SAHM decision


Hi everyone, I’m new to the forum even though I’ve been reading the threads for about a year (I was nervous about posting because I’m not Catholic, but I got over my nerves and wanted to join in on the fun!). I am in RCIA at my university and was raised Protestant-- I’m actively discerning converting to Catholicism. :smiley:

I have a question for the stay-at-home-moms out there. How did you decide that being a SAHM would be best for your family? If you had a career before making this decision, have you ever tried getting back into it, and if so was it really difficult?

I am not married and I don’t have any children, but I am thinking about my future (if it is God’s will that I get married and have children). I am studying to become a teacher, and I am so excited to be one, but I am also ecstatic at the thought of having children and getting to spend every day watching them grow! I am afraid that if I am a teacher before having kids and am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to become a SAHM that it will be difficult for me to get back into teaching later on.

Thanks in advance for all your input, and God bless! :slight_smile:


Hello and welcome to the CA Forums!

I had to reply to your post since I just put my teaching career on hold to become a SAHM. I taught for seven years and really enjoyed it. When I became pregnant in the fall of '04, I knew God was calling me to leave my teaching position to stay at home with my children. My baby is now eight months old, and I don’t regret a thing. I value the time I spent in the workforce as I gained some good experiences working with children and adults, but there is nothing that compares to taking care of your own baby everyday. The time is so short and they grow so fast; why give away those months to someone else?–especially a day care provider who doesn’t have the same emotional attachment to your child as you do.

It took a good five years to become comfortable in the classroom with managing the kids, discipline, curriculum, etc., plus I had a job at a school that was earning a lot of prestige and growing in popularity. There were a few times that I had second thoughts about giving all this away since I had worked so hard to get to the point I was at. But that’s when my religious convictions came in to clarify things for me and put me on the right path. I knew that my children would benefit by having me at home in so many ways: emotionally, mentally, intellectually, spiritually, etc. Plus, I had the experience of my own mother at home all throughout my childhood and I appreciated the security that brought. Being a mother requires sacrifice. I felt it was more important to put my children’s well-being ahead of my own desires and satisfaction. Although I was a bit sad to leave my teaching position, I knew that this decision would be best for our family. The joy I now receive from taking care of my daughter outweighs the job satisfaction I had.

My advice would be to finish your education and become a teacher for as long as God wills you to. Also, marry someone who shares your views on family and child-rearing. It would be an added benefit to marry someone of the same religion, too. Save as much money as you can before having children to get all your finances in order and make living on one salary possible–it may be tight, but possible.

My husband and I want to have a big family, so I estimate that I won’t re-enter teaching for about 14-15 years or so. I am not really worried about this. I’ve checked with my state’s credentialing policies and it doesn’t seem too difficult to re-establish myself. If we need some extra income, I can do private tutoring (which I am thinking of beginning in a few months).

I hope my experience gives you some insight. Good luck with your discernment in coming into the Catholic faith. If you do become Catholic, you won’t regret it. If fact, it just might change your entire life and how you view raising a family.

P.S. By the way, a co-worker/friend of mine had a baby the same time I did, but kept her full-time position. Her baby is in daycare M-F from 7am-5pm! I could not imagine being in this situation.


I don’t think we ever discussed it really…my dh is from quite a conservative Irish Catholic family where women stay at home to look after the children, I’m a convert (since 1989) from the Mennonite faith, so grew up with all moms staying home as a matter of course…and when I got pregnant, I only worked for maybe 8 weeks and have been a housewife eversince. Sure we miss the extra money, but as the poster above me says: children grow up so fast! You don’t want others to see that first smile, the first time they stand up, the first words, the first drawing…you know, you can’t put a price on that! Mine are 3 and 1, and I honestly can’t imagine life any other way, it’s worth all the sacrifices :thumbsup:

Anna x


I worked as a teacher for 7 years. We had our first child while my dh was getting his masters/ph.d. so we had no money and I had to work. We didn’t use daycare until my daughter was born–we instead did split shift parenting, Dad was home during the day while I worked and he went in to work at night (he was done with course work). This arrangement was very stressful to our marriage, but it is doable. And also, I hated the 9 months of daycare!! The kids were always sick, they screamed when we left them and it was SOOOOO expensive even though it was only part-time care. I was so glad when dh finished his degree and got a job. I can now stay home with all 5 of our children (okay, 2 are now in Catholic school! lol). It certainly was the answer to my prayer of “Dear Lord, you’re sending us these children, please make it possible for me to take care of them!” I didn’t want to have children so I could shove them into daycare. Thankfully, my dh felt the same way! :slight_smile: As to when I’ll go back to teaching, I just don’t know. We’re in a different state, so I’ll have to update my other license and then take classes and a test to get THIS state’s license. Teacher licensing is just crazy!!! I liked teaching, I hated dealing with crazy parents! lol Of course, now I’M the crazy parent! :wink:

God bless you as you discern your path!


I work part time, but I guess I consider myself a SAHM in the sense that we decided before the first was born that raising our children is our privilege and responsibility. So, although I have worked all along, it has always been by accepting work ONLY on my husband’s off-hours.

Because our first was born when I was 20, I’m not really sure I can claim to have ‘had a career,’ but I have continued working as a musician, private music instructor, and school band director (yes, in my husband’s off hours-- he’s always had odd schedules) and of course I could have done a whole lot more with that if I’d devoted full time to it. Yes, sometimes a little part of me wishes I could have done more with it, but for the most part, I just don’t think about it. Our children are the priority, and I’ve kept my hand in it a bit, which means that if I want to accept more students as they get older and leave home, I can easily do that.

Good luck.


I worked for a Catholic parish as DRE for several years. When I became pregnant with my first child, I actually had to fight for maternity leave! That aside, I couldn’t have afforded child care, so baby came to the office with me starting at six weeks. It was great. I didn’t even ask permission, the pastor’s office was in a different building, so I just showed up with her in tow. Somehow everything worked out until I got pregnant again. On my next contract, the pastor insisted I find child care. I worked out an OK arrangement, and when the next school year started my DD #2 was 4 months, so I jumped in with both feet.

On the first evening of CCE, I received a call from the sitter (who was only a couple of blocks from the church) asking if I had forgotten something. In the business of the first day of CCE, I had forgotten to pick up my daughters. What a slap in the face!

While I never forgot them again, I think that was the point when I started thinking about being a SAHM. When my job situation became untenable, I quit.

BUT, while I was on maternity leave the second time, we tried living off only DH’s salary. We banked almost all of mine for four months. So we had a little extra. If this is possible, I recommend it to anyone who needs to convince DH that it is doable.

I was married for 15 years before I really understood that marriage and motherhood was the way God intended for me to make my way to heaven. ( I once investigated religious life) It truly is a calling, and not to be taken lightly. I know I would not be the same person had I entered the convent. Marriage has provided all the growth opportunities I have needed over the years.

My youngest has just started PK this year. Last year I started an online business to try to supplement our income. It hasn’t provided much, but it did get us through Christmas this past year. I have been half-heartedly looking for a part time position, but it must take my kids schedules into consideration, and tha makes it really difficult. I will not jeopardize their sould or futures by allowing someone else to take major responsibility for them if I can help it.

I probably never go back to working for the church. You learn too much of the politics. I found it detrimental to my spiritual life.


[quote=Chrissy9120]I am not married and I don’t have any children, but I am thinking about my future (if it is God’s will that I get married and have children). I am studying to become a teacher, and I am so excited to be one, but I am also ecstatic at the thought of having children and getting to spend every day watching them grow! I am afraid that if I am a teacher before having kids and am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to become a SAHM that it will be difficult for me to get back into teaching later on.

Thanks in advance for all your input, and God bless! :slight_smile:

I taught school at the secondary level for ten years, and I can tell you that one of the best things about teaching is that it prepared me to be a better Mom.

Do I miss teaching? No, because I’m still a teacher. I just have only two students now–my two daughters. Not that I homeschool, but, having been a teacher myself, I can show them the best ways to study. As a result, they are both straight A students.


You never know what is going to happen. I was going to use my teaching degree prior to having children, but got pregnant during the honeymoon! My son had a stroke during the delivery thanks to a poorly performed mid forceps rotation. So, in order to facilitate his rehabilitation, I decided to be a full time sahm. It’s been wonderful. My son has no decernable disabilities thanks to my decision to sah and devote myself to his therapy. So, don’t make hard decisions today. Go with each day, keep your plans flexible and you’ll get to where you’re going anyway.


You could also offer remedial reading and math as a friend of mine does. She has so many students that there is a waiting list.


Then there were those of us who thought nothing of the idea of leaving our new babies in the hands of strangers. Then I got pregnant and had my first baby. There was no way I was going to just leave my precious gift with anyone. I was blessed with an understanding husband who stepped up and worked very hard so that our children could have the benefit of a full time parent.

It is a decision I am happy I made, but there is definitely a price to pay. If and when you go to work outside the home there is adjustment to be made at home and you will have been left behind in the marketplace (unless you are a professional of some stripe or variety). I now work for a supervisor approximately 20 years my junior and my co-workers are almost all the age of my firstborn. It is an interesting perspective and I have lost many years of corporate ladder-climbing, resulting in a fairly large economic sacrifice on my part. Nevertheless, my children are my life and will always come first. They appreciate my effort (mostly) and there is NOTHING better than my memories of watching my little ones grow up. I’d have to say that the price was worth it. I may never catch up in the earnings race, but I was able to give my children my undivided attention during their formative years. That is a gift.

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