Leaning toward working PT or staying at home — The Bump
D.C. Area Babies

Leaning toward working PT or staying at home

Since DD#2 was born, I find myself more and more drawn to being home with the girls.  I never even considered this when DD#1 was born so this feels very strange.  I always thought I would work *forever* and couldn't possibly see myself as a SAHM.  Now, I'm starting to see things differently.

I have a job I enjoy, but it's more the people I work with who make it so fun.  My primary concern with leaving work to be home with the girls is, if I find it's not for me after all, I don't think I could find another workplace this supportive and I doubt this job would still be waiting for me.

Anyone experience something like this?  Did you make the leap?

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Re: Leaning toward working PT or staying at home

  • This was me. I never even considered staying home with DD #1.  The thought never crossed my mind.  With DD #2, I think about it all the time probably because she is the best.baby.ever.  However, I know that, ultimately, I am a happier mom and wife when I have something that is all my own and validates as being something other than a mom or wife.  I'm good at what I do, I have a professional career and advanced degrees that I worked hard for and are integral to my job.  I work part-time (30-32 hrs/wk) and that suits me just fine.  I would like to work a tad less, but financially and career-wise, it's better if I work those hours.  My company is family-friendly and that helps a lot too.  Being a WOH is hard and being a SAHM is hard - but both are the right thing to do, depending on your sitiation.  You just have to decide which kind of mom makes you the best mom (and wife).

  • IKWYM! I recently stayed home with my little guy when he was ill, and I was surprised how much I enjoyed it, even considering being sick. I'd never thought about SAH before.

    Before making a big leap, I'd do a little research at your job about PT. Is there an HR person/dept? What's in the employee handbook? Anyone else who's working PT who can tell you about their experience? What about compensation, benefits, changing your portfolio? Having extra time in your day with your kids might fit the bill. I work PT (32 hrs also) and enjoy it.

     

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  • I haven't done it yet, but I am going to talk to my boss about taking the leap to a part time schedule this spring.  At 30 hours, I would maintain benefits and got off early enough in the afternoon to have some quality time with the kiddos without feeling like I am rushed into my afternoon routine.  I think that will be the stepping stone to deciding if I would stay home permanently.  I'm reluctant to since I like my boss and my office is really family friendly. 
  • When I was on maternity leave with DD, I had fantasies of being a SAHM. I thought that if I could afford it, I would do it. However, I think I was seeing things through rose-colored glasses. Now after being back at work for a year and a half, I realize that being a SAHM would not be for me. I really like the balance I have with going to work, having adult conversations and stimulation, and feeling that sense of accomplishment. Also, I've found that it's important to me to make my own money and have a career. Even though DH and I share all of our resources, it gives me a certain sense of security that if anything happened, I would be okay. I also feel like for me, I'm a better mom when I have a bit of a break from DD. With all that being said, part of the reason I'm so happy with my situation is that I only work 32 hours a week (Mon-Thurs). I think it makes a huge difference to me to have Fridays off so I can run errands, do chores, and have some personal time, etc.

    It's a really personal decision. I would just make sure that you are really sure about your decision before quitting your job since it sounds like you are really happy there. If you are really on the fence, another option would be to go back to work and then re-assess after 2-3 months and see how you feel then. If you still feel very strongly that you want to be a SAHM mom, then I think you would feel more confident in the decision to leave your job. Another option is that you could consider trying to see if they would allow you to work part-time. So, I would just think about all of the options. Good luck with your decision.

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  • image vtkendra:

    When I was on maternity leave with DD, I had fantasies of being a SAHM. I thought that if I could afford it, I would do it. However, I think I was seeing things through rose-colored glasses. Now after being back at work for a year and a half, I realize that being a SAHM would not be for me. I really like the balance I have with going to work, having adult conversations and stimulation, and feeling that sense of accomplishment. Also, I've found that it's important to me to make my own money and have a career. Even though DH and I share all of our resources, it gives me a certain sense of security that if anything happened, I would be okay. I also feel like for me, I'm a better mom when I have a bit of a break from DD. With all that being said, part of the reason I'm so happy with my situation is that I only work 32 hours a week (Mon-Thurs). I think it makes a huge difference to me to have Fridays off so I can run errands, do chores, and have some personal time, etc.

    It's a really personal decision. I would just make sure that you are really sure about your decision before quitting your job since it sounds like you are really happy there. If you are really on the fence, another option would be to go back to work and then re-assess after 2-3 months and see how you feel then. If you still feel very strongly that you want to be a SAHM mom, then I think you would feel more confident in the decision to leave your job. Another option is that you could consider trying to see if they would allow you to work part-time. So, I would just think about all of the options. Good luck with your decision.

    I feel the exact same way. Part time has been the perfect balance for our family.

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  • I swore up and down I would never be a SAHM. I was in grad school when my daughter was born and I was proud of the fact that I was going to school and working. When I was working as a school counselor intern, I was able to spend some week days at home with my daughter and began to realize that I really wanted to stay at home with her. After graduation, I made the leap to be a SAHM and honestly with DD #2 on the way, I couldn't be happier with my decision. I do some subbing to stay involved in the school system but I have no plans to look for a school counselor job right now and I am absolutely fine with that decision.

     Before I made the leap, we did a long hard look at our finances to see where would stand.  My unpaid internship served as a trial run and let us see that financially we could easily lose my salary.  Without that financial reassurance, I would have been nervous to take the plunge. 

  • I know what you're feeling. I dont want to SAH with LO longterm but I feel like maternity leave is too short (and I'm taking 16 weeks). I would love to go PT for a year or two but that's not going to fly at my office. And because I love my job and my coworkers, and have a lot of flexibility and get good benefits, I don't want to risk losing that. This is when I wish the US had a 1 year maternity leave policy like Canada.
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  • like PPs, I love working and all the benefits of having a life outside the home. Going P/T is not an option, I try to work 15-30mins extra each day and leave a little early every 2nd Friday. But honestly, that has happened ONCE since I came back from ML with #2 in Sept b/c every pay period (2weeks) something comes up, a Dr appt for the kids, DD sick out of daycare, something and I have to take PTO. But as they get older and less sick (I hope), those 2-3 hrs every other Fri will be "my" time. Financially, not working is not an option and mentally, I know I'd go crazy.

    good luck, you'll make the decision that's best for you and your family!

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