Monday, April 16, 2012

The Resurgence of Stay-at-Home Moms?

A couple of months ago we had a snow day, and on Facebook, I saw lots of messages declaring "So glad to be a SAHM (stay-at-home mom)!", "Me too!", and "Such a blessing." Maybe this is something isolated to the Christian community, but it seems like all the wives in my past and current Bible studies are either stay-at-home full-time or working part-time. I'm serious, the count is 12 no-time/part-time to 4 full-time women, and out of those 4 full-time women, 3 of them are older and have no kids in the house.


With the impending addition to our family (let's call him "Dexter" from now on), the decision has been weighing on my heart. On one hand, I've never cared much about climbing the corporate ladder and derive more pleasure from supporting my husband and keeping our household running smoothly (yes, how domestic of me, an engineer with a master's degree). Plus, childcare for more than 1 kid is obscenely expensive. On the other hand, my mom worked full-time her entire career, and I feel like I had a normal, happy childhood and developed into a strong independent woman because of it. I think she would positively die of shock if I told her I was considering being a SAHM. I can already hear her now: "What a waste of an education!" "Children of SAHMs turn out no better than those of working moms." "What if something happens to K's job?"

Well, to be accurate, something did happen to K's job. He's been out of the workforce for half a year now, and yet God has continued to provide while we wait for opportunities to come to fruition. In my ideal world, I would like to work part-time 2 hours a day while Dexter is less than a year old. Once he's a little older, that could eventually ramp up to 3-5 hours a day, but I'd like to stay part-time permanently to have extra time for my family.

Sometimes it can be hard for me think that my measly desires will make any sort of blip in God's master plan, but it says in Matthew 7:
7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!"

So I guess all I can do is what it says: ask and hope. I'll let you know what happens. :)

Question:
Do you or would you stay at home with your kids?

6 comments:

Not Jenny said...

I stay home with my kids. I am trained as a Practical Nurse and when our first was born my husband was self-employed so we tag-teamed each other so we wouldn't have to use daycare. I cut down my hours when #2 came along as it was much too stressful to work at the hospital and then look after a preschooler with special needs and a toddler at the same time. By the time #3 came along, my husband was looking for regular work and we did the math and realized that after paying for daycare for three kids I would essentially be working for free. I dropped my postition, and picked up a few casual shifts here and there and then said No more times than I said Yes, so the hosptial dropped me and sort of made the final decision for us. (which was fine as I was not exactly in love with my job anway) It is not easy. We don't live in the lap of luxury, but it works for us. Also, since I live in Canada, we had lots of time to make up our minds about things because after each baby I was given the luxury of a year of Goverment-mandated maternity leave.
I don't feel like my religion has anything to do with my decision to stay home, but it is funny how that seems to be the pattern sometimes.
My mom worked full time when I was little as well and I turned out fine. She freaked out when I told her I was going to be a SAHM. (She also freaked out when I told her #3 was on the way so I guess she had a few ideas about how I should live my life that I didn't)
Wow. That was a long reply!

Anne G. White said...

Thank you so much for sharing your experiences! I totally showed K because I was so excited. I think he secretly would prefer that I work full-time post-kids because of the standard of living that it would afford us, but then again he grew up with a SAHM and understands the benefits too. :)

Not Jenny said...

I think that I was extra-wary about leaving my kids with babysitters because of my oldest--he didn't speak until he was almost in Kindergarten and I felt very protective of him (I still do, even though he has made miraculous progress). He couldn't tell me what happenend in daycare when I left him so I didn't trust him with people unless I knew them very well.

Also, I really really didn't like my job very much, even though people tell me I was very good at it.

Anne G. White said...

I agree too! My mom-in-law has been babysitting for her other two grandkids so I could theoretically ask her, but she lives further away from us and I kind of feel bad for her and want her to actually enjoy retirement (she worked part-time after her kids started school).

geekturtle said...

First, you will probably will be receiving presure to either be a sahm or a working mom, in any case the desition is yours.
I have been a stay at home, working, and working at home mom, all I can say is that I have seen "not so good" stay at home moms, because they spend their whole day cleaning and looking for things to do and not paying any attention to the kid(s), i like to spend some time with them to talk and play, as a working mom I rather keep the sink full of dishes than to not pay attention to my kids (don´t get me wrong I clean and did housework but usually after being with my kids) sometimes is hard to understand that the dishes, laundry, dusting, etc, etc, will stay there but the time with your kid will pass, suddenly you look and they are teens or young adults ready to live their life and you become a stranger if you don´t have a history with them.
so whatever you choose, enjoy the time you have with them, wityh your husband (that means take time to be with him as a dinner for two after baby is sleep, or go to the movies, etc) and for you, being a mom is hard work and it is 24/7.
I hope it works for you
and congratulations, I really enjoy your blog

Anne G. White said...

@GeekTurtle - Thanks so much for the encouragement and advice. There's only so much time in the day and we women do get a lot of pressure to be "Super Moms" who can do it all. As much as I'm nervous about parenthood and all the changes/responsibilities it entails, I'm equally excited about all the joys it will bring as well. :)