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SAHM/Part Time Working Mom Conundrum


Forum: January 2013 Playroom

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  #1  
March 21st, 2013, 12:33 PM
MammaWannaBe's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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So, I'm sort of a SAHM, sort of apart of the greater working world. I work as a contractor for a company I used to work for full time as a social media specialist. I'm lucky that they agreed to take me on as a contractor, which allows me to work from home and do what I love.

I'm finding more and more that I really love having the outlet. I truly love what I do and I'm good at what I do. Granted it can be INSANELY difficult to get work done because it all depends on how the baby is doing that day. Somehow I am able to make it work though and since my job is web based, I can work anywhere, anytime, and my clients are very understanding of my work set up.

Today I actually went into the office for a meeting and I spoke with someone who said they were taking on more clients similar to the ones I work on now and I came up in a recent meeting saying they needed more people like me for social media and then sort of asked if I was able to take on more clients. I was surprised to hear all of this so I sort of stammered that I'm pretty maxed out on capability at the moment since I only get help one day a week for a few hours by my MIL and I would have to hire a sitter to do more and that would require a definite raise because I don't really make enough money to make having a sitter make sense. Later on in the am my boss came up to me and told me that he wanted to bring me out of town with him for a day (it's not far) for a meeting they are trying to close on because he needs my energy and insight on social media.

And my first thought was "wow this is awesome!" It felt SO good to be needed and wanted. I just felt important I guess. But then I instantly felt guilty because all I wanted to do was be a SAHM and I'm lucky that I got what I wanted. And now I am considering the possibility of going out of town for an entire day/possible evening and taking on more clients and therefore hiring sitting the one thing I didn't want to do?

I know what I do at home is important. It's just hard to remember that helping my child with tummy time is as important as closing a really big deal with a new client and sometimes. It really is true what they say, being a SAHM can be a thankless job. You do get paid in those moments of peace, or a stream of giggles from your baby and smiles, I LIVE for those moments because to me, it is like earning money or working on a successful project. I'm just having a total identity crisis. I don't always get the feeling of self worth from staying home as I do from working. As the same token, I don't want to leave my child and I do miss her when I have to go into the office for meetings, but I also live for those moments where I get to be an adult and talk with adults and have a conversation uninterrupted.

I just feel like I'm at such a crossroads. At some point I need to decide what to do. I either am going to have to say no to taking on more work and deal with the fact someone else will get it, which I am so bad at. I want to be the best and I am TERRIBLE at saying no. It can be a real downfall for me at times because I take on more than I can chew and get really stressed out. I also don't know how I feel about sitting. I REALLY wanted to do it all and take care of my child, I think I thought I would embrace the stay at home mom thing easier and really see the value in what I am doing home with her everyday, but sometimes I don't feel it. I'm also loving my job in a way I didn't love it before, even while pregnant. I'm not sure what changed, maybe I just appreciate having the outlet moreso than I used to, but I really do love what I do. I just don't know if I can take it a level up without feeling terribly guilty. All I ever wanted to be was a SAHM and now I'm considering being much more of a part/full time worker. It doesn't feel right. Idk I'm just really confused

Thanks for listening to my ramble. Any thoughts, discussions, anything would be awesome!
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  #2  
March 21st, 2013, 12:55 PM
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I am in sorta the same boat as you... But hate typing on my phone! If I ever get back to a computer I will respond more. But, in general, we all have those things that drive us. For some its enough to be a SAHM and for others it's going back to work full time. For people like you and I, its this odd mix of somewhere in the middle.

End of the day, don't feel guilty for feeling what you feel. Period. More later from a keyboard larger than a pack of gum.
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  #3  
March 21st, 2013, 01:12 PM
mal91011's Avatar Mommy to Maxwell
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There is NOTHING in the world i love more than being Max's mom. That being said, i've enjoyed being back in the office these two days this week. It feels so good to use my brain and have adult interaction and to know that nobody can do my job like i can.

I'm not made to be a stay at home mom. But for the sake of my mental health i cannot be away from my Max 40 hours a week right now. Once our big fundraising event is over mid April i'll be figuring out how many hours a week i'll be working in the office. And as far as the sitter issue goes for you - my dilemma had been how much i make an hour vs how much i pay an hour for daycare. But now i'm factoring in my mental health as a factor for working part time and money is no longer in the equation. So if for your mental health you need to get out of the house a day a week to work you should definitely do it.

I guess what i'm trying to say is that there is such a fine line for us working mommies and i think it will take time to see what works and what doesn't. Maybe try taking on more work and if it doesn't work out, it doesn't work out!

I just reread this and it seems like a lot of blabbering. Being a working mommy is REALLY tough when you only got 3.5 hours of sleep! Hope you can get the points i'm trying to make out of this!
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  #4  
March 21st, 2013, 06:08 PM
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ok, got to a computer for a minute

I am a consultant as well. I have my own business, and work from home. I was uber busy a couple years ago, and then when I went back to school, I toned down my consulting work. Then when I got pregnant, I didn't actively seek out clients, so I've pretty much not been working, my choice. Right before Bax was born, a great opportunity came up that would combine my animal behavior schooling and my consulting work, and I've been working with my professor/founder of my school to work out a schedule. He is very flexible as to when I work and the hours I work each week. Basically, they are clueless, and they are looking to me for direction. And that's where I struggle.

I LOVE being a SAHM. I would rather not work at all. EXCEPT, this particular job is doing something I love, and would combine my expertise, and my love of animals, all in one. I just need to figure out how to balance it.

I agree with Megan...it will take time to see what works and what doesn't. I can very well see myself doing all my work at 4am or something. I don't want a single second away from my son, and yet, I think that doing this job will enrich my life in many ways. Totally a fine line.

No guilt, just good.
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  #5  
March 21st, 2013, 06:23 PM
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I'm guessing we've all already seen/heard about this article?http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/...it-all/309020/
I want to work and get my master's degree. But I love love love being with my baby. I am going to pursue my career, but slowly. I don't think that I will ever be a top earner, but I would like more education and the opportunity to provide a little more for my family. I think that as working moms we each decide for ourselves where our line is. For me, I don't want to become attached to my job in such a way that I couldn't walk away from it if I needed to. It kinda sucks thinking about what I could be giving up, but when I think of what I've gained, it looks a lot different. Still a hard call though.
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  #6  
March 21st, 2013, 06:42 PM
MammaWannaBe's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by razzlebaby27 View Post
I'm guessing we've all already seen/heard about this article?Why Women Still Can
I want to work and get my master's degree. But I love love love being with my baby. I am going to pursue my career, but slowly. I don't think that I will ever be a top earner, but I would like more education and the opportunity to provide a little more for my family. I think that as working moms we each decide for ourselves where our line is. For me, I don't want to become attached to my job in such a way that I couldn't walk away from it if I needed to. It kinda sucks thinking about what I could be giving up, but when I think of what I've gained, it looks a lot different. Still a hard call though.
I knew what the article was before even reading it and yes I totally have read it multiple times. I sadly think it is very true. I think there is a glass ceiling and it's sad. For example, I basically couldn't take a maternity leave and I went back to working days after the baby was born. Granted we are only talking a half hour a day, but working nonetheless. And no one told me no. No one said we'll figure it out you take care of you. I think it was viewed as something to be proud of, which sort of makes me sad. I don't think we live in a society that cherishes mothers raising their children and yet when women do work they get critiqued for being absentee parents. It's a lose lose. My mom worked full time when I was growing up and she told me that every day it was "who am I going to let down today?" Because some days it meant missing something during the school day because of work or letting her boss down because she had to stay home with a sick child.

I think that's what I really need to keep in mind, that I'm gaining a lot and I am doing a very important job being home with my baby. Sometimes it does feel like I'm throwing away what could have been or wasting potential, but then I think, is a job really more important than my baby? What am I wasting by using all that I learned to raise an amazing daughter? Certainly my college degree and life experience can be applied to mothering somehow!

That's an interesting idea Meg of really weighing in the mental health. If working a little more every week is what helps me feel good about myself and gives me an outlet, than even if I am only making $4 dollars and hour after a sitter and taxes, is it still worth it? That's what I would have to figure out and I think it would be. Also, I'm really getting ahead of myself because these new clients probably wouldn't start up till this summer and by then who knows? Vivi will be older, I might be more comfortable leaving her with someone and it might be easier for me to get work done when she is taking more predictable naps. My MIL is ongoing with helping out once a week so I could even just add someone two additional mornings a week or one full day and work 2 days a week for sure and than the other 3 just work when I can.

I think I need to remember that nothing is permanent and nothing is forever. If I take on other accounts and it doesn't work, I just have to admit I took on too much and hand it over to someone else. Relinquish some control! I need to get comfortable with the fact that this will be an ever changing process as she ages. She will have different needs and I will have to plan my work accordingly. I just really don't want to reach that situation where she wants to play and I have to continually say, "Mommy needs to just send an email...Mommy needs to work...leave Mommy be for a while." I know it will happen, but I do want her to feel like when I am home with her I am really present and there for her if that makes any sense.

Ah sorry for the novel! I love and appreciate all that you ladies shared! Lots of good food for thought and always so good to know I'm not alone.
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  #7  
March 21st, 2013, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MammaWannaBe View Post
I just really don't want to reach that situation where she wants to play and I have to continually say, "Mommy needs to just send an email...Mommy needs to work...leave Mommy be for a while." I know it will happen, but I do want her to feel like when I am home with her I am really present and there for her if that makes any sense.
Ahhh! I feel like I do that sometimes already, but with other things. You know, when you are about to take the first bite and they want to be fed NOW. Or held. Or sang to. Or whatever. It's like, pleeeeease, just. wait. one. moment. But they don't. And the situation will change as they age, but I think that we're in for a life of trying to figure out the balance between putting their needs first and making sure they are cared for, but not letting them become little divas.
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  #8  
March 21st, 2013, 09:46 PM
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I was pregnant with my DD when I was in nursing school. I struggled very hard to get through the program with a young child. I did it for both of us so we could have a good life and got off pubic assistance. Fast forward to now I have three children and really wish I could be a SAHM, but also I worked hard for this career and don't want to give it up.

My first day back to work is Saturday and I know I'll be an emotional wreck for a couple days, but it will be good for me to get out of the house. I'm getting my depression/anxiety under control so things oughta go a little more smoothly. I'm grateful I had the 12 weeks off to get myself back on track.

I've had comments from people like if they had three kids they'd be a SAHM and how it is not fair to the kids for me to be working. Well, my husband and I work opposite shifts. My kids are not placed with a babysitter and are taken care of by either my mom or my MIL for an hour and a half at most three times a week while I work. I only work 32 hours a week and I think once I'm on my husband's insurance I will just drop down to 24 hours a week. My kids are well taken care of although I am kind of nervous about once my DD starts school because 3-11 shift wouldn't allow me to be there for her some nights. Plus healthcare stinks how I have to work every other weekend along with holidays.

But this job has allowed my family to have a comfortable life and for that I am grateful.
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  #9  
March 22nd, 2013, 06:47 PM
MammaWannaBe's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I think it sucks that people judge mothers for wanting to work although when I didn't have kids, I sort of was bewildered by mother's who, if they had the choice and didn't need the money, why they chose to work when they had kids. But now that I am a parent I completely get it. Somethings money can't buy like adult conversation, the pride and self-worth that some people get out of working. In some cases it makes someone a better parent. I've definitely learned my lesson; judge not.

It's hard to know what to do. Some days it seems like it's all too much and other days I am so thankful that I have something else to do to get me through the day and that makes me feel guilty because it's not like Vivienne isn't enough. She is my world and I think some of it might be that this age has it's own challenges. We play a bit, but for the most part it's feeding and sleeping and I find myself mindlessly watching TV or browsing the Internet. I feel like a lazy bones. Maybe once she is older and requires more attention from me and we are out and about, I can ease off the work and into full time motherhood. But do I want to?

Ah! I'm clearly going in circles. I think for now I am going to try and not future focus and just enjoy this time with my little baby girl and the fact that I have something else on the side that I not only enjoy, but makes me money.
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  #10  
March 23rd, 2013, 10:15 AM
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I think I would love a 10 hour a week job where I could get some adult time! But for me the $20 an hour child are charge would most likely only leave me a few bucks ( not including taxes). I ended up after having my daughter going back to nannying. I was a nanny in San Francisco while in college and it is a very lucrative job. I liked that I made extra money and had my child with me everyday. It was a great deal! Recently my old boss asked me to come back 1 day a week, and I'm thinking I don't want ti nanny anymore. My dh has had a large raise sine then, and dragging two kids plus an addition 2 to and from school and swim class seems daunting. Plus it would still not give me adult time which I crave. I really want to do something where I put my college degree to use.....hmmm, decisions decisions....
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  #11  
March 24th, 2013, 12:38 PM
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I assumed I would go back to work, it was a no brainer for me. I didn't expect my kid to be so awesome, and I've gone through a period of seriously considering chucking it for a time and getting a few more babies and raising a brood.

I've been working from home while he naps and putting in a few billable hours here and there (no formal maternity leave in "consulting"), but once we have our child care situation sorted out it will be nice to focus on work at work, and focus on home at home.

I'm not worried about leaving my child in someone else's hands a few hours a week, as long as I believe those hands are capable. The first time my baby smiled it was SO COOL. But it was also cool the 5th time and the 8th time and every time after that. And I hope he'll learn things in his day care/nanny situation that I can't teach him by being home alone with me. In general, I see child care as a potentially positive part of his life, but we are also in the fortunate situation of choosing from several very good options, and not everyone has that.

Also, returning to work is part of the way that I want to mother him. I want him to see me striving for goals outside of our family, I want him to see his father and me try to organize life around work and family schedules, I want him to understand that he is part of a family juggling many things in an effort to achieve balance. So work for me isn't just about adult interaction and personal achievement, though it is about those things, too, but it's also about how I want to parent.

I hope it takes, because I love my job, but I know that I would give it up and eat PB&J for years if he needed me to stay at home with him.
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  #12  
March 24th, 2013, 01:27 PM
MammaWannaBe's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Originally Posted by d_tops View Post
I assumed I would go back to work, it was a no brainer for me. I didn't expect my kid to be so awesome, and I've gone through a period of seriously considering chucking it for a time and getting a few more babies and raising a brood.

I've been working from home while he naps and putting in a few billable hours here and there (no formal maternity leave in "consulting"), but once we have our child care situation sorted out it will be nice to focus on work at work, and focus on home at home.

I'm not worried about leaving my child in someone else's hands a few hours a week, as long as I believe those hands are capable. The first time my baby smiled it was SO COOL. But it was also cool the 5th time and the 8th time and every time after that. And I hope he'll learn things in his day care/nanny situation that I can't teach him by being home alone with me. In general, I see child care as a potentially positive part of his life, but we are also in the fortunate situation of choosing from several very good options, and not everyone has that.

Also, returning to work is part of the way that I want to mother him. I want him to see me striving for goals outside of our family, I want him to see his father and me try to organize life around work and family schedules, I want him to understand that he is part of a family juggling many things in an effort to achieve balance. So work for me isn't just about adult interaction and personal achievement, though it is about those things, too, but it's also about how I want to parent.

I hope it takes, because I love my job, but I know that I would give it up and eat PB&J for years if he needed me to stay at home with him.
That's really good food for thought. I too want Vivi to eventually go to some sort of pre-kinder situation or something so she can hang out with other children. I also think it is important for kids to learn that they are apart of the family unit. They are important, but the world doesn't revolve around them if that makes any sense. I want her to feel loved, but to know that we work as a family unit because we love and help out one another. I want her to know that I'm a good mommy when I get mommy-time and maybe some of that mommy time is work.
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  #13  
March 24th, 2013, 02:38 PM
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I always thought I would be ready to go back to work because I love my job and I went to school a long time to become an attorney; however, after having a baby, she enriches my life so much that the thought of going back to work makes me sad. I love being home and experiencing everything with Ember. I don't want my degree to go to "waste" and I would love to challenge my brain, but being a mommy is another fun challenge. I am going back to work and its going to be hard, but in the end I know it's for the best for me and Ember. She will be exposed to other children (I don't know many people with small kids yet) and other people and she will get interaction with new people, which is important to me. Plus ill be able to meet more moms with kids her own age.

Money is one reason I am going back to work, but I also think putting Ember in school now will be good for for social interaction with other people than just me. It's such a personal choice with going back work or beig a SAHM and whatever you decide will be the best decision for you. There is no wrong choice, unless the choice makes you unhappy then you should consider re-evaluating your decision.
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