trading a good paying job for SAHM (long) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 03-16-2011, 02:01 AM - Thread Starter
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At the moment, I work nights 11pm to 7am as a night nurse (LVN)


I go to school for my RN, and clinicals start Monday which will go on for 6 weeks 7a-7p. I have homwork and study time, with tests, and assignments due at different times.


I watch the baby during the day while my SO works from 8am-5pm. (daycare here is expensive) When he comes home, I go to bed and sleep (when DD isnt fussy) until about 9 or so. I then wake up, sometimes have time to catch a shower, grab a bite, and then get ready to go to work. SO is usually asleep (along with DD) - and I go to work.


On top of that, every other weekend, I have to drive 2 hours each way to get my two older kiddos and we spend every other Fri night - Sun evening doing lots of fun family things. Which is great. I love having my kids here, its just such a long drive, and it all seems so rushed.




I guess what I am trying to say is with keeping up with the apartment, laundry, cooking, baby, homework, work, and everything else - I am running down. I have no time. I don't have enough time to complete everything I need to in one day, not to mention me time. The only time I get with SO alone is every other weekend - and I am going on about 4 hours of sleep daily.


I can't keep doing this. I can't keep up. I am so stressed. My dr. had to up my antidepressant because I just feel like I am failing at life.


I am 24 and I feel more like 58. I have missed my older childrens lives so far due to school/work/divorce and custody issues. I was taught you can put the kids in daycare, and go to work and make money for your family... and so on. And that is what I did. I worked my butt off for just enough to pay the bills, missing these last few years.


I dont want to miss Dd2s life. Especially her baby days. During the day I am so worn out and tired, I admit, she plays on the floor, or in her jumper most of the time. Id love to stay home with her.


You want to know the honest truth? I want nothing more than to be a wife and mother, full time. To stay home and raise my babies. To be able to clean and cook, and just take care of the home. Sorry if that makes me not as good as the other moms who love to work and stuff, it's just how I honestly feel. I want to keep the home. To care for my children. Then, after the kiddos are in bed, I want to spend time with my SO.


And here is the problem. While we both work, I make 2.5x the amount of my SO and make 75% of the income. All of his income for one month would pay rent and maybe electric if we were lucky. We do not have any assistance from the government and pay for everything out of pocket. We also have no credit cards, or things like that.


I don't know what to do. I want to tell my job that I quit. That I quit to stay home, focus on family and school for the moment. That would mean taking a HUGE cut in income. HUGE. There would be no WAY that we would make our monthly bills. We dont have anything extra in bills either - just rent, lights, phone, health insurance, and so on- nothing fancy, and nothing that can be cut.


When I think about all this, I just want to curl up under the covers and sleep for a week. =(


SO isn't able to get another job that pays better. He works for his fathers company. He also works Monday-Saturday. His only day off is Sunday. He isn't in school, and only has a HS diploma. He would love to go to school, but right now, there is just no time. It would be awesome if he could get back in to the army - something we have been working on for over a year (just got back from the ARBA) but the chances are slim.


What would you do? Tough it out? Keep going like you were going? Quit and just do whatever was possible to get by? Whenever I try to talk to SO about how I feel he shushes me and tells me that we do what we gotta do. He works 6 days a week, hard labor for way less than what I do- yet he does it.


Am I being selfish? I am not saying I am going to quit, actually I know I wont.... I am just feeling so defeated. Anyone have any suggestions? 

"Damn it man, I'm a doctor, not a physicist!" -Bones McCoy. Ds1 6 bouncy.gif Dd1 4 energy.gifDd2 5 months baby.gif
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#2 of 7 Old 03-16-2011, 04:21 AM
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I don't have suggestions, but I have sympathy. For four years DH and I did that kind of schedule.... Him working days, me working nights. Our only "day" together was Saturday, and we didn't have that half the time because if they offered me OT at work, I needed to take it because we needed the money. I was also in school and I cleaned my parents' house for them weekly. I was absolutely, completely exhausted and overwhelmed and miserable. I actually remember very little of DS1's first year because I was so tired and overrun, it's all sort of a blur to me. 


The only thing that "worked" to fix anything was DH improving his income, and me switching to working as a nanny during the day where I could take DS1 along. That sort of just happened, it wasn't something I planned on, but an opportunity came up and I took it. It was just something I found on craigslist. That way, I wasn't at home all the time, but I was with my son, and I was on a regular daytime schedule which helped a lot. 



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#3 of 7 Old 03-16-2011, 06:42 AM
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I don't know how you do all that. You are an amazing woman... I just wanted to give you hugs because I have no advice. I don't think you are selfish for wanting to stay at home though. Hopefully you will find a way to do it. Hang in there sweetie. hug2.gif


Do you have family nearby who could help? You've got to get more sleep.

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#4 of 7 Old 03-16-2011, 06:44 AM
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hug2.gif  Do you have to go to school right now? I can think of a million reasons why you would want to...that I get. But, as you said, your DD2 will only be a baby once, and you've already seen how fast they grow up. Staying with her while she's still a baby is literally a once in a lifetime thing. School will always be there. It sounds like you're already making enough money and you don't absolutely have to finish school right now. Maybe reconsider that part of it. If you could cut that out ~just for a couple years~ it sounds like quite some stress would be off your back, and you'd have more time for your family.

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#5 of 7 Old 03-16-2011, 07:36 AM
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A couple of things come to mind. First, I share your pain. I make more than 3x what DH makes. We invested in my career and education, so absent a miracle (or a lottery jackpot) I won't ever get to be a SAHM. I didn't expect to even want to, but I did and I do. Desperately. But I have had the same thoughts you've had.
In your situation, priority number 1 is sleep. As in, do it right now. Call in sick if you have to. Any single thing you do with that little sleep will be 100x more difficult. When you get some real rest, you have some soul searching to do. You pretty much have four options. Cut costs and downsize. Somehow bring in more income. Both, or keep plugging along. I know you said DH cannot make more, but he can't do charity work his whole life either. If he works full time, he needs to sit down with his family to discuss how long he can go on being underpaid. Next, how much longer do you need to be in school? Will it result in a dramatic increase in pay? If not, I would put it on hold. Next, how attached are you to your quality of life? What can you cut? Tv? Cellphone? Move into a smaller place? Take on a roommate? If you don't want to do any of these things, maybe your situation isn't quite as awful as you think it is. The last thing I will say is that MY DH is a SAHD, and there are definitely times I am thankful it is him and not me. Part of your issue may very well be exhaustion + depression. If you can get a handle on those two things, you may find that having a job outside of your home isn't so bad. Good luck and I understand how you feel, I really do.

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#6 of 7 Old 03-16-2011, 08:22 AM
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I'm going to put this out there because it hasn't been said yet: what if your SO quit and became a SAHD? That would allow you to get more sleep and it would be a small reduction in pay rather than a huge reduction. He would also have time to help more with the day-to-day tasks (which he should be doing already to some extent). Or maybe even if he went to a part time schedule - Mon, Wed, Fri....

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#7 of 7 Old 03-16-2011, 08:57 AM
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Oh, mama, I am SO sorry that this is such a struggle for you! My husband and I used to make the same amount of money, so when I left my job to be a SAHM, it cut our income in half. I can't imagine being in your shoes, where I am the big breadwinner. I wish there was an easy solution for you.


Is there any likelihood at all of you working less hours a week? Or finding a work from home position? A few of my friends are medical transcriptionists, and they both work from home and set their own hours (generally after the kids are asleep).


I agree about maybe stopping school for now if that is something you're interested in.


Also, look into what the income thresholds are for public assistance. If you only have his income, you may qualify for food stamps, WIC, etc. That might help bridge the gap.

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