View Full Version : Any part time working moms out there?
09-09-2007, 10:31 AM
Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one. I worked full time until my son was about 15 months old, then I quit my "career" job to stay home and work part time as a substitute teacher (totally new career path for me, I have no background in education). My son goes to daycare three days a week so i can work those days. I fell like I don't fit in anywhere! My full time working friends think I don't have a "real" job and I don't fit in with the SAHM's either because my son goes to daycare! Anyone else out there in a situation like this? How do you find people, moms, kids to do things with? I joined my local MOMS club, but I feel a little out of pace since I do send my kid to daycare (I try not to mention it!). Any other ideas? Maybe even having some virtual friends in the same boat will make me feel like less of a freak! :laughing: Thanks for listening!
09-09-2007, 10:42 AM
I'd like to say don't worry about what other people think. I work part time, but am lucky enough to have my mom who watches my son when I go in 2 days a week. The other hours I am able to work from home. If you are comfortable with your decision to work and have your child in day care, then that's all that matters. I don't think it is right for people to pass their judgments on you. :(
Maybe on one of your days off you could join a playgroup or exercise stroller class. I do this twice a week and it is so fun, and a great way to stay in shape and hang out with other moms.
Personally (no flames), I think that sometimes people (men and women alike) put to much emphasis on their careers and forget that being a parent is an awesome job in itself! Full time SAHM are so blessed they have the resources to not work for an income. The rest of us have no choice but to help out with the income. I know a mom is a 24 hour a day job, and the rewards are different than a career. My point being: you and your spouse will make the decisions that need to be made to make your family work, day care or no day care. I WISH I could devote everyday just to my child, but the reality is: I have to work to make ends meet, and you should not feel guilty about that. It is very noble! :)
Good luck and hang in there. You'll find your place :)
09-09-2007, 11:39 AM
I work 30 hours or more a week to keep insurance. My MIL watches my boys, but I know how you feel. I tried to go to play group, but I am always out of place because I am usually dressed on my way to work or leaving work. The other moms are talking about stay at home stuff or how Busy they are and I just can't relate. I am not ashamed to say that I like to work and could not be a stay at home mom. I like using my brain and the adult interaction. I think it is good for my boys to be with others and not be stuck with me all day. Different people teach them different things. The oldest went to a 2 year old program one day a week and the youngest will start in November. The oldest is in preschool 3 days a week now. My suggestion is to forget the mom groups and join a group that you have interest in. I love to scrapbook, so I get together with scrapbook friends I have me or attend crops to meet to people. I kill two birds with one stone. I get scrapbooking pages completed and I meet/keep in touch with adult friends. We just take the kids to public parks to play with other kids and do not work about play dates. Keep your chin up. There are alot of us out there. I just do not think that you meet too many in mommy and me groups.
09-09-2007, 01:40 PM
I have been part-time since ds was born 5 years ago. I work 3 full days a week as a computer programmer, so I still am in my original career area, but not nearly as much responsibility as I used to have.
I found the biggest difference between me and other moms when ds went to preschool last year. For field trips there was a sign up sheet out for those to indicate if they needed a ride for their child and NO ONE would sign up on it. Everyone would bring their own children and attend the field trip. So I took some time off for the first couple (both from feeling pressured and because I wanted to see how he'd do there) but then after that I made friends with a couple other moms and would ask them to take him for me.
I agree with the pp who said that I wouldn't do well as a SAHM. I know my kids get bored with me by Tuesday afternoon and are longing for their friends at daycare to play with.
I know that all people stay busy with their lives no matter what their family looks like - I know I used to think I was busy even before I had kids. But it is different kinds of busy for different lifestyles. We just got back on Tuesday from a trip to WDW (I miss it already) and I was telling a friend on Saturday that I still hadn't had a chance to unpack much of anything and with Wednesday being ds's first day of Kindergarten, its been more hectic than usual. And one woman was like 'well what did you do while he was at school all day?'. :) Of course - I had to bring him to the sitter's, watch him get on the bus, run to work late, then get out early once the babysitter called to say the school had put him on the wrong bus - had to call around and find where he was....well, you guys understand - obviously I wasn't sitting around at home all day staring at my still-unpacked suitcase.
I do get the 'well you have two days off' comments from people sometimes and I explain that those are the days that are busier than those in the office! And when people at work make mention of it longingly - I simply tell them that they can do it too - anytime they want to give up part of their salary, most of their benefits, etc. It's not like they just gave me this setup - I had to be willing to make the sacrifices for it.
Nice to know there are other DIS'ers who understand. :)
09-09-2007, 01:43 PM
I work PT outside the home too, and I can relate. I am fortunate though to have a great circle of friends where some work other jobs and some don't and are SAHM who work their behinds off there. So with some of the moms I can keep it to home/children chatting and with other moms we can compare the work/life balance issues out. Where I usually end up feeling out of place is at the office where I'm the only one in my group currently with a PT schedule (I work at a headquarters office for a national retailer); there are other PT people around since it is a huge company, but I'm the only one in my department. I feel like they are sometimes jealous since most of us are parents there. That I have the "cushy" schedule - ok, I'll agree I do, but I've sacraficed greatly for that schedule career-wise too. But I willingly made career sacrafices to have a better work/life balance. (I actually work 2 jobs now as I'm also a DU agent and work from home on the days I don't work at my office, but that is nicer since I'm still around for DS and have flexibility. But adding the two up - I'm sure I work more than a FT schedule.
Does your area have ECFE at all (it is Early Childhood Family Education here and it is through the school districts) and they have pre-school like classes that often include the parent where the child and parent are together in class for the first hour and then there is a parent discussion for the 2nd hour when the kids stay with the teachers. I think that is a nice way to meet a variety of parents too.
Know you aren't the only one alone out here with the unique circumstance! Hang in there!!!
09-09-2007, 01:45 PM
I too work part time. I have a problem getting together with people too because I'm home on days during the week but then i do have to work some weekend days (about 3 a month) and then my husband has Air Nat'l Guard Duty one weekend a month, so friend or family who work all week can never meet up with me. I do have a couple of friends from work who have children similar in age to mine who work part time (I'm a nurse), and a SIL whos kids are each a few weeks older/younger than mine who works nights, and stays up all day and then sleeps in the evening, so we get together with the kids sometimes too.
I also have acquaintances who stay home full time, and I know what you mean about not fitting in. Its a different mind set, and I've gotten a lot of "oh, its too bad you HAVE to work, or too bad you don't have enough money to stay home full time. It makes me feel weird.
I love my job, and I wouldn't give it up. I started doing part time after my 3yo was born, but I can't imagine staying home EVERY day. Also, my income allows us do go and do fun family things without worrying too much about money. If I stayed home, we would all STAY HOME. We go camping and have Six Flags Season Passes in the summer, we Ski/Snowboard in the winter, and we like to go on other vacations too (Disney!).
09-09-2007, 02:07 PM
I work part time - 25 hours a week as a teaching assistant in my sons' school district. I worked part time from home doing HR work for a bank until both boys started school and then I ventured outside to get a job.
I found that as soon as the boys started school, I made a lot more friends. There were school events, PTA meetings and just talking to people at drop off and pick up times.
09-09-2007, 02:37 PM
The reality is, not all of us are able to be SAHMs. I have the mommy playgroup SAHM friends, the few part time working friends, and mostly fulltime working friends that I had BC. I went back 12 weeks after DD's birth, right when my state disability ran out. I have preschool and parent babysitting to cover my work hours. I can't afford more daycare on my salary, and if my mom and dad weren't able to help me, I'd probably have to get a full time job just to afford the full time daycare costs and end up with the same amount of money every month!
People will tell me I'm "lucky" to have my parents and a part time job (that does nothing for my career if I ever want to go back). Most people either think I don't work very much or don't know what I do or make comments about it one way or the other - like it's not important, my job, but at least I'm not "living off" my DH. Nice, eh?
But I do feel good about what I do and the time I have being professional and the time I have being a mom. It would be nice for others to be a bit more supportive, but it's very nice to see this thread here!:)
09-09-2007, 03:00 PM
I also work part tiem 20 hours a week. I have been working 33 because we are short 3 people. Which is ok for right know trying to save for maternity leave. I have 2 friends outdside of work period. I just live in a area where there is not a lot of people my age.
09-09-2007, 03:40 PM
Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one. I worked full time until my son was about 15 months old, then I quit my "career" job to stay home and work part time as a substitute teacher (totally new career path for me, I have no background in education). My son goes to daycare three days a week so i can work those days. I fell like I don't fit in anywhere! My full time working friends think I don't have a "real" job and I don't fit in with the SAHM's either because my son goes to daycare! Anyone else out there in a situation like this? How do you find people, moms, kids to do things with? I joined my local MOMS club, but I feel a little out of pace since I do send my kid to daycare (I try not to mention it!). Any other ideas? Maybe even having some virtual friends in the same boat will make me feel like less of a freak! Thanks for listening!
:yay: me too, me too. LOL.
I must live in a great little subculture area or something, though, because no one really makes me feel like I don't fit in. Except, oddly enough, my mom. She says I can't possibly understand how it feels to not make ANY financial contribution - I guess the powerlessness (is that a word?) HELLO! I was working 5 or 10 hours a week.
Anyway, I used to be in a mothers group that had a presentation of some type and then we would break into small groups where you really got to know each other and it was amazing the number of moms who had a little something going. I bet if you say, "DS goes to daycare a couple days a week, anybody else dealing with this?" you might be surprised.
By the way, I have to plug this organization - the group I was in was part of a national program called MOPS (mothers of preschoolers) and it was great. We'd have a speaker, then a small group discussion, then a craft or something (the idea being as moms of preschoolers you never get to start and finish something fun for yourself). They provide childcare with classes divided by age, and there they have age appropriate activities. We met once a month this way, and once a month for a more traditional watch-your-own-kids playdate. They are church related but nondenominational. You can find a group on their website mops.org It was very valuable to me.
I am not ashamed to say that I like to work and could not be a stay at home mom. I like using my brain and the adult interaction.
That's just sad. You know I had a woman say this to me and seconds later ask me to babysit her kids. (uh, duh, I said no) You understand this is the flip side of a SAHM saying "I can't imagine letting someone else raise my children." The two exclusionary and equally ridiculous stances that define the "mommy wars".
09-09-2007, 04:13 PM
I work part time-doing assessment for the special education department. I am home full time during the summer and work 2-3 full days a week during the school year. The teachers I work with act like I really don't have a job and the stay at home mothers think I am crazy for working when I have six kids.
I don't have time anymore to do things with mothers anymore. My days off are spend driving around doing errands. So it is not important to me anymore sadly to say.
I think we have the best of both worlds-I love my days off but I love going back to work. It is a nice balance.
09-09-2007, 04:34 PM
I also work part-time from home. I just started last year after being a full-time SAHM and it's been such an adjustment. I run my own business so I can pretty much decide when/how much I want to work as long as it's during school hours since I service schools (I sell letter jackets, patches, awards). My mom watches my kiddos for me, which works out great (esp. since we also homeschool).... it is hard b/c most of my friends are full-time SAHM and homeschool and don't really understand why I do what I do (we're hoping to build the business up enough that my dh can take it over and I can just help him instead of being the one in charge). I actually do enjoy getting out and having the adult interaction and helping the kids w/ their jackets/patches.... and after staying home for 6 years, the extra income is really nice! You're not the only one!!!
09-09-2007, 04:46 PM
I just started back to work, after 8 years off!! :) I'm part time, just started, I work 5 days a week for just shy of 5 hours at my kids school, I'm an LD Aide in the Pre-K class for 3 kids + 1, 3 year old that is there for speech. One of my little guys can't walk, he can crawl all over on his hands but can't walk. None talk "well", 1 knows sign language, so I started learning that this week!!
Boy oh boy, this has been way more of a challenge in 4 days than 9 years of mothering my 3 kids at home!! But I love it, I'm up to the challenge, and while it makes for some long mornings, it's also very rewarding when they do the simpliest of tasks for me!
It was hard, my best friend is a SAHM, she still has a 3 yr old at home, and she kept saying, I'm gonna miss you, who will I talk to..But we talked 2 times last week, and she's loving being home all day with just her 3 year old, and I'm jealous cuz her house is spotless and mine is another story!!
09-09-2007, 04:53 PM
I am a full-time college professor, but I'm able to juggle my schedule (with lots of help from DH and by giving up a lot of sleep) so that I'm only on campus 3 days a week with DS in daycare and I'm home the other two days working just during his nap and evening. (Even though it's a full-time job, it feels more "part-time" because it isn't too high-powered and I'm only in the office 3 days.) I feel SO lucky to be able to do this, but it also puts me in a strange place with all my friends. There are plenty of people in my neighborhood that are fulltime SAHM and plenty that work full-time, but sometimes I feel alone in the middle. I was fortunate to have the choice of just teaching one class per semester in the evening while DH takes care of DS, doing what I'm doing now at 40-45 flexible hours per week, or working at a prestigious research university. We're really happy with this life, but I get grief from both sides for not being completely a SAHM and for giving up "a promising career". The thing is, we all just have to do what is right for our family.
I go to some neighborhood playgroup events and it has been an interesting change over the last two years, too...Initially DS was the only one of those kids in any daycare and everyone was "so jealous" that I got "adult time" on work days (I actually heard that more than how horrible I was to let someone else "raise my child"). Now many of the kids are in preschool and I'm "so jealous" that those moms get "free time" (especially the ones who still somehow afford weekly cleaning service). ;)
09-09-2007, 08:19 PM
I'm glad to know I"m not the only one in the weird limbo between full time SAHM's and fulltime working moms! I feel SO lucky to be able to do this, but it also puts me in a strange place with all my friends. There are plenty of people in my neighborhood that are fulltime SAHM and plenty that work full-time, but sometimes I feel alone in the middle. That's exactly how I feel! I love the flexibility of subbing and I love how totally different it is from my old job (QC Manager for a food ingredient manufacturer). I think my son gets a lot out of his daycare and I think I might go crazy if I was a full time mom. I like making money so we can do fun stuff like go to Disney! Maybe we can keep this thread going -- I"m sure there are even more of us out there!
09-10-2007, 07:07 AM
I actually cut down to four days a week to spend more time with DS. I get Wednesdays off and that one day makes a difference in my life. With 40 hours a week, I wasn't seeing my family enough. I work days and DH works second shift so DS only goes to daycare 2-6 hours per week depending on what days DH is off.
I try to go out to lunch every so often with two other part time working mammas I know but it's really hard to match up all our schedules. It's a lot of fun when we get together though.
09-10-2007, 08:03 AM
Another report from "limbo."
First of all, since I haven't yet seen it mentioned, check your local public library. Many of them have storytimes (even for infants) and it is a great place to meet other moms and kids.
I work 15-20 hrs a week, still within my profession (children's librarian), but I gave up a full time job as a library director with the better salary/benefits that came along with it. I'm fortunate in that my parents and husband have been able to cover my "work time" so we haven't had to pay for day-care and my DDs get to spend lots of quality time with Grandma, Grandpa and Daddy.
Because of my profession and my location (small college town) I come in contact primarily with SAHMs, but many of them are teachers or married to professors, and they tend to be a less judgemental group I guess. I haven't personally run into negative comments from either camp (but I certainly have witnessed them elsewhere).
I really feel fortunate to have the best of both worlds with fewer of the negatives of each. We could afford to live off just DH's salary, but we would have to watch every penny. My working allows us to have some of the extras and keep adding to our savings as well. I am doing enough to keep current in my field, so if and when I go back full time hopefully I will be able to step into a position similar to the one I had to leave. I can get stressed at work and I can get stressed at home...they are both challenging (and rewarding) for different reasons. But it must be hard to find this kind of set up, because I know a lot of parents in my community and very few seem to have one parent working P/T, but I think it is a trend that is growing.
09-10-2007, 08:36 AM
Add me to the part-timers list! I work strange hours so I'm done with work by 9am, so it meant no daycare (prior to school starting). I was really in limbo at that time because I was a working mom, but basically a stay at home mom at the same time. When my son went to school half days that usually meant I was the only mommy wearing makeup when I went to pick him up, ha!
Now that he's in school full time, I feel like I'm busier than ever, which is strange. I haven't figured that out yet. :confused3 I think it's because I feel like I can get more done now that he's at school, so I'm trying to do more.
Anyway, yes it's hard to make friends no matter what your schedule is, I think that's just a fact of getting older. Wayyyy back when we were in high school and college, we were surrounded by peers that we basically had to socialize with, therefore you ended up with lots of friends.
My problem is the other SAHMs can't do things (lunch, workout etc) with me during the day because they have other children and I can't do much at night because of family stuff and because I have to wake up early for work. I have better luck with single women or married women with no kids...they have the most flexibility to be friends with me! ha!
I recently switched from FT to 3days. I'm still adjusting. I would like to stay home FT but can't financially and part of me feels guilty for only working PT!!!!! In fact I was thinking that I could pick up Thursday but then I thought NO!!!!! My son needs me and I'm taking him to the beach, darn it!!! He LOVES his babysitter and I still have to pay FT even though he will go PTnow--but I guess it's worth it for now. Next year he should go to pre-school. It's so complicated. I get really jealous of my friends who stay home and don't have to eat mac&cheese every night--but if I stayed home we'd be lucky to have that!!
But as far as having understanding friends--not so much. I do feel like I'm somewhere in between. I want to check on story groups at the library but as far as groups like MOPS--I'm not sure I would fit in as it is more of a SAHM crowd and it separates the moms/kids and I want to do something WITH him.
BTW I have a SAHM friend who always complains about working moms asking her to babysit their kids--so I try to be really sensitive to that.
09-10-2007, 06:01 PM
I work p/t from home about 25 hours a week, primarily while my kids are napping or after they've gone to bed for the night. My job is pretty simple (making calls to the clients of my employer to ensure that they are pleased with our service), and the pay isn't great, but it's enough to allow me to stay home. I never wanted to be a SAHM until my first DS was about 6 weeks old, and I realized I didn't want to be away from him for 40+ hours a week. The very thought made me cry. So when he was about 5 months old (and I had been working f/t for about 2 months), I found my current position, and I've been here for almost 3 years.
Since I work from home, I don't have any work friends (except the ones I still keep in touch with from my f/t job), but I've made lots of friends through our local MOMS Club and MOPS. I really prefer MOMS Club because it's very kid-centered; other than MOMS Night Out once a month, we don't have any activities at which kids aren't welcome. Many of the moms I know through both of these clubs (probably about 30-40%) work part time, so it's not at all unusual around here. Maybe it's the area we live in ...it's suburban, but definitely middle class; many of us need that second income to do our kid-centered activities!
When I joined MOMS Club 2 years ago, I was very hesitant to mention that I worked p/t. But it is SO not an issue now. Actually, I'm the president of the club now, and 2 of our other board members also work (one works full time!). As a matter of fact, I've noticed that our most active members - the ones who attend the most events and are always willing to help out - are the ones that also work.
As for the comment about "I like to use my brain so I could never be a SAHM," well, I don't like to debate - and I've been on both sides of this issue, I promise - but rest assured that we SAHMs (yes, I consider myself a SAHM even though I work p/t) don't let our brains go idle while we're at home. I don't know any SAHM who sits around eating bonbons and watching Oprah.
For those of you who feel like you don't fit in either place, I definitely encourage you to keep looking for your niche - there are mommies out there in your situation, I promise! I've done the library story times, Kindermusik, Gymboree, rec center classes, etc., and all are great places to find other people to hang out with. At this time in my life, though I do have interests outside of my kids, it's easier to hang out with other moms because they understand why I need to go to McDonald's instead of a "real" restaurant, why my activities need to end each day by 2 (for nap time), and why I sometimes have to interrupt the conversation to break up an argument over a dump truck.
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