I was surprised… I had just moved to the US from India and was talking to a parent at my son’s new preschool…. Seeing the question mark on my face, the beautiful Cuban lady with solitaires in her ears explained, “My mother had to work to support all of us… Am lucky that my husband earns enough and I can be a stay at home mom ….”
This was the first time in a really long time that I heard someone genuinely happy being a stay at home mom… She was doing it by her own choice and relishing it…!
Back in India I had usually met SAHM’s who were not being allowed to work by husbands / in laws or were at home for their young children’s sake….. In fact I even met a 50+ professor at a reputed school in Mumbai (India) who said that she regrets being a SAHM for her children …She felt that her kids would have grown up just fine even if she had been a working mom and she could have easily become principal by now…
What the Cuban lady said was like a whiff of fresh air… It then dawned on me that there are mothers who opt to be SAHM for their OWN sake too!! Not for their children, not for their husbands, not for in laws, not for anyone but themselves! They sincerely want to enjoy the childhood of their children… And that is when you start enjoying being a SAHM… otherwise you are always wondering if you should be working or not….
So I thought, let me try this way of life too…. I had been a SAHM for my kid’s first year of life in India post which I started with part time work for 1 year and then full time work in India itself for 2 years… Now my son was four and I was in a new country… So in spite of having all the legal documents to work in USA, I decided to be at home and experiment being a SAHM by MY CHOICE…. This is how it went…
- I became INDEPENDENT! Yes, you read correctly… I was more dependant as a WM…. Dependant on my maid, dependant on my in laws, dependant on my parents , dependant on anyone and everyone I could find who could baby sit my child while I got ‘more important’ work stuff done…. Now I feel “INDEPENDENT” & “FREE”!
- Mornings became much easier because I was not in any hurry to get anywhere… I usually spent the first few minutes reading a book to my son … He loves books… It’s amazing how spending the fifteen minutes with your kids in the morning in bed can change the way the whole day goes!
- Mealtimes became relaxed and tasty! I was so used to having bad food cooked by my cook and microwaved in the office in India that I couldn’t believe that a fresh simple self-cooked meal could taste so delightful…
- I was petrified of cooking in India… But, looking at youtube videos and trying different cuisines for my son has given me a basic confidence in my culinary skills… In fact he joins me in the kitchen when I am cooking something new…
- The stress of the ever disappearing maid has gone from my life… it feels like a huge albatross that had been hanging around my neck…. Doing all the work myself has its benefits….
- I can let my children BE… I used to limit my son in India because I was worried he might fall sick and I won’t be able to attend my meeting the other day …… So no playing in puddles, no drinking cold drinks, and many other such bans which I have lifted now…
- Every day I watch my ten month old do something new and I marvel at god’s creation … I didn’t quite observe my first born for 3 years of his life … I deeply regret it … But I try to make up for it now with my second born…
- My house has a peaceful aura …. broken stuff gets repaired… House gets cleaned …. There are fresh clothes to wear…There is fresh food… Basically, there is one person to take care of the house which is a HUGE job in itself !
- Increased mindfulness…. I had a big problem when I was working… I could never disconnect from work even after leaving office… I would be playing with my son but my mind was still trying to plan the event at office …. I was there for my kid but only physically… Now I can enjoy my kids with my 100 % presence…
- Fewer TEMPER TANTRUMS ! Yes… This is what I have come to realise… All kids need some unadulterated Mommy and Daddy time to feel happy and secure …That means no phones and no tv…. I can give him that time now…. I can appreciate his buildings made out of pillows in real time and not over the phone ….. I can eat a meal with him at peace… I can put on the music and have a spontaneous dance session… I can enjoy his little jokes …. Whereas I see my husband unable to get off the phone even when he is home… So you know what my son does ? He chooses to sleep close to my husband (we co-sleep) …It’s my son’s way of getting some Daddy time …
THE DOWNSIDE OF BEING A SAHM
- Lack of Appreciation ! yes, no one appreciates a SAHM whether it is India or USA… It will always be a thankless job…. When I was new in the US, I used to invite my hubby’s office colleagues and parents at Arya’s school and cook elaborate meals for them… The appreciation for my cooking and my house kept me going… However now I find that too much work… In fact now I don’t even seek appreciation … It’s like from being an employee I have become an owner… I do feel proud when my son holds the door of the elevator for a janitor in India or when he picks up someone else’s garbage and throws it …
- Missing Colleagues … I used to enjoy chatting with my colleagues which I do miss now…. But yes, I do have my group of Mommy friends …We have a potluck once a month and get to eat some unbelievable home cooked Indian food ..… Also, yes we do discuss kids, diapers, potty training, schools etc. and not bigger issues like the country’s GDP, sales targets , 5 year projections, power points etc. But who decides that the latter are bigger and more important than the former… to each his own… I find the latter frivolous… I find kids as the real world and the rest as a make believe world created by us to just make ourselves feel more important…
- No work future in sight … The world is changing at such a fast pace that I used to worry about my future when my kids grow up and get busy…. I will have to start from the beginning…. And that worried me till I realised that who knows what the future brings… who knows I will be even alive tomorrow… I want to enjoy my today completely… and even if I live till then, and I have to start afresh at a job, what’s wrong with that? Isn’t it a small price to pay for spending invaluable hours with your own children…. Read more at my blog https://enjoyingyourkids.wordpress.com/2015/02/01/why-did-you-have-your-child/
- Low Self Confidence …. Yes, when you see the super confident working mothers wearing crisp formals and high heels you do feel inadequate… however, when you start talking to them and you hear about their troubles you do feel lucky again… Most working mothers I know in the US are straddling work and kids… They travel long hours to office… fall sick often… kids fall sick at daycare… can’t meet me on weekends as they need to complete household chores… I feel lucky that I was one of them but now I am out of it…out of that rigamarole… I have time to pursue my hobbies which keep me balanced… I do yoga.. I study Ayurveda… I take my kids to the park and just relax on the grass while my kids play… once in a while I attend a dance party…. There is a lovely article on self confidence here …https://chopra.infusionsoft.com/app/hostedEmail/20958907/691b75cbebc12a8c?inf_contact_key=83e17f5c69854ed85423a8dde229d91b3cee8a92cc25da3b8abcc497645ca9e7one
- Lack of Financial Independence…. I have done my postgraduate program in Communications from MICA (one of the reputed Institutes of India) and was running my family business successfully for 7 years… Yes, I do miss my own money… Something I used to liberally spend at high profile malls, no questions asked… I have become more careful now because I always feel it’s my husband’s hard earned money… I don’t know if it’s a good or a bad thing!
The Truth about Part Time Work
I did part time work too… You know it seems to be the best option…. But this is what I experienced…
- Part Time work means Full time work at HALF PAY !
- Part Time work means carrying work home
- Even if I was not physically working , I was mentally solving work issues or getting over rude co workers in my family time
- The money was not worth it for losing out on my peace of mind and kid’s childhood
- It was a charade…. It made me believe that I was this amazing woman who found the balance between work and family… Actually it was more like a ‘dhobi ka kutta… na ghar ka na ghat ka‘…. (a washerman’s dog who doesn’t belong to the house nor the banks of the river – an old Indian saying for someone who is trying to do too many things) Disclaimer : you might be managing part time work very well… this is how I felt…
HOW DO I MAKE THE FINANCIALS WORK AS A SAHM ?
When my friends cry to me, “I am forced to work…I don’t have a choice…” I don’t believe them… We always have a choice… One might be a working mother because they genuinely enjoy it… Nothing wrong in it.. Just accepting that it’s your own choice whether SAHM or WM makes life easier….
I have also made some choices so that I can continue being a SAHM
- I don’t own a house… Not in the US …not even in India… I find that owning a house puts too much pressure on us to pay the EMI which means that I need to work too…. So I prefer renting one…It gives me a lot more flexibility… and if I do need to change houses, It helps in clearing the clutter!
- I send my son to a parent participation pre- school… that means that I work there once a week and pay a small fees …
- I get preowned baby gear, clothes and toys from friends who don’t need it anymore…
- I stopped buying expensive gold and diamond jewellery long back like I used to in India… It just sits in the locker..
To sum up I realised that being a working mother was like chasing a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow… I was not able to stop to admire and enjoy the beauty of the rainbow itself… You can enjoy being a SAHM only if you decide to do it for your OWN SAKE … That makes all the Difference….
Till then, enjoy your kids…
400 thoughts on ““I am lucky to be a Stay at Home Mom (SAHM)””
thank you for this article….just in time when i was doubting my own decision of “actually being there for my kids 6 and 18 months”
Amazingly true….I feel that there are some husbands who want their wives to work. Even if wife wants to stay at home and give the best care to their kids …husband’s want their wives to work bcoz they feel that if both parents are working financial situation is better.
So a wife cant be a SAHM by her own choice…she is forced to go out and work…how can such mother justify her love for kids???
“How can such mother justify her love for her kids” LOL.. wondering what world you come from.. Being a mother, you finger point on another mother. Go through all the comments, and maybe.. just maybe .. you will get to a higher level of thinking.. hard tho’, for someone who thinks as basic as you…
Also, there are many well earning husbands, who want their wives to work.. not for their money, but because they want their wives to live a life of their own. Such husbands would be supportive, warm to their wives decisions. The couple perhaps would give more attention, care and growth for their children, than some of the SAHMs who actually spend most of their time on FB, TV, etc. gloating about how great mothers they are. The balancing act of life may not be understandable to people who live in a small bubble of their own, without peeking to perceive the world outside the bubble!!!
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Beautifully written article!! I have been working for 10 years now. I have a 6 year old. Various hardships faced by a WM is very well mentioned in the article.. I have gone through a lot of stress when maid doesn’t turn up, husband cannot get off from from work and I end up taking unplanned leave. I have even tried part time work which was never part time (agree to the article on this too)! Finally I even took a year sabbatical to decide on my choices whether to be a SAHM or WM.. However, what I have gone through during this time was the reason I joined back work.
I learned that financial independence is very very important in our society.
I have a typical Indian husband who is brought up in a male chauvinist family of all three sons, he being the eldest (i want to refrain from any controversies on this topic but its my experience that men from such a family are difficult to deal with at home and take a very very long time to understand that they are equal participants in family and the only area they are forward in is that women should be earning and taking care of the family as well).
Frankly, my in-laws were the most worried of all and was behind us asking why I wasn’t going for work.
Making decisions for my kid is difficult as well (even while choosing a school for kid I have many people interfering). I realised being a working women atleast gives me some respect and also I can chose what is good for me and my son as I handle those expenses.
Coming back to the topic, when I joined back (after the part time and sabbatical and lots of breaks) I realized many of my peers are way ahead and I even have to report to people who may have come to the industry after me. But am glad that I could enjoy some of the precious moments of my child’s life which I would have missed if I had been a dedicated WM.
I have a maid for help so I have a lot of time at home for my kid. Weekends are for my child!
I wonder how SAHD will be? Even if it is only for 1 year.
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Mr. Ganesh, there was an article long back about SAHD, in New York, and elsewhere, whose wives were earning million dollar incomes. Just Google it. Im sure you will find it. It was in NYTimes or something.
The article is beautiful and true… All facts put as is with pro’s and con’s..
Coming to what you shared–I agree with what you mentioned and I am in the same boat as you are…!! Do not get to understand what these people are made of…!
Not sure when such things and mind-sets in the society would take a change for good… though I do not mean any offence to anyone just aspire or want to be in a better surrounding for myself as well as for our kids.. 🙂 An initiative is NOT all it takes but need a change in our thinking and determination to erase or wash out all such things by standing against time..
What people say to keep themselves happy about their state of life
Beautifully written. So refreshing. Feel happy for you. All the best. God Bless.
Loved your blog. I just delivered a baby boy and have chosen to be SAHM just i want to be available full time for my kid when he is growing up.
Apart from the reasons you’ve mentioned (“who were not being allowed to work by husbands / in laws or were at home for their young children’s sake”), I’ve seen a lot of SAHMs who were created by the visa system in the US.
Such people wanted to work but the visa wouldn’t let them.
I’ve recently read that the government is bringing some amendment to enable such people work.
Again Alex, these women had a choice to stay back in the country where they have a visa if they wanted to work… They are SAHM’s by choice…
I wouldn’t really agree that most women in US are SAHM by choice. They may have come in the hope of being able to do something. Many Indian women in US I know, baby sit, or do catering, or run beauty salons.my situation:– I was in India, pursuing my Ph.D on a full scholarship when I got married in the middle of it. I was assured by my Supervisor that I could continue from US. By the time I gt married and moved to US, the University rules changed and they said I have to be present in person to continue. When I approached my new husband to let me apply to univ here, he said, ” you have studied all that you had to. Now its time to start looking at options for working.”. I came on a H4 visa just before economic depression hit in 2008. My College dept Topper, M.A, PGDBA self was unable to find work in an office/ school set up. The chorus of “staying with husband after marriage” stopped me from leaving back to india to continue what I had left. Now I find myself shortchanged.
As Alex said, if the new law passes, and I can get to work somewhere, somehow, i will do so, leave my child in day care. Because, if Im not happy with myself.( facing ridicule and degrading comments for not earning), i cannot be a good mother to my child.
HI Nithya I feel for you…. When you think you got shortchanged it hurts …hurts badly… However I still see that you had a choice of going back to India and not listening to ‘staying with your husband’ chorus… Maybe you would have been happier or you might have realised that you are not as happy as you thought you would be without your husband and you would come back to him.. we dont know.. but you would not have had any regrets…
Its great to know that you will work when the new law is passed and it will be good for everyone in your family…because nothing can be better than a HAPPY MOTHER for her family…. And when you start work please try to analyse if work really makes you as happy as you thought it would…. It didn’t make me happy for sure !
I face many comments too about not knowing how tough it is to earn and I try to ignore them because nothing can compare to my worries for my child, the lack of patience that I had, how I scolded my innocent child in India and the nights of temper tantrums that I have faced when I was working… It was a dark period for me….I don’t want to go back there… I have found my peace now…I want to ENJOY it !
Even in my teens I knew I wanted to be a stay-at-home-mom.
It irked me that people would assume I was a stupid bubblehead because of that. Why can’t one be smart AND choose to be a SAHM?
That was one of the reasons I resisted engineering college (even packing my bags from the hostel and taking a bus home in my first year – but I was chaperoned back after a week). I KNEW I wasn’t going to work in an office. Why did my dad have to pay for something I was never going to use in my life?
So, my college phase was one in which I learned life lessons, more than anything else.
But mind you, I wasn’t stupid. I’ve understood from instances in my family, the importance of a woman’s capacity to earn, lest the breadwinner – usually the man – for some reason, is incapacitated. But this didn’t mean I had to work in a cubicle! I would suffocate.
I now work part-time.
I was lucky to have my safety net of music. I knew that this was something I liked and was moderately good at. Something I would never get bored of. Something that will ALWAYS have an opening – I never run completely out of work – it’s just that the income may not be consistent. It may not be alot, but it’s something. And it’s actually not a lot because I CHOOSE to work a very limited number of hours. I only work for a couple of hours on weekends when my husband is at home with my 4 year son. Or, rarely, when my son is at school.
It helps that I’m able to brush off unsavoury comments about my earnings, or lack thereof. I’m smart enough to know that anyone who judges and quantifies me by the amount of money I make is not worth any time in my thought process.
It also helps that both my husband and I are not big spenders. We both hate shopping for anything other than groceries.
I feel for women who have to spend time away from their kids out of necessity.
I sometimes judge women who throw their kids’ lives into turmoil due to their inability to deal with a little something called life. (Don’t have kids unless you have a stable support system people!!!)
I am in awe of women who are able to manage it all (Plenty of such women in my family, although I doubt I myself could handle it!)
To each her own! Stay strong mamas!
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Hi Momzilla… I applaud you on sticking to your guns and knowing what you want… Many of us don’t even know what we want …I was one of them… I commend you for knowing yourself so well so early in life !
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All these feelings and emotions are correct until one day you realize that in life only money matters and not all these feel good factors…no one helps one professional who sacrificed the job to take care of the kids..even the kids down the line won’t value this sacrifice…better find out a way to play a role of being mother and also at the same time being economically liberal…
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Really Swagatika ? My mom was a home maker … But I respect her … yes I respected her more after I became a mother because that is when it dawned on me that she is an extremely strong woman … She not only cared for us, she helped me with my children too…. She has time to listen to me even now… Money is as important as the importance we give it…. When other people’s opinions become important we lose the choice to choose ! What do you want to do ? Will you enjoy being a SAHM or a WM… when it is your own choice , life is so much more meaningful….
Hey, loved your article and very happy to find some thinking like me. I left my good job (with good pay) in Dubai during my pregnancy. I was lucky to work in field which I love. But I still wanted to be with my child and enjoy motherhood! Most of my friends criticised me, but my family supported! I missed my work and sometimes complain about not having some space (my son havn’t start nursery yet), but was never this happy. I am not equally but more busy now, which I like. I could see every milestone of my son’s development. Now I do things which I loved to do, write my blog, explore new things in life and reinvent things with my son. Its great to be SAHM, when you choose it!
Nice article …. All the deliberations made through the article are genuine and relate to so many of us SAHMs……
Very nice article or I would better say self realization about how beautiful life is with the kids. Thanks for making me more confident about being a SAHM
I see a lot of base assumptions here.. And these assumptions have been supported by people who perhaps feel good on those assumptions. It’s actually a very superficial article, provided this comment makes it here.
Not really, on ALL those perceptions; Dependency, mornings with son, peaceful home etc. ! And what’s this about Part time work, taking work home etc.? In a fast running world, there exists Quality work where you work for the hours your are paid.
It can be Either way on all those thoughts, Either one stays at home or not! It is each mom’s Personal Way and Experience based on hows and whats of Her life. Assumptions would be illogical on both sides! End of the day, people should be at happy at their stead, based on whatever that works for them!
I have also seen few SAHMs try sneers on money, Id also like to say that not all women work for money. It may be their education, fulfillment etc. no offense intended. Because when we mention our education as being the reason, for our personal choice, I have seen few moms get offended.
As a working parent for so many years, its been a learning curve for me. But any path we take needs time to get adapted to it. I think people should be happy living their decisions, and stop criticizing others decisions. That is when world shall be a peaceful place. Don’t waste time fighting ideologies. Live your own ideology and make life beautiful!
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I object to the use of the word superficial… This is my honest experience …you might not relate to it but you have no right to disregard it… its my blog and I haven’t forced you to read it ! you can write your own real blog if you think mine is superficial !
Mehaanu, when one blogs, or writes an article, it’s let out to a world. Why I say assumptions, is because what is your experience, does not have to be everyone’s. When you make such declarations on an entire crowd, you would need to consider some realistic ratios. Part time work is getting work home? In how many cases, on what types of work? People assume IT is always overworking. But do you know that the quality corporate actually don’t want their employees overworked. I respect both working moms and stay at home moms. But this divisive comparison, that now is a popular societal discussion, several times gets out of context.
Swathi, maybe corporate life has improved now …I was working in India in 2011 and certainly part time work was what I said…Even here in the US I see women logging on to their computers after the child sleeps to complete office work… Do you work part time ? I did and I wrote my experience… If you do, then do share how you make part time work, work for you ? And yes you have a choice to read my blog even if its out in the world and a choice on what you comment because that is out in the world too… I will be glad to know how part time can remain part time…it will be useful to all readers too…
Do you connect me as someone else? My wordpress id is itsmehere. 🙂
It really depends on the corporate you work for. In India, how many bankers, teachers , or even IT folks work extra? IT is supposed to be very stressful. But, in reality lots of people who don’t know IT get into it, and then they work extra hours, because they are trying to make up for getting into something new. Lots of corporate may take advantage of such people too. But that’s not the case with all IT. I and my husband, both are in high end jobs, at good corporate, and we both are paid well. And we have several friends in our circle, who are on similar jobs. We work 8 hours, sometimes rarely 10 hours, and may be 3-4 times a year more hours. . I come from family of doctors. I have families where both couples are doctors. They too have enough time left, for balancing work and family.Seriously, a few people’s experience cannot decide patterns
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It is SAHD in our house as my husband has taken that role. We decided together n we continue to live like that and we are happy. Irrespective of whether it is SAHM or SAHD, the points and message called out is very neatly and nicely done in this article. It is applicable either ways and it’s just the matter of how we look at our life and what we truly want to do.
You are an Indian, and saying SAHD.. wow..you legit? your MIL fine with that, eh?? If so, Hats off to her, haha.
Yes everyone at home either side is fine. After all its our life. My MIL feels proud that I am able to do it. My husband has no ego and is happy to let me hold my position. My family supports me to do what I am doing now.
So this is the strategy that seems to work for several families. Both Husband /Wife work, both share responsibility. No strict rules, but take one day at a time, depending on the day work things out. Get into quality jobs, not those jobs where employers do not encourage work life balance. And this model has worked for quite many families. Such families are actually so busy living/enjoying their lives that they don’t actually have time to compare their family structure with others. I come from one such family. Both me and my husband enjoy balancing this out.
It’s nice that your husband has no ego, and decided to quit his job for you. Your MIL maybe being thankful. He really must be amazing, and love you too 🙂 Hats off to him too. But yah, both working and both balancing it right, maybe a good option too.
100% agreed. And of course this is only our temporary arrangement and we will look at working options once we could balance our life and our kids can sustain with their activities by themselves. And when that happens, we will same as you guys. It’s about understanding, value and live for each other. Life is beautiful when we have that perspective.
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I completely believe its about understanding, too. It is about what works for the couple, given their circumstances, abilities and perceptions.
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Enjoyed reading article and a few of comments too. You write beautifully. And it is all your genuine feelings, I respect them. However, I have a few questions out of sheer concern. Before asking, I will tell briefly about myself.
I recently moved to US with my 2.5 yr old daughter with a dependent workable visa and got my work permit as well. Yes, as you said even in US my friends struggle to find genuine time for themselves and kids. Unless both limit their work time to 8 hrs a day and are privileged to have home and offices separated by 15-30 mins drive, it is all tough to manage.
While, being SAHM may be very fulfilling, especially if you have your own hobbies like music, books, gardening etc, I don’t think financial consequences are that easy to analyse. It may right now appear to you that your husband earns enough, but what about retirement? Please note that I too don’t own a home anywhere and I live frugally. I have never bought diamond jewellery, and I dont hold much gold. Both used to earn ok there, now I am yet to find. I would ask you the following questions. If you have already thought about them, great!
1. Do you have a budget in place, for US? Do you know your actual expenses in the last 6 months verses estimated expenses?
2. Good that you send kid to community preschool, that’s fine enough and in US schooling is free. But what about college education? Do you have plans to return to India? If yes, you need to think more about it.
3. Assuming that you know your expenses, and you are going to maintain the same basic lifestyle, have you calculated your retirement corpus requirement, in both India and US?
4. Please do not assume that in US social security will take care of you. It is running out of funds, 401k funds will not suffice, it is just a small percentage of salary.
5. Health expenses as you get older!
6. Own home is important in retirement, in my view, because you won’t be strong enough to shift houses after certain age, and your community matters a lot as you get older.
I suggest you read this blog and work with the excel sheet. It is independent of the currency, though originally made for Indian rupees
Since you are in the US now, reading mrmoneymustache.com will help you too.
You are welcome to email me. I love to make new friends!
Dear, you missed a very important point that you can Exclusively breatfeed your baby for 6 months if you are SAHM ..which is the key to life long heath for both mum n baby.
As I come from research background I see many young women getting Breast cancers . all though not completely, it is one of the reason one gets it..what is the point in earning n then end up in poor health after years n spending all your money in treatment..
I guess SAHM gets good health in overall point of view. she get enough rest for 4 month which is very imp for mom as there are lot of ligaments n tissues worn off during labour ..n recovery takes at least few months to recover to it original form…
I am happy I left my work n enjoying motherhood to the core, with all the above said benefits….
this article is a relief actually…because I was in my training period as research assistant in UAE university n was feeling bad that I had to leave when I was about to get posted ..
And for the cons of SAHM..life is long n we can make it big anytime!!!!!!
I breastfed twins until they were 18 months old. I went back to work when they were 2. The reason you stated is not good enough to become a stay at home mom forever. The idea is to have your priorities right and be willing to re-prioiritize as and when situations change while trying to stay marketable making sure you are still able to go back to work if you choose to and if your skillset is required by the community.
Again this is a very personal choice, but I want to make sure mothers who are nurses, neurologists, oncologists, law makers, entrepreneurs etc. and anyone else who choose to and need to be working mothers or fathers are not left to feel like they are inferior by an article like this.
I know the post was not meant as such but I want to go ahead and state that anyway as it seems to have become a popular blog post being read by thousands of women. And now some of the comments are coming across as such, stating that life insurance should cover financial difficulties in case of loss of working spouse. Or that not owning a house and expensive jewelry should offset the need to work. It’s not always about money. And even if it’s about money, do not diss another mother for her choices. You are living only your life and not theirs.
Again, just another perspective in this debate.
One point from my side, I was a working mom who has not given a feeding bottle or cows milk to both my children ( I rented a house near the office and breast fed them). But yes it was too stressful for me. And at age 48 I had breast cancer 🙂 All the possible reasons for breast cancer were negative in my case. I have seen a SAHM bottle feed her baby as she found that easier!. So all depends on the individuals too.
Hi… I read this post of yours… You hv open your heart in this… SAHM is for sure the most difficult thing and I appreciate my better half for that.. She is also a SAHM and I know that we mis financial independence… But I think there is a middle way to solve it… That middle way is not to work part time.. Not full time… It is to start your own business from home. YouTube is an excellent source of income. Create your videos of your interest and put them on YouTube. I an sure there are lot of ppl who watch and you get paid… I tell this to my better half and I am willing to help her on this… I hope your husband will understand this and will support you…
Life is small so are or dreams.. Let’s not leave any stone unturn to make it beautiful and meaningful for us.
I am a working mother and I wish sometimes I could stay back at home and take care of kids. Every family has financial issues of their own and ways to tackle them. I don’t want to discuss them. But being able to spend your time the way you want and making a difference in the lives of kids is a great luxury in these days and am happy you are able to do it. Have fun and enjoy what you are doing. I hate to give advice. Just wishing you good luck.
Apologize, I completely disagree with this blog and my strong advice to you, “get out there and explore the true you”
I’ve done an extensive experiment on this SAHM concept, also created a statistical model based on the woman folk in my own family, spent numerous hours synthesizing conversations / therapy sessions I had with elderly woman who begged for a second chance to go back to work, just to create an identity for them. This is NOT for money…not for FAME and definitely not for the SOCIETY.
Taking care of kids, husband, wife, in-laws, outlaws..etc is your responsibility / basic Karma towards the people you love and care, but, what about you? When will you realize the potential of this great soul within you and the capabilities (sorry for my bleeding philosophy)? The only way you could achieve this is by creating a space for yourself, pursue your passion, the real ones not the superficial ones.
I will share some examples from my personal life across three generations –
My Aunt – Started off as a SAHM now runs a successful business. Once again, not for money, not for fame but to create an identity for herself and discover and nurture the entrepreneur within her.
My Sister – Started off as a SAHM is now an entrepreneur who has changed the lives of thousands of kids in India. (Might have her picture on Forbes magazine someday)
My Wife – a Leader at work, consistently amazes me with the way she adapts to the challenges life throws at her.
All three of them are extremely busy at work, amazing cooks, have managed their moody husbands, have done everything possible for their kids and the people they love. The point here is not their glorified portfolios but the way they managed to discover themselves in spite of all the challenges.
Kids will move on with life, parents will leave this world one day, but, who you are will always stay with you. Don’t get me wrong, How long can you listen to music, watch movies, do yoga, videotape your kids life..etc? Work is the real passion, of course it comes with perks like money, stress….list goes on…but work keeps you going and gives you your identity, please DO NOT mix your day to day responsibilities with you passion and confuse yourself.
Trust me, there is nothing called work life balance (IT DOES NOT EXIST) ,but, work life adjustment exists and works like magic.
Yes, working moms miss meetings, sometimes work at night……etc..etc. BUT, if you are going to use these paltry excuses to cremate your passion, what are you going to look forward to in life????
Work life balance is a Rubik’s cube, tweak it till the colors align but don’t be afraid / lazy / confused of the work that’s involved to align the colors. DO NOT be blinded by the SAHM myth.
PLEASE, I request everyone to take this seriously; my mother is suffering from the SAHM syndrome and I’ve seen it take a toll on her health.
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I was surprised to read your comments…Here was a man who had spent so much time and research into the SAHM versus WM concept ! I respect you for giving this topic so much of your efforts and that tells me that your mom might have really suffered from the SAHM syndrome…. I would like to understand more about this syndrome…Please tell me if I understand correctly :
1) SAHM syndrome is when the wife over works herself and doesn’t look after her own needs ? Like I new a mother whose weight was out of proportion and died a miserable death because of lack of health …
2) Is it the lack of confidence that SAHM’s have because the society,their husbands and WM look at them as dumb / lazy / confused / in-confident women who prefer to do menial work at home, waste their talent rather than earn money outside and USE their ‘talent’ ??
3) IS it the frustration women feel when they WANT to work but are not allowed to do so due to circumstances and family policies… ?
Because when I gave up WM tag to become a SAHM I KNEW WHAT I was getting into and more importantly I KNEW what I was missing as WM… Who decides that a SAHM doesn’t have an identity in the world just because she is called so and so’s wife or so and so’s mother ? I have my identity in my mind and my heart because I KNOW what I am doing makes me happy… and I know how to AVOID the frustrations of an SAHM because I have been there before… I will be writing a blog on that too…
Thanks for your concern…. I appreciate it from my heart… I wish many more husbands and brothers can be as thoughtful and caring as you are 🙂
Thank you for the kind words!
My sister and I flew out of our nest at a pretty early age; my mom was close to 45 at that time when she first experienced the SAHM syndrome. She suddenly started sensing this void in her life that became bigger and bigger every single day until it developed into a disease and started affecting her physically and mentally. In the last five years she has opened up so much about this topic and laments about her decision on being a SAHM. My sister and I have tremendous respect for her, give into her emotional blackmails :), completely support her, do our best to take care of her needs, but, can never get her out of the SAHM syndrome. We even created avenues for her to showcase her talents and create an identity but she would never come out of her shell. She would always tell me how good she was in Math or how she was better than my grandma at cooking at the age of 9 or how my grandpa would appreciate her entrepreneurial skills (he was businessman and she would help him out from time to time). I knew she was struggling from identity crisis. One day the SAHM syndrome hit rock bottom when she suddenly started crying in the middle of a conversation and said – “I could have done so many things with my life but it’s too late now”, she even accused my father of being selfish and not supporting her like all the other men who supported their working wives. I’ve also noticed this point in your blog, you have completely underplayed the role of a husband, what role does a husband play or what role should he play? I agree, moms play a special role in a child’s life and dads can never replace this ,but, things have changed, husbands in this generation don’t want to be a copy of their dads, they want to support their wives more and more and help them create an identity. My wife and I have a balanced approach to life, we cover each other when work gets demanding for one of us, both love to cook, have a cooking competition between us when we invite people home and always make time for special events at school.
1) SAHM syndrome is a feeling my mom is experiencing between the ages 45 to present. She regretted not having her own identity and always pondered on the levels she would have achieved by exploring the WM pattern.
2) It’s not about money, not about talent, not about society but it’s all about creating your own space. Your husband has his own space, kids will eventually have their own space, what about you?
3) This happens to a lot of people, including my sister but she was confident enough to get out of this trap.
I am pretty much neutral on SAHM VS. WM topic, don’t want to get anywhere close to that debate, but, I am a strong believer on the concept that woman should create their own SPACE.
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Hari, have you met a working mother who cries because she lost precious time with her first born ? She feels guilty because she was too tired/stressed to have patience for him… his refusing to wear clothes was not funny but got him a slap (I was in India where its fine to hit kids)…I have been there and I DON’T want to go there again till I feel the need to go back… I am a confident woman who will get a job whenever I want …. because I don’t mind working in Macy’s too ! You have shown me the other side and I thank you for that… your mom doesn’t know how she would have felt if she was working and didn’t have patience/time for her kids…its another story altogether !!!
wow Hari.. You got a fan. I am a feminist, the “modest” type that believes in women’s rights. Its great to see a man phrase my own thoughts, in a society that sets ridiculous rules on women. I agree.. thanks, for taking the time to liberate the other gender. I guess my husband indulges me too, because he believes in women having a life of their own.. but the count of such men is still rather low.
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Definitely, I have seen plenty of parents lose patients and dislodge an emotional outburst at their kids, including myself. I experienced this when I was a new parent learning to deal with an additional responsibility, but rapidly I developed the patience and skill to manage my kid. I still remember the times when I ran my IT start-up, would leave home for prolonged periods of time and my wife would patiently deal with all the tantrums at home. Granted my wife and kid terribly missed me while I was gone, my son cried several days when I was gone but as I indicated before, you do several things in life to make your soul happy and you don’t need to feel guilty or provide an explanation.
It’s my turn now so I always plan my schedule around my son –
• If he goes to bed late I wake up early to juggle my schedule around him
• If he is slow in the morning, I keep my emotions under control
• I do not schedule meetings that interfere with his play time or sleep time
Sorry, this by no means is a self-propaganda but just to say that the juggling act is possible.
Life is a juggling act and humans are masters at that; it’s just that we don’t realize our skills
Quality time is often misunderstood, it’s not the amount of time you spend with an individual but it’s the quality of the impression you leave behind, It’s your legacy and your iconic image.
There is a time in every Son / daughters life where they need a shoulder, need support, need that pillar………the support and time you can provide during these tough times as a parent is precious (this defines the real meaning of precious time)
My mother was a SAHM, just like all the other moms she worked hard for us and took care of all our needs, unfortunately, I don’t remember the nuances and the minute details from the precious time we spent together when I was a kid (sorry, getting old), but fortunately, I remember all the details when she picked me up and made me walk again and again every time I hit the ground hard.
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I agree, about the myth of quality time. Quality time is used rather carelessly. Ladies who stay home, I respect your choice, just like I respect mine. But end of the day, its the positive impact you leave on your kid, infusing the capability in them, to take life at their stride. For those SAHMs who spend hours on FB, TV , phone etc. claiming how great they are for staying home, make sure you do give your kids 3-4 hours a day, on understanding what a quality life is about.
Loved the way you have replied. I am so happy to see such a well written articulate reply. I totally agree with you.
Loved your article…I’m a SAHM too and enjoy being with my child. Yes like someone mentioned BFing a child until whatever time you can is so important..I BFed my child for 6 months ..no other food…and then continued for almost 24 months and I see the difference…even when he gets sick he recovers faster (touchwood!). I’m sure I’d never been able to do that if I was a working mom. And there are tonnes of other such things that clearly outweigh the working mom benefits. You have nicely put together most of them :). I worked for almost 6 years for a really big MNC ..great work great pay…but HAD to take that decision just after our li’l boy was born :)..he’s 5 and half years old now and I’m so proud of him ..and ME 🙂
Not sure why you say you wont’ be able to provide breast milk to your child as a working mom. I am a WM and went back to work in 8 weeks and EBFed my baby for 6 months and then continued beyond that.
SAHM or WH both are the phase of life. When you have no responsibility that time you can enjoy your professional life and earn money that time there is no need to depend on anybody,but as a professional mother you need someone’s help to manage your household work and take care of your little baby,Being a mother/parents,its your responsibility to give your time to your new born baby,capture his/her all activity in your mind or heart,Watch his/her all type of face that makes you laugh and feel happy to be a parents.Children needs love,care not money.They feel everything but cant show at that stage that they really want you.A child knows his/her parents first then others.He/she needs shower of love,togetherness as you both know that he/she came in this world because you both wanted,so its your perception what exactly you want,a happiness or an artificial life that your child spend their time with strangers or uneducated people.New generation will get new thing through last generation,only parents can understand what is your child requirement.At that stage,parents can nurture their child properly,no-one can fulfill his/her requirement,only a mother feel his/her child requirements because she attached him/her at the beginning from embryo-fetus to a baby.Nobody can replace to a mother into nanny/caretaker or other,only they will ruin your growing babies bonding so Live your life today,with fruitful tomorrow as a obeying children.Being a proud parents is more important then other,its your choice what you want,an obeying children or a stubborn or careless children.
Very well articulated. .. I guess all the working girls who were working before kids will relate to this.
Beautifully expressed! Actually this 1 article has helped me come out of the confusion whether I should have worked or not.Thanks! Thanks !Thanks !a ton for writing this and am gonna share this…..
I always wanted to give priority to family over the career.. This strong affirmation worked for me and I got part time job when I gave birth to my son. His nursery was next to my lab so I used to go for feed him .. I am happy that I enjoyed his childhood.. This gives you and kid a strong bonding.. So enjoy motherhood ..
I chose SATM for a year and I felt like I was loosing all the time sitting at home, doing chores which my main can do. Agree that children need our time. My workplace is awesome. I can work from home, take leave whenever required and can leave on time daily plus no work tension to take at home 🙂 So I can give my weekends and evenings to my child happily. Happy and Lucky to be WM. it’s so satisfying to me.
BUT a big salute to SATM. It’s really is a difficult and thankless job.
Beautifully written. But I would also like to add that many problems of a working mother can be avoided if planned well in advance. I am a working mother and so was my mother, grand mother and most of my relatives. So the thought never occurred to me that I may need to leave my job later. Myself and husband work in flexi organizations, so we manage to stay at home and work alternate days. We divide the house work and have a maid and back-up maid system for cleaning. My kid goes to a day care after school for 2 days a week or so. I think its better to avoid both extremes and take middle path.
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Good article, but you know what?
1. All the pros yoy listed as sahm can be had even as a wm – I read books with my kid, go for long walks, spend quality time together and don’t think I’ve missed my child’s formative years as a wm. I might have missed her first walk, but I could have missed it even as a sahm!
2. The dependency on maid is situational. I now live in the UK, and I am the house maid, the ironwallah, the cook (and yes, a very good one at that, if I may say so myself, and have loads of friends home for elaborate potlucks), the dhobi etc. And yes, I am a wm. I had the luxury of maids in India, even my mom has maids despite being sahm. Its not a crime!
3. The reason I got back to work after taking sabbatical for a year after my delivery was not financial, not egoistic, not even the reason that my talents or education were wasted, but that I wanted to have some me time as well. Yes I had other mommy friends when I was sahm, but at times I didn’t want to be just a mommy discussing potty training. I may be wanted to discuss my favourite restaurant or find out some unique vacation spot! And you know what? Call me shameless but I enjoyed it, and my kid actually benefitted with some time away from me. She learnt independence.
I have great respect for sahms, my mom was one, and she did a great job! But I somehow find those “justifying” their sahm by downplaying working mom’s too pretentious. You like doing it, heck, do it! Enjoy it! Don’t go about announcing to the world that yoy are doing a better mom because your aren’t wm!
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Nice blog, I am SAHM by choice too, bt do miss my financial independence & my identity as a professional, nyw hoping for pages to turn soon.
I like ur write up, as its unbiased & very genuine
Loved your article..
Your article is so well written. From past 3 yrs I left my well paid job for my baby. And now proudly enjoying all those precious moments of her life which i could not if I would be a WM.
I am also lucky to be a SAHM😊😊
The blogger started her article ” I am lucky” and not “You would be lucky” or follow these steps to be lucky”. Some of the comments made by people here are to defend the working mom. If you understand the sole of this article the writer expressed her SAHM experience and didnt offend any WM. Its simple how see saw her way of life from WM to SAHM. For those people who defended that we need money to secure future, its all about individual needs and way of seeing life.
Thank you Vijay… Thanks for clarifying on my behalf…
That is about perception Vijay. This blog could also be seen as a defensive SAHM, if seen that way. This is one of the hot selling discussions not only online, but offline as well. And on such discussions, people are presenting their views.
I quite liked the article. It might be possible to forget or ignore the judgement and opinions of others outside. However, what does one do if the one not approving of your decision to be a stay-at-home-mom is your husband? Having heard plenty of hurtful and disrespectful comments over the last few years, I am now actively looking to get back to work. Another reason of course, is that it is expensive to send our son to a daycare in US if the both of us are not working. He craves for the company of other kids his age. So given the circumstances, its back to work for me (hopefully soon).
Nice article. I am a MICAN too. Nica running into a fellow MICAN. My girlfriend who doesn’t want to work post marriage pings me this article. Ofcourse, it is her choice. But I am concerned that staying at home would bore her and she would resent the lack of financial independence after a short while. 🙂
wow….this is such a “Feel Good”article that i have read in years.I read this when my very own decision to stay at home has been haunting me.Refreshing piece for SAHM.
Enjoyed your writing , I wish some of my friends who are SAHM would see it in your perspective. I do not try to talk them into feeling good about themselves because I am afraid they will think that I am trying to make them feel better without meaning it. My life is not perfect but just like you I have done it all – I worked full-time , then quit and was a SAHM , then worked part-time (from home) , worked full-time(from home) … and now back to working full-time from office from the last 4 years. And all of it I did “by choice” .. my own choice. BTW both my kids were exclusively breastfed for 1 year+few months . – lucky to have a employer that supported it. I am ..I believe a better mom, a happier mom when I go back to them after my office hours. Sure its hard .. there are challenges but I do not see my SAHM friends have it any easier either .. infact they work much harder than me. When I want a quite ladies night out its my SAHM friends that do not have time. Also both my kids are in school … and I am not cut out to home-school (Sorry not everyone can be a teacher ) so pretty sure I am not going to enjoy cooking and cleaning all day long.
However if one day I become a SAHM .. I will go back to art/painting … I can do that all day long …
other Reasons why I chose to work full-time – I love what I do (programming), I need real adult conversations that are not related to kids, I have a real need for “me” time, Kids go to school then what? , I am able to do almost everything with my kids and for my kids that I would have done if I was a SAHM.
I read for them , help them with studies, play with them , go on field trips with them , take them to additional activities , I cook for them from scratch everyday .. All their birthday cakes have been made by ME from scratch , all their birthdays arranged by ME , I arrange playdates as well …… not sure I could do anything more with them if I did not have a job …My job is not coming in the way of me being a good mom … if anything its making me a better one because a Happy Mom is the best mom …. I drop them at school and go to work and pick them up from school and come home …. If I stayed home while they went to school I could have a cleaner house , cook more stuff — nope I am happy with what I have. I know I am extremely lucky to have the employer I have currently .. but even that is 2-way … I give the best I can to my office work and they are good and supportive to me when I need it.
Although I enjoyed reading your post, I dont agree with any points in being a SAHM. Working gives woman not just money, confidence and all those points that you listed, it gives much more than that which is your own ‘identity’. I’m not always someone’s wife, or a child’s mother etc. I’m my own person too. I get recognized for my achievements & rewards etc.
It might sound selfish but I went thro all those hardships that you mentioned only in my children’s early years. Once they started regular full time school, they didnt need me that much as they needed me as a baby. They go exploring their world and I go explore mine which we both enjoy. Yes I’m selfish as I want to be ME too, I love being a mom but not always. Don’t get me wrong as I really love my kids.
On the other hand, my kids are much more independent and responsible as they know that mom works outside the home too and she needs lots of help. Sadly that’s not the case with my SAHM friends. Also I show my daughter that it can be done and I want more for her than what I had as a child or what I have now in this century. I want her to dream high in terms of her life and not just be happy with being a mom alone. I dont want to limit myself just because I’m a mom as I believe that I’m much capable than that and I want more, and this is not just about money.
I’m a big fan of Cheryl Sandberg as I really admire her as a professional woman. I suggest you to watch this, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18uDutylDa4
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Oh what a wonderful video Neha! I wish I could like your comment a million times so it would be pushed to the top and everyone reading this blog post would also read your comment. I have already commented twice here and I knew I was missing to highlight another important issue with this article.
To everyone saying that they agree with this blog post, I want to ask you “What would you tell your daughters?”. And I only have sons and no daughters, but I would like to urge the women who are agreeing to these points and have a daughter – what would you tell your daughter? Would you encourage her to rise above the social norm today and aspire for the stars or to settle for less. I am so grateful to my mother for teaching us, her two daughters and a son, that we matter, we are equal and we can have dreams outside of the house and we can accomplish anything we choose.
We are fighting for equality for women in the workforce and then hundreds of women read this and agree and feel better about their choice to stay at home. Right here, we are all taking a giant step back.
I can understand your choice to an extent but I request you – please do not preach it to your friends, sisters and daughters.
You know despite several working moms showing to SAHMs about how moms can actually balance both.. some SAHMs insist on the blame game. Women come in 2 genres. I find that strange behavior.
Like your way of writing but couldn’t disagree more with you. I am a mom and I absolutely love my daughter, but why do I need to justify my love for her by staying at home? I want her to grow up independent and being with her all the time does not seem the way to go about doing it. Her father loves her too, if we both put our job/work behind to enjoy our kid, in my mind, that’ll be selfish since really you enjoy yourself more than you enjoy the kids… Moreover what is the example we are setting for our kids in that case, I would want my daughter to find her identity and be known for what she is, not what relationships she manages.
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To understand, what you, Tulip , I and some working moms are stating.. it would need to be understood that working moms have several reasons to work. Its not about financial freedom, but of women living a holistic life, and such women actually are positive on their children. The decision to work is not an exact compromise of family life. Its about the balancing that working moms do. That can be bit difficult to fathom, if ones’ mind is on set thoughts about this perception.
I am a 44 yo mother from indonesia..i have 6 amazing kids..
and now i have been in my 18 years of marriage..though i completed my study in accounting i have never been working in an office at all.
it is my choice since i got married that i want to be a full time mother for my kids..and lucky me..my husband supported it.But my father didnt,he protested my decision cos in his opinion that i have just threw away the high cost i have spent for my study..i explained to him the reason why and tried to assure him that with my knowledge i could raise my children in a betterway to be a better person ..it is not easy since then ..but thanks God finally he agreed
Being a SAHM is a decision that i never regret,..spend your time with kids in their golden age is such a wonderful thing..cos they now become calm and convidence kids..
but most of all the most important thing is what is in you as a mother ..you got to be calm or smart or convidence to get kids in the same ways you want they become to be.
An excellent article. I can see why some readers are getting offended [probably the “career” oriented ladies, who desperately want to justify an ‘ignored’ childhood of their kids]. No where in the entire blog, has the author mentioned that SAHMs can/will not resume their careers/ or start a new one. Hence, it is amusing to see a section of readers complaining that ‘reasons provided’ are not good enough to stay back [vs. having fun at work/ soaring up the corporate ladder]. Be it mom or dad, a stay at home parent can give her/his child a gift that money can never really afford. For others, who like living in mansions and swimming in gold – I pity you, from the bottom of my heart [time to look beyond the dollars].
Reblogged this on Feeling Fabulous.
Wonderfully written article, its the way i think…. Also the article helped me gain faith on my decision.
WM life is not tough. It is fun. What I realized is that if one is valued at work, the work and family life balance feels like a piece of cake. Feeling valued is an important part of one life. I know many WM and SAHM who are down because their work is not valued. SAHM might be a choice for some but I feel people try to cover their self esteem by saying that they are better parents staying at home. Most women are married young without their career settling. Unlike men women have clock ticking factor. Married women who are not yet settled with their career and having kid at the same time would start hating work.
Staying home and Working Has its own advantages.I have been in US for a decade and experienced both sides .I had a full fledged career in India .I came to US for studies but apparently when I got married due to visa issues had to stay home for couple of years .Those initial years in US ,was a bliss to explore the environment,learn driving and experiment different types of cooking.We didn’t have kids but after the first couple of years kind of started to have a feeling am lagging behind my career and took a full time job until my first one was born.As it was my first one ,I wanted to be for her all the time and not feel guilty of working.But things are not how we expect ,life is not a sweet bed of roses all the time.When my first one was around 2 years,again I took up a full time job .The guilt of me going to work forced me to spend more time with her ,get more organized around work and home.Anybody who has just come to US would feel the same that they are blessed being home but after few years once we get caught in the dreams around like buying a home,engaging the kids in different activities as in this country unlike India there is lack of social interaction and kids has to be engaged and if you live in a state like NJ where 6 months of winter kids can’t be engaged outside ,it is really depressing .I have seen women who haven’t had an active career in India will find opportunities to work in US.Which is not wrong or they just want to support the family financially. Education could be free initial years but when the kids come to college years it is very expensive and spend hefty just on bachelor degree.My point is not to discourage stay home moms .Its just that whether you will stick to what you say after few years living in the US.If you do hats off to you.I have seen stay home moms who have talked about being blessed staying home for the kids ,and that being their the best part of their life but in couple of years turn the whole way around when they start working ,its very surprising they mention how they feel so confident about themselves when they work and how life was mundane when they stayed home.Confidence is not about working,it is about how you feel yourself .I have stayed high on confidence jobless too.
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Reblogged this on Thoughts and Thoughts and Thoughts and commented:
A mother blogged her thoughts and then followed agreements and disagreements. What she did was explaining her thoughts and situation. Life is not same for everyone and neither are expectations. She needs to be appreciated for enjoying what she is doing. Pros and Cons of SAHM vs WM vs Working Woman, all these are irrelevant. They differ from family to family, individual to individual, based on their priorities, situations, etc. I like the way she put out her thoughts. She could be a good writer and I can understand her patience level the way she responds to every comment.
Thank you so much for such a lovely post. I was also regretting my decision to quit work after wedding and child. Your post has made me feel better. Thank you.
It seems this blog has written what was in my mind from the last two years..Yes, I am SAHM, by choice,with happiness after 11 long yrs in a successful career.Firstly, because I want to know my kids first hand and not second hand through a Maid/Nanny. Lastly and importantly, I am loving the time I get for ME. Enjoying the stressfree and patient me. Even if kids are to be corrected or “scolded” , its me and not nanny.
I want to have that lifestyle but with a paid off home and cars. There are no kudos in being a stay at home when your husband is struggling and “renting” your apartment. I live in the US , have a paid off home, working and now planning kids. if i want i can be a stay at home Mom once i have kids because i know i have contributed to my home and I don’t have any loans anymore.
Sorry to sound harsh, but if you don’t even have a house (even if it is very small ) of your own, lady what you are doing is no big deal! Anybody can make the choice you have made but it is not worth an example – it is not a balanced life.
It is YOUR opinion that owning a house is important for one’s happiness.
There are people in my family who own 3 houses – big grand ones in prime locations – but are not happy and have a terrible relationship with their kids. I also know people who have lived happily in rented homes all their lives because they choose to spend the EMI money on experiences for/with their children.
My husband is paying off our second home loan but we live in a rented house in a different place. Just because I am not helping him pay off the house (didn’t help out with the first one either) doesn’t make me an insignificant member of my household. I deal with everything from utility bills to loan and insurance payments. I’m also the one to be taking care of our families’ (both sides) health – hospital trips and all.
My mum and grandmothers were SAHM and their contributions to the family are legendary – not just in the field of child-rearing.
Good on you for having helped out with paying off the house. It is definitely something to be proud of, but don’t even for one second think that because of that you are better than the rest of us.
Also there’s something fundamentally dangerous with your assumption that “You’re no big deal if you don’t own your own home”.
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There are some advantages of being SAHM. But there are lot of advantages of being WM too. Here they are:
1) Financial Stability: If your husband is in IT esp in US, then his job security is just one recession away. If you had seen the dot com bust in 2001, you would know what I am talking about. Extremely talented techies had been laid off and lot of them had to return to India because they could not get a job. It is always a good idea to have that extra cushion.
2) Better lifestyle: Having extra income means better life style. You can buy a nice house with a backyard and pool. You can drive a BMW instead of Honda. Those trips to Paris or Barcelona don’t come cheap.
3) Better self esteem: WM usually have better self esteem because they have a career feel that they are a productive member of the household/society.
4) Financial backup: If your husband dies or becomes disabled, you would have a tough time managing the house. Getting gainful employment after a long hiatus is long and painful process despite your qualifications. You cannot pay bills on Macy’s salary.
5) Kids self esteem: Most desis in USA live in affluent neighborhoods. Your kids might have low self esteem if other kids live in fancy houses and drive luxury cars.
6) Financial independence: If you plan properly and invest wisely in different assets, both of you might be able to retire from your jobs if you choose to. We have rental properties in our mid 40s’s and could retire anytime but we both love our jobs.
7) No life outside home: Life of most SAHMs revolves around the kids and husband. Once the kids grow up and become independent usually by 7 years they do not need you hovering around them. It comes as a big disappointment and shock for SAHM.
8) Wasted talent: You are not using your God given talent to the fullest extent. It could be very frustrating.
9) Negative self image: People perceive SAHMs as being lazy, dumb which is usually not true. This could be damaging to the womens self image.
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Thank you for this article..u said it well!!may god bless you!
I went thru ur blog it was very nice abt SAHM but being outside India would made you feel enjoying with kids, but staying in here(India) is hard with joint family is really very hard as u said coping with family, guests all 24/7, maids tension not able to spend time with kid or hubby….. I am also SAHM but living alone from joint family can help to be independent but………..
It is great to know that you are happy with your choice of staying at home and you have explored that you enjoy your life as a stay home mother!! All the best!!
However I do not agree 100% with some of the contents in this blog.
1) Taking a support from parents/in laws does not mean you are dependent or lack freedom. It is an opportunity to include them in our lives. It is fun, memorable and joy!! it is important to include our family/society in every possible way we can.
2) I have met and seen many women who have Easier morning/Relaxed and Tasty meals/Increased mindfulness/responsibility for health and well being/Confidence in cooking/Peaceful and clean home and a demanding full time job or part time job or staying at home.
3) I do not think women choose to work only for appreciation, Colleagues, work future, self confidence and finance!! There are women out there in the world make a real difference to the world/society/families/organizations/countries and they choose to work to contribute their skills and talent to make the world a great place to live !! In the process of doing that they get appreciated, find a future, confidence and prosper financially!! I believe every women(stay home, working) is a contribution and every women has an opportunity to have a team of people to work with, appreciated, confident and prosper.
My dear friend, whether you choose to work fulltime or part time or to stay at home I request you to be appreciated, confident, present, be the future, prosper, peaceful, happy and impeccable!!!
I wish every women in the world to be happy, appreciated, confident, present, be the future, prosper and impeccable, be the dream and live a life you love and live life powerfully with any choice you make that works for you!!
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Reblogged this on Mile stones .
I Salute the Spirit of SAHM.