Stay at home mothering vs working out of the home mothering
And I don’t really mean “versus.” This has been bouncing around in my head for many weeks.
I ran into a woman I used to work with several weeks ago. She and I were pregnant at the same time, both of us with our first baby. I planned to quit at be a SAHM after the baby’s birth, she planned to return to work. But for 8 months, she said nearly daily that she really wished she could stay home. “I wish we could afford to have me stay home like you can.”
(Which, let me note in an aside here, that I find that line to be REALLY REALLY IRRITATING. We couldn’t afford to have me stay home, either. We had to cut waaaay back on nearly everything, and live partly on our savings. We still have months in which we really struggle to get all the bills paid and still eat. It’s not like we just didn’t need that second income.)
Anyway, I haven’t thought about this woman for several years. But she is currently pregnant with her third. Still working the same job. Three in daycare. (Though the oldest will be in K in the fall, he will still need before and after school care.)
So this got me thinking…I know the company we worked for would not be super generous with raises. They never have, my dad worked for them for like 10 years and always got paltry raises, and I did, too, for the 5 years I was there. They were as generous as the system allowed, and my boss always said she thought I deserved more, but her hands were tied. (and it was true, too, I was probably one of the few people in MY position who really knew that was true, lol.)
So she can’t be making much more than I was when I quit.
That won’t pay for daycare for three. She’s LOSING money every day she goes to work after this new baby.
I don’t understand that choice.
I brought it up at knitting and there was the chorus of “some people don’t like to stay home, it’s not for them” type of responses, which I agree is true. And I agree with to an extent.
But if you don’t like your kids/any kids enough to want to be home with them while they’re little, why keep having them? Why have so many that you actually LOSE money by going to work every day? I mean, aren’t there better ways to spend money than working?
I could maybe see it if it was a job you just really really loved, I guess. Maybe.
I don’t know. I’ve been puzzling over this for a while now.
I fully admit, PS, that this is none of my business, and my point here is not to be judgemental of this woman, not at all. I’m just mulling over the whole situation in a more general way.