Wednesday, December 09, 2009

What's YOUR Opinion On The Matter?

First of all, before I get started on this heated topic - Jason and I are not pregnant. So don't ask.

Moving on, here's my question.

Many of you are either working moms OR stay-at-home-moms (SAHM's). And I've heard from different women, even single women without kids, what they think the best route for raising their kids should be. I haven't had to cross that bridge yet, but I'm curious. Personally, I've had a job working full time since I was 14 years old. I've never really been without a job for more than a couple months, which was when I moved out to Tennessee with my husband. In the office where I work I've asked a couple ladies, and it seems that they're preference is to definitely work and put their kids in daycare, because "kids need to be socialized" and these women are career-driven. Of course, I'm not going to get the SAHM opinion here in the office, cause well, you're not going to find one in the workplace.

Ideally, if my husband and I could afford it, I would love to be able to raise my kids at home until they're old enough to go to school. And ONLY if financially strapped, then pick up a part-time job. I fully realize that some moms don't have the option and have to work. My best friend was a single mom for many years and had no choice but to work to provide for her daughter.

But here's where I'm curious. Is it more enjoyable to be a Stay At Home Mom OR is it more enjoyable to be a Career Mom? I would think, it would be more enjoyable to be a Stay At Home Mom (Not saying they're working any less) but that it would be much more rewarding to be pouring into your kids lives rather than sitting in a cube answering a phone and to the whims of a boss or two....or three. Though I do appreciate being able to bring home a paycheck, I just think I would get way more satisfaction out of raising my kids and knowing that I'm the one raising them.

What stirred all this thinking was when I caught a few mothers talking on TV. The three moms, who were all friends, were sitting together at the zoo with their kids and one of them said, "This sure beats working a 9-5 job!" And her friend turns to her and says, "No, its definitely harder." And I just kinda sat there thinking - "Really? Is it harder? You're at the zoo with your friends, and your cute kiddos petting the animals and I sit in a cube answering to two men every 5 seconds and being at their beckon call, punching a time clock." I don't know and I'm curious as to what y'all think?

So please, what are your thoughts on this?


ReSoNate said...

Hi Kimmers - As a soon-to-be-mommy, my deep desire is to stay home with them full time. I don't have delusions of it being "easy," but I see it as a high calling and my responsibility to be the primary caregiver (with John of course!) The financial reality requires me to work... some... and I will work as little as possible to make our budget work. I can't wait to be a mommy and I know I will cry when I have to go back to work, even tho' it will only be 15-20 hrs/wk. There's my 2 cents and I'll let you know in a year or so how it's working. Rach!

ReSoNate said...

p.s. how do you get the unusual fonts on your blog?

Kim said...

I wish I could help you Rach, but I don't remember where I saw the directions to change the font, oops. I would just google the terms, "changing fonts in blogspot" and you might find something helpful, that's usually what I do! Goodluck!

And thanks for your thoughts, I so appreciate it!

Sarah said...

Hi Kim, I am a friend of Suzanne's and stumbled upon your blog awhile ago! Anyway, I'd love to weigh in on your question! I am a SAHM of two wonderful girls ages 4 and 1 and also have one on the way, and while I am SO thankful for the opportunity to stay home, both my husband and I wanted this for our kids and are very grateful that we are able to work it so that I can stay home. I would have to say that working a full time job away from home is definitely easier. This is why I believe that! I too had a job from an early age and it wasn't until I had my oldest that I ever stopped "working". Now please don't get me wrong it would be so hard to work all day and then come home to your kids for only an hour or two at most, that would be heartbreaking, and "hard" at best. But working away from home you are afforded adult conversation, extra money, "me" time or quiet time, and the satisfaction of being "useful" in the work world. At home you are cooking a minimum of three times a day, changing diapers, playing, shuttling your children too and from school, cleaning house, doing laundry, settling arguing matches, teaching, training, praying, and so much more! It is a job that never ends, though it is amazingly rewarding! My sister is a SAHM to two boys, who works at a law office one day a week and she has said on several different occasions that going to work is hands down easier than being home with hre kids all day. She has two lawyers she answers to and even with the office politics and things that go on in an office she said it is so much easier than staying home. So there's my two cents! I believe that both options have their advantages and disadvantages, and am truly thankful that I can stay home and invest in and train up my kids! And I understand that there are those circumstances where moms may have to work and I totally understand where they and their families are coming from :) I don't think there is a right or wrong answer, but a what is best for you and your family answer!

Thanks for letting me sound off!


Tina said...

Ok here's my take... it's both... harder and easier.

I worked until I had Jeshua. Addie was 7 when I started staying home. I loved working but it was always a struggle to find the right place and/or people to take care of her. I was always really concerned about what was being said to her or how she was being treated. Sometimes I felt I had to play catch up and compete with others views on raising kids. When I had Jeshua I worked from home after 3 months off for maternity leave. I liked still having something other then the never ending house stuff to do during the week. It was satisfying to get together with adults and be used in a different way but I always felt like Jeshua wasn't getting the best I could give him because my focus was torn. Once I had Jaida and no longer carried an "outside job" I realized how much they needed me to be there and present and do the best I could for them. But I missed terribly the job I had and realized how important it is to be involved in more than just what's going on in the house. The house work and raising of kids never ends. There is no 8-5. You are never off duty. At 2 am you have to get up. As great as it is at first, after about 2-3 years of never sleeping through the night or never having all of the laundry done or things cleaned up, it can get really wearing.

I believe that life is about balance. Even being a SAHM needs to be balanced. Otherwise you begin to feel lost in the day in and day out.

My answer... meet with friends for coffee, volunteer, work a little outside of the home... a side job or something, but keep it all in balance. Anything and everything is difficult when it is out of balance. Ok, there's my lesson I've learned after 15 years of raising kids.

Kisses and hugs, can't wait to see you!

Anonymous said...

I just hope Jason doesn't get pregnant.. That's all I got to say :-O

Kim said...

I'm loving the comments ladies! Well except for the one about Jason getting pregnant - ew.

Thanks for the input, it's definately food for thought!

Anonymous said...

I know I have no kids but I have spent the last three years reading feminist literature and I have alot of fascinating books discussing the matter from both sides. If I can give my two cents, Tina seems to have a pretty intelligent perspective on the matter. I'll get some of the most insightful books I have read and wrap them up for you for Christmas. Lol.

Anonymous said...

Kim--hopefully soon to be the mother of my grandchildren...,
I think you know my feelings on this subject. I got to stay home from 5 mo. pg with Jason until Kel was 1 wk away from 2. Then we just couldn't afford for me not to work. I cried and cried. I loved my job at the time but nothing was as rewarding to me than being with my kids full time. After Jas was 5 and Kel was 3+ I got to stay home again but I worked off and on until I went to Nursing school and then it was full time from then on. By then they were in highschool and we needed the money to send them to college.
I think it just depends on your own disposition. If you love working you might not feel fulfilled enough to be home full time. Personally I believe that is the way God intended it--but that's just me and that is absolutely no criticism of anyone who works outside the home.
We did a lot of church activities where my kids got pleanty of socialization. There were times when I needed some adult time, but with book clubs and other activities you have that I didn't, that needn't be an issue. We had neither parents close when our kids were growing up and that sometimes makes the difference too. You will have ME!!! Soon I hope! Love you!! Mom Keith

Anonymous said...

Honey, You know I have done it allllll Worked, stayed home, ran a day care. This is my thoughts. You are a person that loves home with friend benefits. Yes lots of friends they too will have children and you will organize them into party dates with children and no children. They will be color coded schedules. You always place relationship over stuff and it would tare you apart not to be there when the "first happens. You have to fight guilt no matter what you chose but if God willing and with Jason total support and willingness to do the double shifts I think you will find this least difficult to be home at least part time (NOT work from home that is a set of for failure because you give your all to what ever you do which would leave you to feeling you failed in all. All that said the bottom line it is daily choice to love that moment your in(work or mom-eying) and laugh at the things you cannot control. But nothing is impossible without the most important element, besides God,is JASON SUPORT DAILLY. So what he thinks is all that counts except you. His love and encouragement is what will validate your daily trails no matter what they are, and He is so good at that. I know this sounds corny but it is so true it is not so much how much time you are with your kids its the joy you have when you are together.......Kids are better off with the people who are the most invested to them That's MOM and DAD. Teacher/student relationships no matter how great are still paid jobs and over as soon as the next job comes along. Preschools are great but day care falls short. Honey you experienced both being a home and daycare you should have a better understanding of this than most. But remember you went to work with mom. NOW if grandma is next door that is a whole other story.........Hint!!!!!!!
You and Jason are the only ones that can make this decision but make and stay together through it and trust God for the rest. Jason might want to share the stay home time also their are lots of choices and this is only their per-school years you have the rest of their lives to love them..Oh did I say that Grandma next door in Seattle is a very good choice. Okay Grandma Keith is another good choice. --------- Love