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#34209 - 12/07/02 09:53 PM I have almost always been one!
Dotsie Offline

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 23647
Loc: Maryland
This is a topic that not many people have been drawn to so I thought I would post something since I STILL consider myself to be one. I have stayed home with the kids since the day we brought our first adopted son home from the airport. My husband and I decided that if we were going to have children I would stay home and care for them. Leaving the working world and staying home to be with an infant was quite a switch for me. While I loved my son dearly, I sometimes yearned for the company of other people and the need to feel like I had accomlished something other than laundry, dinner, entertaining my son, etc., etc. Recognizing this I started treating my days with him like work days. I made a list almost every single day of what I wanted to do, where I wanted to take him(and eventually, his siblings) who I needed to call, and the list goes on.

There were those people who would ask me WHAT I DID ALL DAY. I felt like telling them I sat around and ate bon-bons, or better yet, I sat at home with my finger in my nose. When you have 3 little kids to care for...what do people think you do all day? Looking back now I must have decided somewhere along the line that I was a PROFESSIONAL HOMEMAKER and not a HOUSEWIFE. A housewife was a woman who stayed home in front of the tv, usually eating and letting the kids evolve around her. She didn't get dressed until noon (if she felt like it) and when she was dressed she chose to stay home and watch the afternoon soaps! The kids were just making messes around her and she wasn't actively involved in their lives other than to scream an occasional order! When hubby came home and asked what was for dinner, she didn't know!

I, on the other hand, was a PROFESSIONAL HOMEMAKER, I had my shower before hubby left the house for work and was up and ready to tackle the day. The list was made of the day's activities. The kids knew in advance what the order of the day was, where we were going, what we were doing and with whom we would be doing it. Sounds rigid, but it worked for us. We walked, strolled, played, zooed, aquariumed, parked, swung, slid, picniced, swam, napped, baked, cooked, playdoughed, libraried, read, chilled,...get the picture?

When they started getting older and were in school I added volunteer work to my schedule and started helping at the church and schools. Believe me, a woman who chooses to stay home can put in many volunteer hours in a week. Anyway, there are many ways to go about raising our children and I am grateful for the way I have been able to raise mine.

#34210 - 12/08/02 10:51 PM Re: I have almost always been one!
Candice Johnson Offline

Registered: 10/09/02
Posts: 416
Loc: Alexandria, VA
I have always known that when the time to have kids came, I would want to stay at home for the most part. My husband knows this and our compromise is that as long as one of us could be at home for the majority of the week, that would be good.

I have known this ever since my mom started to be a nanny. While I think she is a great person and the next best thing to someone's "real" parents, the parents still miss out on things. My mom gets to see them take their first steps or say their first words, and the parents don't. The thing is, those kids won't ever hear the stuff my mom knows about what they were like because she moves on to a new family once the kids go to school.

While I know what I want to do, I also feel incredibly guilty. I have a college education that many would feel would go to waste if I did not stay in the professional world. I think Dotsie makes a good point about the fact that there is a lot to be done in the home (With just a husband I feel overwhlemed at times!). She also makes a good point about what a switch is was for her and how isolated she felt, which is what I worry about too. While it is MANY MANY years away for me, I already feel disconnected from many of my friends at college because of being married and have branched out to other people I know because they are married or in more serious relationships.

But I do think if it is something you truly want to do and believe with all your heart it's what's best for your child, you can make it work. I would much rather be satisfied with seeing a happy, healthy child who learned something from me at the end of the day then to know I've contributed to the company bank.

#34211 - 12/09/02 12:31 AM Re: I have almost always been one!
Micki Offline

Registered: 10/30/02
Posts: 144
Loc: Linthicum, MD
When I was growing up, we (mother, father, brother and I) lived with my maternal grandparents. My mother, father and grandfather worked full-time, and my grandmother was there for us. When she died (at 52) when I was 12, my mother stopped working for a few years and stayed home for us. Then, my grandfather had a heart attack and retired, so Mom went back to work, as he was there with us.

Having had the "luxury" of having a parent or grandparent home all the time, I must say that we managed it because there were always three of them working and that meant one could stay home. After Grandmom died and before Gramps started being there, things were pretty tight for a few years. When Gramps retired, he still got his paycheck and Mom and Dad both worked, so we had the best of all worlds.

I never had children of my own, but I would have wanted to stay home with them if I had. However, I don't think we could have afforded it. Things are so expensive these days (and I am just talking housing and food and clothing, not the extras) that I don't see how anyone can do that unless they are independently wealthy to begin with.

On the other hand, I see kids every day on my bus that don't have the benefit of having a parrent home all the time, and I am appalled at their behavior. It is downright maddening to see how they act.

So, I guess you just have to make the best decision for your family and go with it. It IS a conundrum, and I don't know just how I would handle it anymore. Drop back and punt, I guess.....

#34212 - 12/11/02 06:35 AM Re: I have almost always been one!
Uvagolfmom Offline

Registered: 11/22/02
Posts: 17
Loc: Towson
People always get in hot water in this topic, and I do not want to offend anyone,but time and again I noticed that, whether people like it or not, somebody has to be the Mom. If neither parent will be, a nanny (or grandparent) will take that place. I liked being the mom, my husband often had to work weekends, so I worked part-time, if at all, for the first 15 years and we had a babysitter we paid full time but generally used 1 or 2 days a week. This ended when the kids were all in school and we made it work around their school schedule. I am gratified my kids do not even have a recollection of me working when they were small. Because I strove to be home, I did not miss out on the first step, the first word, whatever. Those were saved for me. I am now making the transition to thinking of myself as something other than a mother. I feel good about getting involved in some things for myself now, but I hated it whenever work caused conflict or even momentarily threw our family out of whack. I have no regrets whatsoever about the time I spent at home. People have to understand this for the sake of the kids, but the neglect does not happen with working mothers alone. We had a nanny in training living with us at one time. She would have what I called Nannies Anonymous meetings. The nannies would fret about the doctor's wives or whoever who did not work at all, but were out nonetheless from 9am-6pm or later with social activities almost every day. The reality for our kids is they do not know or care whether we were away working, saving the world, basking in a spa or serving as a socialite. They just know we were not there. I always said I would rather be known as a good mom who one day could be a good professional than a good professional whose kids are really screwed up. At the end of the day, there is nothing more important in terms of what we are accomplishing on earth. I hope this encourages people. I do not mean to be anything other than encouraging to people questioning the utility of staying home.

#34213 - 12/13/02 04:54 PM Re: I have almost always been one!
Kathryn Offline

Registered: 11/20/02
Posts: 317
Loc: Towson
I hope this doesn't offend anyone but here goes anyway....I don't know how it is possible to not be a "full-time homemaker"? I work 30 to 40 hours a week at a job outside of the home, and then go home and put in another 8 to 10 hour day not including weekends. Homemaking, if defined as mothering, wifing, household management, is always a full time job. I've always been bothered by the fact that too many people fail to recognize what it takes to manage a home and family. There are the big obvious things like meals, laundry, cleaning etc. But what about the million other things. Who helps with homework and projects? Who shops? Who pays the bills? Who goes to PTA, coaches little league? I do! And I have a husband. He thinks he does his share and I suppose compared to many other guys, he a guy defined kind of way. The way I see it, I have two full time jobs and this time of year, it seems like three. Now that I've finished bitchin', I should add, I wouldn't trade one minute, one lacrosse game, one band concert, one hug or cuddle or one sleepless night for anything in the world. My kids love me and know that I am devoted to them. They also respect that I have other abilities that generate an income that help our family. I am a very blessed, if always exhausted, full time homemaker.

#34214 - 12/23/02 04:02 AM Re: I have almost always been one!
DJ Offline

Registered: 11/22/02
Posts: 1149
Loc: Ohio
Since this is a site for "boomer women" I want to make an appeal to my sisters: we should not feel defensive about raising children and taking care of the house! We may be the only women in the world with this problem -- I lived overseas some years ago, and I remember that Italian housewives went on strike for benefits! and they got them! Yes, housewives have pensions. Meanwhile, back in the USA, women were either dressing in man like suits or apologizing for being housewives and staying home. We need to recognize our collective worth and our collective power and not let the world tell us what's good or bad about what we do -- we already know it. We need to be proud. AND I'd say it's high time housewives qualified for health benefits and retirement -- I'm not sure how it should be funded, but I think we can figure that out. Other countries do this. Have you ever looked at the social security benefits summary, for those years you stayed home? You earned zero.

#34215 - 09/29/05 12:38 AM Re: I have almost always been one!
Danita Offline

Registered: 01/24/05
Posts: 1550
Loc: Colorado
Bringing this back to the top too!

Check Dotsie out! You can hear her rant about "what do you do all day"....and check how far she's come. From a "ranting" stay at home the founder of an INTERNATIONAL BOOMER GROUP!



#34216 - 10/04/05 01:48 AM Re: I have almost always been one!
nanno Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/03/05
Posts: 2
Loc: central wisconsin
After reading what all of you have written, has made me feel really great about being a "Domestic Engineer",AKA the Homemaker/Housewife. My husband and I have raised 5 wonderful children and have lost 5 children. I was at home with the kids until they were all in school full time and then I went back to school to finish my high school diploma. After doing this, I started working 2 jobs, one during the daytime and the other was at night so we could get the downpayment for our house. I worked this schedule around when the kids would get home from school and when their Dad would be home so some one was always there for them. I was finally able to retire from my last job ,as a jailer, a few years ago and haven't had a minute to rest yet!!Now I'm babysitting some of our grandchildren. I don't want to get too long winded, but I would like to thank all of you for your honesty. It really is refreshing to find a place where your comments make you feel welcome and not the outsider looking in. Thank you.

#34217 - 10/04/05 03:29 AM Re: I have almost always been one!
yepthatsme2 Offline

Registered: 08/08/05
Posts: 816
Loc: Fredericksburg, Va.
Hi Nanno,

Sounds as if we have lots in common. I also have 5 children, ages 32, 28, twins 25, and the baby 21.
But, unlike you, all are still home except for the daughter she's 32. [Eek!]
Guess they are still liking the creature comforts. We have one grandson who is 15, and a new step grand-daughter who just moved in with her dad who is 13.

Worked most of the time my children were growing up also. Pretty much had to with 5 to feed.

You will find this forum full of honesty, with some truly outstanding women willing to share and care.
Fairly new's totally addictive here so prepare to visit often. In fact I visit several times a day. [Big Grin]
You might want to go to the welcome forum and introduce yourself. That way all the ladies will see you.... and give you that special welcome only they can.

Glad to have you here!


#34218 - 10/04/05 07:15 AM Re: I have almost always been one!
chickadee Offline

Registered: 09/26/04
Posts: 3910
Loc: Alabama
Hi Nanno, looks like we have fishing and hunting in common. I bet you have some pretty good jailer stories that you could share. Welcome to the site and enjoy.


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