Thursday, July 16, 2009

Questions for you, stay-at-home wives and mothers

At my sidebar, you can see a new poll I opened, directed at wives and/or mothers who stay at home. The subject of the poll is to find out how many of you planned to stay at home - say, when you were growing up - and for how many it was an unexpected bend in the road. Of course, a poll cannot capture the complexity of an individual situation, so whatever you have to add, I would love to read here.

I would also love to hear your say on the following:

1. How long have you been at home? How old were you when you came home? If you worked outside the home before, how many years of work experience did you have behind you.

2. What prompted you to come home - and stay home? Did you or your husband initiate it? Were there religious, social, financial reasons?

3. What are your particular joys about being home, and/or in what ways do you believe you being home contributes to your family?

4. What are your challenges, frustrations, weaknesses and fears about being at home? Are you afraid of losing your qualification, not having an independent source of financial support, not doing something that is considered "significant" by the rest of the world?

5. Do you live in a community where being a stay-at-home wife/mother is common? If not, have you ever had to encounter naysayers? How do you deal with awkward questions?

Of course, feel free to comment anonymously if you wish. I look forward to reading your input.

76 comments:

Nea L said...

This is an interesting topic, and I can't wait to read what others have to say!

Here's my two cents, eventhough I'm not yet at home permanently, only at summers and, to be honest, this summer is the first one I take seriously to really put my home a priority :) The next two years I will be studying (to be able to move abroad with my husband one day), unless a sweet blessing occurs to us in the form of a baby. So that was question 1.

2. The idea that one day I will be a stay at home mother came to me simply out of the blue just before I met my then husband to be. That had never been an option for me before. Actually I had pittied those poor woman who threw away all they potential just staying at home... ;) I guess my change of thoughts was directly from God. Now that I've been married for two years, our thoughts has gone even further and I'm likely to be a stay at home wife(if we won't be blessed with children) after those studies and at summers.

3.Many ways, but here's few: The time spent together at home is truly the time spent together, because I've done all the "work" before my husband comes. I feel I have my own very special place and purpose as I take care of my home and family, that no one else couldn't fulfill. And if we ever have children, I strongly think it's our responsibility to raise them, not societys.

4. I don't have any fears at the moment... This is all still rather new to me.

5. No, it's not a common choice. It's not that freek for a mother who has children under three to stay home (in Finland mother or father can stay home the first three years without loosing his/her job and they get a little financial support), but when the children are older or there is none, it's very uncommon.

Coffee Catholic said...

How long have you been at home?
~~3 years now

How old were you when you came home?
~~31 years old

If you worked outside the home before, how many years of work experience did you have behind you?
~~I've been working since I was a child.

What prompted you to come home - and stay home?
~~Growing up, all I heard was about how girls had to go to college and get into careers. But housewives still existed when I was a child so the idea of staying home seemed totally normal, although financially difficult in our two-income, big house, two car culture.

What are your particular joys about being home, and/or in what ways do you believe you being home contributes to your family?
~~This question has an easy answer: I'm here. I'm not elsewhere. I'm right here with my child. I'm available for my husband and other family members. I'm not away, I'm right here at home.

What are your challenges, frustrations, weaknesses and fears about being at home?
~~I have physical disabilities that get in the way of me being able to consistently keep a tidy house. That is almost depressing to me. Pregnancy, though a blessing!, isn't helping one bit. I wish I had family members that could help ~ sisters, aunts, etc. Even friends but everyone is away working. We modern housewives are on our own!

Do you live in a community where being a stay-at-home wife/mother is common?
~~ The problem with this community is that no one really says much to your face, they just gossip about you behind your back. So I have no idea what folk actually think. But as for the retired folk, they seem to think that housewives are perfectly normal.

Tracy said...

I've been married for 20 years in August. I worked at a restaurant for about 5 months when we first got married, and we never saw one another. We decided I could come home. ( I didn't enjoy working outside the home either.)

I've never looked back. I've been home all these years, however, I've taken a few babysitting jobs in my home along the way. This wasn't my favorite thing to do, as it tied me up more than I would have liked, and certainly took the freedom out of my schedule to serve my husband on a whim.

My husband, children and I are happiest when I'm taking care of OUR family.

I've learned to turn a deaf ear to the naysayers. I know what makes me happy, and I believe the reason that it makes me happy is because God called me to it.

In the homeschooling community, stay at home moms are the norm, and these are the women I'm friends with so I have no problem there. Yet. As our children leave the nest, I'm certain some of these moms will return to the workforce, and things may be different then.

CappuccinoLife said...

1. I've been home since we married. I was 19. :)

2. My husband and I decided from courtship on that if we married, I would be at home. My husband had been watching Westernization and feminism creep into his culture and he did not want a "modern" wife who was out an about, busy with her career, leaving children to the nannies. I never wanted to be that way, either, so we were a great match. All my life I have been interested in nothing except to be a full-time wife and mother, making a home.

3. Joys: Hard to list them. I feel so blessed to be home to see and hear all the beautiful little things. Things I'd never know I'd be missing if I were gone. The little things they say, their funny comments, an unexpected hug and a kiss. And I love, love, love watching them grow and develop. In that too, it's the little things that are just so absolutely fascinating and amazing.

4. Challenges: The worst for me is the neverending nature of Stuff That Must Be Done. That and the typical mommy guilt. I can never feel quite settled that I'm doing the best, or even just good enough.

5. Our community is full of SAHM's, which is great. I have found a few friends who are also homeschooling, so we have a lot in common.

Terry @ Breathing Grace said...

Wow! I am the only voter so far for whom this wasn't planned?? Well I had planned on only being a mother of two also, lol. You know what "they" say about the best laid plans.

Well, planned or not, I feel extremely blessed to be at home serving my family.

I was 24 years old when I came home, having been married about 18 months, with a one year old baby, and pregnanat with twins. I was having a very difficult time, but I didn't know yet that I was carrying twins, which was pretty taxing. Being a restaurant manager requires lots of hours on your feet (not glamorous work at all), and I was very exhausted.

My husband had been pleading with me to just quit already but my fiercely independent streak kept me pushing on until one day he stopped asking and made one of his pronouncements: "That's it. Put in your two weeks notice tonorrow." He meant it and I knew he meant it so I put in my two weeks.

I did and soon afterward realized we were having twins. We knew that this was the beginning of me staying at home because childcare for 3 children under 2 years of age would make mean I would be paying for the burden of going to work.

The rest, as they say, is history. It's been 15 years and we haven't loooked back. I thoroughly enjoy being at home. It was during this period of time that God began to turn out earts toward Him, for which we are eternally grateful. We are blessed beyond measure.

Gothelittle Rose said...

1. I've always felt "at home", even when working full-time. So I'm not sure how to answer that. Hm. Since the age of 18, been not working full-time for about 10 years.

2. What first prompted it was "sick building syndrome", but we always knew that I'd be home when we started having children. I just did it a year or two early. That was also the time that my husband handed me control of the finances. I knew all along I'd be better at the saving and spending, but I wanted HIM to give it to me instead of ME taking it from him, and after about a year and a half he did.

3. I love not stressing over time. I also love spending all the extra time bonding with my children. There's also the plus of running a household with less waste. Plus I'm not a very good cube farm worker. I'm a very good manager of myself and my home, but I find the semi-autonomous environment frustrating. I never manage to properly intuit what my boss wanted me to know that I had to do. Set me loose or give me a checklist. Homemaking sets me loose.

I also love the smell of line-dried clothing.

4. Not afraid of losing my qualifications. I work part-time as a tutor and sometimes as an adjunct college professor. I consider it a valuable opportunity. I do it for Making Money, though the extra cash is nice since we're pretty tight. If I did have to support the family, though, this ensures that I'd have options in the educational sector, which is pretty family-friendly.

I am afraid of having to be personally financially independent, because that would only happen if something dreadful happened to my husband, and I don't want something dreadful to happen to him. :)

5. It's common within my close acquaintances and relatives, and less common beyond that circle. I feel guilty about having mental-related health problems when working full-time outside the home, and that's a sore point with me. Someday I'll be able to get past that and see with my heart what I see with my brain.. not everyone is suited to it, and I'm well-suited to my homemaker position. Nobody can claim I don't work hard.

Other people's comments don't bother me, though, unless they ping on that couldn't-take-the-fulltime-environment sore spot.

Tracy said...

Hi Mrs. Anna,
First off, I want to tell you what an encouragement your blog is to me. I pour over your homemaking posts when I am in need of a recharge!
I have been home for 3.5 years now. I graduated from college with a degree in business and promptly started into a career. When I was younger, I thought maybe I didn't want kids, and if I did, well, then they could go to daycare (I did and turned out fine!) or my husband could stay home with them.
When we had our first son, though, something very drastic changed in my heart. I was amazed at how much I wanted to be around this little guy. Our marriage felt upside-down- I managed my husband ("What did you do today?") like I managed my employees. I felt pulled at work and at home, and felt like I was never giving enough to either (and I wasn't!). When our son was three or four months old, we started talking about me staying home full time (or even part time). By this time, I had been reading through some Christian books talking about the role of women, and felt pretty convicted that what I was chasing after in the working world paled in comparison to what I was giving up at home. The area we were living in is a very high-priced one, and we ended up moving 1800 miles from home and into the country so that I could become a stay at home mom. (Ironically, your story that you are writing is laughably close to what I experienced culture-wise)
I love being home, and find it new and challenging all the time. The honest truth is that I know I am doing right by the Lord, by my kids, and by my husband. I have SO much more peace now (even with 4yo and 2 yo boys!)
That being said, being a SAHM is not easy. I had always thought I would have money, comfort...convenience...and God has shown me that He alone is sufficient for my needs. He knows those true desires of my heart. There are days I mourn what I could have given to my kids by way of "things" had I been a working mom...but it takes just a few seconds to remind myself that a mom is much more meaningful than a once a year trip to Disneyland or a new (versus garage sale) bike.
Many women have started staying home with their kids since I have moved here, and I have ended up completely surrounded by SAHM's. Still, though, I find so many blogs to be a community of encouragement to my mamma-heart!
I would also like to point out that I have been amazed at how my husband has changed since I have been at home. He has taken on the role of sole provider, which he never thought he would be doing, either...and I cannot believe the man he has become as a result of my leaving that up to him alone. He is a strong man of God and I really admire how he leads our family (even if I don't always like his decisions!) What a change from the guy I married. We truly were upside-down. God has a plan for how a marriage is supposed to be set up, and when we put it back to His plan, we are both challenged more, but much happier. Sorry to write a blog in your blog =)!

Tamsen said...

My hubby and I didn't plan on having children, but God had other plans. As it turned out, our DD is profoundly disabled. For her first 18 months, I was able to work from home, but soon all of the Dr. appts and therapies because too much for my employer to bear, and they fired me. It's just as well, I was 6 months pregnant with our 2nd DD at the time. Though I didn't plan it, I am very glad that I am now at home. I've come to believe that children are best served by an at home mom, and for children like my first daughter there's really no other option (she would not be accepted at any day care center.)
As for the rest of the world, I've been fortunate not to meet anyone who gave me hassles over being at home.
Basically, I have everything I never wanted.. and I am thrilled :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Anna,
I worked in an office, and never imagined being at home. I wasn't ambitious, and had a very hard time figuring out what I wanted to be when I grew up, but I was happy enough working at a law firm, although a lot of the time it seemed pointless and empty. About six months after getting married, the desire for children came out of nowhere and hit me like a truck -it was all I could think about. I realized too, that what I wanted to be if and when I ever grew up (fingers still crossed) was a mother, more than anything else. So I switched to a different company, a much smaller company that I knew would be more flexible and more open to the idea of working part-time from home. About four months before our son was born, a woman from my old office who I knew but didn't know well emailed me, looking for part-time work. Between the two of us we divided the responsibilities and hours, to where I got to work from home and she was in the office as much as she wanted to be, and it's worked out really well. We did take a major paycut when I went from 40 hours to 15-20 per week, but it's been completely worth it, and I'm so thankful for my company and my husband who've been fine and supportive of all the changes - my husband prefers me at home to daycare for the children, and my boss actually told me he "understands and respects what I'm trying to do"- so I'm very fortunate. In my community being at home with children is fairly common, and being able to afford a stay at home mom in the family seems like sort of a status symbol in certain circles. In our house, we actually come out ahead with me working 15-20 hours and paying for no daycare - the other hours that I could work wouldn't cover the cost of daycare, so the family finances have benefitted as well.

I love being at home - when the children are little, it makes the nursing feasible - I tip my hat to women who work and nurse, I don't know how they manage. And I love every minute (well, most minutes) I spend with my boy - he delights me constantly. And I love being able to have a clean home and run errands without it being a source of stress crammed into an already jampacked week - it makes my marriage better, I think, and I still have the energy to smile at my husband when he comes home. I think if I were trying to be a good mother, good wife, keep house, run errands, and work 40 hours a week in an office I would be exhausted, stressed out, and feel like a martyr. It's much better, marriage wise, for me to be unstressed and thankful to my husband for making it possible for me to be home.
Long post - sorry!
Gracie

Anonymous said...

1. I've been home for almost 2 years now. I was 22 and not even pregnant yet. I'd been in the workforce since age 17 and held a variety of low-paying jobs and some prestigious internships, but no real "career" job.

2. I was MISERABLE at my last job. Absolutely loathed being there. We realized how much money we were spending each month for me to work and saw that it wasn't worth it. When I came home, it was to pursue freelance work and that went much better. My husband was extremely supportive of this.

3. Joys include being able to take care of my family in the best way that I can. Now that I have a son, being at home means I can personally provide his care.

4. I do worry about needing to enter the workforce at a later date. I don't hope to, but if it becomes a need, I worry that I won't have any qualifications.

5. There do seem to be a few SAHMs in my area but there doesn't seem to be much of a community that I've found. I'm hoping to meet more SAHMs for encouragement and support. Now that I'm a mom, I feel comfortable saying I'm a homemaker, but before my son was born, I never did. I was always a "freelancer," because I didn't want to deal with raised eyebrows.

- Mrs A

motherofmany said...

When I was young, I just wanted to be a wife and mom. I learned the implied truth, though, that it just wasn't reality anymnore, because people can't survive on one income. When I married, we were milking cows on our dairy farm, but when I became pregnant, I was unable to do the farm work. My husband said I would have to get a job elsewhere to make up for the cost of hiring someone else.

I had every plan of going back to work after my 6 week maternity leave, but the instant I had that baby in my arms, I knew I could never do it. I was nervous about telling my husband, but I was determined. As it turned out, I ended up quite ill for a while after her birth and on bed rest.

This time of bedrest was a spiritual awakening for me as I had time to do nothing but read and take care of my baby. I read where the Father designed the family unit to be together as much as possible, and gave the training of children to the parents, not the 'village'. I also understood for the first time the effects of sending kids to school (namely, myself) where they were taught a host of erroneous ideals. I remembered feeling closer to friends and teachers than I did my own parents. I decided to find a way for us to stay together as much as possbile.

My biggest regret is that before I came to this realization, I went ahead and borrowed money to go to college. Now we have a great deal of debt trying to pay that back. I have my degree, but all I ever wanted to do was stay home.

We not only survive on one income, we thrive (and it is a very small income to be honest). My husband has also been so blessed by having us here to help him and minister to him throughout the day that he would not change a thing.

The Stay at Home Wifey said...

1. I have been at home for nearly a year. Ever since finally arriving in my husband's country, as we had a year of immigration after our wedding before we could finally live together. I worked all my adult life until moving to be with my husband, and being older when we married (he was 41 and I was 35) I had 18 years of experience in the workplace. I also have 2 degrees, but my time working has helped prepare me to be a better wife to my husband, as I understand his work life better.
2. We both agreed before we even got married that I would stay at home. The biggest reason is because the Bible makes it clear that the woman should be a keeper of the home. It would also be easier to stay at home after children arrive if we were already used to living on one income.
3. The joys are so many. I have taken a large burden off my busy husband, as he no longer has to think about domestic chores. I am always there waiting with a smile whenever he gets home from work and that makes his day. We have peace and harmony in our home because we have clearly defined gender roles, so we both know what the other expects of us.
4. No fears, and the biggest challenge is financial, but we make it work as I have time to be frugal. Right now I am 12 weeks pregnant and I cannot imagine having to cope with a job outside the home while going through this first trimester. It is actually a comfort to know I can rest whenever I need to in order to protect this growing baby.
5. My neighbourhood has several mothers of young children who are currently at home, but this is mostly due to them having just relocated here through their husband's jobs, they don't plan to stay at home long term. Older women are far more encouraging of our decision than younger ones. I ignore the negative comments, as I know we made the right decision for us.

Jen said...

I've been at home since February of this year-- so about 5 months. My husband and I have always known that I would stay home with our children and foster children--when we got married, we specifically bought a smaller, less expensive home, and worked like mad to pay off our debt so that I would be able to stay at home. I worked outside the home for 10 very successful years, and gave up a very high paying job to be at home, but we are happier now than we have ever been!
I love being at home with our foster daughter, and watching how much she changes each and every day! I cannot imagine missing out on these precious days.
I do have fears that, should something happen to my husband, I will be left with a huge void on my resume.
Staying at home is thought of as a luxury in my community-- people often think we're rich because I stay at home, but we're not, we just make wise financial decisions. Still, I do have plenty of friends who stay at home, and that makes staying at home a lot more fun, knowing that I can drop by a friend's house during the day for advice, a cup of tea, etc etc...

doctorandprincess@yahoo.com said...

I have always planned on staying home. Wouldn't have had it any other way. Wouldn't have married my husband if he didn't feel the same way. I stayed home before we even had children. When ignorant people ask "Do you work?". I say "Yeah, all the time!". Or "Do you stay home?". I answer "Rarely." :-) When they ask "Do you have to stay home?" I say "No-- I GET to stay home. Yeah, I don't have to GO to work." I'm a princess according to my husband (and me! lol), I'm not punching the clock! No way! I want to be able to go play when I want, take a nap when I want, eat when I want, etc.

You can totally live on one income. You'll have to go without certain things sometimes, but big deal! My peace is more important than a mortgage or car payment.

I LOVE my life. It is fabulous! I'm livin' the dream! LOL

Mrs. Correa

Mrs. Anna T said...

Ladies, please do not apologize for writing long stories! I'm thoroughly enjoying reading them.

Jenn@Spejory said...

Hi Anna,

I was raised in a single-parent household and was influenced by feminism when deciding on my career aspirations. I wanted to be rich and "successful." After marrying and graduating from college, I worked for 5 years before becoming pregnant. I didn't plan to stay home, but I will never forget the first drive to work after maternity leave was over. I could barely drive because of the tears--and my baby was safely kept by my dear sister. I just knew I was meant to be home with my son. Six months later, we took the plunge and I quit my job just in time to savor my second pregnancy and the second half of my oldest son's babyhood. It WAS an adjustment. I didn't know how to keep a home because my own parents divorced, forcing my mother to work. She was unable to teach me. But parenting seemed to flow naturally, and I taught myself to cook. It took many years to overcome the guilt that I felt, not contributing to the family income. But my husband LOVES that I am home. He would never want me to work. It builds his self-esteem to be able to provide for our family and know he did it alone.

In the community where I live, the economy has taken a huge toll on the livelihood of many families. Men are losing their jobs and not able to find work. The ladies are forced to leave home and support the family. I am truly blessed that my husband's job is secure. The dear sister who cared for my own son when he was a baby is now being forced back into the workforce because her husband is losing his job.

I know how blessed I am. I am so thankful that just a year ago, we took our children out of public school and began homeschooling them. I cannot imagine life any other way. I am truly "rich and successful" now, but not in the world's way. My riches are a happy husband and children.

Rachel said...

Hello, Mrs T! What a lovely poll and questions for today's thoughts...

I've been at home since I was expecting our first child. We knew that whatever I made working outside of the home wouldn't be for anything more than daycare expenses, and the more I started looking into things, the less and less I wanted to have her in that enviroment on a regular basis. So I was 25 and some change--close to a half, but who is counting, right? ;-)

Challenges and joys...well, my husband I have been blessed with six children thus far (five living--incl, at the moment, a set of 2 yo twin boys)...so sometimes just handling everyone's needs at the same exact time can be a challenge. Mostly, training the children (right now, the oldest three are girls, 9 and under) so that I eventually make myself redundant. I figure my job is to train them to be adults--and so that is how we approach things (with a strong emphasis on our religious faith intricately woven into that fabric, of course!). The girls just helped me finish planting some more of our garden (very very late going in, but hopefully we will get something--weather has been making things difficult this year) this morning--planting and mulching and more planting and more mulching. Cleaning out the chicken coop. Feeding the animals, making sure that they are watered...laundry, etc..they all are going to learn these skills...

Joys..well, joys go hand in hand with the challenges. Seeing a child 'get' a new job...and enjoy it--or at least, appreciate the how/why of it getting done. We homeschool, so I get to see the joys of academic learning as well as day-to-day life...a wonderful blessing, to see my 7 yr old dd reading to her younger brothers and sisters...:-) Does a heart good...

As far as in the local area? Well, we do spend most of our time with other homeschoolers, but it isn't unheard of (especially when folks find out we have five to care for) in this area. And no one seems to think badly--we live in a very rural area, farming and cattle operations--so neighbors are farther apart. But even amongst the ones we see/meet regularly, there is no...ill feeling.

I do, on occasion, get the comments about how many children we've been blessed with, but frankly, I figure they are the ones missing out. (slight ot tangent here--sorry). I mean, I've been blessed to be able to stay home with my children, which has also enabled me to be more willing to be open to life, as God sees fit to bless us with...and what more can anyone ask for than a table full of family and laughter and love? And homegrown goodness, let's not forget that!

Mrs T, as an aside, have you considered posting some of your recipes? I realize that you are a vegetarian, however, I think that there are enough ladies with huge gardens who might enjoy something a little "different" from the usual fare...esp when the garden is producing one veggie in abundance. LOL.

Thank you for the thought-provoking questions...

Brooke H. said...

How long have you been at home?
~~4 months

How old were you when you came home?
~~25 years old

How many years of work experience did you have behind you?
~~I worked full-time from 18 to 25, in one industry. I came to be very valued and respected in it as well.

What prompted you to come home - and stay home?
~~ I had always known that I wanted to go back and complete my college degree, but I was always unsure of my major and so used to having extra money from working that I just took classes sporadically. When the industry I was working in started to decline after the economic stuff started happening, my husband and I decided that it would be best for me to return to school full-time in order to secure a better career outlook for myself. I was working full-time in a high-stress job and going to school full-time, and it ended up being too much for me to handle emotionally and psychologically. I then made the decision to go home and work only part-time until my schooling was complete. That ended up not being worth the money, so I quit working period. Now that summer is here I’ve had a taste of what full-time homemaking is, and I LOVE IT!

What are your particular joys about being home?
~~While we don’t yet have children, I am amazed at all the things I have taken for granted over the years, how much work there really is to be done at home and how the tone of my home has changed dramatically for the better. Home was always a place to crash after work and that was it. Now, it’s a haven (or I’m attempting to make it one) and the center of my attention. I now cannot imagine letting it go to what it was before, a mess!

What are your challenges, frustrations, weaknesses and fears about being at home?
~~ I’m so used to schedules imposed by someone else that accountability to my own schedules is still causing me some problems. I’m sure that time and persistence will solve that though. I’m angry that I was never before taught how to be at home or what it really was about or its value. I’m not really afraid of anything at the moment, as I have not completed my schooling yet. We’ll see how that all pans out when it’s over. I don’t worry at all about financial independence. I have family I could turn to in the future if need be, and my husband has made provisions for me to be well-provided for should something ever happen to him. I also don’t worry about what others think about what I’m doing. There are so many of us who are becoming truly “enlightened” that I think one day we will be the majority… I hope so.

Do you live in a community where being a stay-at-home wife/mother is common?
~~ I’m not so involved with our community, so I’m not sure.

melissa said...

1. I've been a housewife for just about 1 year, though I was a full time grad student before that. So technically I became a housewife at age 31. I had worked before and just finished my PhD.

2. I because a housewife because my husband was diagnosed with cancer about 4 months after we were married. We thought we'd move back to my home country and that we'd both have jobs there, but because of his illness we stayed in the country we are now (not our birth countries) and I stayed home to take care of him.

3. I really don't know how to answer that, though I do have more time to bake now (which my husband really likes!)

4. I'm frustrated most of the time...I think I'm still adjusting.

5. Yes, housewives are very common where we live

Mrs. White said...

I married in my teens. It never occurred to me to work. I have always been a housewife and always wanted to be. This is normal to me.

Beth M. said...

1. I've been home for almost 2.5 years, since just before my daughter was born. I was 22, about to turn 23 at the time. I had been working for 2.5 years after graduating from college.

2. I always wanted to stay home when I had kids, particularly while they are little. My husband and I agreed that having mommy home full-time is the best choice for our children. If we don't homeschool (which is still under discussion) I might work part time or something after all the kids are in school, but I have no intentions of going to work full-time until all our kids are grown.

3. I love being able to take care of my daughter (and soon baby #2) all the time. I very rarely leave her in anyone else's care. I also enjoy having time to spend on sewing and other crafty projects - I never had enough time for those things when I was in school or working, but now its actually a part of my "job" as a wife and mother!

4. I don't really have any fears. I do get a little frustrated because most of my college friends are in grad school or some career. We have very little in common anymore, and those relationships have suffered as a result.

I'm not terribly worried about losing qualifications. I was teaching under a provisional license, so if I hadn't quit to stay home I would have had to take more classes to get a regular license anyway. If I eventually decide to go back to work, I'll probably go back to school first anyway so years of being out of the work force won't make much difference.

5. It is fairly common for moms in my community to be home at least for a few years while their children are small, though many also choose to work part time. So far most people have been supportive of my choice to stay home, but I expect some naysayers in the future when I no longer have babies or toddlers. I'm not sure how I'll deal with it - I'll cross that bridge when I come to it!

domestichippie said...

1. I've been home almost 2 years. I work through 4 years of college. But I went to school for theatre so odd jobs were never my desire anyway. I am still involved with theatre and i am am a costumer and artist as well. and while I get paid for this is and cleaning a friends house very 3 weeks it doesn't really take me from the home.

2. My husabnd and I wanted me home. But what really sent me there was the horrible environment at my job. My boss did not have her shop together really well and could not maintain a proffesional attitude. we both wanted me to continue in my art. any odd jobs I do will stop once e have children

3. having time to keep up with the house. Even though we don't yet have children that was over whelming to me to go to work and come home and work some more. One joy has come is me being able to make costumes as a bussiness (which my husband run) He hopes to end up with a nice family bussiness.

4. I have some illness issues which were furstrating because i felt lazy being home but unable to do stuff. That and people act a if I've trown my education away. But then I studied to and artist something that is fperfect for a housewife. I have time to create art, and I expect those skills will greatly enrich our childrens lives once we have them.

finnacially my craft does bring in a little income my husband veiws it as a Prov 31 thing

5. I get a bit lonesome during the day because no one is in our neighborhood and most of my friends have not gotten married yet and are busy. We plan to move soon a hopefully i will not be the only woman for miles...that and the city is so cold and rude

Gombojav Tribe said...

1. I worked outside the home before I got married. Since I've been married I have been home--even though some count our ministry as "work" but I do it from home. Also teach childbirth classes which generate income, but again, that is from home.

2. I always knew I would stay home. In fact, I made sure I discussed it with my husband to be shortly after we met, just to make sure we were on the same page before I was too far along in my heart! My reason are social, financial and religious, I guess.

3. I LOVE being with my kids all day. And I love being a homemaker (except for dishes which I could totally do without LOL!), cooking, decorating, being at home with my husband.

4. My only frustrations are on the day that the baby is teething, I'm hosting a dinner party, one kid is getting the sniffles, the washer broke and the UPS man is at the door. AHHHHHH!!!!!! There's only one of me! I need a wife! LOL!

5. It's pretty evenly divided. Many of my friends work, at least part time. But, there are a lot of stay-at-home moms (especially the homeschooling ones) with which I socialize.

His Wife and Their Mommy said...

I always knew that I wanted to be a wife and mother and stay home.. forever n always..LOL.. I had a few odd jobs like at a library and grocery store before I got married.. but that was all while I was waiting to get married.. once I met my hubby we agreed on everything and he was more then willing to let me stay home. he was just so surprised that I wanted to stay home and raise the kids and keep house and stuff. most women now days don't know how to do anything and refuse to learn. so I guess we were a blessing to each other. I am very blessed and thankful to have a hubby that lets me stay home and " be a bum" and most people like to put it. but he knows better and appreciates everything I do..

Maria said...

1. I have been at home for a little over 9 months (the age of my precious baby). Before that I was a stressed-out grad student. Got my BA in Spanish and my MA in counseling. What is the use of counseling others when my own family needs me?
2. God is the one who prompted me to stay home and challenged my independent streak. After a failed adoption during grad school, we thought we would put having kids on hold. Not that we didn't want them, just that we didn't want more pain and I thought I should pay off the school loans first. I put it all in God's hands. Well, I was 99% sure I was going to get this job, but the boss kept saying I had to wait a few more weeks because of this or that issue. Well, we got the call about our little girl the day she was due! I got the letter that I was accepted for the job a month later! Needless to say, I chose the better job...I struggled with the choice and felt guilty although my husband encouraged me. Reading your blog really helped give me the understanding why it was important and have not felt a great desire to work since. Thank you for all the inspiration you give.

3. Listening to Chopin while making fresh bread. Having the time to do little projects here and there. Watching my baby grow and see all of her funny moments. Clean house (sometimes), a relaxing nap, finishing my first dress that I made for my little girl. I love being there for my husband and being the role model for my little girl. I can't wait to teach her all the things I know and then some.

4. Challenges - so many! Wishing my artist husband would just let me make all the interior decoration decisions, lol. Wishing there were more people I could visit during the day and bring my fresh-baked bread to. Wishing my husband didn't have such a long commute and such long work hours. Wishing I had parents who had been loving and been able to teach me about being a housewife. Frustration is not knowing how to do a lot of repairs around the house and not having a lot of time to read or do research either due to having a nine-month old. Not having more Catholic women who stay at home (our parish is a very rural tiny parish and most women go to work). Fortunately, I have my masters, so as long as we pay off our debt soon I should be okay financially if my husband dies.

5. Kind of has to do with my frustrations in #4. There are so few people who live as I do. This doesn't stop me from staying at home and loving it, but I wish there were other mothers that I could go to for advice and support. I do feel kind of isolated sometimes, especially with my husband being gone so much. I do get a lot of people who imply that I will go back to work someday, but I usually just ignore their comments.

Mrs. Jacqueline said...

Hello ladies! I've really been enjoying reading everyone else's stories :)

1. I've been a stay at home wife and mother for a little over a year now- I came home in May 2008, when I was 23 years old and my daughter was almost 2. I had been working outside the home nonstop since I was 14! I spent 5 years in the US Marine Corps and coming home was a serious culture shock to say the least.

2. My contract with the active duty military was ending- and I was tired of leaving my baby with the babysitter! I had been a single mother for some time, and my husband and I were newly married- I came home literally a week after we were married! It took a lot of convincing (me convincing my husband) to stay home. I managed to talk him into a "trial" period :) I wrote up a full budget using just his income and presented it to him and that sealed the deal.

3. I LOVE being the one to teach my daughter. She's going to turn three next week, and she calls me "her best friend Mommy" :) My husband is still in the active duty Marine Corps- he has a second job on top of that AND he goes to college. It's wonderful to be able to take the burden of running a household off his shoulders. He knows that he can just come home, relax, get a good meal, and all the details are taken care of. It's a joy to be able to creatively stretch our single income! And on the practical side, I've got several chronic diseases that I'm dealing with (thyroid issues, fibromyalgia ect). If I'm not feeling well, I have the freedom to lie on the couch all day watching a movie or reading with my daughter. On the flip side, I also have the time and energy to tackle large household projects. My husband now tells me that he NEVER wants me to go back to work, and that he couldn't have accomplished the advances he's made (and is making!) in his career without my work at home.

4. I do get frustrated occasionally- like I said before I was in the active duty US Marine Corps for 5 years before I came home. I literally walked in a man's shoes. I had power, respect, my own income. I do miss that occasionally.

5. In the military culture, being a stay at home wife and mother is common. The only problems I've really faced have been from my own parents (of all people...). They told my husband to make me "get a job" and that he was spoiling me. I DO have a job, I just don't get paid for it :D

mamajuliana said...

I am an 'old' mom now. My babies are soon to be 19 and 18.

Met my husband in college and was definitely on the career track. After we married we ended up in the family business. We tried to have children for 8 years and I worked up until I was put on bed rest with our daughter-I was 29. I had been working since college...

There was never any question about staying home. My husband loved the idea of my staying at home, thought there was the 'money question' in the beginning. It was a bit scary starting to live on one paycheck instead of two-though we had done some planning.

I was a trained teacher, so it was just natural to homeschool the children. We had to put up with nasty comments from family (and some friends) about both my remaining at home and the homeschooling. BUT I wouldn't change anything about those years!
I got to she my children bloom and grow into wonderful (soon to be) adults. Oh the things that I would have missed if I was not home with them. Little things and big things! Homechooling was part of training them for life-my job not the 'systems' job.

I was more than a 'homemaker'...there is no adequate job title or task list to describe being a stay at home mom. Joy and Blessing, trial and tears, definitely a Holy calling!!!

Now that our children are almost grown and one is preparing to go to college, I have begun helping my husband out at work for 4 hours a day 3 days a week.

I will never return to teaching because of the certification aspect. Things have become much too political and politically correct for me to enter the classroom again.

But I wouldn't have changed for the world!

Sorry to ramble on...

Anonymous said...

How long at home?
13-1/2 years

How old?
26

Years of work?
5

Why did I come home?
I was struggling to be wife, housekeeper and employee, and realised that if I added mother to my list of roles, something was going to have to give. Luckily my mother-in-law had been mostly at home, and my husband's oldest sister was an at home mom, so there was no problem there.

What are the joys of being home?
Primarily that I get to enjoy our children. Also, our house is much tidier and less stressful than it would be if I had to go out to work in addition to all the houseworky stuff and mothering.

What's hard about being at home?
Lack of prestige. When mothers who have careers ask what I do, I find I can't explain because I can't put it in terms they understand. It's like when people told me when I was pregnant with my first, "You'll be tired after the baby comes, sleep whenever the baby sleeps." and I didn't understand what they meant by "tired". It was a whole different dimension of "tired" than I'd ever experienced!

Am I afraid of losing my work qualifications?
It's probably already happened! But I have a whole bunch of different skills - amamzing organizational abilities, keeping on task while dealing with tens of interuptions an hour, and the ability to continue working when beyond exhausted. A person with a good work ethic and few qualifications will do better than a highly qualified person who won't work.

Am I afraid of doing something insignificant?
No, I'm annoyed thant so many people consider what I do to be insignificant when it isn't!

Are at-home women common in your community?
We live in a rural area, and our geographic neighbors keep to themselves. As a homeschooling mom, I am part of a community of similar moms, and we have to be at home to teach our children!

How do I deal with awkward questions?
I tell them I have a masters degree in engineering, and I'm fortunate to have a husband who allows me the privilege of staying home to raise and educate our children. I make it clear I'm home because I like it there!

Summer said...

Hi Anna,

In answer to your questions:

1. I have been at home for 10 months. I worked in various jobs for 10 years (office work and teaching) and left the workforce at the age of 30.

2. I left work just before the birth of my baby. My husband and I both wanted me to stay at home and raise our children, rather than put them in day care or let someone else look after them.

3. I love being at home, knowing that my husband and I choose how my daughter is raised and that she is taught our beliefs and values.

I love having some choice about what jobs I do each day and having time and energy to make our house a lovely, happy home.

I believe my being at home contributes a lot to our family. We have a nice, settled routine for our daughter and when my husband gets home from work the house is usually clean and I can sit down and relax with him.

4. My challenges are in trying to do too much, feeling like I should still be earning money, and not using my time wisely. I don't feel like I need to contribute to the work force or that I need an independent source of income.

5. In my community a lot of mums stay home or work part-time if their children are young and then go back to full-time work when their children begin school.

A lot of people ask me when I'm planning to go back to work and I tell them hopefully never because I love being at home so much. I loved teaching too but I love being at home so much more.

Bethany Hudson said...

1. I have been at home since I was married (just out of college), which makes it 4 years in December. I was 21 when I came home. I had actually worked outside the home parttime (I'm an actress and also worked in other capacities) since the age of 11, but I never worked full-time.

2. At first, I was home because I had to wait for the audition season to start up in our new town. But, then I decided that, other than taking on an occassional show, I really liked being home. I was a much better wife and homemaker than I otherwise would have been; both of which were non-negotiable for me. Plus, we were blessed with our little girl in our second year of marriage, and I wanted to be home with our children. I initiated the choice to stay home, but my husband was very supportive. We are mostly committed to it for religious reasons: we consider our marriage a vocation and guiding children in the Lord's ways are a part of that vocation, too.

3. Being at home lets me truly CREATE a home. I love finding ways to make our home run more efficiently. I love cooking and baking and strive to have three homecooked meals and all our snacks made from scratch. This is better healthwise, as well. I also love the order that homemaking brings; I cannot stand clutter; it stresses me out. I love that being at home leaves me freer to pursue my twin loves of literature and writing (which I might soon be getting paid to do from home!) as well as enabling me to try my hand in new creative ways, such as sewing, cross-stitching, and scrapbooking.

4. Sometimes I simply get frustrated with the size of our house. We live in 1275 sq. ft. with two children (and maybe more before long) and no chance of moving out for at least 3 years. We have very little storage space, no yard, and no garage, and we live on the third story (not easy with two little ones). I am grateful for our home, and I work hard to improve it everyday, but sometimes it's hard not to get into the "If only we had..." cycle. I'm really not concerned about not doing anything "significant". After all, being an actress was always looked down upon, anyway. Plus, I am hoping to establish myself as a writer, which I absolutely can do from home.

5. Being a SAHM is not common here--a SAHW almost unheard of. Some people think I'm wasting my life (including many friends). In addition, having a large family here is VERY odd, and a lot of people are already giving me comments for having two children 22 months apart and being only 25 myself. I usually just smile and tell them how blessed I am. Usually, this either changes their attitude immediately as they realize that they were just spouting societal falsehoods and agreed with me, in their hearts, that I am blessed; or they just move on and shake their heads. To each his own.

Mrs. Mordecai said...

I've been at home for three years now, ever since the birth of my first child. I always knew I would be a stay-at-home mom--I might have pretended otherwise when I was a teenager and didn't know how in the world I'd end up married--but I always knew in the back of my mind that's what I'd be.

I'm so grateful for the skills that my mom taught me. I had very little problem with the transition because she taught me everything I needed to know--and I didn't even know I was learning at the time.

Emma said...

1. I've been home for 3 years and two months. Prior to that I was a first grade teacher and had been teaching for two years (one before I was married and one during our first year of marriage).

2. We had our first child. It was something that I had wanted to do my whole life and my husband supported it. I am very glad that we were able to have children because at the time he didn't like the idea of a stay-at-home wife. He has since changed his mind:)

3. I love the freedom we have now that I stay home. My husband is an Orthodox priest and also owns his own web design business for Orthodox Churches. Because of this, there are times when he has to travel for a few days and quite often the children and I go with him. In addition, the weekends are quite busy for us and having one person taking care of all of the dtails of life helps out a lot! We can also take Monday "off" to give ourselves a bit of a day to catch up. I also like that my husband can concentrate his time on his work and I can deal with all of the homemaking and childcare things (though he often helps me out!). Then when it is time to relax, we can!

4. I am a little afraid of my husband dying and not having the means to raise our children without a job (though we do have insurance). my biggest weakness is that I do not like cleaning. Even if we could afford it, I couldn't justify hiring out the cleaning when I am home and able to do it!

5. So far, being a homemaker has been pretty positive. I think that it will become more difficult for people in our circle to understand when I continue to stay home after our children are grown (though we are hoping to homeschool so that will buy me some time! :) ).

Jenny P. said...

1. I'm not home yet -- December 5th is my last day of school. My husband and I intend on me being home from that point forward. I've worked in various childcare positions since I was 14, and internships as part of getting my teaching license. So that's 8 years.

2. We'd both made the decision, even before we met, that a mother at home was the best thing for a family. So, once we met and married, it was an easy decision. Plus, the more I've seen of the public school system in our area during my college training, the less comfortable I am with it. We've decided to keep our children at home for several years at least.

3. I've only been home summers and school breaks, but I LOVE being able to establish a routine that involves a lot of prayer time, cooking, sewing, as well as chores. I feel like I get so much more accomplished on my "home days." When my husband returns from working, the house is clean and I'm at peace. I can take care of his needs and we can enjoy the evening together.

4. I am scared to death about what people will say, especially family. I've spent four years getting a teaching degree and although my husband and I are in agreement that those skills will be best used in our own home, I know people will say I am "wasting" my education. I'm especially afraid of reactions if we don't end up having children (we've already had two miscarriages in one year).

5. We live in a very two-income city. I only know one stay-at-home mom, and she's considering reentering the workforce. I will be bucking the trend for sure.

Mrs. Reverend Doctor said...

1. I got married at 25 I had worked as a hotel manager but had just graduated from college DH and I agreed that I wouldn't work once we got married.I have been at home almost 5 years.(we also never got used to having two incomes to spend)

2. We had wanted to start a family right away and we both agreed that I would not need to work. My husband is a minister but a majority of Pastor's wives in our denomination do work.He is also 12 years older so I think he comes from a generation where it wasn't expected as much as it was in mine.

3. My husband can get called to the hospital at odd hours, if I was at work we would have to call a babysitter or he would have to take them with him ,not sure how that would work? I didn't miss any of my babies lives so far. I also can make home a haven from his stressful job.

4. It does somethimes bother me that I am never alone, I was remarking the other day that I had never been alone in my house since we had children, I do somethings like go gerocery shopping alone. We make a good income and have good life insurance, I don't know what the future will hold, no one does.
5.
I have no other personal friends that don't at least work part time, if DH made less money I would probably hear more critizm about not "pulling my weight" I am also my aged mother's care giver, for this I get have recieved tons of support and wonderful comments, not so much for staying homw the kids.

Neuropoet said...

Anna,
I always new that I wanted to be a wife and mother - of course, by the time I was twelve I knew that wasn't acceptable as a goal in our society, so I told people I wanted to be a teacher (that wasn't even acceptable in some circles since I made high enough grades that people assumed I needed to be a doctor or something like that in order to "live up to my potential"). By the time I married I knew that I wouldn't be happy working outside the home though, and my husband and I never planned on my income so I could be home with our children someday. As a "pastor's wife" when we first married there was a lot of responsibility and a lot of work, but it was enjoyable as I felt that I was truly my husband's "helpmeet" in every area of his life.

When we went away to college I worked a couple of mindless jobs while taking some college classes, but by the time I was pregnant with our first son I knew the stress of being "outside the home" was too much for me - especially while growing a baby. I "came home" then and I've never gone back. As a couple we never considered sending our children to daycare - my husband had to do that all his life, and he hated it - there was no way he wanted his children to have to grow up that way - so we made all the sacrifices we had to so I could be here with our boys. Plus, while we didn't know what was "wrong" with our oldest for a few years, we did know something was up, and we weren't surprised when he was diagnosed with autism.

Of course, having two boys with special needs means that my job here at home can be very challenging at times - but we know that this is the right decision for our family. By being here every day 24/7, my boys know that their needs will be met, and we know that they are being educated and tended to in every way they need to help them reach their full potential.

I have struggled a bit with feeling like others think I am "wasting my life" but for the most part I don't worry about it too much at this point. While I do want to have a degree someday, it wouldn't change anything, so I won't be continuing that until we have money to burn because I won't be "working outside the home" to pay for college loans. Even when my children are grown, I want to be here to make a home for my husband in our later years - so if I take up a skill that "pays" one day, it will have to be flexible enough to not interfere with my "keeping of the home" - which I consider my primary job. I consider it one of the biggest reasons that we have such a strong marriage despite all the difficulties we've been through.

I don't know any other stay-at-home moms at all near where I live, so there are plenty of people (usually other women) who imply that I am somehow less of a contributer to society, or "wasting" my life... sometimes it's really hard. I think it would be wonderful to have even one other woman nearby with an "outlook" on life similar to mine. We are hoping to move at the beginning of next month, and then I would be only a half hour from the only other stay-at-home mom I know -- it's still a drive, but at least I can hope for a visit every once in awhile! :) I will be thrilled if that is God's will for us!

~Jenny

Mary at Civilla's Cyber Cafe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
~da tigger~ said...

I've been a SAHM now since the end of April last year... and it's not something I'd ever thought would happen. My oldest son (just turned 9 years earlier this month) went to school and I worked as for most of his life, I've been a single mum and couldn't afford to stay at home. Then his father and I got back together, and a year later, I was pregnant with our 2nd son (who will be 14 months in just over a week). I was still working, but the more my pregnancy progressed, the stronger my desire to stay at home and actually get to watch my little one grow became. I went on maternity leave, with things still somewhat up in the air about whether I'd be returning or not... but as soon as I held my baby in my arms, I KNEW I couldn't go back to work and leave him.
Later in the year, we pulled our oldest son out of school, as he was being bullied and having a lot of trouble, and with me now at home, (and after a lot of research) I was able to homeschool him. Homeschooling is the LAST thing I'd ever thought I would do.. only MONTHS before taking him out of school, the thought of being stuck at home trying to teach him (I LOVE my boy to bits, but he has always been a full-on, somewhat difficult child to try and deal with) terrified me! Hearing about him being bullied, and learning that the teachers weren't doing anything to prevent it, plus many discussions with a friend of mine who homeschools all of her children, really got me thinking about what I could do to help him... homeschooling was the only option.
Although there are times I worry if I've done the right thing (what do I know about teaching after all?? Am I teaching him the right things? Am I holding him back in his education by trying to stumble my way through this? All questions I ask myself regularly), I KNOW, deep down, that I've done the right thing. There are so many things I have learned about my son since we started homeschooling.. that in itself is a HUGE reward!
I love being able to watch my baby grow up as well.. being there to see him take his first steps, hear those gorgeous baby chuckles as we chase each other round the house, be there to delight in those kisses and hugs I would be missing out on if I was working.. I wouldn't miss this for anything!!
I have never been much of a domestic woman before.. but I am really enjoying the change in myself as I learn how to keep a happy, tidy home for my fiance and sons, and I am finding a joy in motherhood that I never got to know in my oldest son's earlier years.

As for the community around here, and acceptance of SAHM and homeschooling... I am slowly finding friends who live this kind of life as well, so it's improving. But my mother and grandparents look DOWN on me for making these choices. They think I should be out there working, that my oldest son should be in school. So I bascially just don't discuss it with them any more.
As for the financial side of things... my fiance is currently studying, so budget-wise, things are REALLY tight, but I'm learning how to make things work, and he's loving getting to come home and enjoy the kids, taking homemade baking to "school" with him, the housework taken care of, and a happy (and somewhat tired.. I had forgotten just how exhausting toddlers can be!! LOL!) partner to give him a hug and smile when he comes in the door after a long day.

A totally differnt type of life from what I imagined myself having... but I wouldn't have it any other way. :)

Anonymous said...

1. How long have you been at home? 24 years. How old were you when you came home? 22. If you worked outside the home before, how many years of work experience did you have behind you. 4.

2. What prompted you to come home - and stay home? We discussed prior to our wedding that I would be home once having babies. We had a 'wedding night' conception; morning sickness and a bad work environment brought me home in my 5th month gestation. Did you or your husband initiate it? Well...I cried alot. He felt for me. Were there religious, social, financial reasons? We were each raised by single mothers; we felt the Lord would have me home when children came (which, as stated...was kinda quick!).

3. What are your particular joys about being home, and/or in what ways do you believe you being home contributes to your family? Emotional comfort for the family; feeling 'safe' to be shielded from the godless ways that flood society, to an extent.

4. What are your challenges, frustrations, weaknesses and fears about being at home? We've never had money. Every time we did, God had us prepared for a disaster. I'm not joking. I think He has "us" living paycheck to paycheck for a Divine reason I've no idea what it is. Are you afraid of losing your qualification, not having an independent source of financial support, not doing something that is considered "significant" by the rest of the world? Home long enough not to care; nobody says anything to me.

5. Do you live in a community where being a stay-at-home wife/mother is common? Nope. If not, have you ever had to encounter naysayers? How do you deal with awkward questions? I'm pretty much left alone on this.

Anonymous said...

1. I have been home for almost one year now! I worked outside the home for 8 years as an engineer before quitting last summer.

2. This question has a lot of answers for me. What prompted me to stay home? Overwhelming depression related to the relationships I had with my husband and 5 year old daughter deteriorating. We were basically co-existing with each other. I didn't feel like a family. I also dreaded going to work. I loved the money I made, but I wasn't happy. I was extremely angry all the time. My daughter and I had a horrible relationship to the point my husband threatened to move out with her until I could get my act together. That was a wake-up call for me. I cared more about myself than them. I used to wish I never got married or had a baby until he threatened to leave, and then I knew I couldn't live without them.

I miss the money now, but I'm not as depressed and our family is intact and happier.

3. Joys -- being at the park when normally I would have been at work. Playing with my drooly 3 month old baby when I could be letting somebody else play with him while I work. Slowing down enough to fix things that are broken instead of just buying new. Learning new hobbies. Getting more sleep. Having a cleaner house.

4. My biggest frustration is money. I still often think about how much money I used to make (more than my husband). I love shopping and travel and I don't get that anymore. Other than that most people in my neck of the woods are supportive of my choice to stay home.

5. There are several SAHMs around here although I don't really know them that well.

J in VA said...

I never really planned to stay home full time. When my dh and I got married, he was in graduate school and I worked FT as a nurse. After he graduated, we realized very quickly that our household did not work well if we both we out of the home full time.

I continued to work PT as a nurse as we waited 12 years for our dd to arrive. I realized more and more the benefit of being home--I had often thought I would work PT after I had children. A few months before I became pregnant, I stopped working. Then during my pregnancy I worked about 6 hours a week at a job that I could have taken dd along with me later to.

After dd was born, we realized that she would not be a baby that could be taken along. I stayed at home FT for two years and then dh had a job change so I returned to working a few hours in the evening each week.

I have had a period after my dd was school age where I had to return to FT work. I was thankful to have the option/training but did not really enjoy working so much.

Today I work in a local hospital about 8-12 hours a week--mostly when dd is at school.But I am much more focused on home.

Many sisters around me are SAH moms and I feel no pressure to work--really I feel more pressure not to work at the hospital. I continue because I realize I am less irritable if I have a few hours to get out and do something. Likely, some volunteer activity would serve the same purpose.

J in VA

Ace said...

Hi Anna,

Hope you and yours are well! Interesting questions....

I was brought up to become a career woman. I was told to stay home with my children and not put them in daycare..but then get back to work. I had no idea that you could stay home with your children after that comfortably and had no idea about homeschooling.

I had to wait nearly ten years before The General was ready for children. When we dated, I told him I would NOT put my children in daycare. I worked all that time. I thought I would go back, but once I had Princess Joy, I fell in love and writing could not compare with the sweet Baby calling for me. I dove in with all my heart. The whole time I was working I envied women home with children.

Now that I am home, I am NOT leaving LOL. It is too important and I am too necessary here. I cannot possibly leave the raising and loving of my children and the loving and teamwork my Husband and I have together ....for being at the beck and call of a stranger for hours and days on end.

NO WAY.

Many Blessings :) Happy to be home, but often tired :)

But a bad day at home is better than the best day in the office LOL.

Many Blessings :)
Ace

Ace said...

I am sorry Anna, I forgot to add that my change in heart is directly because my loving Father in Heaven moved on my heart.

I was moved to obedience to Him and His word, and became so thankful for this wonderful "job" and its beauty and eternal legacy.

I am raising the parents of my grandchildren. That is an amazing thing!

Many Blessings :)
Ace

Marianna said...

1. I've been at home just over 10 years. Since two weeks before the birth of my first child. I was 31 years old and had worked since I was 17.

2. I couldn't imagine having someone else raise my children so staying home was always a priority.

3. My being at home definitely aids the smooth running of the household and keeps chaos to a minimum.

4. My biggest challenge with being at home is remaining patient with my children.

5. I do live in a community where it is common for moms to be home at least part time. I have a number of friends and acquaintances who are home full-time.

Heather said...

Anna~

1.I have been home now for 7 years. I was 23 when I quit my job to stay home. I technically still work but I so from home. My husband and I own our own business and I help with the paperwork.

2. My husband and I decided that when we had children the best thing for them would be to have a mom at home with them, so when my son was born I stayed home.

3.I enjoy being able to spend time with my children to watch them grow and to be a part of there lives. I also enjoy making my house a home. I also get a chance to do baking, canning, gardening and all those other things that I couldn't do if I worked.

4.My biggest challenge is setting goals to high and then disappointing myself when I don't get them accomplished.

5.We do live in an area where staying home is fairly common, though I know plenty of women who went to work when children when to school.

I have never encounter naysayers, but I have encountered moms who wished they could stay home and couldn't/chose not to an attitude from that. It was always expected of me to stay home with my children once we had them.

I have rarely had awkward questions most of the time it is people asking how it works and if I get bored. I tell them that with 3 boys there is never a dull moment, and that I wouldn't change my life for anything.

Anonymous said...

After college I worked for a few years and then had my first daughter and came home. While I enjoyed the time I spent with her and enjoyed seeing her grow before my eyes I was unhappy at home keeping the house and felt an unbelievably yearning to be reading and writing more and to have access to intellectual people on a daily basis. While I was pregnant with my second child, my husband and I decided that it suited our family more for us both to work part time. He was missing the time with Susan that I enjoyed and I missed the outside stimulation that he was overdosing on. I have been back at work "full time" as a professor for fifteen years. When my children were babies I took them with me to the office at times and have always done my lesson planning and paper grading from home. My husband is a much larger part of our children's lives because he is also teaching and gets to spend all but a few hours each day with our children. We rarely have to get a sitter because one of us it always home. We have homeschooled our children until high school and have received so much support and encouragement from other homeschooling families. For me and my husband, neither the working mother nor the stay at home mother worked. And I am overjoyed when I hear my son James say to his little sister "we're lucky, we get to see our daddy on Wednesday, my friends only get to see their daddies on the weekends!" My daughters understand their father's love for them and that he is involved in their lives and watching them and my sons have an active and daily reminder of godly manhood and biblical fatherhood.

Anonymous said...

I was married to my first husband for 14 years. During that time, we had 4 children together. I worked 12-18 hour days, sometimes 6 days a week, so we could have enough money to eat. My now ex husband spent all his paycheck on pornography and women. After our divorce, I met a wonderful man at our place of work. We fell in love, married, and had a beautiful girl. I quit my job when I was 4 months pregnant and have been home now for 11 years. My "new" husband said no way would anyone take care of our baby except me (she is his only natural child). I love the fact I have been able to raise my youngest, but I also feel so bad that I was not able to take care of my other older children like I've been able to take care of her. I never imagined that I would ever be able to be a homemaker. That's all I ever wanted to be, and never thought it would happen. I hope my comment is okay. I know I am not as "godly" as most who read your blog, but I felt compelled to comment. I only recently found your blog, and truly enjoy it. You really touch my heart with your writing!

Anonymous said...

I have been home 13 years since the birth of my first baby. I was 37 years old when she was born and I had been working 20 years mostly in the auto/ aerospace industry as a laborer which paid quite well.
I always knew I would be home when I had babies. My mom drummed it into me that children are vulnerable and need their mom it is a God given responsibility .She was outspoken on this, once saying to a co-worker who had just dropped her new baby off at the babysitter who she had JUST met. "Have you also taken the money from your savings account and given it to this stranger to watch over today?" Well of course not, that would be foolish. "well which is more precious to you?"?
My husband feels the same way it was one of the first things we discussed i was 35 when we met and we had a short engagement quick marriage we had spent too many years kissing toads and supporting them so we cut to the chase' we knew what we wanted and we were both sick of playing the game.
So many joys, all the work is done by the time he gets home ,he dislikes housework and has rarely had to do any, life is much smoother than it would be otherwise I am much less intense than I was working, I am able to help others .And so much of my joy is selfish. I can move about freely, go shopping at the slowest times ,do outdoor work in the cool of the day ,cuddle my children any time, and our values are beibg taught to our children,
I really have no fear .I saw my mom adapt when my dad dropped dead suddenly at age 40. I believe I would adapt also .My cousin who choose to work her whole marriage still had to adapt to a lost income etc. when her husband suddenly died at age 38. I really see no great advantage but my parents had insurance that seemed to be the biggest help.So we also have insurance. I can't live for what if.
When my children were little 3 other ladies also stayed home, we had little in common but relied on each others help and companionship alot overlooking most everything else ..they all returned to work as soon as their children started school. it can be lonely, but I enjoy being home, I just wish their were others. I hope to never work outside the home ever again , I dislike someone having that much control on me when I arise, where I go, what I do, and the best part of my time and energy was drained from me when I got home at night.
Now back to my work!!!

Deborah said...

I came home when I was 29; that was almost 18 months ago. I had worked a "real" job for 2 years, plus a "waiting for my security clearance to come through" job for 2-1/2 years, after spending 3 years in graduate school.

We planned from the time we started dating seriously that when we had kids, I'd come home. It was important to my husband, and I recognized that it was the correct decision, although at the time I didn't like it. We don't have kids yet, but we got the opportunity to live overseas, so I quit working in order to prep for the move. I never really wanted to go back, at least not full-time. I toyed with going to work part-time, but don't really want to.

I like having time to do the housework and have a little "me"-time before my husband comes home. Then the focus turns to dinner, cleaning up from dinner preparations, and spending time with him. No real downtime once he comes home.

I don't have financial worries; my husband has a pretty secure job, and we have insurance in the case that anything happens to him. I used to feel like I lost my identity and my usefulness--I mean, I was A-okay with stay-at-home moms, but a stay-at-home-just-because? It felt lazy. Then I started realizing that it's only lazy if you choose for it to be. There's plenty to do if you want to be productive and useful.

As an expat wife living in Egypt, it's normative not to work--although mostly among mothers. Many of the other married non-mothers want to know if I want to work and seem surprised when I say no. Most want to know how I fill my time. They're surprised that I don't have a maid--the best domestic help is only $5/hour, and decent help is available for $3/hour--but they understand when I say that I want to contribute something to my household (although when I say that, they often start telling me about job openings!). And they're placated when I mention that I do a little charity work :)

Anonymous said...

Great topic Anna!

My answers are as follows:

1. I have been at home for only 2 months. I'm 25 and I worked outside the home for 3 years previous to coming home. I attended university prior to working.

2. I came home because I am married and expecting a baby. There were some social and religious reasons and whilst I was the one who initiated the change, my husband was delighted that I wanted to be at home.

3. I love the freedom I have being at home. Freedom to work at my own pace, freedom from "office politics" and competition and most of all, I love the sense that rather than just working to make money (for myself, or someone else) I am working to make the life of my husband and my soon-to-be-born daughter easier and happier. My hubby is free to concentrate solely on his work and his interests knowing that all his meals and all the housework are taken care of. Plus he no longer worries about how I'm coping in the work-place. My husband is happier, I am happier and we are convinced our daughter will benefit greatly from such a stable, well structured home-life.

4. I have no fears or frustrations about being home so far...this is the best decision I ever made. But I do have many weaknesses and challenges on a practical level. I wish to be a much better baker, cook and seamstress...and I intend to work hard to make those improvements.

5. No...being a home-maker is not common where I live. I am the only women I know of who is my age who has made this decision. I'm fortunate to have a really supportive family but most other people believe that once I have my baby I will be running back into the workplace to "re-claim" my so-called independence. They are rather mistaken though! :-) I am fairly used to dealing with strong negative reactions on account of being religious and I'd had to develop a pretty thick skin so criticisms that come my way are quickly dis-regarded.
I can only live by my own conscience and do what is right for my family and together, my husband and I have adopted a "team" attitude. He supports and encourages me in my new role as home-maker and I support him in return by taking care of what is most important to him: our marriage, his home and his child.

Often, I am convinced that I am just about the luckiest girl in the world! I have dreamt of being a wife, mother and home-maker pretty much all my life but I live in a very secular, money-driven culture and I really did think it unlikely I would ever find a man who would not only let me be at home, but would actively encourage and enjoy it. I have been blessed beyond belief!

Thanks for the opportunity to share some of my thoughts here..was fascinating reading the thoughts and experiences of others too. :-)

Martha xxxx

Melissa D at DropTheBabyWeight.com said...

1. I've been at home about 3.5 years, since my first daughter was born. I was 35 and had been working since college -- and left a six-figure income without a backward glance. (Okay, I confess that sometimes I glance back at it now that I want my kitchen redone, but only for a minute!)

2. I always knew that the best thing for babies at the very least, as well as for older kids, was to have a mom at home. My husband felt the same, and when we married we spent the next 2 or so years living on one income and saving up as much as possible to get used to living that way. My income was put aside for a down payment on a house and for house-related stuff and savings. ...As other friends had babies and went back to work, all I could think was how tiny these babies were to go out of their mom's care. It never seemed natural to me to put a tiny baby in day care for any reason. It felt like a grotesque joke.


3. I do work from home part-time as a writer, and I feel the pull of work quite strongly. It's hard to resist growing my income and feeling of worth that is tied to paychecks. But when I work too much, my family suffers. I suffer. I know when life is fine -- I can write early in the morning when my kids are asleep and still take care of house things and the kids. I have some babysitter time for those hours when I need to interview or crank something out. I love writing, but I'd give it all up if I felt God or my husband wanted me to. I am lucky to be able to put my work down periodically as needed. With my 3rd child due to arrive soon, I feel that the writing will be less, and I need to readjust my expectation for mothering vs what I used to accomplish as a writer.

4. It's hard to buck the trend of work vs "only" staying at home. I seem to straddle that line, since I work from home part-time. So far it works for our family, but I know that I hang on to that work sometimes as an identity-saver. Frankly, I envy moms who are wholly devoted to their families and more domestic than I am. Occasionally I envy the things that other friends with FT jobs can buy, but this is becoming much more rare as I see how little time they get to spend with their children and how wiped out they are by their home and work lives. Part of maturity in this choice is feeling peaceful about it despite what the rest of the world seems to be telling you!

5. Our neighborhood is full of SAHMs, with some working mothers in the mix as well -- maybe a 50-50 mix. Some wives help their husbands run a family business, some go to professional jobs. We live in an urban area near big universities and a medical center so many women (SAHMs or not) have advanced degrees. So far all the women I've met who stay at home here seem to be supportive of each other. I do know that the more money I make as a writer, the less flack I get from people "outside". But I would say that someone who has never tried staying at home doesn't know the joys of doing it. I do miss my much nicer wardrobe of the past and the easy spending money -- sometimes -- but 99% of the time I love spending time with my kids and taking care of my family and home much more than my former status/income.

**I would also add that if women (and men, I think) were taught more domestic skills at a younger age, staying at home wouldn't be so frightening. I think many of us choose not to stay at home because it's a big unknown and you're unskilled in how to deal with it, in contrast to your job, which you know how to do (even if you don't like it much). In my late thirties I'm still struggling with the mechanics of domesticity, and find it frustrating. And yet I push on -- I know it will be worth it!

Aimee Kieffer, aka "Momzoo" said...

1. 11 years, When I got married I quit working and finished my school while pregnant with our first (she was born 10 months and 1 week after we were married)

2. Religious, our religious leaders stress the importance of the mother being home and her role as the primary nurturer of young children, it is our divine nature to be mothers. My husband wanted a woman who would stay home and I wanted a man who would support me staying home...we picked wisely.

3.Joys...wow, how can I narrow it down to just a few? My joy is in the day to day, hour to hour living, working and loving of my children and husband. Joy isn't just something that happens to me, I find it.

4.I don't worry about losing qualifications or financial independence. I feel like my contribution to the world (and really to my G-d) is to raise well adjusted, loving, good children. Sometime I do feel bad when my role as a good compitent (sp) stay at home Mom is down played by women who work and have children and only do their roles half as well as they can, but somehow are looked at as better than I.

5. Most of my friends and neighbors are stay at home, and those that aren't are trying to become one.

My own Grandpa told me once a long time ago that I should work so we could save for a down payment on a home. I told him that I would rather live in a crummy apartment my whole life rather than give my babies over to stranger to raise. Turned out we didn't need that second income, (through budgeting and givng up some extras) we have been happily living in our home for 8 years, it isn't big and fancy, but it is home.

Aimee Kieffer, aka "Momzoo" said...

I forgot to day how old I was...

I was 20 and yes I worked before I was married. I had had a job since I was 14

Sandra said...

I got married when I was 17, out of an abusive home. I never thought about being home, having kids or anything. My husband and I got saved shortly after getting married and when I was pregnant with our first child 5 years later, we figured that we couldn't afford for me to stay at home. But the month before I gave birth, I left the baby sitters house from talking to her about keeping my baby and I prayed and asked God to show me who was suppose to keep my baby. He said, "I want YOU to keep it." I went home and fell on my knees and told God he would have to change my husband's heart. I got up and made a list of things I could do to save money and how much we would have out of my pay check if I worked. I would use cloth diapers, breast feed, we could stop eating out, no vacations, there would be no babysitting fees. When my husband came home he could tell I had been crying and I told him what the Lord had told me and he said, "Sounds good." I quit and figured I would be working again in 3 months, but it has now been over 21 years. We don't have money but God has blessed us with 5 children and I LOVE being at home. Thre are not many women home here, and some of them that are, there hearts are not there. I love cooking, cleaning my home, taking care of my children, homeschooling, being able to do nice things for neighbors or others that need it. I may not make any money, but I sure my husband a lot by the things that I do. He loves coming home and smelling dinner cooking and being able to sit in his chair in a clean house and relax. I have never worried about not being able to support myself, because it was SO clear that God spoke to me that day, and he will never tell us to do something that he is not going to supply for. After obeying him and coming home and changing our lives completely to just obey him, I know he is going to take care of me, no matter what.

Joslyn said...

1. At home about two years. I was 40 and newly married for just a few months when I came home. Before that, I had 20 yrs of experience in full time writing and proofreading jobs. Most of my experience was at an ad agency.

2. Prompt to stay home? Burnout, which was noticed by my husband. Due to the deadlines of my job, and a particularly difficult client, I was coming home later than my husband (who incidentally doubled my salary) and collapsing on our couch every night. He's the one who said, "You know, I hate to see you so burned out. We don't need your income, I just want you to be happy. If you want to...why don't you just quit and go freelance?" (Yes, I got blessed in the husband department.)

3. Joys: My time and my mind are my own. My marriage is better. My relationship with God has improved. I'm writing a novel! Life is good. I can write about what I want to write, read the bible for long stretches, listen to uplifting music as I do chores, etc. I don't have to clutter my mind with subjects that don't interest me or meet the demands of people who, while well-meaning, could and did lay employees off if that improved their bottom line.

An added bonus is that now on weekends, my husband and I can just have fun and enjoy each other instead of vacuuming or standing in the grocery line. I take care of all that on weekdays.

How does me being at home contribute? Well, because my husband can relax more when he gets home and on weekends, he feels more productive at work. Since I quit my full-time job, he's gotten a promotion. It could be a coincidence, who knows, but me being at home certainly hasn't hurt his career. Because we have a modest condo (2 bedrooms, no garage, no basement, relatively plain exterior) we can afford it on one salary.

Also, by being home, I am there for sick friends, to do volunteer work, to help out at church, etc.

4. Challenges/frustrations/etc. COOKING! Although my parents were both great cooks, I had zero interest in it, and didn't learn to really cook until I was 40 years old. When I started to teach myself how to cook, many smoke alarm incidents ensued. Thankfully I'm better now, but I'm still way behind. But cooking meals saves a ton of money, plus its healthier.

Financial support: We do have insurance God forbid something happens to my husband. I have a lot of work experience under my belt, so I don't worry too much about getting work if I have to.

5. In my overall area, maybe 30% of the women are SAHMs. SAHWs are rare. However, this really seems to be a non-issue, because my professional field is one that people can do at home (writing and editing). So I just tell the truth, which is that I am a homemaker and a work-at-home writer. Most people around here are too busy with their own lives to spend a lot of time questioning the specifics of my work and days. I see more debate about this on the internet than in real life, at least in my area.

christina said...

Shalom Anne
I have been home for 10 yrs now. I have had odd jobs here and there before coming home.
I never really liked working outside of the home. I always felt called to be in the home. My influence is my own mother who stayed home with us children and even though we are out of the house now she remains at home where she is called to be.
We are an emerging Jewish family(converts in progress)that feel called to Home school. My husband and I believe that our children will benefit by having the freedom to grow academically as well as spiritually at home. We feel that the the children will be able to have the freedom to know who they are as a person and a follower of Hashem. We also believe the whole family will be strengthened by learning our much needed Jewish education together practicing physically and academically in the home through out the day.
I joy in being home for all the little blessings that add up in a day. Such as the helpfulness of my eight yr old who asks to mop the floor and forgets to actually mop up the water, or how my fourteen yr old plays dolls with her younger sister because there are no other kids to play with, and last but not least my husband coming home from work to be greeted by his wife and two daughters with warm smiles and loving hugs. There are always challenges to face and weaknesses to strengthen not only personally, but also as a family. I am so blessed to be able to have the physical freedom and the spiritual freedom to cope with life that comes at us.Another joy for me is that I feel as though i can help bring a piece of heaven home to my family and in turn my family sharing that with others.I am my husbands help meet and I am my children teacher and mother and the only credential I need for this job is Hashem.
I have a few challenges and weaknesses that are sometimes hard to fix. There for a while I felt that I needed to contribute financially due to self doubt(fears, weakness) as an educator at home because I never went to college or excelled in the workforce, and because we were going through hard times. I got a job working at a vets office and the results were detrimental to my children as well as my husband. I soon came to realize that I should have never doubted myself or G-D in the first place.
As most of us do I live in a neighborhood where both parents work outside the home to gain wealth as well as keeping up with everyone else. Sadly they are part of the rat race of the society here. The few wives that I have meet who do stay home question our home schooling endeavors due to their lack of knowledge about it. The stay at home moms I know send their kids to school.
I like to educate the ladies who question our methods of schooling. I can try to defend myself all I want to, but that will not help them to understand especially if they are unfamiliar with homeschooling in he first place. To the people who do not approve of stay at home mothers and like to tell me so, I just deal with that as they come.
I am thankful to all who has posted comments. It has been refreshing to learn how others cope. And to Anne I want to say that you have blessed me with your blog. Thank you so much for sharing your treasures with the world.

Sylvia said...

Anna,

I hope my story is relevant here. But it is so different and I am constantly judged by strangers because my choices are different. I know this will not happen with you. So I am comfortable telling my story.
I am originally from an Asian country, now American. I came to America as a student in my early 20s for a post graduate degree in engineering. I never dated and went back to my native country to have an arranged marriage. I have always worked outside the home in America and still do even after having children. But in my culture we were taught from a young age to look after a home, cut meat, chicken, fish and cook and clean. I was also always encouraged to go for my dreams.
People either think I am brainless if they hear I had an arranged marriage though they are confused that since I have a college education I must be smart. And on the other side women who were sahm used to judge me because I work outside the home and wore pants. Sahm moms can be very judgemental too. It used to hurt a lot. Until I came to the conclusion that my choices are mine only. And I need not answer to anyone except God, my husband, children and my extended family.
Family in my native country is not the typical nuclear America family. It means grandparents who play an important role in child care of grandchildren. Always has been that way. In my native country we live in joint families. As in my paternal grandparents lived with us. As such my brother and I were raised by them till i went to school when my mom went back to work as a teacher. My mom was always there for me, but so was my grandmom. And I have never got confused as to who was my mom ever.
When I had my children, I decided to limit the size of my family. Each time I gave birth, my parents and in laws stayed with us, for six month stretches each when I went back to work. My children never went to day care until they were 1.5 years old. When they did, I sent them to a day care run by a woman from my native country who I know. And who treated them like her own. I am judged constantly on that first by relying so much on my inlaws and parents and for supposedly abdicating my responsibilities. Well, I could tell them because of this, my children grow up knowing their grand parents which they might not have because they live in another country. They know their native tongue, songs my husband and I grew up on as children and so on. This is priceless to me. But try explaining that to strangers. No matter what I say, I am bad mommy and selfish career woman.Oh well.
My children are in public school now. Every summer we send them to our native country. They are there for almost 1.5 months. They miss me and my husband and we miss them. But they get to know their cousins, their aunts, uncles and grand parents and grew up the way my husband and I grew up. With a lot of family around. Which my children do not have in America.
I want my children to experience the good things of America and the good things of my native culture. So I make my choices. We live very frugally. On my husband's salary, we rarely go out to eat, I home cook most meals from stratch, have a garden. But my salary pays for airfare for my parents and inlaws when they visit and they do every year, when my husband and children and I go back to our native country every year. It has helped my children see different countries. It also helps me save for my children's college education. Which is very important to me.
What I have learnt is this. My choices cannot be understood by most people. They are mine alone and as long as my children are happy, my husband is ok with it and lastly God, I do not have to care about strangers opinions.

Hope my post is as kind as yours Anna.
God bless you,
Lydia

Sophia said...

Well, I'm not quite a part of the bracket you are looking for--I'm not yet married, but soon to be. But I thought I'd answer from this perspective. :)

1. I've never had a formal job outside the home. I've helped my dad at his work when I was able, cleaned other people's houses, babysat, and for several years been a companion to a couple of older women who needed household help. My father just wasn't comfortable with me getting a formal job, and I never was crazy about it either.

2. I will stay home for a variety of reasons, but the main reason is that it is best for our home. Both my mother and my future mother-in-law were stay at home moms, and neither I nor my man have ever considered anything else. He is fully supportive of me developing a home business, and is fine with me doing odd jobs while he is gone to work (ie. babysitting, caretaking, cleaning) provided it doesn't distract me from our home.

3. A strong marriage doesn't just happen, it takes hard work and is a full time job. For the first year I want to devote myself to building the foundations of a marriage that will impact the world. Whenever children come I want them to be raised by their parents, not strangers.

4. I don't have many fears about being at home. Because my future husband encourages me to develop my skills and talents, I'm not concerned about being "unqualified." Nor am I concerned about the rest of the world--because they are wrong often enough.

5. Yes, most of the mothers I know stay at home. This is why I don't have many concerns about it for myself--I've grown up in a single income home and know how to make it work. That said, I'm sure I will encounter naysayers, but that's one aspect that I won't be able to answer until it happens! :-)

sarah said...

1. At 24, I have been a homemaker for two months now. I worked for the last two years to help my husband finish his college degree.
2. I became a full time wife and mother because it has always been my dream, and I am blessed to have a husband who also believes in the beauty of the homemaker. My husband encouraged me to pursue my education, hobbies, and other pursuits because he did not want to push homemaking onto me...but all I have ever wanted was to be his wife and the mother of our children. I have never wanted any career outside of being his wife and a mother....and someday grandmother!
3. I love, love, love, being home every morning and every evening when my son wakes and when he has his bed time routine. This is the stuff of childhood memories...and every precious moment with my child is sacred to my heart. I love keeping house...I love entertaining our friends and family. I love cooking my husband's favorite meals and serving him as if we were in a high end restaurant. It's not about doing lots of things...being a woman at home means being available to care, love, listen, shelter, and minister to those who inhabit my soft little nest. My husband knows I am here, and he can call to send me on any errand he might need. My son has the stability of knowing how his days will ebb and flow...and not having to worry about where he will get dumped on which day because both parents work. I just love being there...in the little moments....cuddling...nose kissing...skinned knees and band aids. I am a minister to my my husband and child.

4. I am not worried about about my career. I have a wonderful career that suits me perfectly. I am a woman filled with God's glory, a faithful wife, a strong mother, and a good friend to many. Those are my pursuits...more than enough to fill my days with! However, I must admit that at times other people are very belittling of my choice of occupation. They make comments that often make me feel inferior or less intelligent simply because I have chosen to make my husband's name great instead of my own. Other people can really bring an attack on your self esteem. I know I am doing the right thing for our family...but not everyone agrees and it can be hurtful to a sensitive soul like my own. I am fulfilled...even on the hard days. This is what I am supposed to be doing. Not many people have that much conviction about anything they do....I am not worried about the financial stuff. I think my husband is the wisest financial planner I have ever met. He wouldn't ever put me in a situation where I might be at risk. He will always provide for me in that way.
5. I live in a small town in the mid west region of North Dakota. There are several homemakers in my town. I grew up with a stay at home mom so the concept is very normal for me. There are people who support it, are indifferent to it, and who feel negatively about it. When awkward questions come my way I simply say this, "If you get the opportunity to be at home with your children and family....why on earth wouldn't you?" That won't convince the naysayer...but I have never heard a mean rebuttal from such a statement.

Lily C. said...

1)How long have you been at home? How old were you when you came home? If you worked outside the home before, how many years of work experience did you have behind you?
**this time is has been 3 years that I have been home. Before then I had a job as needed, this was before I had my son. When I found out I was pregnant with him, I had just finished a job and was decided what to do next.I was 28 this last time. I had been staying home off and on since I was married at 22. All told around I had around10 years work experience **

2) What prompted you to come home - and stay home? Did you or your husband initiate it? Were there religious, social, financial reasons?
**My husband had always wanted a wife that stayed home and took care of the home. To me that was a completely foreign idea! But when we were in college and he was in between jobs and I was still working he had cleaned my apartment for me. Instead of being happy, I was strangely livid!!! He asked me what my problem was and I said how dare he do my job!! That was such a shock that those words came out of my mouth. But after having said that I realized how true it was. I didn't like working and going to classes and taking care of meals. I was just so worn out! That was a real turning point for me and after graduation I stayed home and cared for things while my husband went to work. Off and on before I had my son I would work as necessary to help pay down a large debt or to save for something extra that we wanted. Once I had my son there was no question of my doing anything but being here to take care of him.**

3)What are your particular joys about being home, and/or in what ways do you believe you being home contributes to your family?
**My husband is always telling me that he couldn't do what he does without me being here doing what I do. He also tells me that because he knows that I am home taking care of things that frees him to do the best job that he can without having his mind on what needs done at home**

4)What are your challenges, frustrations, weaknesses and fears about being at home? Are you afraid of losing your qualification, not having an independent source of financial support, not doing something that is considered "significant" by the rest of the world?
** My main challenge is time management. I am constantly checking over the way that I do things to see if I can do them more efficiently so that I make the most out of the hours while my husband is at work. I try to be certain that when he arrives home that this is a place of rest and comfort and that I can spend time with him and not rushing around doing chores. I have no fears of not being financially independent. If ever I should find myself without my husband I know that I have the skills necessary to make money and take care of myself and my son. As for the rest of the world, I feel that things would be a lot better if people didn't think that being "just" a housewife wasn't insignificant. **


5)Do you live in a community where being a stay-at-home wife/mother is common? If not, have you ever had to encounter naysayers? How do you deal with awkward questions?
**Not at all common around here! I am always looked at very odd when asked what I do and I tell them that I stay home. Almost as if I am a new bug that they have never seen before! =) Not many people say anything at all, they just sort of ignore me as though because I don't work outside the home I no longer have a valid opinion or are worth their time.**

I totally and completely love being home and caring for my son. I would not trade this for anything. =)

Audrey said...

My responses got a little lengthy, so I posted it on my blog instead if you want to read it! :)

http://everyurlwastaken.blogspot.com/2009/07/calling-all-stay-at-home-wives-and.html

AmyK said...

1. I've never had an outside job, but I've been at home for almost two years now, since we got married (I was 18 at the time).

2. It was mostly financial, being that if I were to get a job, most of my income would go toward childcare for my husband's daughter. It was mostly my husband that initiated it because he didn't want "someone else" taking care of his daughter (though in reality, I AM someone else, 'cause I'm not her parent, nor am I permitted to parent her in many respects).

3. Honestly, being home is a complex issue for me in our situation and the benefits diminish further as time goes on. Taking care of someone else's kid the way I do is stressful, especially when you factor in not being able to get out of the house more than once or twice a week. I literally sit at home all day every day because we don't often have two working vehicles. So the stress just grows and grows, which impacts the entire family--and dwarfs the positives.

4. I often feel like I'm wasting my time, just as I said in answer 3. As far as doing something "significant" goes, I wonder if I'll feel that this position as homemaker is more significant when I have kids of my own; at this point, I don't, and I feel like I'm just spinning my wheels to no avail. My dream job, though, has always been to be a writer--and I can do that from home, but I have to get out from under being a "homemaker" first, because it really does prohibit me from writing, in that my husband tends to see me as a homemaker rather than a writer--despite knowing when he married me that I was above all intending to write, not keep house.

5. I don't get out of the house enough to encounter any issues.


Being at home is great for some people and it has its benefits and drawbacks, but the situation has to be set up fairly well in order for those benefits to actually function. I applaud those who find joy in staying home but as for me? Maybe it's just the frustration I have toward my current situation speaking, but staying home is just not my cup of tea.

Anne-Marie said...

I just left my job this month to stay home. When my daughter was born she was very premature, and after she came home from the NICU I stayed home with her for 18 months. I knew I wanted to stay home with my kids when they were little, but those 18 months were pretty hard for me. I think I was dealing with some post-partum depression and I had no idea how to manage a home. When my second year of leave from my job was over I had to either go back to work or resign, so I felt I "needed" to go back to work and contribute financially. I enjoyed my job, but was very jealous of the moms I knew that stayed home. Why could they do it, but not me?

We had some issues with daycare (which I never wanted her in in the first place of course) so I pulled her out and put her with a private babysitter. That was better, but it was still someone ELSE raising my child for most of the day. I would get so sad about all the time I was missing with my daughter. On top of it all, she kept getting really sick this past winter so I was having to miss lots of work. The second time she got strep throat, the doctors didn't figure it out right away and she almost ended up in the hospital. She lost weight, and being that she was already having growth issues I was really worried. I told my husband I couldn't take it anymore and that we needed to find a way for me to stay home.

God provided the opportunity I needed. I'll be babysitting my friend's two little girls when she goes back to work as a teacher in August. My daughter and her older one are only two days apart and are already good friends. I felt like this was a real blessing. My husband was supportive too, another blessing. It was a hard decision for me to make being that I've been working since I was 19 and am now 28, but God kept showing me that this is His plan.

I feel much better prepared to stay home this time. I see the role God wants me to fill and I'm motivated to do my best. I know quite a few stay-at-home-moms too, so I feel I have a good support system.

Anonymous said...

1. I have been a SAHM for virtually all of my children's lives...I have begun working on a very regular basis just this past Spring, & that work will continue through the Fall.

2. Having children solidified my decision to stay at home. I always knew that I wanted to bring up my own babies. Finances actually became more difficult without my working (even the part time I was doing before was indeed a help), but we stayed with it.

3. I love being at home. There is so much to do here that interests me. I know my contrubutions are many, & that my efforts benefit my family greatly. :o)

4. The lack of "significance", through pursuing a career, does not bother me. I feel significant doing what I am doing. I like it. There are times, however, that I have been frustrated when money is tight, & I feel a weakness in me that says, "You should be out there doing more."

5. Where I live more women work, at least part time, than not. Yet, I've never had anyone try to put me down for my identifying as strongly as I do with my home. Perhaps they think less of me?...I really couldn't say.

Many thanks for doing the poll, Anna. I look forward to reading what other commenters are having to say.

Brenda

Susan said...

Here are my answers...


1. How long have you been at home?

...About 12 years now.

How old were you when you came home?

...25

If you worked outside the home before, how many years of work experience did you have behind you.

...Not sure as I was also in school most of the time. About 9 years I guess?

2. What prompted you to come home - and stay home? Did you or your husband initiate it? Were there religious, social, financial reasons?

...We had our first child rather unexpectedly. I wasn't able to stay home with him until he was 7 months old and found myself very irritable with others at work. Very low tolerance of people wasting my time. My husband finally found full-time work so I took a "maternity leave". When I was ready to return to work, we were in an isolated area which required a long commute for me and there was no acceptable child care available. When our circumstances changed, we discovered that our son was autistic and I was expecting our second.

3. What are your particular joys about being home, and/or in what ways do you believe you being home contributes to your family?

...I like knowing my children. I really enjoy the time I get to spend with them and being involved in their lives.

4. What are your challenges, frustrations, weaknesses and fears about being at home? Are you afraid of losing your qualification, not having an independent source of financial support, not doing something that is considered "significant" by the rest of the world?

...All of the above. We could really use some extra income. I've lost all the qualifications that I'd earned previously. I hate seeing my husband be so stressed out about money and would like to help ease his burden more.

5. Do you live in a community where being a stay-at-home wife/mother is common? If not, have you ever had to encounter naysayers? How do you deal with awkward questions?

...Most stay-at-home moms here are farm wives and very busy. It's very conservative here though and I haven't heard many negative comments. When I only had one and was at home my husband would often hear, "It's so good that you can afford to do that". Funny thing, most of the people who said that lived in a nice home with two vehicles and/or a boat/RV/etc. We were living in a broken down mobile which we could barely afford and a 10 year old car.

Interesting questions Anna! I'm enjoying your blog immensely, especially your story that you are so kindly sharing!

Mrs. Amy @ Clothesline Alley said...

1. I've been a full time homemaker since I got married five years ago, at the age of eighteen. Prior to that, I had held various jobs in my youth & began earning money of my own, besides allowance, at the age of eleven with my first paper route. From there I ventured into lots of babysitting and then shelving library books at fourteen and makeup artistry and modeling to pay for my college by sixteen. I was also a full time chemistry student when I dropped out of college to get married.

2. A little of everything I suppose. In light of my husband's career, it would be nearly impossible for me to have any "real" job and Sean also needs me to be available to do various tasks for him that his job would prevent him from doing. Plus, my being at home always makes me available for his phone calls from overseas and to pitch in with the military family support group activities (bake sales, emergency childcare for others, etc).

3. I love being there for my husband whenever he needs me, as well as for our daughter since she has come along. I enjoy being able to freely give my time to others beyond my family as well and also having the time to read & study, learn new domestic skills, explore the world with Peapod, and cook yummy meals every day. :o)

4. Due to my husband's career, there are, of course, fears of the "what ifs" that military service could bring about. My husband is encouraging me to finish up my degree and work on a home business venture, as well as writing, to help us earn some more money, as well as have some "work history" should that ever be necessary...which we certainly hope will never come to pass.

As far as "feeling significant" goes, this was something that used to bother me but has melted away as time has passed. I'm doing something important for my family and for those dear ones we cross paths with in life. I'll never have medals, awards, and the worldly prestige that my husband might get, but I get to be loved him and our daughter and that's good enough for me.

5. On military bases, stay-at-home spouses are quite common, both husbands and wives, for many of the unique circumstances that come with military life. I have encountered naysayers and rude people, but so has my husband when it comes to his career choice and pretty much everybody else we know. Rudeness and stupidity know no boundaries and it has not been my experience that being a homemaker brings about anymore unkindness than any other life choice. Besides, while I might be told I'm "wasting my life", I have yet to be called a "babykiller", so I don't find the criticism to be that offensive, but more so annoying or even comical at times. ;o)

To deal with awkward questions, I just change the subject or end the conversation, as I do with any other icky topic. Strangers and acquaintances aren't owed an explanation for my life choices and I no longer feel compelled to give them one. Anybody who truly cares about me will find value in my work and saving my energy for these folks is far more important than wasting my words in silly debates. :o)

Julia said...

1. I was 20 years old when my son was born. I had a job, but I didn't love it. I planned to go back, and I even had a friend that I planned to exchange childcare with. Once my son was actually born and I knew what motherhood was like, I felt sick whenever I thought of going back to work. So I never did. Years later when my children were 4 and 2, I took a job delivering pizzas in the evening. My husband had been doing it as a second job, and he felt like he never had any time with the kids. I enjoyed my time away from the family, and even kept up the job for a few years. Eventually with homeschooling, something was lacking. Either I couldn't keep up with housework or I couldn't keep up with my children's education. So then my husband went back to work, and shortly thereafter he got a raise and he's down to one job only. I've been 100% home for 3 years.

2.My love for my son and breastfeeding prompted me to stay home. My husband was fine with whatever I wanted to do because his family was the type where women stayed home anyway.

3.I love being home because I have a lot of freedom. I enjoy the challenges of home education, gardening, parenting, and cooking.

4. I don't like cleaning so much, but it's just part of life. Another problem I have with being home is that it's so easy to grab something to eat whenever I want. My weight is a struggle I never had to worry about when I was working. I don't worry about losing my qualifications because I never went to college or acquired any specialty work skills other than typing and other office type stuff, which I'm not worried about forgetting. I've never had anyone tell me I'm not doing something significant, so I don't generally worry about that.

5. I don't think the majority of women in my community stay home, but there are enough that I don't feel alone or strange.



5.

Walters Inc said...

This is a neat post, I am excited to read all of the posts about the "homecoming" experience.

My husband and I have been married for 6 years. I married at 21 and my husband was still in school so we didn't have another option.... so I worked while he schooled. We prayed for the Lord to provide a way for me to stay at home with children etc but, due to financial constraints I had to keep working. We had our daughter in June 08 and I kept working. Because, I was in retail I worked some nights and weekends and was home with Bella the rest of the time. (She never was in daycare)
Finally, in March of this year God provided a way for us to be in full-time ministry, and for me to be home! I quit my job and for the past four months have enjoyed being a stay at home mom. I feel so much more grateful for it because we had to wait so long. I remember a lot of painful nights crying out to God and asking him to provide a way.
Now, Bella is a happy 13 month old and we are working on an addition to the family :) I look forward to staying at home with my children and serving my husband in the best way I can.

Anonymous said...

Great topic!

1. How long have you been at home? How old were you when you came home? If you worked outside the home before, how many years of work experience did you have behind you.

I stopped working 6.5 yrs ago, a year after our marriage, when pregnant with our first child. I was 29 and had always had a job since leaving home at 17. I loved the job that I gave up. It was interesting and exciting and involved a lot of foreign travel.

2. What prompted you to come home - and stay home? Did you or your husband initiate it? Were there religious, social, financial reasons?

I always knew that I would stay at home when we had children. I see mothering as a full time job. We both agreed on this. For me there was no question that this is what I would do - I saw it as something necessary.

3. What are your particular joys about being home, and/or in what ways do you believe you being home contributes to your family?

So many joys. I especially love being available to my family immediately and whenever they need me. If my 5yo is worried about something she approaches me to chat at unpredictable times of day. I would miss this opportunity to help her if I was working and she would have nobody to walk with her at these times.

For our family this is the least stressful option, which enhances the quality of all our lives.

4. What are your challenges, frustrations, weaknesses and fears about being at home? Are you afraid of losing your qualification, not having an independent source of financial support, not doing something that is considered "significant" by the rest of the world?

I loved and miss my job. Loneliness. We have chosen to live in a country where we can afford for me to stay at home, and living as a foreigner brings all kinds of extra stresses.

5. Do you live in a community where being a stay-at-home wife/mother is common? If not, have you ever had to encounter naysayers? How do you deal with awkward questions?

Here it is common to be a SAHM for the first two or three years. After that it is uncommon. My peers in my home country (UK) mostly go back to work within a year of having a baby, often out of financial necessity as housing is so expensive there. In England I feel like an unsophisticated outsider!

Sarah said...

Interesting questions. I 'came home' on 13 July 2001 - 8 years and 5 days ago, aged 27 and 34 weeks pregnant with our first child, wildy overworked. I'd been in the workforce 5 years in total after university and the baby arrived on 17 July - 5 weeks premature (probably a result of the office stress).

I came home because we had agreed that one of us should bring up our children. I had a SAHM and DH was brought up by his grandmother while his mother went back to work, so we both had SAH family. I don't remember ever discussing it - just that by the time I could have gone back to work when DS1 was 6 months old, we were both agreed I shouldn't.

Joys of being at home - bringing up the children (there are 2 more now) with our values, our accent and our shared attitude; I know many children in nurseries who are excellently cared for, but who have their carers' accents, attitudes and values, not their parents'.

Frustrations - being treated like an idiot by 22 year old shop assistants who think I can't possibly have a brain because I'm out with my children; my qualifications are not an issue - the job I did before I hated and would only return to if life intervened and I HAD to support myself and my family. I have new qualifications I earned while my children slept (a PhD, since you ask). I am doing the most important job in the world (raising useful and valuable human beings) but sometimes it's had to justify that.

When the children were born, I lived in a community where many women were like me - choosing to use their education to bring their children up in what they saw as 'the right way'. Then we left and moved much closer to London (I'm in the UK) - where we are now, women are either 'lazy' for staying with their children or 'have too much money' (and a nanny as well). I know only a handful of other mothers who approach it as we do as family, and I was at school with 75% of them. What does that tell you?

I don't get awkward questions because I choose not to move in circles where I might encounter them. Life's too short to allow other people to make you feel bad about your major life choices. Also, although I get the occasional '1950s mum' comment, I notice that the people making those comments are the first in the queue when I'm handing out homemade cake or offering help with costumes for plays!

Mrs. Lady Sofia said...

This is an interesting topic. I will attempt, briefly, to answer your questions.

I have only been at home full-time since May 20, 2009 when I "quit" my part-time job as an Instructional Aide at an elementary school. My husband and I had been praying about me being home full-time prior to this event. As a result, at 40, I am just learning what it means to be an effective full-time homemaker and Christian wife. Why? I married late in life (I was 2.5 months short of being 37 before I married).

Prior to this, I had been working in various child care centers and working as a substitute teacher in various elementary schools (between ages 27 to 36) and prior to that, I was going to college and working part-time office jobs while I lived at home with my parents (between ages 19 to 26). So, while many women my age (so it seemed) were getting married and having children, I was learning to be "independent" and become a "career girl" (something my parents wanted but not me).

What prompted me to come home? Many things, but to be brief, my current part-time job was wearing me down. I had a 50 mile per day commute in chaotic traffic for a 3 hour job. The idea of being home full-time began to surface in my thoughts as the job commute and the job environment were not pleasant, and often interfered with my home life as well as taking care of my widowed mother. I was also learning biblically about a woman's role in the home. My husband was also leaning towards me being at home for personal reasons. I was also slowly coming to the reality that I was doing things that I didn't like, but did them out of "routine" because it was what I always did.

I enjoy being at home full-time. I can focus my attention to my home and family without the interruptions of a job. Since I am not driving about 300 miles per week for work, I am saving my husband and I money that could be used for other things (most of my paycheck was going to car maintenance and gas anyway). Also, my husband and I are happier and less stressed. I was always stressed when I worked outside the home, and it really affected our family lives in a negative way.

My biggest challenge in working at home full-time is being "dependent" upon my husband to support me. I lived on my own for 8 years before I married, and I am used to taking care of everything all by myself. I'm also used to having my own paycheck and my own way. Also, my parents taught me to be "independent" and "get a good job to support yourself." I have been thinking this way for many years, and it's difficult to reverse this thinking, even with God's help. Now, I have to think differently. It's not a bad thing, but it's not always easy.

As for being afraid of "loosing my qualifications," I don't worry about that so much, as I have a substitute teaching permit and a child care supervisor permit that I can "fall back on" if something happens to my husband. Most of my experience has been in the field of education, and I don't think I would have a problem obtaining a job in these areas. However, I LOATHE these positions with a passion, and would only use them in a desperate situation (e.g., I became a widow at a younger age than anticipated).

I think there will always be a part of me that wishes I could be "something more" than what I am. I felt this way even when I had jobs as well, so I think it's a part of a personality flaw that I have (e.g., low self-esteem and self-confidence).

I don't really live in a community where being a stay-at-home mother/wife is really "common." Most of the women who live near me go to work. Currently, I haven't had to deal with individuals who question why I want to be a full-time homemaker. I suppose I'll have to deal with that when the time comes.

Please keep in my that this is a brief version to your questions, and definately not a full-picture of why I have decided to be a full-time homemaker.

Brandy said...

1. I've been at home ever since I was 3 months pregnant with our first daughter (who's now 5 1/2yrs old). I was 22yrs old. My husband and I had only been married for 10 months at that time ... I was working for the Dollar General store that was 2 doors down from our house. Before marrying my husband, I had various jobs ... the one I enjoyed the most is the one I held the longest: a state-certified nurse aide for 2yrs.

2. My husband and I planned on my coming home and staying home once I hit about 7 months in the pregnancy, but what prompted me to come home early was the treatment of my boss. She told me that once I went past the 3rd month, I could start lifting more heavy things again ... and that I needed to stop taking mini-breaks to grab a quick snack. My husband didn't like that one bit, nor did I, so I quit. My husband and I both have always believed that my place, as a wife and mother, was and is at home. No matter how tough things have gotten financially over the years, my returning to work outside of the home has never been an option.

3. I love everything about being at home. WHen I was younger, I could never decide exactly what career to pursue ... I wanted to play soccer, I wanted to be a musician, I wanted to teach, I wanted to be a vet ... what better way to combine ALL of that than being a stay-at-home wife and mother? Sure, I have rough days -- who doesn't? -- but overall, I enjoy it all. Hearing our daughters giggling as they play together in the next room ... when our oldest runs up to me to show me her latest story she wrote or picture she drew ... them knowing that I am ALWAYS here for them.
How do I contribute? I make my husband's life easier. The house is generally clean, the laundry is done, the meals are prepared. There is not much he is required to do when he's home besides thoroughly enjoy his family ... that may sound like he takes advantage of my being there to do everything, but that's not true. It's my JOY to take care of our home so that he doesn't have to do much. And there are days that he tells ME to not lift a finger while HE cooks or cleans. :-)

4. My biggest challenge is patience ... and making sure I keep my voice low (to not yell when the children are particularly trying). No, I don't get afraid about money issues. I know I've been called home ... and I know that by my staying in that calling, the Lord will most definitely take care of all our financial needs with no extra effort needed on my part. He has NEVER let us go without, no matter how little has been brought in. He is our provider.

5. We just recently moved to Wyoming -- from Vermont -- and we don't know anyone here yet. All of our other family lives a minimum of a 19hr drive away (with some a good 31hrs away). In our family, I am the only stay-at-home mother who is happy staying at home. My sister is currently going to college to pursue a career ... when she's done with that, her boyfriend and her will work out a schedule so their children don't have to go to daycare. My mother-in-law has worked outside of the home once her youngest hit a certain age (elementary school). My own mother worked outside of the home starting when I was 5yrs old. The greatest community of stay-at-home mothers I know is here, online. Have I encountered naysayers? You bet! My mother-in-law, when we first had to stay with them (3yrs ago) tried to convince me I needed to get a job outside of the home. Of course, she's against us homeschooling too ... so I don't really pay her much mind. As for those outside of our family? No, I haven't really. Thankfully. And I haven't come across any awkward questions either. Not so far, anyway.

Ann M said...

1. How long have you been at home?
- 3 years

How old were you when you came home?
- 31

If you worked outside the home before, how many years of work experience did you have behind you.
- 10

2. What prompted you to come home - and stay home? Did you or your husband initiate it? Were there religious, social, financial reasons?

- got married at 29, then pregnant at 31. I was so nervous about something happening to the unborn baby (I had a history of miscarriage), that I refused to put myself into any potentially stressful situations, which included working a job that I didn't really like anyway. So I initiated it, but my husband was 100% supportive. The extra money that was "lost" just didn't even occur to me, I knew that I didn't want to be working, my priorities were shifting. Now that we have a toddler, with another baby on the way, my husband and I both agree that children need their mothers at home.

3. What are your particular joys about being home, and/or in what ways do you believe you being home contributes to your family?

- I can be with my 2-year-old all day and see his laughter and hold him when he cries and see all the "firsts" myself! A friend of mine recently told me that she picked her baby up from daycare, and the daycare worker informed her that her daughter had rolled over for the first time that day. I thought that was the saddest thing I'd heard in a while, that my friend heard about the first rolling-over from a daycare employee instead of seeing it herself. I never have to worry about spending enough time with him! I know that I won't look back and regret being away so much.

4. What are your challenges, frustrations, weaknesses and fears about being at home? Are you afraid of losing your qualification, not having an independent source of financial support, not doing something that is considered "significant" by the rest of the world?

- not afraid of losing qualifications since I only worked boring office and temp jobs before anyway. Sometimes I hear of friends working some high-paying job and it hits me that maybe I should too...like I'm watching the world go by. I try to not think that too much. So I guess sometimes it feels a bit insignificant if I start comparing myself to others. Or I wonder if I wasted my time & (parents) money getting a college degree that I never really used (I think the answer is yes). One of my weaknesses is keeping the house clean consistently. I'm like you Anna in that I didn't have an example of this growing up (I grew up in a single-mother household, and my mom worked the night shift starting when I was 12 or so, and I spent a lot of time at home watching TV and being tempted to get into trouble). So our house is in disarray a lot. Need to try to be more consistent on keeping things clean.

5. Do you live in a community where being a stay-at-home wife/mother is common? If not, have you ever had to encounter naysayers? How do you deal with awkward questions?

- its fairly common for moms of babies/toddlers to stay home, or at least I've made an effort to join groups in this area where this is the common thread, although I'm already getting questions about when I'm sending him to preschool, which I'm not really considering doing. Also, we plan to home school, so there isn't the issue of "what I'm going to do" once he starts school.

Sometimes I get the awkward question of "what do you DO all day?", to which my reply is always a smiling "be a mom".

Tia said...

I suppose I'm a little of an oddity in that I am a fulltime stay at home mother, but I'm also a single parent. I have an income from the government which pays me money to care for my children - they are profoundly disabled. I always wanted to be a stay at home mum and can't imagine ever being anything else.

I've been at home now 10 years (since I was 25) and have always had live-in jobs before then, so I suppose in some ways I've always been a stay at home type person - or at least never really felt the dividing line between my work and my home.

It is easier for me because no one expects me to be able to work elsewhere and care for my girls. But yes people do ask what I will do once the youngest starts school fulltime in September (homeschooling is not at present an option for many reasons). I tell them I'll just have another child, but I don't think they believe me...

Tia

momof3girls said...

Hello There! I love being a stay at home mother. I have had the opportunity to stay home for the last 11 years. It has been a blessing to both me and my family.

It was a struggle at first when I only had a newborn who could not speak - I am a very social person. I love to gab! It is how god made me. However I found the phone, and found time to learn some new skills and hobbies to do around the house, to bless my family.

I have never felt the need to justify what I do, I believe that should be obvious to anyone who has ever had children. However, last year my youngest went into all day school and I cringed as I heard some of my girlfriends talking about being worried about being bored. What I thought! There is still laundry to be done, messes to pick up, dinner to be made, car pool lines to be driven to to pick up my children. Yes, it is true I no longer have to attempt to do these things and watch my chilren, however having these jobs done and out of the way leaves me time to enjoy my family and the evening once my hubby comes home for the evening.

I have found I feel no need to justify this to outsiders the older I get. What works for them works for them. What works for us works for us. (this does surprise me, because in my 20's I did not feel like this) End of story.

Becca said...

I am no longer at home. :(

I started to stay home at age 33 right after the birth of my second child. I was only able to stay home for 8 months. I have 17 years of work experience.

I have always wanted to be a stay at home mom. My mom was a SAHM. Due to neccessity I was able to stay home after the birth of my second child. Unfortunately my husband is not able to support us without my income so I am back at work. Talk about mommy guilt! I absolutely loathe working outside the home. My place is where my family is doing work for them and my house. My husband agrees that our children need to be raised by us and is fully supportive of me being a stay at home mom but financially it is not possible.:( Luckily my mom stays with my kids and I only have part time hours but it is still unfullfilling for me.

The joys of being home are coutless.Actually knowing your children, watching them grow and learn, being there is priceless. Also all the household chores are done daily and there is time to actually relate to my husband at the end of the day instead of the two of us running around trying to get everything done every night.

My challenges right now are that my husband is a restaurant manager with insane hours and I am basically trying to raise my kids and keep my house alone without even seeing my spouse for days other than to say hi and bye as he dashes in and out, usually at hours when I am in bed and trying to work 6 days a week in order to pay the bills all the while feeling like I am missing out on my family and my life.

If I were able to stay home I would fear not having control over the finances, not having any money on a day to day basis and that My husband might mess up the bills.I am much better at budgetting and balancing than he is but I want him to figure this out on his own so I do not have to "take over".

I am not bothered by others that feel staying at home and raising your kids is insignificant because I think that doing anything other than staying home is insignificant.

No one in my community is a SAHM.I have no one to socialize with outside of my sisters who work and my co workwers.

All the ladies that stay at home...BRAVO!!! I hope to join you before my kids are grown.

Anonymous said...

1.I have been at home for 18 plus years. I decided to be a sah at age 32 right before we conceived our first born son per I think God's leading. I worked my way through college and after for about a decade.

2. I decided to stay home I think because of what I thought was God's leading. I initiated the idea. Husband never complained as his mom was a sah so he considered it normal.

3.I think I will live with no regrets as having put my time and money towards raising Godly kids. I think I am honoring God by building into the imperishable, eternal souls of these kids He chose to entrust to us. I think I provide a measure of security, and my kids will always know they were worth more than more money or my career.

4. My challenge is that my husband has been a traveling salesman...Italy, New Orleans, Vegas, Florida, and has taken up worldy attitudes of indulging in ways I don't care to specify. He has emotionally abused, neglected, and exploited me per my pastoral counselor. Currently he has seperated to his own place of residence although it is not a legal seperation. I still feel like I made the right choice or so I hope. I struggle between wondering if I have enabled evil and modeled it to my kids (daughter seems to be attracted to jerk guys, son seems to act like jerk guy but hopefully God will prevail) or if I have borne up under less than ideal circumstances to honor my side of the wedding vows for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health. I think my kids who are now teens have needed me even more given the circumstances. But I am dismayed by the strong influence of a dad in my circumstances. Can't say my teens even believe in God at this point although my husband regularly attends church they find it rather confusing. They seem to be struggling with a lot emotionally and with some not great choices. It grieves me. I have led a well financed life but it appears now that I'm almost over 50 with no recent work skills I may end up with very little,no healthcare, and my health and energy are declining as I age. I try to not give into fear as God has more than supplied my needs thus far. Ultimately He is my protector and providor. Not sure where it all is leading but never thought at age 20 I would EVER be one of those women who got traded in for a younger version or that my husband would grow apart from me to wish for someone better or just prefer the single lifestyle. Maybe that was pride on my part ...not sure...but this was not what I hoped for in my sah experience.

5.I send my kids to a private Christian school so it is somewhat common there but I live in an affluent neighborhood and many if not most of the moms here work outside of the homes as Dr's, pharmacists, pharmacuetical saleswoman, corporate managers and such. Most of the time people know in advance and do not touch the subject. But, they seem more confident of their social security from their own paychecks and pension from their own jobs. I used to say as a joke that my hubby works hard to make the money and I work hard to spend it...as I allocate for most everything and pay the bills. I never hoped to manage everything..the yard, house, dogs, teens, neccesary bath remodel ect...But hubby is having midlife crisis and I'm left with everything on my shoulders. He does attend the teens sporting events and bought groceries 4 or 5 times in the past 7 months to help. Kids have had sports injuries this year... daughter had severe head injury, son had torn knee, and just the pressures of our culture... sex drugs and alcohol plus the technological issues,extended family issues keep me burdened. The teens are at a winter formal dance tonight. Daughter is calling for a ride home soon.