I've been a SAHM for about 12 years now with DP earning the only income. Within the next 24 months she will be getting a "promotion" that will actually drop our income substantially (by 80%!) for about 3 years. It will then go back to where it is now for about a year and then slowly increase until retirement at age 65. So while it will be very painful for the short term in the long term it is better for our family.
We plan to pull about 100k from a retirement plan to use over those 3 years but that still leaves us with far less than we've become used to.
What should I do to prepare for that time? We tend to be frugal but not consistently. I don't want to scrimp on kids activities (sports mostly but also social events). This feels very different from when we didn't have the money. Now we are used to being able to eat meat, buy the new hair band all the other girls on the team have, eat the good peaches from the orchard not just the seconds, etc.
If you've done this how did it work? Or not work? I really do not want to take on any debt but I'm also not sure where I could cut back.