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How did you come to be a SAHP?

  • poll: I'm a SAHP because....
    1 : (46 votes)
    37 %
    2 : (24 votes)
    19 %
    3 : (4 votes)
    3 %
    4 : (27 votes)
    22 %
    5 : (23 votes)
    19 %
  1. jedeve

    pomegranate / 3643 posts


    My work environment got really bad and I would have mostly been working to pay daycare. So I quit. Then I was offered a raise to stay, so I worked from home for three months for ten hours a week. But I still quit. Now I realize that it will be near impossible to find a job that pays more, unless I work full time. But I don't want to work more than 3 days a week.

    Sometimes I regret quitting, but I was pretty miserable. And there were other mitigating factors. Lo1 has lots of allergies, and lo2 was premature and needs physical therapy.

    It does piss me off when people tell me I'm so lucky that I can stay at home. We were very fortunate in that DH for another job a a month before I was done working which evened out the difference, so we didn't have to cut back as much as we thought we would. And I am grateful for that. But the circumstances leading to my decision aren't what I would call "lucky!"

  2. regberadaisy

    GOLD / wonderful pomegranate / 28905 posts

    @Mae: I'm in a very similar situation. I was never one of those that thought I would want to SAH. And not that I necessarily 100% want to right now. But I've been laid off twice and it's left me very jaded about my job stability.
    With two now there really is a certain amount I have to make + benefits to make it worth me to work. And I know I need to think about long term job placement blah blah blah. But I don't really care about that right now!

  3. photojane

    cantaloupe / 6164 posts

    1! My mom was a SAH, and I loved it, so it became my goal to do the same. I never had huge career aspirations--I always wanted to be a SAHM. I chose teaching because I like kids, and it's the most flexible career for child-rearing. Thankfully I'm able to use some of that college education with my own kids, so it's not all money wasted! We make a lot of sacrifices in order for me to SAH, but we wouldn't change a thing.

  4. Mrs.KMM

    grapefruit / 4355 posts

    I've always wanted to be a SAHM and we were able to make it work. Even if that hadn't been the case, I barely make more than the cost of daycare and gas so working wouldn't have made a lot of financial sense anyway.

  5. daniellemybelle

    cantaloupe / 6669 posts

    #5. I hope I can eventually. I am lucky that I don't have to work full-time though and my work is flexible and rewarding.

    It is really unkind & unfair to say that it is ALWAYS a choice. In our case, it is somewhat, although if I chose to stay home right now we would choose a life of hardship. But there are cases where it is not a choice. Single parents, or one parent is sick or disabled, or Dad has a blue collar job without health care benefits. Hellobee is populated with mostly privileged middle and upper class families, but we are actually the minority in the world.

  6. Blueberry

    apricot / 342 posts

    I initially went back to work when DS was 13 weeks old. I missed him terribly and decided to stay home when he was 9 months. He is 21 months now and baby #2 will be here in a couple of weeks. I definitely miss working sometimes and I do plan on going back but not until LO#2 is in preschool.

  7. Skadi

    apricot / 456 posts

    @daniellemybelle: Financial hardship almost always accompanies one parent foregoing their career. It's perfectly valid to say, "That's a level of hardship that I'm not willing to subject myself to." However, it's important not to phrase it in such a way so that it sounds as if you are forced into one path or another. Particularly when you are talking to someone who chose a path you deemed impossible and is making it work.

    Given our experiences making do with what we have, I don't think it's an overestimation to say that most couples (barring extraordinary circumstances such as a disability) who say that they wish one parent could stay home have the ability to do so, if it's important enough to them.

    I'm not saying that they should do that--not at all. And I'm not saying there aren't times I think the grass is greener--I mean, we put away a little bit each month into a special savings account just to save for a family vacation, and now it looks like we're going to need to use that for car repairs instead. So I completely respect and understand the decision to not stay home when it means feeling like you're just scraping by. It certainly doesn't feel like much of a choice when you're between a rock and a hard place, which is unfortunately too many of us these days. I just try to remind myself that we're not trapped, even though it feels that way sometimes.

  8. photojane

    cantaloupe / 6164 posts

    @daniellemybelle: I agree. It's most certainly not always a choice. We are so privileged here to have that option, and have the means and time to sit online and discuss it.

  9. mrskc

    bananas / 9357 posts

    I voted 1. I didn't always envision myself as a SAHM tho. It wasn't until I had my son, that I felt the desire to be home with him. I love being at home with the kids and I feel so grateful that I am able to do so.

  10. shellio

    pear / 1614 posts

    I voted #2 for my DH who is a SAHD. We moved across the country while I was pregnant and he didn't find work right away. As he sees it, his earning potential is very small anyway so it made sense for him to stay home since I earn several times what he was making. I think it has been much much harder than he anticipated but he still enjoys it most of the time.

  11. daniellemybelle

    cantaloupe / 6669 posts

    @Skadi: Honestly, I think people should be able to phrase it however it feels most accurate to them. If they feel "forced," you might have not felt that way in their situation, but I don't think it is fair for you to speak for them.

    And I think the number of folks who are truly without other options due to extenuating circumstances would probably surprise you.

    @photojane: Well put.

  12. anonysquire

    cantaloupe / 6910 posts

    1. It's all I knew growing up. And all my friends mom's sah. It was rare to meet anyone who worked. I think it's a mormon thing. You're kind of expected to stay home with your babies. I'm just grateful that my husband works hard but also grateful that he works for my dad and grateful that my dad wants all his daughters/daughter in laws to stay home. So he fiddles with Paychecks. I tried being a wohp for almost 6 months and would cry and cry anytime I had to leave Zuma. So really is wasn't healthy for my anxiety.

  13. littleblessings

    pear / 1739 posts

    I got fired when I was pregnant with DS. As soon as I told my workplace they cut my hours and then the second my DD had a fever and I had to call in they fired me. After that I tried getting a new job while pregnant but nobody wanted to hire me. After having DS he wouldn't take to a bottle at all so going to work would have literally been starving him. Now he is working on weaning himself

  14. artsyfartsy

    cantaloupe / 6692 posts

    My job is seasonal so I'm a temporary SAHM during the off season. So I voted other. I'm next up for a year round position so when that happens I will be a permanent WOHM which was always my plan.

  15. lizzywiz

    persimmon / 1178 posts

    @daniellemybelle: Exactly.

    People have a very difficult time imagining a life without the financial, emotional and intellectual privileges they perceive as 'normal.'

    FWIW, while I wouldn't put myself in the 'forced' category because I have always planned to work, there are circumstances that have made working a necessity: LO goes to the urgent care/ ER or inpatient hospital approx. 6ish times a year. There is no way we could afford that without good insurance. DH covers our insurance, which means he couldn't quit, but he didn't make enough to cover our minimum bills, so I couldn't quit either, even though our bills aren't extensive (a cheap mortgage/insurance/utilities).

    And my point is, this is not a weird, extenuating circumstance. Yeah, my kid is sicker than other kids, but not that sick. There are a lot of people with Achilles heels when it comes to trying to live on one income: an ailing parent, student loan or other not asset related debt, insurance needs, life circumstances that funneled them towards low paying jobs, etc.

    As I get older, I understand more and more that knowledge of my own personal experience/ perspective is not enough to justify judging others.

    (not that I never do, 'cause judging is fun )

  16. daniellemybelle

    cantaloupe / 6669 posts

    @lizzywiz: "As I get older, I understand more and more that knowledge of my own personal experience/ perspective is not enough to justify judging others."


  17. MarieJ

    pear / 1579 posts

    I wish I could stay at home with my babies

  18. jessibear

    apricot / 409 posts

    @lizzywiz: thank you, this summarizes how I feel about this much more eloquently than I would have.

    We both work. I don't want to stay home, I love working and that helps me love parenting. DH's salary is not our primary source of income. We could financially afford to have him stay home, and did for awhile while looking for work.. But it is not something either of us want for him in the long term, and not just for financial reasons.

    My friends who SAH amaze me every day, and yea, sometimes I'm jealous (like when they take the kids to do something fun during the day) but I also know I'm happier because I work. This is just me, personally. This is such a polarizing topic but I think it's important for our kids, and fellow parents, to understand how varied the situations are that lead to these types of decisions.

  19. fairy

    persimmon / 1343 posts

    Sort-of a combination of 1 and 2. I knew I wanted to be a SAHM, and the job I was working gave no maternity leave at all & didn't pay much more than what the cost of daycare would be. Luckily, my husband has a decent job and my pay was mostly going to pay extra on debt so it wasn't really an adjustment to our quality of life for me to SAH. Now I WAH part time and don't plan on returning to work outside the home until my daughter is out of school since I plan on homeschooling. I feel very fortunate that my husband agrees that this is best for us since it is what I really wanted.


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