Tuesday, August 5, 2008

From Corporate Grind to SAHM

A good friend of my recently had her first baby, at which time she quit her job and decided to stay home with him full time. It is no surprise, because I've mentioned it many times, I am not a SAHM - I work a full time job and always have. I think it takes a special person to be able to stay home everyday with their kids and although I love my children I crave adult conversation and interaction. I do however give props to those mommies who do it, because I think that regardless of what miserable and/or crappy day I might have had at work, I can leave it there and come home, they however do this job ALL THE TIME!

Back to my point...

My friend quit her job and became a SAHM and it got me thinking, "Why go thru the corporate rat race to just give it up in the end?" She graduated from college, ventured off on her own to start a job at entry level and over the course of 4 years she fought the daily grind of work, catty co-workers, self-centered bosses and eventually climbed her way up the food chain. She easily worked 60 hour weeks and made sacrifices on her personal behalf because she didn't have a family waiting at home for her. In this time I watched a person grow from enjoying what she did to despising the work, feeling disenchanted and biding her time until she could leave.

I am not saying that we all don't feel this way sometimes, I know all too well how frustrating long work hours without any break can do to the psyche, however I've also never felt like I wanted to leave it all behind for something different. A different job or work environment, perhaps, but never just walk away. When my first daughter was born, I was a single mother, not working was not an option. When my second daughter was born, this was an option, but I chose to go back.

I've worked for this life I lead, I've gained knowledge so I could advance, I've worked long hours to show dedication in hopes of being considered for the next promotion/raise and I've also juggled my schedule so that I could be there when my family needed me most. I just can't imagine going thru all of that just to walk away at the end - why? Why do it if it is not where you want to be headed? Why put yourself thru corporate misery if in the end you don't want to climb the ladder?

I think both jobs are equally important, working mother and stay at home mother. I think they are both demanding on your time and difficult as well as rewarding. I understand doing one or the other out of necessity but busting your butt to build that work portfolio seems like a lot of work just to walk away in the end.

Do you think the corporate grind is worth it if in the end you decide to become a SAHM?



I was a SAHM with all of my kids, and wouldn't trade it for anything.
I didn't have a corporate job to leave behind, though. It does seem like a 'waste', but I've always assumed that most moms who end up as SAHMs, didn't really plan it that way. Some who I know planned to go back, but once the baby came, couldn't do it.

J & J Acres said...

I think that being in the corporate grind makes some women realize that they're happier at home. So I think it's worth it from that aspect. They don't have to wonder 'what if.'

I will more than likely never be a SAHM, and sometimes I wonder how in the world one-person-working-families do it.

Queen of the Mayhem said...

I am guessing her priorities changed once she had her baby. Maybe it was just a good excuse to get out of a job she despised!

I work full time. I have all the respect in the world for SAHMs....but I honestly don't know if I could do it!

April said...

I (personally) don't think the coporate grind is worth it. I don't have a career...just a job. I've done the same mindless work for over ten years and have pretty much despised it.

I would love, love, love to be a stay at home mom. While I realize that like you said you can leave your job at work and go home at the end of the day where you can't do taht as a SAHM, it's a sacrifice I'm willihng to make. I do not feel fulfilled or like aI do anything "IMPORTANT" at my job whereas I know that, for me, being A SAHM will be the most fulfillign job I've ever had.

I think that's totally great taht you love what you do and you are so happy with the balance you have between work and family. I do envy thAt!

Semi-Charmed Wife said...

This issue has been on my mind lately. I worked my ASS off to put my self through undergrad and grad school on my own, and in the last 5 years, I've doubled my salary twice. If I were to quit work to stay home with kids, would all of that have been a waste? I just don't know...

Jojo said...

Believe me, SAHM's want to have a break too. but anyway, I think maybe you're viewing this in a wrong way. When you're young and you're starting out in your career..you never think oh after certain years I'll quit, you do it anyway because it's the progress and advance of life. But once the baby came, she didn't "waste" all that time. She got what she wanted from the climb and now has simply changed her life. For better or for worse is her outlook. Just because you plan to have kids in the future and want to stay with them doesn't mean you shouldn't pursue your career and stay in a static mindless job until they come. right? If she goes back to work, all that work she put in will give its payback.