Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I Am SAHM, Hear Me Roar

This weekend, I made my own Declaration of Independence.  Independence from the full time working world, that is.  As long as fate... and our bank account play along, I want to be a Stay At Home Mom.  "Aren't you already a SAHM?", you ask.  Well, yes, but back in the Fall of 2007 when I stopped working, it was always with the intent of going back to work once the kids hit school age.  Over the past year or so, I've had moments of panic, moments where I've thought, "I really need to start looking for a job NOW so I don't have a hard time finding one when the time comes to go back to work."  I'd throw my resume out on Monster and Career Builder, then get all worked up when no one was biting...or worse, when someone would bite and then eventually pass on hiring me.  A couple of times, I got really close to actually getting a job, at which point I'd start getting antsy about the reality of having to stick the kids in daycare for long hours and not being able to see them for more than a few hours on weekdays.   All along I've had mixed feelings about the choice in front of me.  The longer I stay home with the kids, the harder it is to transition back into the working world.  As a SAHM, I'm depriving the family of a second income, the chance to save for the kids' college and retirement or for big, family vacations.  On the other hand, I'm getting a chance to have a direct influence on their young lives and their development. 

All of these considerations have had me "on the fence" about rejoining the work force and I'll be honest, my job search has been half-hearted.  Just last week, I was contacted by a recruiter who found my resume online and wanted to consider me for a job opening.  The torn emotions were stirred up, yet again.  Finally, The Man put it on the line as he saw me stewing over the possibilities.  "Do you want to work or do you want to stay home?"  The truth...the real truth is, I want to stay home for the long haul.  My Mom went back to school when I was about 8 and finished when I was in high school, then went straight into her new career field.  My Dad was in the Navy and was away from home a lot, sometimes for months at a time.  I never resented the hard work they were doing to give us a good life, but at the same time, I missed having them there.  I watched in envy many times when I'd have an activity going on and other kids had family there to cheer them on...and I didn't.  I remember being the "latch key kid" and having my older brother and sister begrudgingly babysit me.  I don't want that for SweetPea and Lil Buddy.  I want to walk them to school...to be there during plays and dance recitals...to help them with their homework...and most of all, help them grow, learn and develop into the grown people they will be someday.  The world is a lot scarier place compared to when I was younger and it seems to me the threats to kids these days are easier avoided by having at least one parent around after school to make sure they stay as safe as possible.  So, I made the commitment to make staying at home work.

In a couple of years, both kids will be in school and I'll have a little more time on my hands.  I may decide to try to find part time work during the hours where they're at school, just to bring in a small bit of extra money.  I'm making a point to search for something right now that I can do from home that might generate a little income.  In complete honesty, my Etsy store is not doing it right now.  I'm facing the reality that it may never be more than a hobby that brings in some money from time to time.  I would love to leverage my writing skills into something that pays, so I'm concentrating on beefing up my blog and on doing some freelance editing work (right now I'm a beta reader for a friend who's writing a novel).  Time will tell how it will work out for me.

My declaration has been made and I'm hoping like crazy that I can remain a SAHM for the long haul!


  1. This post was so beautifully written, and such an honor to the "career choice" that you have made. I could not have stated it any better. Welcome to the Proud To Be A SAHM Club! I just totally made that up, btw. Oh well. ;)

  2. And what a commitment!! It will be so worth it for you and your kids!!

    Also, YAY, you can write with me. Then one day, you can be a famous writer and I'll be all like, "I KNOW THAT GIRL!" Except, I'll be standing right next to you at your book signing, so everyone will be shouting at me to shut up because they already know. :)

  3. I'm happy for you! I agree, if you can do it, DO IT! Nothing is more important in a child's life than having a solid parental influence. I'm not saying that working mothers aren't capable of raising wonderful kids (I'll be in that boat forever) but nothing beats having a parent home. Just don't forget to set aside some Alyssa time every now and then:)

  4. Great declaration - now do it and don't feel guilty about it. I know you, you will start to fret and worry and let it eat at you. DON'T!

    Hugs - Marie

  5. love this! what a great decision. I too would love to stay home with my kids as long as possible. It think it is such a blessing to be able to do so! Hope it all works out for you!

  6. Awesome post.. I am very happy for you!

  7. My boys are 5 and 6 now and I am getting cold sweats all the time about going back to work in the fall when the 5 year old starts school. I am lucky as heck that my partner seriously has no opinion, 'Honey whatever you want to do" and means it. But somewhere in my mind I feel like I am being lazy (seriously? Sahms out there-come shoot me) or depriving our family of income ( that clearly we have lived without for 6 years lol). It IS a hard choice but I think I want to be here for all the things that I wanted my parents around for when I was a kid just like you said. The really sad thing is the stigma that seems to be attached to SAHMs. How crazy is it that people look down on women who shape their childrens lives and bust their behinds making sure their children have all the love and guidance they want and need.
    High five girl! well written and inspiring.


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