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DH isn't supportive of me being a SAHM

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

My mom was a SAHM and my sisters and I have always appreciated that, and I've always known I wanted to be at home with my kids when they were little.  I have always told my DH that from the time we were dating.


We got a surprise pregnancy early in our marriage as DH was about to start grad school.  Thankfully, I was able to get a very flexible part time job at his university where I have been able to be with my dd ( now almost 3) all the time except for 6-15 hours a week depending on the week and I get university breaks - so 2 1/2 months for the summer and a month for Christmas.  This job provides us with housing, utillities, cable, and internet.


We will definitely be transitioning away from the university in May, adn we are expecting #2 in Feb.  I would LOVE to be a SAHM once I leave this job but DH is NOT on board.


First, he grew up in a culture where almost everyone had a live in maid/nanny so in his culture SAHM work isn't really valued.  He has a hard time understanding why I have a masters degree but would want to be at home with our kids.


Then, he has had a REALLY hard time finding a job in his field - he is currently working a full time job that he hates and the thought of being the sole provider is a lot of stress on him.  I have repeatedly emphasized that I am willing to get creative and find ways to make a financial contribution to our family - through watching other kids, sewing, working from home, etc.  I've also explained that financially, being at home can save us money because we won't have childcare costs, I cook from scratch, I don't need to pay for transporation to work, business attire, take out food, etc. 


Lately he's been talking about me finding full time work and putting our kids in daycare.  He grew up in a family where money was always tight, and he felt he missed out on opportunities because of it.  He has become very focused on having enough money to give our kids all the opportunities he didn't have.


This is really hard for me because being at home with the kids is something that I really value and have always wanted to do and I'm willing to make sacrifices to make it happen, but DH is on a completely different page,


Can anyone relate? 

post #2 of 9
My big thing on this is that when your kids are 30, will they look back and think 'gee i wish i had more toys as a preschooler?' or 'gee i'm happy my mom was present in my life'? I know that my mom worked a lot and we went without a lot too, and i dont look back and wish i'd had better toys, i wish that most of my childhood memories included a parent (she was a single mom and didn't have a choice, and we were fortunate to be left with our grandparents). We put way to much value on material things, and they r nit what will make a happy family or great upbringing. Yes u want to have enough to live comfortably without having to break out the credit card every time an unexpected expense comes up, but there are ways to do this. Also, if u made it clear right from the beginning that this is important to you, then i would stand firm about it as long as you can make ends meet!
post #3 of 9

I can understand. My husband was 100 percent on board after reading "Being There" by Isabella Fox. http://www.foxbeingthere.com/


The two of you should read it together and discuss.





post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

Tincia - I totally agree with everyone you are saying - unfortunately, my DH grew up in another country where he experience a lack of even basic material things at some point so he has a hard time understanding where I am coming from.  I think the idea of 2 kids to provide for (both of our pg were surprises) is really stressing him right now so he is SO focused on the material aspects and money.  I really value simplicity and wouldn't choose to buy tons of stuff even if we could afford it. 


Lovepickles - thanks for the recommendation!  My DH has been busy with work adn a class lately so I'm not sure if I can convince him to read but I LOVE to read so maybe I can at least point out some issues that the author raises or get him to read a chapter or two.

post #5 of 9

I can relate... I have 8 years of (very expensive) education behind me and 30 years of (very expensive) student loan payments ahead of me... I'm working part time right now and that works comfortably for us.  i can contribute financially without being absent.  However, when baby #2 arrives (in april) I wouldn't mind being at home more.  DH, however, doesnt understand that.  (unless, or course, we get relocated for his career, in which case I won't be licensed and I'll have to stay at home).  So i'm torn because it seems that it's only ok for me to be a sahm if its to his benefit...


if i were you i would stick to your guns.  you have a stronger leg to stand on because you've always wanted to be a sahm.  the want to be a sahm is new for me.  i'm going to check out "being there" and hopefully that will offer us both some insight.


not much advice i guess, but i feel your pain!

post #6 of 9

I first read/replied to your financial situation post, but this thread gives a much deeper picture, so I'm replying here as well. Hope you don't mind.  


If your DH's greatest barrier is the short-term Budget...that's easily tackled - the numbers either meet or they don't. Definitely try the SuzeOrman Calculator.  He'll see how those items you mentioned (wardrobe, daycare, transportation, lunches, etc) can QUICKLY add up to a substantial amount of money.


BUT the other barriers (Lost opportunities, culture, etc) are MUCH more difficult.  


Opportunities: I think you mean your DH is hitting on things like educational opportunities, affording the right extracirricular activities, meeting the right people and so on, right? Not getting toys and gifts. In that case, I know it goes against many people's beliefs about how being able to fully pay for their kids' education is a requirement of being a good parent. But honestly, student loans are usually not the end of the world, and if your kids are willing to work hard to earn it, grants/scholarships are available. This reasoning was less of an obstacle for my hubby (even though his parents paid for most of his education), mostly because he agreed with me that student loans are not evil. (That is, unless, our kids wanted to go to medschool or something; but, that would be their choice and they'd make it work if they really wanted it to.) Now, the economy is not what it used to be. Jobs are scarce now. True. But my husband and I both agree that it is not always the degree one holds (because of any opportunities they were given or not) that gets you the job.  That it's the person's "upbringing," - whether they were instilled with social skills, sense of working hard (and smart!), and all those other qualities - that lands one person the job OVER another.  So for us, we plan to pay for half of our kids BA/BS degrees plus general living expenses, and then it's up to them.


If your DH is talking private schools, that's a different story!  Where we live they are EXPENSIVE!  I know very few people (only a couple private-practice doctors) who could afford those on only one income. 


Culture: That's a tough one that even I struggle with my hubby on. But if it helps to hear it: "You're not alone!"


It seems to me that your suggestion of finding ways to make money is quite fair and reasonable.  He wouldn't lose the 'support' he feels of having a partner share the financial burden, and you wouldn't be working away from the kids and missing anything! Although, the only suggestions I have that would make you *enough* money after taxes, are like you said, watching multiple children, or possibly teaching online.  A friend of mine teaches virtual highschool history at nights, from home and makes a full-time salary!  Maybe there's something like that available, especially if you have an advanced degree...  Then, who knows, maybe once your munchkins are school-aged you could find a 'day' job like their schedule, and not have to miss out on much of their lives at all!  Don't give up hope if it's really what you want, and he knew it from the start. Hugs :)

post #7 of 9

Show him the daycare costs for two kids - maybe that will scare him?

post #8 of 9


Originally Posted by DoubleDouble View Post

Show him the daycare costs for two kids - maybe that will scare him?

Along these lines, there are other costs associated with daycare that aren't as obvious.  For instance, DS got ear infections every other month, on average, when he was in daycare.  (As did DD...that stopped when she started going to public school.)  They also would get random colds/fevers/illnesses from time to time.  A runny nose was not at all abnormal for him.  No matter how clean the daycare or school is (and the ones my kids went to were meticulously clean), it will happen when kids get together and they'll pass illnesses to each other.  Because of daycare rules, if your child has a fever or green snot or whatever, they can't come back to daycare until it goes away.  That results in taking time off work whether you like it or not and increased costs for doctor's visits. 


When I was a single mom, I had a hard time when I would get a phone call at noon to come pick up my feverish child or not being able to come into work because my kid was sick yet again...my employers were none too thrilled about having to find a replacement for me (since I didn't have the type of job where the work could be made up the next day, or brought home with me, etc.)


Since I've been a SAHM (homeschooling), my kids haven't been sick once.  In a year.


Plus, around here, daycares will close when the public schools close for snow, and have teacher inservice days, etc..  I didn't have the type of job where I could bring a 5 and 2 year old with me to work, so I'd have to call out those days or find and pay a babysitter.


There are also other savings - I leave the house once a week to go grocery shopping and run errands, and it takes me two months to go through a tank of gas.  I was filling up weekly when I was working, because there was the added distance of daycare drop off and then driving to work.  My kids (and I) don't go through clothes and shoes nearly as much as they used to, because we homeschool barefoot (unless they are playing outside), and they don't have to be in anything matchy or exciting for homeschooling.


It might be a matter of sitting down and crunching realistic numbers with him, to show him that you may actually be bringing home more money if you stay home.  It's hard to picture when there aren't hard and fast bills, but my DH always seems to see my side of things if I can make a visual for him and show him how the numbers work.

post #9 of 9

I am in the same boat. My DH is also from a culture that has a lot of nannies available for affordable prices. But, in our case, he says he knows me and that I would not last long as a SAHM. I also have a graduate degree, and he thinks that I would miss the intellectual stumulation. He is also an academic, and is also fearful of being a sole earner. For that reason, I went back when DS1 was 8 months (as a student). I felt I couldn't argue against that one! Now I am on this academic track and having a hard time getting off. So many people have so many expectations for me! My most recent thought is to do some unconventional things to try and get a part-time position. Maybe that would be a good balance.  Anyway, just to say I have heard the same argument over here! I hope you find the answer that works for you. 

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