I grew up with a stay at home mom. She was 33 when she had me and had already worked many years as a teacher. When I was in the 5th grade she went back as a full-time teacher for a year and then substituted after that until last year when she decided to join my Dad in retirement.
I am not sure if she is the reason why I did things the way I did. I knew I wanted to finish college before I got married. That was not something I was willing to compromise on. I got engaged at my graduation party and married 8 months later. I was pretty optimistic about my future career. I also had a plan. I would get a job I loved and work for a few years. Then we would have kids and I would become a stay at home mom. I didn’t really think much past that. I didn’t think about when I would go back to work. I just knew that I wanted to be a stay at home mom.
I wasn’t able to find a job in my career field that paid enough. They wanted someone with a Masters or someone who spoke spanish. I ended up working for a temp agency making more than I would have in some of the jobs I came across that would use my degree. Sociology is a degree but there isn’t much if you only have your BA.
I worked for about 2.5 years before my son was born and I finally got what I wanted. I was able to be a stay at home mom. We lived in a townhouse in the same city I had lived in for college, right where my husband grew up. When I quit my job I was selling books on Ebay. This brought in a little bit of money. After we moved to Kentucky, I added children’s clothing and got really into it. I was making a part-time income but it was busy and my mom helped out a lot from California as she would help shop for clothes I could sell.
Then, we moved to Germany. You can’t sell on Ebay in Germany so I closed up that business and was a stay at home mom until we moved back to the states in 2010. By then I had two boys and was pregnant with my third. I didn’t think I could do Ebay again, not the way I was doing it before so I focused on some other things. I had started my blog and was starting to get more interest in that.
Ever since 2010 I have been making money from home in one form or another. I love it. I love that I have something to focus on. I love that I have my own career and that I can do it around my kids, although that is very difficult sometimes. It’s much easier when all of them are in school on certain days. I am never ever bored because between the house, the kids and my work, there is always something to do.
At the moment I am a mix between the stay at home mom who takes care of the house and the work at home mom who is making some money. My husband works full-time out of the house. It’s very traditional looking. Yet, I don’t see myself that way. My husband was the stay at home Dad and I was working from home for part of 2014. I have good friends that are working moms. I don’t think one way is better than any other. You have to do what works for your family at the time.
And I am only 35…I have a lot of time. I can go back to school. I can grow my writing career. I feel like I have a lot of room to do something different in a few years if I want to.
What about you? Are you a SAHM? Do you work from home? Do you work outside the house? What’s your ideal?