Did your mom work? What was your experience?


#1

My mom babysat the neighborhood until I was six, then she went to nursing school for a LPN. Then, a couple years later, she went to school part time, worked part time, and studied the rest of the time. She graduated first in her nursing class!! My dad was a teacher, first in Catholic schools (poorly paid) and then in public (much better). He coached three sports and taught summer school. To say the least, my parents weren’t available much.

During Mom’s school/work days, we didn’t see her. It lasted six years. After graduating, she resumed fulltime hours. Shortly after, my sister had trouble with drugs, promiscuity, shoplifting, and my brother became an alcoholic. We went from almost nightly family dinners to eating in front of the tv. While I didn’t get into serious trouble, I remember being very lonely for my mom.

However, my parents paid for my college and my brothers. We had braces and extra cars to drive in high school. My mother grew up in poverty and felt she was providing a better life for us. My grandmother lived in and was our housekeeper/babysitter.

In any case, I was wondering if your experience growing up has affected how you structure your family. For me, it has made me determined to be a SAHM. I’m sure for others who had a more positive experience, working motherhood is just the way to go.

Or, has it not really affected you one way or another–you are just adapting to your life’s circumstances?

I don’t want to be critical of anyone’s choices. I’m just wondering how our children will feel in twenty years.


#2

My mom was mostly home most of my growing up and it had its advantages to the degree we had meals when we got home from school…she did work periodically sometimes and I hated it, however my experience was I had a mom at home generally most of the time; she was not a mom I needed. I was starved for affection and needed a mother that I never really had. That said, I hear alot from my mother , “I did the best I could.” :rolleyes: fine. I moved on and have tried to be a good mother to my children. Theres so much more to add, but I really am just giving a general view of my life.

So what does that tell you; a whole lot of mixed messages huh!
I personally think when the kids start arriving the mom should stay home and raise their families. For the record Im not judging those moms that go out and work. :wink:

This could be a very touchy subject!


#3

I know, Nance. I was a little hesitant to post this. But, it seems like all over the forums, there is several discussions on the place of women–whether to work or not. I was hoping it might give us all a more rounded perspective on different experiences. So much of our worldview is shaped by our personal experiences. I was hoping, too, that it might challenge us to look long term in child rearing.

That said, I hope to hear positive experiences of moms who worked, too. I have a friend who when she is not at least working part time becomes clinically depressed. So, I know that SAHM’s is not always the best choice.

Also, sometimes working moms is the only way out of poverty.


#4

My mom had way to many children to be out of the house. She was always at home. I wish she was still there. The memories. Thank God I did not go to work until my kids were in school then I always worked in the schools. So I had the same vacation time with them. My mother did a lot more than I could have done with all those kids. But she could not change a tire headlight work a drill etc. Everything I learned as a mother later. (But it took me the longest to master cooking) My mom was a great cook.


#5

My mother was a SAHM till my father died (I was 11, my sister 10) and she had to start working. However, her father believed that all women should stay home and not work. She was never allowed to work, going strraight from her parents home to marriage and as a result she had no work experience or any kind of work skills. She could only get work as a shop assistant and didn’t earn much. We had just about enough to live on but no extras. Her hours were long (8.30-6.30/ six days a week) so my sister and I did most of the shopping, cooking and other housework. She was always exhausted when she got home and had no energy for us. I think she was angry to find herself unable to provide properly, both financially and emotionally, for her children. She made sure that my sister and I got a good education and skills that would give us the choice to stay home or go out into the work force.

Gearoidin


#6

[quote=JMJ Theresa]My mom babysat the neighborhood until I was six, then she went to nursing school for a LPN. Then, a couple years later, she went to school part time, worked part time, and studied the rest of the time. She graduated first in her nursing class!! My dad was a teacher, first in Catholic schools (poorly paid) and then in public (much better). He coached three sports and taught summer school. To say the least, my parents weren’t available much.

During Mom’s school/work days, we didn’t see her. It lasted six years. After graduating, she resumed fulltime hours. Shortly after, my sister had trouble with drugs, promiscuity, shoplifting, and my brother became an alcoholic. We went from almost nightly family dinners to eating in front of the tv. While I didn’t get into serious trouble, I remember being very lonely for my mom.

However, my parents paid for my college and my brothers. We had braces and extra cars to drive in high school. My mother grew up in poverty and felt she was providing a better life for us. My grandmother lived in and was our housekeeper/babysitter.

In any case, I was wondering if your experience growing up has affected how you structure your family. For me, it has made me determined to be a SAHM. I’m sure for others who had a more positive experience, working motherhood is just the way to go.

Or, has it not really affected you one way or another–you are just adapting to your life’s circumstances?

I don’t want to be critical of anyone’s choices. I’m just wondering how our children will feel in twenty years.
[/quote]

My mom was a SAHM. She suffers from agoraphobia(fear of going outside) so she really did not have a choice. I wish she could have worked, because then maybe I would have had a "normal "childhood. Her agoraphobia prevented her from coming to my sports games, and going to parents night, attending family gatherings, and going to mass. So yes she was home, but was she really there for me? She had a sickness that was beyond her control. She has/had a huge cross to carry. I had LOTS of resentment towards her because for many years I did not understand why she was the way she was. Don’t get me wrong. She is a beautiful, gentle soul who would give the shirt off her back for anyone. We just didn’t have a good mother/daughter relationship while growing up. She did the best she could, and I have forgiven her. My resentment is gone, and our relationship is better. One thing I am so thankful to her (and my dad) is giving me the gift of knowing how beautiful our Catholic faith is.

A woman I currently work with had 2 children, a boy and a girl. She stayed home to raise them and entered the work force once they were grown. Geuss what? The daughter turned out great. Graduated top of her class and is married. The son…Well he is 22 years old and addicted to crystal meth. These people are wonderful parents. They wonder where they went wrong as parents. They are doing everything in their power to help their son, and their minds are so troubled with worry. Please say a prayer for them.

Sometimes bad eggs come out of good families. Sometimes good eggs come out of bad families. I geuss all we can do is do the best we can and pray!!

My parents had 4 children. We all turned out pretty good. I once asked my dad what kept all of us 4 children on the right path. His response,“Prayer.” :smiley:


#7

Just had an after thought.

My husband’s mother was a SAHM. Does he think she was a good SAHM. The answer is,“NO!” In fact, he thinks it would have been good for her to work. He has resentment towards his mother for many things.

His sister, on the other hand, is a working mom. He thinks she is one GREAT mom, because he sees things that she does with her kids that their mother never did with them.

My opinion is that one can be a SAHM and be either a good mom or a not so good mom. On the other hand, one can be a working mom and be a good mom or not so good mom.


#8

My mom went back to work when we were in high school. She loved being a nurse and was excellent at her job. And also because on going violence at home between her husband and her kids. She never said much but I think she needed some income if she decided to divorce. Fortunately, my mom and dad stayed together.


#9

My mom was at home until 6th grade, when my parents got divorced. Having no one home made it easier for me to skip school and get into trouble. Sure, kids get into trouble if a parent is home, but they have to work harder to. I know several school teachers who tell me that most teen pregnancies and underage drinking occurs between the hours of 3pm and 6pm. Teen already want to do these thigns, why make it easier for them by making sure they have empty houses in which to do them. For a while, I thought I’d go back to work once my kids were all in school, but now I realize that that’s when they need me the most. I just can’t imagine the relationship I would have with my sons if they spent 6 hours in school, then another 3-5 hours in before and after school care. Most of the working families I know come home at 6pm, cook and eat dinner by 7, then the kids do an hour of homework, then are in bed. I just couldn’t live that lifestyle.
SAHmommy


#10

My mom stayed at home until I went to school. She worked part-time at a grocery store and loved it. Every night we would have dinner together (even if we didn’t like the food, but that was another story!). She would talk about her customers (never anything bad), etc.

All the money she earned went to our college and annual two week camping vacations. This was the best and one of my fondest memories of childhood! We went from Florida to Maine to Arizona, etc. We truly got to see all America’s wonders! I don’t think this would have been possible without her working.

In high school my father was laid off. Being “older” with lots of experience but no college degree, it was difficult for him to find compatible work with compatible pay. My mom had to go to work full time for health insurance, etc. She never complained. Because of her dedication, she was even ‘promoted’ to a human resources person in addition to her cashier job.

I think because of her work ethic, I had no problems with her working. On a side note - since I was the youngest of three girls, my dad did take me to a Lion’s Club father-son picnic :rolleyes:


#11

I am the youngest and my mom went back to work when I turned 12. I think it was good for her - she had started to seem a little depressed and it perked her up to go out and have something to do besides house stuff. By that time my dad was retired from the Army and he was home so he could take care of some stuff for my brother and I. (my sister was in college and working by this time so she was almost never there.)

When my dad started a job part time at a bookstore though, and they both were working and gone at night, that was a little strange. My brother (who was probably about 15 then) made us dinner and watched TV with me and helped me with homework till 10:00 when they came home. But then my mom’s hours changed and she was home at night, so it was no biggie. :slight_smile:

It didn’t bother me that she worked, because I knew it helped us out a lot. But I wouldn’t have minded her being home either. I think it depends a lot on the family’s unique situation. Sorry, kind of conflicting advice here, I guess. :slight_smile:


#12

I’m the second oldest of 5 and the only girl! My mom was at home until my youngest brother went to college (I think- I was married and in another state when he was in high school).

I was born in the early 60’s, so our family situation was pretty much the same as every other family on the block . . . mom at home w/ kids. My mom was a great example of service to her family, to our school and our church. She was always someone’s “room mother”, or helper at girl scouts, or baking cakes for the church bake sale. At 75, she’s still willing to help others!

I knew from a very young age that I wanted to be home to raise my kids. Now that my youngest is in 9th grade, I work part time. My priority is to be around if the kids need me, so I won’t be full time for a few more years. —KCT


#13

No, my mom didn’t work. This meant that my blue-collar father had to work 7-day weeks, lots of overtime, and sometimes double shifts. I barely got to spend time with him when I was younger- if he was at home he was asleep. I spent a lot of time alone with mom (who fortunately was and is a great mom).

Mom went back to work part-time when I was 10, full-time when I was in middle school, and all of a sudden, dad was able to work normal 8-hour days and pick me up from school each afternoon. Even so, the damage was done. I didn’t learn to really relate to my father as a child, and a lot of the time he seemed like a stranger to me. Flipside, he really couldn’t relate to me, and didn’t always know how to deal with me. Consequently we had a very rocky relationship until I graduated from college and moved out. Now that we’re both on an adult level, we get along quite well and are much closer, but it took a long time.

My point? Since the OP was wondering how the children would feel in 20 years, I don’t think I would have minded my mom working part-time when I was a child. I’m grateful for what they both sacrificed for me, but Dad shouldn’t have had to work that hard, and Mom shouldn’t have had to mostly raise me herself. If DH and I are ever blessed with children, I won’t feel guilty if I need to work part-time to keep a roof over our heads and the furnace running.


#14

[quote=Jocelyn]Just had an after thought.

My husband’s mother was a SAHM. Does he think she was a good SAHM. The answer is,“NO!” In fact, he thinks it would have been good for her to work. He has resentment towards his mother for many things.

His sister, on the other hand, is a working mom. He thinks she is one GREAT mom, because he sees things that she does with her kids that their mother never did with them.

My opinion is that one can be a SAHM and be either a good mom or a not so good mom. On the other hand, one can be a working mom and be a good mom or not so good mom.
[/quote]

My mother was a SAHM except for about two years during my growing up years. Like your DH, she was not all that good at it- good cook, but other troubles I don’t wish to rattle off here. She would have been better off if she had gone to work, at least part time.

To my mind, it’s not the action of working or not working, it’s what’s done with the time when one is not at work.


#15

My Mother had been a High School teacher before she adopted my brother and I. When I was 7 my Father left for a younger woman. At the time teaching jobs in Los Angeles were hard to come by, so my Mom got into special ed, which was a growing field.

At first she was a Home teacher. She would go to kids’ homes who were homebound. Then she became a telephone teacher. She went to work at Widney High in L.A., and had a class of homebound kids on the telephone. This was back in the 60’s. When I was sick from school she would let me listen in on her class.

When I was in High School she taught at a public school for pregnant girls who lived at a Catholic unwed mother home across the street that was run by nuns. It was called McCallister High School. Her students loved her I think. She loved her job. She was good at it. She had to go back an complete her Masters degree within a certain amount of time, I remember.

I was a latchkey kid. I remember my mother getting very angry when I would lose my key, which I wore around my neck. I remember losing it and waiting for hours outside of our apartment. It was very lonely. I was lonely a lot of the time.

I remember every year we would go to see the school play at Widney High. There were a lot of severely handicapped kids in the play. It was a big event for us, and I would get to meet the drama teacher and some of the kids. I got used to being around handicapped people because of my mother’s job.

I was much happier when my parents were married and my mother was at home to greet me everyday. Life became harder after my parents divorced. She remarried a cruel man who ruined my teenaged years. My brother and I both got into drugs. But, I think it had more to do with other things than her job.


#16

My mom worked when I was really little then got laid off and started working with my dad in the family business when I was around 10 or 11. Frankly, I have very few memories of doing stuff with my mom. My oldest sister says that mom stayed home when she was little and she hated it. I am the youngest of 4 and the oldest 3 are stair steps. I am separated from them by 4 and half years so it is almost like there are two separate families. They tell me stories of how mean and miserable mom was until she went to work. Dad always worked and they never saw him when they were little so they became afraid of dad. I, on the other hand, had the opposite experience. I was always with Dad and never saw Mom. I think the proof is in the pudding. My 3 siblings are all messed up. One is in prison, one can’t and won’t get a job, and the other has a whole bunch of hang ups where she and Mom can’t talk. They hate each other and have no interest in talking to each other. I am glad that I didn’t have my mom at home and had Dad instead. My Dad was a much more stabilizing influence than my Mom. I think Dads are left out way too often. The nonexistant relationship with Dad has left some serious scars on the older kids. I think SAHMs are great but you can’t leave Dad out if he is a respectable person. I try to work outside the home a couple times a month so Dad can have time with out me nitpicking and getting in the way. Some women need to work no matter what and keeping them home is a detriment to them and the children. I would rather have a happy working mom than a miserable SAHM. By the way, I have two children and SAH but I always try to make sure that I feel fulfilled. A happy mom is the best mom!!!


#17

Did my mom work? No. What was my experience? Absolutely wonderful :slight_smile: Thank you, Mom, for making our childhood (and adolescence) great and making sacrifices to stay home with us!


#18

My mother went back to work when I was three. It was, most likely, to my benefit because I developed friendships with kids from other schools at daycare. Since I was an only child and there weren’t many kids my age in my neighborhood, I would have gone crazy sitting at home with Mom in the summers.

My parent’s separation and divorce is what really warped my childhood.

Theresa…I doubt that your mother’s carrer was the cause of your brother and sister’s problems. It’s the quality time that counts regardless of how short it is. My quality time with my mother may have been spent talking in the car when shopping, etc. As a single parent, she got the message across to me what was expected of me and the difference between in right and wrong. I spent the summers with my grandmother in another state and she did an excellent job of “right and wrong” brainwashing. All of our time was quality. She’s the reason I’m Catholic.


#19

My mom worked when I was very little (lots of pressure from in-laws:rolleyes: ) but got strong enough to finally say “NO!” She stayed home with my sister and I from then on. My experience? Daycare was a nightmare. Kids need their moms or dads. Very little kids NEED their moms.


My mom wasn’t always perfect and I’m sure there were times when I would have been “happier” if she hadn’t been there…


But I think this all comes down to what is best for kids. Our personal experiences and opinions color the basic fact that kids do best with two great parents. One of them stays home and one provides. Period.


I can’t see anyone looking back on their life and wishing they could’ve had a daycare or a nanny or been alone growing up instead of having a loving, caring parent who was always there for them. That is the issue.


I myself will be a SAHM unless life circumstances dictate otherwise. I pray for all of the moms or dads who wish they could stay home and raise their children but are forced to work outside of their home. That must be torture.


Malia




#20

My mom worked; she has been a teacher for over 30 years. My brother and I were in some in-home childcare when we were little. What I remember of that was enjoying the time and fun with the other kids there and that I liked trying different snacks and lunches. I do remember, because the school where my mom taught was directly across from the sitter’s house, sometimes looking over and wishing she was there.

But mostly I’d say it was pretty positive. In middle school, I would walk over to the grade school where she taught and hang out in her classroom, do my homework, socialize with the other teacher’s kids, talk with my mom about our day, etc. I’d sometimes go in with her in the mornings too, or my dad would take us to school, so it wasn’t really like being a latchkey kid at all. She worked, but she was available to me before and after school just the same. Plus my dad had a flexible work schedule and was always available for me and my brother before and after school as well. I can remember very few times that both of them weren’t together at my sports events, award nights, concerts, etc. I had a great childhood and my hat is off to my parents for the way they raised my brother and I. They are tremendous role models.


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