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Reactions to being a SAHM

A&JA&J Posts: 1,825
edited November -1 in Pregnancy and Babies
It seems that lately everyone, and I do mean everyone is asking me and DP when I plan to return to work. I am a bit surprised at their reactions when I tell them that I intend on staying at home with Olivia until she is a year old--at least. Anna has also had people make interesting comments to her as well. I get a lot of comments along the lines of "you're going to get bored" or "there is no way I could stay home full-time, "you are going to miss work" or one of my favorites is when I get comments about wasting my time getting my degree in college. Anna was just asked last night if she resents me for getting to stay at home. When it comes down to it we know that we are thoughtful as individuals and collectively---there is not much that hasn't been discussed or planned for when it comes to our planning for and parenting of Olivia. We feel that this is the best decision for us as a family. I guess these sorts of questions and comments from others just falls along the lines of everyone else having something to say about your parenting style and choices. However, I really thought that more people (immediate family and friends) would be happy for us that we have made this choice and are in a position to do so. Oh, well I suppose. We will just go with what we feel is best for our situation. Has anyone else been given a hard time for choosing to stay at home or is it the opposite? Just curious because I am truly surprised by some (not all) of the responses we get.
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Comments

  • lolabellolabel Posts: 99
    edited May 2011
    As a lesbian couple, you're already non-traditional. As a lesbian couple with a child of your own (not one born into a previous heterosexual relationship and now being raised by both of you which would mean having one clearly defined "real" mother,) you are already pushing the envelope of people's unconscious understanding of the world. Staying at home on top of that... "how? what do you mean? don't heterosexual women do that? and most of them don't want to anyway!" I think you're just blowing people's minds, and they're responding in very programmed, generic ways. It's easy to forget how quickly the world has changed, re being gay, let alone being recognized as a gay family... I think moments like you're describing show that unconsciously a lot of people are still catching up (and this includes gay people themselves!) More power to you - the more minds get blown, the more progress society is going to make. And how cute is your baby?! Oh my!
    Mother to a 4 year old who has changed my whole world for the better!
  • mommylovemommylove Posts: 1,582
    edited May 2011
    DP and I also made the choice after much planning and discussion prior to having a child that I would be a SAHM for at least the first year if not longer. For us there wasn't much to debate as we both always felt it was the right choice for our family. My family is very supportive and happy about our choice but DP's family doesn't always understand our parenting choices, much less even our lifestyle as lesbian Mothers. It is what it is and we have already learned there will be those people that question our decisions and don't agree with our choices regarding raising our child.
    While it does surprise me that some people truly don't seem to see the value in staying at home with your child, I do on the other hand understand it may not be the right choice for everyone. Sometimes it does also irritate me though when I have heard some of the same things you have..."You're wasting your college degree!", "You'll get bored eventually!", etc. I can appreciate someone else's choice not to be a SAHM but I except that my choice be respected as well and I'm not really interested in hearing the negative feedback.
    We've made sacrifices in order to allow me the ability to be a SAHM during this time...DP drives an old car with no loan payment so we only pay on my car, we don't splurge on big purchases unless they are for us as a family not individually, I don't shop at Banana Republic as much anymore, this years vacations will be just out of state instead of out of country, we don't have fancy cable anymore (since we never watch TV anyway and don't want our child to be raised in front of it either), etc. For us it's all worth it and we make those choices with a lot of forethought. For some this may not work, for us it does.
    It is quite interesting to me to have realized quickly in this parenting game that many people want to be critical of your choices regarding your children and see nothing wrong with regularly voicing their criticisms. I don't like it, but it seems to be the way it is. I've already developed quite the thick skin in this regard as I'm sure it will continue throughout parenthood.
    All I know is that DP and I are very secure in our decisions, especially regarding my staying home during these first crucial months/years. I guess that's all that matters in the end. As lesbian parents we went through a lot of planning and research to become parents to our son in the first place and thus we stand strong in our convictions about the way we choose to raise our family.
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    October 2014

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  • coryandamandacoryandamanda Posts: 1,527
    edited November -1
    I get asked alot if I like being at home. And they ask Amanda a lot if she is jealous that I get to stay home. Technically, Amanda was at home before Lex was younger because she was in school and not working. She got a taste of it and is not the SAHM type, although she does hate leaving us all and missing things we do each day.
    No one has really said anything negative though that I can think of. They know we will do anything to avoid having our kids in day care. When we had just one child my mom babysat for us while we worked, and a couple days a week when we first had 2 children. But it is a little much for her as she is now in her late 60s. So we do whatever we can to have one of us home and I can't see how people think that is a bad thing!
    July 4, 2015
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  • KariKari Posts: 1,765
    edited May 2011
    It would be my choice to be a SAHM if I had a significant other; that was always my plan because my mom stayed home from the time my older sister was born until I started kindergarten at almost 6 years old. But, I'm not, and I'll tell you that being a SAHM is not a rarity around these parts. I'm a teacher, and I'd say that almost all of our Pre-K and kindergarten parents are SAHMs. As the kids get older, if there are younger siblings, the moms still stay home. So about a third of all of our PK-6 students have one parent at home during the day, and I think this is great if you can do it.

    The people who are commenting to you - do they have kids?

    Also, this tends to be a very American-culture concept: return to work ASAP after having a child. Our neighbors in Canada get 50 weeks year maternity leave per child, 5 years if the child has a disability. Most other developed countries have significantly better maternity leave packages, from not working during the third trimester to staying home for 6 months to a year after giving birth.

    Check out this website to see how far behind the rest of the world the US is when it comes to maternity leave:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parental_leave
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  • ZenZen Posts: 2,942
    edited November -1
    Once upon a time, when a woman had children, she stayed home with them! My mom was home with us until we started school and got a lot of grief when she took a job at that point. But nowadays it's almost impossible to make it on one salary so not-working is usually not an an option. Let me amend that: it's almost impossible to maintain the same lifestyle on just one salary. But I think that it's wonderful that you can work this out for your family! And others in your circle will come around. Once the shock wears off :)
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  • charcoaleyescharcoaleyes Posts: 864
    edited November -1
    That's really interesting. I think people are always judging your parenting choices. We started out with the plan that DH would be a SAHD. This was what he wanted, we could survive on my salary, and it would be good for the baby. Sadly, I am getting a large pay cut, so much so that we could only pay bills and not buy food with one salary. DH got a raise. We just didn't have the ability to lose one income, so we sadly are putting baby into daycare. This decision has been harshly judged by everyone from my MIL who said we would mess him up to one of my clients who is having her parental rights terminated due to neglect. I think everyone wants to weigh in on what you should and should not do with a baby. I think as long as the people raising the baby are happy with the situation, then it is a good situation.
  • PtownMomsPtownMoms Posts: 768
    edited November -1
    I've gotten the whole "aren't you upset to be wasting your college degree" thing...and the "Doesn't it piss you off that Monica gets to have a career, and you're just at home". But then I've also gotten the "You are SO lucky" and the "God, I wish I could have stayed home with my kids". My family (my mother especially) is thrilled that I can stay home with Finn. Some of my extended family doesn't get ANYTHING that we do. Eh, oh well! Some people are especially surprised when I tell them I plan on staying home till baby #2 (and we aren't trying for baby #2 till next summer) is in school. Then I get the whole..."how will you ever get a job THEN" thing. I'm really not too worried about it. Things will work out how they're supposed to. You definitely have to do what is best for your family! : )
    Carrie & Monica

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  • minnie0672minnie0672 Posts: 1,264
    edited November -1
    I'll be honest...I've had serious thoughts (especially since getting my BFP) of staying at home, nannying 1 or 2 other kids and making a living that way until such time as my little one is ready to go to school. I don't know that I could make it work financially (being a SMBC) but let me tell you...the thought is there. I'm sure I'd get the "you're wasting your degree" talk and "You never would have done this if you got pregnant" but seriously....I wish I could do it. My feeling is...do what is best for you and your family and you can't go wrong :) *HUG*
    6 IUI's resulting in BFN. 7th IUI was the fun one with pregnant...then not...then ectopic at 7 weeks...IVF #1 - miscarriage...IVF #2 miscarriage 5w6d...IVF #3 cancelled due to not growing embryos and pneumonia...IVF# 4 same old story...BFP then miscarriage...this is getting old...onto possibly Donor Egg or Donor Embryo
  • allthingsluckyallthingslucky Posts: 467
    edited November -1
    I am a SAHM, I have been since my daughter was born and shes now 6 and I also have a 3 year old. For me it has had its positives and negitaves. I love that I am the one taking care of my kids and they aren't in daycare all day long. I don't miss out on anything and the perfer me to anyone else for care and support. BUTTTT, it has it's moments. I don't feel like I have an identity outside of being a mom. A lot of days I get bored or antsy and enjoy simple things like going to wal-mart. I know your situation is much different, but I was a very young mom and I didn't push myself hard enough to get through college (I am now though), so I was very relyant on my ex-husband for all of my support.

    DP and I are wanting a child of our own together and this is something that we have taken into serious consideration. I am just beginning school, I have quite some time before I get into any "meat" of the program. I have tons of pre-reqs to take, so if we were to have a child now, I would be able to stay at home with the baby for some time. By the time I had to attend clinicals or what have you, both my older girls would be in school and we would only have to pay for part time child care for the youngest. I think that you should stay home with you baby as long as you can. Some people that is only 6 weeks and others it's much longer. If you can do it I don't see any reason why you shouldn't. YOU are the best person to care for your child, not someone else.
  • babybabybabybaby Posts: 1,564
    edited November -1
    yep! i get, "well, since you're not working. . . " kind of reactions all the time. in fact, i work harder now than i did when i was clocking in and getting a paycheck. i remember seeing a post on here recently, though, where working moms were complaining that they feel condemned by people for working when they have young children. women just can't seem to get a break, working or not.

    being a working mom just didn't work for me and my daughter, and i had an alternative so that's what i chose. i make a lot of sacrifices to make it happen, but i don't regret the decision to stay at home at all. in fact, when i look back at the last eight months, the only thing i regret are all the days i got up at 6 a.m. to drag her out of bed in the pitch-dark to send her to daycare and didn't see her again until dark at night when i put her straight to bed. that was how we spent the first several months of her life, and it was awful for me, and i think for her, too. i realize that not every woman has that option, and some wouldn't choose it even if they did have it. i don't stand in judgment of anyone's parenting styles, because i know what a touchy subject it is. we all love and care for our children (well MOST parents, anyway), and we want to do what we view as "the right thing" for them. what the right thing is just differs for each of us.
  • ShannyShanny Posts: 2,456
    edited November -1
    Ok apparently this was bumped by spammers. I kept reading and going back to the names...huh? I finally looked at the date and had a good laugh when I thought - you aren't bored now are you?!?!????????????
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  • ruedeodeonruedeodeon Posts: 160
    edited November -1
    Ugh, who cares what people say and how they react. I have never once felt guilty for being a stay at home mom...and i may be until my child is 18. I work from home so I'm lucky there, I chalk this up to people just being jealous and making comments for you to feel bad about your good fortune.
  • TheOtherLovingMomsTheOtherLovingMoms Posts: 1,481 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    It's funny because I remember this thread from when it was first posted back in 2011 lol. I wonder how all the ladies are who commented in this from back then.
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    I just turned 50 and fabulous!!! Enjoying life with my amazing family!!
    Mom to Rachel 33, Bethany 30, Rebekah 30, Zachrey 20 and several angel babies
    Grandma to Larissa 11, Brittney 11, Trevor 11, Destiny 7, Jayvin 6, Jackxon 3, Kaleb Joshua Rian 1. Grandbaby #8, Sariah Grace born 11-17-16
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