Taking a 20% hour and pay cut... on purpose. Gulp. - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 42 Old 11-26-2009, 03:48 PM
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Yes,I think that the parent who is designated as the sole provider should do just that, regardless of their sex.

If the OP had decided to take a job on Wednesdays (her DH's new day off), it would make a teeny bit more sense to me.
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#32 of 42 Old 11-27-2009, 12:13 AM
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I would do this in a heartbeat.

That said, if it was to be a longterm solution, I'd have to get right with the idea of not owning a home/land.

If I couldn't get right with that idea, I'd take the 32hr week, and figure out new career paths for both partners so that home/land ownership would be possible.

Trying to turn hearts and minds toward universal healthcare, one post at a time.
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#33 of 42 Old 11-27-2009, 12:56 AM
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I think if he is very unhappy at work its probably not so great in the evenings when he is home either. Fulltime workers spend way more time at their job, waking hours, than they do at home. IF we were in this situation I would try it and if finances are tight maybe the mom could watch a child at home to make up some of the difference.

I asked the question about role/gender reversal just to see what the answer would be. I have three sons and I would hate for them to live their lives "sucking it up".
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#34 of 42 Old 11-27-2009, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by mommaof3boz View Post
I think if he is very unhappy at work its probably not so great in the evenings when he is home either. Fulltime workers spend way more time at their job, waking hours, than they do at home. IF we were in this situation I would try it and if finances are tight maybe the mom could watch a child at home to make up some of the difference.

I asked the question about role/gender reversal just to see what the answer would be. I have three sons and I would hate for them to live their lives "sucking it up".
I don't want my son sucking it up either!

Just to share my math though, I am awake about 16 hours a day. With my commute I'm at work about 10 hours a day. But then there are weekends. So...

6 x 5 + 32 = 62 waking hours at home
10 x 5 = 50 waking hours at work

Now sometimes I do work nights here and there or whatever, but just wanted to point that out.

~ Mum to Emily, March 12-16 2004, Noah, born Aug 2005, Liam, born January 2011, and wife to Carl since 1994. ~
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#35 of 42 Old 11-27-2009, 12:08 PM
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He needs to be careful that he doesn't get sucked into making up the time unpaid on the other four days - half hour here or there to finish something becoming a regular thing, and expanding.

Anyone I know of that did what your dh did, ended up fulltime again accidentally, and had to renegotiate to get their pay raised back to where it should be for full time.
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#36 of 42 Old 11-27-2009, 01:17 PM
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I think it really doesn't matter what I say -- you are the ones who have to decide which option is better for you. If you decide and it doesn't turn out to be what you want, you decide again, find another way to make things work. It sounds as if you have the self-awareness and self-discipline to find the right avenue -- I trust you to choose what is right for your family and to find a way to make that work.

I wanted to ask if your DH has ever used a dawn simulator? I live in the PNW and my dawn simulator and serious vitamin D supplementation are the only things that get me through the short, short, dreary days.

Also, has DH ever considered taking an exercise/birth ball to work and using it in place of his chair at his desk? My DS needs a lot of physical activity, as well, and the exercise ball really, really helps him get that while sitting "still".

Just a couple of thoughts on improving your DH's environment ....
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#37 of 42 Old 11-27-2009, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by mommaof3boz View Post
For the folks who said he should suck it up and keep working I have a question. If the sahp was the dad and the mom wanted to cut back her work schedule to be home a day extra a week would you tell her to suck it up? Just curious.
yes, I would.

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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#38 of 42 Old 11-27-2009, 04:45 PM
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I've been reading this post for several days and wondering what to write. Some people are ok with doing alternative things regarding work/life and others aren't. I think you've seen both of these kinds of answers here. Everyone's values are different. Some people are willing to do different things because they value familytime /health/freedom etc. more than traditional roles/traditional working 40hrweek/family financial security until retirement and some people can't. Personality and perspective play big roles in what people are comfortable doing and the advice they give.

That being said it sounds like you are willing to look at other alternatives even beyond this decision you're making based on your first post. There are many ways of living this life we have, sometimes you just have to see other people doing different things. That's what it took for us. I share with you our story so you can see that many other things are possible. Sorry for the novel or if you've read this in other posts.

We learned about simplicity and frugality by reading books like Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin and The Tightwad Gazette by Amy D. (can't spell her last name) and many others, attending local voluntary simplicity groups, finding others who are willing to do things differently. We saw that by buying a less expensive house and saving much of what dh made we were able to pay off my student loans. We started coming up with a plan for us to each work part time with insurance after we were completely out of debt, so he could be home with the kids more and i could get out some.

Then as his career progressed and promotions and raises came, we were able to pay off the house, buy the adjacent land, the new car, and save. The more we worked the numbers we came to the conclusion that maybe neither one of us would have to work because we were willing to live simply, move and use the house money to buy some acreage and build a natural house somewhere. Toward the end of our plan we were saving around 35-45% of our income. We only have to make it 20 years because dh has a small pension from his state job which will be enough for us to live on since we will still live simply. All of this happened over a 10 year period. A long time to plan and stick to it. It was possible for us because of the special type of career dh had and its progression and his special skill with working the budget. I could never have done it on my own.

At times it was tough for me when I saw what my friends did with money. Also at times I thought maybe it would be better for my mental health if dh were home with the kids and I were out at work. But we had a plan and stuck with it regardless of the difficulties at times.

DH has been home with us for 2 years now. We made the decision right before the market tanked and the housing market plunged. We have been able to get through this time and while we haven't moved yet because of the market, we are doing fine. We love having DH home, and he says there is no comparison between the big job and being here with us. But he is a unique man and I don't know if every man would be able to give up what he did.

The only thing that has us really worried is this healthcare reform. We really fall through the cracks because they are going to do away with our individual high deductible policy and probably want to force us on to medicaid because we don't live on enough every year to qualify for the subsidy. We did not choose not to work so we could go on medicaid, so we will probably have to do something every year to earn some money to pay for a higher cost plan if we can even get it or figure something else out. I hope to earn this extra money writing or through our organic garden when we move. Dh had some consulting fall in his lap recently, so things like that will help pay for the unplanned for costs like this healthcare fiasco.

I think it is worth giving up most things to have us all home together. It's certainly better for our stress and mental health. We love it. I encourage you to find what works for your family be it this reduction in hours or something else.

I did see someone in the nomadic/move around alot thread in the finding your tribe section who lives/travels in a rv and she or her dh is a software programmer and can do it on the road. Maybe your dh can branch out and find something that allows him more freedom than the state job. Though it may be worth him staying for 10 years until he gets vested for some type of pension. good luck in your planning. let me know if I can be of any assistance.

oh, and even before we got married dh took a huge pay cut to switch fields into what he had gotten his masters in (which he got at night after working). And friends of mine just took turns getting their masters online at night, the dh first and then the wife, taking out loans , but knowing they would go farther in their field with them.
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#39 of 42 Old 11-28-2009, 06:06 PM
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I haven't seen this addressed yet and if I missed it I apologize, but for right now why can't he stay in his current job while looking for a new job that is something he might enjoy better? Instead of looking at reducing his hours is there a reason why keeping an eye out for something better isn't a possibility?

In the meantime, if he does decide to reduce his hours, I would also suggest that the OP looks for some sort of paid employment. She could work nights/evenings/weekends/his day off to help replenish some of his lost income. Even if it's delivering pizzas or something similar, at least it's something and just working a couple evenings a week could really help supplement the family's income.

But overall though, I'm in the suck-it-up category. Do everything in your power to change your situation to something that would make everyone in the family happier, but until you're able to make that happen you just suck it up and do what needs to be done. I also have to admit that I don't think that having one day off a week is really the answer for this particular situation- it's just a band-aid on a larger issue.
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#40 of 42 Old 11-28-2009, 06:41 PM
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tinuviel_k - yup gulp indeed!!!

you guys are already sooo watching everything.

but this is a fantastic thing that you all as a family decided.

if your dh didnt do anything about this soon - 8 years is LOOOONG enough - it would blow up in your marriage and family.

i know its the fear of the unknown.

please try to get out of that way of thinking.

it could bring everything down.

ya know when i started my journey as a single mom - i had no idea i could make it.

if you make that your priority - you can never fail. requires a lot of hard work but oh boy it is so worth it.

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#41 of 42 Old 11-28-2009, 10:54 PM
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I have to put in a vote for the risk factor. This economy is not going to get better and state jobs will not always be secure, especially of you are willing to cut your hours. States are going broke and people are getting laid off. Just might want to hold off on this and try some natural health recs that have been suggested.

Birth Photographer mom to four blessings
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#42 of 42 Old 11-28-2009, 10:59 PM
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I don't think you are crazy at all. IMO it is important to find balance between what your heart wants and what your head says, which is exactly what you appear to be doing. Should you rack up thousands in credit card debt, throw caution to the wind, quit your jobs and decide to follow your heart's desire to be circus clowns instead? Probably not the best idea, especially if you have kids to support. But should you spend all your waking hours slaving away at a desk at a job you hate in the name of sucking it up? Taking a 20% pay reduction (that you can afford!) in order to work a flexible schedule that is healthier for your family seems like GREAT middle ground to me!

Life is short and you NEVER know when it could be your last day. To me, that doesn't mean you should just run willy nilly and do whatever you feel like, but it DOES mean that you can't put all your importance on the future, the future, the future at the expense of the HERE and NOW.

I mean, if we are all just supposed to "suck it up and be a man" than why don't our hubbies just go out and get second jobs, third jobs? Work work work day and night so we can have more money! Why do any of us quit our jobs to stay home when we could work! More money!!

I had a WAH job that got out of hand and I hated it. It was ruining our family life and I just could not handle it anymore. Dh fully supported me quitting even though it meant a $1000 per month reduction in income. He could have just told me to suck it up and be a grown up but lucky for me he doesn't think that being a grown up means living a life that you hate every day. My SIL is from a dual income family and they recently decided she should scale back to a 4 day work week as well because she just wanted to and they could afford it. GREAT!

Taking the leap into something new, especially when it is non-traditional, is almost always scary and difficult. Kudos to you guys for being supportive of each other and putting your happiness and quality of life before the almighty dollar. You said it yourself--you are debt free, financially secure, and able to make this work. Enjoy it! And congrats!!

mommy to ds 11/05, dd1 01/08, and dd2 01/10!
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