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Can you afford to SAH? - Page 3

post #41 of 119
I could afford to stay home *if* my DH worked full time and got benefits for the family. He's a SAHD and has been the PCP for our kids since the first one was born 7 years ago. It really is the best arrangement for our family. I am happy being the person who works outside the home, and I think for the most part he is happy to be the person who stays home. And fortunately for us we can afford this arrangement. I know he doesn't want to go back full time, and I would not want to be home full time. Though frankly I would like to be home a little more than I am. Though as PPs have mentioned someone's gotta have the FT job in order to get health insurance in this country.
post #42 of 119
I could afford to stay at home but choose to work. DH and I are both much happier this way - and I really think my kids get a lot out of the daycare environment! I work because I deeply value my financial independence (we share all our money, but I need to know that I contribute to our income); because I enjoy the challenge of my job; because I wouldn't be happy as a full-time SAHM.

Having a third child has been a difficult choice for us, as I cannot "afford" to keep working! My compromise is that I'm going to take a 3-5 year leave of absence from my job (federal govt - I actually get 1 year off pd and then up to 5 more unpaid) and after my year of regular mat leave I am going to run a business from home. If the business is really successful or if I really am happy that way - I won't come back to my current job. If I don't really like it I will come back to my current job once my two oldest are in full-time school.

I know I will miss working - I always have on my maternity leaves with my boys, but I am so grateful to live where I could take a whole year off to adjust to the baby (and try not to get too sleep deprived!)
post #43 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellien C View Post
Oh - and Miss Savannah surely has a great mother. What a woman to be able to show her caring and compassion, how to stand up for herself, how to articulate a point, how to write so well., her sharp wit! How to feel a barb and feel the pain and then pick herself up and say - that's not fair. That was hurtful and surely don't understand that of which you criticize! And how to rise above that criticism!
I totally agree. And I agree with MissSavannahsMommy, it ISN'T fair. But life, she is not always fair. You have to play with the hand you're dealt, and I think that all the WOHMs on this board, partnered or not, are doing a fabulous job.
post #44 of 119
I REALLY wish I could afford to stay home but we need the health insurance. It makes me mad weekly that I have to work just so we can have health insurance. But I can't get a policy unless their required to give one to me and I'm not so sure my DD could at this point either considering she's been in the hospital 2 times in her just under 3 year old life!

One day...
post #45 of 119
a little OT, but the health insurance thing is a killer for most US families. I am not sure what we are going to do when the cobra benefits run out in a year - so far, we cannot find a better deal than the $1000 a month we pay for family benefits.

I just read the Motherhood Manifesto and saw the DVD. I recommend it to every mom in the US - even if you don't agree with all of their conclusions, they are raising vital issues around the economics of motherhood these days.

http://www.momsrising.org
http://www.amazon.com/Motherhood-Man.../dp/1560258845

As someone in the DVD said, yes, these benefits (universal health care for all children at a minimum, paid leave, excellent childcare) would cost money, but what is an economy for but to support happy and healthy families?
post #46 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Azuralea View Post
You know, it's interesting, I realized during the course of this discussion and others over the past few days that the smug "I want to raise my children myself" or "I want to instill my values into our kids," which, when said to a WOHM, is nearly always intended as a nasty dig, doesn't really bother me any more. It used to really bother me, but I've realized that I basically don't react any more.

I guess because it seems so absurd on its face. I've done both (SAH and WOH) and there is really no difference in terms of how I felt as far as "instilling values" or "raising my own child."

I think if anything I feel sorry for people who are so unsure of their influence and role in their kids' lives.

Preach it sister!!!


Personally, I think that the smug comments, et al. bothered me so much because I felt trapped in my job. To be honest, in the last 2 months that we've been living on my salary alone I've learned that I technically COULD SAH if I wanted to, and the fact that I know I have a choice makes me worry a lot less (about my job AND about comments). And, oddly, it makes me like my job a lot more It's really just this past week that I've realized that the snarky attitudes that used to make me so mad are completely inconsequential to my life. Sure, I used to say it...but now I actually mean it!
post #47 of 119
I COULD stay at home... if we left the country and let our student loans go into default. (And don't think there aren't days when that seems like a VERY good idea...) But that's not a realistic situation for our family. We're luck that we have two parents with decent health insurance and strong careers and we could make ends meet on either one of our salaries if you're talking about basics -- food, clothes, housing, transportation. But when you add in the $1200 minimum monthly payments on our student loan debt, there is just no way we could manage on one income. Even though we pay out the nose for daycare, we need my extra income to cover that, and our loans -- luckily, there is some leftovers to fund retirement, education for our children, etc. But the idea that we could somehow come up with that 'extra' $1200 by cutting out pantyhose, parking and fastfood must be that "new math" I keep hearing so much about.
post #48 of 119
Yes, DH and I could afford for me to SAH... and have a PT nanny and a housekeeper on top of it. He is very fortunate to make a good living.

However, I would be miserable staying at home. I tried, for about 2 years and just hated it for three reasons:

1. I don't have the patience to be around children constantly, even my own! And I love 'em! :

2. I like making money and contributing to the household that way.

3. I have a very useful skill and I enjoy the work I do. I would feel wasteful not using the talent that I've been blessed with.
post #49 of 119
We could afford to be a one income household, at least for a while, but I always have trouble answering questions like this, because they are almost always about whether the MOM could afford to stay home (no offense to the OP, I know we are mostly mamas around here, so the question does make sense, I'm thinking societally). DH and I both work, but we've both made work decisions that have limited our individual incomes/ career advancement for the sake of our family. If we were a one income household, whoever was earning that income would be more likely to pursue a job that required longer hours, travel, etc. and resulted in a higher paycheck. As it is, both of us have tempered our ambitions somewhat, but neither of us completely, in order to pursue that elusive balance of work, family, and other interests.

I feel like DH and I have one of the most equitable marriages I've ever seen- especially when it comes to parenting (not always rosy, but equitable ). I certainly think one can have an equitable relationship with one primary income earner, but in our case the fact that we must both negotiate the balance between work and family actually helps us and is a good model for DS.

Remind me I said all this the next time I announce I don't want to work anymore.
post #50 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Azuralea View Post
You know, it's interesting, I realized during the course of this discussion and others over the past few days that the smug "I want to raise my children myself" or "I want to instill my values into our kids," which, when said to a WOHM, is nearly always intended as a nasty dig, doesn't really bother me any more. It used to really bother me, but I've realized that I basically don't react any more.

I guess because it seems so absurd on its face. I've done both (SAH and WOH) and there is really no difference in terms of how I felt as far as "instilling values" or "raising my own child."

I think if anything I feel sorry for people who are so unsure of their influence and role in their kids' lives.
: You really summed up my feelings.

To answer the original question, I ended up not working during my pregnancy and for almost dd's first year. That came at a huge cost to our finances, I went back to work pt and now that dd is getting ready to turn 2 soon, I will be easing into ft work. Though I am glad I had that time to be with dd 100% of the time.

At present we could not afford for me not to work, my dh is a freelance writer/editor and my permanant salary helps out during his lean periods which we are currently dealing with, he lost some clients and his income dropped by 40%. Well my salary just about fills that gap, in fact I recently read the Feminine Mistake and totally related to it.

Earlier in this thread someone mentioned that every Mom could stay home if they made sacrifices. To be honest I see that sentiment alot on this board and maybe its true for some families but I suspect there are a lot of folks here struggling to survive because being a SAHM is seen as paramount to being the best AP Mom you can be. Yet I know for me when I was buying into that thought it was horrible from a financial perspective.

Oddly enough I spent more money on junk when I was a SAHM because I needed to get out of the house so I'd have coffee out or grab a lunch out, etc. However as a WOHM I bring my lunch daily, I am no longer doing a daily mocha at Starbucks and where are these shopping sprees?

I also know that finances aside that I am a much better parent when I go to work, my personality does not do well being at home. I also know that my dd is thriving in daycare and neither I nor the daycare folks beleive for a moment that they are raising her, that's me and dh's job.


Shay
post #51 of 119
We could live on one salary and live paycheck to paycheck.

My additional salary allows us to: contribute to retirement funds, build a pension, contribute to two college funds, buy a good amount of life insurance, have excellent health benifits that we will both maintain after my retirement and up to the time of my death, and save a bit of money to have a cushion in case of an emergency.

For my family, I am looking towards the future and doing the responsible thing.

Oh, and my husband and I ARE raising our children, TYVM.
post #52 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Qestia View Post
3. I also have to factor retirement savings into the account, also SAHMing would put an end to college saving and probably our personal savings as well.
Well then, can you really say you can afford it?
post #53 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Sweeties1Angel View Post
.
since I'm not working right now I don't fit in over here.
i was out of work for a spell, and i LOVED the support i got on this forum.
post #54 of 119
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PiePie View Post
Well then, can you really say you can afford it?
well, if it were really important to me I probably would say yes. If I thought my prescence 24-7 was absolutely required for a healthy happy child I would say yes. But no, adding those factors to the list in my OP, you're right. Retirement, college, emergency savings, all these things are important.
post #55 of 119
Can't really afford to now, but I would not want to anyway for the following of your reasons:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Qestia View Post
1. Exciting career, don't want to jeopardize re-entry into field.(not currently, but hope to get into the career I want)

3. I also have to factor retirement savings into the account, also SAHMing would put an end to college saving and probably our personal savings as well.

5. DS loves his DCP and I think he would miss playing with the other kids, he's pretty extroverted and DH and I are not.

8. I am afraid I would go nuts. I am not always patient and I worry I would lose my patience more easily with DS if I didn't get breaks from him. I'm not proud of that.

9. I like being financially independent. Though we merge our finances, I know the money is mine and I feel I can spend it without asking DH about every little thing. I would not like our relationship dynamic to change.
post #56 of 119
My DH works 34 hours a week and we run a small business from home. Our son just turned 4 and has never been in daycare.

The hard parts are:
1 Being with a small child all day is enough to make you go crazy sometimes.

2 Being Broke...there have been some scary times when unexpected financial thing have happened.


3 I do most of the Housework, meal prep and care for DS. When DH and I both worked from home it was more 50-50


But I wouldn't change it for anything in the world. It is a lot of fun to be home with my son.
post #57 of 119
Technically, we could afford it. Savings would be less robust and I think my marriage would be less healthy with my DH shouldering all the financial stress, but I agree with previous poster who said if she really believed that being home 24/7 was necessary she would and could do it.

But I don't believe it's necessary. I've been working full-time and commuting, and that has been way too much--for me, my husband, and my two year old. Next month I am starting to work from home doing consulting for my industry. I'm probably going to make 1/4 of what I made last year, but I'll still be working part time, from home, and losing so many expenses that I think it will almost be a wash. My daughter will go to daycare three days a week from 930-330. I think that is AWESOME!!

I can't imagine not working at a job at all--the loss in skills and connections--it just doesn't seem practical to me.

And I also agree with the values, someone else raising my child comment...It's a silly comment that I think comes from a very insecure, narrow mindset, and if you're really going to walk the walk with that, you need to commit to homeschooling your child til they are 18. To make sure that no one elses insidious values creep in before their adulthood!
post #58 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by madskye View Post



I can't imagine not working at a job at all--the loss in skills and connections--it just doesn't seem practical to me.

And I also agree with the values, someone else raising my child comment...It's a silly comment that I think comes from a very insecure, narrow mindset, and if you're really going to walk the walk with that, you need to commit to homeschooling your child til they are 18. To ma,e sure that no one elses insidious values creep in before their adulthood!
I have gained more skills and connections through being a SAHM than from any "Job" I have ever had. To imply that I have lost skills and connections as a result of staying home with my son is very insulting.:

And no, I am not wrong if I send my child to a good private school when/if he wants to go. That doesn't mean that I am not "Walking the Walk". It just made sense for my family for me to stay home for a few years. And we may or may not homeschool, depending on what seems right for the fam at that time.


And it sounds like you are the one who is a little "Insecure" about your decision, why else do you need to lash out at at SAHM's?
post #59 of 119
Quote:
Our son just turned 4 and has never been in daycare.
My son is 6 and has never been in daycare. It really hurt him when he went to school and didn't really know how to interact with the other children or his teacher. I wouldn't brag about never using daycare.
post #60 of 119
No. I can't. If I could, I would but I can't.

I work pt right now. I was a sahm for 2 1/2 years after my oldest was born and then had to find a job because we got into a really bad situation. Once that straightened out and we got back on our feet, I switched to part-time in a different profession. Now that I'm pregnant again I would love to cut out five hours a week and only work a 20 hour week. In order to do that I'd have to change jobs again and really, I don't feel like dealing with the hassle of taking a job while pg. No one will hire me (not doing a job that I want to do) if they know I'm pg and I don't feel up to the deception. So right now I'll stay in my part-time job but I'm looking for a wah job to switch to. If I can't find that, I'll switch as soon as I can to a 20 hour/week job after the baby is born.

However, I do feel better about myself as a wohm. I like bringing in my own money. I like talking to grown ups and spending alone time, even if it is on the stinky bus! We are able to save money some months which is great. I don't feel so dependant on dh which has worked wonders on our relationship. When I feel dependant, I feel trapped. When I feel trapped, I lash out. Since making my "own" money makes me feel more free which makes me closer to dh if that makes sense
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