by on Jul. 20, 2012 at 2:48 PM
  • 83 Replies
6 moms liked this

This is in response to the ludicrous post that was featured today (that eventually was deleted) that once again demonizes working mothers as selfish people.

First, I will state that I have NOTHING bad to say about SAHMs, if that is the choice you have made for you and your family and you are happy with it, great! Its none of my business and I am happy for you and have zero judgment. All of us have our own experiences that color our decisions for what we choose, and if it works for our families, that's all that matters!

So, back to the topic.  This is why I have chosen to be a working mother:

My mother was a SAHM and waitressed nights. She had no other skills other than waitressing. My father worked full-time and was the primary bread winner. My parents fought constantly and my father frequently would take off and disappear, leaving my mother and I high and dry. Her tip money was not enough to pay rent, bills and food. I have known the humiliation of being evicted and having to stay with friends, or family. I have known the humiliation of watching my mother beg for money, steal food and pawn anything we had of value. I have been hungry. I have been homeless. As soon as I was old enough to get a job, I was responsible for paying for anything I wanted and needed outside of food. So, I've been working since I was 14.

I have been on my own since I was 18. I worked multiple jobs and put myself through college. I knew that if I was going to secure my own future so that I would never have to struggle like I did as a child, I was going to have to make that happen for myself through a solid education and hard work. Not once did I think I would just find some rich guy to take care of me. I graduated college and I have been working steadily in my career since then.

When I got married, never once did it cross my mind "Hey, if we have a baby, I can stop working and he can take care of all of us!" My husband is nothing like my father, but I still would never put my fate, and the fate of my child, solely in the hands of my husband. I don't think that is fair to him to be forced to shoulder that kind of responsibility, I see my husband as my equal partner in everything, and that means we share the responsibility of our family's survival across the board.

I also didn't merely want to eek through life. Yes, it is possible for me to stay home and have my husband work to support us. But that would mean my DH would not have the time to spend with his son, and that is not fair to him, or our son at all. Nor is it good for our marriage that he be working and gone so much that we never have time to connect. Not to mention the stress and exhaustion he would feel.

If I didn't work, we could survive, but we couldn't thrive. There would be no traveling, no treats,  and I would constantly have to tell my child "No" to every request for a new toy, or to play sports, or go to summer camp with his friends, because we couldn't afford it. I grew up that way. The answer was always NO. I knew that and I stopped asking for anything at a VERY young age. My parents didn't even know when picture day was at school because I wouldn't tell them as I knew we were broke. Every fun activity that my school had from Secret Santa to Secret Valentines, etc, if it required money I did not participate. 9/10 times, I was the ONLY child in my class not participating and it was obvious. I was stigmatized as being poor and ostracized because of it. I never told my parents about any of it because I knew we didn't have the money and it would upset them. NO child should have to shoulder such adult responsibility so young. I didn't participate in anything unless I paid for it myself. I do NOT want that life for my son. My mother being home did NOT make up for all of the things I didn't get to have or do growing up, and the agony she went through having to always tell me no was NOT a positive experience to witness.

Me working has allowed me to retain my financial independence and help support our family. It enables my husband to spend more time with our son as he is not forced to work 2 jobs to support us. We are able to go on vacations and provide for our son all the things we never had. My husband and I respect each other and support each other's career goals and dreams, because we recognize that just because we became parents, it doesn't mean that our personal lives have stopped and its all about our child. This attitude will more than benefit our child because he won't have to learn the hard way that the world doesn't revolve around him.

I am very proud that I work, and I enjoy my career. I'm happy that I can share that with my son as he grows, so he can learn that women are just as capable as men, and that the reponsibility of supporting a family is not solely a man's role.

And no, my son is not in a day care. I don't have anything against those who use day cares, but my husband and I didn't want that. My son is watched in his own home. I am able to stay home with him one day per week, my husband has another day of the week, his grandmother watches him one day per week and we have an awesome nanny for the other two. Plus my husband works from home so there is always a parent around. I am VERY blessed to have this, and my son thrives because of it.

So, there you go, a working mother who is not a single mother who can stay home but chooses not to.

How about you?

by on Jul. 20, 2012 at 2:48 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Jinx-Troublex3
by Bronze Member on Jul. 20, 2012 at 2:54 PM
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Blah blah blah...you could have stopped at your second paragraph and had a lot more respect from me.

Yes, we all have our own experiences that help us decide our lifestyles.

However, saying you work so that your man isn't "taking care of you and you aren't dependant on him, is as good as saying SAHMs are lazy and spoiled.

My DH and I have a partnership. He provides the money and support and I take care of him, OUR house and educate our kids.

Maybe its different because I know I have marketable skills andcould find a job if needed that don't feel "dependant" on DH
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ambercates
by on Jul. 20, 2012 at 2:56 PM
I agree with you totally!! I'm working mom, but off in summer bc I'm a teacher!! We could survive with me not working but same as you would have no extra things if I didn't work!! My mom also keeps my youngest and my oldest stating school this year!! I enjoy working bc it gives me balance in my life!! I would get bored off my ass if I stayed at home all the time even with 2 small kids!!
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hopealways4019
by Bronze Member on Jul. 20, 2012 at 3:03 PM
3 moms liked this
I thought about this topic today, because I overheard, two men having a conversation, about some guy making a $100,000 , so his wife don't have to work. I asked myself if my husband made this much, would I work? The answer yes! I love my independent, my own money, I don't want a man giving me an allowance. I want to help him pay something.
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Owl_Feather
by Silver Member on Jul. 20, 2012 at 3:06 PM
I would love to be a sahm again. But since DH changed jobs I had no choice but to go back to work. Thankfully my hours are at night and only 5 hours. DH is home while I work which means no daycare. I'm on maternity leave which is killing ohr budget. I wish DH tried a little harder while I'm temporarily off work
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mamaslilpunkin
by Bronze Member on Jul. 20, 2012 at 3:09 PM

 I was a sahm for 5 1/2 years.And while it was great and its what I wanted at the time,I do love having a little part time job on the weekends.I don't make tons of $(dh has a full time job,works 50+hours a week)but I do like being out in the adult world,having different people to talk to,being part of a team.Its just fulfilling enough and doesn't take me away from home every day.My hubby stays home with dd on days I work and they love spending time together without mama around. :)

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smushy79
by on Jul. 20, 2012 at 3:12 PM
I work FT as does my dh. I can't say I love working, but I have to. I wish I worked PT instead of FT. I do like knowing that I am financially independent though.

Thanks for sharing =)
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Jinxed8
by Gold Member on Jul. 20, 2012 at 3:26 PM

I'm a working mom too ... I am so glad I chose to be a working mom because who knew, when I had my child that 5 years down the line I would be getting divorced !!!  I was able to turn around and buy my own house in the blink of an eye, move out and start again.  Before the family house was even on the market.  I work hard and I am responsible with my money.

Unlike you we were not financially bound growing up BUT I wanted to give my DD the same thing I had.  A comfortable, happy childhood with happy memories.

GMom2011
by Member on Jul. 20, 2012 at 3:38 PM
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I'm sorry that's what you inferred from my post. But that is not what I said, that is how you chose to perceive what I wrote. If I felt that SAHM's were lazy, I would say so. I didn't.

Like I said, we all have our own reasons for making the decisions we do. This is mine.

Quoting Jinx-Troublex3:

Blah blah blah...you could have stopped at your second paragraph and had a lot more respect from me.

Yes, we all have our own experiences that help us decide our lifestyles.

However, saying you work so that your man isn't "taking care of you and you aren't dependant on him, is as good as saying SAHMs are lazy and spoiled.

My DH and I have a partnership. He provides the money and support and I take care of him, OUR house and educate our kids.

Maybe its different because I know I have marketable skills andcould find a job if needed that don't feel "dependant" on DH


GMom2011
by Member on Jul. 20, 2012 at 3:48 PM

Furthermore, a good friend of mine stays home with her children. She is a teacher and when she moved to our city she learned that the money it would take to put both her kids in daycare would cost more than what she would bring in money wise, so it didn't make any sense. She is staying home until her youngest is in school full time. I have nothing but respect for her and I don't consider her lazy or spoiled at all.

She does share with me however, that she misses her financial independence and being out in the adult world doing something that brings her great pleasure. Using her brain and her degrees to teach other kids math, a very difficult subject for most. Yes, she LOVES her kids and she's happy to have this time with them, but she looks forward to going to back to work when she can. We talk about this a lot, and she knows why I choose to work, and respects that, she never once takes it as a personal insult.

In fact, she's always offering to help us out in a pinch when we need someone to watch our son, (grandma is sick, nanny's car broke down on the way here, one of us has to work the day we have off) and I always tell her that I appreciate her help, but I also don't want to take advantage of her because she's a SAHM, many people do that, and say things like, "Oh, you're at home all day doing nothing..." I don't assume that at all, and I don't want to make her feel taken advantage of. So, I have a lot of respect for SAHMS.

My post is in response to the one that was calling all working mothers who choose to work selfish. Which I think is disgusting. My mother was raised to believe it was the man's responsibility to care for his family and she did nothing to prepare for the possibility that that man may not fulfill that responsibility. Her children suffered for it and I refuse to ever allow that to happen. That is my choice.

Quoting GMom2011:

I'm sorry that's what you inferred from my post. But that is not what I said, that is how you chose to perceive what I wrote. If I felt that SAHM's were lazy, I would say so. I didn't.

Like I said, we all have our own reasons for making the decisions we do. This is mine.

Quoting Jinx-Troublex3:

Blah blah blah...you could have stopped at your second paragraph and had a lot more respect from me.

Yes, we all have our own experiences that help us decide our lifestyles.

However, saying you work so that your man isn't "taking care of you and you aren't dependant on him, is as good as saying SAHMs are lazy and spoiled.

My DH and I have a partnership. He provides the money and support and I take care of him, OUR house and educate our kids.

Maybe its different because I know I have marketable skills andcould find a job if needed that don't feel "dependant" on DH



VarelaClan
by Bronze Member on Jul. 20, 2012 at 3:54 PM
I am a SAHM because that's what we feel is right for our family. We also homeschool. I was a teacher before having kids, so I have something to fall back on, if need be. My husband makes really really good money, we don't need for me to work. We are able to go on many family trips every year and the kids have more than they need. For me to work, we feel would take away from the kids, just so we could have more. Every family situation is different. We have neighbors whom the child barely sees his mom because she works so much. She works 6 days a week. Dad feels like he's a single dad most days. He works 8-5 m-f and has the child evenings and weekends alone most of the time. It's sad, but they have to do it to pay the bills. Then we have friends like you who have days off during the week where they are with the kids. She works from home Mondays & Tuesdays, he has off wednesdays,they go to grandmas Thursdays, so only go to daycare on Fridays. It works well for them. We really need to quit fighting the SAHM vs working mom fight and look at each family individually.
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