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#31 of 50 Old 04-26-2010, 10:16 AM
 
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How did you come to the decision to stay-at-home? What was your partner's initial thought or reaction? Did you both decide jointly? Did one want it more than the other or less than the other? Was it because of money? Schedule? Number of children? Cost of day care? Was your partner supportive all along or did they need to be convinced? Do they go along with it, but wish you would work? Do they expect you to work again at some point? How long can you stay home for before time is up?
We both agreed that I would SAH until the children were school-age, then I'd go back to work-- he's always been very supportive of that. We're low-income. When we added up the costs of me working while having babies-- formula (the type of jobs I get-- waitressing mostly-- are not very pump-friendly), disposable diapers (we do cloth), prepackaged meals (being at home I cook most things from scratch, including baby food), day care, gas in the car, etc-- I simply don't make enough money for that to make sense. I have a past co-worker who has a baby the same age as mine, and is back at work. To afford all of the things I just listed, she has to work TWO jobs and does not see much of her baby. My husband and I both do not feel that's how we want our baby cared for-- we are much more comfortable knowing that I am with her 24/7, and can make sure she's being protected and parented in the way we want.

Yes, we have less money than before we had kids, but in the choice to have lots of money or to have kids, having kids was much more important for us. We've had to make some financial sacrifices and be strict on ourselves in the difference between Want and Need. But it's not forever-- when the kids are in school I'll be bringing in income again.

Money constraints HAVE affected the size and timing of our family. We have decided on two kids instead of three, and are timing them close together (as you can see from my sig) to minimize the time I'll be out of work. Which is a compromise because I would like to have three kids. But I'd rather be able to care for two kids the way that is important for us, I think three would end up being too much for us and it's important that I be able to go back to work at some point so that we can buy a house. As it is, after the currently gestating baby is around a year old-- autumn of 2011-- I'll go back to school part-time (evenings and Saturdays when my husband will be able to watch the kids, perhaps during pre-school hours when they get older). I'll spend the next four years completing two more years' worth of classes to get my Bachelor's and a teaching certificate. Then when our youngest goes off to school I hope to get a job as a teacher (not only do I think I'll enjoy it, but the schedule is as good as you're going to get for having kids).

Kelly (28), in love with husband Jason (38) and our awesome babies:  Emma 4/09, and Ozzy 8/10

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#32 of 50 Old 04-26-2010, 12:14 PM
 
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My partner and I never really talked much about being SAH. We have been together for several years before trying to get pregnant. It took us quite a bit of time to achieve pregnancy and after IVF we finally had a DD last July.
Both of us work FT and my DW also is doing a masters degree PT. The plan was for her to do her Masters and then for me to do mine.
We both work in our field and have excellent benefits packages etc. I work for a non-profit org. and make about half what she makes.

We are in Canada and so we get 12 months of maternity leave at 55% wages. Both of our jobs "top up" this wage. It wasn't until after our DD was born that we considered SAH. Actually not until recently. We felt that we would both sacrifice a bit of moving forward with our careers to work our schedule so that DD only had to be in care for 2-3 days per week. During that next 2 years I would take a couple of courses to get me into a job that is in my field but not quite my passion...but would allow for us to both work and not have our children in care at all.

Recently we have decided to see if we can make it work if I quit my job and my DW continues working. We are going to go for the next 4 months on just her salary and see if we can make it work. I am taking 8 weeks parental leave from work to see if it is something I can handle. If I quit my job I will not have an easy time getting back into this exact field as there are not a lot of jobs out there working in food security.

The plan is to hopefully quit my job in September and possibly take in a friends child to supplement income. We would then get our bills down to the bare minimum and be super frugal and make it work. This is just recent as we basically dug our head in the sand and denied we had to hand DD over to someone else to care for her. Now that we are faced with that decision neither one of us can see it happening...so we are going to try to do whatever it takes to make sure that one of us is always home.

If I SAH it will mean my wife can change jobs to one with better hours and in a setting she hopes to be in. If I do not stay home, my wife will stay where she is and work every weekend and 1-2 days per week. We will not see much of each other, but our DD will see lots of both of us. My DW is a nurse and so does 12 hour shifts in a hospital. She hopes to get a job in a clinic working 8 hour shifts.

If I stay at work and our DD goes to care it will cost 1/2 my wages in daycare costs. But we have just bought a house (mortgage determined on DW salary alone), and we have student loans...but no other debt.
We are hoping that I can still take the courses and start a career change within two years so that I can work flexible hours and bring in money when our family grows.

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#33 of 50 Old 04-26-2010, 05:21 PM
 
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How did you come to the decision to stay-at-home?

Fell into it. I was a teacher for many years--internationally. Loved my job and loved life as an international teacher. Met DH overseas. After getting married, I became what's known as a 'trailing spouse.' Yikes...there were few job opportunities in the countries we lived in (and sometimes I wasn't permitted to work), even with a job as portable as teaching--so ended up a housewife first and then, when DD was born, a SAHM.

I can't really answer any of your other questions because they don't quite match mine and DH's life. We now live in his country (France) and have just had a 2nd child. I'm at home for now, but would like to go back into teaching again or start an education-related business once the kids are in school. School starts here in the year children turn 3. There are excellent benefits--health care, gov't money for families with 2 or more children, etc and DH's salary is decent enough for us to afford some babysitting and a cleaner once a week, so, you could say, it's not a major financial burden for me to stay home.

Do they expect you to work again at some point?

Yes, but not for the money. DH thinks he'd like to take a year's parental leave so we can travel the world--I might try to find teaching work if we do that.

How long can you stay home for before time is up?

This would be me deciding, not DH...how long can I 'manage' to stay home. Depending on the day, I think I can do it until son goes to school in the year he turns 3 (Sept 2012)...and then there are other days where I'd get a job this very instant. (Overall, I like being home with the kids...not working also gives me freedom to go home to Canada, where I'm from, for long visits with family.)

Thatisnice--your dh's opinions and how he doesn't help with the juggling act of caring for a child while both of you are working sounds rough. I hope you can find a solution. It really requires balance.

While I know that my DH would be supportive, he travels a ton, so a lot of the care would fall on my shoulders--it's one of the reasons I take a deep breath and say, I can do this SAHM thing for a bit longer--because I think the stress of having to get home in time pick up the kids and finding emergency childcare if the kids were sick, etc while DH was away would be very hard. For me, anyway. I have crazy busy days as a SAHM, but very little stress and I appreciate that. It simplifies our life.
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#34 of 50 Old 04-26-2010, 06:43 PM
 
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Last monday I hurt my knee and have been off of my feet. My DH is learning how much I do around here. He's a sweetie and I don't think for a minute he thought I was eating bonbons and watching soaps. He's been busting his ass to get my bigger tasks done between when he comes home and goes to bed. And still household chaos looms with me unable to do much. I think I needed this lesson on my value more than he did.

We came late to parenthood. Fourteen years ago when we were getting married and I was studying graphic design the plan was for kids while I freelanced. That wasn't so crazy in the late 90s. Well, kids didn't happen at first. I took a job to save up money and get ahead, DH lost his job yadda yadda yadda. By the time we adopted in 2005 DH was making the same a me. There was no way I could quit. In 2009 I'm pregnant and 38 years old. I'm doing okay moneywise in an admin job. DH finally has his dream job but it took therapy for me to have confidence that this would work.

I have completly lost my creativity and am 10 years out of date on graphic design software so I won't be doing any home based art types of jobs. It is much harder keeping up on home stuff than I anticipated. It is weird but actually being in my house means it gets more throughly messy. Who knew.

We don't necessarily have an end plan for me being the SAHP. I would like to find a non-sucky part time job by the time they are in school.
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#35 of 50 Old 04-27-2010, 01:20 PM
 
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We didn't really talk about it before we got married, and in hindsight, I can now say that I was darn lucky that we have the same ideals now.

I wasn't really a career girl, but we didn't make much money between the two of us and I knew that I didn't want to be in an apartment forever so I thought I would need to work f/t. But after my maternity leave was up and I realized that I was missing so much while my baby was at a sitter, I came home one day and told my husband that I was quitting work and staying home.

He was a bit shocked and a bit worried...but we went for it.

That baby is 11 years old now, and we learned to live frugally and to be grateful for what we had and not dwell on what we didn't have...and we bought a house! Took 10 years to save the downpayment, from me working odd jobs and occasional babysitting. I now work on Saturdays, in the field that I studied for on nights and weekends, tuition paid with babysitting money. My husband loves that the house is clean and there is a meal on the table when he comes home, and evenings are pretty well family time/hobby time. I love that on Saturday nights, I come home to a reasonably clean house and supper nearly on the table lol.

I lead a blessed life, and I'm grateful for it all .

I have 3 kids! : Lookit them go!!!
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#36 of 50 Old 04-27-2010, 02:48 PM
 
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When dh and I got together, I was a single WOHM, who had [i]always[/] wanted to be a SAHM. He was totally onboard with that, and we both agreed that I'd be a SAHM to ds1 (his stepson) as soon as we could make that happen. (DH was originally unable to work in Canada, so I supported us for a couple of years first.)

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Loving my amazing dh, James & forever missing ribbonpb.gif Aaron Ambrose ribboncesarean.gif (11/07) ribbonpb.gif

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#37 of 50 Old 04-27-2010, 04:27 PM
 
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We discussed things when we were still dating. We both mutually knew that we were the one for eachother and so we talked about how we wanted our married and family life to be. We both liked the thought of me being a SAHM/WAHM. We did talk about the number of kids we wanted and all that, and so far everything is going to plan. We want 4 kids, we have 2 kids currently and I've been a SAHM for almost 3 years.
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#38 of 50 Old 04-29-2010, 11:47 PM
 
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There was never a big conversation about it. We both knew that we didn't want our child to spend the majority of time in daycare. I've never been a career gal, and have always felt most comfortable as a homemaker so that also comes into play. I was a housewife for a couple months before we became pregnant with our first. My husband was happy to be the financial supporter. Sometimes he doesn't like his job, per say, but he enjoys the capability to financially support us and he enjoys socializing, etc so work is really a good thing for him. He's persuing a medical career, and we know at some point he'll probably have to go to school full time. If that happens, I'll try to find weekend/part time night shifts to help cover household expenses, and he can watch the los after class. I will continue to be a sahm indefenitely, barring a financial crisis or a change of heart, and my husband is supportive of that.

It didn't come down to necessarily having a sahp for us. It was more an issue of having involved parents, and the aspect of me just being more home minded.
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#39 of 50 Old 05-01-2010, 10:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We discussed things when we were still dating.
OP here. Yeah, we did, too. We discussed this while dating, while engaged, and shortly after getting married.

DH's own mother was a stay-at-home mom for most of his childhood and back then (dating/engagement period) DH was fully supportive of that model and said that is what he'd like for his own kids if we could pull it off. I thought that meant he'd work with me to pull it off. Not so much.

DH really doesn't want to be a solo breadwinner ever, for any amount of time. It's simply not his personality, I've come to see. Some men may take pride in that or thrive on it. Not my DH. He sees it as a total burden, stressor, and his go-to phrases "hassle," and "pain the a--." He truly sees being a stay-at-home mother as having a sugar daddy (that's a DH quote) and he doesn't want to be a sugar daddy.

If he had said that when we were dating, instead of the lines he did say, I doubt we'd have gone down this road together.
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#40 of 50 Old 05-01-2010, 01:30 PM
 
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OP, resentment and disappointment are impacting you majorly on this SAH issue. It sounds like you feel tricked...I'm a SAHM now, but felt I had been duped into going back to work by DH, although my own issues contributed, I realize - gee whiz, it's a complicated issue.

As newlyweds, DH and I weren't sure how we could financially make my SAHMing work, but then he received a pretty big inheritance and we also worked hard to save up about a year of living expenses as DINKs. DH actually said after we recvd the inheritance "now you can stay at home if we get pregnant" and I was just elated that he had gotten on the SAH bandwagon thoroughly and on his own - without me pushing the issue.

BUT, during the pregnancy, we decided I would tell my employer that I had every intention of coming back FT after 3 mos. We figured 1)my insurance thru work would continue during (completely unpaid) time off 2)maybe i would decide I really wanted to work. (How could I know how I would feel post-partum, right?) I had a larger salary than DH, but pretty much hated my stressful job and stupid work drama.

Somehow?? during those 10 mos. going back to work became like an expectation, rather than an option? We were making appts to visit daycares, home daycares, talking to MIL about moving down to care for baby, etc., and I realized that while making arrangements in case I went back, I had somehow complied with going back to work, for real. I was so filled with dread and resentment, but didn't feel like I was allowed to say 'NO, I don't want to do this.' I guess it's not DH's fault, but I still felt he had a part in this script-flip ,that he never truly thought I should be at home and whittle away the inheritance.

Anyhoo, I was laid off after 2.5 months (really difficult, sad 2.5 mos - struggling with thyroid disorder, PPD, a high-needs baby that would NEVER take a bottle)...Getting fired was the best thing that could have happened. I was off the hook, seemingly released from non-wage-earning guilt, and able to collect unemployment to help ease the financials.

That's all well and good, but like a PP said, this thread has really made me think about our decisions. What is our family's true philosophy on SAH? Why did I allow myself to be 'tricked'? Will I ever feel like I can stay home long-term, guilt free? It bothers me that i didn't assert myself on this issue, although it worked out for the best eventually.

With my shortcomings duly noted, I feel I can say to OP, you need and deserve more respect for your views on this. Disparaging comments re: SAH are just bogus! I don't even know how you could begin to argue with the "sugar-daddy" comment, b/c it's so ridiculous and baseless! aargh
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#41 of 50 Old 05-01-2010, 01:35 PM
 
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Well...I actually had to fight left and right to beable to stay home! Hubby believes that if he works...I WORK!!! I nagged and nagged and nagged and finally i guess he got sick of it cause here I am at home! Sometimes he throws it in my face as if we get into an argument or something...he will say to me "I WORK REMEMBER"...blah blah...

I wish he believed in me staying home, I wish he was one of those guys that WANTS their wife to stay home...but his father was the same exact way sooooo.....im sure he gets it from him!!!

And with 5 kids...we really dont have a choice in the matter...Daycare would be sooo expensive I would just be paying that!!!

High raw Vegans Mommy to 5!!
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#42 of 50 Old 05-01-2010, 01:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OP, resentment and disappointment are impacting you majorly on this SAH issue. It sounds like you feel tricked...I'm a SAHM now, but felt I had been duped into going back to work by DH, although my own issues contributed, I realize - gee whiz, it's a complicated issue.

As newlyweds, DH and I weren't sure how we could financially make my SAHMing work, but then he received a pretty big inheritance and we also worked hard to save up about a year of living expenses as DINKs. DH actually said after we recvd the inheritance "now you can stay at home if we get pregnant" and I was just elated that he had gotten on the SAH bandwagon thoroughly and on his own - without me pushing the issue.

BUT, during the pregnancy, we decided I would tell my employer that I had every intention of coming back FT after 3 mos. We figured 1)my insurance thru work would continue during (completely unpaid) time off 2)maybe i would decide I really wanted to work. (How could I know how I would feel post-partum, right?) I had a larger salary than DH, but pretty much hated my stressful job and stupid work drama.

Somehow?? during those 10 mos. going back to work became like an expectation, rather than an option? We were making appts to visit daycares, home daycares, talking to MIL about moving down to care for baby, etc., and I realized that while making arrangements in case I went back, I had somehow complied with going back to work, for real. I was so filled with dread and resentment, but didn't feel like I was allowed to say 'NO, I don't want to do this.' I guess it's not DH's fault, but I still felt he had a part in this script-flip ,that he never truly thought I should be at home and whittle away the inheritance.

Anyhoo, I was laid off after 2.5 months (really difficult, sad 2.5 mos - struggling with thyroid disorder, PPD, a high-needs baby that would NEVER take a bottle)...Getting fired was the best thing that could have happened. I was off the hook, seemingly released from non-wage-earning guilt, and able to collect unemployment to help ease the financials.

That's all well and good, but like a PP said, this thread has really made me think about our decisions. What is our family's true philosophy on SAH? Why did I allow myself to be 'tricked'? Will I ever feel like I can stay home long-term, guilt free? It bothers me that i didn't assert myself on this issue, although it worked out for the best eventually.

With my shortcomings duly noted, I feel I can say to OP, you need and deserve more respect for your views on this. Disparaging comments re: SAH are just bogus! I don't even know how you could begin to argue with the "sugar-daddy" comment, b/c it's so ridiculous and baseless! aargh
Thank you. And s

Yes, I agree. The sugar daddy comment from my H was one of the most ridiculous and offensive things he's said. Unfortunately, it wasn't just a heat of the moment comment. He's said it multiple times.

You are right. I shouldn't have to put up with his comments.

They are mostly baseless.

What I am most upset about is that I have worked and I have established a career. I mean, I have over $50,000 in retirement funds from working 10 plus years. I have more in retirement than my husband. I have a pretty good resume and I've got great references in my field. That didn't just happen. Sure, I put my resume to the test and my references aren't as current as they should be/used to be due to staying at home for a time, but that's fixable, hopefully.

Also, yes, I am definitely rusty at work now, working part time in my field. Going back to work after being out of the work force for about 2 years was difficult. I'm not as up to date as I once was. Work is very hard for me, but that's also because my focus is on parenting, not work.



I see some of my H's points. I mean, yes, some of his points are reasonable. But he takes it too far. And he's just mean and offensive.

I feel like he thinks that staying home makes me bad and lazy and unproductive no matter what.

Seriously, my H could inherit some money, which in reality is never going to happen, but even if he had a windfall, or I had a windfall, he would still not agree with staying at home and he'd question my work ethic and my feminism (what he's been saying lately).

I think it comes down to what you said. If he has to work, I have to work.

He's basically a putz. He still thinks and says that mowing the lawn is something he does for me. He still looks at doing things around the house as a favor to me.

Oh, well.

I hope you find some way of resolving this.
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#43 of 50 Old 05-01-2010, 01:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well...I actually had to fight left and right to beable to stay home! Hubby believes that if he works...I WORK!!! I nagged and nagged and nagged and finally i guess he got sick of it cause here I am at home! Sometimes he throws it in my face as if we get into an argument or something...he will say to me "I WORK REMEMBER"...blah blah...

I wish he believed in me staying home, I wish he was one of those guys that WANTS their wife to stay home...but his father was the same exact way sooooo.....im sure he gets it from him!!!

And with 5 kids...we really dont have a choice in the matter...Daycare would be sooo expensive I would just be paying that!!!
Yikes. That sounds so stressful.

I'll be the first to admit that H and I have only one child because of his attitude and my feelings towards him.

I think both of us would like to have a second child, but probably not with each other.

He wants to have his cake and eat it too. As in, he wants a wife who brings home the bacon and fries it up in the pan, but also does everything around the house. He wants Gloria Steinem AND June Cleaver all in one and he wants someone who doesn't mind him spending his time watching tv, listening to Podcasts, and playing video games, and who doesn't mind if he can't and doesn't mow the lawn well or do well in his career.

Does that person exist?

And I want a partner who either helps balance TWO careers by helping to juggle family and career, as most of my friends' husbands do (as in, a H who stays home with a sick kid now and then, takes paternity leave, helps out around the house) OR a husband who is OK with having a SAHP because he knows it would be hard to have his career AND my career and doesn't stick me with juggling everything while he works late and never takes time off AND who doesn't make derisive comments or call into questions my work ethic or career goals when I give up an otherwise good career to find more balance.

From reading on MDC it sounds like both of those descriptions do exist in real life, just not, unfortunately in the man I married.

Hey, but that can change!
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#44 of 50 Old 05-01-2010, 02:56 PM
 
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My husband was less than thrilled to go down to one income. But after 10 months of daycare....I decided I was going to be a SAHM, end of story. Fast forward nearly a year and it's been an awesome adjustment. Less money for just about everything, but we make it work and my daughter is home with me. That's what is important to me. My husband comes home to a hot meal (usually) and a mostly clean home and a wife who isn't going to bite his head off because I've been fighting office politics all day. It's been a great year for our family. Lots of healing.

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#45 of 50 Old 05-02-2010, 03:28 AM
 
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I was SAH when he got here! I get child support/tax benefit, so I do have some income. He was 35 and though he'd had some long term relationships, he'd never had someone who took care of everything at home... he still ~everyday~ thanks me for making dinner or compliments me on the meal. He's taught my kids by example, especially my son, who had a serious lack of respect for me. He appreciates having stuff done for him and comments on little things like clean sheets day, or a newly-organized rubbermaids cupboard. He saw how much effort I put into raising the kids, how important it is to me... he admires what I do. He's a school bus driver and says he's learned from me different ways of dealing with problems with the students.

~Teresa, raising DS (Jan. 02) and DD1 (Jun. 04) and DD2 (Dec. 11) with DH.

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#46 of 50 Old 05-02-2010, 02:01 PM
 
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I was SAH when he got here! I get child support/tax benefit, so I do have some income. He was 35 and though he'd had some long term relationships, he'd never had someone who took care of everything at home... he still ~everyday~ thanks me for making dinner or compliments me on the meal. He's taught my kids by example, especially my son, who had a serious lack of respect for me. He appreciates having stuff done for him and comments on little things like clean sheets day, or a newly-organized rubbermaids cupboard. He saw how much effort I put into raising the kids, how important it is to me... he admires what I do. He's a school bus driver and says he's learned from me different ways of dealing with problems with the students.
I love it! His (daily!) comments make me want to cry - so sweet! That kind of appreciation and feedback is just glorious. Every hard-working mama deserves the same.
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#47 of 50 Old 05-04-2010, 02:09 PM
 
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I am very tickled to see you have finally started referring to him as H rather then DH.
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#48 of 50 Old 05-04-2010, 02:16 PM
 
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For us it was an easy choice. If I went back to work, my entire check would go to daycare, plus some of his. Forget that.

With our boys, now that they're in school, I'd considered getting a p/t job just so I'd feel useful. Now that I'm pregnant again (finally!), we're not even worrying about my working.
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#49 of 50 Old 05-04-2010, 02:20 PM
 
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with my ex there was the whole macho "no wife of mine is going to work" well when DS1 was 6 months I got a weekend job that turned into me working full time. We decided that daycare wasnt the right choice for our family so we decided that he would SAH since I loved working so much. So over the years he and I took turns SAH.

Now on my second marriage DH SAH and we are both really happy with that. He's running for congress so he can work on his campaign website and such at home and since I work sleep over nights I'm at home and awake during the day anyway.

Unassisted birthing, atheist, poly, bi WOHM to 4 wonderful, smart homeschooling kids Wes (14) Seth (7) Pandora Moonlilly (2) and Nevermore Stargazer (11/2012)  Married to awesome SAH DH.

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#50 of 50 Old 05-04-2010, 02:30 PM
 
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subbing, We are thinking of taking the plunge to me sah!

DH made it clear when we were dating (20's) that he would support me in whichever path I chose. FWIW, he said the same thing last night.

Texmati-- Knitter, Hindu, vegetarian, WOHM. Wife to superdadsuperhero.gif and mom to DS babyf.gif24 months, and DD boc.gif 8 months! .

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