Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Big Debate...

Working Mom vs/ Stay at Home Mom. Hot topic, right? At least it seems to be in the comments of my last post. I've been mulling over whether or not I should devote an entire blog entry to this subject and finally decided, after I had to keep responding in the comments that, yes, this deserves its own entry.

There are two very definite ends of the spectrum here and then a lot of gray area in between (Please Note before you go all crazy on me these are NOT directed to anyone in the comments of my last post).

Position #1: You Should Stay At Home With Your Children You Selfish B.

Some people believe that women should only have children if they are going to not work and devote 24 hours per day to raising their children. I mean, why else would you have children if you are basically going to be ignoring them and pursuing your own selfish career/life? Once you have children you should have absolutely nothing that is for yourself, whether it be a career, a pair of new designer jeans or a dinner out once or twice a month with your husband. If you are a person who cannot AFFORD to stay home, then you should have budgeted or waited to have children. It would take 10 years for you to be able to afford to stay home? Well, lots of people are having babies in their 40s nowadays...why can't you? No matter what the financial situation, if you WANT it enough, you can make it happen by simply moving from your home to an apartment, cutting out any and all expenditures (date night? what is date night?) and so on and so forth.

Let's take a trip waaaay down to the other end of the spectrum.

Position #2: Stay At Home Moms are Lazy and Eat Bon Bons All Day Long

People on the other side of the debate often think that SAHMs are just plain lazy and a throwback to our grandmother's day of the women raising the children, cleaning house and having dinner on the table when the husband gets home. Your days are spent lunching with other SAHMs, doing some light dusting and playing patty cake with their little ones. When the little ones nap, you probably watch Days of Our Lives while eating delicious bon bons. Their lives are in no way challenging or difficult, as they have so much spare time on their hands.

~~~

Neither of these ways of thinking are REMOTELY true and if you find yourself even marginally buying into either, well, you should be ashamed of yourself because both of those are the most ridiculous things I have ever written. Unfortunately, I know there are people out there that think that some or all of those little gems are true. They're what I like to call delusional or just plain judgemental (again, this is NOT directed to anyone who posted in the comments).

First of all, for the Working Moms out there. You go girls. You've got so many balls in the air it is ridiculous, yet you keep on juggling and making it work for your family. Some of you NEED to work. You need it to make ends meet. No amount of wanting or cost cutting will make it work. You just need that extra paycheck to live in the way that works for your family. Some of you WANT to work. You need the adult conversation, ::gasp::, and you enjoy talking to people who can actually piece together full sentences and people who don't usually drool on you. You may love your job. You may have worked long and hard to get to this place in your professional career and it probably is amazingly good for you both as a women and as a mother to be this professional person on top of being a mother, even though it is difficult. Just because you have children doesn't mean that is the only thing that defines you as a person. You are a better mother because that is not the only thing you are. Both of these types of women do NOT love their children any less than one who stays at home with them.

For you Stay At Home Moms out there. Damn girls, it is NOT easy. Before my maternity leave I thought of all these amazingly productive things that I would be doing as I would have ALL of this spare time. Paint the kitchen cabinets, learn how to use my sewing machine that I got for my birthday back in November, take up knitting again and catch up on my reading... Do you know how many of those thing that I did? None. Not one. Staying at home is just as exhausting as being at work. Being a mom is a full time job, for REAL. Incredibly enough these little people need attention 24 hours a day, yes really. No lunching with the ladies when you have a screaming toddler on your hands. I've tried cleaning the house on my days off...ahahaha, right. There is always cleaning to do, shopping to do, cooking to do, laundry to do, activities and doctors appointments to go to, and I'm assuming if you stay at home you are doing the all of it and then some. And you do NOT get paid in money but in the fact that you get to see every little detail of your child growing up. It's amazing. I'm fairly certain soap operas and bon bons do not factor into the equation but lucky for you little hugs, little snuggles and that quality time with your child(ren) most certainly do.

Being a working mom is not for everyone. Being a stay at home mom is not for everyone. You do what works for you and your family. No one else can or should judge your decision on what you need to do to make your life with your family work.

For myself. I'm going to lay it all out there. I wish I could stay home with Lucy, I truly do, HOWEVER... we own our (modest) home, we do not want to sell it to move into a duplex, condo or an apartment. We love our house and have put much time and effort into making it a home. We look forward to the summers Lucy will spend exploring our large yard and helping us plant our vegetable beds. Hopefully she will lean how to ride a bike in the safety of our quiet cul-de-sac and go trick-or-treating down our street. Also, the former realtor in my wants to scream when people say "you could sell your house and move into something less expensive so you could stay home". Have you looked at the downward spiral of home prices lately? With the depreciation of the housing market, closing costs and realtor fees we simply would not be any better off in somewhere smaller. As far as spending that is not necessities, we do go dinner out once in awhile, although when we do it is our "date night" which is something we need to reconnect as a couple. We have no credit card debt and a very small school loan. We own our cars free and clear. I cut coupons and shop at the inexpensive supermarket, instead of Whole Foods where I wish I could shop. I buy clothes at Marshalls and TJ Maxx, if at all. There are things we spend money on, but we save and plan way in advance for those and it is simply a part of our life that we enjoy, like traveling (with Lucy). That is something we are planning on doing as a family and are not willing to give up. We want her to explore and appreciate the world around her, its as simple as that.

My job affords me excellent pay, medical benefits, life insurance 401K and stock/bonuses that make us be able to have a decent savings account in case of emergency, a college account for Lucy, as well funds for our own retirement. I believe both of the latter are gifts that keep on giving for your children, the fact that they don't have to pay 100% for college themselves (by the time she goes college will approximately cost $300,000) and she won't have to worry own mom).

Quitting my job is not an option right now. End of story. In the end, I'm just not willing to quit and live paycheck to paycheck and give up the safety net that my job provides us with. Does that make me a bad mother, no. It makes me a smart mother. Right now if my husband lost his job we would be fine. He was out of work for the three months that I was on maternity leave, if I didn't have my job this would have been a complete disaster. Because I did have my job and had saved a hefty amount for my leave it was a blessing. Both Rob and myself got to spend that time with each other and with Lucy and it was incredible. It was the best.time.ever. So... my job, although it wears me out, is a blessing. We waited long enough for Lucy to come, so suggesting that we should have waited longer is ridiculous. I love my life the way it is, and although someday I do hope to stay home with her or work for myself, I'm happy where we are now, exhaustion and all.

Phew. That was a lot, but I really felt the need to get it all out there. I would love to stay at home with Lucy, and for the people that it does work for I envy you. In the end, as long as you love your children fiercely, and let them know this every single day, you are a good mother.

"The world is full of women blindsided by the unceasing demands of motherhood, still flabbergasted by how a job can be terrific and torturous."
-Anna Quindlen
"She never quite leaves her children at home, even when she doesn't take them along." -Margaret Culkin Banning
"The phrase "working mother" is redundant."
-Jane Sellman

68 comments:

Valerie said...

Wow! That was intense. You are absolutely right. Three weeks ago I found out I was pregnant, it was a surprise and not really ready, but then again when is anyone "really ready"??? I wish I would have saved more, I wish I would have gone to school and be working for myself so that I could too be a stay at home parent... I thought the same way, how sweet it would be to stay at home with my child, but the way you just put it really woke me up. I do need my job to make my child's life better.

Kelly said...

I don't have children yet, but they are def. in the near future. I know that there is no way I can possibly stay at home. Mortgage, school loans, and other expenses will not be going away any time soon. Thankfully as a teacher I will have the time off in the summers to be at home. Until then, I teach summer school and save like crazy. I really think that decisions is a judgment call for you and your spouse.

Hinkle said...

You Rock Bev! I have been following your blog since November and really enjoy it.

I read the comments on your previous post and found both #1 Anonymous and "Anonymous" Eileen's comments somewhat offensive. You don't need to break down to us why you have chosen the lifestyle for your family. With that being said, you couldn't have laid it out any better. People think b/c they have made "sacrifices" it makes them a better a parent, when in actuality that may not be entirely true. Some of the points you made about your home, health care and even being able to conceive Lucy due to your health insurance are things these people have not thought about and how it applies to YOUR life, not theirs. Frankly I find them rude. I get what they are trying to say, but they are only seeing life from their own lot.

I personally struggle with this. My husband and I are beginning the discussion of children, and along with it comes the discussion of SAHM vs working. The financial security that comes with working is very appealing, but I have always wanted to stay home. It will continue to be a discussion until he actually conceive and then deliver. Just b/c it works for one family does not mean it is RIGHT for all families.

Thank you for putting such a PERSONAL subject matter out there. :o)

PS I love your baby stuff reviews!

Stef said...

Great Post!! I totally agree! I would love to stay home when my maternity leave is over- but I also want to maintain a certain lifestyle for my family!!

Stephanie said...

I really appreciated your post. My baby is due in a week, and I've been off of work for almost two weeks. I already miss it. I love my job. I'm thankful that I get 4 months to have off, but I know I'll be ready to go back at the end. I didn't go to college and grad school to become a stay at home mom. Now, maybe I'll feel different once this baby girl gets here, but I don't think so. Theoretically, I could be a SAHM, but my husband and I would have to sacrifice a lot. Because I want my baby to have the same opportunities that I had, having two incomes is important. I do not judge those who can SAH, it's just not for me.

Diana said...

oh my I can't believe some people judge you!!!, I am sorry!!!

some people need a life

Nicki and Mathis said...

I respect you so much for your decision, and your thoughts on this matter! You are a great mom to Lucy, and she is so blessed to have such a cool and wise momma!! :)

Anonymous said...

I am a Stay at home mom to a beautiful baby girl, and you were right on w/ describing it as EXHAUSTING! I am fortunate enough to be able to Stay at home w/ my little one ... but I also envy my husband who gets to go to work (isn't that ironic?) I love my little baby girl more than anything, but there are times when I feel like I need a break - even 10 minutes a day. This is definitely a FULL TIME JOB! ... and then some!

Kimberly said...

I followed your TTC/BOTB journey (mostly as a lurker - Fall-love) on the nest. I'm so thrilled that you finally have your sweet baby girl!

It's really amazing to me how MANY people think they have a right to dictate what others should do in their own lives. I work full time in a career I love and that I spent a lot of years in school working toward; but I wish I could be home more with my son. But I'm not willing to give up our insurance benefits, our house (not that we could sell it now anyway), or our comfortable lifestyle so I can go sit cooped up and poor in a tiny apartment, maybe without a car, or with an old car, just so I can say I stayed home with my baby. That's the only way we could make it work. Is there one perfect way? Absolutely not... each family decides what is right for them and they make it work. I truly believe most SAHMs have a little bit of envy toward working moms, and vice versa. My perfect world would involve working 2 or 3 days a week, but that's just not an option right now. Meanwhile, my baby boy gets wonderful quality time with his grandparents and aunties while we work... and they wouldn't have it any other way!!! Congrats to you, as well, for being a devoted, loving, working Mommy. Lucy is a lucky girl!

brit said...

You go Bev!!

My mom was lucky enough to be a SAHM while my parents were together, but after the divorce, she worked like crazy to make sure we would never go without.

Even now, as I'm older, I realize what a blessing I had growing up - both the joys of having a SAHM and having a working mom.

Seriously though, I feel like you shouldn't have had to write that blog -- everyone has their own ideas about parenting... but I think your last few comments were right on target -- as long as your baby knows that she is so loved and wanted ... what more can a mommy (or daddy!) ask for?

The important thing at the end of the day -- whether a woman works or stays at home -- is the baby and the baby's needs. As long as the baby is taken care, it should not matter who is bringing home the paycheck ;-)

Jenn said...

Wow, I just went back and read all the comments from the last post. I'm not sure why your post sparked such a debate or why it is a debate at all. Every individual has to do what is right for them and for their family. Why are we all as mothers criticizing each other instead of minding our own business? It's sad really. Being a working mom isn't for everyone and being a SAHM isn't for everyone. Simple as that. It's really no one else's business what you do with YOUR life and YOUR children.

You are doing a wonderful job with Lucy Bev and I applaud all of you who work in addition to being mom's. It's amazing and no one should judge your decisions.

Angi said...

My friend told me about your blog and I've been reading it for a while (somewhere around cycle 20). We too struggle with "unexplained infertility" It took us 3 years to have our 'miracle' baby (not a baby anymore, she's 4) so I feel like I appreciate your situation. Right now I am also a nanny which gives me a chance to compare and contrast the effects of different mothering styles (understanding that each child is different and has varying emotional needs) and I just want to say that if ever in the future it is even barely possible to stay home...you should.

Sarah said...

Not sure if I ever commented before...but I'd glad you wrote this! As a woman with a masters degree in a specialized field (read: a lot of school and hard work to get to my job) AND who wants 3 or 4 kids it is something I think about a lot. My mom worked full time the entire time while I was growing up...both of my parents did, and so I never thought about being a SAHM--but some of my friends are and it seems very rewarding. But I like what you said--you do what you can for your family, and sometimes that's working out side of the home.

Sunshinemeg said...

I love how you covered all the topics at hand. It shows you have thought out your options. No matter what you decide, or what anyone decides - it's there decision. Much respect for all you mommmas!

truelifeofjess said...

I am one of those moms who loves my kids but could not be a SAHM. I would go bananas. Yet for the last 4 years I have been a SAHM/College student while my husband has been in the army. Now that we are gettign out of the Army we both realize that we both need a job to maintain our"bills" not our lifestle. We too have no credit card debt but have a lot of student loan debts that have to be paid.

It should be a family chocie if the mom ( or even dad) decides to stay home. It nobodies else business.

Carlie said...

You know, I was a working mom after my first and second children were born. Shortly after my son turned one, we moved to a community where there was no daycare unless he was two years old. I had to give up my career to stay at home or commute over an hour just to drop him off! We figured that with my husbands income we could do it for a year or so! So now my son is turning 4 and we are expecting another little one in September! I have been a SAHM since my son was 1 and I am one of those moms who love their kids BUT boy let me tell you what, I miss going to work everyday! Feeling like you are not only contributing to your children but also contributing to yourself and your family is a thorn in my side everyday! I just turned 35 and not having great health insurance or a 401K is a BIG fright for me! Ya, I could start one but with only one income we would have to cut something else in the budget! It is a fine line that we all walk everyday, to work or not to work. Even those who do work constantly think "Am I doing the right thing, I should be there taking care of my own child" and those that SAH are thinking "I am so thankful, I am so tired, How did I ever get this done when I worked, I miss work, Should I help alleviate the financial responsibilities, etc. etc. In the end, like you said, it is a very personal decision and I think I speak for everyone when I say ~ No matter what, it is a difficult decision, rewarding but difficult and it is no one's decision but your own!

Kathy said...

Thank you for this post. I head back to work tomorrow after 4 months of maternity leave. Although I will miss our mommy/daughter time, I know working is what's best for me and our family. I'm one of those moms who feel a job is an important factor in my life...even if I could afford to stay home. Thank you for stating it so well!

LegalLovers(Liz) said...

"In the end, I'm just not willing to quit and live paycheck to paycheck and give up the safety net that my job provides us with. Does that make me a bad mother, no. It makes me a smart mother."

Amen Bev, well said!

Erin said...

I couldn't have said it better myself Bev, AWESOME post! I am in the exact same position you are in minus the school loans!
I spent much to much time allowing my SAHM friends to make me feel like a bad mom for working, but it works for us. We love it, we have just as much "family time" as any other family!
I just have to wonder where some of these SAHM's children are when they are "blogging" or on their computers cutting down the rest of us who go to work.

Anyway, Thanks Bev, Excellent Post!

Miss Amelia Jane. said...

Preach on Bev! Everything you said was perfect. I love Amelia with all my heart, espically after we struggled to even get her here, but I crave adult conversation. I need the benefits my job has, and the fabulous 6% match on my 401K. It may be that I'm not spending 110% of my time with her now, but she knows when mommy is spending time with her and that's important. Very well put. Isn't there some partents magizine you can write for? I'd nominate you!

On another note, did you hear Gretchen got engaged?

Me said...

2 words = well put ;o)

Emily said...

STaying at home is a mixed bag... I love it but a good percentage of the time I WISH I was working and somone else was taking care of my little tantrum-thrower.

osuraj said...

Good post. It's sad when people oversimplify the issue because it is very complex and for every woman it's a totally different situation. You did a great job of breaking it down! :-)

Janae said...

I went back and read the comments to your last post! Excellent post today! I do not have children yet, trying...You couldn’t have said it any better. I would also love to stay home when I do become pregnant and there after but for our family, it's not suitable for us right now. We too have an amazing house we worked very very hard for and it absolutely blows my mind for someone to suggest selling or doing away with something you've worked so hard to get!
You’re a wonderful mommy and wife! Don't let anyone tell you differently!

Amy Starkey said...

I just wanted to say that I completely agree with you. I would love to stay home, but right now, it is not an option. My little one is only a few days younger than yours and I cannot wait for the day (hopefully it'll come) that I can stay home and raise my kids. Or at least only work part time. Until then, I work had at being a good mom to her and I work hard at my job so I can provide for her now and in the future. Thanks for putting this out there.

Amy Starkey said...

btw...i love the "picture of the week"...she is soooo cute!

Candice said...

Amen, sister! It is ridiculous how judgmental some people are. Research has shown that it's the quality of interactions with your children that matters, not the quantity. I work part-time and on those days, I find myself really concentrating on my 7-month-old daughter rather than trying to do a hundred other things like I normally do when I'm home. You are clearly a great mom and don't need to justify anything to anybody.

Leigh said...

Thank you for this thoughtful post!

I plan on becoming a SAHM in two months, just before my daughter is born. In most ways, I can't wait for this to begin, but I'm also very aware of what I'll be giving up. For me, I actually consider myself lucky in that I do NOT love my job/career. If I was doing something I was truly passionate about, I can't imagine what a hard choice it would be to walk away from that. But I'm still nervous about how I'll feel, as someone who's always been independent, once I have to rely solely on my husband for financial support. I'm sure it will be a time of great transition.

Kelly said...

awesome entry. Let me tell you from experience that it does get easier being a working mom. You will get into a great routine things get easier as they get older and more independent.

Deb said...

Love the post, however, I think it's terrible that one has to justify to anyone else their decision to stay at home or work. I wish I could stay home with my daughter and probably could have, if not for all the money it cost us to bring her into our lives. Two failed IVFs, not covered by insurance and a very expensive adoption later, I really have no choice. Like many other things, IF has made my life different and I can not roll myself into a "typical" situation, whatever that is anyway.

Christina said...

I have been reading your blog for a bit and really find inspiration in the tips and trick you use to make a more positive environmental impact. I am pleased to see you write this post in a completely non-judgmental fashion, as it should be! Moms, whether SAH or working have some sense of the "mom guilt" no matter what you do...not living the life style you might or achieving the career success you had envisioned because you are at home, or not with your children 24/7 because you are working. What all mom really need to do is exactly what you have said here, step back and figure out the plan that is best FOR THEIR FAMILY, and make the very best of that. We really all need to stop judging other moms for what they do or do not do. Who are we to judge anyway, you never know all of the circumstance behind the decisions she has made. It is sad that a post like this "needs" to be written, but it was well thought out and fair to all!

Jamie @ Baldwin Bungalow said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jennifer said...

You are absolutely right! You are doing the right thing for your family. Don't you dare let anyone else try to tell you otherwise! One of the most important things is to prepare for the future. So many people don't think ahead. She'll need a car, insurance, college, a wedding, etc. It goes on forever. Having a savings account, retirement, everything you said your job provides you with is very very necessary. I can't believe the things people say soemtimes.
You're so so lucky that you have your mom there to watch Lucy! I'm sure you feel a lot better knowing that she's watching her rather than some random person at a daycare.

Anonymous said...

http://workingmothers.suite101.com/article.cfm/working_moms_need_not_feel_guilty

Nice post Bev. Clearly there are great working moms and crappy working moms and clearly there are great SAHMs and crappy SAHMs. Whether a mother works or not is not a deciding factor in whether a child will feel loved and be will-adjusted. Will each child's life experiences be different? Yes. But a good mother will make sure those experiences are positive and lead to a well rounded individual. Different does not equal worse or better. Ugh. Sick of this debate!

Emily said...

p.s. I find it particularly amusing that the post in question was actually about how tiring parenting is and some people took that as an opportunity to tell you to do everything differently. Ha!

Good Egg Hunting said...

Well said! You summarized these issues perfectly and I applaud the decision you're making for your family. It's critical that we keep in mind that for our generation it's all about choices. It's been so all-or-nothing before...you must work, you must stay home...but now we have choices and we can come in and out of work as we need to. We need to respect each other's choices! I know that I will be a better mother if I feel valuable in my own right, and this will only help my baby. I had a mother who regretted giving up a career, and I always felt that from her (not a good feeling). Anyway, keep up the good work (in every way)!

Anonymous said...

What's more important your house or raising your children? FYI - raising children is a career. I'm raising the next generation - a huge job! Being there for my kids is more important to me than a house etc...

Abby said...

Bev, You are awesome! You should not feel you have to explain yourself to anyone! You do what you think is right for you and your family, and just from your blog I can tell you ROCK at being a mom.

Robert and Carmen said...

I am in the same boat. I would love to be a SAHM and we also live in a modest home, and no other debt but a small student loan. My DH was out of work from my 2nd trimester until a month into my maternity leave. My job also provided much security during that time. I agree that we work to provide better for our children and make sure they have opportunities to learn about the world. Thanks for your honesty and hang in there!

Bev said...

"What's more important your house or raising your children? FYI - raising children is a career. I'm raising the next generation - a huge job! Being there for my kids is more important to me than a house etc..."

Wow. You really DON'T get it do you?

AmandaG said...

You can't win them all. And, I don't think you necessarily want to. It seems you appreciate a nice discussion with respect to people's choices/obligations/situations, etc. I'm not sure why anon from the previous post even thought to throw in their .02 about staying at home. Did you ask for advice? No. I think you are respectful of people's choices so if someone isn't being respectful to you then DELETE! I love your blog by the way. I'm a subscriber!

Meg said...

Well said. Amen!

Anonymous said...

You need a house in order to raise kids. There needs to be an income, insurance, retirement, etc. Do you want to be desolate when you are in your retirement years? Or maybe Bev you should stay home, lose your house because you can't make the payments and live at the poverty level. Obviously you are not raising your daughter properly but ALL the SAHM obviously are! They are MUCH better Moms just because they stay at home.

Whitney said...

Wow!
I'm new to your blog - just found it today, and this appears to be a huge firestorm.
I can't stand it when people, especially "anonymous" people judge others that they don't know.
Bottom line - what you do is YOUR CHOICE. You and your husband and no one else's. You're going to work to provide for your family, and I don't know what you do for a living, but I can pretty much gather that your job does not involve standing on a street corner or dealing in illegal substances. Why can't people just mind their own business and stop trying to "save" everyone from mistakes that they aren't even making?
I've just read through your blog a little bit and I can already tell from that what an amazing mother you are and what a sweet family you have. You are teaching your daughter how to be responsible and make choices and sacrifices, and in the end she will benefit from that more than if you stayed home everyday and made crafts out of tincans and coffee filters and went to the park everyday!
Don't sweat these ridiculous people, Bev. They have to answer in the end for how they are!

Anonymous said...

"What's more important your house or raising your children? FYI - raising children is a career. I'm raising the next generation - a huge job! Being there for my kids is more important to me than a house etc..."

Then you should consider that she has two careers. Did we read the same post? She did not say that having a house is more important to her than raising her child full time. She said that owning a house with a nice back yard, being able to travel, and affording some of the nicer things in life are privilidges she gets FROM working and may not otherwise be available if she did not work. I don't think that anyone is denying that there are ways she could make it work but the bottom line is that this is an educated choice that has been made by Bev and lots of parents and neglect this is NOT! Neglect is the arrogant opinions that you will impart on your children with this view, Ms. Anonymous.

Anonymous said...

I think what anonymous was trying to say but didn't articulate it very well is that owning a home shouldn't prevent you from being a STAHM. If I'm guessing correctly she meant that you can buy a smaller home or buy a condo/townhouse if you really want to stay home. I am a STAHM of 2 children (hopefully someday to have more). While I personally think it's the best for the child I have girlfriends in various situations. Work from home, work outside the home, freelance work etc...As far as adult conversation, we all know there are plenty of opportunities that you can get involved with. Also, how can you possibly have the same amount of "family time" as a STAHM who is the primary caregiver? Also most STAHM are not home with their children 24/7. For example I'm involved in a volunteer organization and bookclub. My hubby and I also go out on date night twice a month. Yes, I'm lucky to have a hubby who makes a great living and makes it possible for us to live a comfortable lifestyle on one income. Yes, we could have a larger home, more savings etc.if I worked but you only get to raise your children once. One time!! I don't want to regret not being the one to raise them and influence them in their important decisions. I do think you didn't need to post this much detail about your life but I do appreciate the explanation.
Good lukc!
Erika in Southern CA.

Bev said...

I post this much detail about my life because this blog is, basically, about my life.

Bev said...

Thinking still about not needing to post so much detail and laughed out loud thinking of my birth story, IUI and internal ultrasounds. If those aren't DETAILS I don't know what is...

HA!

Anonymous said...

Bev,
I too have had plenty of internal ultrasounds and various fertility treatments so I can empathize with you on that. :)I'm glad it all worked out for you and you have Lucy! I remember with my first I never thought I'd ever be a mother.
Erika in So Cal.
SAHM of 2

Queenie. . . said...

Bev, I've been reading you since before your IUI, and I can tell that you are a good person and a great mother. I think this has been a very interesting and healthy discussion. I always find it interesting when people think that by being a SAHM, they are raising "better" kids. What is the benchmark? What are the criteria? Sure, the children might be exposed to mom more, but whose to say that this leads to a "better" person being formed, at the end of the day? The reality is that we are not going to be with our children until the end of time. They will be on their own someday, whether it's a halfday of kindergarten or whether it's daycare at 6 months. In the end, it's about the lessons we teach them and the values that we instill when we are with them--not at all about how many hours a day we spend with them. I have a hard time understanding why some people have to be so inflexible in thinking that THEIR way is the RIGHT way.

And, as I said in my comment to the last post, I am still waiting for the discussion of SAH DADS. Why is everyone always throwing dirt at working MOTHERS? Why the automatic assumptions that DAD should be the one working?

Wifezzilla said...

I'm disappointed that a few people have posted their opinion as if they refuse to understand there is a different side to the SAHM life situation. Until they are in YOUR shoes, they cannot tell you what is best for you and your family. It's a personal decision. It's also a decision that's been made after obvious careful thought, and that should be respected.

It's too bad so many women are so quick to judge someone else's life decisions and parenting styles (which seem to be responsible and thoughtful for your baby). I'm sure if you were to go to some of these women's homes, and criticize their choices, they'd have a reason why they made the choices they've made.

Please. If I were you, I'd delete all the "Anonymous" postings that seem to criticize the working mom and leave it at that. Some poeple just don't get it.

I wasn't going to get involved until I read that someone actually thought having a house is less important that having a child. Things can get misinterperetted, so maybe some people should just stay STFU.

Anonymous said...

In general it makes more financial sense for the Dad to work than Mom. In my case I wouldn't be able to pay for daycare on my old salary so it would be stupid for me to work. My husband makes 10 times what I did so it was a no brainer they say. Usually Moms are better nurturers and more patient (in general) so they are better suited to deal with children all day. My hubby took care of our two(for about a week while I recovered from a D &C) after I had a miscarriage and he said it was much harder than going to work and was glad I was in agreement with our arrangement. He has a huge appreciation for what I do and is very vocal about my "work" as well as as his. I've never actually met a stay at home dad but I'm sure they're out there. Just my opinion and own experience.
Erika in CA

Anonymous said...

O.M.G.!!! What is wrong with thesse people??? It makes more sense for dads to work? ONLY IF THEY MAKE MORE MONEY!!! If the mom makes more money, maybe SHE should work.

Seriously, is this 2009 or did I warp into a time where women were kept stupid on purpose???

Bev said...

I publish all comments unless they are just plain hateful. Not everyone needs to agree with me, and I do think some of the responses are a little narrow minded and are missing the real point of my post which is basically: Every family situation is different. Mothers should do what works for them and their families alone.

Selling our house would not work for MY FAMILY. Good for you if it works for yours.

Bev said...

And also, in our situation it makes more sense for Mom to work than Dad. If you really read my post you would understand why...

Dancing Phalanges said...

Bev -

I would love to stay home with my little guy, but unfortunately there is no way we could make it work. We aren't even close to being in the same situation as you guys (not debt free, we have student loans, we have a car payment... etc.) but your post brought me some comfort. It was that much easier to face my office this week, and I cherished my time at home with the little guy that much more. Thank you!

FSD said...

Great post. It's so sad that this even had to be addressed. Why can't people (read: women) just respect each other and understand that no two family situations are the same?!

I, too, would love to stay home with my baby girl. I was fortunate to be able to take 6 months off, so I will be joining the ranks of you working moms in 2 more months. When I was pregnant, and even before then, I always said "I wasn't wired to be a stay at home mom." I'm an attorney, and I felt like I worked too hard to get to where I'm at professionally. But boy did that all change the first time I held my daughter in my arms. Now I WANT to be a SAHM. I sincerely don't want to miss a single moment of her young life. But staying home isn't realistic RIGHT NOW. And that's the rub....for those of us that want to stay home, but can't (for whatever reason(s)), it's about "right now." It won't always be this way.

For those that WANT to continue working, that's all good, too. I truly believe those women are better mothers because they are being true to themselves and not folding to societal pressures to be "traditional." And for those that are fortunate to be SAHM, good for them for getting their heart's desire....assuming it really was/is their heart's desire. I know many SAHM are home because they are "expected" to do so. For those women, I'm sad.

I think at the end of the day, you have to be true to yourself. And respect those whose journey differs from yours.

When I reflect on my youth, I don't begrudge my mom for working. She had too. She was a single parent. I understood that then, and I still understand it now. I only have two regrets: 1) that she couldn't attend many of my school events and 2) that we were ALWAYS so dang broke! LOL. I know all children are different, but I *think* that what most kids remember is the QUALITY of time you spend, not the QUANTITY.

One of the primary reasons I will continue to work, for now, is because I want to provide more for my daughter than my mom was able to for me. I want her to go to college and not worry about the expense. And I don't want her to want for anything. That doesn't mean I'll spoil her, but I don't want "we can't afford it" to always be the answer. That's where I'm at "right now"....that may soon change. We'll see. But that will be MY journey and my choice, and I'll never disrespect another mother's journey.

Bev--keep juggling all those balls you have in the air, girl. In due time, you'll be home with your precious Lucy. And even if that doesn't happen, that's okay, too.

Tabitha '2009' said...

All I can say is .. YOU GO!! I agree with you 100%. My mother has been a working mom almost all of my life. I turned out to be a GREAT person and me and my mother have a close relationship. She has been working the whole time my sister has been alive (12 years) and you couldnt ask for a better person. Her and my mother have a close bond. Like the one you saw on Gilmore Girls lol. I think you are doing the right thing and I applaud you for that!

Bev said...

Oh man! I LOVE the Gilmore Girls!

Fiddle1 said...

I think the key is what you said : NO JUDGEMENT. It was a hard lesson for me to learn as I used to think there was ONE RIGHT WAY to raise a child. Then my world fell apart for various reasons, and the realization hit me that my self-imposed judgement was creating anxiety that was harmful for my daughter. As soon as I let that judgement go..of myself and other moms, I was happier and she was happier. My advice to all mothers out there: throw away the parenting books, the expectations, the pre-conceived notions and the judgement. Then raise your babies however you see fit with a lot of good intentions and love.

jenni said...

What is this, 1920? If mom's want to work, then they should work. My son is 10 months old now and *gasp* I don't want to be a SAHM. I have a Master's degree and I'm going to use it. I have to have a career. Do we need the money? Yes. Could we make it with me being a SAHM? Probably. But, I still want to work and that does not make me a bad mom. Call me selfish, that's fine. All that matters is that my son is taken care of and he is very loved.

While I'm working, my mom has Carter. I am VERY blessed to have my mom take care of him while I work. She owns a daycare and he absolutely LOVES being there with my mom and the other kids. Sometimes you just need that time apart. It's good for us. It works. I'm home everyday by 4:30 and I dedicate my nights and weeekends to my son and husband.

I'm still not sure why this topic is still a huge debate. Why do *some* SAHM's feel like they have to tell working mom's that what we're doing is wrong?? To make themselves feel better? If you want to be a working mom... awesome. If you want to SAH... that's fine too! As long as your baby is being taken care of, then that's all that matters.

Poolside with the Girls said...

It's unfortunate that anyone has to justify their decisions in life to anyone else. One size does not fit all. I'm a work at home mom who also happens to be the bread winner. I've had the kids with me while working at home and it's hard.

I have had critics comment on my choices from all sides of this argument. I hate having to defend my decisions. You can't make everyone happy so you may as well focus on making your family happy by making choices that work for your situation. You'd think in this day and age women would want to support other women not tear them down. That's just an unfortunate part of our society.

Bubeaner said...

I debated with myself about posting a comment.... I am hoping that it's not misinterpreted as it is not meant to be judgmental.

I am a SAHM. We are blessed that I am able to care for our much-awaited little one and maintain our lifestyle without too many sacrifices. But this decision is something DH and I discussed prior to our engagement and worked towards since then. Had I wanted to continue working, we would have figured out how to manage it.

There is no one right way to raise a child; no two children are alike. And no one solution works for every family. There are some moms that NEED to work outside the home to be better moms be it for emotional reasons, sanity's sake comes to mind =); they love their field of work or have just invested too much in it to leave it; financially it's just the better option in what it can provide the family; or many other reasons.

On the other hand, Anonymous did have a point. Anyone CAN be a SAHM, even single moms; I bet there are some single SAHMs, but they are probably on welfare or independently wealthy. However, this may not be the best thing for the family or the children. Unfortunately, this option is sometimes discounted too fast because we think about losing an income AND staying with the same lifestyle seeing it as incompatible.

It all comes down to choices. And in the end, you make the best decision for your family be it staying at home or working outside the home.

In the end, being a SAHM does not necessarily mean a better mom nor does working outside the home necessarily mean you are a harder working mom.

What I don't understand, and saddens me, is how we, women, are able to turn on each other so easily. Being a mom is hard. PERIOD. And no one understands that unless they are mothers themselves. There are many challenges and rewards to working at home or working outside the home. Instead of supporting each other, REGARDLESS of where we work, we villainize the other "group".

On that note: Good job Bev and good job Anonymous for trying to be the best mom you can be for YOUR children. =)

Nicole said...

I just read your previous entry and I have no idea why it sparked any type of controversy (and nasty commentary). I am one of those 'working Mom's who really wants to work' but I respect SAHM's, even if I don't understand them. I know what they do is challenging. Both working Moms and SAHMs are needed in this world. Maybe one day we won't have the judgement from either side.

Nicole said...

'What's more important your house or raising your children? FYI - raising children is a career. I'm raising the next generation - a huge job!'

And I'm keeping the doors propped open for your daughter to be able to have a career when she enters the working world. What would the world look like if all women dropped out of the workforce when they had children? What opportunities would there be for our daughters? Chill out and have some respect for the other side.

Heather W said...

This is the first time I have ever seen your blog but I will definitely be back. I had a baby in February and am now back working. I have often contemplated starting a blog of my own. I can't believe the judgement passed on others. Good for you for standing up for yourself!

Anonymous said...

Just read this--great topic and excellent post. I am a SAHM who works from time to time from home (meaning AFTER the baby is asleep--very tiring!). We too had fertility problems--took us 12 years as a couple, 2 hard years of trying, and three emergency hospitalizations to get our girl (love love love that kid). Once she came, I just couldn't go back to work. After 10 years being a professional, I was out...at least until she starts first grade. We are one of those "mythical" couples who gave up alot for this decision (lost home to foreclosure, sold one car, NO date nights, etc.) I can tell you that it is possible--not always pretty (as in "dye your own hair with on-sale box hair dye" not pretty)--but possible. Anything's possible.

But to be certain, good parents come in all packages. I know some women that have no business being at home with kids all day. Although I have to say that, having been a professional child care provider in high school and college (nanny and day care), I am a HUGE proponent of SAH parenting (daddies make good SAHs too), but more so, I am largely against group child care for ages three and under. It is just not good enough and often creates behavioral problems and attachment disorders that permeate a child's entire life and leave their elementary school teachers pulling their hair out.

That's my two cents. If you got to go with childcare people, please please try a nanny or share-nanny or bargain with a close family member to provide the care. You get one shot at raising your child. Society thanks you for taking it seriously.

~Anon C

Virginia said...

1st I love the music on your site - even turned my TV off just to listen and read. I love your blog. I have not been following, but working mothers caught my eye as I was so ready to go back to work. My little one came 8 weeks too early which made us spend a lot of time in the care traveling to the NICU and then home without visitors or outings. I teach school and am afforded the luxury of spending the summer with her, but dont think I could do the stay at home thing all the time!! It is hard work. I might miss something she does in the daytime with dad (he works at night!), but I get this very special bonding time at night when just us girls are home that I would not get if I were home all the time. Again, thanks for taking the time to write what you did. It is so important for folks to see both sides of the coin. vgw

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