They wrote a list of questions for SAHMs and WMs directly related to their individual roles in the home/society/etc. I think it's REALLY interesting. Answering the questions causes you to better understand your situation, why you're in it, whether it's really what you want, and what it means for you, your spouse, and your child(ren).
I took the liberty of posting and answering the WM questionaire below. I have also attached the questions for SAHMs. Feel free to answer any/all of the questions as they relate to you. I'd love to see some of your "favorite" questions in the comments section to compare with other moms answers. This would be a great group of questions to answer, also, if you haven't had kids yet and are not sure whether you'd like to stay at home versus go back to work. It's a difficult decision to make, but I think these questions would help you to address challenges you might face on either side of the spectrum. Enjoy!
Questions for Working Moms
How much money do you spend on childcare? Is it more than either parent's
Our childcare cost is $170 per week. Once M.D. is off the bottle that cost reduces to $140 per week. It actually doesn't cost us this much because I am able to use pre-tax dollars to pay for his daycare so it's hard to put an "actual cost" on it.
That is definitely not more than Steven or my salary.
Are you working for money, or for satisfaction? Both?
When I first went back to work after M.D.'s birth I was entirely working for the money. Every ounce of me wanted to stay home with him all day, every day and never leave his side. Now that 6 months have passed (and 3 months of working) I see the benefit in having my "adult time" outside of the home. I also enjoy having my own income that contributes to our household.
Do you have dinner with your kids every night?
Yes, and I always will be able to. I am blessed to have a job that allows me to be home by 4pm most-every day.
Have you missed a moment in your child's life that you regret?
Not yet! I've been there for all of the big ones so far. I'm sure there will be things that I will miss...but there are also lots of opportunities that will be available to him because he has a two-income household.
What is slipping through the cracks?
My sanity. Only kidding :)...sort of. Probably "me-time". By the time I get off of work, I am so darn excited to see that little boy that I rush right to daycare, pick him up, take him home, and then attempt to run a household AND mother a child at the same time until he goes to bed. It's hard to get in a lot of "Laurel-time". This is something I need to work on. We pay the same for daycare whether I pick him up at 4pm or 5:30pm so I have 1.5 hrs right now that I could utilize for this a few days a week.
How do you deal with the working mom guilt?
I remind myself that I feel this is best for M.D. (that I work). Not only will it give him more opportunities (we can afford sports, activities, lessons, vacations, braces (YIKES), etc), but daycare also gives him a great opportunity to learn social interaction skills on a daily basis from a young age. You gotta look at the silver lining :)
Are you working outside of the home because of someone else's pressure?
No. Steven always said he preferred that I work as well but that was something we agreed on....except those first few weeks back...then I didn't agree :)
Do you feel you made the right choice?
How do you do it all? No, really. I need to know.
I don't. Simple as that. Most days I go to bed with something left undone (or sometimes, lots of things left undone). The dishes aren't done, the laundry isn't done, the floors weren't cleaned, etc. That's been the hardest adjustment. My idea of a happy home has always been a clean & organized home. Everything in it's place. I would NEVER go to bed (pre-M.D.) without everything being put away, cleaned, etc. This is my new reality. Prioritize. M.D. is #1 so as long as he has been fed, cleaned, changed, and is happy we already have success. Steven & I need to be fed, cleaned, and happy as well. Next comes chores, the house, organization, etc. That has taken a backburner.
Is your partner an equal parent?
Yes. Steven is willing and able to do everything for M.D. that I do. On a daily basis, I tend to take more of a leading role. This is partially for practical purposes (I am home more during the day with him due to having shorter work hours) and partially because I am a control freak and I prefer to be the one to pick out his clothes, prepare his food, change his cloth diapers, etc, etc, etc. Bottom Line: I have an equal partner when I'm willing to accept one :)
So there's my answers. What would yours be?
Here's the link to the original article.
And here are the SAHM questions:
Have you had to cut back on spending? Where did you cut?
Do you fight about money more than you did before?
Are you resentful of your working spouse?
Does your working spouse feel all of the financial burden, and is resentful
Do you feel satisfied?
Are your kids tired of you?
Are you staying at home because of someone else's pressure? Spouse, parent,
Are you worried about going back to work some day after being out for so
Do you have an equal say in financial decisions?
Do you feel you made the right choice?
Annndd...here's a super cute picture of M.D. to close out this posting :)
(thanks Grandpa John E. for the adorable Carhartt outfit!) And no, that is not a halo over his head, that is in fact his whispy white hair that he inherited from his mother.