Any SAHMs return to FT outside employment?

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by StephMK, May 25, 2007.

  1. StephMK

    StephMK DIS Veteran

    Mar 22, 2004
    I am debating going back to FT work when DS starts full day kindy in August. My kids are DD13, DD7 & DS5. I've been home since DS was 1. This is budget related as we'd have much more room in the budget & meet some financial goals sooner if I start bringing in $. I'm torn because part of me really wants to go back & the benefits would be really nice - vacation pay, 401K matching, etc & the kids have asked me if they can go to the after school program. I signed them up so I have the option to send them & have the summer to decide. It's $460 for B/A school for 2 kids. I can go back to my field making close to what I did when I left so even paying for childcare would still be worth working.

    Mentally, I think I would really enjoy working but I don't know if the non-financial costs are worth it, kwim? Having to less flexibility in my days, oldest DD home alone in the afternoons, less time to get stuff done, will the kids really like being there every day. It's just hard to predict how we'll all like it.

    I guess I'm looking for people that have been home for a few years and re-entered. What was the hardest part? Are you happy with your decision, any regrets, biggest joy? How do you make it work? Anyone work then quit again because it wasn't worth it? What's the best thing about going back?
  2. Nik's Mom

    Nik's Mom Karl Pilkington is a genius

    Dec 22, 2001
    I had intended on staying on for a few years, but life through a monkey wrench into those plans. I only got to stay on 1 1/2 years. I have 2 children with developmental disabilities and we felt the kids needed me home. We struggled financially, but we managed and we were happy.

    Well, my Dad passed away from cancer and my Parents did not plan for retirement well. My Mom could not afford to live on her own just on her social security, so she moved in with us. Unfortunately, with the expense of supporting another person, I was forced to go back to work. I was very sad, and it was a hard transition. But in the end, it has worked out for us.

    I sugguest you make a positive and negative list for each option. Which ever one has the longest plus list, go with that option. Good luck in what ever you decide!:)
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  4. VanessasMom

    VanessasMom Disney Bound!

    Feb 15, 2007
    Have you considered going back part-time? Or, working from home 2 days a week/in the office 3 days a week? 2 of my girlfriends have this sort of arrangement and really like it.

    My sister got 2 jobs that coincide with the kids school schedules--crossing guard and school lunch lady. She is very happy with that. She does crossing guard duty 8:00-9:00 and 3:00-4:00. Her Lunch Lady job is from 10:00-2:00. So she has a little time between and is always off when the kids are. They are both totally non-stressed jobs. She gets paid about $10/hr for crossing guard and $8.50/hour for lunch lady. Not super high pay, but it sure helps out.

    Remember that you have options and you don't have to go all the way either direction. Good luck! I'm also planning on doing this when dd goes to full-time school in 3 years.
  5. kaf7878

    kaf7878 Disney Addict!

    Oct 2, 2000
    My DD is sstartign K in the fall (DS is already in school) so I am returning to work. I ran the numbers soooooo many different ways and finally settled on subbing for my kids school.

    I was in a professional position prior to SAHM but between the commute, having to "deal" with my job even after you leave work, the stress of working, etc I just didn't think it was worth it. I didn't want my kids to be at school for that long either.

    Subbing is going to be great. I can get as many days as I want, take my kids with me, take them home with me at the end of the day, and be DONE when I leave--no committments after hours, thinking about things, etc.

    The pay is not fantastic but it is really the beast situation for us.
  6. HeatherC

    HeatherC <font color=blue>Alas...these people I live with t

    May 23, 2003
    I think no matter what a mom does, it is hard. That being youngest started full day kindergarten this year and I am still at home for now.

    The funny thing is that I seem to still be always rushing through my day trying to get things done before the kids get home and the homework starts and the activities kick in. Hats off to people that can do both. I think I'd be a disaster. I mean that seriously....not trying to start a debate.

    I used to think once they got a little older it would calm down. Instead...the pace seems to pick up and we keep trying to cram more into our days. I think we all need a Disney trip...don't you?

  7. Chicago526

    Chicago526 <font color=red>Any dream will do...<br><font colo

    May 6, 2003
    I'll give you a different perspective. That of a child who's parents both worked FT.

    My mom went back FT when I was in pre-school (financial reasons, otherwise she would have waited until I was in 1st). I went to an in-home day care when not in school while in pre-school and K, and then was a latch-key kid until the day I graduated high school. When I was little my older brothers watched me (DB was 12, old enough to keep an eye on us for 90 minutes until Mom got home) and of course by the time my brother's went off to college/army, I was old enough to stay by myself, at least on days when I didn't have activites!

    Honestly? It didn't bother me. When Mom was home, she made sure we got her attention (and Dad too, of course!). She stayed home when we were sick (at least until jr high/high school age). I think the only thing she really missed out on was chaperoning for field trips, or being a "lunch lady" (moms would volunteer to watch the kids in the class eat their lunch so the teachers could have their lunch break in the teachers lounge, we didn't have a school cafeteria in grade school). But Mom wasn't the type to volunteer for that stuff, anyway, so it gave her a good excuse not too! :teeth: It never bothered me, I wouldn't want my mother along on a field trip anyway (much easier to get away with stuff, dontcha know! ;) ). Both my parents made it to almost all my after school events (concerts mostly, I was in choir) and most of my socer games, when I played. If I needed to talk, I could pick up the phone and call my mom at work anytime I wanted, or just talk with her when she got home.

    Now, what Mom working did for us was huge. Dad's pay covered the basics. Mortgage, basic food, clothing, utilies, gas for the cars. Mom's pay paid for all the fun stuff. Treats in our lunch, Boy Scouts for my brothers, kids theater programs and private voice leasons for me, socer for all of us, and vacations during the summer (still nothing extravigent most years, just fishing up at the lake, but a vacation none the less). One year we went to WDW! Mom and Dad took a much deserved trip to Hawaii another year (we kids stayed at home, dang it!). It paid for our,'s, boat (so in addition to a week at the lake, we also spent weekends at the lake). It also allowed my parents to save like mad, so they could retire early (Dad at 58, mom at 51). And it was a good thing too, Dad has often said that had he worked another year he'd be dead, and I believe it. Being able to retire early almost certainly saved my father's life!

    Anyway, my point was, that kids are pretty adaptable, as long as the time you do spend at home is quality time, then I think most kids are fine with both parents working.
  8. grumpy28

    grumpy28 DIS Veteran

    May 15, 2007
    This is such a timely topic for me, b/c I am in a similar situation. My daughter started kindergarten last fall, and I thought I would get a job right away. BUT, it has been hard for me to accept the fact that I'm not quite as "needed" and will be less and less as she continues to grow up. So I'm sure I'll get a job this year. I think. Maybe. :lmao: It is so hard!! But I think it'll be best for everyone. Only a part time job though, b/c I do still want to be here when she leaves for school and when she returns home.
  9. swilphil

    swilphil Feels trapped in a Brady Bunch episode at the Poly

    Jun 7, 2003
    I returned to work when my oldest son started Kindergarten. I had been home for 4 years. My youngest son adapted very well to fulltime preschool, but luckily he is in an excellent school where he had gone 3 mornings a week the previous year. I love my job so I'm very glad I returned to work. The only downside is I'm very very tired at the end of the day, but really not any more tired than I was when I stayed home with the kids full time.

    I did work part time the year before I became a SAHM. I'd say working part time is the best of both worlds if there is any way you can swing it. Unfortunately the opportunities aren't always available.
  10. MKCP5

    MKCP5 DIS Veteran

    Apr 20, 2005
    I think alot depends on what field you are going back to FT work in. I was a SAHM for 10 years and am now 4 years into full time work. I work in sales. Lots of pressure, lots of hours, but lots of flexibility. I am on the road alot, including a couple of overnights a month, and since my office is from home I can get to the things I need to for my kids during the day if I need to, but the work is always there....looming and waiting for me.

    The financial rewards are good, I have a loving and supportive DH and everyone does fine. It's ME who it is toughest on. I want to be home still. I want to volunteer. I want to help out a sick friend. I want have time for something other than work during the week.

    It's okay though. And I suck it up. The financial rewards are making a much better life for us. Dh is a teacher and we live in Boston so expenses are very high. It was a huge struggle when I was home. It's a tough transistion but you can do it!!!
  11. PolyHereWeCome

    PolyHereWeCome DIS Veteran

    Oct 23, 2004
    Part-time is really a great option if you can get it. I was a SAHM for about 7 years and it was hard, and now I'm happy to be working PT. There are so many vacation days, holidays, sick days, parent-teacher conference/professional development no school days, early dismissal days, weather-related late opening, and, of course, no school in summer that it makes my head spin. Full-time is doable and rewarding (both financially and non-financially) but it can be very challenging unless you have family nearby to help with all those times the kids aren't in school and you need to get off to work.

    I agree that making a pro v. con list is helpful.
  12. LSchrow

    LSchrow life without the BWVs is <null>

    May 11, 2000
    i worked in IT with a 1 & 1/2hr commute, then had kidlets & "stayed home" until DD was in 3rd & DS was in 1st grade. (did volunteer work ~ preschool board, class mom(s), a local elderly center ~ the entire time).
    soooo, went to work P/T (retail cos IT would need to be F/T & the local IT pay was about half of what i made in NYC ~ not worth it :guilty: ).

    almost 10yrs later, & i'm F/T (retail) with a career again. i'm very happy with the decision i made all those years ago ~ my kids have thrived, & see me not only as their mom, but as an individual who works hard for what she wants (yeah, i'll try to get those "good values" in them anyway i can ;) ).

    just remember that there is no wrong or right, going back to work is an extremelly personal decision.....
  13. Kickapoo Joie Juice

    Kickapoo Joie Juice Gone.

    Dec 31, 2006
    I just went back to work part time, about 20-30 hours per week; I drop off the kids at school,go to work, and leave when it's time to pick them up.

    The interesting thing is, since I'm at work, I don't have time to spend money, so we're not only benefiting financially from my paycheck, we're also REALLY benefitting from my reduced spending habits!

    It also leaves me enough time to do housekeeping, cooking, homeworks/activities with the kids when I get home, things I felt might not happen if I was full time.

    Plus, the cost of aftercare for those hours would have eaten up any profits I would make. We literally did a spreadsheet and figured out that it was much, much more cost effective for me to only work part time rather than full time.

    There's a book out there that's called "The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Mothers and Fathers Are Going Broke" and it absolutely reinforced what the spreadsheet was telling us.

    One last kicker for me was that I'm not ok with not seeing my kids all day. But everyone's different, and that's just me.
  14. Banana magic

    Banana magic DIS Veteran

    Jan 12, 2006
    My youngest will be in 1st grade next fall, and I have been out of work at home for almost 10 years. I am planning on going back to work in the fall and am nervous about it. I want a p/t job, but also something that allows me to be home when kids are since DH works rotating shifts, weekend and holidays. I think I will try sub work at schools first, then if I need to be here, I can be. I don't think I would be able to jump into f/t right away.
  15. rentayenta

    rentayenta <img src=

    Feb 28, 2007
    I am working now about 32 hours per week for the first time since DD was born almost 11 years ago. DS started Kinder this past year. I needed to go back because I was finishing my Masters and needed the clinical hours.

    It has been amazing. I am very lucky though. My good friend comes to my home, with her new baby, and tends my kids. I couldn't do it any other way. My job is very flexible and although I miss my children terribly sometimes, I feel I am a better mother and partner. Our time is more quality vs quantity.

    My working has enabled us more financial freedom. My income makes the house payment which feels really good! :thumbsup2

    There is no right answer that I can give. There is just the right answer for you! :goodvibes

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