Part-time working moms have healthiest kids?

A new study out of Australia suggests that mothers who work part-time have healthier kids than mothers who work full time or those who stay at home full time.

From The Seattle Times:

“Published by the journal Social Science & Medicine, the study looked at the impact of mothers’ hours of paid work on the lifestyle and weight of about 2,500 children at ages 4-5 years and 6-7 years.”

“It found that at both ages, children whose mothers worked part time were less likely to be overweight, watched less TV, ate less junk food and were more physically active than children whose mothers were working full time or not in paid employment.”

” ‘What we didn’t expect was the finding that the children of mothers in part-time work were healthier than children of mothers at home full time,’ study co-author Jan Nicholson wrote by e-mail from the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute in Melbourne, Australia. ‘What our results may show is that women who work part time, perhaps compared to women at home full time, may have a greater focus on healthy family activities because their time with their kids is limited.’ “

I can see how mothers who work some could be happier than those who worked full time or not at all. I think working a little bit gives a woman something for herself that’s not about her kids. It also gives her time away from her kids to have adult conversation, do adult things and make her miss her kids. I rarely, if ever, miss my children. I am with at least one them 24/7. Also if she wasn’t working full time, she in theory should have less stress from the job and more time to take care of things at home.

But the study was not about the health and happiest of the mom. It was about the health of the children. And I, like the scientists, am surprised that the stay-at-home mothers didn’t have the healthiest kids.

I would think that because they are at home they would be cooking more meals from scratch – indicating less processed foods or fast foods, which should be healthier. They would be home during the day to take them to the playground or out to play. And could keep the kids home to get well if they were sick, which you would think would get the well faster.

The article goes on to explain things they think were excluded from the study – such as if a stay-at-home mom had more than one small child she was caring for, which might reduce the mom’s focus on health and indicate her just trying to keep her head above water.

What do you think: Would you expect the children to be healthier for moms who work, moms who stay home or moms who work part-time? Why?

Which types of moms do you think would be healthier – physically or mentally? What about happier?

70 comments Add your comment

Jeff

April 27th, 2010
7:19 am

Nice topic TWG. Maybe the part-timers mostly worked when the kids were at school. Maybe they get their adult interaction at work, have a little extra cash, feel a little more empowered, etc, etc. When they do get home, they aren’t as stressed about the full time job, so they have the mental focus to make healthier meals? Engage in a little more exercise with the kids? Sounds like it makes sense. I know that’s not reality for some parents, but it’s just a study, not a requirement.

motherjanegoose

April 27th, 2010
7:30 am

JMHO but I do think that if you are able to work part time and perhaps meet your own needs you are a happier mother.

As many know, I have always worked. I am typically off a good bit during the holidays and several weeks in the summer ( my choice and not paid). I love being off and home with my family ( picnics, walks in the neighborhood, hanging out) when I can, but I am ready to go back to work and do what I like to do.

Unfortunately, there are perhaps millions of moms who are working and do not enjoy their job. This would not make you happier. I think it is good for kids to see a Mom who is proud of her job expertise and the contribution she makes to society.

T…the ” I would think that because they are at home they would be cooking more meals from scratch…” makes me laugh. When we moved into our neighborhood over 12 years ago, I heard this from a Mom who had been at the pool all day with her kids:
“I am so exhausted from being out here all day that there is no way I can cook dinner. I am calling my husband to tell him to meet us at O Charley’s.” I nearly died laughing. Poor thing, she could not take the stress of the pool. I really wondered if I had moved into the WRONG neighborhood.

Finally, I just heard about a previous neighbor, who moved out of state several years ago. Her husband has a fabulous job and she never worked ( to my knowledge). He recently left her and she is working part time at a craft store ( maybe she does like it). She is near 50. She always stayed home and that was her focus: her family. I feel so sad for her, she probably has to find herself again as her kids are grown and she has given her life to her family and now she will be home alone.

A

April 27th, 2010
7:46 am

I can’t speak for stay-at-home moms or women who work outside the home full-time after having kids because I haven’t done either of those things. I was very lucky from the start to be able to define my own work schedule after my son was born. Now the hours I work (from home) are somewhere between part-time and full-time, but the main thing is I can work when I want/need to so I can get my projects and assignments done…it’s usually during the school day but also at night after my son has gone to bed. I am able to get my son from the school bus in the afternoons and take him to any activities or just be nearby when he’s doing homework, having a snack or anything else. And most nights, I’m able to cook a decent meal for my family. It really is the best of both worlds. I never forget how fortunate I am, especially in today’s economy.

Andrea

April 27th, 2010
8:13 am

This actually surprises me. I would think the full time stay at home moms would have healthier kids. I am not surprised however that the moms who do something outside of the home are happier. Every person, male or female, has to have their own identity. If your sole existance is based on someone else, that is not healthy.

cld

April 27th, 2010
8:36 am

I think part-time would be ideal. Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, not everyone has the luxury. I went back to work when my son was three months old (full time). Since then, I have been able to work more and more flexibility into my schedule. Currently I work full-time (which gives me full-time salary and benefits), but I’m only at the office two days a week. The rest of my work is done at home. I LOVE it. I’ve never been so satisfied with my work, than I am now.

Working some outside the home, allows me to appreciate the time I am with my son. But I’m not spending so much time away from him, that I miss him terribly or feel remorse for leaving. When I worked full-time at the office, I did feel that way. For me, it really is the best of both worlds. He actually enjoys going to daycare now – whereas when he was going full-time, he seemed to dread it. I have a wonderfully understanding director, and my HR rep also understands the struggle to find family/work balance.

Because I’m home more, we’re saving on gas and daycare costs. We didn’t eat out often when I worked full-time (once or twice a month), but the meals we eat at home now are more whole-foods based, less from-the-box food. I know my son eats much healthier at home than at daycare – even though I send his organic milk and yogurt. And he can play outside on his schedule (more or less) instead of the group’s schedule.

cld

April 27th, 2010
8:37 am

@Andrea, Just because a woman doesn’t have paid employment, doesn’t mean her only existance is based on someone else. There are plenty of things to do besides work and raise kids/spouses. Volunteer, play sports, travel . . . it’s not a black-and-white world.

Lori

April 27th, 2010
8:44 am

Well, I haven’t read the study, but as a working mom, I have stated many times to my husband that I wish I could afford a part time job instead of full time. My dread would be maybe a 10 – 4 type. That would give me more time in the morning for exercise and then more time in the afternoon for my son’s sports, homework, etc. I guess I’m not alone in my thinking.

Andrea

April 27th, 2010
8:57 am

@cld: I didn’t say the person had to have paid employment. I said they had “something to do”. That covers a myriad of options, including the ones you mentioned. Perhaps I should have made it more black and white by detailing every scenario.

But, I have certainly seen people who based their existence on their children and when the children grew up and developed lives for themselves, the parent was left very alone. Some people have thought of children and family as a panacea for what is lacking in their lives. When contrasting those type of people against those who do something part-time, the part-timers would be the happier people. Being black and white here: That part-time status can include paid employment, non-paid employment, and options that don’t involve employment at all.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

April 27th, 2010
9:15 am

MJG — totally cracking me up!! I will say this about the pool — When I go to the pool with my kids, I am in the water chasing and swimming and being on drowning patrol. I am never, ever laying by the side of the pool reading a magazine. My friends have all started doing that and it’s making me crazy. First off I’m lifeguarding their kids, second off I miss out on all the good conversations because I’m in the pool. After three to four hours of constant vigilance for three kids — including that baby who is my biggest concern — I am exhausted!!! But it doesn’t sound like that lady was playing sharks and minnows with the kids or chasing a 2 year old around the pool. so funny!!

cld

April 27th, 2010
9:22 am

Andrea, you are right. I misinterpreted what you wrote. The sequence of your comment implied that you were equating doing something outside the home, to working outside the home. My apologies.

A

April 27th, 2010
9:24 am

Theresa–unless your friends reciprocate, you shouldn’t have to lifeguard their kids in the pool when you have 3 of your own. That’s one of my pet peeves: when other parents assume you’ll look out for their kids without even asking or offering to do the same. We have a lot of violators of this in our neighborhood where kids (not older ones who can be out without a parent) will just show up and start playing with a group of kids in our cul-de-sac without any sign of their parents anywhere. Other parents are not default babysitters/child amusers. Their parents can at least stick their heads out the door and wave or something, but to just send your kids down the street to me is not very responsible.

Andrea

April 27th, 2010
9:25 am

@cld: No worries – we really agree on this subject. Have a good one!

TT

April 27th, 2010
9:29 am

cld – if you don’t earn a salary, your existance IS based on someone 100%.

JATL

April 27th, 2010
9:36 am

I have said from the moment I became a mother that I think the perfect “work-life” balance would be to work part-time. Unfortunately when your children are little, there are very few part-time jobs that pay enough to justify even part-time childcare. I’m working full time at a job I love now after staying at home for 4 years, and I am much happier. I am extremely grateful for the time I had at home with my young children though -but it was time for me to go back to work! Depending on our economic situation, I can see maybe dropping to part-time once they’re both in school and I don’t have to shell out a ton of money for childcare. I would love to have more free time to be involved in their school activities and to be there when they got out of school every day.

As far as the health issue, I think a lot of that probably goes back to a mind-body connection. When the household is a happy household, chances are there will be less sickness. Of course viruses and colds get us all at some point, but when you are stressed, unhappy and not in a good place, your kids will also sense that and it causes them problems too. This breaks down everyone’s immune system! I think MANY SAHMs are REALLY stressed out and unhappy. I was the entire last year I was at home, and I kept running into women in my same position -financially stressed, exhausted after dealing with 2 or more small children all day (for those of us who are IN the pool like TWG and not lounging somewhere letting some other parent pick up our slack) and really frustrated with a lot of things in life. We’ve all been happier since I’ve been back at work, but it would be perfect if it was part-time!

YUKI

April 27th, 2010
9:37 am

I think that sounds reasonable. Those moms who are lucky enough to be able to balance work with also staying home (part time) would be happier in my opinion, which I would think produces healthier and happier kids. If a mom stays home and is always frustrated, that cannot be good for a kid’s stress level or health. I’m not saying that all stay home moms are frustrated, but taking care of children 24/7 is a HUGE job and one I really admire. I can only hope someday to be able to work part time. I need that “adult” time, I’ve always worked and I would miss it. But, to be able to be there for my child more would be so wonderful. Those of you that can do that should consider yourselves very very lucky!!!

cld

April 27th, 2010
9:38 am

@TT, Technically, not necessarily. A person could be living off their own savings. I’ve known people who did that for 3 – 6 – 12 months or more. However, they are the exceptions. But really, I think the comment was in regard to self-fulfillment. You may have to rely on money from someone else, but it’s the forgetting-about-yourself point that is unhealthy. Not necessarily the financial aspect of relying on someone else is not inherently unhealthy – as long as it is a managed, mutually agreeable and beneficial scenario.

TechMom

April 27th, 2010
10:14 am

The problem is that corporate American doesn’t see the value in part-time workers. Not quite sure why since you don’t have to give them benefits. Maybe they figure the hassle of scheduling and keeping up their hours and such is not worth it. If companies could figure out how to implement a part-time program, I think they’d see a ton of efficiency gains. Think about how many hours a full-time worker wastes each day at the office (2 of the 8 hours they are there is probably a conservative estimate between coffee/bathroom breaks, surfing the web, chatting with your cubicle-neighbor, attending unnecessary meetings, etc). But if you know you have 4 hours to get your work done because you have to go pickup your kid or grocery shop, I guarantee that person isn’t wasting an hour of the 4 they have to work that day. Plus, think about how many women with college degrees leave the work place to be SAHMs? Talk about a brain-drain!

I do think women are happier when they can still feel like they’re a part of the working world, have that connection with adults, are earning some of the household’s money, etc. Plus, I think it’s a huge stress to a SAHM who wants to eventually go back to work but is afraid at how far behind she will be after 5-10 years off.

And I don’t know if it it’s just my personality type but I tend to do more when I have a little bit of a stressful schedule so I wonder if that’s part of why part-time moms have healthier kids. When I don’t have to get up at a certain time in the morning or be anywhere, I tend to move slower and put things off and simply be less productive. Those that have another committment may put more effort into the time they do have with their children and perhaps are more intentional at parenting.

YUKI

April 27th, 2010
10:23 am

TechMom, WELL SAID!!!

cld

April 27th, 2010
10:25 am

@TechMom, I’m with you! I know that when I’m at the office for 9-10 hours, I am wasting lots of time (ahem – not on blogs, though – ahem). But when I’m tring to cram three projects into my son’s two-hour nap – or quickly wrapping up something else before he wakes in the morning – almost every minute I log is value-added.

I am VERY fortunate to have my current arrangement and I truly wish more companies were open to it. Five, four-hour days might not help a mom who still has to pay daycare for her toddler, but that would help a mom whose kids are in elementary school. On the other hand, the flexibility to work two 10-hour days might benefit the toddler’s mom. Yes, there are logistics involved. But if we’re really honest, I think most full-time jobs could be shared or worked through flex-time. We (and our employers) just have to change the way we define a work day (or work week). I may only work four hours during the day when I’m at home, but I put in time at night and on weekends – and carry my e-mail-synched cell phone all week in case I need to handle something in the middle of the afternoon.

linda

April 27th, 2010
11:17 am

once again the fallacy that a stay at home mother is present at her house.

Jeff

April 27th, 2010
11:20 am

How much of the “I HAVE to work” is really “I CHOOSE to work to support the lifestyle I have grown to love and expect”?

It’s not directed at any one person but at the other parents you see and know.

FCM

April 27th, 2010
11:27 am

Jeff I think you hit the nail on the head.

How was the zoo?

As to choosing vs. having to work…Well at my house I do have to work. I choose not to live in section 8 housing or on food stamps. ;) I also make efforts to keep it all balanced.

YUKI

April 27th, 2010
11:45 am

Yeah, and some of us are trying to save for retirement, college, etc…and working allows us way more opportunity to do so. I don’t think driving old cars and living within our means (i.e. no debt other than mortgages) is supporting a lifestyle I’ve grown to “love and expect”. It’s called survival and keeping your head above water doing the best you can. If I didn’t think it was working out in the best interest of my child I would try to find another way!

CPT

April 27th, 2010
11:57 am

I really wish there were more professional part-time opportunities available. I would gladly take a 25% cut in pay and benefits if I could find a good job where I only worked 30 hours a week. I work because I want to – but 40 hours a week is too much when I have 3 small children. 25-30 hours a week would be a perfect balance.

iRun

April 27th, 2010
12:29 pm

I’m down with what Jeff said about lifestyle. My husband and both work full-time and as a result we can afford to live intown in a nice neighborhood with a good public school cluster. It was important to us to have a lifestyle that is urban and less car dependent. It was important to us to raise our child in that environment.

My work involves travel that will take me away from home for at most 2 weeks at a time (several times a year). I sure do miss my family while I am gone. But the perk is that I get a lot of earned leave for it that I can use to stay home when there is a teacher planning day or during spring break.

I also love what I do for a living. I know that my son will only be home for a “few” more years (He’s in 3rd grade but it seems like he’ll be in college as soon as I finish writing this post). When he leaves the house to go to college I will only be 45 years old! It will be good to have my career still on the upswing then.

However, in regards to the study I suppose it’s not a real big surprise. While theoretically a SAHM has time to plan active activities and healthy meals…I don’t think it really happens. I know the SAHMs in my extended family get into a routine of sleeping in, letting the kids play outside with friends while they do laundry, take all the kids to the grocery, do other household obligations since their job is to run the household. The hours run out.

For the fulltime mom, it seems the answer is obvious. Not everyone has the ability to live close to work so there’s a lot of time spent on the road, then at the job. Often the parents (dad’s too) try to shove all the household obligations into the weekend, leaving little time to coordinate activities with the kids. So the kids activities originate from school and maybe any sports they play.

But the part-time mom has more time than the full-time mom. She probably shares the household obligations with her spouse like the full-time mom does, though. So she can focus her free time on “play”.

But that’s all a guess.

catlady

April 27th, 2010
12:33 pm

Teresa, maybe you should set up a “designated mother” at the pool, and take turns! Of course, then you have to deal with the other mothers’ standards of “watching” your kids.

When I was growing up, most women in our area did not work. Actually I cannot think of any of my friends who had working mothers. My mother looked with great disdain at women who sent their kids off to play at other people’s houses. When one of these “string the streets” kids showed up at our house, I had to come in, and the child was sent off. I was also not allowed to go to anyone’s house unless their mother had called mine to invite me–not even the house behind ours! I used that same rule when I was in grad school. I surely didn’t need a bunch of kids to join my 3 uninvited! Most of my adult life I have lived in the country and so there was no problem with that.

And, you know it is true, folks won’t take advantage of you if you don’t let them.

motherjanegoose

April 27th, 2010
12:45 pm

@ A…when my son was in Preschool and I taught Kinder, I would arrive home around 3:30.
Our neighbor would then send her daughter over to visit with my son. EXCUSE ME…we both needed a NAP and I had been with 5 year olds all day long.

Some folks get this and some do not. I am all about swapping turns to keep an eye on kids and have done this most summers when my kids were small. I also carpooled the kids to summer activities! I also have had neighbors bring their sick kids over to lie ( sp?) on my couch, as they had somewhere they had to go and I was home that day. The kids just felt rotten and needed to rest.

@ Jeff…my husband and I made $35,000 TOGETHER when we first moved here 21 years ago!
We both had to work and it was not to fund a lifestyle. I do agree that some parents are caught up in the lifestyle and perhaps one of them could work part time but that is not my business.

Regarding random kids showing up: our neighbor has a basketball goal in the front. There have been 3 middle schoolers shooting hoops there…as far as I know NONE live on our block. My daughter says she does not know them. They were cursing the other day and my husband had a few words about this being a family neighborhood. They are not bothering me but it seems odd they would show up on our block as this is not a public hoop and we have no idea who they are.

@ T…these mothers were chatting all afternoon and not in the pool….LOL.

iRun

April 27th, 2010
12:49 pm

catlady, I suppose it’s just a culture thing. Where I live in the city there are a lot of families with school-aged kids. I live on a block full of families and we sort of treat our connecting backyards as central park and we all sort of that the “village” approach to the kids. They run around between houses and have a great time. They might come over to our house to play in my son’s room for a couple of hours but then they move to another’s house, etc. Most of the time they’re jumping on the one neighbor’s trampoline playing “cage fight”, which is really them testing out acrobatics.

Where we lived before, though, was more likevwhat you’re describing. More formal.

motherjanegoose

April 27th, 2010
12:53 pm

@ catlady You reminded me of a story….

At our last house, we had a privacy fenced in yard. I was grilling chicken strips on the grill and took a few off and put them on the plate, to run inside to grab the phone. My daughter was swinging. Our neighbor behind us homeschooled ( WINK WINK) and her daughter was basically unschooled, as she lived ( unsupervised) in the back yard ( their’s not fenced) or anywhere else on the block.
( this was over a dozen years ago) She must have smelled the food and called through the fence, “I’m hungry…”. My daughter took some chicken and passed it through the fence to her. I came out and asked, “Where is the chicken..” My daughter replied, “_______ is hungry and I gave it to her ( my daughter was no more than 4) . I lost it and told her that she could not have anything to do with her and to come inside if she saw her.
I know I have a very biased opinion against homeschoolers but my experiences have always been of this kind.

TT

April 27th, 2010
12:53 pm

Jeff – i don’t know about you, but both me and my husband have to work in order to make a comfortable living. And no, we do not have or buy latest gadgets. We make quite a bit of money and i drive a10 year old car. We could live on my husbands salary only, but there would be no savings, no colledge savings for kids, no travel, no life insurance. And i think to live this way would be just plain irresponsible.

Could we change our lifestyle and live on less? Absolutely, but we choose live in a safe neighborhood. I think safety and an environment where you and your family sleeps without being afraid that someone will break in your house is the greatest gift that parents can give to their children.

Now tell me – can you afford to buy a house in a nice neighborhood by working 20 hour week? I think your reasoning is out of line. No one is this day and age can afford life basics on 20 hours work per week.

cld

April 27th, 2010
1:13 pm

@TT, I think you validated Jeff’s point: You could cut back, but you choose not to. You believe your reasons are valid ones – and I am not judging good vs. bad reasons – but at the end of the day, it’s a choice you’ve made.

My husband lost his job in the housing crash and had to take a much lower-paying position. As a result, we can’t afford our mortgage on one income (though we have cut back to the point that we’re close). So our plans for me to be a SAHM changed.

We could choose to let the house foreclose, but we choose instead to keep chugging along, cutting where we can (gasp – even when it means we can’t invest for college) until the market comes back to a level that will allow us to at least break even on the house. At that time, we will be able to choose whether or not to downsize our mortgage responsibilities. But it’s still a series of choices we make over weeks, months and years . . . we aren’t forced into any of it.

And I think a lot of people overestimate how much money they’re spending by working. No, the vast majority of families cannot live with food, shelter and some “basic extras” like a safe neighborhood, car, TV, etc – on one 1/2-time income. However, most families could do that on one full-time and one part-time income, or even on just one income. By the time a full-time working parent deducts the cost of his/her commute, daycare fees, wardrobe upkeep, convenience meals (either eating out or buying almost-ready food at the grocery store), and possibly even extra doctor’s appointments from daycare germs . . . I think that parent will find the second income is adding only a very small amount to the bottom line. For some families, that small amount TRULY is the make-or-break deal. For other families, they probably could back a few extras if they REALLY wanted to make a change.

cld

April 27th, 2010
1:20 pm

I also think I’m a little biased. I grew up in a family where Mom stayed home and Dad earned a not-quite-middle-class wage. We lived in a lower-end suburb, drove cars that were about to die (and then Dad would bring them back to life), vacations were long-weekend camping trips to the state park, dinners frequently didn’t have meat, milk sometimes came from a powder form, and there wasn’t even a dream of investing for our college. But you know what? We survived. And we heard the stories about how we weren’t poor because how our parents grew up, THAT was poor.

We all went to college – through a combination of scholarships, our own hard work, and some last-minute savings from Dad. So when I hear what some people (even my own husband) think are necessities, I balk. And the best part? I never felt like I was missing out on a thing. Was society just simpler then? Or maybe I was just surrounded by other work-class families like mine, barely making ends meet?

Katherine

April 27th, 2010
1:20 pm

“But if you know you have 4 hours to get your work done because you have to go pickup your kid or grocery shop, I guarantee that person isn’t wasting an hour of the 4 they have to work that day.”

Bingo! I work full-time, but find that I am so much more productive on days when I am leaving early (for whatever reason, be it a half day because of a holiday or if I have to leave for an appointment or for vacation). I agree that productivity would go way up if more people worked part-time.

TT

April 27th, 2010
1:23 pm

cld – don’t forget the cost of fututre salary. If a women stays at home for 1 year, it may be close to 0, but if a women chooses to stay at home for 10 years, she better calculate the expense for a new degree and exoense of starting employement at an entry salary. Life is moving too fast nowdays. If you are not working, your degree with no experience in 5-10 years will be worth 0.

cld

April 27th, 2010
1:31 pm

That is true. But if you have some experience before removing yourself from the workforce, I’d think you’d re-enter a step up from entry level, depending on how much pre-leave experience you had. So nonetheless, there would be future earnings sacrificed. If you can do some sort of part-time or contract work while staying home, then you keep your foot in the door and have something to list on your resume . . . which I guess brings us back to the part-time scenario.

TT

April 27th, 2010
1:32 pm

And i don’t understand why there is no time to make dinner. There were days when i worked 14 hour days, but i still managed to cook dinner. Throw a piece of steak on a grill, a few potatoes in the microvawe and some veggies in boiling water and you will have a healthy dinner in 15 minutes.

catlady

April 27th, 2010
1:33 pm

iRun: what happens if there is an accident? How would your neighbor with the trampoline feel then?

However, if it works for ALL the neighbors, go for it. I imagine there is someone in the group (like trampoline mom) who feels a little overwhelmed by it, but maybe not.

TT

April 27th, 2010
1:44 pm

cld – i think it depends on how long you stay out of workforce. It 3 years, then yes. If 10 years – i would say no. Too many things would have changed during that time.

iRun

April 27th, 2010
1:52 pm

catlady…there has already been several accidents. It’s one of those trampolines with the net around it, which is how they came up with the idea to play “cage fight”. They use the net like “pro”-wrestlers do to catapult themselves around.

Trampoline mom doesn’t seem to mind. She’s my friend so she’d say something. Everyone is comfortable telling kids to go home when they need to shut down for whatever reasons.

But you’re right…it’s fine because it’s the neighborhood culture so everyone is down with it. If they weren’t then it wouldn’t be the culture and it woudn’t happen. Like in my old neighborhood.

Nobody needs to get defensive about their lifestyle. I work to support the lifestyle I want – urban and car independent. What’s there to defend? There’s nothing wrong with it.

iRun

April 27th, 2010
1:55 pm

Oops, sorry about my grammar…

motherjanegoose

April 27th, 2010
2:07 pm

@ catllady…I wondered if anyone would bring up injuries on a trampoline. I FORBID mine to play on a trampoline…at anyone’s house. This was due to the Erb’s Palsy my daughter had when she was born.

I am sure there are all sorts of safety nets ( pun intended) but I NEVER wanted to walk down that street again, where a child ( of mine) was paralyzed due to an injury. We once observed 6 or so kids playing on our neighbor’s trampoline ( with a net) and a 12 year old as the babysitter…the parents were all gone. I shuddered and forced myself not to look out the window while the kids were carrying on. I know kids play on them all the time but that is something mine never did. Also, bungy ( sp?) jumping.

I pray I will never to be responsible ( again) for a paralyzed child.

TT

April 27th, 2010
2:11 pm

I think many full-time SAHM stay at home not for child’s sake, but because they do not want to work. I have a friend who is a SAHM for 7 years. She is so proud of her sacrifice to be stay at home mom. Forget that she lives in a neighborhood where there is no day without a crime. Police caught a guy with a gun in her back yard during the day. How is this better for a child? As a parent, my first priority would be going to work, so I can afford safety for my children.

JATL

April 27th, 2010
2:14 pm

I went back to work full time because I was going NUTS at home all the time! I was and still am very active with my kids, but I needed to go back to work. We were also BARELY making it. We were doing okay, but anytime anything extra came along, it was a nightmare to make ends meet. I can’t tell you how wonderful it has been to actually have some extra money for a change! I do wish I could be at home more with my very youngest, but we still spend a lot of time together and both of my children seem to be thriving with their nanny and preschool situation.

We aren’t going out and buying all sorts of “extras” but it is SO nice to actually buy a pair of shoes or some clothes without feeling like I’ve plunged us into near bankruptcy. We also enjoy providing our kids with a lot of different experiences, and many of those cost money.

@iRun -I think we may live in the same neighborhood or very close to one another! We chose to stay in the city because of the same reasons, and we have a thriving little area full of kids and decent public schools!

cld

April 27th, 2010
2:20 pm

TT, I know the kind of mom you’re talking about. A daughter of an acquaintance, didn’t graduate high school, but did go on to have a baby at (I think) 19. She was completing her GED and – bam! – got pregnant again. The timing was uncanny. Meanwhile, they can’t afford their house payment.

Cammi317

April 27th, 2010
2:22 pm

I can believe it and wish I had the luxury of being part-time on a permanent basis. I did it for six months last year when I had to take a temporary salary cut and it was wonderful. My psyche was good and therefore I had a lot more patience with my daughter, so she was good. Eventually we learned to cut back and got accustomed to lesser money, of course once the salary came back all of that went out with the wind. I wouldn’t mind going back and making it permanent if I had the option, which I do not….

cld

April 27th, 2010
2:23 pm

But at the same time, I know women who “want so badly” to stay home with their little ones, but can’t seem to give up their new cars, thrice-weekly dinners out, twice-monthly movies out or gym memberships. I think we all just have to be honest about what really is priority for us. Apparently to the mom in your story, safety is not high on the list.

mom2alex&max

April 27th, 2010
2:31 pm

TechMom: if I had to guess, I’d guess that at least 60% of office jobs that non-customer service based could be done part time instead of full time. I wish more companies would do that. You’d get SO many talented and productive moms that waste ZERO time in office dramas, worthless meetings, needless gossip and water cooler antics!

Babymomma

April 27th, 2010
2:35 pm

MJG – were your kids allowed to do ANYTHING? You yell at your daughter for feeding a hungry child. You FORBID them to be around trampolines. Poor babies. While all their friends were having fun, they were in the house, with their little noses pressed up against the window, were’nt they?

If you don’t allow your kids to get hurt, how are they gonna grow? How will be not be afraid of every little thing. There is such a thing a OVER parenting a kid, and I think you win the prize.

But then again, you are the child expert and we should all listen to your LONG posts……You work with kids….Am I the only one who gets this?

iRun

April 27th, 2010
2:45 pm

JATL – which neighborhood do you live in? I live near Little 5 Points.

iRun

April 27th, 2010
2:55 pm

There’s no need to be hostile towards MJG. I might subscribe to the “free-range” kid concept but not everyone does and it’s not necessarily right for every kid.

Though I don’t think I would have gotten mad at my kid or the neighbor kid for eating some chicken. That’s kinda funny, actually.