Need support and encouragement- planning on staying at home for the 1st time after this baby is...
You will figure out what your family needs to do to make it work. It is so worth it
I am looking forward to so much!!!! I know it won't be bliss, but aI am SO ready for a change!! And taking a break from my career will be good for me.
I wouldn't trade being a SAHM for the world! - even if it means a long pause in my career interests (though I am back at school now) Seeing, and doing all the things I've been able to do with DS has been so special for us. I know some have to, some want to go back to work right away, and I certainly don't judge - but I really couldn't see myself being away from DS for so many hours a day. I would have missed out on so much with him, he 's pretty fun to be around (most days - ha ha!)
Like others have said we make sacrifices to make it work, but it's totally fine. Some days it's tougher than others, being the sole caregiver, but the benefits are way great.
I will say that although DH was supportive and we looked at what it meant financially, some months it was really shocking for him to see just how much I was contributing financially pre-baby - and then not, as my savings dwindled and I relied on him more. Lot's of unexpected costs creep up as we all now, and it put a lot of pressure on him sometimes when I had to keep telling him we need $ for something else.
My only advice there is to really sit down a look at your monthly costs & unexpected costs that may come up (vehicle costs, house repairs etc) so that he and you are really on the same page and there aren't too many surprises.
I'd recommend reading "All the Money in the World" by Laura Vanderkam. It makes you look at your expenses a little differently - ie you don't have to spend a ton of time couponing to save 50 cents or whatever. It was pretty eye opening for me.
Hubby just quit his job so we're living on my part-time income now - that should be interesting... We're on what is probably going to be our last vacation for a long time.
I go through it a lot.. I could always work a "little" but then I think about leaving my kids and its not such an attractive thought. I just do what I can to save money where I can. We actually do better with just him working and three kids than we did as just the two of us with both working.
OkiMom-- I think that might be the case with us. When I think about a lot of the extra money we spend now- it's mainly going out to eat and buying expensive convenience foods b/c we are so busy and buying items I know I could probably get cheaper, but don't have the time to shop around... I just keep thinking that I'll have more time to do things that will save money so we do have extra money for things we "want", but don't need. The only funny thing about this entire situation is that my oldest will be 6 1/2 by the time this baby is born-- I think that I forget how much time it takes to nurse, bathe, diaper, etc.... LOL But- I know that I will never look back and say "I wish I could have bought that new purse or gone on an expensive vacation, instead of spending time with our baby!!!!"
I should also say, I struggled a lot wth going back to work after my mat leave was up, even though I was able to negotiate a part time schedule. It wasn't until recently (DD is now 2.5) that I'm at peace with, and glad I kept working.
For one thing, it allowed my husband to quit a job he was really unhappy in.
And the other - it's actually nice to have "something else" outside of the house, not just for the money, but for my brain to work a different way, for me to go to the bathroom by myself (luxury!), and for me to talk to other adults about non-parenting topics!
My daughter has thrived in daycare (put her in at a year) and now preschool - in fact, even if I wasn't working, we'd definitely find a way for her to attend preschool. She has learned a ton of self-help skills I didn't even think to teach her (like cleaning up her own dishes into the sink, putting on her own jacket and shoes much earlier than I thought she'd be able to, etc.)
Oh, and even my part-time income allowed me to sign her up for fun classes, etc. without feeling too much of a pinch. A lot of my SAHM friends really have to weigh their options carefully. Also, if you're @ home you really really really HAVE to watch your spending. It's actually easier for me to spend tons of money on the days I don't work and the little bits here and there do add up.
Good luck either way!
We are going to be living on a very limited budget so I can SAH. We always have, though, it'll just be more so. We can't afford most extracurriculars for DS which is fine with me, since I don't think it's any loss to my DS. We can't afford most things our friends can - we live on less than half the median income for our (expensive) area. But it doesn't bother us, because we feel like we're living our values. Neither DH nor I are shoppers, though. We do go on vacations but we stay with family/friends generally. Basically I think it is much easier mentally if you and DH are on the same page and believe in what you're doing. Obviously, I think it's wonderful!
You also never know how you'll feel. When DS was six months old I started back working very part-time and it was fantastic for me. I really needed it, and that surprised me. I had planned on it at that time, but thought it would be very hard for me. Well, about a year later, I started to feel very upset about my very nice part-time arrangement. I hated being apart from DS even part-time and I felt like I had to have my head in two different places all the time. So we re-evaluated, decided to send DS to preschool for only 3 mornings rather than days, and I squeezed in some work then. Now with twins on the way, there is no way we could afford childcare even if I wanted to work, which I don't. So it was easily to make the decision to truly SAH starting in the summer. But I don't pretend to know what we will end up doing next year, year after, long term! For now I am very happy about and proud of the path we're taking.
[Sorry for all the edits, my computer is being wonky and keeps hitting return for me.]
I admire you so much for making it work. It is just not possible for me to SAH since I make almost all the money. I'm also a tenured professor and I have to admit that walking away from such a secure job like that wouldn't make sense for our family. My regret is that we don't have better maternity leave and more flexible conditions (though I have a very flexible schedule so I feel lucky in that regard).