To be or not to be (a SAHM)?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by DrivingPigeon, Aug 19, 2014.

  1. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    My husband and I are expecting our first baby in March, and I'm very concerned about working full-time while being a mommy. I've never thought of myself as someone who could be a SAHM. However, I just don't know if I could teach with a little one at home.

    School hasn't even started yet, and I feel like I could cry (pregnancy hormones? ;) ). Some of you may have seen my other post, but I've had so many parents email me this week that I'm going crazy. I'm meeting with five parents this Friday (I'm still on vacation until next Tuesday). I don't know how on earth I could do this with a baby. I don't have any family in the area, so finding a sitter so that I could meet with parents would be really tough.

    I'm worried about taking a break from teaching, though. I have a great job in a very competitive district. The field of education changes so quickly that I would worry about keeping up with the competition during my time off. And, honestly, teaching is pretty much my only hobby. That probably sounds pretty pathetic, but I love looking at blogs, looking on Pinterest, attending any PD opportunity I can, and reading professional texts. I pretty much think like a teacher 24/7. That may not seem healthy to some, but I love it. Plus, who would I be friends with? Right now my only friends in town are my school friends, and we mostly just talk about school. I don't know if we would stay friends if we didn't have school in common. My other friends are all out of town. Work is my social life.

    I know that there are thousands of teachers who are mommies, but I really don't know how they do it. I look at my ultrasound pictures and I just tear up thinking about letting someone else take care of my baby.

    I have a while before I have to make this decision (contracts are due each June), but I've been thinking a lot about it lately. Any insight from SAHMs would be greatly appreciated!
     
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  3. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    So I assume money isn't the issue. It's solely about whether you really want to do it or not. I would very strongly recommend that any woman who can stay home with her baby do so. You can never get those important first few years back. Kids grow up so incredibly fast & you'll wonder where the first 10 yrs went. Then, they'll be teenagers. Sure, many new mothers do it (go to work), but that doesn't mean you should too. I'm not a parent, but I'm speaking from the perspective of a person who's mother stayed home with her. I never had a babysitter in my life. I have such precious memories & loved that my mom spent all her time with me. My mom said she never had to wonder or worry about if or what the babysitter did to me when she wasn't there, etc. I won't get into that part, but I'd stay home with my new baby in a heartbeat. There would be no debating, serious thought, etc. for me. I'd love to do it! I'm not saying you won't get a little bored at times. That would be due to you still having to get used to staying at home since you said that work is like your social life. I'm sure once you get used to it, you'll have ways to amuse yourself.
     
  4. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    I would stay home if I could. My husband is currently staying home with our baby. We both wish we could switch places, but we can't afford for me to stay home. I would have at least liked to stay home a year.
     
  5. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    That's how my childhood was...My mom stayed home until my younger brother was in kindergarten, and then she worked part-time. I never had a baby-sitter.

    Money isn't really an issue. Of course it would be great to have 2 incomes, but we're pretty thrifty. My husband makes around $80,000, so I think we would be fine. My insurance is so much better, though.

    Also, I'm working on my masters in reading, and I would keep taking classes. That way I would have more options for job opportunities (perhaps part-time) when I wanted to return to work.
     
  6. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Sounds great DrivingPigeon! OK, then if your mom did that with you, then I'm sure you can see the importance of it. No one else on this earth can care for a baby better than it's own mother (not counting no-good mothers who don't give a darn).

    Yeah, my parents did it & my dad never made the kind of money your husband does. My parents managed financially. They've always been excellent w/ money too.

    I believe if you stay home, you'll be so glad you did!
     
  7. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I don't think I could be a SAHM. I need that time that I'm doing something that's for me. I think teaching is nice because it's a bit more flexible. For example, if BF and I had kids, he has the ability to work from home or put them in daycare where he works. He can leave for work later too. I get off at 3, so if we had a kid (or like our dog now when he goes to daycare), they're not out for very long without us. Then I get nice long breaks plus summer. It's different in other positions where you work 8-5, year-round.

    Ultimately I think you need to do what's better for your family! What does your DH think?
     
  8. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    Your post could have been me 23 years ago! My identity was very much wrapped up in my professional life. I felt like I was an excellent teacher at the top of my game, but my mom was a SAHM and I do believe in it. There wasn't good day care in my community and I had no relatives to help coupled with a long commute. So, I resigned, always thinking the local district would love to hire me. It didn't happen and when my son was 1, I found a fulfilling part time job that was education related (at a church). Hubby's work hours allowed him to watch babies while I worked. We accumulated debt.
    Your concerns are valid. It took me a while to be rehired. A long while. I jumped right into the classroom stuff, but had to work hard on jargon, trends, etc. this site was helpful. I do not regret being a full time mom personally. Professionally, it hurt. While subbing I had a principal ridicule me for ruining my career. The principal who finally hired me respected the choice even though she hadn't done it herself. I see women around me being working moms and doing it well. My P helps. She gave 1 a couple hours to take a child to her first day of kindergarten. These super moms use personal days to go on field trips. The dads are very involved. You have a long time to think. Congrats on your pregnancy.
     
  9. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Pigeon...do what's best for yor family. I was home for 9 years with my kids:love:

    I do think its so important to honor and respect the choices people make for themselves and their families. A lot of moms go back to work for personal reasons outside of making a paycheck. And those who do go back for financial reasons are doing what they need to do to provide for their family. A fulfilled and happy mommy is going to benefit her child whether that means staying at home or working.:2cents:

    Congrats on your pregnancy and good wishes to you!
     
  10. geoteacher

    geoteacher Habitué

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    You do have some time before you have to make this decision, and in the end you have to do what feels right for you. It is possible to stay home with your children and then get back into the teaching profession. The key is keeping yourself current on education topics. Being involved in the school system in other ways also doesn't hurt. I stayed home to raise my children for 10 years after my youngest was born, and it is time that I definitely don't regret! I was the one who was there for all those 'firsts' for my children. I subbed after my youngest was a first grader because I did not want to teach full-time until she was our of elementary school. When I decided to go back, I was hired for the second position I interviewed for. It can be done.
     
  11. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    This - absolutely and completely.

    Staying home for 8 years was THE BEST DECISION I HAVE MADE IN MY ENTIRE LIFE but it did have long-term financial complications.

    One of the issues I have is that women don't seem to support each other's choices (and sometimes it isn't a choice) of whether to SAH or not. If we don't respect each other's choices, why should men?

    Personally, I think being a mom is the most important role we have - nothing is even close.
     
  12. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    I just wanted to add that I teach 2 groups of children. Preschoolers who have stay at home parents in the morning, and daycare in the afternoon. There is a huge difference between the two. Be very careful with your choice of daycare.
     
  13. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    I absolutely believe you must do what is right for you, and also believe that you will make new friends who have similar interests once the baby is here - trust me on that. Maybe you won't stay home forever, maybe it will be for a year or two, but whatever it is, it will work for you. Can you take a sabbatical, off for an entire year, just to see if you feel the same after the pregnancy hormones quit raging? There will be days that are heaven, and days where you will long for adult company and problems, but that is life. Staying home NOW doesn't have to mean forever, so this doesn't have to be an all or nothing response. If you consider that there are infinite variations between going right back and never going back, it doesn't feel like the same "jumping off the cliff into the unknown" kind of decision. For what it is worth, some women will be jealous that you have made a choice that they may not have been able to make, or were not eager to make, so take their comments with a grain of salt and don't internalize them. Personally, once my son was in school, I started looking for things to do, leading to teaching, which wasn't my first profession. Lots of variation in any situation. Good luck with the new baby.
     
  14. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    :agreed: 100%!!!
     
  15. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    This was exactly the way I felt when we had our children. I knew I couldn't trust their care to anyone but us. I worked and taught, but at home, church schools, etc where I could bring my children with
    me. I worked nights, did crafts at home to sell...whatever it took to keep me at home as long as possible.

    Another alternative if you want to keep your foot in the door is job sharing. I know many young mothers who work half time so they can be home as much as possible.
     
  16. LMichele

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    With your concerns about being rehired, will your district hold your position for you?

    In many districts by me, teachers are allowed to take anywhere from a year to two years off (unpaid, of course) and come back at the end of that time to their former position and position on the seniority list. I used to work with many teachers who would take the 2 years off and then have another child within that time, thus giving them an additional 2 years off. A friend of mine was a LTS for a woman who had 4 children all within 2 years of each other so her 2 years get accumulating to the point where she was out for 8 years and came back to her old position without losing any seniority.
     
  17. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    We can't really give you an answer. So much depends on your family and your district.

    One thing that people often don't think about with today's changed society is that in some communities finding other SAHMs is very difficult. You will need a support system if you are a SAHM. I don't know if you have family around to help out at all or if you have a community that has a lot of SAHMs. Isolation can be a big problem in a community where everyone is working and you don't have family around. It can be a problem for both you and your child.
     
  18. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    That just doesn't seem fair to me...:dunno:
     
  19. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Yeah, I really could care less what other people do. I know people that have stayed home with their kids, and I know people who have had their kids in daycare since they were 6 weeks old. I see positives and drawbacks to both choices.
     
  20. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Also, I know the decision is ultimately mine, and I'm not looking for anyone to tell me what I should do. I just like hearing personal stories, and seeing if anyone has has regrets either way. :)
     
  21. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    DP~I was pregnant during the time in my program where I had to have x amount of observation hours in the classroom and be there twice a week for so many weeks. That, and I couldn't afford to stay home during this time. Luckily I worked at the daycare where my daughter went after she was released by the doc. For the first 5 weeks, she was kept in the hospital and then for 4 weeks after that she was kept by a friend's mother who I trusted like my own. So she was 9 weeks when she went to daycare. I was able to go see her before I had to officially start working with my own kiddos at the daycare. There has only been a brief time where I was a SAHM and during that time she went part time to a church pre-k. She is now a very independent 10 yr old. Do I wish I could have spent more time with her as a baby? Yes, I do, but I didn't have a choice.
     
  22. Tutor

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    I was a SAHM. I couldn't imagine leaving my infant with anyone and he was a tough baby. I was always so exhausted and I could nap when he did. That baby is now 18 and going to college. I do have two more (16 and 12). I don't regret staying home one minute. Those years were precious and yes there were days I thought it would never end but I would go back to them in a heartbeat. The years went by so fast! I now teach part time in a Catholic school. I started the year my youngest went to K. I love the flexibility of my hours and I can still be there for my kids when I need to.

    Good luck with your decision and be very greatful that you have a choice. :)
     
  23. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Although I would love the chance to stay at home with my wee one, it's not financially possible for our family at this time.

    After a lot of searching, we found a lady to watch the babe. She has two kids of her own, one of whom is in school, and that's it. I know that my baby gets tons and tons of attention all day long, lots of hugs and kisses, and the chance to play with new people, including a little one closer to her own age. When we pick up our kid, she is happy and content--not to mention more than a little tired! She has slept better at night ever since she started going over to the sitter's house, and I think it's because she gets a lot of mental stimulation from new and exciting people.

    I have been pleasantly surprised at what I've seen in my baby since she has started spending the day with her new friends. Although it wasn't my first choice to have to send my wee one to a sitter, I do think that it was a good choice, and I think that my baby is thriving because of it. The right sitter can provide experiences for your baby that you might not be able to provide yourself (like getting to know new people and playing with other children if you don't have any other children in the home).
     
  24. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    I like the idea of a sitter more than an actual daycare if I had a child and would have to go back to work. There's no way I could stay home on one salary (unless my husband made 120k or so a year). I think if you start researching options now you'll be able to make a good decision when the time comes.
     
  25. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    I like the idea of a sitter, too. Most of the teachers at my school have a sitter, so I may be able to get some good recommendations if I go that route.
     
  26. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    My neighbor who used to live across the street from me would have been a great sitter but she moved. There's a site called Care.com where you can find sitters with references I believe.
     
  27. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Thanks!

    I was sitting in a meeting today at school, and part of me was thinking, "I'm so overwhelmed and school hasn't even started yet!" and then I would think, "I'm so excited for school to start. I love my job!"

    I think that once the baby is here and I've been staying home, I'll have a better idea of what I want.
     
  28. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    I am a SAHM but not by choice. My doctor told me that if we had kids I would not be able to work and I agreed.

    I will be honest, I don't love it. I adore my girls but it is very lonely. The lack of schedule is very hard for me and I have not clicked with other SAHM's. In the beginning it is especially hard because there aren't a lot of classes you can take with really young babies.

    We have a part time nanny who I trust completely, even more than I trust myself. I had no problem leaving the girls with her. I would have more trouble leaving them at a daycare I think.

    I would do what is best for you, and not make any decisions right now. Your baby will be fine either way. If you decide to stay home, you can have parenting be your hobby. There are tons of blogs and Pinterest posts on raising kids.

    I was raised by a SAHM and my two best friends were not. I think we all turned out great and have great relationships with our parents so either decision is a good one
     
  29. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Check your local adult school or community college. Both may offer parent participation preschool. We offer classes from infants on up. It is a great way to meet people. Some areas have MOPS or moms groups or coops, as well.
     
  30. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

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    Since you have the opportunity, I would suggest you stay at home.

    The bb's young years only happen once, then they are gone. Work will always be there when you get ready.

    Also, you can always explore new hobbies, join groups, make new friends etc. As a SAHM you don't have to isolate yourself. It's all about finding new interests and keeping yourself busy. Teaching will always be there.

    Congrats on your blessing! :hugs:
     
  31. K1teach

    K1teach Companion

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    I totally agree!
    This is a choice you truly have to make for yourself. There are lots of factors to take into consideration, and you might not know right now. Our boys stay with their great grandma and I know they are in wonderful hands. They get to play with cousins and are learning while they are there. I love my boys, but I am not stay at home mom material. We have fun all summer, but I don't think I could do it all day everyday. It just isn't me. Even if we could swing it financially, I don't think I could do it. My boys deserve the best me and me home all day isn't it. While I miss them all day and they are often on my mind while I am at work, the challenge, schedule, and fulfillment while I am at work helps me to be a better mommy when I am home with my boys.
     
  32. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Take all the maternity leave you are allowed and your choice will become clearer to you.

    I stayed home until my daughter was in 6th grade and I've never regretted a second of it. Work is always out there, but a child grows up and your investment is forever.

    You will make new friends through the activities you do with your child. It's awesome! We were tight on money with me not working, but today I have a well-adjusted, happy, productive 24 year old who has decided to be a SAHM with her little one. I don't miss the new clothes, furniture, vacations that I didn't have because of being home with her
     
  33. geoteacher

    geoteacher Habitué

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    I couldn't have said it better! I also stayed home until my daughter began 6th grade. I do think that the key to being a happy SAHM is those activities that allow you to make connections within your community. Moms I know who weren't happy staying at home did just that - stay home.
     
  34. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    If you decide to go back to work and since your husband's income can support your family, I suggest you set aside a good chunk of your earnings for future family wants more than needs. Such as braces, vacations, boat, weekend adventures, deck pool, professional family photo shoots, etc. A good friend did this and she feels it made working more than worth it.
     
  35. tiki7719

    tiki7719 Companion

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    Also check out sittercity.com if you are thinking this route.
     
  36. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Accept hand me downs....some lady my mom worked with gave us her clothes....LOVED it.... we always gave them a gift card around the holidays even though they didn't expect it!!! My sis's husband worked with someone who had twins so they would hand one set down to them!!!! All my sis & my old baby clothes are now going to another fam member!!!!
     
  37. ecteach

    ecteach Devotee

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    I say no. Keep your job. The best case scenario would be to find a half time position.
     
  38. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    I went back to work at 5 weeks, yes 5 weeks because I couldn't handle being home with just a baby. Thinking back, I don't remember having a dr. note to return to work, I also think I had postpartum depression.

    At that time I was working as a daycare director, so my daughter went with me to work, unless dh was home. Until I started teaching one or the other of my kids was always with me. Depending on the center/age of my child both were not with me.

    I did enjoy staying home with my son, but my dd was almost 4yrs. old at the time.

    For me, financially staying at home was not an option. Even if it was I still need the stimulation of working.

    If Mommy's not happy, no one's happy! BTW, still applies today & I just sent ds to college.
     

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