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To believe this about working/staying at home?

(418 Posts)
WriterofDreams Tue 26-Jul-11 11:53:22

If you feel this is too contentious an issue and don't want to get involved, don't.

I see endless posts about how working/staying at home affects kids but the way I've always looked at it is how it affects the parents. As far as I'm concerned as long as a child is well looked after, fed, clothed, played with a reasonable amount, given appropriate discipline, stimulation and sleep they're doing well and there's not much to worry about. However, for the parents seeing their children growing up, watching them achieve and grow, is a once in a lifetime opportunity. When thinking about staying at home or working mums in particular seem to focus either on their career or on their children, they don't seem to consider themselves and their own personal needs.

I see having children as a life experience, not just something on the sidelines of everything else. I see it as something I've embarked on both for myself and my child. I've chosen not to go back to work because I want to see my child grow up. It might benefit him to be with me, I don't know, but I'm pretty sure it'll benefit me, and that's what I want. I enjoy being with him, I love seeing him learn and I don't want to go to work every day and miss out on things. I could have a bigger house, more stuff and more holidays if I worked but I don't want those. The way I see it the earnings I'm "losing" are paying for my once in a lifetime experience, which isn't climbing Mount Everest, or travelling the world, it's seeing a new life grow and change, seeing a new person make his way in the world. I feel privileged that I am the person who gets to teach this little boy, who gets to be with him when he has his very first swim, his very first ice cream, sees a dog for the first time. These years that I have with him will never, ever come back, I can literally never repeat them, ever. They are about the most precious thing in my life and I would pay anything for them. Later, when he's older, he will become more independent and I will have had my time with him. He'll go to school and those close years will be over and then I'll see about my career, which I can have any time in my life.

Childhood is short. I choose to share it with my son because I want those memories, for myself. I hope it'll be a good experience for him too. I don't think it'll make him a better person in any way, he won't be more advanced or more social or more anything, he'll just be him. But I'll be able to see that boy emerge, day by day. That's why I'm a SAHM.

lubeybooby Tue 26-Jul-11 11:55:25

Lucky you to have the choice smile enjoy it.

redlac6 Tue 26-Jul-11 11:57:43

I'm not focusing on my career, I'm focusing on keeping a roof over our heads.

InFlames Tue 26-Jul-11 11:57:58

YANBU - but I work because it meets mine and my families needs ... And I do get to see all the growing up bits. Different people, different choices and needs shrug

HappyMummyOfOne Tue 26-Jul-11 11:58:11

"it's seeing a new life grow and change, seeing a new person make his way in the world -I feel privileged that I am the person who gets to teach this little boy, who gets to be with him when he has his very first swim, his very first ice cream, sees a dog for the first time"

mums who work get to do all that too hmm

WriterofDreams Tue 26-Jul-11 11:58:53

Sorry I should have made it more clear in the OP that I was talking about when there is an actual choice between staying at home or working. If there's no choice then there's nothing to discuss, you just have to do it and it's a shame not to be able to choose.

AMumInScotland Tue 26-Jul-11 11:59:00

Well, how lovely for you that not going out to work only means you won't have a bigger house and more holidays. For many people, it's about being able to put adequate food on the table and not freeze in winter.

Do you think the other mothers don't want to be able to spend that time with their children, that they don't value those opportunities.

Maybe its just the people I mix with, but I've not met any parents who don't want to spend time with their children, watch them grow, be there for them. But many of them (fathers and mothers both) find they have to compromise between what they'd like and what is realistic.

whattodoo Tue 26-Jul-11 11:59:46

Good for you.

RitaMorgan Tue 26-Jul-11 11:59:53

Agree, you're in a fortunate position to have a choice - glad you have made the right one for you.

rainbowinthesky Tue 26-Jul-11 12:00:30

Great for you. It would bore me senseless.

RitaMorgan Tue 26-Jul-11 12:01:09

This is a bit of a weird boasty thread though isn't - look at me, I can choose whether to stay at home or not, look at all the lovely things I do all day.

CaptainNancy Tue 26-Jul-11 12:01:25

YABU- and deliberately provocative naiive.

InFlames Tue 26-Jul-11 12:01:35

Mine's a choice ... Happy parent(s) equals happy child(ren) .... <shrugs again> my child my choice.

fanjobanjowanjo Tue 26-Jul-11 12:01:41

You are so fortunate, enjoy it smile

WriterofDreams Tue 26-Jul-11 12:01:44

Again if there isn't a choice, then there's nothing you can do. I'm thinking more of people who do have the choice and are torn about it. I suppose I'm saying that you should factor in your experience of the whole thing - if you feel you're going to get a lot out of being SAHM then that's a legitimate reason to do it, it doesn't necessarily have to be a financial decision or one that's based on what's best for the children.

NicknameTaken Tue 26-Jul-11 12:01:54

Well, as a WOHM, I think that is a very nice post. May we all get that much pleasure out of being with our dcs.

I don't think I'm unique in finding that a little bit of time away from my DD makes me enjoy even more the time I'm with her, but I appreciate that for some, the more time together the better.

It's good for our dcs to feel that they are enjoyed by their parents.

BumWiper Tue 26-Jul-11 12:01:58

Your post seems to be a passive putdown to mothers WOTH.

We do what we do.There are good and bad points to every descion we make.Neither is better than the other.

WriterofDreams Tue 26-Jul-11 12:03:10

Fair enough rainbow and InFlames - if you feel your memories of being SAHM wouldn't be happy because you wouldn't be happy then there you go you made the right choice not to do it.

CurrySpice Tue 26-Jul-11 12:03:10

It makes me laugh that SAHM seem to think that parents who WOTH go to work when their kids are born and don't come home till they are 18 and we don't see our kids grow up or spend any time with them. We do you know!! grin

rainbowinthesky Tue 26-Jul-11 12:04:54

It's not as simple as that. Yes, I would find it incredibly boring being a sahp but also need to pay the bills. Don't most people?

Stay123 Tue 26-Jul-11 12:06:01

A lot of women I know have gone back to work part time to have a change of scene. They don't really like staying at home caked in biscuit crumbs or standing round in the park. They like seeing their friends at work, having a chat and being able to drink a cup of tea in peace. They make no secret of it and why should they but it does seem strange that no one ever mentions it. Their husbands earn well enough for them to not work but they don't want to.

Some work because they want a bigger house, simply cannot do without getting their hair done every month, etc, etc. This is fine too but please be honest about it.

WriterofDreams Tue 26-Jul-11 12:06:14

I don't mean it to be BumWiper, sorry. It's hard to get what I mean across without it being provocative I suppose. I think WOTH mums are always hit with the idea that their working is bad for the children. I think that's utter nonsense and it really doesn't matter if mums work or not as long as the children are cared for. If you don't want to be a SAHM, don't do it is what I'm saying. I do it because I personally get a lot of out it, not because I feel it's better or doing my son any particular good.

chaya5738 Tue 26-Jul-11 12:07:14

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

MrsKravitz Tue 26-Jul-11 12:07:28

I have never ever felt that by working I have missed out on any part of seeing my children grow and develop. NEVER.

AMumInScotland Tue 26-Jul-11 12:08:22

Do you think people don't factor that in? If people have a choice, about most things, they look at all the practicalities for and against, and they also look at the other arguments, about how they feel about it and what other impacts it might have. Then they reach a "best in the circumstances" answer - its not usually a strict financial or practical decision, but based on everything.

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