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Am I being unrealistic in terms of not wanting to go to college? - Page 3

post #41 of 97
I definitely do NOT think that being a SAHM is a poor choice, or a plan to fail, or anything of the like. I am a SAHM, I went to college and I am glad I have a degree but do wish I had waited till I had a better idea of what I wanted to do. Now I have a degree I am obviously not using, and do not ever plan on using. If I want to work down the road I will have to go back to school first both because of the nature of my degree and because I don't want to work in the field I studied now. Anyway, OP... I do not think being a SAHM is a poor choice. I think that encouraging your husband to go to school (since he seems to want to) is an excellent plan as long as it will increase his earning potential. I think what people are trying to say is that you guys need to have a plan to significantly increase your income in the future. Doesn't mean you have to work, but something needs to happen at some point. Perhaps once your DH has finished school and your kids are older you might have an idea of something you would like to study :)
post #42 of 97

If what I wrote hurt you, then I think you may have misunderstood what I wrote.  At no point in my post did I label anyone a failure.  The whole point of my post was to encourage AVOIDANCE of a future state of destitution.  note that in my post, i said nothing about going to college (although I know no one, except for our grandparents, in my or my husband's family who did not complete at least undergrad).  Here is a great example of everything wrong with the concept "it's important to get a college degree"

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/29/your-money/student-loans/29money.html

 

Also, I specifically stated that i was not referring to the act of SAH parenting.  Actually, I am of the (very own) opinion that in an ideal situation, all LO's have 1 parent stay home with them as they begin life... and until a point that is best determined by that family.

 

I was and am still referring to the OP's apparent deliberate choice to be: not marketable. 

 

I am addressing the what if's in life:

 

what if your husband dies

what if your husband becomes crippled

what if your husband has an affair and leaves you

what if your child is diagnosed with cancer... who pays for chemotherapy.  or a learning disability that is best served by special therapy.... (as a physician I can think up LOTS of what ifs in this category)

what if the basement you are living with is found to have high radon levels (as basements are wont to do.... which is why I personally think living in a basement is unhealthy)

what if the house you are living in is foreclosed on

 

These are not scare tactics.  These are possibilities that happen.  Commonly if you talk to people around you.... or look around here on MDC.

 

I will reiterate- someone in their 20's is in the BEST position of their life to PREPARE for life ahead.

 

And please...do address the values/ skills/ potential realized by SAHP!!!  I think it may give the OP some more ideas on how to capitalize herself NOW.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by prothyraia View Post


Ouch.

SAHPs are not deliberate failures wasting their potential and enjoying a life of ease and retirement while giving nothing back to society.

I'll leave it at that for now.

 

post #43 of 97

This is a tough situation and I, personally, believe that every college education is valuable.  You don't even have to work in your field, but that little piece of paper means more than you can imagine.  I also don't think you have to go into debt to do it.  I didn't.  However, I went about life the other way around.  I got my degree, landed a lucrative job, then, in my 30's got married and had a kid.  I quit a 13 year career to be a SAHM, but now work p/t, in my 40's because at some point I will go back to work f/t.  I will be an empty nester in my 50's.  If I had stayed in my career, I'd be pulling down 6 figures today, but opted to be at home with dd instead.  However, I *can* go back to my old field one of these days, and figure I will HAVE to at some point.  (Dh is older than me and when he retires from academia, I will need 10 years of medical insurance coverage.)  I can't imagine STARTING at that age.  And what I do right now, p/t is very, very marketable.  In spite of being a SAHM, I still have made sure that if something happens, I have a backup plan.

 

OP - I know this is going to sound offensive and I don't meant to be, but you are so young.. still just a kid, really.  Research shows that until a person is about 25 years old, their cognitive abilities are about that of an adolescent and that reasoning is not fully developed before then.  (It's why college-aged kids still make bad decisions.)  Perhaps you're not thinking about this rationally because you simply can't.  At this point, in your mind, you will be married forever, your husband will never leave you or die, your kids will all be healthy, you will both be healthy, and tragedy won't strike, your dreams will all be fulfilled.  For example, you have your dream of living off grid but I don't think you've stopped to think that living off-grid is actually very expensive to set up in the first place... and you don't really have a plan to get there, just the idea that you want to do it.  (I have friends that live p/t off-grid.)  I don't fully agree with P.S. but some of what she is saying is really brutal honesty.  Once you grow up (older, wiser, etc.), you may regret never having done anything to make yourself marketable.  And if you do, indeed, have 5 kids like you want, and tragedy strikes... man-o-man you will be kicking yourself from her to eternity.  You NEED a plan for yourself.  Great that your dh is doing something, but don't leave yourself out in the cold.

 

If you don't want to go to college, it would be wise to apprentice yourself to someone to learn a trade that can earn income.  You are SO, SO young and have so much potential.  Life WILL deal you some adversities.  You need to be prepared to face them.  Good luck.

post #44 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by p.s View Post

If what I wrote hurt you, then I think you may have misunderstood what I wrote.  At no point in my post did I label anyone a failure.  The whole point of my post was to encourage AVOIDANCE of a future state of destitution.  note that in my post, i said nothing about going to college (although I know no one, except for our grandparents, in my or my husband's family who did not complete at least undergrad).  Here is a great example of everything wrong with the concept "it's important to get a college degree"

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/29/your-money/student-loans/29money.html

 

Also, I specifically stated that i was not referring to the act of SAH parenting.  Actually, I am of the (very own) opinion that in an ideal situation, all LO's have 1 parent stay home with them as they begin life... and until a point that is best determined by that family.

 

I was and am still referring to the OP's apparent deliberate choice to be: not marketable. 

 

I am addressing the what if's in life:

 

what if your husband dies

what if your husband becomes crippled

what if your husband has an affair and leaves you

what if your child is diagnosed with cancer... who pays for chemotherapy.  or a learning disability that is best served by special therapy.... (as a physician I can think up LOTS of what ifs in this category)

what if the basement you are living with is found to have high radon levels (as basements are wont to do.... which is why I personally think living in a basement is unhealthy)

what if the house you are living in is foreclosed on

 

These are not scare tactics.  These are possibilities that happen.  Commonly if you talk to people around you.... or look around here on MDC.

 

I will reiterate- someone in their 20's is in the BEST position of their life to PREPARE for life ahead.

 

And please...do address the values/ skills/ potential realized by SAHP!!!  I think it may give the OP some more ideas on how to capitalize herself NOW.


 


 


I completely agree with this.

 

I am a SAHM and plan to be as such until my youngest is in school, and perhaps longer.  I also plan on pursuing a lactation career once she starts school.

 

That said, we live very comfortably on my husband's salary.  We sold our home a few years ago, made a killing, and rent a nice home now. We have a nest egg.  It could be bigger, but it's there.  We are more frugal than some and less so than others.  I have not worked in almost 6 years.

 

That said, and completely disregarding my college degree - I HAVE worked before, so I have skills.  They are rusty, and they aren't current, but I have a respectable work history as well as dozens of contacts from past jobs.  If my husband got sick/injured/laid off/died (though we have very good life insurance), I could find a job, though in this market it might take a while, and I probably wouldn't make nearly what I was making when I became a SAHM - but I would almost definitely be a better candidate than one who has no advanced education, no work history, and no references.

 

Honestly, I think it is naive to assume that one's spouse will always be healthy, always make more and more money, and will always be committed to the relationship.

 

Not wanting to go to college to get a 4-year degree is fine.  But being 20 years old with 2 kids and having NO marketable skills and NO backup plan is potentially disastrous.

 

And not wanting to pursue an education and backup plan because you don't feel like it isn't exactly in your family's best interests.


Edited by Bokonon - 12/30/10 at 5:06pm
post #45 of 97

OP, I don't think there is anything wrong with loving being a sahm and wanting to do it as long as you want/can. I think it's an extremely valuable and high calling from God (your religious mileage may vary) and something that is a huge, huge contribution to the home and to your family. I don't think a price can be put on what value (both financially and emotionally) an efficient sahm who does her job well adds to the home.

 

I don't think you "should" go to college just because your husband might die or leave you. If my child got cancer, the last thing I think that would benefit her healing would be both parents unavailable. What a terrible motivation with which to make life decisions. Sure, things happen in life, but we plan for what is, not for what if's. Of course, we have some measures in place that make sense (life insurance, savings etc) and I would suggest moving toward the same -- but if college isn't your thing, it isn't your thing. Any subject I would pursue a degree in would make me about much money as a fast food worker unless I advanced to the PHD level or wanted to teach (which I have zero desire to do, nor can I afford to do).

 

For me, I just have a deep knowing security that I would be okay should dh die or become disabled (God forbid!) I know he would never leave me, nor me him (I know, I know, let the scoffing begin...that's fine. I just know).  Part of that is due to the deep faith we have and the affirmation of that through other life experiences with each other over 13 years together.

 

That having been said, I have always been the 'type' of person who could acquire necessary skills quickly. I am an excellent communicator, am able to adapt and learn quickly.  I have some work experience on a managerial level, and I do have some "connections" that could be of use to me should I need to enter the job world.

 

However, you are extremely young. I don't know how long you and dh have been together, what types of conversations you've had about this, how long you've both had with each other to truly see each other's character in a myriad of situations both wonderful and terrible (all this dh and I have had the benefit of being together through). I think supporting his goal of a college eduaction so he will be better equipped to support his family is a wonderful thing. I also think pursuing something you love, whether it be an apprenticeship, a trade, even enrichment classes that focus on things you love can help build skills that could potentially earn you money if you ever want or need to.

 

I don't think any decisions should be fear-based. Just my $.02.

post #46 of 97
Quote:

I don't think any decisions should be fear-based. Just my $.02.



This.

There is huge value in being able to support yourself and your family if necessary.  There's also huge value (in my opinion) in one parent being at home with the children at all times during the early years.  When you have a newborn or an infant is not the greatest time to be looking for a new career or starting school.  It can be done, certainly, but it really is hellaciously difficult, especially when you need to pay for childcare.  It's one thing if you WANT to do it, it's another to suggest that everyone needs to just in case something happens.  There's a huge difference between "I'm relying on my partner to always be here and provide for us" and "I'm relying on my partner to be here and provide for us for the next five years".  The OP had mentioned potentially going to nursing school in a few years, for instance- that sounds like a viable long term plan. 

 

We're also ignoring the other resources the OP has.  I mean, I have a (useless and expensive) college degree, a part-time job, references, and all that, and there is no way on earth I could afford to support my three kids and pay for their childcare.  In fact, my husband couldn't support our kids and pay for their childcare on his own either. :shrug  (I doubt anyone would get on him about putting himself and our kids at risk in case *I* died or left).  What we do have, in the case that something terrible should happen to one of us, is a wonderfully supportive extended family, and we'd darn well be moving in with either my family or my in-laws until the kids were school age.  In fact, the only way that my husband and I are both able to work right now  is because we share a duplex with and trade childcare with his cousin's family (allowing them to work/go school as well).

 

I'm curious....has anyone here that's heavily promoting school/employment 'just in case' actually married and had children very young, before they started their career?   The logistics involved are daunting, and I know because I'm in the middle of doing it right now.  My husband found a job where he works primarily from home, I work part-time nights and go to school during the week, and we live with extended family and can arrange flexible childcare because odds are that one of the four adults in the house will be home at any given time.  If anyone one of those things (none of which are particularly easy to find) fell through, we'd need to revert to having one parent work and one parent stay home.

post #47 of 97

I already replied by saying I didn't think my own college education did anything for me except put me in debt for the next 13 years, but I see others have been talking about more than just your title question.

 

Just from my own particular perspective and my 34 years on earth and how they affected me - I'm not worried about you not going to college. I'm a lot more worried about you living in your MIL's basement. I don't think your dream of living rural is such a pipe dream, though I do know that it won't be like you picture it (it never is), and yes indeed, it will be more expensive than you figure it will be (but I don't mean that in a "don't do it" way at all).

 

Those of us who are replying to this thread are kind of talking to ourselves at 20. We're regretting certain mistakes, maybe, or remembering that certain things weren't so important. But you're 20. Yup, you're making mistakes. We all did, and we're all making mistakes now too. You'll survive. Your plans are not crazy. They are not what everyone would do, but you're not being utterly stupid. You will figure out your life on your own. It's great to get input, and you're doing that. People have pointed out some things that deserve real consideration - what if this, what if that. Consider them. But make your own choices. I think some people are going way too far implying that you're making a huge mistake or being hugely naive. Yes, you are naive, no more than I was at 20. I'm only a little less naive now, not much. I was also still living with my mother at age 20, I'll have you know. And I wasn't a wife or mother, then, so I may not have been as mature as you.

 

So, I'm happy your husband is trying to expand his options, because his current job really sucks and I think you guys should get awaaaaay from the MIL. That's my opinion, anyway.

 

I recall your MIL is always harping about college, and that's probably a factor here. Do consider this: don't not get a degree just because of MIL.

 

I relate to feeling overeducated - I had a very intense education through high school and then I was so done. I reluctantly went to the local state college the next year (kind of as an afterthought, really) and dropped out that spring because I wasn't even going to class. Believe me, I'm a 4.0 student all the way and probably could have been Ivy League material, and the college bored me to tears (I didn't flunk out - even though I didn't do 1 minute of homework the whole year I had a high GPA - I just stopped showing up). I actually did eventually go back and finish my degree - when I wanted to. That's my story (well, a teeny bit of it). It's not yours. You'll make your own. Good journey to you.

post #48 of 97


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by prothyraia View Post



Quote:

I don't think any decisions should be fear-based. Just my $.02.



This.

There is huge value in being able to support yourself and your family if necessary.  There's also huge value (in my opinion) in one parent being at home with the children at all times during the early years.  When you have a newborn or an infant is not the greatest time to be looking for a new career or starting school.  It can be done, certainly, but it really is hellaciously difficult, especially when you need to pay for childcare.  It's one thing if you WANT to do it, it's another to suggest that everyone needs to just in case something happens.  There's a huge difference between "I'm relying on my partner to always be here and provide for us" and "I'm relying on my partner to be here and provide for us for the next five years".  The OP had mentioned potentially going to nursing school in a few years, for instance- that sounds like a viable long term plan. 

 

We're also ignoring the other resources the OP has.  I mean, I have a (useless and expensive) college degree, a part-time job, references, and all that, and there is no way on earth I could afford to support my three kids and pay for their childcare.  In fact, my husband couldn't support our kids and pay for their childcare on his own either. :shrug  (I doubt anyone would get on him about putting himself and our kids at risk in case *I* died or left).  What we do have, in the case that something terrible should happen to one of us, is a wonderfully supportive extended family, and we'd darn well be moving in with either my family or my in-laws until the kids were school age.  In fact, the only way that my husband and I are both able to work right now  is because we share a duplex with and trade childcare with his cousin's family (allowing them to work/go school as well).

 

I'm curious....has anyone here that's heavily promoting school/employment 'just in case' actually married and had children very young, before they started their career?   The logistics involved are daunting, and I know because I'm in the middle of doing it right now.  My husband found a job where he works primarily from home, I work part-time nights and go to school during the week, and we live with extended family and can arrange flexible childcare because odds are that one of the four adults in the house will be home at any given time.  If anyone one of those things (none of which are particularly easy to find) fell through, we'd need to revert to having one parent work and one parent stay home.


I have and yes it was very hard. I married at 18, had my son at 19 and in my case the marriage didn't work out and after years of working low paying jobs where the only thing that stood between me and advancement and the ability to earn a living wage was a degree, I went to college. There was a period of time when my son was young and I was a single mother that I juggled two part time jobs and classes at the community college. I will be honest I wasn't able to be the parent I wanted to be at that time because keeping a roof over our heads and food on the table was important. Yet kids are smart and resilient and my son now at almost 19 remembers those days and is okay.

 

I remarried when my son was almost 6 but because I knew at that point anything can happen, I spent the early years of my marriage getting my BA and later M.Ed and now am able to work part time and parent the way I want and earn enough to make work pay. I don't think college is for everyone but at my age I seem to know a lot of ladies whose marriages/relationships are ending and its a lot harder for those who didn't have any education or skill/trade to fall back on.

 

I don't think anyone is trying to scare the OP but there are plenty of us here who are much older with life experiences that would say it's better to gain skills/education earlier in life than it is later.

post #49 of 97

I haven't read all the previos posts so forgive for repeating but:

 

I have a university degree. I went in right out of high school, thinking I knew what I wanted. I now need to go back for at least a year of post-degree study to do ANYTHING, and I'm not even sure want the option even that would leave me. I also have student loans. At the moment they are in abeyance because, having just had a baby and being "without income" and with my husbands income being low enough, I qualify for interest relief and don't have to pay. When they are in active repayment mode, I owe the government 500$ a month, half of which is STRICTLY interest on my principle. It will take me a very long time to pay these off. At the moment we are better off financially with me NOT working and not having to pay that 500$/month. We may actually be able to save a significant amount of money to put towards my loans in the intervening 60odd months that I can keep my loans in abeyance. But this is only because my husband has a decent job. And no matter how we manage it, that 40k we will be spending back for an education I am not certain I will even use now is HARD to swallow.

 

I loved school, but if you don't know what you want, DON'T GO THERE. Not without a plan or a goal. it's not worth it if you won't use it.

 

I think keeping your own financial options open for all the possibilities (both good and bad) that life has to offer is very good and very smart.

post #50 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post

This is a tough situation and I, personally, believe that every college education is valuable.  You don't even have to work in your field, but that little piece of paper means more than you can imagine.  I also don't think you have to go into debt to do it.  I didn't.  However, I went about life the other way around.  I got my degree, landed a lucrative job, then, in my 30's got married and had a kid.  I quit a 13 year career to be a SAHM, but now work p/t, in my 40's because at some point I will go back to work f/t.  I will be an empty nester in my 50's.  If I had stayed in my career, I'd be pulling down 6 figures today, but opted to be at home with dd instead.  However, I *can* go back to my old field one of these days, and figure I will HAVE to at some point.  (Dh is older than me and when he retires from academia, I will need 10 years of medical insurance coverage.)  I can't imagine STARTING at that age.  And what I do right now, p/t is very, very marketable.  In spite of being a SAHM, I still have made sure that if something happens, I have a backup plan.

 

OP - I know this is going to sound offensive and I don't meant to be, but you are so young.. still just a kid, really.  Research shows that until a person is about 25 years old, their cognitive abilities are about that of an adolescent and that reasoning is not fully developed before then.  (It's why college-aged kids still make bad decisions.)  Perhaps you're not thinking about this rationally because you simply can't.  At this point, in your mind, you will be married forever, your husband will never leave you or die, your kids will all be healthy, you will both be healthy, and tragedy won't strike, your dreams will all be fulfilled.  For example, you have your dream of living off grid but I don't think you've stopped to think that living off-grid is actually very expensive to set up in the first place... and you don't really have a plan to get there, just the idea that you want to do it.  (I have friends that live p/t off-grid.)  I don't fully agree with P.S. but some of what she is saying is really brutal honesty.  Once you grow up (older, wiser, etc.), you may regret never having done anything to make yourself marketable.  And if you do, indeed, have 5 kids like you want, and tragedy strikes... man-o-man you will be kicking yourself from her to eternity.  You NEED a plan for yourself.  Great that your dh is doing something, but don't leave yourself out in the cold.

 

If you don't want to go to college, it would be wise to apprentice yourself to someone to learn a trade that can earn income.  You are SO, SO young and have so much potential.  Life WILL deal you some adversities.  You need to be prepared to face them.  Good luck.


Can you link to the study? Because I find that very condescending to assume that since she's 25 or under that she's not able to make that decision for herself. That just reeks of ageism.

Prothyraia- I had a degree and job before this marriage, but after becoming a single mom of 2. It was so much easier going to school as a single mom. There is a lot of assistance out there. Unfortunately I was in healthcare, so none of my work experience or certifications are valid so I'd have to start from scratch again. wink1.gif

And I don't know how it is where everyone else lives, but there are NO jobs around here. Having a degree won't help you, in fact it hinders you as they are required to increase your pay, making you less employable by companies in financial troubles most especially-like education and healthcare in this area. Very qualified and educated people are unemployed right now. So that's not a given for future employability.
post #51 of 97

I haven't read all the replies... but, do have an opinion. I went to college, got a degree, and now make more money part time than what many of my friends with no degree make full time. For me, it was worth it and has afforded me the opportunity to spend more time with my family.

 

That said, I would target a career - get a certificate, license, or career oriented degree and avoid a general studies/english route, if possible. I find many (not all) basic 4 year degrees don't always open many career doors, although, I'm sure they do open some.

 

Also, DO NOT ACCRUE MAJOR DEBT to go to school. There are other ways to go about it - grants, attending part-time. In my job now (I work at a university) I see many student maximizing their loans, IMO, unnecessarily. Student loan debt can be a major burden.

 

I will also add that I HATED school. It was just something that was expected in my family, and, I didn't want to disappoint my parents. But, now, in retrospect, I believe it has made a positive, major difference in my life. I work 20 hours a week and have ample time to spend with my kids. The added 4 years of studies widened my horizons and exposed me to things I might have otherwise not chosen to experience/study.

 

Good luck in whatever route you choose!

post #52 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittywitty View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post

This is a tough situation and I, personally, believe that every college education is valuable.  You don't even have to work in your field, but that little piece of paper means more than you can imagine.  I also don't think you have to go into debt to do it.  I didn't.  However, I went about life the other way around.  I got my degree, landed a lucrative job, then, in my 30's got married and had a kid.  I quit a 13 year career to be a SAHM, but now work p/t, in my 40's because at some point I will go back to work f/t.  I will be an empty nester in my 50's.  If I had stayed in my career, I'd be pulling down 6 figures today, but opted to be at home with dd instead.  However, I *can* go back to my old field one of these days, and figure I will HAVE to at some point.  (Dh is older than me and when he retires from academia, I will need 10 years of medical insurance coverage.)  I can't imagine STARTING at that age.  And what I do right now, p/t is very, very marketable.  In spite of being a SAHM, I still have made sure that if something happens, I have a backup plan.

 

OP - I know this is going to sound offensive and I don't meant to be, but you are so young.. still just a kid, really.  Research shows that until a person is about 25 years old, their cognitive abilities are about that of an adolescent and that reasoning is not fully developed before then.  (It's why college-aged kids still make bad decisions.)  Perhaps you're not thinking about this rationally because you simply can't.  At this point, in your mind, you will be married forever, your husband will never leave you or die, your kids will all be healthy, you will both be healthy, and tragedy won't strike, your dreams will all be fulfilled.  For example, you have your dream of living off grid but I don't think you've stopped to think that living off-grid is actually very expensive to set up in the first place... and you don't really have a plan to get there, just the idea that you want to do it.  (I have friends that live p/t off-grid.)  I don't fully agree with P.S. but some of what she is saying is really brutal honesty.  Once you grow up (older, wiser, etc.), you may regret never having done anything to make yourself marketable.  And if you do, indeed, have 5 kids like you want, and tragedy strikes... man-o-man you will be kicking yourself from her to eternity.  You NEED a plan for yourself.  Great that your dh is doing something, but don't leave yourself out in the cold.

 

If you don't want to go to college, it would be wise to apprentice yourself to someone to learn a trade that can earn income.  You are SO, SO young and have so much potential.  Life WILL deal you some adversities.  You need to be prepared to face them.  Good luck.




Can you link to the study? Because I find that very condescending to assume that since she's 25 or under that she's not able to make that decision for herself. That just reeks of ageism.

Sure - here is just one among many articles.  This particular article gives many other references at the end (some with links to the original research) you can read for yourself.

 

http://www.act4jj.org/media/factsheets/factsheet_12.pdf

 

And I did not say she was not able to make" that" decision.  I said she may not be thinking about it rationally.  Please don't put words in my mouth.

post #53 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by kittywitty View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post

This is a tough situation and I, personally, believe that every college education is valuable.  You don't even have to work in your field, but that little piece of paper means more than you can imagine.  I also don't think you have to go into debt to do it.  I didn't.  However, I went about life the other way around.  I got my degree, landed a lucrative job, then, in my 30's got married and had a kid.  I quit a 13 year career to be a SAHM, but now work p/t, in my 40's because at some point I will go back to work f/t.  I will be an empty nester in my 50's.  If I had stayed in my career, I'd be pulling down 6 figures today, but opted to be at home with dd instead.  However, I *can* go back to my old field one of these days, and figure I will HAVE to at some point.  (Dh is older than me and when he retires from academia, I will need 10 years of medical insurance coverage.)  I can't imagine STARTING at that age.  And what I do right now, p/t is very, very marketable.  In spite of being a SAHM, I still have made sure that if something happens, I have a backup plan.

 

OP - I know this is going to sound offensive and I don't meant to be, but you are so young.. still just a kid, really.  Research shows that until a person is about 25 years old, their cognitive abilities are about that of an adolescent and that reasoning is not fully developed before then.  (It's why college-aged kids still make bad decisions.)  Perhaps you're not thinking about this rationally because you simply can't.  At this point, in your mind, you will be married forever, your husband will never leave you or die, your kids will all be healthy, you will both be healthy, and tragedy won't strike, your dreams will all be fulfilled.  For example, you have your dream of living off grid but I don't think you've stopped to think that living off-grid is actually very expensive to set up in the first place... and you don't really have a plan to get there, just the idea that you want to do it.  (I have friends that live p/t off-grid.)  I don't fully agree with P.S. but some of what she is saying is really brutal honesty.  Once you grow up (older, wiser, etc.), you may regret never having done anything to make yourself marketable.  And if you do, indeed, have 5 kids like you want, and tragedy strikes... man-o-man you will be kicking yourself from her to eternity.  You NEED a plan for yourself.  Great that your dh is doing something, but don't leave yourself out in the cold.

 

If you don't want to go to college, it would be wise to apprentice yourself to someone to learn a trade that can earn income.  You are SO, SO young and have so much potential.  Life WILL deal you some adversities.  You need to be prepared to face them.  Good luck.




Can you link to the study? Because I find that very condescending to assume that since she's 25 or under that she's not able to make that decision for herself. That just reeks of ageism.

Sure - here is just one among many articles.  This particular article gives many other references at the end (some with links to the original research) you can read for yourself.

 

http://www.act4jj.org/media/factsheets/factsheet_12.pdf

 

And I did not say she was not able to make" that" decision.  I said she may not be thinking about it rationally.  Please don't put words in my mouth.

I did not mean to put words in your mouth-but that's pretty much what you mean IMO when you say she is not thinking rationally because of her age. Let's also take into personal differences, genetics, and environment. The article seems to be mostly about juvenile offenders whom they are trying to prove are not fit to be tried as adults for crimes, not married responsible parents. No doubt people who commit offenses enough to be tried as adults in court (like murder, etc.) probably had different environments and cognitive abilities than someone who leads a functional life in society. I am having trouble finding a direct link to the scientific studies that you are trying to use here and they seem to be linked directly to criminal studies. They state in one juvenile offense factbook that brain development concludes at age 25 but nowhere does it state that it makes one inable to think rationally. The only place I could find one of the conferences where they discussed the adolescent brain in relation to crime and other "implications" such as substance abuse requires payment, so I won't be checking that one out. All of this is ultimately irrelevant, anyway, as this is not the purpose of this discussion to have someone try to scientifically prove that she is irrational because she hasn't magically hit age 25. wink1.gif
post #54 of 97

The fact that young men and women under 25 do not have full brain maturation is commonly taught in Child Psych classes.  Mostly in the context of immaturely developed long-term projection and consequence understanding (much as it is being discussed here) so I think it is relevant.  If the PP is interested in the topic I suggest checking a child psych textbook from the library.  Not everything is readily available on the internet.

post #55 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittywitty View Post


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post




Sure - here is just one among many articles.  This particular article gives many other references at the end (some with links to the original research) you can read for yourself.

 

http://www.act4jj.org/media/factsheets/factsheet_12.pdf

 

And I did not say she was not able to make" that" decision.  I said she may not be thinking about it rationally.  Please don't put words in my mouth.



I did not mean to put words in your mouth-but that's pretty much what you mean IMO when you say she is not thinking rationally because of her age. Let's also take into personal differences, genetics, and environment. The article seems to be mostly about juvenile offenders whom they are trying to prove are not fit to be tried as adults for crimes, not married responsible parents. No doubt people who commit offenses enough to be tried as adults in court (like murder, etc.) probably had different environments and cognitive abilities than someone who leads a functional life in society. I am having trouble finding a direct link to the scientific studies that you are trying to use here and they seem to be linked directly to criminal studies. They state in one juvenile offense factbook that brain development concludes at age 25 but nowhere does it state that it makes one inable to think rationally. The only place I could find one of the conferences where they discussed the adolescent brain in relation to crime and other "implications" such as substance abuse requires payment, so I won't be checking that one out. All of this is ultimately irrelevant, anyway, as this is not the purpose of this discussion to have someone try to scientifically prove that she is irrational because she hasn't magically hit age 25. wink1.gif


You ARE putting words in my mouth.  "Pretty much what you mean" is putting words in someone's mouth.  I said she MAY not be able to think about this rationally because of her age and that later, she might regret a decision she made at such a young age.  We have ALL regretted decisions made when we were young.  I don't know how old you are, but your post suggests that you haven't gotten past that stage yet to understand... but it does happen.  The article I referenced happened to be one that used this WELL PROVEN fact to explain young kids committing crimes. 

 

What I referenced was ONE article with a particular slant to it.  There are thousands of medical research results that explain:

 

"Areas involved in planning and decision-making, including the prefrontal cortex -- the cognitive or reasoning area of the brain important for controlling impulses and emotions -- appear not to have yet reached adult dimension during the early twenties."

 

That's from this Neuroscience article.  That's just another example. It doesn't necessarily have to do with crime.  It applies to all decision making in the early 20's.  Do your own research and quit putting words in my mouth.  It's very relevant to the discussion because at 20, she could be making some decisions that affect the rest of her life without taking the time to rationally think through them.  At 20, being a SAHM for the rest of her life might sound wonderful, but life will most likely not follow her expectations.  If nothing else, there is the empty nest days ahead as well as old age.  (Yeah, I'm sure at 20, nobody thinks they'll ever get old and need things like disability insurance or retirement money or extended care.)

post #56 of 97

Since when do we need to have our life planned out at the age of 20? What a boring way to live! I think it's more important to do what feels right in your own life based on what the choices are in front of you and where you want to go. Eventually your thoughts and feelings change and at that point, you adjust or change directions.  I thought we were past the whole "everyone has to go to college to succeed in life" mentality? What happened to all you fans of The Radical Homemaker? (I know, you weren't all fans, but there were many!) This thread is full of doom and gloom and judgement! Just because someone chooses to do something different with their life doesn't mean they are young and naive or unintelligent. 

 

I can understand this bit of research: 

Quote:
Areas involved in planning and decision-making, including the prefrontal cortex -- the cognitive or reasoning area of the brain important for controlling impulses and emotions -- appear not to have yet reached adult dimension during the early twenties.
 

 

By that same argument, you shouldn't go to college (or marry, or have kids or make any major life decisions) until you ARE an "adult" (over 25 apparently)... because you would just be "wasting" your time! Looking back, I can see that yes, I made mistakes during my early 20's... but I also made some pretty gosh darn great decisions! Both my "mistakes" and "successes" brought me to where I am today.... and for that I embrace them! I wouldn't change a thing! When it comes right down to it, you need to decide where you want to go and figure out how to get there. And to hell with all these people telling you (based on their own life experience not yours) what you should be doing! I can see how some people may have regrets that they didn't do things a certain way.... or they see that their decisions worked out so they're saying "follow my path exactly, it's the only true way to success!". Listen to them, think about it... but when it comes right down to it, make your own decisions based on what's in your heart. No one can tell you what you "should" do, heck, no one can define what "success" is for you! That's the beauty of what makes us all different! Isn't it freeing to think there is no "right way"? 

 

I guess this hit a nerve, it's something I've struggled with in the past and felt less than because of it. 

 

Now, down to the details. I will say, if you plan to live off grid, research and plan for it now. :) Start looking for where to move, get an idea of different areas, costs involved, pros and cons etc. Get some concrete information in front of you. Make it a real plan with numbered steps instead of some vague pipe dream. Read blogs written by people who are doing exactly what you dream of. 

 

I would point out that going off grid can be as frugal or expensive as you wish. Off grid /not being plugged IN to the grid. You can do this by using candlelight, wood fires to heat and cook on, no electric gadgets or indoor plumbing (think hand pumped water from well and outhouses) in a one room cabin or you go the high end route of building a huge house which uses passive solar to heat, solar panels, wind turbines etc. 

 

We are NOT off grid but instead choose to live simply. We cut our ties to the media, cutting back (where we can) on energy consumption, limiting how much "stuff" we bring into our home and trying to make a lot of what we need, buying second hand or doing without. We bought a small 3 bedroom house (under 1000 sq ft but nice layout) on a 15 year mortgage paying less per month than what we used to pay in rent for a 2 bedroom apartment... in a low cost of living area. Do your research and good luck to you! :)

 

ETA: Dang. I feel like I put too much of my heart into this post and now everyone will come along and rip it to shreds! I get that my response is more "spiritual/finding yourself" aka "rainbows and unicorns" vs being financially savvy. I'll leave it as is though in case it's actually helpful to anyone. namaste.gif


Edited by HeatherAtHome - 12/31/10 at 11:25am
post #57 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeatherAtHome View Post

Since when do we need to have our life planned out at the age of 20? What a boring way to live! I think it's more important to do what feels right in your own life based on what the choices are in front of you and where you want to go. Eventually your thoughts and feelings change and at that point, you adjust or change directions.  I thought we were past the whole "everyone has to go to college to succeed in life" mentality? What happened to all you fans of The Radical Homemaker? (I know, you weren't all fans, but there were many!) This thread is full of doom and gloom and judgement! Just because someone chooses to do something different with their life doesn't mean they are young and naive or unintelligent. 

 


When you have 2 small children at the age of 20, you may not need to have your life planned out, but it would sure as hell help to have some kind of outline for it.

 

I think many of the posters in this thread have agreed that a 4-year university degree isn't necessary, but some kind of marketable skill would be beneficial.  There are correspondence courses.  Vocational certificates.  Community colleges.

 

This thread may be full of doom and gloom because it seems like every day, we read about a SAHM's husband/partner losing their job and having no idea how to make ends meet, or a sudden unexpected expense making just buying food difficult.  Call it doom and gloom or what you will, but this is life, and it's not all rainbows and unicorns.  Bad things happen to good people all the time.  These are rough times for many people, even those WITH degrees.  It is not unreasonable to encourage a young mother who ASKED for advice to consider a back-up plan.

 

If you can't help yourself, you can't expect others to help you.

post #58 of 97

Gently, this is in the frugality and finances forum. Probably in the SAHP forum there would be a different tenor to the responses. But this forum is a lot about focusing on managing and planning financially.

 

That can take a lot of forms, and a lot of people here are really experts in cutting expenses in order to live certain ways, which is great. I love the specificity of this forum, where people post their budgets and actual issues and experiences.

 

Another key way to protect one's family is to shore up one's earning potential. That doesn't mean you have to get a job, but it is really really good to plan a backup or a promotion path. A lot of people here have been through financial struggles that they never saw coming, and the OP can take or leave that perspective as she wants. It's really not about SAHP vs. WOHP. It's about having a solid base to meet life challenges, or at least that's what I was thinking when I posted.

 

One of the best things my DH and I accidentally did was to maximize our retirements savings in our late 20s/early 30s. Although we've had some challenges on and off since then, that money has been quietly sitting there compounding. It will make a real difference to us in 20-30 years when we retire. I mildly regret that I did not maximize my income earlier in my life. If I had put off following my dream for 8 years in the job I had quit (I went down to half my salary to pursue a career in publishing), and banked & invested that amount, I might well almost not have to work now. 

post #59 of 97

Not necessarily college, but some sort of trade or certificate program is probably a good idea. I'd suggest community college. They have lots of little programs that will give you options.

 

My hubby and I are both highly educated, but he hasn't been able to find a good job. So it's a good thing that I have a career that pays a living wage (teacher). I'm very much in favor of back up plans.

post #60 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by VisionaryMom View Post


He shouldn't need loans if he makes that little money. He should be able to get grants for pretty much the entire cost of school unless he's going to a really expensive private school (which I think would be a bad idea in this case).


That strikes me as optimistic. The maximum Pell grant is $5500 per year for a full-time student. FSEOG might pony up something, and there are further avenues, but it would be hard to cover a year at UIC, for example, with this bread. In some sense, really expensive private schools can be better in this regard. Anyway, this is just a meandering way of mentioning to the OP that if DH is intending to start school in the summer, the 2011-2012 Illinois FAFSA can be filed starting tomorrow, and it's really a case of there being no time like the present.

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