Aug 31, 2011

A Single Dad's Dating Diatribe - 1, Daycare

Prepare to use your keyboard as an instrument of revenge.  I'm 93% certain this series of posts will steam a few most of you.  Blow rage in the comments if you want, I don't really care. 

I sloshed out of my mother's loins in 1976 and have been a single dad since I was 27.  Not where I expected to be at this phase of my life.  Dating at 35 with a kid in-tow is a wretched idea.  I'm not 16 and this isn't high school.  I've been raising my daughter alone for the last 8 years, we know no different than for it to be just the two of us. 

The majority of women my age are married, divorced or single cat ladies.  I'm a traditional dad that would feel more at home living in 1951 than 2011.  Most women live in 2011, not 1951.  My recalcitrance in finding a mate will become clear as you continue reading.  I've got a long rant to uncoil, so let's cut this mother up and poke at daycare this day.

I do a face palm when taking a general look at modern American family dynamics.  Two parents working full time is something I want no part of.  The common theme is often chucking child in daycare to be raised 10 hours a day by a person scarcely making minimum wage.  Many parents don't blink at this.  It's a "work/life balance", after all.  

Why is full time daycare for a baby three months old through preschool okay with a good chunk of the population?  Damn.

Before Pigtails was born, my ex worked a daycare.  It was a high dollar center on the ground level of a large corporation, the place had a solid reputation.  Wife came home from work telling me wrenching stories about what goes down while mom and dad are working.  Workers were trained to not tell parents when they witnessed a toddler taking their first steps.  They wanted mom and dad to think they were the first to see it.  Parents not showing up for class picnics when they promised they would, causing their kid to sob inconsolably in a corner.  Biting tots from hell, one gnawed on another's ear until blood flowed.  The workers didn't have the authority to do anything about it, other than to "write a report and notify affected parties".  A child was left behind on a field trip.  

It's a sad situation, I feel sorry for these little ones.  A person paid to watch a child will never love them to the same degree as the parent.


Disclaimer:  I understand some folks must use daycare.  They don't have a choice.  This was true for me.  Pigtails was just under age 2 when her mom left, so I placed her in an in-home daycare out of necessity.  Hated it, tore me up.  I cried in the car every day that first week I drove from work to pick her up.  Being forced to put Pigtails in daycare is what bothered me the most about my wife leaving. 

Finding a lady friend that has similar thinking as me on this subject is a difficult thing.  It's 2011, you know.  Who wants to be a stay-at-home mom?

Maybe it's time for me to get a cat.  Or 10.

-Beard 

92 comments:

  1. Anonymous9/01/2011

    I'm not steamed, but I would like to raise a couple points:

    1. Not all daycares are created equal. Just because your ex's engaged in some bad/questionable practices doesn't mean they all do. I agree that staying at home with a good, attentive, responsible parent or other relative is preferable to daycare, but they're not all awful.

    2. Since your kid is 8 now, why is this an issue?

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  2. I lived in a disallusion that I could be a stay at home mom. I did it for 6 years. Then my world fell apart and since I hadn't had a job finding a job was hard. This can be for more reasons than mine of course. Man dies, gets hurt at work, ect. So, I've vowed to Always have at least a part time job. I will never be a full time stay at home mom. I loved it, I didn't love the aftermath. Now, I get lucky because my oldest can watch the boys while I work and I work nights so I don't miss a whole lot with my kids... But I can see why a woman doesn't want to be strictly a stay at home mom.

    Me, I'd just like a traditional family for us. My kids, me, and a man that will accept and treat my kids like his own. I want to be married... To someone who's worth it... Because I've never had that. Just *$$es.

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  3. Look here, my friend, who are you trying to convince? If that is something you want in a relationship, you shouldn’t settle for less. Naturally, relationships/marriage involves compromise; but never where the foundation is concerned.

    Certainly you’re looking for a needle in a haystack; but I’d say for being single 7 years, you can persevere. Don’t go buying the cat farm yet, cannot imagine cat hoarding is conducive to raising children. And I’d have to stop reading your blog.

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  4. I think this is a great post. As someone whose main goal in life is to be a stay-at-home-mom (at least for a few years while my kids are really young), I really wish you good luck in finding what you call a "lady friend". I agree that no one paid to watch your child will love them or care about them like you do. Don't give up if that's what you truly value in a "lady friend" - having similar values is really SO important.

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  5. Dang, you readers are respectful when you disagree with me. Thank you for that. I'd like to respond to each of you, here we go:

    @Anon - I agree there are good daycare centers out there. I shopped four different in-homes before I found one I was comfortable putting my daughter in. The daycare at the company I work at also has a very good reputation. But toddlers are close to $1,000 a month there. Ouch.

    As for why daycare is an issue with me when my girl is 9, it comes into play if I marry and have more children.

    @Jess - That's a tough one; what to do when you are a SAHM and the significant is no longer. I think it would be wise for moms to have a degree or work experience handy when it is needed. Baby will soon be in school and a job is eventually on the horizon anyway. Also agree that a part time job may be a good idea to keep the skills fresh and a pulse on the work world. What bothers me is when baby is checked into daycare full time from age 3 months on, both parents working and making a combined deep dig into 6 figures. Youch.

    @Cari - I'm mainly relieving some pressure and frustration on a topic I don't often talk about. Agree with you on not settling for less, nor should I be ashamed for wanting what is best for potential future children.

    Cat barf, yuck.

    @Toni - Good for you, I admire your priorities! Thanks for the nod.

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  6. Anonymous9/02/2011

    Going to give my two cents as a working mom who utilizes daycare.

    First penny, would I love to be a stay at home mom???...Oh my! YES!!!! However, with today’s economy having two parents with jobs is a safety net right now. And even with our combined incomes and after paying off all the daycare costs, mortgage, food, etc. The money left still barely gets us by and we are a family that is not free with their cash flow. We cut costs whenever possible.

    Second penny, I hated hated hated putting my infant in daycare. I still do..everyday I leave I can't wait to pick my little one back up. However, I can say the center I'm at has done a wonderful job teaching my tike. I know I would have never taught sign language as a way to communicate before speaking was mastered. My pumpkin knows so much and I give so much credit to the ladies that are helping me raise my child. Part of who my baby is becoming is due to them. Would I love to take full credit?...Hell yes! But that's not the life I can live right now. So I am grateful we found a place that cares for my pride and joy and wants what's best for the little tot as much as I do.

    As for the stay at home mom you’re looking for, she is out there. I’m hoping one day I can say I’m one of them. I hate all that I’m missing for the 8 hours a day I’m not with my kid. I truly hope you find that person. I wasn’t raised by a daycare and I do wish my child wasn’t either. But I’m doing my best.

    PS: I’m surprised Pigtails hasn’t asked for a pet yet. :) Did you just open the door for a cat?

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  7. Anonymous9/05/2011

    I remember going to daycare as a child and it was sorrowful. Nothing like school. You had friends to play with, but your entire day rested on the idea that you couldn't be with your parents- so here you are with some adults who put up with you. I take issue with missing those first moments, as well, why would you pay someone $5 an hour to raise your child?

    I think you can have your cake and eat it, too. My solution was to be a work at home mom. I'm hitting year 5 very soon. Work during naps, all through the night, some projects can be done together. We can't go back. The economy is too different. However, change the solution, not the problem.

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  8. @Anon 2 - Sounds like you have a good heart and found a comforting place to put your baby. I realize that some parents don't have a choice on the daycare front, we all gotta eat.

    Is baby able to sign language "Mum, I'd like some scones and a spot of tea"?

    No pets yet, we failed with a pair of hermit crabs. Those crabby things pinched each other to death, it was grisly.

    @Anon 3 - Work from home mom, for the win! Mmm, cake...

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  9. I can't believe nobody else commented on this, but I will. You wrote "The majority of women my age are married, divorced or single cat ladies". First, aren't you divorced? Is that a negative in your eyes if a woman is? Second, really, "cat ladies"? I think you are better than that comment. And if you are not, then I hope your little girl is married herself well before the age of 30, or if she's not, doesn't have a cat.

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  10. @Kate - My daughter loves cats, plus she knows she doesn't have my permission to date until she's at least 30, so we all know how that one's going to turn out...

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  11. That sounds like a good plan!

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  12. I have my son at a fantastic in home day care. That being said, I would love more then anything to be the one with him all day. I know many women who stay at home, even when they could use the extra money, but they want to raise their kids! I came from a household wiht a SAHM, and there is no comparison!

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  13. I 100% agree with you! Before we got married, we knew ahead of time that I would be a stay at home mother. Not necessarily giving up my career, but just turning it in a different direction. I'm here 100% for my kids and help out as much as possible in all 3 classrooms.

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  14. I totally agree with you! The first day by son went to daycare they had to pry him out of my hands and help me out the door. I cried all the way to work, called several times to check on him throughout the day and cried tears of joy when I was on my way to pick him up. I was a stay at home mom until my ex decided he wanted his girlfriend more than he wanted his wife and child. It has been the two of us since he was one and I still hate the idea that he has to attend the afterschool daycare program. He is now nine and enjoys being with his friends after school but this mom still struggles with not being able to have hot cookies on the table afterschool.

    I didn’t grow up in daycare and I definitely didn’t want my child to. Life took us in a different direction than I had planned but we make the most of it. At our house we eat meals at the table and play cards or board games during dinner. Every first day of school I take the morning off and we have vanilla pancakes, I take him to his classroom and leave work early to pick him up. He thinks all these things are hokey but these are the memories I want him to have.

    There isn’t anything wrong with being a working mom OR being a stay at home mom. The important thing is raising healthy and responsible children that know they are loved and valued for who they are.

    I would love to be remarried one day, but I will not take time away from my son to find “Mr. Right”. I see too many people dragging their kids from relationship to relationship trying to find their happiness. True joy isn’t about being with that “special someone” it is about being content where you are. I am a firm believer that if God, who created the universe in 7 days, has another mate for me He can surely bring the right person at the right time to my doorstep. Online dating or chasing a guy just isn’t my thing. I am leaving it in God’s hand.

    I have never posted on a blog but for some reason tonight I felt compelled. I am now stepping off my soap box…

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  15. @SingleMama - In-home daycare > cattle corral that is the typical institutional daycare. God help me if my kid ever ended up in one of those free-for-alls.

    @Michelle - God bless you. Moms like you make me proud.

    @Heidi - Thanks for leaving your first comment, appreciate it! You sound like a very loving mother, I will pray for you and your son.

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  16. I've worked (mainly) from home since way before my daughters were born. I had to use a little daycare because my then-not-ex was trying to find work and my girls never saw any other children with any regularity otherwise (my elder girl started "school" when she was 2, her sister went to daycare for 8 months when she was 18 months) and both loved it (small, small structures). I've now been single for 18 months and my girls are almost 10 and 7.5, so they're at school all day (8.30 to 5 pm) four days a week. On no-school-Wednesdays, I don't teach and any work I have is of the from-home kind. But even with "big kids" it's tough; they watch too much TV (Hannah Montana...GAH) and I still feel bad that I don't do enough with them. But not working is a total impossibility - my ex has no income so provides nothing financially, and I'm drowning in debt (France is a really, really expensive country to be freelance in) so have to accept all work that comes my way. I would love to do otherwise. My only consolation is that at least I work from home - I pick my girls up from school, I take part in the PTA. They may see me mainly at the computer working, but at least I'm here.
    Oh, and as someone who dislikes cooking, dealing with all the meals, every day (more or les) is killing me. I dream of finding a man who likes to cook...!

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  17. Anonymous12/03/2011

    Imagine pigtails married, a stay at home mom, taking good loving care of her children for 8 years, then husband - fill in the blank - and is out of the picture. Imagine the economy is like it is today. I agree in an ideal world you can stay home with your children, but survival and being able to take care of your children is important. I will teach my daughters to always keep a foot in the workforce, never become totally dependent on a man. This is the most important life lesson I have learned so far. In an ideal world you don't need daycare for that (because in it you live close to your family), but in reality you do.

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  18. @Anon - Good point, I can see and mostly agree with your angle.

    Most stay-at-home moms would head back to work after their kid(s) is in preschool or K, not continue to stay at home when child is 8-years old as you suggest. Agree there is a money risk in staying home. That's why my daughter will attend college and come out with a degree and (hopefully) work awhile on her own and be self-supporting before she gets married.

    If done right and well planned, it is possible to go to college, get a job, stay home for a few years, then re-enter the job market later on. I've seen this done by several families.

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  19. Just want to add something here which I think has been overlooked, and possibly overlooked by Moms, myself included, when contemplating staying home with their kids or re-entering the workforce.

    Even when your child hits "school age", Kindergarten and beyond, and you return to work, you will have to depend on some sort of daycare for years to come. Returning to the workforce is hard, and most often times you aren't going to get a schedule that is going to work around your child's school schedule from the get-go. The 9-5, even 8-4, will still require some sort of after school care. And then there are summers and holiday breaks to consider as well.

    Not sure there is a win-win in any scenario here, only what is best for your family I suppose.

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  20. Anonymous12/16/2011

    Yes Beard, this Anon who stayed home for 8 years because I had several children spaced a couple of years apart. I agree with you if you are having only one child and so only staying home 3 years, after which you use daycare until your child is 5, this is not an issue. You say pigtails will attend college and be self supporting. I have a BS and MS in engineering and was self supporting before I stayed home. You cannot work as an engineer and be a stay at home mom unless you use childcare. I made a choice. Guess what, it is really hard to get hired if you are not up to date on those skills in todays economy, even if you have a college degree. I'm getting back on my feet now after a year, but was a long stressful time. Therefore I am advising my daughters to keep a foot in the workforce at all times.

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  21. @Cari - Daycare for an hour before school for a first grader is different than tossing a 6-week old infant into daycare 10 hours a day, 5 days a week. When I rail against daycare, I am speaking to the latter, where a tiny child is away from their parents for the majority of their waking hours, for the majority of their informative years. That makes me very sad.

    @Anon - There is a financial hit and risk to staying home. This is also a large opportunity cost when putting a child in daycare. The parent and the child are both missing out when away from each other.

    Agree that many folks don't have a choice, daycare is a must so the parent(s) can work and feed/roof the family. That was true for me as a single dad.

    Unfortunately, for many families, daycare is a lifestyle and comfort choice. I happen to think the opportunity cost of having a kid in daycare is not worth the extra money a family reaps with both parents working. Is missing my daughter's first words or steps worth the comfort that comes with both parents in the workforce? Not at all.

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    1. I'm a bit puzzled, though. If you meet a woman who wants to work, why can't you simply be a stay-at-home dad?

      I totally understand that having a stay-at-home parent is important to you. But...that could be you just as easily as it could be her. I'm a bit puzzled by the whole rant! It seems very, very easy to solve!

      Delete
    2. I too have a question for you. Why does the SAHM that you dream of (1951 style) need to go find a job once the child is in school? There is still so much to do when the children are in school (someone has to do the grocery shopping, meal planning, coupon clipping, driving to after school activities, cooking, cleaning, etc.) should she have to work for money too just because the kids are in school? What about homeschooling? Are the kids done being "raised" once they reach preschool age? Does being a keeper at home (Titus 2) end once the kids reach age 3 or so?

      And is it fair to ask a woman to get a degree, work, stop working for 3-6 yrs (assuming only two kids) until the kids she's bonded with go to preschool, and then pick up working again (assuming she can find suitable work) for those unnecessary comforts you shunned before? Why not allow/encourage her to stay home until the kids are truly independent/self-sufficient...i.e. adults?

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    3. @Jenna - I believe God intended different but equally important roles for men and women. There's a reason women and not men are able to bear babies and nurse them. Ties into Titus 2 in my response below.

      @Valerie - The picture you lay out is what I desire. I'm a fan of homeschooling, I did it for a year on my own while working full time. Going along with Titus 2, and in response above to Jenna, I believe God intends different but equally important roles for men and women. Agree that kids are not done being raised until they are adults, it would be wonderful if I found a wife that purposed to stay home until the kids are out on their own. I like your conviction, stay true!

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  22. There actually are women your age who are not married, divorced or even cat ladies... although we are few and far between. Unfortunately for us, most men our age are either married, divorced (or quite often have children but have never been married) or living in their mom's basement. Or living with another man. Anyway, it's hard out there for everyone :)

    (BTW I just came over from YHL, your kitchen is beautiful... somehow I ended up jumping around your blog!)

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    1. Had to come back to mention, it is my dream to be a stay-at-home mom, and I'm sure it is for many others, so don't give up!

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    2. Yeah, I know you are out there. And I'm sure women have as much of a challenge finding the right man. Sometimes feels like I'm alone in my thinking process on family, society and goals in life. I'm also impatient, so it gets discouraging at times. Hang in there, and welcome to B&P!

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  23. Anonymous3/22/2012

    Well put! I totally understand what you are saying! My mom and dad take care of my son while I am at work and that has been an amazing blessing. My mom was a housewife and so I never went to daycare. But my husband was a daycare kid and he remembers the horrors and doesn't want our son to go through that. Too many days where he was forced to be at a public pool under the hot Florida sun... I wish there were a better way. My old neighbor worked at daycare and she absolutely loved the kids, but it's just not the same as the love of a parent. - Vick

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    1. That's great that grandma/pa are able to watch your son! They'll give him the love he needs, and a heap more than he'd receive at daycare.

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  24. Anonymous3/22/2012

    I now have two children in college. While they were growing up, I stayed home the first 6 months with my daughter, went back to work part time for a year. I got pregnant with my son, then my husband got laid off. I went back to work, then. I got laid off. Luckily my husband was working. Then I went back full time and hated it. Eventually we got to a place where I could go part time again. My husband had a job that traveled a lot so it was like being a single parent during the week. As they got older, he had a less demanding job while mine picked up again. The point with all of this that I think the most important thing is that your children should be your priority, and you do the best you can. Along the way my children's daycare person became a family friend. She was my backup as I did not have any close family to be my backup.

    My children are great people and in love them with all my heart. In the end that is what matters...

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    1. I wept when I had to put my daughter in daycare, that first week was terrible and tore me up.

      "...the most important thing is that your children should be your priority..."

      Bingo.

      Delete
  25. Anonymous3/22/2012

    Well, it's your life. If that's what you want and that's how you feel I wish you all the best.

    As a child of a highly educated, successful, working mom I can not identify at all with your sad vision. I had an amazing childhood and never once felt sad about not having my mom at home. Quite the opposite. I was always extremely proud of both my parents. They've been married 37 years and are true partners and friends. They were absolutely present for my formative years and hands on.

    So flash forward to today and I'm in the same boat. I'm a successful professional and married to my best friend. We have had two children in a wonderful daycare and I've got no regrets. I grew up happy and well adjusted and successful and I see no reason why my daughters won't do the same. I aim every day to be as great of a roll model as my mom was and as great of a mom as she is. There's nothing sad about it.

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    1. "If that's how you feel I wish you all the best."

      It's not just a feeling, I saw what went down behind the scenes at the high-dollar daycare my ex-wife worked at. Many children took their first steps at daycare, mom and dad missed it. Children at daycare are not loved to the degree that a parent loves them. Not worth giving that all up for a job away from them.

      I'd argue a mother can be far happier, well adjusted and successful staying home with her children than being a professional outside the home.

      I'm glad you've been married 37 years to your friend, makes me smile, and thanks for commenting! :-)

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  26. Good for you! From what I gathered of your post you are not saying women shouldn't work. I understood that you as saying that one parent should be home, with the child(ren) they chose to have. I used to work at a fantastic daycare and it broke my heart when parents would drop their child off at 6am and not pick them up until 6pm. After 12 hours away from home at age 3 most kids were at Stage 5 on the meltdown barometer. I admire you, your opinions, the awesome relationship you have with Pigtails and your renovation skills.

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    1. My ideal is mom stays home full time to raise her children until they are adults. I understand some families don't desire that route or are unable to afford it.

      Terrible scenario where baby's at daycare for 10 or 12 hours. It happens far too often and makes me sad and angry.

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  27. I truly beleive in what your saying..I'm a housewife..i say that with as much pride as a "career focused mother" my husband.and I agreed that our 3 girls.would.do best with out daycare. We both had working mothers and HATED it. To each his own...but living like its 1951..is pretty fantastic. BTW love, love.,love the blog. Came.over from YHL...

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    1. I'd like time-warp back to 1951 to see if it's as I dream it to be. There'd likely be a new set of problems there that would cause me to turn the dial back to 2012.

      My mom stayed home with us 3 kids. I loved it.

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  28. Anonymous3/22/2012

    Another YHL referral. Happened upon this post and it was just what I needed to read. I left my full time job last week to stay at home with my daughter for all of these same reasons. Thank you for the affirmation!

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    1. Thank you for sacrificing a paying job to stay home with your daughter. You'll reap, best of luck!

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    2. Just wanted you to know that my mom quit her job to stay home with me. I can't tell you the sense of security that came from knowing my mom could always be there for me. I am so thankful and grateful that she decided to stay home with me.

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  29. Love it. I have nothing against working mothers. Wether by choice or because of circumstance, I appreciate that women can do what they want/need. But I'm gratefulI have the option to stay home with my four kids. It hasn't always been financially easy, but it's been so worth it.

    I have a degree and worked in a wonderful field that I loved. The money was great, the team I worked with was fantastic, and I loved the relationships I had with my patients. I was 8 1/2 months pregnant with my first baby when I was at work one day, wondering why I had given my notice. I felt valued doing what I was doing, and dang it, I was really good! But, I'll never forget the epiphany I had when the new hygienist I was training walked in the door: She would be every bit as good as I was. Maybe even better. But no one-no. one.-could replace me as this baby's mother. I knew for certain that I could leave work and be at home with my babies from then on out without regret.

    I've kept my license current and can go back to work if I need to. I consider it my greatest insurance policy. But motherhood is my calling. My babies have grown before my eyes and it has been the most amazing journey ever. T

    I hope you'll find someone who shares your vision. (This is my second post of the night...already linked, but just in case you missed it...noraballantyne.blogspot.com) A single (working) mom who shares your vision.

    Best wishes!

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    1. Nicole, will you write a post on this subject for me sometime? You said what I've been thinking in a better way than I tapped out the words.

      "I knew for certain that I could leave work and be at home with my babies from then on out without regret."

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  30. Anonymous3/22/2012

    Well said. I'm a single woman with no kids, so most woman probably think I shouldn't speak about this, but here I go...

    I have friends that say "Oh, I wish I didn't have to put the baby in day care, but I need to work. We can't live on one salary." Really? You need a $32,000 SUV to put an 8lb child in? You need the 2,400 square foot 4-Bedroom house with granite countertops? You need the Coach purse? You need all new furniture? You need weekly manicures and pedicures? You need to buy more crap at Target? You need cable TV? You need an iPhone?

    I understand day care is the only option for some women, especially if they need to work for insurance and such. However, for a lot of working moms (and dads), their lifestyle is causing the financial burden (and yes, their husbands spending is probably to blame too). Cut up the credit cards. Move into a smaller home (kids CAN share bedrooms *gasp!* so you don't need to move as soon as you pop out a 2nd kid). Realize you don't need 26 cup holders and 4 fold down TVs to transport kids. Learn how to repaint garage sale or hand-me-down furniture instead of financing new crap that's going to fall apart before you've paid it off.

    I've heard "I go crazy at home with the kids, so I went back to work even though we don't need the money" or "I'm so bored with them". AAAAAH! Find or create a support group...MOPS or groups at the library. Get together with girlfriends and let the kids play together. Keep busy with creative play or crafts instead of sticking your kid in front of the TV.

    If you work because you don't feel like you are contributing as a stay at home mom, then you and hubby need to go to counseling. If you aren't feeling valued as a SAHM or your husband doesn't see the value, then something is wrong.

    I truly don't understand this mentality. I know I'm probably pissing a lot of women off right now, but I honestly don't understand. I'm 30 and have a great career and am going to grad school this fall. I will keep working climbing the corporate ladder until the day I get married and have a baby. I look forward to walking away from it all and being a stay at home mom. I don't understand how you can choose possessions and maintaining a certain lifestyle over raising your own children. What greater gift can you give your child than quality time together?

    Again, I know many people have no choice, they need two incomes. I'm not speaking to you. I'm speaking to those that are selfish and are choosing to step away from their responsibilities. I understand the fear of if something happens to your spouse and you have to rejoin the workforce someday, but have an ounce of faith. Believe that God will provide. If that's not enough reassurance, start building up your savings account, buy life insurance, pay off your debt, etc.

    Ah. That felt good. Good night.

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    1. Anonymous3/23/2012

      Well said!!! Stay at home mom, worked until the 1st kid was born 20 years ago. A few part time jobs but always within our schedule so one of us is home. We saved for years before we began our family, we both have degrees and he has a good job. We are lucky, but we still don't take a vacation you have to fly to, we drive to places close. Cars are paid for, kids cars paid for, no landscapers or housekeepers. Eating out is pick up pizza, birthdays are extra special dinners out at Red Lobster. The kids have worked since they were 15, began as lifeguards in the summer, one started younger refereeing soccer games. Basically don't give your kids everything they want, and you don't need everything you want, keeping up with the Jones' is foolish. Have fun, enjoy, and enjoy working on the house and doing projects with the kids. I know I grew up like that and it works. Stay out of debt, why go to sleep with that headache to have "stuff". Save, save, save because college costs are crazy. Our goal is to get the kids through their first 4 years debt free. Then.....we can breathe and shop if we so desire. 4 more years to go. Also....I know my kids understand responsibility and I don't worry about their future.

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    2. Melissa3/23/2012

      I agree, very well said! I think your observations are spot-on and it doesn't matter that you don't have kids. My husband is a SAHD to our two children (almost 3 years and almost 9 months). Our plan even before we started our family was that he would stay home and I would continue working. Why? Because it works for us. It's not always easy, but we still agree that this is the best for our family. We never had to stress about daycare options and I'm very thankful for that. We also live within our means. I bought our home when I was single. It's a modest 3-bedroom ranch without extra or fancy rooms because we're not extra fancy people. I'm also inherently lazy and selfish and cheap...I don't want to clean or heat space for the sake of having a bigger home.

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    3. @Anon1 - That's the most badass response I've seen! I need to come up with some sort of "badass of the month" prize, you've earned it.

      I do an internal facepalm when I hear people say foolish things like "we had to move since we were so cramped when baby #2 came along." Don't play games with me, a 19" baby doesn't require moving up to a 4 bedroom monster. Many couples can't make ends meet on one income simply because of the house or car they chose to purchase. Debt is a ruthless taskmaster. I say rid that burden and see how little we can live on.

      Thanks for presenting a view on spending that pricks the popular notion, and prioritizing your life in a way that stores up treasures in heaven.

      @Anon2 - I 100% agree on everything you said, well put.

      @Melissa - You got it, a large house eats cash in 5 ways. Unsure people think about these extras when they go big:

      1) Up-front cost of purchasing more space.
      2) Property taxes on the extra room, could be thousands $$ more per year.
      3) Must furnish the rooms, so more beds, couches, desks and other crap.
      4) Higher heating and cooling bills, hundreds or thousands more each year.
      5) Maintenance on a larger area costs more in both time and money. Like paint, carpet, roof, siding and windows. On some of the newer construction mansions, I cringe at the maintenance bill in 10-15 years when things start wearing out.

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    4. @Beard @Melissa - You left out an important point about the real costs behind a larger house:

      A larger footprint on the planet. The larger you go, the more energy is consumed in building and maintaining your property.

      I'm no raving greenie (though I sound like one here) but it is a valid and unselfish consideration.

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    5. Anonymous3/29/2012

      Badass of the Month?!?! I feel so honored! Oh man, I didn't have time to prepare a speech...

      Maybe some of my anger comes from the fact I work in homebuilding - I see all these couples come in building these stupid-huge homes. As one buyer sat in front of me, 9 months pregnant, fighting with her husband about "needing" quartz countertops then 20 minutes later joking how their going to name their kid "Visa" since that's what he'll be raised on...it took everything in me not to throw a copy of "The Total Money Makeover" at her and explain to her that with the $30 per month they would save by not putting in so many upgrades they could sponsor a child. How are we supposed to care for the world's orphans when we can't provide for our own because our priorities are completely out of whack.

      Ack! I could vent for hours...

      Delete
  31. Anonymous3/23/2012

    I am former single parent and I agree with you 100% about daycare!! At age 27, I worked nights so I could be home with my daughter during the day and my wonderful parents watched over my kiddo at bedtime for me. I am now married with 3 kids and none of them have ever been in daycare. I make the sacrifices that I need to make for my children to ensure their well being. After giving birth to an 11lb baby, I will be darned if I am leaving her with a stranger or corporate daycare to let god knows what happen to her. My children are my investment in the future of our society, I hope I am raising them to be kind, empathetic and moral kids who will make a difference in our future world. I don't feel that my leaving them at daycare fits into that equation as how could they ever be nurtured by strangers? Good for you for doing this as a single parent, I know how hard it is! You may not hear it...but I am applauding you and your beloved "Pigtails"! :) It is great to know there are good men/fathers in the world!

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    1. "My children are my investment in the future of our society, I hope I am raising them to be kind, empathetic and moral kids who will make a difference in our future world. I don't feel that my leaving them at daycare fits into that equation as how could they ever be nurtured by strangers?"

      Yes and yes!

      "You may not hear it...but I am applauding you and your beloved "Pigtails"! :) It is great to know there are good men/fathers in the world!"

      I need to hear that sometimes, thank you so much.

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    2. Anonymous3/26/2012

      You are so very welcome! I know that Single Dads don't get the recognition they deserve and felt it was important that you heard this! Have a great week!

      **Delancey

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  32. Anonymous3/23/2012

    I think what is missing in this debate is quality vs. quanity. I think it's great if a family can afford to have 1 parent stay at home with pre-elementary aged children. However, even if they can afford this, it does not automatically assume that the time is anymore "quality" than daycare. There are some stay-at-home parents that do not always make the children the priority... the kids are put in front of the tube too frequently, are not engage socially or mentally, etc.

    On the flip side, just because a young child is in daycare, it doesn't mean that the child is missing out on experiences and a realtionship with his/her parents. Or that the child is constantly in danger. Just as there are many poor daycares across this country, there are many, many quality ones. You have to do your homework. Daycare also allows young children to develop socialization skills and such. And, when a parent picks up their child, if that parent spends the next 2-3 hours engaged in quality time with their child, isn't that far better than the parent who stays home all day with their child but isn't actively engaged with them?

    As a disclaimer, I should note that I am a single Mom going on 7 years now, since my child was 3. My child has been in daycare since he was 18 months old. Since that time, I have been the primary breadwinne; I don't make six figures, but I have always made more than double what his father has made, so I have to work. Personally, I am a far better parent to him as a working Mom than I was at home with him. My time with him - I now look forward to it,every day, and it's quality time... we eat dinner together every night, read Harry Potter before bedtime, etc. When I stayed at home with him as an infant, it started getting to the point where I took it for granted, and as such, as much as I hate to say it, it was not all "quality" time. I'm sure if I were still at SAHM today, that would be true too. So I really think the focus should be on the quality of parenting, independent of whether or not a parent is at home, or has to work and has their child in daycare.

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  33. Anonymous3/23/2012

    I also come over from YHL. And this post resonated with me. I'm 34, with a 6 month old baby who started day care this week. I don't want to be a working mom. I hate it with every ounce of my being. I waited a long time to be her mommy and it breaks my heart handing over her care to anyone! Her dad and I kept her at home by alternating care as long as we could. What I would give to be able to stay home with her. He's a WONDERFUL father, and if one of us could afford to stay home with her longer we would. As it is, we live a simple frugal life, and in 1951, we probably could have afforded for one of us to stay home with her. I've been really feeling so sad lately that our "progressive" and technologically savvy society has essentially taken away the "choice" to stay home. Wasn't that the point? That women at the time could choose to work? Now we can't choose to stay home in many cases. My husband is self employed, and I am a Masters educated "human servant." We are educated, hard working, contributing members of society. And WE can't afford to have a stay at home parent. My efficient used car is paid off, we live in a tiny home, and don't have many extravagances. We've had two vacations in our 10+ years of marriage. I'm not complaining, there are SO many things about my life that I love. But if WE can't make a single parent home work I think that is a problem. I couldn't afford health insurance for myself (as a woman of child bearing age- the premium is upwards of $700/month) or my baby if I wasn't working. I essentially work for insurance. I could talk about this all day, and I know the issue isn't easy or cut and dried. Bottom line, I agree. I wish so much I could be home with my little one while she is so small. I'd also love to have another baby, she is the best blessing in my life. I am even considering going back to school for something else... more flexibility and more pay. I'm just sad about it too. Hopefully we can figure something out and make it work.

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  34. Thankfully, when my husband left me with 3 children they were old enough to not need daycare. I had been a SAHM for 16 years and loved every minute of it. My daughter was in 4th grade when I had to go to work and it killed me to not be home for her when she got off the bus. I tried the whole after school program and hated it. I was so grateful to my neighbor that offered to get her off the bus with her daughter and start homework and all that jazz. Every day for the first few months I grieved having to give up being a SAHM. That was all that I ever wanted to be. I LOVED IT! I say this because I am 35 and divorced with 3..count em...3 teenagers..that's right do the math baby..I was 17 when my oldest was born..can you say CRAZY?? INSANE?? Yes, but boy was it awesome.
    Last year I lost my job and was unemployeed for 3 weeks..I know..total blessing could have been really really bad. I got readjusted to being home again and had to grieve and count my blessings at the same time all over again.

    Bottom line is, life is tough. The choices I had to make as a new single mom gave me a different heart perspective for the working mom and single working mom...or parent I should say. Your prespective is definantly not the norm for a dad and is refreshing.

    As for the whole dating thing..I have 3 teenagers...bahahaaa

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    1. Cheryl3/23/2012

      It's tough to be a SAHM--believe me, I've been doing it for 15 years and it has cost me plenty. I have a tiny old house, an old, creaking van, and plenty of aches, pains, and scars from not having the means to do anything for myself for years. But as my kids approach their teens is it paying off. They are fine young people--responsible, engaged, kind, productive--and most all all they are givers to this world, not takers. I was once on the self-absorbed grad school treadmill myself, bought all the crap they were selling. Luckily I jumped off the bandwagon and never looked back. Admittedly I have a great husband who works his tail off to keep us all in business. I understand that many people would love to stay home if they could. This is not for you. But if you can, at all (and it takes much less money than you think), stay home. You will never regret it.

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    2. @Lanierstudios - Oh boy, single mom to 3 teens, do you have any hair left?

      Thank you for choosing to stay home with your kids when they were little. I believe you reap what you sow, although the harvest may take years to spring up. Our kids are that harvest.

      I'll say a prayer for you tonight, and thanks for the note!

      @Cheryl - I don't think there's anything more difficult or self-sacrificing than being a SAHM. But I'd wager that nothing else comes close to the rewards. Enjoy the love that flows from your children for the seeds you've planted.

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  35. Wow, this topic must resonate with a lot of people. Me, I'm a SAHM. If you really want to do it, and your husband supports you, you can. You just have to learn to live with one income. People, there are families with 10 children where the mom stays at home homeschooling them and they live off of modest income from hardworking, faithful dad. They buy clothes from goodwill, they cut coupons like crazy, they stretch every dollar. The question, more often than not, to the mothers is, "Do you want to stay at home and do a thankless job, be unrecognized in today's society and feel slightly embarrassed when somebody asks you what you do for a living?" Are you okay saying, "Today I wiped pee-pees and poo-poos, I folded laundry, I held a crying infant/toddler/preschooler ALL DAY...and this is what I do every single day" ? And when your wardrobe starts looking faded, and you think to yourself, "If I went to work, I could look a million bucks like I used to," can you tell yourself that it's more important to be there with the children to care for them, love them, guide them, grow them?

    It's SACRIFICE, there's no other word for it. You sacrifice your status in society, your conveniences, your time, your comforts. And then you remind yourself to look at the true worth of what you are sacrificing everything for: to raise up the next generation.

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    1. Sacrifice is a dirty word in American culture. Instead, personal happiness is king. I believe in doing what's right, even if it makes us unhappy and requires sacrifice.

      Jesus was a model in sacrifice. He did what was right, not what made him happy. We are supposed to be like Him.

      Doing what's right often causes temporary unhappiness and demands heavy sacrifice. But in the end, whether years down the road or up in heaven, we'll reap the fruits of our labor for staying on the narrow path. That gives us hope.

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  36. I come from a divorced family. My mother had to return to the workforce when my dad left, after being a SAHM for most of my 10 years on the earth. There was one thing she constantly drilled into my head, and that was to be financially independent; to not rely on anyone to take care of me. I heeded her advice, got a college degree and a well-paying job, and I insisted on handling our household finances. I never thought I would want to be a SAHM, until our now 14 month old daughter was born. Now, that's all I want. In an ideal world, I'd stay home until my child(ren) are in school, and then seamlessly return to work part-time. In a realistic world, I'd work part time now, because I know the importance of staying involved and up-to-date on my skills and knowledge. I know it would take some sacrifices, but they are sacrifices I am willing to make because I cannot get this time with my child back.

    The issue is my husband. He is extremely concerned about the financial impact my reduced income would have. We are fortunate in that we are both employed and financially comfortable, without much consumer debt outside of our mortgage and a home improvement loan, and my student loans. I make more than my husband, but even under my proposed reduced work schedule, we'd still have a higher household income than when we first bought our house. Granted, babies and even part-time daycare is expensive, but we could make it work. He is just very reluctant to the point that I know there is little chance of changing his mind. Also, as strongly as I feel about staying home, he feels about me continuing to work. So how can I say my wants and desires trump his? We've compromised that I take every other Friday off, using a combination of unpaid leave and vacation time. It's better than nothing, but still not enough time with my daughter in my eyes. I did not have a child to hand her off every morning for someone else to raise. And we use a fabulous daycare.

    I guess the point of this (apologetically) long-winded comment is first to vent, but also to get some insight from a man's perspective who shares my views. Do you have any advice on changing my husband's mind?

    On a related note, your dedication to your daughter is heartwarming. Any "lady friend" seems like she would be lucky to have you.

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    1. People can always make money later, but they can't get back time lost with their kids.

      Would your husband soften his stance if both of you accumulated a significant savings cushion in the next few months? Is there a dollar amount at which he'd be open to you scaling back your hours?

      I flip on Dave Ramsey at night, he has good input on how to snuff out debt completely and quick-build the savings pot. Cut out the extras and pile as much savings now as possible, since it seems that might be the only way your husband will budge on cutting work hours.

      Is working from home part time an option? If not, is there another job you could do part-time from home?

      Is moving to a smaller home an option? Less income is needed as the mortgage shrinks.

      I think what could help your husband the most is for you to find a friend that stays home with her kids, and her husband is on board with it. Have your husband talk to them. That will allow him to discuss his reservations with friends that are living on one income, and could help nudge him over the hump.

      Good luck, I'm rooting for you Jayne!

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  37. Anonymous3/28/2012

    I got a bachelor's degree and immediately abandoned thoughts of any career once that first sweet baby was placed in my arms. It took a bit of time to really quit working, I dropped to part time and then stayed home full time by the time my first child was 9 months old. Day care was heartbreaking and a constant stressor. I am so glad that my husband supported me in this desire. It actually made his life a whole lot easier though I did have to spend some time proving that to him when he felt the "burden" of the finances fully on his back. I was blessed to raise three boys into men.

    However, at one point several years back, when my boys were all teenagers and VERY EXPENSIVE, my husband lost his job. His subsequent job gave us a big hit to our income. We had always lived within our means but taking a huge cut made life rather unpleasant. At that point, I was forced to take a part time job. I resisted it as long as I could. In spite of my boys being teenagers, my heart was breaking because I knew staying home was the best career ever!

    After that change in our life, I realized that I wished I had kept my foot in the door a little bit. I hated the crappy part time jobs I had to take because my bachelor's degree was worthless since I had not spent the time developing the career that went with it. If I were to do it all over again, I would gain a skill that left the door open to part time that worked with our schedule. I am currently back in school, nursing school now, so that I can feel like I can contribute and help make up for the years where we dipped too far into savings to survive the lean years. While a career is not my goal, I don't want to spend the next 20 years of my life schleping through low paying, part time jobs to get by on. So, it is back to school for me and it is a whole lot harder this time around. Wish I would have just kept a little something going all along for security. Though it might not be divorce, there are plenty of other things that could affect a mom needing to work.

    My recommendation, mom at home is the BEST thing for the kiddos, in my opinion, but a woman needs to keep her foot in the door somewhere. (maybe a suggestion when pigtails is thinking about college??? )

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    1. It seems that a lot of employers are more open these days to moms and dads working part time or a non-traditional schedule to keep their skills fresh, but allow them more time with their kids than away. I don't know if that was true years ago when you were raising your boys, but things have probably improved on this front more recently.

      Good luck at school, nurses are always in high demand and it'll be good.

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  38. Stephanie3/28/2012

    Just want to share that you can be a SAHM and still be a "professional." I have my Master's in Educ., but have ZERO desire to teach in a school system. I have been at home for almost 4 years and in that time I have been BLESSED with the opportunity to raise my babies AND am working my way up in an amazing network marketing company! It gives me time freedom and a professional income, but I am with my kids each day! I am still using my degree because I teach others how to do the same and have gotten to meet so many amazing people! The best part is, I am building a business with residual income that will give me even more time freedom down the road so I can continue to be with the kids after school and at their events etc. I'm sorry to sound like a commercial, but I am so passionate about network marketing and what it can do for families! It can give you hope and the life you want! You can do what you want in life by just making the choice to work for it a little. I hope by structuring our family the way we have that I am teaching my kids about family, hard work, and how God will provide in ANY situation no matter what!!

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    1. A SAH WFH Mom, FTW. Wiki tells me network marketing is similar to pyramid selling, is that correct?

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  39. I worked in a very wonderful daycare for 9 years before I had my first child. Even though it was truly a great place, I knew I would never want to put my child in any daycare if I didn't absolutely have to. As you said, no one will ever love your child the way you do. Plus, I knew about all the "behind the scenes" stuff, like not telling the parent about the child's first steps and such. It made me so sad to see all of the kids dropped off at 6:30am and picked up at 6:30pm, often times because mom or dad ran to the grocery or the nail salon or the tanning bed before coming to get their child. (I'm not talking about single mom's/dads either)
    Before we got married, I told my husband I couldn't marry him if he didn't support me being at SAHM. Thankfully, he whole-heartedly did, so I stayed at home with my daughter after she was born. As the school aged years approached, I realized that I still wasn't ready to send my baby away for 8 hours a day, so we decided to give homeschooling a try. 2 years and another kid later, we couldn't be happier. I've been present for just about everything-good and bad-in my children's lives, and I wouldn't want it any other way. We have DEFINITELY had to sacrifice material things, but being able to spend so much time with my kids means much more than a big house or new car.
    *Disclaimer: I know that some people have no choice when it comes to daycare, you gotta do what you gotta do to pay the bills, but after working at one for 9 years, I came to realize that many did, and still chose to send their kids for 10-12 hours a day. So sad.
    I applaude you for your honesty, conviction, and unapologetic manner of stating what you believe in and want. The world needs more men and father's like you. FYI, you should come to the South, the kind of woman you're looking for is all over the place down here! ;)

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    1. Ticked me off hearing the stories from when my ex worked in a daycare. Some parents would drop their kids off on their PTO days so mom or dad could chug coffee and bleach their roots. Others never showed up for class picnics when they promised their child they would. The kid would just slump and start sobbing. A lot of parents also missed their baby's first steps, since it happened at daycare. The workers were told not to tell mom and dad.

      "Before we got married, I told my husband I couldn't marry him if he didn't support me being at SAHM."

      People need the intestinal fortitude that you have.

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  40. Oh man I just found your blog excuse me while I stalk and comment on all these posts. I'm a single mom blogger and I am going through this very thought process right now.
    I wanted to be a SAHM. My husband walked out when our kids were 2, 4, and 6.

    These last couple of years have been horrible to me, working full time and paying babysitters $1000 a month to take care of my kids. I hate it.

    There is no way out. my kids are 5, 7 and 9 now and I've discovered the issues don't end when the babies go to kindergarten. They get out of school at 2:30. They all have to go to daycare every day until I get home from work. It sucks ass.

    Right now I am desperately searching for a way to make money that would let me be home in the afternoons at least.

    I have lot of reasons for not dating, but clearly there are very few men who want to take on a woman and 3 children.

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    1. Agree that you are in the "sucks ass" phase as you mentioned. Please do seek out friends and neighbors to help, and look for creative solutions to reduce the crazy factor. For example, is there a parent at school that could pick up your kids from school and watch them until you are home from work? I'm sure they'd be happy to help, and you could pay them a small stipend for their assistance.

      Thanks for the note, I'll pray for you tonight.

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  41. Here I am, late to the party again. I never attended daycare, neither did my siblings. Mom stayed home with us, and when dad died there was plenty of life insurance. Mom didn't work till we were all in high school and supposedly beyond daycare ages. By the time I had children, I was a single parent. My ex fell into his stepsisters "lap" while I was pregnant with our daughter. I was forced to go back to work when she was born. I HATED EVERY MINUTE. My ex wanted to keep all the stuff we accumulated during our 12 years together, so I ended up with a hefty lump sum when all was said and done. I quit working and stayed home with my daughter. We had a decent house, clothes to wear and food to eat. Did we have everything TV commercials told us we needed? Hell no. We had each other and that was better than anything we could buy. Now my daughter is 13, extremely well-adjusted, and knows the difference between want and need. My niece and her husband just had a baby, and asked me if I would watch their infant for them for two years, until their mortgage is paid off and only one of them will have to work. I agreed and it is working well. They know a trusted family member has their infant's best interests at heart, and I can handle their crazy work schedules. I like having some extra cash in my pocket, and my daughter is learning that babies are not dolls. You are on the right path!

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    1. "We had each other and that was better than anything we could buy."

      Yes and yes. Give your daughter a big hug, your story gives me hope!

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  42. I think there are a lot of women out there that want to be home. I was a single parent from day one and the thought of putting my baby in daycare made me ill. My solution? I worked as a nanny and brought her with me. I was poor, it was stressful, but my girl was with me.

    You will find the right woman, who shares your beliefs about family. It is very easy to feel like that special person isn't out there for you, but I believe it for myself and I believe it for you. Hang in there.

    :) Nora

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    1. A single parent working as a nanny so they can be with their kid while getting cash is brilliant!

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  43. And I should mention, there are many men that believe a woman should work rather than raise her own kids. Which I do not understand at all.

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    1. Yeah, I realize it's often the husband that pushes the wife into working, against her wishes. Makes we want to take him back behind the shed for a little talk.

      Delete
  44. I know I'm a little late commenting on this post, but...it is SO REFRESHING to hear of a man that would WANT his wife to stay home and raise their child. I certainly understand that some parents must use daycare. However, I know a lot of people where the mom could easily stay home, but chooses not to. Breaks my heart. Does the big house and fancy car really trump time with your child???

    I admire you for not being afraid to voice your thoughts and beliefs on a very sensitive subject.

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    1. Sadly, I'm probably in the minority with the line of thinking that family is usually best served when mom stays home to raise the kids.

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  45. michele double you6/10/2012

    Late to the party, as well. I'm a mom who stays home, because I'm lucky enough to have a husband who desired that for me when I didn't even know I wanted it. I wouldn't change it--even at it's most hideous and frustrating and exasperating and tiring and any other -ings of which you can think. My husband works long hours and I quite often feel I would understand what a single parent must go through--except for the crushing weight of having to financially support a child.

    Having said that, I am the product of a single mother (a term she doesn't especially like) who put my brother and me first, all while working to support us (and save for retirement). I have more respect for her than any other person in this world. I know her sacrifices and devotion, I understand her choices, even if I wouldn't have made them, and I am certain if I can be half the parent she is, I will be a successful one.

    You don't know what future you and your daughter will share, but know that if you continue to put her first while remaining true to yourself, you will not have missed any of the truly important stuff.

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  46. I feel a bit silly replying, but I've been coming since YHL and just read this post. Sorry for the situation you are in, but sure sounds like you are doing well with what you have. Stop over-analyzing...If Curls is your same faith and has the same life views as you, marry her. Crap happens sometimes. You obviously invested a lot into your marriage b/c of your comments like 'sacrament', and ''till death do you part.' Sin is sly and sometimes it is ugly and really, really bad before you see anything needs fixed. God can heal your heart and those other Sacraments (I'm guessing at your faith) can help you with healing. If Curls weren't in the picture, I have a boat load of single, non-cat lady friends who are intelligent, beautiful, articulate, faith-filled with the same view of God and marriage that you have, but Curls sounds like a keeper to me. I'm sure trust and faith are hard to get back to when you are wearing the brown helmet (what my mother coined in Jr. high when one of her children got 'shit on').

    You are in the minority with your thinking re: traditional values, marriage, faith, the feminine genius, etc. Yes, some families (I'm guessing very, very, very few - maybe less than 10%) need both spouses working. I understand your statement that Pigtails get a degree and stay home and then work but have that experience so she can go back. Yes...in a perfect world, or maybe an imperfect one. Are you over-analyzing or protecting her from the hurt you have experienced? Your pain is so intense and real b/c you apparently bought into the truth that marriage is hard, but it works and it is best. I think you ought to be bold and encourage your daughter to first find out her vocation...maybe she'll be married as it is the most common, but maybe she will be single her whole life. Regardless, I agree that men/women are equal in dignity and worth and I dare not say there should be no working women b/c I don't buy it. But, just when the kiddos head off to kindergarten is not quite the time to work full-time (if you are able to swing it or can choose to deny yourself). I remember learning how to empty a Pepsi can and fill it with beer at my friend's house b/c her parents worked (oh but she was taken care of b/c her grandparents hopped over every day to check on her after school and make sure she was being very good). And I learned from here that Peanut butter covers the smell of alcohol so when I kissed my parents goodnight they would never know. I would argue that a mother is needed just as much if not more once her kids enter school b/c of homework, friendship issues (girls can be evil and hateful beings to their friends between 6th and 12 grade)boy friends/dating issues/morality and sinful behavior.

    I am blessed that my husband is able to provide very, very well for us in his profession, but we have always made choices on how and where to cut back to save money so that I can stay home with our four biological and three adopted children. People do not realize today the difference between wants and needs. We have many fewer needs than we think we do. I and laughed with your quotation marks around "work life balance" or whatever. My husband cannot stand that. He insists it is a priority thing, not a balance. Yes, we have needs that are physical, spiritual, mental, emotional, but you prioritize your life and you may have to give up a reality show or two but you can still get your jog in.

    Many prayers for you and your daughter and for your healing. God has so much in store for you. I think you may need to read some good books about people who have had it even worse than you to remind you that you are so blessed and still being taken care of by God.

    Left To Tell
    Song For Nagasaki
    Kristin Lavransdatter (novel, but great with natural consequences to our choices)
    Consoling the Heart of Jesus (for your healing and just really good)
    Left Neglected (quick, easy novel that supports your rant *wink)

    Peace!

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  47. let me say- Good for you!
    I admire that you are willling to sacrifice in some spots to put your family first.Your current AND future family. All I have ever wanted was to be a stay at home mom.(yes I am your age....wishing i lived in 1951 also... i have no problem cooking the bacon and having it on the table if he "brings it home") Unfortunately I only have experience with my ex, who preferred to drive nice cars and impress people with posessions and keep up with the Joneses. Now that thatt my girls are in school and I am single, I work only one long day, then I work only when they are in school the rest of the week. It is serious penny pinching, and small, practical living that allows me this luxury.What a novelty it would be to find someone with similar priorities to mine....someday.

    keep your head up and priorities in the order you have... you'll find her.

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  48. Anonymous10/10/2012

    I just wanted to say that sometimes a woman wants to work. That shouldn't make her a bad person or a bad mother. Some women just aren't cut out to be at home 24/7. Whether their husbands are stay at home dads or working dads, it shouldn't matter. Every family has a different dynamic and that doesn't mean they are sacrificing the well being of their children. I know of several moms who work because they need the mental stimulation, the adult interaction and the joy and pride a job/skill brings. That shouldn't be looked down upon! My sister in law is a SAHM and fell into a very deep depression that took quite a while to break out of. She loves her kids dearly, but still needed "something" else in her life. After all, she's not just a mom. That's not what defines her, but it's a piece of her.

    That being said, there are PLENTY of women who want to stay home. And if that's what they want to do, then great. But as I said, everyone's family dynamics are different, as well as their own personal and professional needs. I think people should support each other in what they chose instead of acting as though they don't love their children because they choose to work (I've seen this happen quite often in my circle of friends).

    If you are looking for someone to be a SAHM, you'll find her. I know quite a few! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "I think people should support each other in what they chose instead of acting as though they don't love their children because they choose to work."

      I don't think parents that put their kids in daycare don't love them, for me it is a matter of good, better, best. And as I mentioned in the post, some folks don't have a choice.

      Kids mostly need time from their parents, putting an infant or toddler in daycare while working full-time often means mom and dad are spending nine or ten hours away from their offspring. Is that truly what is best for the FAMILY? No, not in my opinion, not at all.

      I have never bought into the statement you made, I hear it often and shrug:

      "I know of several moms who work because they need the mental stimulation, the adult interaction and the joy and pride a job/skill brings.

      I know of nothing more stimulating and a builder of joy and pride than what a kid offers. Sure, there are times that bite, when it can be lonely, one-sided and boring. But it's a long race, shaping a child into an adult is a marathon, and the future finish is worth the sacrifice now.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10/29/2012

      I think the point is that people are not just parents, but are multi-faceted and desire to stimulate themselves other than being a full time parent. My mother stayed home with us, and honestly, I wish she wouldn't have. Being home with kids all day every day nearly gave her a nervous breakdown.

      The other point is that we can't make blanket statements for everyone: whether staying home or not. To you, there's nothing more stimulating or full of joy and pride than children. To others, that might be one part of what brings them joy/pride/etc.

      Also, it sounds like you're saying it's ok simply because someone is forced into using daycare (single parent or whatnot) but if a parent chooses it, their child suffers?

      Delete
    3. Children are our heritage. Fame, fortune and where we work will not matter or carry on after we pass, but our children and name will.

      I don't think daycare is good for any infant, whether the parent enrolls by choice or not. A single parent often must put their kid in daycare, no choice, but that doesn't mean I support daycare in that situation. See the above post, I bawled like a baby when I dropped my kid off.

      Delete
  49. Anonymous10/17/2012

    This is a tough subject. I am a single mother. I took a full commission job in order to be there for my kids and to be able to work from a home office. I will remain single. My kids had no choice in their birth, the break-up of my marriage, or what I decided to do for a living (that may or may not have forced them into daycare.). I can tell that you love your daughter and want the best for her. Do yourself and her a favor and stay single. Getting remarried and adding children to your family will only add chaos to both of your lives. Trust me, you won't take kindly to some other woman telling your daughter what to do. And you both will suffer from the disruption in your relationship. It's not worth it. It's nice to see a real man stand up for what is right. Keep up the good work with your daughter. She will become a leader and strong by your example.

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  50. Anonymous1/10/2013

    I for one applaud you on your stance in this matter!
    I am a single SAHM because I feel as you, that no one else could love my child to the same degree. His father and I did not agree and I was pushed to find a job. I acquiesced for a time looking and taking what part time jobs I could while preparing to put my son in full time day care...I suddenly realized a short term financial tightening of the belt on my behalf would be so much better for my son than Mommy working full time to try to make Daddy happy and Daddy traveled 50% of the time anyway so he was already being short changed on parental time as it was. I made up my mind to find or make a job that my son could be apart of, so I work in a gym nursery where he can come with me while I am working on opening up my own gluten free bakery/cafe.

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  51. Can I please line you up with my niece...? Good post. Keep up the good work raising a conscientious daughter.

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  52. You know, there are ladies out there firmly in the home maker camp. I think these days it's harder to say that is what you want because it sounds kinda like you want to live off your man's 80 hour work week. And truthfully, it's hard to put your livelihood in someone else's hands, knowing how many relationships don't work. I also think there can be a happy medium, with a home job like blogging or what have you(something that can be done anytime of day without totally detracting from parenting or spouse time) that can marry the self-sufficiency being drilled into our brains and the still-present desire to raise kids ourselves and not by proxy.

    ReplyDelete
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  55. I just had to say this, because the whole gender-role thing really bugs me. Are you opposed to Dad's staying at home and Mom's working? That is definitely how this came across to me! When I was growing up, my Mom worked full time as a lawyer, and my Dad worked part-time while we were at school, as an architect. He was always home after school to drive us around, etc. Your thoughts?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that's great mom and dad chose not to both work full time, which is always best for the kids. Moms are obviously better prepared for certain aspects of child rearing. Breast feeding is one example. Moms also tend to be more nurturing than dads, although that is not true in our case with Pigtails.

      Delete
  56. Anonymous7/03/2013

    I'm with you on a lot of this. I am a stay-at-home mom of three boys. Before we had children I taught public school but I feel like I would miss too much working full time. My husband and I made a decision for me to stay at home, though it is hard when neither one of us had large salaries. However, it has been wonderful and The Lord has been good to us. I have never viewed my former career and education as a waste of time.
    As you've stated, many people cannot quit a career even if they wanted to. But far more couples feel they cannot possibly live on only one income so never really bother trying to work it out. Some women just want to work instead of raise children. Lets just call a spade a spade.
    I'll be honest, I've had many tantrum filled days where I've thought it would be much easier to go to work than deal with that. But not really. It's so worth it for me. I'm sorry that you feel alone on some of these issues. You're not. If you lived near me I would do my best to be a match-maker for you and pigtails.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for the note, check back for my response!