Are you at all concerned about not having a job? - Mothering Forums
Stay at Home Parents > Are you at all concerned about not having a job?
mtbmomma's Avatar mtbmomma 10:21 PM 04-16-2011

I am a SAHM to my 2.5 y/o DD, and really love it.  Right now I nanny for one other child part-time because we need the money while my husband is in grad school.  We plan on homeschooling, and don't anticipate me needing to work once he finishes up school in a year.  But, I can't help being a bit worried about not having a job just in case something were to happen and I needed income right away.  Also, DD will be an only child and I am only in my late 20's, so I will have plenty of time to have a career when she grows up, which I would like to do.  So I wonder if I should be doing something to have on my resume and to build my skills for when that day comes.  


It seems wonderful to me to be able to stay home and homeschool my one child, while taking care of the house, gardening, and pursuing some of my many interests.  I'm just wondering if this would be the smartest route to take, since it wouldn't give us much security for the future.  Does this seem like a valid concern?  I think if I do decide to go work, I will find something flexible that would work with homeschooling as well, but in my mind it would be preferable to not have to try to juggle both if I didn't need to.


Sorry I'm kind of rambling here, I hope that all made sense.

zoshamosha's Avatar zoshamosha 08:44 AM 04-17-2011

I, personally, am very worried about not having a job.  My husband makes excellent money, but our relationship is a little bit rocky and while I'm not anticipating divorce any time soon, it seems to be an issue that creeps up from time to time.  It would be even worse for us if he were to suddenly die.  He is about 20 years older than I am and while he's in excellent health, you never know...  I've been asking him to establish a life insurance policy (which he can do through work, but he just hasn't). 


I'm in the position where I'm starting to see myself less as a SAHM and more as unemployed, to be honest.  I've been home with my kids since my first was born 5 years ago.  Now my little one is in preschool.  I have time on my hands during the days and while I thought it would be wonderful, turns out I'm crawling out of my skin in anxiety, boredom and other desperate feelings.  So, the job and volunteer opportunity search begins in earnest.

frugalmum's Avatar frugalmum 09:05 AM 04-17-2011

Personally no, because by this point I've been married so long, and we have enough assets, and H's salary is enough that he would have to pay me a small ransom in alimony (+ child support for soon 7 kids) if he decided to trade me in for a new Mrs. Frugalmom.  But we were not always at this point and I often did wonder what would become of me if he decided to up and leave, or if I felt I needed to.  While it would be great if all SAHMs could have flexible work experience they could fall back on, I don't think this is very realistic for many women.  I feel like being a SAHM is an all or nothing job for some women-- even my sister who only has 4 tried working very part time "to keep up her resume" and she was absolutely miserable and felt she was compromising her role as a SAHM.  To each her own though-- maybe some women can handle it.


Off the top of my head, some flexible professions (where you can have breaks in your resume) might be teaching, occupational/ physical/ speech therapist, nurse, other medical, accounting (?) ... I'm sure there are other flexible careers in terms of taking a couple years to raise kids.

mtbmomma's Avatar mtbmomma 11:27 AM 04-17-2011

Thanks for the replies.  As I think about it more I realize that it really isn't realistic to try to plan for everything, and I will likely be able to put myself together and work my way into a career when and if the time comes.  I don't really want to work while homeschooling, and if I don't have to it really doesn't make sense to do so.  My husband and I are quite close and have been together for 7 years, without any real problems.  While the future could change, there is nothing that leads me to think I need to prepare for that now either.

frugalmum's Avatar frugalmum 07:40 PM 04-17-2011

It would be even worse for us if he were to suddenly die.  He is about 20 years older than I am and while he's in excellent health, you never know...  I've been asking him to establish a life insurance policy (which he can do through work, but he just hasn't). 

This is really concerning.  Is he just afraid to think about it, or does he not care about what would happen to you if he passed away?  Did you discuss mortality/ age difference concerns before you married?


My husband always took life insurance policies when they were available through work.  However that benefit disappeared at a certain point, and for a few years he had no policy.  When I conceived our fourth child I told him the issue was now non-negotiable, that we both needed to purchase life insurance policies and write a will.  He finally did it then and we've both carried policies since.


It can feel creepy discussing these things with your spouse but when you have no income and no real prospects for future income the supporting spouse needs to make plans for you. 

pammysue's Avatar pammysue 08:10 PM 04-17-2011

Did you have a career before your DC? Is it possible to volunteer for something in your field or close to it? 


You could stay up to date on what is happening in your field and make connections if you ever did need/want to work.

mtbmomma's Avatar mtbmomma 08:56 PM 04-17-2011

I majored in Biology and intended to get my masters in wildlife biology when my husband finished up his undergrad, but then we got pregnant that Spring.  I worked in early childhood education for five years, so that is where I have all my experience, but that is not what I want to do.  


Now that I have a family, I'm not sure if I still want to go into wildlife biology.  I think I will wait to see where my DH gets a job and then decide on a career that will be available in that region, since it is unlikely we will be living here.  DH did come home the other day with an opportunity for me to do some volunteer work in wildlife biology, but now I'm not so sure I want to stick with that.  So many decisions, I guess I'm lucky to have the freedom to pick and choose for now.

newbymom05's Avatar newbymom05 10:24 PM 04-17-2011

I am concerned.We have a strong marriage, we're both committed to me being home, etc., but I worry about retirement and sending our kids to college. DH makes a good living, but once my youngest is in school it's very tempting to think of nicer cars, vacations, etc...and of course retirement and college. It actually freaks me out when I think of the years of matching SS/Medicare I'm missing, let alone an employer-sponsored plan.


I was a teacher and it was great at the time but there's no way I'll do that job again, so I'd have to go back to school. I'm thinking nursing, but it changes monthly. But honestly, I'm on the homemaker side of the SAHM spectrum, and the thought of doing all I do PLUS working for pay--it wearies me just to think it. I don't know how I could do it. I could see a big chunk of my pay going to a cleaning services and lots of Whole Food take out. The whole issue makes me anxious and has been since my oldest was about a year old. I wouldn't even consider working and homeschooling, but probably because I know my limitations. Oh, and DH has a mega policy so that I could conceivably never work (G forbid). My worry is mainly that DH works into his dotage and we still have to be frugal and the boys still have to take ed loans.

JudiAU's Avatar JudiAU 02:58 PM 04-19-2011

I think some of it depends on your education, skill set, and previous work experience. If you have all then I wouldn't worry much. You can jump into something later. But I've seen my extended family SAHM really, really suffer when they had their kids young with little education or work experience and then their lives changed. One had a DH who became disabled, one (the pastor) ran off and left her with four kids, and another had a DH with serious injuries. All of them got shoved into the workplace totally unprepared and lived, barely, for many years.


This was part of my mom's mantra when growing up; you need to be prepared to support your family and have the skills and education to do so. She wanted us to be done with our master's degrees before we got married which was probably a bit much, but truthfully, prepared us for the roles we've needed to take.

JudiAU's Avatar JudiAU 02:59 PM 04-19-2011

Can't edit.


Should also add that almost all of the women in my mom's family were SAHM who didn't return to the workplace. They are almost all having terrible financial troubles in retirement. The only aunt/uncle doing all right has a wife who went back to work after the kids graduated from high school.

Ldavis24 04:14 PM 04-19-2011

not at all really and we are broke as a joke right now...I'm just not phased by it I guess.

We are actively working the Dave Ramsey plan and hope to be debt free in about 5 years. 

We are also actively working toward a homesteading lifestyle, little step by little step so we are working toward a life where we will need an income to pay taxes etc but our food will primarily be our own (would love to make a few extra bucks doing the farmer's market thing too) and our financial needs will be small on a monthly basis. our goal as a family is try to become less and less dependment on a lifestyle that requires a lot of money. It means living more simply but it's what we want. So in that sense I  don't sweat it at all. 


I suppose we could separate and then I would have to work, but that is life and I have family I know can help me in times of trouble. Maybe it sounds naive I don't know. I just can't stress about things that I can't predict 5, 10 15 years in the future... 

L J's Avatar L J 06:02 AM 04-20-2011

I live with a low grade but constant underlying panic because I have no career, and no real marketable job skills. I did 3 years of college, and got pregnant with my oldest. I left his father and went back to work for tips (restaurant, bar) and made good money and was able to support us without us starving and keep me out of debt, but I never did get around to those marketable job skills or that piece of paper. My now DH has a great career and makes a good living, and I can stay home with no guilt as long as I cut a few corners. But, he is 15 years older than me and not in the best health (cancer survior, two times). He has a life insurance policy through work, which is the only kind he can get at this point because of his health history, and it is enough that we could sustain for several years if something were to happen to him, but it doesn't take away my panic. I think I would be okay with being a SAHM if I had a degree to fall back on. I am getting to an age and place in my life where going back to work for tips is just not appealing in any way. Its easy to work all hours of the night with one child and a willing set of grandparents to help out. But, with two children and grandparents who are reaching a point in their retirement where they are not wanting to be on call babysitters 24/7, I just don't see how I would make it work. Not to mention the economy, and the fact that I would have to work twice and much and twice as hard for the same wage I was making 5 years ago.


Peony's Avatar Peony 04:53 PM 04-20-2011

I completely was a SAHM for 7 years, I wasn't *too* concerned about it but I also did take measures to protect myself and did prior to having any children by getting my degree, etc... My mother was a SAHM and now a housewife, she has never had any marketable skills, and could never make enough to support herself, I never wanted that to be me. I volunteered, did continuing education, and continued to get certifications while being a SAHM, partly because I do enjoy doing it, but also partly to keep myself marketable. I had no plans to seek out a job when a very part time , flexible one (some from home with minimal in-office hours) fell into my lap. While I wasn't looking, I thought I would be crazy to turn it down. So I do that now, I average 20 hours a month which is certainly doable with my kids. I have no desire to seek out more work for many years to come, my oldest is 8 and I'm pg with my 4th right now. 


DH does carry a hefty life insurance policy on himself and has since we had children. I still want to do a few more things, like getting my masters when this last one is starting pre-school.  I also don't always believe he will be around, not in the sense that we would divorce, but that he works in a very high stress job, doesn't treat his body well, and then engages in some risky sports, I honestly would be surprised if he does live a natural, long life. I have always seen him as one of those that go younger. Since we do have soon to be 4 children, I need to be support us if need be. Life insurance doesn't last forever. 

megannt's Avatar megannt 09:38 PM 04-22-2011

Originally Posted by mtbmomma View Post

Thanks for the replies.  As I think about it more I realize that it really isn't realistic to try to plan for everything, and I will likely be able to put myself together and work my way into a career when and if the time comes.  I don't really want to work while homeschooling, and if I don't have to it really doesn't make sense to do so.  My husband and I are quite close and have been together for 7 years, without any real problems.  While the future could change, there is nothing that leads me to think I need to prepare for that now either.

I think you are right on with thinking that way. It sounds like you are very happy where you are at right now and that is very important. It is smart to look down the road though and it sounds like you are considering all of your options. It is nice to have security and to have a plan B, just in case.


It doesn't bother me to not have a job. I have my bachelors degree and teaching certificate, so if we really needed the money, I could do substitute teaching. I'm not too worried about the money -- if we fall on hard times, I know we will make it through. I try not to focus too hard on the what if's and really try enjoying the right nows. That being said, being a one income family, we try to be very thoughtful with our money. We have a good savings and no debt. We have worked hard to do this and sacrifice a lot of 'wants' but it brings us a lot of security knowing that we could survive if worst came to worst.

Chamomile Girl's Avatar Chamomile Girl 09:58 PM 04-22-2011
Like someone else posted upthread I see myself more as unemployed than as a SAHM. I never wanted to be a SAHM and I am not very good at it. In fact I am resentful of the fact that I moved here because of my husband's job and have been unable to find employment since then even though I am degreed through the wazoo and look good on paper (darn budget crisis!!!).

Le sigh.
tjjazzy's Avatar tjjazzy 04:37 PM 04-27-2011

we have life insurance (for death, injury etc) so no. i have a master's degree and am a freelance writer as well but we couldn't live off that.

texmati's Avatar texmati 07:03 PM 04-28-2011

yes. very much so. like pp's I desperately would like to think of this break as an extended maternity leave.

mtbmomma's Avatar mtbmomma 09:28 PM 04-29-2011

Thanks for the input everyone.  I keep going back and forth from being confident and okay with being home, to feeling like I should go back to school in a year or two.  I think it will more have to do with my feeling like I need to be something else other than a mom, rather than being concerned about the future.  I am such a planner, that it is hard for me to just step back and enjoy the life I have.

FarmerBeth's Avatar FarmerBeth 09:53 PM 04-29-2011

My husband and I took turns as the stay at home parent until just now with our youngest being in Gr 1 (I've been working part time at his school).  This really helped us both not be away from the work place too long without feeling like we were compromising on what we wanted to give our children time wise.  But we were also lucky to work in jobs like nursing and educational support/counselling that tend to be understanding of being away from the workplace.


happysmileylady's Avatar happysmileylady 09:56 PM 04-29-2011

I consider myself more of a SAHM than WOHM, because I am at work so little, only like 10 to 15 hours a week.  And I am simply a peon cashier at CVS, nothing worthy of a real resume.


But, even if I had no part time peon job, I would not be worried.  I think it comes from having been a single mom once.  If I had to be a single mom again, I think losing my DH (regardless of method) would be WAY more devistating than having to be the sole providor to my kids, again.  While being a single mom is hard and it sucks and it's no fun, I can't imagine that it even comes close to holding a candle to losing my spouse.


I once worked with someone who was very much her own person-she often cut corners on rules just because that was who she was.  I once asked her if she was ever worried about getting in trouble or losing her job over it.  Her response was "I was looking for a job when I found this one.  If I lose it, I will just be looking again." 


That really stuck with me.  Virtually everyone who is currently employed was, at some point, looking for a job.  If I have to start looking for a "real" job, then I will, and eventually, I will find one.

Maela's Avatar Maela 10:14 PM 04-29-2011

No.  Maybe I'm just in denial...  I would stay at home forever if I could and I might.  I love being at home, and I feel like I have so many things to do that I could be busy for many, many years - even with the kids out of the house.  Maybe that's just because I have two little ones, and right now I can't imagine having so much time... :)


Dh and I have a very good relationship; I really can't see us ever getting a divorce.  He's an amazing man; I'm very lucky. love.gif

 He has life insurance that would get us through the first couple of years if he died.  I don't have a degree.  I went to college for four years full time, but never actually got a degree, so I guess sometimes I do worry about that.  But I'm just optimistic, I guess.  I could figure something out.  We've got both of our families in town, and I know they would help me with child care if I needed it and that gives me a good support group.  It maybe wouldn't be ideal, but I'm not going to worry about all the what-ifs in life.  

Sorilla's Avatar Sorilla 10:06 AM 05-02-2011

What is the exact age you think you DD will "grow up" so you can start you own career?

mtbmomma's Avatar mtbmomma 03:31 PM 05-02-2011

"I was looking for a job when I found this one.  If I lose it, I will just be looking again." 


I like this too, and think it really is true.  I have a plan in my head for what I would do if something happened and we needed me to work, and it really seems manageable.  


Since we are planning on homeschooling, I don't think DD will likely be grown up enough for me to go back full time until she is in high school or college, but that could change if she or we decide not to home school, or if it seems easy for me to work as well.  I guess I always assumed that once my child was on her own or in school, I would go back to work.  I have never even considered the possibility that I might stay home if she was in school, or after she leaves home.  DH was surprised that I might want to work if I didn't have to, but I have always thought of a job as something that you love to do and also get payed for, not just a source of income.  Right now I nanny part-time because we need the money, but I wouldn't be doing it if I didn't have to.  


I think it would be a big adjustment for me to think about the possibility of going through life without ever having a career.  Although I think that is really because I had never considered it a possibility, not because it is something that I don't necessarily want for myself.  I guess I have some things to think about.  It seems like since I do have a degree, and a fair amount of experience, I would be alright if I needed to go back.

Chamomile Girl's Avatar Chamomile Girl 03:37 PM 05-02-2011

Originally Posted by mtbmomma View Post

"I was looking for a job when I found this one.  If I lose it, I will just be looking again." 


Unfortunately (as I am learning) looking does not always lead to finding.

Birdie B.'s Avatar Birdie B. 12:11 PM 05-03-2011

Sometimes I am, but my situation is different from yours. I want to have several more children, and I feel it's important to stay home while they are little, but I don't intend to homeschool.  I miss my career (I am a wildlife biologist - it's awesome, but hard with kids), and don't feel like I"m a great SAHM.  I am committed to staying home while I have infants/nurslings, but my daughter is starting preschool this fall, and we plan to send them all to school.




I am not too concerned about finances; our relationship is stable, husband's job is stable, and I have my own savings and family that would help me out if I needed. I just worry about my job skills losing their marketability the longer I am out of work.




OkiMom's Avatar OkiMom 09:23 PM 05-03-2011

I honestly am not worried. DH has a steady job (hes in the military, so at least until next reenlistment he has a job) and we have a good relationship. We have extra left after every pay period and usually have a good savings (right now not so much since we just moved from Japan back to the states). I know I have marketable skills although I wouldn't want to do what Im trained in any longer. Im trained in law enforcement but I wouldn't want to do that with children. I also have training in ammunition and hazardous materials but again not something I would "want" to do but if I needed to I could find a job in those fields. Its been a while but its easy to brush up. I've kept my foot in the door of those fields as well so I know I would have someone to talk to if something happened and I NEEDED to get a job. DH has a good life insurance so if god forbids something were to happen to him the children and I would be taken care of. I also sew and can alter dresses/pants/other articles of clothing and could make a passable income doing that. Im going back so school soon and finishing up my bachelors degree so I have that as well.


I think its important to have something to fall back on in case you need it BUT I don't worry about it to often. You honestly can't plan for every circumstance. My mom worked her whole life until she was diagnosed with cancer and couldn't do her job. She wasn't any better off really than if she had been unemployed since my parents weren't known for saving money or putting things aside for a raining day. In fact she was probably worse because they were so dependent on her salary. She never planned to get sick, its not something you plan. We don't ever PLAN for something to happen where I HAD to go back to work but its something that COULD happen so I keep my toes in the door.

Magali's Avatar Magali 08:34 AM 05-05-2011

Yes and no.  DH has a steady job and I don't forsee a break up for us.  If he died, the debt (including house) would be paid off and I would get some money from insurance and a small pension.  Sure it would be hard for me and the kids to start all on our own, but I've been poor before in my life and my parents were never able to help me out financially and I have turned out just fine.  For me, it is important that I know what is going on with my kids 100% of the time, because I am with them 24 hours a day, every day.  Honesly, I doubt I could even get a job here...small town where I don't speak the language, plus my dh is on call almost all of the time.  Hey there, do you wanna hire someone who can't understand you and who can only work a few days a month?  Probably not.

kay4's Avatar kay4 11:18 AM 05-10-2011

No, I'm not.  We did go through some very rocky times in the past where I was very concerned about my lack of work experience, etc.  But there is nothing I can do about that and I don't regret being a sahm all these years at all.  If God forbid he died (he is deployed so this is something I worry about) he has life insurance.  If we ever divorced child support and alimony would hopefully hold me over long enough to get some vocational schooling in...Ultimately I trust that God would take care of us, and I don't regret being home.