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Old 03-24-2011, 08:07 PM   #1
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how to make the choice to have another, when you know you can't SAHM?

I'm having a big dilemma. I suppose I shouldn't even worry about it at all until DH is able to work again, because we wouldn't plan a pregnancy until after he had found and kept a job for a couple of months at least, but, I am a perfectionist, a micro-manager, and I try to plan every little bit of my life, so it is something I think about a lot.

I love my job. I like my boss, my coworkers, and although my job can be challenging and frustrating and even physically exhausting, I do love my job. I could not ever imagine myself quitting this job.

I do not want my children really far apart in age. If we wait until DS is say 5 or so, we will most likely just have an only child, and I do NOT want that.

But I just cannot wrap my head around planning to conceive a child I know I would not be able to SAHM with, that I couldn't breastfeed (my body doesn't respond to pumping, and my job wouldn't work too well with having to pump frequently), that I couldn't practice EC with like I wanted to... there's so many things I could NOT do with another child if I could not SAHM with it. Most importantly, I do not feel I should even think of another child if I couldn't breastfeed it. I feel that strongly about breastfeeding. Granted, DS went on a nursing strike at 3 months and I dried up even with pumping every 2 hrs by 6 he did get formula.. but I just don't think I could make the conscious decision to conceive a child I knew would only get a couple weeks of breastmilk at best, before I'd have to wean him and put him on formula full time in daycare.

Working mom's, how do you do it? Am I wrong to feel this way? Are my feelings stupid? With DS, we were living with family, DH was/is temporarily disabled, and I was only working on weekends. So I was able to stay home with DS the first year of his life, before I finally was able to find work.

I don't want DS to be an only child, but I just think it'd be so unfair to a child to plan it knowing full well it would have to be in daycare from just a couple weeks old, I probably wouldn't even get a full 6 weeks maternity leave, that I wouldn't be able to breastfeed... ALL my friends are SAHM moms, so they don't understand this war in my mind about whether or not maybe DS should be an only child (they all want me to have one more. lol)


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Old 03-24-2011, 09:19 PM   #2
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Re: how to make the choice to have another, when you know you can't SAHM?

I know how you feel. I had 2 beautiful children, ages 5 and 7, and was working full time, and still felt like something was missing in my life. We decided to leave it up to God, and lo and behold, we got pregnant right away. I was stressing out about nursing, childcare, etc, the ENTIRE pregnancy. It's a really good thing we left everything in God's hands because 4 days after ds was born I was laid off. Well, we lost our home and have had to completely rearrange our lives and finances, but it was the BEST thing that has ever happened to me! I'm a firm believer that if you have faith and trust in God's plan for you, things will work out one way or another, even if it's not what you had in mind.

Children are such a gift, that even if you have to work and can't breastfeed, they will still enrich your life beyond compare. So, I say go for it!
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Old 03-24-2011, 10:10 PM   #3
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Re: how to make the choice to have another, when you know you can't SAHM?

Your next pregnancy might be different. It is a huge commitment but I do personally know of moms that have their kids in full time daycare AND pump....they rarely if ever do formula so it is possible.

I guess you just have to decide what is more important...having another baby no matter what even if that means not being a SAHM OR not having a baby because you could not provide all that you wanted to provide.

For me, I wouldn't let not being able to bf be a reason to not have another baby. If you do truly feel strongly about it, then you are absolutely welcome to feel that way. I just think there is so much more to being a mom than breastfeeding. You could be a great mom and still have your child formula fed and in daycare. My biggest concern would be being away from my child and not being able to spend the time that I did with the first one.
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:08 AM   #4
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Re: how to make the choice to have another, when you know you can't SAHM?

Is your job flexible at all? I telecommute so I get the best of both worlds and my job has me 24x7 I do have to travel at times, luckily I can genreally take my kid with me while they're under 2 and I have friends the baby stays with while I"m in the office. We have an au pair in the house for regular days (and when I travel, like in 2 weeks), she watches the kids, and I still get to nurse mostly on demand.

Another thought is if you can petition your HR to have day care on site? If you put it now, they may be able to look into it - and then you can nurse during the day as well.

Also, check out a LLL meeting - even if you're not nursing now, I know many women who've benefited from going while pregnant, and one because she's planning to adopt, to figure out what to do "in the event" or at least get supprort.

We're hard enough on ourselves - do what you need to do to do what's best for your family. If you know you'll feel guilty about something, then do something about it. Either find a way to not feel guilty (is that even possible?) or change the circumstances Otherwise, I'm sure you'll later feel guilty about not even having the baby! Darn mommy guilt!

Good luck!
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:40 AM   #5
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Re: how to make the choice to have another, when you know you can't SAHM?

I think I'm ready to spring for another. DS is turning 4 at the end of May and while I'm bored with my job, if I leave now and get another job, I won't get paid for my maternity leave. (Gotta think ahead, yanno).

But part of being a mom is doing the best you can for your child, breastfeeding or not, ECing or not, etc., etc. By working you are providing your child with a home, clothes, food, and other things that are also important.

Maybe think of it that way.
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Old 03-30-2011, 09:17 AM   #6
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Re: how to make the choice to have another, when you know you can't SAHM?

I wouldn't let not being able to breast feed stop you from having another baby. I have worked full time with all mine. I was able to pump for about 7 months and then they were on formula. I do not thing formula is horrible by any means.
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Old 04-08-2011, 11:06 AM   #7
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Re: how to make the choice to have another, when you know you can't SAHM?

I knew before I had number 2 (who was planned) that I wasn't going to stay home very long. I'm Canadian, I took a shortened maternity leave (5.5 months vs the 52 weeks most eligible women take). My first day of leave was the day I delivered.

I still breastfeed, this babe has never had formula. Personally I found that pumping before and after works just as well for me as pumping at work (and I don't get walked in nearly as often at home )

My mom took a leave of absence from her job to watch the babe and she LOVES it. MIL is living with us right now as well and does try and watch the kids when she can (but has a partially detached retina right now so that's out).

I'm not using CDs at the moment (we're moving, just finished building a house and in the process of selling another), but with my first my mom had no issues using CDs when she'd watch the kids. Heck, she's a toilet swoosher.

Is it possible you can find a childcare provider that is into natural parenting that would be cool with ECing?
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Old 04-09-2011, 01:19 AM   #8
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Re: how to make the choice to have another, when you know you can't SAHM?

I totally understand a lot of your feelings. I have always been at least a part-time working mom and being a SAHM has never been in the cards for me. My 2nd child ended up being my 2nd and 3rd. I took 12 weeks of maternity leave and then went back to working 24-32 hours, it was difficult but I wouldn’t have traded it for nothing. Sometimes I think back and really do wonder how I functioned, but you just do it. I remember many months of functioning on next to no sleep, my home in total disarray, the endless things needing to be done but it did go by quickly. Studies all vary but as far as nursing going I think it will just depend on how hard you want to work at it once you are back in work, I know I have seen some studies that as long as you breast feed the first 3 months your child still gets most of the benefits of nursing.

Looking back now, my oldest is 5 and my twins are 3 it does make me sad that I have worked full-time half of their lives, I am finally able to cut back my hours. I think there are definite advantages when they are little, but I feel like me being home more now is way more important than it was when they were babies or even toddlers. I just feel like they really need more structure, active time and learning opportunities now than they did when they were smaller. So maybe a longer out goal of when you should try to work less/SAH might be an option. My boys are 22 months apart and it is perfect. They can play very well together and share interests. If I had my way I’d have more, but it is a lot more work once you are beyond one child, but personally I think no matter what you find a way to figure things out, so if you and your hubby are ready and wanting another, I’d go for it. And if it doesn’t all work out the way you plan, then you come up with another plan, and as long as your children are happy I feel like the rest of the stuff doesn’t matter as much. Plus I think there is a reason children don't remember the first 2-3 years of their life, it will stink if your baby has to go to daycare, but you will not be tramatizing your child.
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Old 04-11-2011, 09:06 PM   #9
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Re: how to make the choice to have another, when you know you can't SAHM?

The first step to being a successful pumper is relaxing and realizing that you're a successful pumper. Start immediately (like immediately) and you'll establish such a rocking supply that you can pump like a mad woman while on your maternity leave and freeze enough milk that you'll be able to send your new one to daycare with milk for quite some time.

My son was born on September 1st and I returned to work on November 1st. He is now 19 months old and I'm still nursing. Around 10 months I stopped responding well to the pump and so I mixed 1/2 milk with 1/2 formula and it KILLED me. I was an extremely vocal breastfeeding activist and was mortified that I'd have to admit to my BF peers that I'd allowed the "EVIL" formula to touch my son's lips. Then I realized that I'm pro feeding babies, and I did what I had to do for 8 weeks. Again, he's 19mo and still nursing when he wakes up, before bed and on the weekends.

I'm psychotically controlling, and I completely empathize with your frustrations. I think the first thing you need to do is write a list of what you absolutely will NOT forego (Cloth Diapers), what you'll be willing to compromise (formula after a few months) and what you can let go of (EC, teaching a foreign language full time before age 2). Then, look at the list. I mean... REALLY look at it and see if you'd feel comfortable enough to have another child and raise it this way.
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:39 AM   #10
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Re: how to make the choice to have another, when you know you can't SAHM?

My husband and I were on the fence about having a second until my son was about 4 and a half and I really started to feel the need, the desire, the urgency. Finally, my husband told me to decide as he remained on the fence... and almost at that moment, we got pregnant! I am a huge breastfeeding advocate and can see why you would hold so dear to that, but there is no telling how lactation will go this time. Each pregnancy is COMPLETELY different. Your body might respond very well to long term nursing the second go around. I'm pretty sure your work place has to provide you with a place to pump and the breaks to do it. If that is not currently available, speak to your HR dept.

I know this is a very difficult decision, but I can tell you my husband is very glad I made the final decision to have his baby girl. Life is about compromise. In the end, it's all good.
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