Did Your Mother Work Outside the Home?

I was at school such long hours (8am to 6pm Monday to Saturday) that even if my mother had worked it wouldn’t have made much difference. Later she took up teaching part-time - usually in the evenings.

I think as long as the alternative care for your child is good, there’s nothing to worry about. It might even be extra stimulating for them being around a wider range of people. There’s also nothing wrong about kids becoming independent earlier.

'Nother latchkey kid checking in. My mother worked part time until my younger sister was ready to start school, then she was back into it full time. Even while she was working part time, we still spent time being cared for by non-related type people.

Both of us young’uns seemed to come throught the experience unscarred and, once mum started fulltime work, I always enjoyed having time to myself - and being trusted to be on my own (well, as “on your own” as you can be with a younger sister tagging around).

Yep mom worked, dad worked (and travelled a lot). I turned out ok.

Moreover, I have four grandmothers, and they ALL worked outside the home, except my maternal grandmother, and she was a farmers wife and her kids were raised by their grandmother, because she was either in the fields, or the garden, or canning, or cooking for farm hands. My paternal grandmother worked in a meat packing plant until my dad was in elementary school and she got remarried. She was then a housewife until her youngest got into high school, when she took an office job. My paternal grandfather’s second wife worked on a auto assembly line for GM. My maternal grandfather’s second wife was an RN.

I think the fact of the stay at home housewife of the 50s is overblown. It has changed, however, my parents were watched by their relatives in every case (although sometimes the relative was an eight year old cousin), I was watched by neighbors, my kids are in a center.

My mom works as a doctor and did throughout my childhood. When in elementary school, my brother and I went to daycare, which she or Dad would come pick us up at when they finished work. When we changed schools, we came home after school and let ourselves in. I don’t remember ever having a problem with it.

Wow, maybe I am the last person whose mother stayed home through my childhood. She basically didn’t work after getting married and kept busy with volunteer work and projects through the church until she had us three children over about a five year period. We went to nursery school two and three days a week until pre-K, plus various Mom’s morning out programs through our church. In elementary school, we carpooled, and afterschool, Mom would shuttle us around to our various play-dates, lessons, activities, and parties.

It was only when I reached middle school age (11 or 12) that my mother let us be at home all alone while she was out running errands or in meetings. We carpooled with several other families till we got to high school, so I was typically put in charge as the oldest until Mom or Dad got home, usually within an hour or two at most.

I’m not sure if we children would be vastly different people had my mother worked and had we become “latch-key kids”, but I do know I feel pretty lucky and appreciate more and more that she was able to do that for us. It means enough to me that I hope, when I have children some day, that I might be able to do that as well.

Blue skies…

my mom quit work the day I was born (went into labor on her lunch hour, actually – how nice of me!) and didn’t get another job until I was in 8th grade (about 14) and my brother was about 11. She did do plenty of PTA stuff, and worked election stuff when that time of year came around (we had a polling place in our garage for a few years… that was pretty cool, for an 8-year-old). When she went back, she worked part-time at my middle school (about a 7 minute walk from home), so she was accessable. A couple-three years later, she got a job that was supposedly part time, but ended up being 40-60 hours a week! That sucked sometimes, because while my bro & I were definitely old enough to take care of ourselves by that point, I still wasn’t driving. There were times I’d be stuck outside school for up to an hour, because she got stuck at work.

I don’t have kids yet – not planning to for another 4-5 years – but my little dream is that by the time my kids are school age, I would like to have a couple of businesses from home, so I can be my own boss and make my own hours, and be there when they’re there. And that isn’t because I think kids suffer from not having mom there, but because I don’t think I could handle having to leave my kiddo while I go off to work. I would feel like I was missing out on something. But the reality of today is often that both parents need to work, so… there you go.

My mom was at home all the time until my parents got divorced when I was 8. Then my mom had to go to work. I was in daycare for a couple of years in there somewhere (can’t remember exactly when), but mostly I was yet another latch-key kid. Wore my key on a string around my neck so I wouldn’t lose it. Never had a problem with it, and I think I turned out all right. I couldn’t speak for its effect on my little sister, though…