My husband and I both work full-time. For various reasons I have no intention of ever not working. We are adopting our 5yo nephew and are considering adopting another child. in that case I might go down to 30 hours a week but only if I had a hard time managing.
When my STBAS started kindergarten, I joined the school's PTO. ...and after two meetings haven't gone back. Everyone in the PTO is a SAHM. I haven't been able to participate in any of the volunteer activities because they've all been during work hours. Since they keep going on and on about how much help they need I asked why they couldn't come up with stuff that working parents could participate in (nights, weekends, and/or from home). The PTO president said to me, "I may have two master's degrees but right now my most important job is raising my son." Basically I was being criticized because I work.
I personally don't feel guilty that I work. Before he went to kindergarten my STBAS was in a really great center that he loved. He gets plenty of one-on-one attention from us. He went from being severely delayed to being way ahead because we also spend a lot of educational time with him. He is obviously happy and thriving.
Even though I don't feel guilty I do feel really irked about being judged. Children do not need to have a parent at home full-time to be raised properly. It is about the quality of time, not the quantity. My STBAS's bio mom was a SAHM (okay, or, a LOTGM (live-off-the-government-mom)), and having her home all the time was actually worse for him, not better -- he would've been far better off in daycare than with her.
There are a lot of families that make big financial sacrifices so that one of the parents can stay at home with the kids. I have no problem with that. I do have a problem with people thinking that you cannot raise a child unless one of the parents stays at home. Just not true. And basically you're giving single parents another kick in the face by saying they're doomed through no fault of their own. urrgghh.
I know that a lot of the people here are SAHMs but there are some working moms here ... do you get confronted with this attitude too?
I work FT, as does DH. We haven't had any children old enough to be involved with PTA. Where I have found where the biggest judgement has come from is a former CW & sometimes myself. Our former CW was always on my case when our FFK's were sick, she didn't feel we got to them fast enough. From the beginning she knew we commuted to work and couldn't be there at the drop of the hat. She would also have this attitude for monthly home visits that we should take off time to accomidate HER schedule, I am sorry but our board rate doesn't pay enough for us not to work and while I have alot of vacation (4 weeks) I shouldn't have to take it off so she isn't put out of her way. DH is home 1 day during the week and I felt if she scheduled it enough in advance we could work it out.
I sometimes feel bad that I do have to work and cannot be home with our FK's especially when they are sick, I feel guilty taking off work b/c I feel like I am failing at my job but when I don't then I feel like I am failing the kids. I have some family support but cannot always count on them. So in the end I just feel like I do the best with what I have.
I guess my ideal would be working from home a majority of the week or only working 3 or 4 days per week but I don't really see that happening soon.
I'm looked at as a sahm, but I actually work at home. I'm just a very private person and don't socialize much. My scedule is made be me though. Both of my bios attended/do attend a 3 day a week lreschool program. There are 5 kids total in the class. It's by choice to have put them in, but they are better for it and so am I. I've never judged anyone for their decisions to work or stay home. The only thing that ever really irked me was when my oldest bio was in preschool, there was a girl she became good friends with. That girls' mom kept asking me to pick up her child from preschool and hang onto her for a couple hours. Playdates are one thing, but this was never reciprocated. The mother asked me all the time because I "didn't work", so there was no reason I couldn't keep her kid. I'm not a daycare and don't want to be. I DO actually have things I like to get done or *gasp* spend quality time with just my own kids.
Everybody is different and I wish more parent's understood that not just one parenting style is right everyone. It goes back to the whole....you made your decisions & are living your life the way you choose, what gives you the right to judge others for their decisions?
Fwiw, I'm just not the pto volunteering type. I could make time for it, bit it's not my thing.
I work from home and have for the past 4 years. Yes, its wonderful and its hard. No, I dont have to take off from work when my kid is sick or on break BUT I still work at LEAST 40 hours a week. My husband works nights so I'm generally a single parent except on the occassional weekend when he is off. My home IS my office and while those that work in an office think that working from home is awesome (which it is most of the time) just think about how you get to LEAVE work. I never LEAVE work. My clients know that I work from home as does everyone else in the company (in our entire company I am only 1 of 4 people that work from home) so at any time, day or night, I am called to check on this or that - simply because I have access. Dont get me wrong - i LOVE working from home - no commute, no hair, make up and getting all dressed up and I can keep up with my laundry. BUT what irritates me the MOST is that when people find out that I work from home, they assume I have ALL of this free time to do this or that or that I dont have a REAL job.
Whats even MORE frustrating is that I just got the training schedule from our agency for the year - 70% of the trainings are on TUESDAY from 10am-1pm...seriously...how are working people supposed to attend these things. My husband and I cant take off from work once a month to attend these things. I cant wait for my visit tomorrow so that I can talk to our worker about this!
Ok...venting done!!! lol
I have found the "judgy" stuff to be universal too...sometimes done by SAHMs and sometimes done by work outside the home (is that called WOHMS?). I was recently home pretty much full time with our now 8 mo old FD (we also have a 7 yo). To me, working outside the home..as stressful as it can be...is FAR easier than being home all day. But that's just my personality. I really, really try hard not to judge what anyone chooses to do because it really has nothing to do with me.
I did do the volunteer gig a lot when DD was in kindy. I was the room mother responsible for organizing parties, teacher gifts, etc. One time I got no less than TWENTY emails "debating" what kind of slush to get for a party! I started to make "executive decisions"...hahah...and now I am just grateful for those that do volunteer a lot. I found it too annoying! I still go in to read to the kids, offer to take other people's kids to dance or CCD or whatever, but I don't like the "official" stuff anymore.
Okay, just to clarify, my problem was with the snotty attitude of the PTO ... I wasn't saying that I thought all SAHMs felt that way. If these PTO ladies all worked outside the home and I was a SAHM then I'm sure they'd get on my case for "not doing anything all day" ... that's just the kind of people they are. I respect their decision to stay home, they should respect my decision to work. It just irritates me when women have to get on each other about stuff like that ... we have enough crap to put up with, we should be supporting each other instead of judging.
I think I'll just stay out of the PTO for now and try again when my STBAS is older ... :rolleyes:
softballmama
I work from home and have for the past 4 years. Yes, its wonderful and its hard. No, I dont have to take off from work when my kid is sick or on break BUT I still work at LEAST 40 hours a week. My husband works nights so I'm generally a single parent except on the occassional weekend when he is off. My home IS my office and while those that work in an office think that working from home is awesome (which it is most of the time) just think about how you get to LEAVE work. I never LEAVE work. My clients know that I work from home as does everyone else in the company (in our entire company I am only 1 of 4 people that work from home) so at any time, day or night, I am called to check on this or that - simply because I have access. Dont get me wrong - i LOVE working from home - no commute, no hair, make up and getting all dressed up and I can keep up with my laundry. BUT what irritates me the MOST is that when people find out that I work from home, they assume I have ALL of this free time to do this or that or that I dont have a REAL job.
Whats even MORE frustrating is that I just got the training schedule from our agency for the year - 70% of the trainings are on TUESDAY from 10am-1pm...seriously...how are working people supposed to attend these things. My husband and I cant take off from work once a month to attend these things. I cant wait for my visit tomorrow so that I can talk to our worker about this!
Ok...venting done!!! lol
I guess my main reason for wanting to work at home is the fact that I have a long commute @ 40 miles each way and our home is closer to the DCFS office and kids prefered daycare provider. Our company has a work at home policy but my manager doesn't agree with it so only gives us the ability during emergencies and as a reward type thing. I do see where when we do work from home its hard to seperate work from home. In all honesty I work harder at home then I do while I am at the office.
Our yearly training in our area can be done online, you might want to check with your LW or home development worker, she gave me a whole list of free websites that we can do our training. I am an active member of the foster parent association so every "training" meeting that we go to helps with our requirements.
When I read your post my problem was with her snotty attiude too! I probably would have said something not so friendly back to Mrs. Two Master's Degrees. Geesh some people.
I am a single working mom but even if I didn't have obligations during the day that made it possible to join PTO I wouldn't. As a pp said, our PTO is very clicky and an extension of high school mentality. Its just not for me because I don't want to be around people like that. Its not because they are SAH parents or working parents they just have snotty attitudes that I choose not to be around. Oh and they are always begging for help too. I wonder if there is any coorelation.
Find other ways to engage with your kid's school. My mom helps at my kid's school on pizza days and I've gone a couple times for daytime programs that I could use an extended lunch time for. My mom worked when I was a kid and some 30 years later I don't even give a thought as to why she couldn't always come and help at the book fair!
TemporaryMom
Ditto for me. There is this "yuppy" (what is the current term for that?) play place by my house. I HATE IT!!! So these yuppy SAHMs bring their children here and because there is very little parking, they park all of their HUGE SUVs and Minivans all along the street, on top of each other, blocking the entrance to my driveway! I once had to spend almost 5 minutes just trying to get out of my flipping driveway. (I live in an urban surbarbia area). Then they go into this little place, and let the kids run wild "playdate" while they sit at little cafe tables drinking cappuccinos and such. And i tell you, the fact that a kid hasn't gotten hurt yet is a shocker to me because I see them walking back from the place, and probably at least 25% of the time, I see parents walking ahead whilst their littles trail behind them, crossing over an alley way unattended.
So year, the fact that they are a SAHM means nothing to me. Now, if I could afford it, I'd be a SSAHM (single stay at home mom) but since I can't afford to live off of the government, and I haven't won the lottery, I can't do that. There is one member here, she is pretty darn clever. She has the best of both worlds. I am sure she'll speak up, can't remember her name, but she is able to work from home around her kids' schedules. That would rock. but the work I don't won't accomodate that.
Studies have been done on this and, not that I could find one the last time I looked, they say the same thing, it is quantity of time, not quality. Of course, given the nature of THIS board, I would be highly surprised if any of our SAHP (I think we have a couple of SAHDs on here) are the kind who are not having the best quality with their kids time. But, many of the STAPs end up spending less quality time because they DO get involved in so many other things. We working parents feel guilty about the time our kids spend away while we are working, so pretty much keep our kids glued to our hips when we aren't working.
And, I think for children over 2, at least 2-3 days a week in a daycare setting is very good for them. I'd almost argue that it is vital for their social development. I think the exposure that they get there cannot be replicated at home or with a playgroup.
I totally agree. My husband and I both have full time careers and our kiddos HAVE to go to preschool....not daycare, but preschool where they actually learn something. So far, we have had a number of placements with delays. Every single one of them thrived in preschool and after the first week, they were getting up in the morning begging to go to school.
I also would not fit in with the PTO/Playdate group. Not necessarily because I work and they are STHM's, but that I just don't do the "girly" or gossup thing well. I would rather be at a boxing match, monster truck event or football game than drinking coffee and chit chatting.
I have a close friend who is a SAHM. She's pretty cool and not realy girly, but I recall a number of times getting calls from her in the middle of the day wherein she is cussing about her son's bad attitude and how she needs to get away from him. She recently enrolled him in the same preschool we use. LOL
I get more "resistance" from SWs about my working full time than anyone else. I think it has to do with the fact that we will only do 1 supervised visit a week and it has to be on a weekend day.
I consider myself to be EXTREMELY lucky. I work part time and have a great paying job. I often look like the SAHM because I have my kids at activities 2 of the 5 weekdays. People are often surprised to find out I am a single mom! My kids do have medicaid and they do get a stipend still so I find myself feeling like a LOTGM sometimes but I work HARD when I am there and I play and parent HARD when I am at home. That extra money is used to fund things like gymnastics, preschool, beach passes and memberships to places like the aquarium and zoo. I put in 3 LONG days at work and do some of my work at home after the kids go to bed so I can have that extra free time with them. LOVE it!
I'm stay at home, but I will never set foot in a PTA meeting. Those moms are NOT very welcoming to my kind of mom - the ones who foster (outside of their race) and spend their free time volunteering with the homeless.
I will say that I believe it is very important, if at all possible, to at least be there to get them on the bus in the mornings and off the bus in the evenings and spend weekends with them. I also enjoy the freedom to be able to go places with them and do things without having to worry about giving my work notice.
Before I get flamed, I WAS a working parent and BOTH my older kids went to daycare. They turned out just fine and I realize that most kids will be just fine with working parents. It's just not right for our family.
But I would never judge.
I work part time, a few hours a day. I love my job as a special education teacher, which the adoption agency knows I have no intention of quitting.
I am hoping to adopt a very intense autistic 11 year old boy within the next several months, and while I do not feel it would be appropriate to have him at my school, I intend to be quite involved with his class. This could prove tricky because my school hours will also be his school hours. But I think I could make it work.
So while I will be adopting as a single, working mom, I have the luxury of working a limited schedule (about 15 hours a week). This will allow me more time with my child, but also allow me to continue doing the work I love.
Maybe it's too soon to say so, as we haven't even started pre-adoption visits, but I feel really lucky.
And I don't plan on joining the PTA. ;)
I've done both. Both have their issues and lifestyles. Both get judged and stereotyped. With both you have to give up something. Neither are easy. I've done both when I didn't want to do either, and when I did. Sometimes you just don't get to choose, sometimes you do.
Usually when someone says a stereotypical thing they are feeling guilty, disappointed or trying to make themselves feel better about what they've had to give up. Or they are defending themselves!
I'm looked at as a sahm, but I actually work at home.
My husband and I have had our own businesses and work from our home for years now. There are no "working hours" here, we work at all hours to get done what needs to be done. Sometimes it's much easier to get things done at 3am. I've done it for so long it's difficult for me to sleep a 'normal' night. I basically nap a couple of hours at a time, or go without if I've got a big project. Probably not a good thing.
It sounds great when you are stuck at the office wishing you were home with kids and more freedom!
The issue of ALWAYS being at work can be tough, especially if your husband is always at work with you. There's plenty of overtime to be had, but there's no such thing as overtime, there is just all the time.
Wait til you hear what's said when your kids go to college or move out, or even when they are teenagers.
My own parents think I do nothing since I am at "home" all the time. And can come and go as I please. Sure I can schedule non-work things, but I don't get paid when I don't work! And the work is still there waiting on me when I get back, regardless of the time or day of the week.
I can't tell you how many times I've been asked to babysit sick kids for desperate working mom friends. I feel for them, btdt. I've lost several jobs due to sick kids. But no, please don't bring your sick kid to my house! And no, I can't watch your kid from the time they get off the bus until you get home from work, or on holidays. Um, I'm working too!
I was accused of being a housewife the other day. Now that was too funny.
When CW/SW make judgements it really makes me angry b/c who do they think pays their salary? If I wasn't in the job I am in now it wouldn't even be in this state it would be in our corporate office. While I am working I am paying taxes that pay their salary. I often wonder if our CW was so judgemental b/c she seen us with a nice house & cars, well it's b/c we both work to pay for them.
Honestly, I've seen this type of judgmental snottiness in pretty much any volunteer based organization I've ever been in (and I've run 3 completely different organizations)
I see this as more of an insecurity in THEM - trying to largely show the world how THEY are better.. are making better decisions.. are better people than "those others"
I mean, if you feel good about how you are living your life, why would you care if others are doing things differently :p
:grr:
I happen to believe I'd go nuts without a day job. I also believe I am showing my daughter how she can be self reliant. and I think she gets a benefit out of socializing with other kids.
But, I could be 1000% wrong. I won't know if she's better off, worse or, not impacted by my life. Maybe I'll know when she's grown. But even then, there' no other "J" to compare her to.
So, if i can never be 1000% sure I did "the" right thing (as if there are truly 1 single "right" decision), how can I possibly say I'm better than..?
:coffee: