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Thread: to make the leap and become a sahm or not?

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    zenchemist's Avatar
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    #1

    to make the leap and become a sahm or not?

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    I think I need some advice. first, a little background... sorry in advance because this will probably be a bit long! The question is pretty simple: should I quit my job, move to Idaho where DH is stationed, and become a sahm?

    the background:

    I was raised by a feminist. My mother raised my sister and I to believe that the only way to be successful or happy was to work your arse off putting in 60+ hour weeks and fitting in family when-- if-- you can. This is a simplification, but to this day I still really struggle to get over that BS and often find myself justifying my choices to my mother when I prioritize family over career.

    When I was 16, I was raped and subsequently had a baby. he's now 12, and obviously isn't biologically DH's... we are almost finished getting the adoption finalized though, and DH raised DS from 9months old on. That said, I was quite young and very broke when I had DS so needed to work 2-3 jobs and go to school in hopes for a better future. I think I've just been stuck on that path ever since, and have not once really questioned the choice to pursue a career so single mindedly.

    I've graduated (twice... I've got a master's now) and been in the job market over a year now. I make OK money, although not what I really hoped for with a master's in chemistry... but a job is a job in this market, right? So, rather than research or teaching like I thought I would do, I ended up selling chemicals. still related to my field, at least, but I'm starting to think I may not be cut out for sales. I'm not pushy enough, oddly... DH doesn't believe it

    Anyway, as the luster of the job fades, and i watch my young man growing ever bigger, I have started to question the choices I made 10+ years ago to so doggedly pursue my career. My boy is a great kid, but I feel like if I had more time to volunteer at his school and help him with his life, he'd be a happier, better balanced kid. And DH and I would like to have more kids in the near future...

    I'm just scared. It's financially feasible for us to live just on his salary, but I like an awful lot of safety net.

    oh, one more detail-- as a result of various unaccompanied tours, and coming back to the states this time last year but only for about 6 months, DH has been living separately from the family for almost 3 years now. or is it 4? I can't keep track. when he's not deployed, we see each other all the time... but it isn't the same as him coming home to my cooking every day. I really miss that, and although I needed to do *something* while he was forced to live away from home, I feel like now that he's back in the states it might be time to fold my cards, and move back to the base...


    again, sorry it's so long winded. any advice is appreciated
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    #2
    maybe move to where DH is stationed and find something part time? that sounds like the best of both worlds with all the pros and cons you mentioned. you would still have a safety net, just not as big as the one you have working full-time and you would still have time to do more with/for your son



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    #3
    Uhm. Do what you want to do. You've done the career thing, if you think you'd be happier doing the family thing, go for it. You may consider moving and doing the SAHM thing for a short period while you pursue the kind of work you'd actually like to be doing, or a job with hours that will let you volunteer at your son's school. But, yeah, no. If it were me, I couldn't imagine quitting my job to become a SAHM forever.
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    #4
    there aren't any viable jobs within an hour's drive of the base, except retail. I did my years of that... I'd rather be poorish than do retail

    It certainly wouldn't be forever. we're thinking until DH's contract is up in Nov 2014, at which time he wants to go back to school anyway... so at least part time he'd be a SAHD. 2.5 yrs isn't so long, right?
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    #5
    You should do whatever will fulfill you most. Think of what will make YOU happy and your heart happy. Leave your mother's opinions on the matter out of your decision because ultimately it is YOUR decision.
    Jenni Penni's lil' trooper +=
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    #6
    If you're not totally happy with what you are doing now, and you want to spend more time with your son, I would move to be with your DH. Being a SAHM isn't that bad. And if it were a choice between a medeocre job that is 'kinda' related to my field and living with my DH and staying home. I'd pick staying home. I can't imagine intentionally staying seperate from my DH for a job I wasn't 10000% in love with
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    #7
    Well, my answer will be going against the grain.

    From my own perspective, from my childhood, I wish I had had more time with my family until 11-12, but once I hit that age, the rebellion started, and I really didn't want my mother around all the time. I wanted to have my space. Maybe I was the horrible rebellious kid, don't know, but to me switching to SAHM when your kid has already grown up enough to be hitting the teens makes little sense. You would have the expectation of spending more time with him, but developmentally, your child is getting into the period of needing time by himself, of differentiation. I think it might be recipe for conflict rather than closeness, personally.

    Now, if you want to have another child, then considering SAHM path would make more sense to me (although, to be honest, I personally think, based on my observations, having own career and goals makes for happier mother in the long run, but that's perhaps just me). Wanting to be closer to your husband... that makes sense to me, and that part I'd go for, since you're none too excited about your current job anyway. But I'd look for another job wherever I moved, or maybe something mobile, something that would demand less hours. You might need to refocus your goals a bit, maybe consider other fields you would enjoy, but SAHM or this one job you currently have, aren't your only two options. I'd explore what else is out there, and consider what else I might enjoy.

    Sorry if my post is a bit unclear, at work and had to type fast...
  8. Eye
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    #8
    Weird! I was going to say pretty much the same as SpaceHedgeHOg.

    I have 3 boys, 20, 14, & 12. While I understand your desire to be there more for your son, at his age, you may find yourself very bored being home all day alone while he's at school. The first couple of weeks may be heaven, but after a month, you'll be looking for at least a part time job.

    That being said, I personally wouldn't be able to be apart from/not living with my husband for that long of a period of time. I didn't get married to be a single mom, so my husband got out of AD so we could be together more. I think it's very important to be a family unit. Deployment is one thing, but him being stationed one place, while you live in another, is not something I can comprehend. Don't take that wrong! I just mean it's not something I've ever done.

    I think you should seriously consider moving there, and see how it goes. If you can afford to live off of his income, go for it! If you find you want a bit more, bite the bullet and do retail. Or, with your degree, you can definitely become a sub teacher. Good luck.
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Eye View Post
    Weird! I was going to say pretty much the same as SpaceHedgeHOg.

    I have 3 boys, 20, 14, & 12. While I understand your desire to be there more for your son, at his age, you may find yourself very bored being home all day alone while he's at school. The first couple of weeks may be heaven, but after a month, you'll be looking for at least a part time job.

    That being said, I personally wouldn't be able to be apart from/not living with my husband for that long of a period of time. I didn't get married to be a single mom, so my husband got out of AD so we could be together more. I think it's very important to be a family unit. Deployment is one thing, but him being stationed one place, while you live in another, is not something I can comprehend. Don't take that wrong! I just mean it's not something I've ever done.

    I think you should seriously consider moving there, and see how it goes. If you can afford to live off of his income, go for it! If you find you want a bit more, bite the bullet and do retail. Or, with your degree, you can definitely become a sub teacher. Good luck.
    Is it so weird you would agree with something I say?
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    #10
    Space and eye make good points.

    I also want to add, being a feminist doesn't mean a woman has to work, but rather accepting that she has the power to work if she chooses.
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