The SAHM and the College Student

by - Thursday, September 09, 2010

BY055 Wood BlocksImage by listentoreason via Flickr

Most people are congratulated for being a stay at home parent - all the work, patience, and humbling experiences that they go through. But there are some that are questioned and almost scrutinized for choosing so. I will even make the leap to say that the choice to stay home is more accepted in certain ethnic backgrounds than others. Last week, I was asked by several family members and family friends:
Q1. Why don't you take some night classes?
Q2. Why don't you look for a part time job?

A1. My husband goes to an top engineering university in the US and his schedule doesn't work like most do. It is a standard that for every 1 hour of class time, you study 3 more hours outside of class. Logically a 12 hour class schedule means 36 hours of extra study (which doesn't include homework either) equaling 48 hours total for the week or almost 10 hours daily (M-F). Then add on extra curricular activities like scholastic clubs and academic fraternities (yes they do exist lol.) 
For my husband's major these numbers nearly double and are not on a set schedule. So we're lucky to get a few hours with him before its time to sleep (We're working on that by the way.)

Oh yeah, then through on cost. With my husband's loans would it really be a wise financial decision to create loans for myself? So how in the world could I even attempt to go school right now? I guess I could could take my classes in the middle of the night so I have no distractions with the baby but I already have my bachelors degree, so it's not that serious.

A2. I could work right now. Extra money would be nice, but...transportation is an issue. The car (now sold) was having problems and city transportation is a definitive N-O! Then there's daycare which is ridiculously expensive in this major city. And then again, I tend to not trust daycare providers - certification doesn't matter to me, I want my daughter to be able to tell me if something happens. Lastly, most companies are searching for what I call "worker drones" where your job is all that matters. Don't ever speak of pursuing a dream such as getting another degree, that means its time for them to start searching for a replacement because soon you'll want time off or will be using your work time to do homework. 
Finally, I'd miss my baby girl!! Even though I see her almost every second of the day, I still feel like she is growing up too fast. So, I'm enjoying every minute of watching and helping her grow. Our finances are slim, but we're happy and are making it and that's all that matters.

With all this being said, the only response I get from most is an unemotional "Oh." I only wish most people could understand what stay at home moms  (and college students) go through without being questioned or receiving scrutiny for their choice. It's easy to look from the outside of the situation and judge others, but to actually be in the situation is the best way to judge what's right for you and your family. I love staying at home with my daughter and it works for us. When it doesn't, we'll look into other options.

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