I've been separated from my ex for about a year and a half now. I have my kids about 75% of the time, and I've been working only very sporadically (with a friend's business which is seasonal), so effectively I am a SAHM. Prior to separating, I'd been at home full-time with my kids since they were born.
My ex is a dog (not meaning to insult dogs, but you know what I mean!) on so many levels, but he's been good on financial stuff. I get both child and spousal support. It's a decent amount but of course I have to keep on a budget, pay my mortgage (I bought him out of his half of the house) and generally be very careful- but it's do-able.
Right now I'm struggling with the idea of working. When we first separated, I panicked and started job hunting like mad right away. Early on I had an interview for an excellent job. I'd felt good about the interview, and prior to that I'd never *not* been offered a job I'd interviewed for. Well, lo and behold I didn't get it. Not getting that job really took the wind out of my sails, and since then I've only been half-heartedly job hunting.
I'm torn about the whole SAHM thing. Is it really only do-able for two parent families? Am I being folly in thinking that this is a legitimate option for me? I do feel that I've served my kids very well over the years by being at home (though my ex resented me for it...apparently he was 'embarrased' by being married to an anachronism like me. grr.). They are doing great and have transitioned from the separation really nicely, I think in big part because I worked really hard and fought tooth and nail to keep everything else in their lives intact- and that meant having me at home.
Now though, I'm thinking of working again...in a 'real' job, as opposed to my friend's business, which is very spotty. Part of it is not wanting to be so dependent on the ex (for spousal support), part of it is wanting my own benefits (it's the one reason I'm not prepared to actually divorce him at this point- I have significant medical expenses that wouldn't be covered by his plan if we actually got divorced), part of it is just wanting to enter another stage of my life and take on something new.
Anyhow, all that to say that I'm wondering if there's anyone out there in a similar position...
Hi! I am, in fact, as SAHM who is single. I've been separated for a year now and my ex is also really good financially, which allows me to stay home, as well as government child tax benefit. I *really* am on a budget, but I don't mind. My DD is 3.5 (in may) and I can't imagine not being at home with her.
That isn't to say I don't do some work. I write some articles for the newpaper, do some relaxation massage, some child care and various odd jobs of whatever people i know need done: gardening, cleaning, maintenance.... really anything I can do with DD or that I can do on the days that I don't have her.
It's not easy. I would be a lot more comfortable if I had more money. I am not paying off my debt, or saving much, but I think the benefits of staying home are amazing, even if you're single.
Hope that you are able to figure out what will be the best thing for your and your family, but know that you are not alone and single SAHMing can be done!
My old town is home of the single SAHP. My closest friend neighbor/good friend SAH with her 3 kids and her support (spousal and child) is such that she is very comfortable. She just built a gorgeous new home, bought a winter home in Fla, is a member of 2 prestigious clubs and basically shops for a living. Since our state is a no fault state her husband is required to maintain her lifestyle even thought she is the one who cheated, multiple times. He was devastated and has tried reconciling multiple times, counseling etc but she refuses. Honestly I can't blame her. She is is free to live her life as she pleases (she is now living with the last guy she cheated with), be there for her kids 100%, provide her kids all the luxuries they want and still take care of herself (personal trainer, weekly spa visits, house cleaner, landscaper etc) She is also saving over 15% of her support each month so even after the kids graduate from college she will still never need to work.
This is very typical to my area. But there are just as many moms who struggle to do the same but I don't know any SAHP that does it with out financial support from their XP or their own parents and most of them are resigned that they will need to go back to work once their kids are in middle or at least high school.
So yes it can be done you just need to be creative with your finances if your X wasn't loaded.
Pardon me while I