Would you take a household pay cut for more family time? - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Would you leave a good paying job to spend more time with your family?
Yes, I would get another job to spend more time with the family 62 78.48%
No, I would keep the job and the money 17 21.52%
Voters: 79. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-13-2006, 09:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am coming from this as a SAHM, so it would be dh that takes a pay cut.
But here goes...
DH has a job, that he isn't that fond of, he has to go to school for his masters (over 1/2 done) to continue in his position. It is getting more and more stressful. He is getting more and more responsiblity and with that more money. It has great benifits (health insurance, dental, vision, 401K, stock options, bonuses 3-4 times a year). Sounds great. Here is the catch, when he is home he isn't here. He is so distracted by the pressures from his job that he can't focus when he is at home. He is forgetful and stressed 100% of the time. His health is suffering, he sleeps poorly, he misses lunch 9 times out of ten, so he isn't eating well (He does call grabbing a candy bar and a soda a lunch... but I don't buy it. LOL).
I feel so lonely when we are together. I realized over this last weekend when the kids and I went out to do something, that I was glad he wasn't there, because he wouldn't have had fun and he would have made the rest of us unhappy too. I hate that. It didn't use to be like that.
He has talked off and on about getting another job, but it would pay less, not sure how much less. Not only does he have no time for us, but even other things he enjoys like his music suffer for lack of time. I want to say, just get another job. We will work it out. We have lived on less for alot of years. And we were happier. He was happier.
He says he can't truly leave the job, as it has a great future (money wise) and that he can only move up (more stress, more responsiblity, less time with us), and that he doesn't want to let us down by moving "backwards". He doesn't want to be poor again.

H

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Old 12-13-2006, 09:40 PM
 
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Yes, definitely!! You can replace money but you can't replace the family time! As long as you can live on the lower salary I would do it, and it sounds like you can since you say you have lived on less.
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Old 12-13-2006, 09:45 PM
 
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I put no, but I was only thinking of my situation. My husband is a teacher. He's home by 4pm each day, never works weekends, is off for Christmas, Spring, and Summer breaks.

In a sense, I guess we did take the paycut in exchange for family time. But he just never had the "other" job. He could certainly earn more in a different job (his degree is not in teaching). But I really don't think that I'd trade it.

In your situation, without a doubt I'd take the family time over the money!
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Old 12-13-2006, 09:46 PM
 
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Dh had the opportunity to move up a couple of years back - more money but alot less time at home. Even though he was perfect for the job, he didnt take it for the sole reason of the hours.

I was very proud of him. They did however, offer him the job but working only the current hours, so in the end it did work out really well for us.

But I would encourage dh to take any job that makes him happy, regardless of pay.

All the best to you!
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Old 12-13-2006, 09:46 PM
 
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Absolutely. My DH just changed jobs. Before he was miserable and stressed out.. and not very nice. I think he took some of it out on us at home, which wasn't fair. Things have been so much better since he started at his new position three weeks ago. He's happy, enjoying the kids more.. more attentive
So I would say YES! Sounds like he's (and the rest of your family) paying quite a price for the job he has now.

~e, wife to my sweet T , mama to my turtleman (12) , sunshine (9 ), and monkey (6)
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Old 12-13-2006, 09:53 PM
 
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Definately I would take the lesser paying job to have more time with the family. I mean, in the long run, when you are old and your children are grown what are going to be your regrets? That you didn't have enough family time or that you didn't make enough money, get enough promotions, etc. . . DH is currently getting his masters which would mean he could get a principal job and make almost double what he makes now as a teacher. Of course that would mean he would work year round and a lot more hours. We don't want that. We want and value our family time together so while the extra money would be nice we would rather be together and not have as much "stuff".

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Old 12-13-2006, 10:32 PM
 
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Go rent the movie "Click" with Adam Sandler. It might hit home for him.
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Old 12-13-2006, 11:04 PM
 
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Absolutely! There is no job or amount of money more important than our family! Tina~
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Old 12-13-2006, 11:05 PM
 
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My dh just did exactly this. He's with the same company, but is now able to work from home at least half the week. The trade-off came in overtime-in his old position, it was time-and-a-half and he worked at least 7 or 8 hours ot a week. The new job is no longer union, so the ot pay dropped by about $10/hour, and some weeks there is no ot at all.

Having him home more will allow me to work more if I need to, will save us gas money, will save us money he was spending eating lunch out, etc, so I'm hoping we can get it to even out with some penny pinching.

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Old 12-13-2006, 11:12 PM
 
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Mamaofthree, I think your DH should totally go get another job. It sounds like this one will only shorten his life and it is already lessening the quality of it. That doesn't sound very favorable in any way. If he goes off and gets another job making less, well, since he is obviously a good employee, someone who works well, is able to achieve in his position and be recognized for it, then guess what? He's going to do well in his next position and bit by bit, more up in that one, get raises, promotions, etc., with time. Hopefully, he is proud enough of his accomplishments that he can see that if he can do it there, he will be able to do it almost anywhere, and somewhere that will allow him more quality time with his family.

Good luck!
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Old 12-14-2006, 12:25 AM
 
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H- This must be so hard for you and the kids. I hope he can find another job that pays well.

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Old 12-14-2006, 12:40 AM
 
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I said 'no', because dh *has* had opportunities to take the job with fewer hours and less money...and has not done it. He is graduating on Saturday with his MBA so it sounds like we are in the same boat you are, except there is one saving grace...he does not have set office hours and can choose to work from home if he doesn't have vendor or customer meetings, etc, and so he does do that on average once every two weeks, and he rarely leaves the house before 9am (though he is rarely home before 6:30) so that is better than your dh's situation, it seems. If only my dh did not have to travel so much...his job is about 25% travel and that sucks.
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Old 12-14-2006, 01:20 AM
 
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Most definitely. My young DH suffered a stroke, I believe partly due to the incredible pressures of his job. Thankfully, he survived, and now we have more family time together.

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Old 12-14-2006, 01:45 AM
 
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we have both done this and it's been very very worthwhile. we both still work, but dh is home by 4 and i work 4 days a week.

bejeweled- how scary for you & dh! is he ok now?
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Old 12-14-2006, 01:50 AM
 
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Yes.

My husband is our sole provider and has a goal-oriented, Type A personality or whatever you call it. He is NEVER EVER home before 7 p.m. and rarely before 8 p.m. Plus he works weekends even if it's not in the office. I despise laptops and Blackberries because it means he is basically working all the time with rarely ever any mental break.

We have learned the hard way that the only time DH will go without his cell phone or laptop is if we have plane tickets to go out of town on vacation. It's a good thing he makes a lot of money so we can afford to do that once in a while.

Sigh. I do love having a warm cozy home in a great neighborhood. But there has got to be something in between what he is doing and being at the poverty level. He says he would work that way at any job he does that it's him. I think that's partly true but it doesn't help that he works in an industry where such schedules and workloads and stress levels are the norm.

Thanks for listening.
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Old 12-14-2006, 01:57 AM
 
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Thanks Bobica. He is doing much better. I read a Chinese proverb the other night that just blew me away--- An ounce of gold cannot buy an ounce of time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobica View Post
we have both done this and it's been very very worthwhile. we both still work, but dh is home by 4 and i work 4 days a week.

bejeweled- how scary for you & dh! is he ok now?

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Old 12-14-2006, 02:14 AM
 
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Well..it depends.
I think you guys need to have a better plan in place than "some other unknown job".
Look SERIOUSLY at your current budget,m and his realistic other job options and how much they would pay. How drastically would you have to cut your budget to live off of one of those jobs? Not knowing you and your situation, I don't knwo if you are talking about changes like "sorry dear, no more vacations in europe " or more like "We can only eat OUT once pre week on the new budget" or more like "we can only EAT once per week on the new budget" if he switches jobs.
So..i woudl look at that...look at how much you guys would need to have, income-wise, to be able to live in a manner you are comfortable with, and look at what his options are for jobs that pay that.
I think it is unrealistic to say "family time is more important"
Yes, i believe it is...but money troubles can add just as much stress to a reltionship as job troubles, oyou know? You certainly don't want to trade one form of stress for another, unless you know it and willingly make that choice.

Different people "do" being poor differently.
I personally, don't "do" poor well...dh does! So, he is comfortable never being able to go out, eat in restaurants, buy things on a whim(I'm talking like $5 purchases here, lol!), have dd take community classes (dance, etc), rent movies, buy organic food, etc
I am NOT.
I don't think i have expensive tastes or whatever...but to me, being too poor to do anything ever...is ;like a prison sentence. Id rather leave dd/be apart from her in order to work 15 hrs per week, and then have money to ENJOY the other 100 hours i get to spend with her, then be at home all the time and be absolutely BROKE. i LIKE the little things that cost money..yes, i understand there are lots of things that DON'T..but i especially like the ones that DO. Like having our membership to the local zoo..we go several times a week in the summer. Being able, on occasion, to spring for a juice or even ice cream on a hot day....to have enough gas to drive to some of the nicer parks on the other side of town....to be able to let dd take the gymnastics classes she LOVES....to be able to buy her a better carseat that will keep her safeer, etc..
to me, there is a certain level of living i need to have in order to be happy....now, above and beyond that, i don't feel the need to be RICH..but i can't be dirt poor. I know that about myself.

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Old 12-14-2006, 02:29 AM
 
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I voted no because of our current situation. We have a good amount of family time already, and we make *almost* enough to scrap by pay check to paycheck. :

Rachel, married to Andy, mama to Aubrey, Lauren, Sasha, and *surprise* Baby #4, due November, 2011
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Old 12-14-2006, 02:33 AM
 
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I voted no.

Dh just took a better paying job and has way less time with us.

It stinks but I feel ok with it since

A. It gets us off foodstamps
B. It get us off the medical card

I felt like we shouldn't be using the government if we can make it ok without them.
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Old 12-14-2006, 02:57 AM
 
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I voted Keep the Job. I recognize this puts me in a tiny minority so here's my reasoning...

There is something in your description of your dh that makes me think it's not just the job's fault. So giving up a job where he has fantastic benefits and pay is definitely not the first thing I would look at doing. I would ask yourself and him why, when he's at home, he's distant and stressed, etc., and why he doesn't take good care of himself. I think a lot of people switch jobs or have a "grass is always greener" outlook with regard to jobs, but the core issues aren't necessarily associated with the job and don't stay away for long after switching jobs.

My $0.02.
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Old 12-14-2006, 03:07 AM
 
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We actually are taking an income cut to stay at home with our dd. My husband and I both decided to go down to 3days/week so we can each be home with her 2 days. Then my mother-in-law is taking a day of care as well. That way we can surround her with people who love her and are committed to her well-being. It's a financial hit but she's only a baby for so long. These are important years.

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Old 12-14-2006, 03:47 AM
 
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It totally depends on your income and cost of living wherever you are, and your personal situation. For me it would be no, because I like to build up a savings for "just in case" situations whether it would be medical, house, car or whatever life throws at you unexpectedly. I want to have that safety money because if I don't, then I'll be really stressed when that time comes and I don't have the money. Do you have debt? Will you still be able to contribute to savings with the paycut? Like someone else said, lack of money will cause tons of stress.
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Old 12-14-2006, 03:52 AM
 
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That was hard, but then I realized that I was sitting here looking at my fancy laptop, drinking my $24 a bottle Pinot Grigio and listening to my flatscreen TV play some idiotic song that I have on my Direct TV package...

I would gladly cut all of that out (well, maybe switch to Charles Shaw, good ol' 2 Buck Chuck wine) if Dh would quit working so much.
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Old 12-14-2006, 04:05 AM
 
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it's certainly easier in a way to "say" I would take the increase in family time but from your dh's perspective i can understand his conflict or struggle to let something that in one way seems so wonderful, so right as far as what dad are "supposed" to do ie: Provide. This is a huge thing for them. Huge.
Most of the time one hears about these types of decisions being made after a more troublesome situation arises or life just gets unbearable for everyone involved and it usually takes some time to get to that point. unfortunately, your kids are prob young and NOW would be the best time to make a leap like that----- It seems a matter of learning from those ahead of us.

Hope that makes sense. BEST Of LUCK
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Old 12-14-2006, 04:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Periwinkle: What you said hit a nerve. I think I need to talk to dh. I keep thinking maybe it is the stress of the job, that he is "at work" in his head all the time, but maybe it is something else. :

To be honest I am torn. I mean truly it has been a hard 15 years of marriage (income wise only). This has been a good year for us, we are paying off debt, putting money away, I can stay home, and we can still do some fun stuff. I don't want to give that up... but I want to be happy again. I want dh to be home when he is home. Sometimes when I look out into the future I wonder what will happen to us. He is a great man, I really lucked out with him. He is sweet most of the time, loving, a good man, a great father. But I feel like he is dissappering. Like that fun loving guy is going away and is being replaced by this man who can not relax. Isn't comfortable here anymore. I wonder if he is feel like he has this huge burden to carry and he can't let us down.

H

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Old 12-14-2006, 05:58 AM
 
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I voted yes. I'd personally rather live in a tent than be owned by some jerk boss who doesnt care at all DH's well being or our family. But I am alone in my thinking in our house. My DH sounds like yours. He is a hard worker, he's exhausted. I know he doesnt like it but I think he feels a heavy burden to provide. I remind him all the time that I dont need "stuff" and I'd rather have him but he also cant say no to his boss. I'm constantly wanting to sell, move somewhere cheaper, help him start his own biz (he does wood working) but he doesnt go for it. He says that is too scary. He needs something constant and structured. I honestly think it stems from his childhood. His parents never praised him, etc. By "making it" (owning a nice house, having a new car, good clothes, etc) he is showing "them" that he made it, even though they dont live near us. I dont know, that's my theory. My dad is the same way and also grew up like my DH did. His "things" prove his worth. But things are NOTHING. You could lose it all tomorrow and what you have left standing by is your family.

What about a plan to get out of it eventually so it seems like there is light at the end of the tunnel? What if you use this current job to work hard at getting the debt paid off and then try to downsize when you are debt free? Money problems are also not fun but I honestly do not think it is all or nothing. There is something in the middle, you just have to find it. I hope we find it someday.

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Old 12-14-2006, 09:55 AM
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Depends on how much less money he'd be making. Perhaps he could get a less stressful job and you could get a part-time job.

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Old 12-14-2006, 10:33 AM
 
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Well there was not an option for possibly so I voted no. I work as opposed to DH. I was tempted to take a pay cut and switch to day shift so I could spend more time with DH and DD, but these are the things that pushed it to no.

1.) dayshift drama is far more stressful than nightshift drama
2.) on days you have multiple management watching you- including management not in charge of you
3.) nightshift makes a whole $2.50 more- which adds up A LOT come check time.

I cannot handle a lot of stress. So while I would love to spend more time with my family... it would not be pleasent time because I'll be irritable from work. So me working overnights and seeing my family as much as I can is much better than seeing them more often and being a she devil all the time.

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Old 12-14-2006, 10:50 AM
 
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I voted yes, because I feel that is effectively what we did - we both have "low-powered" jobs and "only" work 40 hours a week. Most travel is at our own discretion.

But I'm kinda with Periwinkle on this. It sounds like he's withdrawing, possibly due to middle-age or something else. You can also agree to suck-it-out for a set period of time and then get out. I've had a few jobs like that - one while I was getting my MBA. It's easier to cope if you know there is an end in site.

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Old 12-14-2006, 10:56 AM
 
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Me personally? Yep, been there, done that.

I was making 2/3s of our family income with a well paying job that I'd had for 16 years and I left to stay home when I had the two younger ones. I'd do it again in a heart beat - best decision I ever made. We are having a tough time financially and we are going to have to sell our house to move to something smaller but I'm still 1000% happier than I would have been working and not getting as much time with the kids.

But we are able to do that because we already have equity in our house - if we didn't have that we might not have been able to. It all depends on your particular household situation.

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