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If you WOHM because you want to...

  1. blackbird

    wonderful grape / 20453 posts

    Ahhhhhh, shit nobody says to dads lol. Much helpful.

    I've found that the things that made you feel good before becoming a mom, still feel good after.

    I am so happy being a working mom, but I really hate my job. So I'm working on that aspect. Yeah I miss my kids, but I don't have the desire to spend all day with them. I also miss DH sometimes but am not going to spend the day at his beck and call, either, lol. Burn out is real, man. I'm exhausted but I'm happy. If I'm home for a few days, I get bored. My brain gets stagnant SO FAST. I get bored at work, too, so I'm of the belief I just need a very dynamic environment. I can only play with blocks so damn much.

    Also I feel so much more equal with DH. We BOTH have the same burdens to share, it isn't "she does this and he does that". There's very little I feel guilty about. Maybe 5% of the time, I feel bad or sad about something related to working. But that's life. I also don't feel like a crappy employee. I get my work done and I do it well. If I can't come in, so be it, but I get my bases covered.

    I really hated the idea that I wouldn't feel the same way when the baby came. I know myself well enough to know it wouldn't change-and it didn't. It's hard but it's not impossible and having an all in partner makes all the difference. He's got my back and I've got his.

    And I feel intent to show my kids that you can work and have a great career AND have a wonderful home and family life. That they aren't mutually exclusive

  2. MrsSCB

    pomelo / 5257 posts

    @blackbird: I`m glad you said that about the same things still making you feel good. A lot of people, and my one friend i mentioned especially, seem to stress so much that "just you wait!" mentality. I know i might feel differently about certain things but it feels pretty dismissive to hear that so much.

    @Corduroy: thats something I've been trying to do more -- put myself in my husband`s shoes. No one is going to judge him for working and enjoying work, so why should i care if they judge me? Like so many things, easier said than done, but I'm working on it

  3. MrsSCB

    pomelo / 5257 posts

    Thank you all again for the comments, they are so helpful. I will come back and read again if naysayers start getting me down again and I'm sure this will all be helpful to others beside me.

  4. blackbird

    wonderful grape / 20453 posts

    @MrsSCB: yeah I hate that. I heard that a few times from people, too-I'm of the mindset and belief that being a mom is a piece of my pie. A big one, but a slice. Not the entire pie. I have other slices, too

  5. Mae

    papaya / 10343 posts

    I think you got lots of great encouragement, and maybe I can give you a little more from a different perspective. I planned on being a WOHM but then lost my job and ended up staying home 1.5 years and by 6 mo in I desperately wanted to be a SAHM forever. When I got a job last month I sobbed. Every day. For a week. I don't want to work, I have to work. So I went back to work. And I expected it to be JUST AWFUL.

    Shockingly, even as someone who would rather stay at home, it doesn't suck! I was sure I'd spend all day aching to be with my toddler, but it is sort of "out of sight out of mind" for the most part and I'm busy and it just isn't something I am that concerned about during the day. Talking with adults is fun. Being able to eat what I want when I want is fun. Being able to have 2, or 3(!) cups of HOT coffee is nice. I adjusted my schedule to leave at 4:30 so I can get to daycare by 5 and have 3 hours at night with LO. I thought that would seem like not nearly enough time but it actually seems okay (I wouldn't want less, but 3 hours is okay).

    The worst part about it is I'm unhappy with LO's daycare and so that stresses me out. But I feel like if I actually thought she was happy during the day I would be totally fine with our current situation. If money was no object I'd still rather be home, but given that is not my reality I think I would happy and content.

    So-- I'd think if I actually WANTED to work I'd be exceedingly happy now.

  6. bisous

    persimmon / 1304 posts

    This post has elicited such great responses! I am a WOHM but just started my maternity leave (due next week!).

    I love working and find it extremely fulfilling. I'll admit that before entering the workforce, I had my doubts about whether I would want to continue working after kids--but now I can't imagine if any other way. It is definitely not easy, but I love putting my brain to work in a way that i likely wouldn't if I stayed home and I truly don't think I could be the best parent possible without that.

    The first year of my DD's life was definitely challenging but overall, I think working is so worth it for me. The transition back to work/pumping/sending a tiny baby to daycare and the sickness that often comes with a baby's first year were the toughest. To ease that, I am taking a bit of an extended leave (5 months)--but I am 100% sure I will be itching to get back by the end!

  7. PawPrints

    pomegranate / 3658 posts

    There are certainly things about it that are challenging, but overall it's much easier than I expected it to be. I think my jaw would drop if one of my coworkers said the things your colleagues are saying.

  8. MrsSCB

    pomelo / 5257 posts

    @PawPrints: I was pretty surprised myself. I don't know if it could be a bit of a regional thing, too, because when I lived in DC and NYC, every mom I knew worked, it was practically a given. So to hear some of this stuff--and there's actually been more (and worse!)--was a surprise to me, and it just started making me doubt things a bit.

  9. loveisstrange

    pineapple / 12526 posts

    There's a certain type of person who wants to be mommy all day and a certain type who doesn't, and I just happen to be the second type. I don't think there is a problem with either. I was a SAHM for 17 months and it made me a miserable bitch. I was bitter and resentful the whole time. I hated that my husband worked such long hours, and would need to leave for weeks at a time, and it felt like I did everything on my own. There are no breaks from it. It was relentless. Going back to work made me so much happier.

    I work full time now and I am a kick ass employee. I don't like my job, but I like working. I like feeling like I'm accomplishing something besides laundry. I like contributing financially. I like being around adults. Its made me a calmer mom who yells less, and it makes me appreciate. my time with her more.

    I think it just depends on temperament. Some women thrive on being a domestic goddess and raising their kids... It's okay to not be one of them. I'm sure as hell not. Lol

  10. sera_87

    pomegranate / 3604 posts

    What she said ^^^.

    I - PERSONALLY - always have to have my own income. I just do.

  11. daniellemybelle

    cantaloupe / 6669 posts

    @Mae: I agree with a lot of what you said!

    I always wanted to be a SAHM (or a WAHM with lots of flexibility). I really wanted to be a SAHM after LO was born and even when I was working and she was in a combo of daycare/Grandma-care. There were some times that were really hard, for sure - for LO and for me. We never quite felt like it was the right set-up for our family, mostly because it was not what we had envisioned.

    But, overall, it was fine! I enjoyed my work a lot, we had a good routine, and LO was totally okay. There were some hiccups that made things more challenging but they were unique to our situation and if they hadn't happened it would have been more than okay. If we had continued with me working and her going to school, she would have thrived, for sure.

    So, if someone who wanted to SAH feels like working/daycare was fine, I think if you want to work, you will be happy! There will be hard moments. Parenting is full of them no matter the choices you make.

    I SAH now (WAH very part-time during naps) and I love it. I will not shy away from saying that I think it is great for our family - but I still experience guilt, sadness, worry, etc. You will not escape that!

  12. PurplePeony

    pomegranate / 3113 posts

    I'm a happy WOHM. Don't get me wrong, some parts are HARD...mainly, there's just never enough time to get everything done. And usually not enough energy. I tend to give DD 100% (or as close to it as I can) when we're together and if that means I end up crashing before the laundry/dusting/etc. is done, then whatever. We're all clean and fed. Even so, I've never had second thoughts about being a working mom. Even during the REALLY hard first week (and the slightly less hard second week, and the almost-okay third week...) after maternity leave was over, when I was freaking out about leaving DD at daycare, the thought rolling through my mind was never "I should be the one staying home with her," it was "maybe we should have gone with a nanny after all, should we start searching now?" But everyone adjusted and it's been good.

    DD is 2 now and she loves "school" -- she wakes up and tells me what she's going to do with her friends that day. When we walk into the classroom, all her little friends greet her and when she gets picked up, she goes around and hugs each one. It's seriously adorable. The other day, she was telling me that one of her teachers was going to like her new boots, and sure enough, one of the first things the teacher did when we got there was compliment the boots. Little things like that make me happy because I know DD feels loved and cared for, not just by us, but by a whole community. I guess it would be different if she wasn't thriving or if we were dissatisfied with the care she was getting, but so far, it's been great.

    I'm also a much happier person when I'm working. I need to contribute financially and to know that if something ever happened to DH, I'd be able to support us. If I was out of the workforce, it would always weigh on me and I'd never truly be comfortable. I'm in a really nice situation where my job is interesting, my hours are the standard "9 to5" and somewhat flexible, I can work from home if I need/want to, and my colleagues are just generally great people. I know I'm fortunate, and I don't think I'd be happy if I had a super demanding job, but that was true before I became a mom, too.

    Anyway, don't let anyone make you feel bad about wanting to be a WOHM. Having happy parents and spending time with other caregivers is far healthier for kids than being with an unhappy parent day in and day out. So as long as things feel like they're working for you and your family (and I mean on a meta level, because everyone has those days now and then when you just want to throw in the towel), then don't feel like you have to justify yourself to anyone else.

  13. Ms maths

    apricot / 343 posts

    Many people have given lots of good reasons to not feel bad about being a working mom, but I just wanted to add that it's ok to choose work even without these reasons!

    I think we could be fine without my salary, I would be content and competent as a stay-at-home parent, and I like my job well enough but I don't find work tremendously fulfilling. But I still work and don't feel bad about working or about having someone else take care of my kids (And as others have pointed out, my husband doesn't have to offer any of these reasons to justify his continued work.) Other people might make the same decision a different way, and I say, do whatever you like!

    I do feel like I am in a privileged position in that we have chilcare we loved, I have a lot of flexibility in my job, and my husband also takes a lot of childcare responsibility. We are often tired and stressed, but I think we would feel this way with two small children no matter the working arrangements.

    I think I am doing a less-than-my best job at work. But I also worked very hard for many years and I expect to work harder in the future. This is ok with me, and I hope I can use my experience to be generous with my colleagues as they go through seasons of personal demands that take them away from work (kids, taking care of elderly parents, their own medical issues.)

  14. looch

    wonderful pear / 26210 posts

    @blackbird: I think that dads are beginning to hear comments too, especially as millennials are beginning to move up in the ranks.

    I am not as in tune to what is going on with working dads, but I've started to pay more attention and I've noticed that they too get comments about their choices. It's not so much about working vs staying at home, but it is about taking time off when their wives should be, leaving early, etc.

  15. Alba4

    nectarine / 2951 posts

    I don't want to repeat too much about what others say. I love my teaching job and it is a big part of my identity. I am fortunate enough to have decent hours and summers off, which helps me feel like I have more balance in my life.

    I would not be happy being a stay at home mom. I love using my mind, being a professional, and having an identity outside of being a mom (and using my masters degree). Sometimes I wish I could do a part time teaching job while my kids are young, but that isn't really an option.

    It was hard to go back to work when DS was only 4.5 months old. I wish I had a longer maternity leave, but it gets better and easier with time. I'm sure it will be even more challenging once DS 2 arrives and I go back to work.


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