My baby has started school: What does a mom do now?

All three kids are in school now. So what is a stay-at-home mom who works some from home to do?

All three kids are in school now. So what is a stay-at-home mom who works some from home to do?

For the last 11 years I have had at least one child at home with me for a large chunk of the school day. But now my youngest has headed off to full-time kindergarten leaving me with an empty house from 8 to 2:30  – except for the trusty dog of course.

From age 29 to 40 I have been a stay-at-home mom who worked some from home, but now I am at a crossroads in my life.

Do I go back to work full-time, do I maintain my same amount of work hours from home but keep a very organized and neat home, or do I try to take on more work hours but not quite be full-time?

Just mentioning on the blog yesterday that my youngest had headed off to school started a debate about what does a stay-at-home mom do all day while her kids are in school.

Here are a few opinions from the blog yesterday:

“jarvis

August 6th, 2012
9:44 am

What does a mom with all school aged children normally do during the 6 hours the children aren’t at home?”

“homeschooler

August 6th, 2012
10:05 am

@ Jarvis, here is what my friends do. work out for an hour every day. Keep their home neat and tidy. Beds made, dishes always done. Get all the laundry done so there are never piles of laundry on the table or the sofa. Plan and fix healthy meals so their kids are not being fed a constant diet of pizza and chicken fingers. Grocery shop so they are not the ones in the store with a screaming child at 6pm, volunteer at the school, go on field trips with their kids. Pay bills, meet handymen, cable people and take care of other household chores. They are rested and have little stress once their spouses and children get home. They can then focus on homework without trying to do dinner, homework, laundry etc.. all in the three or four hours they have to spend with their families every evening.
Seriously, people can say all day long that they can do it all but families are by and large better off if they have a dedicated person to run the home. It is a full time job. Now I’m sure that many will respond that they work full time and their homes and families run perfectly but those people who can truly give 100percent to work and family are few and far between. I know I can’t. I don’t know a mom who sits around watching movies or eating bonbons every day. Basically they do all those things that the rest of the world tries to squeeze in after 6pm and on the weekends.”

“RJ

August 6th, 2012
10:43 am

“Seriously, people can say all day long that they can do it all but families are by and large better off if they have a dedicated person to run the home.”

And where did you get this data? For the record, I’ve been a stay at home mom, but I had kids at home with me. Sorry, but once my son 3, I returned to work full time. You can work full time, cook healthy dinners and take care of the home. In my house, taking care of the home is EVERYONE’S responsibility. Make up your own bed. I have a family member whose husband is a doctor. Every time I see her she looks like she’s gained another 10lbs. Her house is far from clean. I would say that she spends much of her day sitting around eating bon bons and whatever else she can find. She does do community service work, so I guess that counts for something. But her job is MUCH easier than what I do.

On topic, no party for me. I’m teaching the kids. Back to work I go.”

Of course money is a factor in the decision to go back to work. Like any family we could use the extra income, but I also feel like I need to be there for homework, getting them to all their activities and serving a nice home-cooked dinner. (From what I see from friends with middle-school kids and high-school kids the extra-curricular schedule is even crazier than when they are little.)

I would love to work from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. so I could get them to school in the morning and then be home when they need me. (I don’t want to give up the mom blog of course. I love examining modern family life with you guys. But I could take on more work with them in school.)

This fall, I am teaching digital media again at a local university and that really is perfect. I teach a four-hour lecture one day a week while my kids are in school. I can plan my lessons and grade from home. I am hoping to maybe teach a second class next semester.

So here are my dream jobs if anyone is hiring!

1.  Teach more classes at the university. I love teaching journalism. I love being with the students. It is invigorating, fun and challenging. I feel like I have great first-hand knowledge to share with them, and I am equally good at listening to them. It’s amazing how many just want to talk to someone.

2.  I would love to work for or start a non-profit literacy group for kids. Remember that blog I ran a few months ago about how middle-income kids receive about 1,000 hours of one-on-one reading time before they start first grade and low-income kids get 25! Low-income kids are working from such a disadvantage before they even enter school.  This would be such an easy thing to fix. I would love to organize a program that brings volunteers into churches, daycare centers and schools to read to underprivileged kids.

3.   I think I would be happy working for some type of child advocacy group – organizing, promoting, recruiting volunteers, working with the children.

My passions are children and education and if you could roll journalism into that some way I would be a fulfilled worker.

What do you think: Should moms go back to work full-time out of the house, in the house, or just work part-time when all the kids are in school? Are homework, running the house, and those crazy activity schedules reason enough to stay home?

What would your dream job be? What hours would it be? Would you change industries?

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Duh

August 7th, 2012
6:33 am

Your child is the center of no one’s universe but yours. Yes, sometimes your kid is wrong. Be your kid’s parent, not his/her friend.

gtmom

August 7th, 2012
7:02 am

As a working mom, I find that as the kids get older and in to activities and homework, working full time has been tough. Also, my children will whine when we need to leave the house on the weekend since they are never at their house to play with their toys. There are no toys or messes spread across my house. Just a sign that we only sleep at our house… not live there. We have 1.5-2 hours to make a full dinner (a must for me), clean the kitchen, do homework, and get ready for bed. When we have a sport during the week, I come home early to get a good meal in but then work 12-14 hours the next day to make up for it. I usually discourage a lot of extracurricular activities unless it is something my child really wants. As soon as my child does not put his whole heart in it, we finish the season and I will not let him participate in it the next season. About making my kid lunch, my child has been required to make his own lunch (when he had to take it) since he was 5. He had more time than I did and it was his lunch!

If you can work part time, it seems like it is the best of both worlds. I agree with those that say the less stressed household is more important. If your family can afford it, I would keep work hours down so that you can have your own down time! Be glad that you are allowed to make a choice.

Shannon W

August 7th, 2012
7:29 am

I agree with gtmom. I am finding working full time harder with an elementary-aged kid than it was with babies or preschooler and am seriously considering part-time or freelance work after my youngest child starts school next month. Even though we have more time than gtmom between coming home and bedtime (typically 3-3.5 hours), I still feel like we are too rushed.

Part-time and/or mostly on your terms is the way to go.

pws

August 7th, 2012
7:47 am

I agree that the middle school and high school extra curricular activities will take up more of your time. That said, I worked full time the entire time mine were at home, and also participated in all their activities. Did I have any “me” time? Not a lot, but then by the time we had them, I was ready to spend my time with them, instead of myself. I enjoy every minute of being a mom, and also an engineer. But I didn’t do it all by myself, I had a supportive husband who understood that the kids belonged to him as well, and his participation was just as important as mine. We had to live an organized life, and try to stay on a schedule. I once had a middle school teacher whose only complaint about one of my kids was their messy locker. I explained to this teacher that I didn’t really care about the locker being messy, as long as it didn’t have spoiled food in it! I told her that if the locker was messy, it was because she was organized in other areas of her life. Like gtmom, the kids learned responsiblity from the time they were little, that they had to do some things themselves. They are 27 and 23 now, one getting ready to take her professional engineering exam in mechanical engineering and the other started her second year of medical school yesterday. TG, when I read your blog yesterday, I was thinking about it being her first day of second year and hoping that she had a good day.

Metro Coach

August 7th, 2012
8:01 am

Some of the comments from the previous blog brought my attention to a serious question…Do people still eat “bonbons”?

April

August 7th, 2012
8:04 am

It only gets crazier as they get older. I actually know people who made the decision early on to work when the kids were small and cut back when they hit middle school. In middle and high school the academic demands increase but so do the extra curriculars and the social demands. These are the years when you really need to stay involved in knowing who their friends are and asking questions about how their day went. Sometimes it is not as much fun as I was in elementary school but it is just as important.

From here, increasing your class load at the university seems the perfect answer if you want or need something more than you are doing now. You will appreciate the flexibility and availibity this will give you.

motherjanegoose

August 7th, 2012
8:30 am

TWG…I wish you the best if you decide to start something new. I am all about literacy and also children.

It is tough out there, for those who want to be creative and especially to work for themselves! I started what I do 15 years ago. It has been amazing and I love what I do. I am sad that many schools cannot find time for on site field trips or hands on learning that can be fun. I received this e-mail yesterday: ” Due to budget restrictions and the time constraints we have for the implementation of our new curriculum, we will not be able to have as many field trips or programs for the children here at the school this year. Thanks for what you do for children and schools-you have a rare talent! I’m so sorry that we will not be able to book you.” This is a school that only books me once a year, so it is not a big deal.

Many schools today, cannot deviate from the set curriculum or they do not have ANY $$ for extras. Can parents not send in $5 at the beginining of the year, to fund special shows for the children. Or are so many receiving so many things for free that the parents do not know that some things cost $$? I gladly paid this fee when mine were small and we were living on a LOT less money, as there were programs that I wanted them to see! Schools also took lots of field trips while mine were in elementary. Today schools simply cannot do it with the liability and travel expenses. Many opt for in house trips but even those are being cut!

Here is a serious question I have…if people do not have money…why were there so many people recently in Orlando and at the airport? Whey were there so many people shopping at the Tanger Outlet Stores in Pigeon Forge last week? Stores that are high end? It was tax free weekend but still…some of those stores are pricey ( to me). Even the Mall of GA was packed. Do they all use credit cards?

I applaud anyone who wants to branch out on their own but it is tough out there. I was at my printer yesterday. The owner used to work with a national chain, that I used. They do a wonderful job and I am always happy with their work. They echoed my frustration with the fact that their business is not nearly as solid as they would like it to be. Sad, to me.

Any idea when things might turn around?

FJ

August 7th, 2012
8:36 am

My youngest went to k last year and I can honestly say I did not have enough to keep me busy. This fall I will be working part time teaching preschool. I will be done by around 1:30 pm so I will be able to pick them both up and be here in the afternoons for homework, sports, and household duties. The biggest challenge for me is going to be mornings. They go to different schools and we have no bus (private) so I will have to get all 3 of us to different schools by 8:30 AM. It is going to be a fire drill every day. We haven’t started yet, so ask me again if this is a good idea in a couple of weeks. :)

homeschooler

August 7th, 2012
8:53 am

@April, I was going to say the same thing. People tend to allow middle and high schoolers to separate themselves from the family as they get older. Easier to do when you are so tired and running around like a crazy person. I know a lot of people who don’t even see their teens for days at a time between extra-curriculars and work. Kids at this age can quickly feel like no one cares and they realize no one is really watching so anything can happen. Despite what they say or how they act, they want you close-by and they need you. Again, not to say no one is close-by if you work and every situation is different. It seems to me that those who choose to work full time, because they don’t really need the money and/or they are happy in their careers do fine and handle the stress level pretty well but the ones who have to work to put food on the table, or who don’t enjoy their jobs would love to be spending more time at home. Money is probably more the factor than working or not working. Isn’t it always? :-)

I think working part-time and/or working from home is a great plan. I like the idea of teaching college classes. I always wanted to teach social work courses to college students. I liked the idea because I could continue to work just a few nights a week. I really like being home during the day. Alone or with kids I just like to have that freedom. Working at night is so much less stressful to me.

Blatant

August 7th, 2012
8:56 am

All that time at home alone means more time with your secret boyfriend.

Seriously, maybe find a full time job that will put an end to this blog.

Also, do you think it is wise to post photos of your children on the internet?

DB

August 7th, 2012
9:10 am

Like April, I was shocked when, before I had kids, a co-worker chose to quit and be a SAHM when their child hit middle school. When asked why, she smiled knowingly and said, “THIS is the age that they can get in trouble and need someone at home after school!!

PLEASE don’t ask the question, “Should moms stay at home?” I absolutely hate the sanctimonious finger-pointing and guilt-tripping that almost always accompanies the answers. That was the whole point of the women’s movement — to allow you the choice to do what was right for YOU and YOUR family, and not just to force women into a different kind of slavery.

You know your marriage and your family better than we do, you know how much participation in running your home you can expect from Michael and the kids. To run a home and family well requires a series of tasks — meal planning, home maintenance, child supervision and rearing,m community participation and last but most importantly, the time put into your relationship with your spouse. It depends on each family how those items are weighted in order of importance. Some people get help in the areas they need help with, such as house cleaning or child supervision.
Nothing wrong with that, if it helps you balance everything else. I think that’s the point — balance.

T, you now have a gift — a breather, a few hours in the day. You don’t get time back. You’ve been a hands-on mom for 11 years, and if you have the gift of a few hours to explore other areas that are interesting to you, I say go for it. Lilliana has 13 years of school. You don’t want to look back at 53 and say, “Damn, I wish I had . . .” Talk to Michael, and made some choices that work for YOU and your family. And don’t let any of us put a guilt trip on you one way or another!

Augusta

August 7th, 2012
9:41 am

We have a few kids who come home with my kids, because they love coming home to a house with a parent there. They feel secure. Every afternoon, I have at least double the amount of kids in my home, sometimes till after dinner. Some parents don’t get home until after 6, and some kids don’t like being home alone. My door is always open!!!

jarvis

August 7th, 2012
9:47 am

What are you going to do in 14 years when they are all gone?
Maybe it’s time to help prepare for that.

You’ll be in your mid-50’s. Will you and Michael retire? Will you go back to work?
It’s reasonable to think you will have another 30 years of life left at that point. I assume that you have no 401(k) or defined benefit to speak of. How can you help to contribute to Michael and your future?

Go back to school….only if you’re planning on going back to work at some point. Otherwise, it’s a tremendous waste of time, money and effort. I love school, but it’s a very expensive hobby.

motherjanegoose

August 7th, 2012
9:51 am

Sorry for my rant. I was simply thinking that, each year, there are lots of people out there who are very creative and could start up a new business. I know so many folks who are great at what they do but the economy today is not welcoming them. I think it is an ideal set up when Moms, with children at home, can venture out and earn an income on their talents instead of being forced into a 40 hour a week job away from home. I realize that not everyone can or wants to do this. I am lucky that I have had a somewhat flexible schedule and I think this is what TWG is aiming for too. I applaud her for this blog. Even though the topics are not always of interest to me, she has brought lots of people together to discuss things and even created friendships! Thanks TWG.

homeschooler

August 7th, 2012
10:27 am

@ TWG..I just thought of something else. MJG actually made me think of it. I think the perfect job for a woman who just wants a supplemental income and flexible hours is being a sales rep for things like Pampered Chef, Southern Living, 31 Gifts etc.. Moms usually know a lot of people who can host these parties and I always thought it would be fun to find creative ways to market the products etc.. I’m always thinking of this stuff because when my kids are grown I will be retiring at a very early age (I’ll have 30 yrs with the state) and I want to do something that is FUN. This would be so fun to me. Getting paid to go to parties. Getting tons of free stuff. fun! You would have to love the product (my choice would be Discovery Toys or Southern Living). Just a thought.

Techmom

August 7th, 2012
10:39 am

I definitely think it’s harder as the kids get older. Especially with multiple who have to be in different places and they can’t drive themselves. Pre-school was a breeze- I dropped him off at early care and picked him up from extended care and home we went. It was more of a pain when he started playing sports and 2-3 days a week we went straight from extended care through the drive-thru, changed in the car on the way to practice and then didn’t get home until 7:30 or 8. But nothing like middle school sports with away games that start at 4pm or all of a sudden they cancel practice and you have to pick them up at 3pm. What if you don’t live/work nearby? Then you have to start calling around to find someone to pick your kid up. It’s just too hard to have two working parents if one doesn’t have a flexible schedule or work from home.

I have been very blessed to be able to work from home and most of the time I’ve had a flexible assignment. The past year or so I have not but he was a junior and could drive. I have a friend/co-worker who considered quitting when her kids were born but she wasn’t really ready to quit. I talked to her about it and told her that it would get crazier as they got older and if she was happy with the daycare her children were in and happy working then maybe it was for the best that she planned to be the SAHM later. I know it seems backwards but I totally agree middle and high schoolers need a parent who is available and engaged.

FCM

August 7th, 2012
10:40 am

@ TWG I commented yesterday that I loved Walsh’s expression in the photo (the one posted above that I saw yesterday on the facebook page). Yet you told me Walsh was not in the photo shoot.

I think you should find out what your new routine is going to be before you commit yourself to anything else. Both Lili and Rose are in transition years. Since you do have the luxury of being home, be there for them.

A

August 7th, 2012
10:48 am

@homeschooler, I personally find those direct sales companies to be terribly annoying. I used to get invitations all the time for Mary Kay, Silpada, 31 gifts, you name it. I went to a few only to quickly figure out it’s a huge scam and unless you are the host or the rep you are paying way too much for stuff that isn’t all that great in quality. I prefer to purchase directly from merchants if I can rather than through an intermediary. This way, I know my money is going to the company that makes the product rather than some glorified sales person.

motherjanegoose

August 7th, 2012
10:48 am

@TWG…if you want to follow homeschooler’s advice…you need to check in with newmom. She can probably set you right up!

motherjanegoose

August 7th, 2012
10:50 am

@A…I do not go to those parties either, as I prefer to be invited to a party to visit and mingle…not as a potential $$$ sign. That is just me. Lots of woman love them. When I invite someone to lunch…I want to visit with that person and not sell them anything.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

August 7th, 2012
11:11 am

Hey FCm — I think I wrote — i meant to write — he wasn’t “into” it meaning he was miserable doing it hence the eye look —

FJ — I had the fire drill all last year — three different school and hitting the times back to back to back — we didn’t have bus service for any of the options — this year Rose can take a bus which makes me so happy and the younger two are at the same school (no bus service cause we live close) so onely one drop off ad pick up and I am happy to be off that ride. I feel for you!!!

On the selling stuff — I am really not comfortable hitting up friends to host parties. I feel badly about it. I feel bad asking friends to like my Facebook page. But I know it works for a lot of moms.

The teaching preschool works great too for a lot of moms because it starts later and ends before regular school.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

August 7th, 2012
11:12 am

Our Atlanta Bargain Hunter has posted a bunch of ways to save during the tax holiday — see link below

http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-bargain-hunter/2012/08/07/sales-tax-holiday-back-to-school-sales-savings/

HB

August 7th, 2012
11:18 am

FCM, I think she said he wasn’t into the photo shoot (didn’t like posing), not that he wasn’t in it.

homeschooler

August 7th, 2012
11:19 am

Oh, I agree those invitations are annoying and I have certainly ignored my share of them. But a lot of people love the products and obviously a lot of sales reps are making decent money selling them. I always go to Pampered Chef parties if I am invited because I still use each and every thing I ever purchased from them. Same for Discovery Toys when my kids were younger. As a mom who worked in daycare, home schools and has worked with kids for 25 yrs I think Discovery Toys makes the best products. I have never been dissatisfied with anything I bought from them. Therefore, I would sell their products in a minute. And I am not a sales person AT ALL. Just saying it is a legitimate field of work and a lot of people are happy doing it. Just ask the ladies in the pink Cadillacs. :-) I have definitely gone to these parties and not bought anything. Does anybody remember the Longaberger baskets. Yeah, I passed on that one.

catlady

August 7th, 2012
11:20 am

I had a child in K-12 for 22 years, but I worked or went to school full time and worked part- time, so I don’t have any good ideas. I know now I would like to work part-time–but my co will not agree.

lucinda

August 7th, 2012
11:24 am

Either way you work it (stay home vs. outside employment) has pros and cons. At the end of the day, you just have to figure out what works for your family. I had no choice but to work full time, which means my kids have learned balance and efficiency by watching me do that. But they would have learned other things had I been home full time.

You can’t have it all. Do the best you can. That’s really all there is to it.

Techmom

August 7th, 2012
11:30 am

Professional companies don’t like part-timers. I haven’t quite figured out why. I think a lot of times, those folks are more focused while at work versus full-timers who are trying to get “life stuff” done while at work b/c they don’t have time otherwise. Those companies that do have part-timers also tend to want to pay a lot less. It would be nice if companies valued the working mom and would allow part-time work; I think it would go a long way for working families and ultimately would be better for the company. Maybe it will just take time… kind of like telecommuting.

missnadine

August 7th, 2012
11:41 am

One thing former SAM parents (yes, I am including men too) need to realize that after being out of the workforce for a few years, sometime 10 or more, is detrimental to getting a job as good as they had before. I write resumes, cover letters, and bios for clients, and I am always surprised that parents think that they will reenter the job force at the same and even higher level. That rarely happens. I am speaking to those that take many years off, not a couple of months. I agree that professional part-time jobs or job sharing should be made available, but those are too hard to find.

A

August 7th, 2012
11:55 am

I think the direct sales companies certainly are legitimate work opportunities, but I can’t stand their practices about inviting you for drinks and appetizers with the guise of mingling and having fun, and then when you get there you see all the company’s products laid out everywhere with order forms. Not how I like to approach retail at all. That’s why I love Amazon, eBay and anything online. No salesperson hassling me, no pressure, no guilt.

Patrick

August 7th, 2012
12:04 pm

I remember when I was in Kindergarten and some of first grade I went to a babysitter who happened to live right next door to the elementary school. She had a daughter that was my age, and one of my friends also went to her after school. My parents also used her for weekends, if they planned on doing something or going somewhere, and during the summer.

When we moved, while I was in first grade, my mom lost her second-shift job, and got a job working at-home as a telephone survey taker. She worked for Market Trac (Trac? Trek?), conducting telephone surveys. Of course now most surveys are either done online or by mail, but there may be some companies that still have surveys done via telephone. These aren’t just the “Do you think President Obama should be reelected?” type of surveys; these would be in conjunction with business conducted at some company, asked of recent customers of the company. Car dealerships seemed to be the bulk of her assignments (”Hi, I’m calling on behalf of Rawb Yublynd Ford-Mercury of Atlanta. I was wondering if you would like to take a short survey concerning your purchase of a Ford Brokdaun on Tuesday, August 7.”)

She also went back to school part-time, trying to get a science degree.

When I got older, and was able to stay home by myself (8 or 9, back in the 1980s, when kids could be left home alone without fear of DFCS taking them away and locking you up for child negligence), my mom continued going to school, but also took a full-time job working in some lab. She did this up until I was about to enter the 6th Grade, when she graduated college with a BS in Microbiology. She continued working full-time in the lab, up until I was a Freshman or Sophomore in high school, when she lost her job, and started working in computer tech support.

Recently, she tried doing tech support for one of the cable companies. Their support number can actually routed to private lines, and with an Internet connection and the proper software, you can provide tech support to some cable customer. She had problems concentrating on it, so gave it up. Right now, as strictly voluntary, she does census transcription. She will transcribe censuses from different states and counties in the southeastern portion of the United States, of various years.

FCM

August 7th, 2012
12:05 pm

@ TWG… ok I thought maybe I was just crazier than usual and seeing things to boot!

I still love the look on his face!

Also I was thinking about y’all the other day. My older one (12.5) started shaving last December or so. So fast forward to this weekend. My younger one (10) yells (from the shower) for her sister to come up. She had decided to try shaving, and cut her knee (not horrible but bad enough to think twice next time)…Sister quick patched her up and then came down to let me in on it. So it got me thinking about your blog for shaving and also made me think you might need to talk to Lili if she is trying to be big like Rose.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

August 7th, 2012
12:53 pm

FCM — So far so good on the shaving. Rose keeps razor up high and Lilina often bathes in my room cause she likes the big tub. But I should reinforce to her not to mess with it. When she was little she cut herself with my razor. That was very scary and made me be better about storing mine up high in the shower.

Now we’re into deodorant too. I found Lilina in the closet yesterday putting on her dad’s deodorant. I told her little girls don’t need it and she said I just didn’t want to smell.

Randy

August 7th, 2012
1:52 pm

Really? You need to talk about shaving? Can’t you discuss this in another forum or e mail each other?

Does anyone know what kind of beer selection the have at the Dome? I hope they have more thatn just Bud Light. Can I bring a cooler in?

Tiger Ochocinco Dos

August 7th, 2012
2:15 pm

“What would your dream job be? What hours would it be? Would you change industries?”

I’d be a professional golfer, winning major after major Thursday through Sunday and having clandestine hot hookups with “film” stars each night of week.

oneofeach4me

August 7th, 2012
2:18 pm

I SO wish I could go back to working part time!!! I felt so much more balanced! I was able to volunteer in the kids’ classrooms more, was able to work out 3 times a week, get dinners cooked and keep the house clean. Now, by the time I get home and get dinner cooked and homework finished for the kids I am pooped. Not to mention I am in school part time myself. And to think.. this year the kids want to go back to extra curricular activities (we took a year off). I don’t know what I am going to do. Oh, and just info for my story, I have one going into 1st grade on a 504 and IEP and one entering the 6th grade. uuuggghhhhhhh

Tiger Ochocinco Dos

August 7th, 2012
2:23 pm

@ Techmom ” It would be nice if companies valued the working mom and would allow part-time work; I think it would go a long way for working families and ultimately would be better for the company.”

That’s great….right up until the part timers start demanding medical benefits and demonize their employers for not providing them or any other range of benefits that typically mitigate any financial incentive for the company to hire them on a part time basis. Just look at Wal-Mart, how much bad press do they get for intentially keeping a large contigency of their workforce as part time for precisely the reason that they don’t offer benefits to those folks. With an unemployment rate above 8% there are plenty of folks around who would love to have full time work. I don’t think it’s fair to blame companies for not appreciating the value of part timers when the market says they can get more out of full timers without a bunch of the hassle that part timers bring to the table.

Augusta

August 7th, 2012
2:34 pm

TIGER!!!! Where the heck have you been young man?????? Good to see you here.

ABC

August 7th, 2012
2:35 pm

I don’t think we need to hear about tweens and their shaving/deodorant habits. My child would be mortified if I discussed personal hygiene on a blog.

Tiger Ochocinco Dos

August 7th, 2012
2:38 pm

Hey Augusta…I’ve been working! Got a new gig and have just been slammed. Haven’t had much time to have an opinion. ;-)

Becky

August 7th, 2012
2:47 pm

Well, I have never been a SAHM, so don’t know what they do..I am soon to be a working “adopted” Mom though..As of this morning, I am now the full time legal guardians for my two..

@Randy..Go away..We already have enough doofus people on here picking on Theresa about the things that we talk about, we sure don’t need your smiling face..

@Tiger..Good to see you back..Glad to see that you have such lofty dreams..I bet you would do well in that line of work..

@Techmom..I have several coworkers that are suppose to be 40 hour per week employees, but usually can only manage to get 32-36 hours in per week..Still get full time benefits like the rest of us..So, I guess it can be done..:)

Tiger Ochocinco Dos

August 7th, 2012
2:53 pm

@Becky…thanks…..I would be EXCEPTIONAL at it. Don’t think badly of me…I never claimed to be Mr. Altruism.

On a related note of the comparison between staying at home or going back to work. My wife teaches within a school district and is just ending her summer break. the other day I asked her how much harder it was to be at home with our son than it was during the school year….she got “it is SO much harder” before she started cracking up. She really tried to keep that straight face for as long as she could……she almost had me too.

good question

August 7th, 2012
2:56 pm

Good question.

Glad you aren’t doing what lots of women seem to do – have another one right when the youngest goes to school so they can avoid the issue of having to go back to work. Before you flame me look around and notice the number of kids 5 years apart. Not a coincidence.

Going back to work full time may be what is in your family’s best long term interest. It will build your career back up in case you are ever left supporting yourself and/or your family on your own (things can and sometimes do happen). Sometimes by ‘putting yourself first’ you are actually looking out for your family too.

jarvis

August 7th, 2012
3:02 pm

Part-time employees are great in work that is not project-based. Peeks and lulls in work are very hard to manage into 25 hours a week; other than that, I love it. They are cheaper and generally more relaxed than full-timers.

To Tiger’s point, I would not offer similar benefits to a part-time person that I do to a full-time person. That makes no more sense than paying one 40 hours a week for working 25.

Techmom

August 7th, 2012
3:06 pm

@Tiger – I’m not talking about retail jobs; I’m talking about professional jobs and professional companies. That’s the problem is that the only part-time gigs out there are minimum wage or close to it. There are lots of college-educated people who want the flexibility of being able to raise their kids but also keep a real, professional-type job where they can keep up with the industry and their skills and not have that gap on their resume.There are ways to still give benefits too- simply pro-rate them. If you work 20hrs/week or 50% of the time, then they provide benefits to you at 50% of the rate they pay for full-time employees, if you work 30 hours/.week, then your benefits are at 75% of a full-time employee. I do think there are people out there who are willing to do that IF they were being paid their hourly rate but those jobs are simply too few and far between. Most part-time jobs are geared toward retail and service industries which don’t require an educated workforce.

I know plenty of working moms who would give up some of their benefits if they could work part time at the same hourly rate they currently are being paid. Plus with both parents working, they don’t really need healthcare from both companies (they’re usually only getting it from one company anyway).

@Becky – are those folks hourly? I would be ticked off if I worked there and everyone was salaried and some people worked less. But if people are given the ability to work less hours and only get paid for what they work, then great. Some people are willing to work less if it means more flexibility and more time with their families.

Bernie

August 7th, 2012
3:16 pm

Only members of the LUCKY GENE POOL Club would have the luxury of considering an option that many Women in America just do have or can afford.