Your partner's thoughts about staying at home - Mothering Forums
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Stay at Home Parents > Your partner's thoughts about staying at home
That Is Nice's Avatar That Is Nice 08:20 PM 04-23-2010
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?

cappuccinosmom's Avatar cappuccinosmom 08:55 PM 04-23-2010
Before he asked me to marry him, dh and I had conversations about a lot of stuff. He wanted to know where I stood on many issues. SAHM was one of them. He wanted to marry a woman who wanted to stay home with any children that might come into the marriage.

So, I am very blessed to have a man who is *wholeheartedly* pro-SAHM, believes that my being at home is a huge benefit to the children and the family, and values what I do tremendously. As far as I know, there is no time limit in his mind.
ms.shell's Avatar ms.shell 09:07 PM 04-23-2010
different story, here. DP wasn't thinking he would be comfortable as the only wage earner for long. We had been splitting finances pretty much 50/50 for the duration of our relationship. My baby was born last April and the original plan was that I would stay home with both kids for the summer, but when school started in September I would be looking for a day care and a job.
But he came around on his own. He gradually realized how important it is for me to be with baby, and also he likes me being here to take care of things during the day and having a nice home cooked meal every night (as opposed to something thrown together last minute like when i worked). he also likes having me as his errand girl I mentioned looking for a job recently and he said absolutely not. He is encouraging me to try to make some money from home by selling some things i make (instead of just giving stuff away, as he says....i make a lot of gifts). Plus we have a big garden and I need to be home to take care of it. At this point, he is hoping i will be able to get some thing going with sewing and not have to work outside of the home again, ever, i guess. He has had a complete and total turnaround in his attitude regarding this (and other things, too) since his son was born a year ago; he used to talk about my money and his money and who was responsible for paying what, but the other day he was telling me about a bonus he earned and how "Our paycheck" would be really nice this week.
JamieCatheryn's Avatar JamieCatheryn 09:34 PM 04-23-2010
I never had a career so there was no switchover (was a FT student). Before we married I thought not to earn money would mean taking advantage and being a sponge, he thought he'd be honored and doing his duty to give me the option. Now we know the unpaid work I do with the house and kids and errands is so needed and so valuable it works out great. Not to mention I save us a lot of money and improve our quality of life a lot.
mommariffic's Avatar mommariffic 09:44 PM 04-23-2010
I didn't have a career before having any kids -- to be honest, I'm not really the career type, and I was mostly freelance writing and working odd jobs when we were together, before we decided to get pregnant. With my minimal [pathetic?] salary, it made sense to stay home and I wouldn't have it any other way. I'd never want to work full time and pass off the kid stuff onto someone else if I could afford to stay home. DH was fully, 100% with that AND he's also supportive in my choosing to home school, have a second kid, and hire some help a few hours a week so I can catch a break. In fact, he encourages it because without a few hours to write I'm kind of a grumpy momma
Ornery's Avatar Ornery 02:01 AM 04-24-2010
I was very into my career before DH and I married. I was proud of working my way up the ranks. I had been the breadwinner for my ds for many years by that point and never even imagined SAH. My mother is so anti-SAHM it isn't even funny. She is a total and complete workaholic and is very derisive of people who don't work.

I married DH and we never even discussed me SAH. It was never an option. I got pregnant with my dd and then a week before my maternity leave was up I was fired for a completely bogus reason (the office manager, who gave birth the same day I did, was fired a week before her maternity leave). I was frantic. But after hunting for a short while, I decided to take a hard look at our finances. We figured out a way for me to SAH for a few months. I had to work hard to convince my DH and I think he still resents the fact that I get to SAH a little bit though he would never admit it.

That "few months" has turned into 6 years. I'm going back to school right now but I take all online classes and do my coursework when the kids are gone or in bed. When I do go back to work, I am going into a field where I can work nights and still be here for the kids when they are out of school. It has become of extreme importance to me to be here for the kids.

The clock is ticking though. I've got a few more years of school and my DH is counting down the hours. He likes the convenience of me being home and the principle of it, but he wants to be able to live a different economic reality. He wants boats and cars and more motorcycles (already has one) and vacations. It makes me sad to think about how tired I will be later on, working nights, getting home in time to make breakfast for the kids and deliver them to school, going to sleep while they are at school, waking up to pick them up and bring them home, doing afterschool activities, making dinner, going back to work. Ugh. But you gotta do what you gotta do.
berry987's Avatar berry987 10:05 AM 04-24-2010
I sort of stumbled into SAH. We were both working full-time, very busy...typical life of two working people with no kids (grocery shopping at 9pm on Friday night etc). I was working in a very competitive field after getting a master's degree. We wanted to have kids, my job was incredibly stressful and I wasn't getting pregnant, and I had a moment of clarity about what I wanted out of life. So DH and I talked about me quitting to go back to school to do something different. (That was the "big" conversation, because he was going to have to support us while I went to school) I decided on massage therapy, because it was a flexible career and I could do it while I had kids. So I started MT school and one month in found out I was pregnant. I had my first DS about six months before I graduated. I had a nanny and my mom helped watch him while I finished school and then I planned to take a few months off before starting MT work to spend more time with my DS. And then I got pregnant with DS2. At that point, my DH and I both realized I'd be staying home longer. That's when I dove head-first into SAH and embraced it (no more looking for jobs while the baby napped!) And then we had DS3.

We were lucky that we had a large chunk of savings from the sale of our first house that helped us stay afloat the first few years. Now we are adjusting and have been able to plan for my staying at home for longer. DH has always been supportive of my choices. He sees the benefits of me staying at home and it's never really been an issue.
MommaCrystal's Avatar MommaCrystal 10:55 AM 04-24-2010
It's hard to explain. It just happened. We never planned on it. But our first arrived and I was able to take an extended leave from my work (9 months or so) and I took advantage of it. So we were forced to figure out the one income thing. I knew in my heart I'd never go back. DH knew in his heart he didn't want me to.

I did do some in home daycare of a child or two. That helped. Then number 2 came. And it was just his income again. When number 2 was about 10 months old I found a crazy flexible part-time job that paid very well. I did that for about a year and half. The income was nice. We're in a much better place financially now. But really no one was happy. Here comes number 3. I'm home again.

For fun, I do some freelance photography from time to time. It's about me getting out and taking a bit of time for me. A chance to be creative and work my skills. Not about the money. I'll be taking 4 or months off from that with this baby.
wife&mommy's Avatar wife&mommy 11:43 AM 04-24-2010
I just knew if we ever had kids that I wanted to stay home with them like my mom did with me. I was having a rough time while pregnant and quit my job and from that point on I just stayed home. He wasn't thrilled with the idea, especially because of money, but did like that his kids were with their mom all day.

He's always wanted to do it though instead of me and have me go to work. He is extremely jealous because he wants to see the kids more. Not that he doesn't think I do anything or that he doesn't know how hard it is, but he honestly just wants to spend all day with the kids. It makes me feel bad.

I think he does expect me to work again. I had just graduated college when we got married and then not pregnant so I've really never used my degrees. I want to homeschool the kids though so I don't see myself going back for a while. I do make some money at home but it's not really a lot. We are pretty frugal and still have to stretch the budget. I am sure he would love it if I had more income.
That Is Nice's Avatar That Is Nice 12:57 PM 04-24-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by wife&mommy View Post
I just knew if we ever had kids that I wanted to stay home with them like my mom did with me. I was having a rough time while pregnant and quit my job and from that point on I just stayed home. He wasn't thrilled with the idea, especially because of money, but did like that his kids were with their mom all day.

He's always wanted to do it though instead of me and have me go to work. He is extremely jealous because he wants to see the kids more. Not that he doesn't think I do anything or that he doesn't know how hard it is, but he honestly just wants to spend all day with the kids. It makes me feel bad.

I think he does expect me to work again. I had just graduated college when we got married and then not pregnant so I've really never used my degrees. I want to homeschool the kids though so I don't see myself going back for a while. I do make some money at home but it's not really a lot. We are pretty frugal and still have to stretch the budget. I am sure he would love it if I had more income.

Interesting. This sounds sort of like us, in a way. How has this impacted the dynamic of your relationship?

We're somewhat the same, somewhat different to you and your husband. I always felt that when we had kids that we would have one of us, probably me, stay at home for a while, at least while they were very young children.

And I talked to DH about this before we married, and he agreed! And I talked to him when we were newlyweds. And he still agreed, but in a "if it's possible" sort of way.

I also always felt it was my place to bring home some of the bacon. When we didn't have kids, I worked. I worked a lot. We had kids much later than I really wanted to, due to DH. We were married a long, long time before we had a baby. And I worked all those years, full time, and did almost all the household work. It was fine. DH was growing up, and he had a lot of things to learn. Also, he was sort of struggling or swirling, I guess, in his career. He wasn't using his degree properly and he started out not in his field, not getting paid what he should, and with no real goals or direction. I felt it was important for him to get settled in his career and build it so I helped support us economically while he said he was working on his career. He said it would take time. I would ask how much time and what his goals were and he said it was unclear. He did that for years.

I finally had enough and I just started applying for jobs for him. And he got one of them. It's the best job he's ever had, and he does OK with it. It's in his field. There are opportunities for promotions, if he wanted, which doesn't seem to be the case. He gets paid more than he ever has been paid.

Here's my real problem, I guess.

DH said we could have a SAHP if it were possible. That's what he said before we got married. And after.

But he's done really nothing to make it possible. He's basically just slumped and coasted, slumped and coasted, and the only reason he has the job he has now is because I applied for it for him.

There are many people with his degree and who work where he works who have a SAHP. He's got a degree that could get a salary to support our family very well. It would take some invigoration in him, though.

And then there's this. I'm still working. It's hard with a child!! It's so hard. I have to travel for work and I have meetings. I can't do it anymore. I'm so burned out, tired, frazzled.

I'm not as good an employee as I could be if I didn't have a baby, and I'm not as a good a mother as I could be if I didn't have a job.

And it's really taken a toll on our relationship. I resent DH because he expects me to work (and I sort of expect it myself given our situation and my position in life, really). But while he expects me to work, he doesn't really help balance and juggle two careers.

And his parents are real pieces of work. His mom stayed at home with him for most of his childhood, and they've been less than supportive, even though I have worked all these years and they know and they used to say that DH needed to get on a better track career-wise. They used to say that but now they are all about supporting DH no matter what. I swear, he could beat me or worse or he could get fired from his job or never get another raise again and they would think he was just fine and justified. They are so one-sided and dismissive of the real circumstances at play.

I feel so much like DH sort of led me to believe he believed the same things I did, and he just sort of promised things vaguely so that he'd never have to really deliver on anything, and that he really doesn't have the capacity to juggle two careers.

It makes me regret having a child with him. And staying married to him for so many darn years. I love my child very much and I don't regret having my child, but I regret the circumstances and wasting my life with DH, who really is not a partner in life or parenting.

He is so dismissive of SAHPing and SAHMs and he makes me feel like I am nothing/not career driven/not responsible/not smart for striving for more balance, whether it is by staying at home or getting more help from him while staying employed.

Some of my working friends don't understand how I might even consider quitting my job (they have careers similar to mine) but they also have husbands who do things to help them.

One friend is sick often, and her husband will stay home from work with her when she is sick to help out with childcare and around the house, and to take care of her. She works part time. My husband would never do this. Never. I have been really sick at times and he says to suck it up as he heads out the door and to use the tv as a babysiter if it's a day I don't have daycare (I also work part time).

Another friend has a husband who travels for work sometimes and then takes comp time or vacation afterward to let the family recuperate. So the wife only has to get through 3 or 4 hard days in a row while the husband travels and then they have some down time to recuperate.

My husband never does this. He travels and I pick up the slack around the house, and then he follows that up by his normal routine of working 10 or 12 hour days.

I'm so sick of it. I take care of all the school shut downs, breaks, holidays, sick days, doctor appointments, everything.

And I don't have a real husband who seems to care about me or us. I have a husband in name only. He gets a paycheck, he comes home and watches tv. He watches our child and plays in the evenings for an hour or two before bedtime. But there is no real engagment as a father or a husband.

And he swears way too much, too, if you push him on anything.

I'm so tired of his language on top of everything else.
wife&mommy's Avatar wife&mommy 01:16 PM 04-24-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
Interesting. This sounds sort of like us, in a way. How has this impacted the dynamic of your relationship?
Well really only that I feel that I can't complain at all if I have a bad day or something is difficult with the kids because if I do he says, "Just remember at any point I would give anything to trade places with you.". And I don't complain often or anything, I know I am very lucky to be able to stay home with them, sometimes I am just venting and I don't think about how it will make him feel. He just misses the kids and wants to see them more often and spend more time with them.

From what you've said, although some things are the same, our situation isn't all that much like yours. I'm really sorry that you are in that position! Your husband doesn't sound helpful at all! It is sad to think you have wasted your life with someone. Or that you wish you hadn't had a child with him. HUGS to you!!!! I hope your DH becomes a little more understand, that sounds like a really hard spot to be.
That Is Nice's Avatar That Is Nice 01:19 PM 04-24-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by wife&mommy View Post
From what you've said, although some things are the same, our situation isn't all that much like yours. I'm really sorry that you are in that position! Your husband doesn't sound helpful at all! It is sad to think you have wasted your life with someone. Or that you wish you hadn't had a child with him. HUGS to you!!!! I hope your DH becomes a little more understand, that sounds like a really hard spot to be.
Thanks.

It sounds like the only similarity was that we both felt that when we had kids, it might make sense to stay at home.

I have always felt that way, and I was very upfront with DH about it, and he agreed.

And yet here we are in a very different time and place than I ever imagined...or planned for.
BetsyS's Avatar BetsyS 02:38 PM 04-24-2010
We talked about it before we got married, too. Although at the time, the intention was for me to stay home part time after #2 was born, then full time when #3 was born, and then home pretty much full time so we could homeschool.

I've been home full time since #1 was born.

For us, it really came down to scheduling. I was working a job that was only 40 hours a week, but at least 24 of those hours were in one long shift (then I needed to sleep the next day), so 40 hours of work was more like 46 hours of commitment. My dh was traveling 3 nights a week at the time. We tried to sit down and plan out our schedule when I was on maternity leave, nad it was very frustrating. I ended up asking to go part time, then told me no,a nd I quit. I thought I'd find another part time job, but my high needs baby kept taking and taking.

And right when I was ready to go back to work realistically, I got pregnant again. LOL. We redid the budget, had a lot of heart to hearts, then decided we were commited for the long haul, and we'd make it work.

One of the biggest sacrifices is that we're planning on downsizing our housing this fall. It's our first house, and we're going back to renting. Not ideal. but, what we need to do right now. Plus a tight budget (no cable, prepaid cell phone, $300/mo groceries, no eating out sort of thing). But, we're on the same page, so we make it work.
nola79's Avatar nola79 02:58 PM 04-24-2010
Well, when I found out I was pregnant with dd, I told DH that I planned on SAH for at least a year, and that was that. I have always wanted to SAH, my mom was married but she was the only one who worked and I did not like that dynamic growing up, I prefer more tradional roles.
When I married DH, I went from full time to part time and only worked while ds was in school, which was 8:00-2:30. That was ideal, I was still making money but I also had time to do things around the house and ds didn't have to go to aftercare, which was very important to me. About a year later, we found out we were pregnant with dd, and I just couldn't see paying for daycare for her out of part time pay.
As far as how DH feels about it, he liked having the extra money my job provided but he doesn't want his child in daycare, so he's ok with me SAH. Also, his mom SAH so he's used to that dynamic.
The only way I plan on going back to work is when dd goes to school or sooner only if we absolutely need to financially.
scottishmommy's Avatar scottishmommy 06:57 PM 04-24-2010
DH and I got married in college, so neither one of us had a career. Then I worked while he went to grad school and then vice versa. When the baby was born it just made sense that I stay home. I still work part time, but honestly that is really for my own sanity :-) I also think that I am able to be a lot more supportive of my dh and his career because I stay home. He works a lot and I feel like it's helpful for him to not have to worry about domestic stuff. If we both had big time jobs something would have to give. Someone would have to leave work at a reasonable hour. I just feel like neither one of us would be as successful if we were juggling careers, childcare and household duties. Eventually I will probably be working a lot more, but I think that he will always be the big earner.
Magali's Avatar Magali 07:13 PM 04-24-2010
Right before our ds was born my dh started a really nice career. I was working as a restaurant manager and had zero desire to rejoin the workforce. We both equally think it is important that for our family one of us parents is a sahp. The reason it is me is because my dh makes a lot more money than I could. If life continues for us in this way, I have no plans to go back to work. I would like to take some courses or something, but have no pressing plans to do so. This system works for us financially because we moved from an area of Canada with an extremely high cost of living to an area with one of the lowest costs of living. Had we stayed where we were living originally, we would be struggling to buy a home even with both of us making the kind of money my dh makes right now. So it is a sacrifice for both of us because we had to move across the country far away from every one we know....but it is worth it.
CherryBombMama's Avatar CherryBombMama 07:31 PM 04-24-2010
before we got married, we agreed i will SAH. we still agreed after we got married. it wasnt until i got PREGNANT that my dh freaked out and asked if i could still work. i felt bad, so i worked part time for about 8 months, then i realized he was just scared to be the sole breadwinner, but i just quit and told him to suck it up

he did, and we are surviving. NOW he says he loves that i SAH, and he really does know its the best for us
That Is Nice's Avatar That Is Nice 07:57 PM 04-24-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottishmommy View Post
Someone would have to leave work at a reasonable hour. I just feel like neither one of us would be as successful if we were juggling careers, childcare and household duties.
This is us. It's true - this does happen.
That Is Nice's Avatar That Is Nice 08:00 PM 04-24-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by BetsyS View Post
I was working a job that was only 40 hours a week, but at least 24 of those hours were in one long shift (then I needed to sleep the next day), so 40 hours of work was more like 46 hours of commitment. My dh was traveling 3 nights a week at the time.
Wow, that sounds nearly impossible.

It makes me think my situation is a cake-walk.
Reebekah's Avatar Reebekah 09:08 PM 04-24-2010
I havent read the other responses....

How did you come to the decision to stay-at-home? Once our first child was born, we fell SO deeply in love with him, that we want to leave him with anyone but us...but unfortunately we hadn't made the necessary adjustments in our life for this....so for the next few years we did everything in our power to get ourselves into a situation where i could stay at home (and we had 2 more kids in the meantime).
What was your partner's initial thought or reaction? I said something about not wanting to leave him, and my husband agreed that he'd rather me be with him all the time too.
Did you both decide jointly? Yes, we discussed it and we both decided that it was the right choice for our family.
Did one want it more than the other or less than the other? I think we both wanted it the same....maybe I wanted it just a little more, but that's because I was going to be the one to stay at home.
Was it because of money? I made great money, so we took a huge cut (cut our income in more than half) for me to stay at home. Even once with 2 kids in daycare, I was still bringing home a decent amount of money. I didnt care about the money, I just wanted to be with my kids all the time.
Schedule? My employer permitted telework from home, 10 holidays, 13 sick days, 20 vacation days, 6 month maternity leave, flextime, compressed work schedule, etc..........but none of it was enough to make me stay. our kids were in the care of others at least 3 days per week, and i hated it.
Number of children? We decided I would stay home when we had 1 child, but I wasnt able to make it happen until 3 years later...and I had 3 children by then. We had to cut expenses, pay off some bills, sell a property, etc, to be able to afford me staying at home.
Cost of day care? We paid over 1k per month for daycare, and that wasnt fun, but it wasnt the main reason that i wanted to stay home.
Was your partner supportive all along or did they need to be convinced? I didn't have to convince him at all....he wanted the same thing for our family that i wanted.
Do they go along with it, but wish you would work? He says all the time how much better our life is now that I dont work....he even said he'd take on 2 or 3 jobs to pay our bills if he had to, just so one parent could always be with the kids.
Do they expect you to work again at some point? How long can you stay home for before time is up? I told him that I dont want to work for the next 20 years (when all of our kids are preparing for their adult life) and he said that is fine with him....it has allowed us to decide to homeschool, etc.

I worked from age 17 to 32 (15 years), and I worked my way up for corporate ladder so to speak. I also have 3 college degrees. Once I had kids, none of this mattered anymore. I had NO CLUE that I would feel like this...I always assumed that I would be a working mom forever. I am SO happy and thankful for my "new life"....I finally feel that I'm doing something important and that my life has meaning. I am more happy now than I have ever been. But I know that staying at home is HARD, and this life isn't for everyone. If I would have a husband that didn't agree with my decision to stay at home, I would do everything in my power to convince him and show him the benefits.
laughymama's Avatar laughymama 09:48 PM 04-24-2010
We discussed it before we got married and both wanted the same things for any children we would have. The main thing being a stay at home mom.

I married young and have never been employed. We married and found that me being a housewife was what worked best for us. I got pregnant 2 months after the wedding and just continued to stay home.

For us it works. I don't think we could function well in our marriage or as a family with both of us having jobs. Thankfully we make enough and live in an area where the cost of living also allows us to live on one income.

He is tired a lot. He works often and his job is factory work/manual labor. It's definitely not a walk in the park. I think he needs breaks more often than he gets them. This is the one negative I can think of right now that comes out of our lifestyle.

Right now, it's looking like I will stay home indefinitely. I know I'll continue to stay home when the kids go to school. Where it will go from there, who knows.

If I expressed a need for a change and talked to him about it he would be supportive. He does make sure to check in on me emotionally and spiritually in that aspect and asks from time to time if I think I would be a better mom if I had a part time job.

We're going with the flow. Right now we know I will definitely be home for the next 5 years with our 2 kids. We're not sure if our family is complete yet but there is definitely the possibility of more children so I'll probably be at home for a looong time.
CourtBChase's Avatar CourtBChase 11:04 PM 04-24-2010
DH's mother was a SAHM, and my mother was the bigger breadwinner in our family and worked a *lot*. When we were first talking about having kids we both felt that it was important to have a parent at home, and since I was a nanny/preschool teacher and he has a graduate degree in computer science, the choice was sort of obvious. I have talked about possibly finding a job where I can bring the baby or going back to work when she is ready for school to help pay tuition bills, but he is pretty adamant that he would prefer I be home for the long haul. For him, it is that he really doesn't like the idea of using childcare/afterschool care/wrap around care/summer camps etc etc as we would need to if I were to have a real career. I think he would be onboard with me getting a part time job if I wanted to once our kids are in school. And of course, if I wanted a job because i did not enjoy being home and would be happier working, he would be ok with that. But I don't, and I fell super fortunate that he agrees.
mommy212's Avatar mommy212 12:13 AM 04-25-2010
I told my husband before we got married that I wanted to be a SAHM, and that he would not change my mind about it and no money was worth going to work before I was ready. He still thinks I will work the next time we have a child, but I keep telling him no.
That Is Nice's Avatar That Is Nice 01:49 AM 04-25-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reebekah View Post
I havent read the other responses....

How did you come to the decision to stay-at-home? Once our first child was born, we fell SO deeply in love with him, that we want to leave him with anyone but us...but unfortunately we hadn't made the necessary adjustments in our life for this....so for the next few years we did everything in our power to get ourselves into a situation where i could stay at home (and we had 2 more kids in the meantime).
What was your partner's initial thought or reaction? I said something about not wanting to leave him, and my husband agreed that he'd rather me be with him all the time too.
Did you both decide jointly? Yes, we discussed it and we both decided that it was the right choice for our family.
Did one want it more than the other or less than the other? I think we both wanted it the same....maybe I wanted it just a little more, but that's because I was going to be the one to stay at home.
Was it because of money? I made great money, so we took a huge cut (cut our income in more than half) for me to stay at home. Even once with 2 kids in daycare, I was still bringing home a decent amount of money. I didnt care about the money, I just wanted to be with my kids all the time.
Schedule? My employer permitted telework from home, 10 holidays, 13 sick days, 20 vacation days, 6 month maternity leave, flextime, compressed work schedule, etc..........but none of it was enough to make me stay. our kids were in the care of others at least 3 days per week, and i hated it.
Number of children? We decided I would stay home when we had 1 child, but I wasnt able to make it happen until 3 years later...and I had 3 children by then. We had to cut expenses, pay off some bills, sell a property, etc, to be able to afford me staying at home.
Cost of day care? We paid over 1k per month for daycare, and that wasnt fun, but it wasnt the main reason that i wanted to stay home.
Was your partner supportive all along or did they need to be convinced? I didn't have to convince him at all....he wanted the same thing for our family that i wanted.
Do they go along with it, but wish you would work? He says all the time how much better our life is now that I dont work....he even said he'd take on 2 or 3 jobs to pay our bills if he had to, just so one parent could always be with the kids.
Do they expect you to work again at some point? How long can you stay home for before time is up? I told him that I dont want to work for the next 20 years (when all of our kids are preparing for their adult life) and he said that is fine with him....it has allowed us to decide to homeschool, etc.

I worked from age 17 to 32 (15 years), and I worked my way up for corporate ladder so to speak. I also have 3 college degrees. Once I had kids, none of this mattered anymore. I had NO CLUE that I would feel like this...I always assumed that I would be a working mom forever. I am SO happy and thankful for my "new life"....I finally feel that I'm doing something important and that my life has meaning. I am more happy now than I have ever been. But I know that staying at home is HARD, and this life isn't for everyone. If I would have a husband that didn't agree with my decision to stay at home, I would do everything in my power to convince him and show him the benefits.
Thanks so much for this post.

It's a nice reminder that sometimes women walk away from great careers, great pay, and great benefits to raise their children.

You sound a lot like me. I also worked until my 30s, building a career. I also had about the same benefits package...lots of vacation, lots of sick leave, great insurance, good maternity leave (unpaid), and decent pay (when I worked full time).

DH thinks that the maternity leave was sufficient. I, of course, do not.

DH thinks I have too good a career to leave. I, of course, feel that it is nothing compared to my child.

But part of me likes working (really likes working) and part of me fears the economic instability of leaving a job and relying on DH given his attitude.

So, I continue to work. But it is darn hard. I love working and I love my career - I just like the pre-baby version of it. The post-baby version of it basically sucks. Big time. There is no comparison. It was all very doable before now.
Honey693's Avatar Honey693 12:29 AM 04-26-2010
DH and I talked about this before we got married and readdressed it every few months afterward. We both had SAHM's for at least part of our childhood and it was really important to us to do the same. The plan was for me to work until we had out first kid, quit when they were born (DH makes way more money than I would, likes his job more and it's flexible, whereas mine wouldn't be at all) and go back to work when the last kid is in kindergarten. Even though I only worked for a year after we got married instead of the 2-3 we had planned we're sticking to the initial plan so far
BreakfastyMichele's Avatar BreakfastyMichele 12:36 AM 04-26-2010
I couldn't read the whole thread (in a rush!) but I wanted to weigh in.

Like Cappuccino Mom, my husband and I discussed this issue before we married. In fact, the discussion came up pretty early in our relationship. His mom had been a SAHM until he was in high school, and it seemed ideal to him. I loved the idea, but I was very apprehensive about the financial issue.

I'd been working for more than ten years, and I owned a successful small business as a sole proprietor.

We examined our expenses and bought our house on his salary alone. So, while I was working, we tucked away my salary and practiced living on his. That way, we were used to being frugal, PLUS we had a nice emergency fund. (Good thing too, since we flooded last Christmas. Bye emergency fund!) So, if you can do that, do it!

I had a lot of trouble in the beginning. I have loved being a SAHM from the start, but I didn't like feeling as if I wasn't contributing financially. Here's how we look at it in our house. We have lots of things we need to accomplish: earn money, care for children, set up doctor appointments, take out trash, cook dinners, handle home repairs, etc. Just as I never take out the trash, I never earn the money. Those things are his job. Caring for our child is my job, M-F, 9-5. We split everything else.

Some of my SAHM friends recommend letting your DH keep your child for a full day (or two!) so he can see that it really is a full-time job. And though millions of kids receive great care from other caregivers, I cannot imagine my daughter receiving better care than she does with me. Instead of conflicting values, terminology and rules, she gets one consistent message from her parents. I am very comforted by that.

I'm not sure how important your other individual questions were to you, so I'll answer those directly as well:
Did one want it more than the other or less than the other?
I don't know what we would have done if we hadn't been in agreement. If I loved my job, he wouldn't prohibit me from working, but I cannot imagine either of us being comfortable with our daughter in someone else's care on a regular basis.

Was it because of money? No. We're making it work financially. It's tough, but we planned, and we stick to a budget.

Schedule? No.

Number of children? No. I started staying at home with our first.

Cost of day care? No. We never considered it.

Do they go along with it, but wish you would work?
Honestly, he just wants me to be happy.

Do they expect you to work again at some point?
We decided we'd discuss it when our last child goes to school (unless I want to go to work sooner.) I never had a job I was passionate about the way I am about motherhood, and honestly, I'm looking forward to being the room mother and to running the house where kids can hang out after school.

How long can you stay home for before time is up?
There's no time limit on the way we've arranged our duties, but we have very open communication. If one of us were unhappy with the situation, we'd discuss and reorganize.
Drummer's Wife's Avatar Drummer's Wife 01:18 AM 04-26-2010
We didn't really plan it out before having babies, and we certainly didn't save up for it, or anything - we were 20 and 21 when I got pregnant with our first. We both worked, and I planned to take 3 months off and then go back to work. I really didn't want to leave DD - so I was a nanny a few days a week and brought her with me (this was to help out a friend, not something I sought b/c we needed the $). Then, when she was a year old I decided to try going back to work after my job offered me a position if I'd come back. I worked in a Montessori daycare/school - so she was placed in a toddler classroom down the hall from me. She did great; I had a hard time with it. I was only making about $12 an hour then, and even with the discount, her tuition was $600 a month. For us, it just wasn't worth it. I only lasted 4 months back at work, and then became a SAHM. Then we had 3 more babies - all two years apart - and for about a year and a half between baby #2 and 3 I worked part-time weekends taking newborn pics at a hospital. Honestly, DH didn't care if I worked or not - from the time our first baby was born until now. When I did work, it was b/c I wanted to. The money honestly wasn't enough to make a difference, either way.

So now, our kids are 9, 7, 5, and 3 - and I am a part-time college student going full-time in the fall. My DH still doesn't care if I work or not; he just wants me to be happy. Now that 3 will be in school full-time, and the youngest would be home and/or in preschool part-time - it maybe would make sense financially for me to work since we won't have insanely high daycare costs like we would have when the kids were younger - but still, DH doesn't care if I work or not.

Basically me being a SAHM is just kinda what happened. I would say that a big part of it definitely is/was the high cost of daycare and the number of kids we have; it just wouldn't make sense, financially, for me to work... but DH has always been supportive of me being a SAHM and would continue to support me as the kids get older (and if we had more babies). The thing about them being in school is that there is still a lot that needs to be done, and times when they get sick and need to stay home, parent-teacher conferences, field trips, other school events, dr appts, etc., so I think my DH realizes that there are benefits in having a SAHP even with school age kids. I am in school, though, for the next couple years and am glad that I will have the option of working and earning enough to make it worth it when I get done. Whether or not I SAH at that point, though, is hard to say. I can see myself working part-time, like 1-2 12-hr shifts a week... but the kids and home will always be my main focus, and DH agrees with that.
curvyred's Avatar curvyred 01:50 AM 04-26-2010
I WOH and DH is the SAHP. We knew early on that we wanted one person to stay home. I honestly don't remember the initial conversation, but we did at least look into alternatives for both of us working. The money never made sense. DH has a great skill set, but we live in a lousy area for it. Even with part time day-care, his gas and daycare would eat up all but a few hundred dollars of his earning potential.

I make good money, have good benefits and as much security in my job as one can have in times like these. It was always a bit of a given for us who would stay home. I have moments where I'm jealous, but mostly when DS was little. I have a GREAT ability to take time off for maternity leave (unpaid) and DH has supported us saving money to make it possible. I'm due in June and planning to be off for 5 1/2 months--mostly unpaid--just like I did with DS #1.

DH is trying to do more stuff on the side now that DS is getting older, but little of it pans out in terms of pay so far. Around here, it's not uncommon for moms to stay home, and a lot of the activities we do are geared towards stay at home parents, so there's a lot of support for moms being home. That said, it cracks me up how everyone keeps trying to get my DH a job! "Oh, hey, as soon as baby is x, y, z, you can get back to work!" "Oh, you do design work? Oh, you can do that from home with baby!" LOL

I keep holding my breath hoping that he doesn't get the itch for a steady paycheck. I LOVE having him at home. I see him WAY more often than I did pre-kiddo and I like our life, even with the stress of being the sole wage-earner. I'd be fine if he stays home forever. Sometimes I think teenagers need as much, if not more supervision than toddlers!
LemonPie's Avatar LemonPie 02:14 AM 04-26-2010
We planned for me to SAH well before we ever got married or had children. Both of us had mothers who SAH and we feel really strongly about it. I finished college and worked a few years before we had our first, but we made big financial decisions based on the fact that we wanted me to SAH down the road. In fact, when we bought our first home, we ran the numbers and made sure that we could swing the mortgage on just DH's salary if I got pg (we'd been trying for well over a year at that point), and it was a really good thing we did because I finally got pg 3 months after we bought that house. I quit my job a month before my oldest was born and I've been home for 7 years now. It's the hardest thing I've ever done, but I love it more than I can say and I definitely wouldn't have it any other way. In fact, we're going to start HS next year, so who knows when, if ever, I may join the workforce again. That's fine with me
major_mama11's Avatar major_mama11 02:19 AM 04-26-2010
(I'm not currently a SAHM, but have been in the past and want to be again...)

We discussed it before we even dated, and at that time he was more into the sahm idea than I was. Boy, have things changed...

When we had DD, I took a semester off of college and got to be home with her for most of her first year, and loved being home with her. I finished the last 2 years of my program, out of fear that I could never get back into such a competitive program if I didn't finish it now.

So for most of DD's toddlerhood I was either in school or working FT. I hated it, and eventually switched to a flexible PT position, w/o benefits. Lately I've been working FT hours again, still w/o benefits, due to DH's employer tanking. DH knows his employer is tanking, and yet he refuses to look for a different job. He has been home with the kids more than me the past couple months, and I almost think he is hoping that HE will get to be the SAHP, that I will cave and look for a FT job. He's great with the kids, I'll be the first to say that, but I want to homeschool, which he isn't super supportive of, so that would pretty much require the SAHP to be me. Plus, I just plain like being home with the kids. Our lives are so much calmer, the house is cleaner, we all have more free time for our own pursuits...

When I mentioned recently to DH that I would so love to SAH again, he seemed puzzled. No matter how many times I mention it, I don't think he really believes me that I want to quit working, I guess because I don't actively hate my job.

Maybe I just need to accept that, in this economy, there is not much hope of supporting a family on the blue collar wages that DH makes (dead end kinda job too). Maybe it does make more sense for DH to be the SAHP, given the fact that I can earn twice as much per year working FT.

But I hate for it to come down to dollars and cents. There's also the quality of life issue. When I'm the primary breadwinner, as I am temporarily at this time, there is just so much more tension in the house than when he is the primary earner. There are a few completely obvious things that we could do that would allow us to get by on his salary alone (like making our long-term squatters pay rent, or else selling that house completely- bam, $400 extra a month that we wouldn't be paying to the mortgage), but he resists doing these things. I can't make having a SAHP be as important to him as it is to me, unfortunately.

I don't know, the more I write on this topic, the more I think that I need to face reality and start broaching the topic w/ DH of him being the SAHP and me working FT, after his employer shuts down for good, which it will in the next couple years for sure. In my profession, I can work 3 12's and be home the other 4 days. And DH could do something PT from home. Maybe that's as good as it will get for us?

Thanks for starting this thread- it has really made me think!
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